8 Kishore Kumar Hits That Take You Back In Time

Few singers in the Hindi film industry have ever matched the versatility which Kishore Kumar possessed. Like Satyajit Ray, Guru Dutt, and Raj Kapoor, Kishore Kumar was a renaissance man. At different stages of his life, he was an actor, a director, a music composer, a playback singer, and a lyricist. He wore many hats and excelled in almost every department of music and filmmaking.

Born as Abhas Kumar Ganguly, Kishore Kumar got his first opportunity in the 1948 release, Ziddi. Music director Khemchand Prakash gave him a chance to sing “Marne Ki Duaen Kyon Mangoon” and the young man from central India never looked back. A prolific performer until his passing in 1987, Kishore Kumar sang over 1500 recorded songs in total. And most importantly, Kumar produced both quality and quantity — he won 8 Filmfare Awards for Best Male Playback singer.

A true artist, Kumar experimented continually with his vocal performance as he worked with different music directors from the Hindi film industry. Indeed, modern playback singers acknowledge how Kumar changed the perception and status of singers in the Hindi entertainment world. It feels impossible to pick a handful of all-time hits by Kishore Kumar —  but here are few of his songs that have resonated most with his fans and stood the test of time.

“Aanewala Pal” from Golmaal:

Composed by the legendary R.D. Burman on the lyrics penned by Gulzar, “Aanewala Pal” has remained a fan-favorite ever since it first hit the market in 1979. The song featured Amol Palekar and Bindiya Goswami. Over the years, many have asserted that this song is an elegantly composed guide to follow in life.

“Mere Mehboob Qayamat Hogi” from Mr. X in Bombay:

“Mere Mehboob Qayamat Hogi” is a rare gem among Hindi songs, featuring deep emotions towards someone beloved. The melodious song was composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal and became an evergreen hit. The betrayal a heartbroken lover feels was never expressed with more honesty.

“Kehna Hai Kehna Hai” from Padosan:

One of the most romantic tracks of R. D. Burman and Kishore Kumar, “Kehna Hai Kehna Hai” featured Sunil Dutt and Saira Banu. In the film, Dutt wants to impress his line-of-sight neighbor with the help of his artist friend. “Kehna Hai Kehna Hai” depicted the heart of the character who was expressing his love in all the chaos. The film also featured Kishore Kumar in one of the most prominent roles of his acting career.

Hamen Tumse Pyar Kitna” from Kudrat:


This love-worn hit was composed for Rajesh Khanna and Hema Malini by R.D. Burman. The romantic song “Hamen Tumse Pyar Kitna” is still hummed by lovers to express their emotions. Kishore Kumar was nominated for Best Male Playback singer for this song, which leaves a lasting effect on listeners.

“Gum Hai Kisi Ke Pyar Mein” from Rampur Ka Laxman:

A romantic duet sung by Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar, “Gum Hai Kisi Ke Pyar Mein” features Rekha and Randhir Kapoor. The combination of these two dynamic singers added charm and charisma to the tune. Composed by R.D. Burman for melodious lyrics written by Majrooh Sultanpuri, this song still gives us goosebumps.

“Khaike Paan Banaras Wala” from Don:


You can’t help but break out dancing while listening to it. Kishore Kumar was famous for his voice modulation. On one hand, while he could make listeners cry from his songs, he also made sure to get everyone dancing by adding his joy and rhythm to songs. For every Indian listening to groovy “Khaike Paan Banaras Wala,” it’s easy to picture Amitabh Bachchan’s killer moves in this gusto-filled track.

“Ek Ladki Bheegi Bhagi Si” from Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi:

This film was the first time Kishore Kumar shared the screen with his brothers, Ashok and Anoop Kumar. Featuring the most beautiful Madhubala, Kumar brought fun mockery and love combined in this romantic fusion. Interestingly, “Ek Ladki Bheegi Bhaagi Si” was inspired by Merle Travis’ song “Sixteen Tons.”

“Chingari Koi Bhadke” from Amar Prem:


This song from Amar Prem featured Bollywood’s favorite onscreen couple, Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Tagore. The lyrics of “Chingari Koi Bhadke” ask questions that most of us end up wondering at some time in our lives. Kishore Kumar’s sadness-filled vocals added perception and reality to this track. The presence of his smooth vocals make this an undeniably addictive composition.


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