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Entertainment Editor SAMIL SALIM reviews one of the latest albums... 

 "The Very Best Bollywood Songs" is a brave title to have. With hundreds and thousands of songs to choose from, it is an even more difficult title to justify. Where do you start? Which songs do you pick? Where do you stop? All these questions must be answered.

 In an industry where the success of a film is strongly linked to the success of its songs, a good starting point is to look at some of the blockbusters over the years. It is evident from the compilation that all the songs have been selected from hit films. The selection spans over four decades, from 1969 to 2000. Ranging from the 1971 masterpiece "Chalte Chalte" from the movie Pakeezah, in which Lata joins forces with lyricist Kaifi Azmi, who is regarded as one of the great contemporary poets. To the modern day hit "Tujhe Delkha To" from the 1995 mega hit Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge. This remains one of Jatin Lalits most celebrated songs and also one of Lata Mangeshkar's last playback takes before retirement. 

The Cd is quite diverse and has a song for almost everyone. My personal favourite being "Kabhie Kabhie Mere Dil Mein" from the 1976 hit film Kabhie Kabhie. This song was voted the best song of the 70's in a recent survey and is arguably the best Bollywood tune ever.

 I feel the only negative in the compilation is the absence of the great Mohammed Rafi also known as the King of Melody. I was very surprised to see that a legend like Rafi had been left out of a compilation that claims to be the best of Bollywood. How do you claim to be the very best when you have not included the very best. I'm sure every one will agree that Rafi deserved at least one slot in this Cd if not more. However the compilers of this Cd did not totally ignore Rafi and did promise future compilations dedicated to this master, and some of the other big names that have been left out.
So does this Cd really contain the very best of Bollywood? Frankly speaking it is very unfair to limit this to fifteen songs. However, if you pick fifteen songs from a few of the best playback singers in India you have a very successful formula. Resulting in a CD that will entertain over three generations of Bollywood fans. Even though I feel it is a crime to leave someone like Rafi out this is still an excellent compilation and a must for all Bollywood fans.

Zindagee Rating - 8/10



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The Very Best Bollywood Songs