Saturday, December 30, 2017

Mithun and Bhappi, two Disco-Sensation and one nation rocked 1970’s and 1980’s across the globe

Bhappi affirms “I have created Disco Music and Mithun Chakraborty was my Partner”

Beats sensation Bhappi Lahiri swayed and Dance Sensation Mithun rocked the nation, the magical effect gave the first International exposure through Disco Dancer
The Bhappi-Mithun combination fizzing with pulsating energy and brimming over with mind-blaster beats to delight a cinephile's heart. Rahuldev Burman an early entrant and a great influencer for the successors had explored the western pop and disco genre, but it was Bhappi who ushered in a revolution with his loud-beat-disco tunes utilizing the untested synthesized disco theme, an experiment that became an expedition to create a musical-millennial wave which is viral even today. Written by Actor Hemu Shetty (a celebrated self-styled campaigner of Mithun Chakrabortytells the story of a dynamic partnership that transformed the viewing-cum-music scenario of Hindi cinema forever to give the Indian movie lovers a different Indian tune with western beats that made pelvic gyration a cool look turning the millennium into an alluring era of a disco spectacle which was an experience that the Indian fans had never seen before. 

Listening to two movies released on 1977 (Aap Ki Khatir  ) and 1978 (Dil Se Mile Dil) will make you realize that the music composer-cum-singer Bhappi Lahiri was ahead of his times. All of his music releases had beats that drummed your heart to pounce the feet. The Aap Ki Khatir music is still played in all the Discos and Pub. The two songs "Arey Shola Arey Shola Re " and "Bombay Se Aaya Mera Dost" the last song in the film was a memorable hit and a cinch to establish that the beat-king has arrived. More than forty years have passed "Bombay Se Aaya Mera Dost" still remains unbeatable and ranks no.1 in the crazy superhits of the music composer. Even the background score of Aap Ki Khatir had drum beats generated through synthesized disco theme was unique and heart pulsating (closely following the track of RD). Surprising there were no star dancers who could do justice to such pulsating beats that could give value to the money value for the audience. As the beats were too fast for the actor to keep up the pace with the Music. Bhappi Lahiri’s worth was not valued, there was a gap for an actor-dancer who can fill this void. 

Ravikant Nagaich had special love for beats, in his earlier movie Farz too had a background score and the songs that went very much apt with the lead actor. The cinema was evolving and he had better plans for the audience, he needed a complete actor who was ahead of the time and was an evolved dancer. He had the script and was in look out for the protagonist who could fulfil the chasm that could be a delightful viewing. Across the distant horizon, he spotted this actor who had all the ingredients that could be fulfilling. Surakksha an apt doorway to Mithun’s stardom was  Ravikant’s  low budget fare later followed by Wardaat - again in the secret agent mode like Farz, Keemat and Raksha-  needed a musician who could provide all the western nuances with Indian feel, by that time the beats of Bhappi music was soon drumming the hearts of the nation with his Aap Ki Khatir release and Ravikant’s preference was bowled by Bhappi’s talent as it fitted the best and was the much-needed antidote to give audience the new wave of spy flicks. Surakksha gave a new twist to the audience, something which was western with Indian nuances, music that was different, an actor that resembled Bruce lee-cum-John Travolta-cum-Elvis Presley-cum-James Bond-cum-Indian Dancer-Actor stuffed with western ballet this whole combination gave a gratifying package. Later followed on the similar lines films like Wardaat, Sahaas , Disco Dancer, Laparwah, Karate that was tailor-made to Mithun’s image and gave the quirky entertaining musical kicks that set the youngster into gyrating motion, hence are also remembered hits due to the tacky stunts and special effects and the fact that despite these drawbacks the films did well.  Mithun Chakravorty too benefitted from Surakksha to move to bankable commercial films and a quick jump to a promising platform with an instant hike in signing fees.

Bhappi and Mithun partnered around 67 movies
What set this combination was the fulfilment to top-up the tune of the demand and supply. Bhappi Lahiri’s beats were progressing ahead with the time with his popularized use of synthesized disco music tuned with Indian flavour that gave the required boost to any dancer and Mithun was an evolved dancer, both gelled and the result was sensational that made the emerging audience to lap up the tune. Internet has a comment by Siddharth Punjabi posted which says“ It was obvious both needed each other to give flights to each other’s career, the synergy and the equation was such among themselves that they both fueled each other to give an auto trajectory that catapulted themselves as the most reckoned performers of 80’s” he added “ Look at the video of the title song of Dil Se Mile Dil, it clearly shows the protagonist was immature, Mithun would have done better”

The synthesized music that Bhappi brought-in was the new melody that gave hearing buds an enhanced flutter to the hearts of the generation and on top of it Mithun with his pelvic jerk, loaded with a charming White-fluorescent-bulb-lit smile, that was unarming, gracious unbridled, sweeping, uncomplicated and full of cordiality that became a million dollar overture. Here was an actor with a complete package that gave an entertaining delight with dance, action, emotion, graceful style and above all had the tendency of reaching out across the demographics and geographies. His success became a wave, people got inspired by his open-hearted story on rags-to-riches transformation, moreover, an actor with stark honesty,bare-chested, desperate to entertain made him more lovable and Indians loved it, making it easier to identify and resemble themselves with this growing popularity. He became a star-icon. Today still fresh in the minds of every moviegoer and true to everyone’s belief Mithun’s style once it was a wave with all the hits and posters across the nations and beyond has become a cult which is very much relevant; his style, groove, and pose transcends all generations with panache.

Looking at the talent and growing populating of Mithun, in the year 1982 a heady concoction was formed with the teaming of Babbar Subhash (fondly known as B Subhash who had worked earlier with him in Taqdeer Ka Badshah relalized the latent hunger and huge potential of this phenomenon ), Bappi Lahiri and Mithun Chakraborty to generate a musically intoxicating syrup in the form of an Indian Bollywood musical drama film titled Disco Dancer, which made the nation slosh and rave at the rhythm of the new wave called Disco and Bhappi Lahiri is actually the man who marked the pinnacle of the disco era in Bollywood and Music world.The film was a worldwide success, with its popularity extending across Southern/Central/Eastern Asia, the Soviet Union, Eastern Europe, China, the Middle East, Turkey, and Eastern/Western Africa. It was one of most successful films in the Soviet Union, where it drew a box office audience of 60.9 million viewers. It was the first Indian film to gross ₹100 crore worldwide, making it the highest-grossing Indian film up until Hum Aapke Hain Kaun (1994) crossed the 100 cr mark. Disco Dancer established Mithun as a household name in India as the action-cum-dancer hero and as India's biggest actor with growing popularity across Southern Asia and the Soviet Union. In China, the soundtrack of Disco Dancer was a huge success and received a Gold Award.

A proud moment for India, the movie that put Bollywood's talent on the global map, Disco Dancer was the first Indian film to gross ₹100 crore worldwide."

Today this 1982 movie 'Disco Dancer' is known for its filmi disco songs composed by Bhappi Lahiri and epic dance of Mithun Chakraborty. The entire album of this movie had super-hit disco tracks. 'Auva Auva - Koi Yahaan Nache', 'I Am a Disco Dancer', 'Jimmy Jimmy Jimmy Aaja', 'Yaad Aa Raha Hai', is still considered to be hit retro numbers of today. B Subhash still emotional about the wave he co-created with the team says “ Mithun was always taking every step either a dance or a career step as a challenge, he tried various grooves for a shot to make it a perfect and delightful scene. We remember for a song on ' Krishna Dharti pe Aja Tu ', Mithun was so enthralled about this song and wanted to make all of proud, he practised, rehearsed and danced as if he was possessed. The outcome was tantalizing and the movie was super-super hit, truly bereft of any imagination of this  dancing wave that was to hit the generation”

Producers could feel the magic of Mithun-Bhappi combination as both of them worked in in tandem pulsating at each other’s rhythm to produce a tangible result on the screen that gave the audience a delightful entertainment. The list includes all types of association of Mithun Chakraborty with Bappi Lahiri in movies. As of today, Mithun Chakraborty and Bappi Lahiri have worked jointly in 67 movies. Major hits were when Bhappi was a dual combination as Music Director and Playback singer, till today, Bhappi voice suits best for Mithun the magic began with 'Mausam Hai Gaane Ka' from the movie Surakksha which gave Mithun the much-required jumping pad
  • Tere Pyar Mein (1979) – Hindi
  • Suraksha (1979) - Hindi
  • Patita (1980) - Hindi
  • Taxi Chor (1980) - Hindi
  • Kismat (1980) - Hindi
  • Laparwah (1981) - Hindi
  • Jeene Ki Arzoo (1981) - Hindi
  • Wardat (1981) - Hindi
  • Sahas (1981) - Hindi
  • Taqdeer Ka Badshah (1982) - Hindi
  • Disco Dancer (1982) - Hindi
  • Pasand Apni Apni (1983) - Hindi
  • Karate (1983) - Hindi
  • Faraib (1983) - Hindi
  • Tarkeeb (1984) - Hindi
  • Kasam Paida Karne Wale Ki (1984) - Hindi
  • Maa Kasam (1985) - Hindi
  • Aandhi-Toofan (1985) - Hindi
  • Karmyudh (1985) - Hindi
  • Pyari Behna (1985) - Hindi
  • Baadal (1985) - Hindi
  • Kismatwala (1986) - Hindi
  • Dilwaala (1986) - Hindi
  • Muddat (1986) - Hindi
  • Sheesha (1986) - Hindi
  • Main Balwaan (1986) - Hindi
  • Avinash (1986) - Hindi
  • Mera Yaar Mera Dushman (1987) - Hindi
  • Dance Dance (1987) - Hindi
  • Param Dharam (1987) - Hindi
  • Sagar Sangam (1988) - Hindi
  • Commando (1988) - Hindi
  • Waqt Ki Awaaz (1988) - Hindi
  • Hum Intezaar Karenge (1989) - Hindi
  • Guru (1989) - Hindi
  • Prem Pratigya (1989) - Hindi
  • Garibon Ka Daata (1989) - Hindi
  • Roti Ki Keemat (1990) - Hindi
  • Pyar Ke Naam Qurban (1990) - Hindi
  • Shandar (1990) - Hindi
  • Numbri Aadmi (1991) - Hindi
  • Pyar Hua Chori Chori (1991) - Hindi
  • Dalal (1993) - Bengali
  • Meherbaan (1993) - Hindi
  • Dalaal (1993) - Hindi
  • Parmatma (1994) - Hindi
  • Janta Ki Adalat (1994) - Hindi
  • Suraksha (1995) - Hindi
  • Diya Aur Toofan (1995) - Hindi
  • Rangbaaz (1996) - Hindi
  • Jodidar (1997) - Hindi
  • Military Raaj (1998) - Hindi
  • Ganga Ki Kasam (1999) - Hindi
  • Benaam (1999) - Hindi
  • Aaya Toofan (1999) - Hindi
  • Sultaan (2000) - Hindi
  • Justice Chowdhary (2000) - Hindi
  • Qaidi (2002) - Hindi
  • Qatil-E-Aam (2005) - Hindi
  • Classic - Dance Of Love (2005) - Hindi
  • Guru (2007) - Hindi
  • C Kkompany (2008) - Hindi
  • Chandni Chowk To China (2009) - Hindi
  • Rahamat Ali (2010) - Bengali
  • Golmaal 3 (2010) - Hindi
  • Ley Halua Ley (2012) - Bengali
  • Enemmy (2013) - Hindi

Actor Hemu Shetty recalled earlier days when he had watched Disco Dancer innumerable time and was fascinated by dancing and histrionic performances of the actor Mithun's love for gyrations and bringing out a unique style that was gracious elegant and alluring. Most of the movies right from SurakkshaWardaatLaparwaahSahaasTaqdeer Ka BadshahKarateKasam Paida Karne Wale KiDance Dance etc one could feel the combination had evolved to greater heights and the cocktail was becoming more intoxicating and captivating. All the performance was extraordinary and as an ardent fan couldn't I couldn't commenting “Bappi da and Mithun da films came like a missile ballistic in the changing scenario of the emerging 1980’s who was thirsty for new content that could give a new definition for entertainment, the audience was relished at the spectacular show that was joyful and enriching. Both became a super hit Jodi of the decade. In the mid of 80 ’s, the year 1986 was at its pinnacle of six movies done together all with chartbuster songs.” Actor Hemu Shetty  recalls that he could foresee that this was one of divine combination of the millennium in the entertaining space “It was really a  great synergy and the bonding between these two consummate performers and the manner in which they added value to each other's talent so that each propelled the other to bigger successes and wider recognition, that made the audience and fans fully consummated predominantly in such an enticing way that the whole continent of Russia became a diehard fan of this magical dua" Actor Hemu Shetty, also a  Speech Reformer and a well-known actor from Bollywood  and Tulu Cinema, (now coined as TULUWOOD) , he is also been nicknamed as the Tulu Actor,  with his long experience as an acting coach , overall a celebrated self-styled campaigner of Mithun Chakraborty , having an ability of a #HistrionicAnalyzer and penchant of an  #HistrionicWriter.

Many Mithun fans and Bhappi Loyalist from the Bollywood is the testament to the fact that Bhappi strums the hearts of music-goers and was also the beat of Bollywood across the generations. Singers, dancers, music makers and actors all flocked to his doorsteps to be given a chance to be part of his rhythm. Truly a golden voice which lured the millennials of the 70’s and 80’s, the youths and teenagers of the new-age lapped his music and grooved on the streets, his success not only was the magic wand but he was truly a man of gold and was seen studded with gold as he brought golden successes with his movies. He kick-started the disco on the street for the teenagers and youth that embodied the generation to be bold with music and affirm the same with hip-smacking grooves that said ‘ new-generations-are-here-to-rule-with-music’. Loaded with gold and with a voice that has been re-running the chartbusters, Bhappi Lahiri with resting his right hand at the left side of the chest after waving both his hands in his popular style, he affirms “I'm the only composer who has scored for two-three generation of actors. Be it for Amitabh Bachchan, Abhishek Bachchan or Dharmendra, Sunny Deol or Sunil Dutt, Sanjay Dutt or Jeetendra and Tushar Kapoor and have made Naseeruddin Shah groove emphatically on the retro tune that represented the music –flavour of 1980’s in the current decade’s movie ‘The Dirty Picture’”.

The friendship and partnership  that  completes Golden Jubilee in Bollywood
Talking about Mithun, Bhappi's tone softens as one could see the love and admiration shone his face as he put it across also referring to his journey till now “I have done it all and given my best. I still feel there's no dancer singer combination like Mithun Chakraborty-Bappi Lahiri. Mithun is outstanding”. Filled with emotional moments as they rode off the success with hits, super-hits and mega-hits, that still beats across the generations he added “ Mithun remains the topmost of my choice, our teaming has been the best and I am his best. I Have Created Disco Music and have rocked the nation. As of now with the range of earlier till newcomers, there is no comparison with Mithun Chakraborty, who is a legend. Jimmy Jimmy is a huge chapter in history.”

Disco Dancer is the movie among the whole lot of music that is most hummable and has a memorable tune bringing the duo a huge recognition globally to both of them, the movie and the music became a rage globally and Russia saw India as global dancing stage, where a dancing phenomenon in Mithun Chakraborty became a new icon for every Soviet Union movie lovers. Far reach of Disco Dancer movie made Mithun Chakraborty and Bappi Lahiri synonyms of Indian disco culture of the era with the release of more movies Kasam Paida Karne Wale Ki, Dance Dance, Taqdeer Ka Badshah and ilk.  Bappi Lahiri became the first Music Director to get the China Award in Beijing, for the film Disco Dancer in 1982. His song "Jimmy Jimmy" was a huge success and is said to become a household tune within the countries of Russia. Even today it’s a party anthem and a must of every fun and frolic moments.

Bhappi Lahiri-Rehmatein-Musical concert-needy artists-Sangeetam Charitable Trust-Ebizz Entertainment
Bhappi Lahiri at the "Rehmatein-3"- a Musical concert to raise funds for the forgotten maestros & needy artists of our country (file photo) hosted by Sangeetam Charitable Trust and Conceptualized & managed by -  Ebizz Entertainment India Pvt Ltd.

Monetary collections have always been a hallmark of Bollywood. One of the important credit also goes to the Disco Dancer is that it is the first Indian movie to hit the 100 cr mark. Actor Hemu Shetty Says " what can't a divine in this venture? , a trio combination creating a record for Indians by being the first film to cross the 100 cr mark globally" Further adds " Worldwide, Disco Dancer grossed a combined ₹100.68 crore (US$82.39 million) in India and the Soviet Union. This surpassed the ₹35 crore gross of Sholay (1975), making Disco Dancer the highest-grossing Indian film worldwide up until it was surpassed by the ₹135 crore gross of Hum Aapke Hain Koun (1994). Prior to this movie Raj Kapoor 's Awaara was closer to the mark but Disco Dancer was the first Indian film grossing ₹100 crore worldwide ."

This was soon followed in the other countries. Bhappi remembers about his visit to Russian as he had a memorable moment to share about a song “Jimmy Jimmy is a huge chapter in history. The song was used in the background music of an Adam Sandler film. They gave me credit and have signed me on for another film. No one can beat Disco Dancer. Russians tell me, `You are from the Jimmy Jimmy country'. I remember an anecdote. I went to Kazakhstan to buy a diplomat hat. The shop owner said it came for $1,000. My son, Bappa, asked me not to buy it as I have long hair. My driver, who spoke in the local language, told them, `He is the composer of Disco Dancer'. They gave me the cap for $400. There's still a lot of craze in Iran, Iraq, Russia. Aamir, Shah Rukh is all good, but Mithun and Amitabh Bachchan have a place of their own.”

Keen moviegoer and an ardent watcher of Mithun Chakraborty movies for innumerable times, Masood Akhtar who claims to be an enthusiastic fan of Mithun Chakraborty and most of the times keeps humming with Bhappi tunes and is keen to supplement with enormous complements to this blog for the very fact of being bowled by the entertaining hits given by this magical combination says "Many in India have heard about Disco, Bhappi gave the feel of Disco to the Indian audience, Mithun and Bhappi made the public dance to Disco Music hence media is right in calling Bhappi the  "Disco King" of India as he is the one that made everyone groove from his creation". The truth comes from The king of Bollywood disco music himself.  Bappi Lahiri rightfully credits himself for creating that genre of music in the Hindi filmdom. Lahiri says " Mithun Chakraborty was my partner of success. Both of us has created this Disco Genre which was a rage from the end of 1970’s to 1980’s and 1990’s". For his music this The singer-composer has crooned other disco numbers like 'I am a disco dancer', 'Ramba ho, Hari Om Hari and Yaar Bina Chain Kahan Re and have also made folk in disco with De de Pyaar de for the Amitabh starrer movie Sharabi which are also in the list of his chartbusters.


Born in Kolkatta (Calcutta) on 27th November 1952 as Alokesh, Bappi Lahiri's father Apresh Lahiri and mother Bansari Lahiri were great composers of their time. When, at the age of 11, he composed his first song, he also decided that he would become a music director only. So, when he turned 19 in 1971, he came to Mumbai (Bombay) and rose to become a famous music composer, music director, singer, actor, and record producer. He popularized the use of synthesized disco music in Indian cinema and sang some of his own compositions. 

He received his first opportunity in a Bengali film, Daadu (1974) and the first Hindi film for which he composed music was Nanha Shikari (1973). The first turning point of his career was Tahir Husain's Hindi film, Zakhmee (1975), for which he composed music and doubled as a playback singer. He sang a duet with Mohammed Rafi and Kishore Kumar called "Nothing Is Impossible" for the same film. More films followed, churning out chartbuster he became popular in the 1980s and 1990s with filmi soundtracks like Wardat, Disco Dancer, Namak Halaal, Dance Dance, Commando, Gang Leader, Sailaab and Sharaabi among others.

His first popular film was Chalte Chalte (1976), whose songs became hits thus bringing him recognition as a music director. With Ravikant Nagaich's Surakksha 1979 his singing and music became even more popular. In the early 80s, he added an element of the then-popular disco music to his compositions, in movies such as Wardat 1981, Sahhas 1981, Laparwah 1981, Pyara Dushman 1980 song Hari Om Hari, Armaan 1981 song Ramba Ho Samba Ho.

Bappi Lahiri has completed  50 years in Bollywood with 625 films to his credit in the field of music composing and singing. He has also marked his brilliance in Hollywood with award-winning films like - Lion, You Don't Mess with the Zohan, Moana, Will To Live, Witness to Murder. He also carved his name on the trophy of China Gold Award for the film Disco Dancer.

Above all Bappi Lahiri considers himself blessed to be able to work with one of the noblest souls in the world "Mother Teresa".

He also won some of the prestigious  awards Nationally & Internationally, to name a few are- Filmfare  Award for Sharaabi, Filmfare Life Time Achievement Award , Bharatratna Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar Award, Golden Lotus Award ( best film 1997)  , Sangeet Samrat Award , 150 Silver Jubilee and Golden Jubilee  trophy for the films -  Namak Halaal , Disco dancer, Sharaabi , Himmatwala, Toofan,  Thanedaar, Chalte Chalte, National Award for Bengali film produced by  Mrs. Chitrani Lahiri and Bappi Lahiri.

His recent songs Oh La La from The Dirty Picture, Tamma Tamma from Badrinath Ki Dulhania, Golmaal 3, iconic song Jimmi Jimmi Aaja Aaja is still topping the charts in China & Russia as chartbuster songs. Bappi Lahiri has worked with luminaries like- with Lata Mangeshkar, Mohammed Rafi, Asha Bhosle, Kishore Kumar, Manna Dey,  P. Susheela, S.P. Balasubramaniam, S. Janaki to recent singers. He has also worked with stars like Amitabh Bachchan, Jeetendra, Dharmendra to Aamir Khan, Abhishek Bachchan, Salman Khan, Akshay Kumar,  Ranveer Singh to Shah Rukh Khan and Dilip Kumar & International stars like- Samantha Fox, Boy George, Snoop Dogg, MC Hammer, Akon.

Bappi Lahiri, the 1st music director who composed songs for Bharat Ratna Shri. Atal Bihari Vajpayee & Bharat Ratna Dr Ambedkar gifted the CDs to Honorable President of India Mr Ram Nath Kovind in the presence of Home Minister Rajnath Singh. His film "Slum Stars" won an award for Best Film as a Director. He won an award for the Best Director in Sydney (Australia) for "Slum Stars". 

The above article is the compilation of articles and stories that had appeared earlier and has been re-written with inputs and quotes sourced from the Internet, print, press releases with additional inputs from the Mithun Fans and Bhappi Loyalists

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