Shashi Kapoor – the youngest of Kapoor brothers, and living legend and link to the golden era of Bollywood cinema. He started off his career as a stage actor at the age of 4, and appeared in a few Bollywood films of early 1950s. 1961 film Dharmputra started off his career as a lead hero, and since then he remained active in Bollywood as a lead actor till mid-1980s. Throughout 1960s and first half of 1970s, this charming actor mostly played romantic hero roles, and sync lipped to Mohd Rafi to majority of his golden tunes during this era. However since early 1970s, Kishore Kumar’s voice was mostly used for Shashi Kapoor. The actor too moved towards action films mostly playing second lead with Amitabh Bachchan. Together they gave several blockbuster hits in the 1970s and 1980s. Also read: Sibling actors of Bollywood
Through this article I would like to mention the actor’s most popular 15 Bollywood tunes. I have avoided many chartbuster hits aside Amitabh Bachchan in the 1970s and 1980s, and solely concentrated on to his romantic image on silver screen.
1. Khilte Hain Gul Yahaan – I would like to begin the list with my most favourite Shashi Kapoor song. The song belonging to the movie – Sharmilee had two versions sung in Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar’s voice, and male version became more popular than the solo female version. The songs composed by S. D. Burman were extremely melodious and regarded as evergreen classics. Shashi and Rakhee were seen in an extreme dashing avatar in this song and are still loved by many for their screen roles.
2. O Meri Sharmilee – The title track of Sharmilee sung by Kishore Kumar was a smash hit of early 1970s and all the songs were extremely popular. Kishore Kumar became the ghost voice of Shashi Kapoor who sang 4 out of 7 songs of the movie. The duet with Lata Mangeshkar – Aaj Madhosh and sad melody – Kaise Kahen Hum also need special mention in my list. Through Rafi sang most of his songs in the 1960s, with early 1970s Kishore da’s voice was mostly used by music composers for Shashi and songs of Sharmilee, Pyar Ka Mausam, Abhinetri and Aa Gale Lag Jaa belong to this category of movies which started this trend.
3. Wada Karo Nahi – Sharmila Tagore remained the most successful co-star of Shashi Kapoor, and they together worked in around 14 movies including National award winning – New Delhi Times. His association with Rakhee too remained successful. This chartbuster song belonged to the movie, Aa Gale Lag Jaa, and was composed by R. D. Burman. The duet was sung by Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar. The movie also included the popular duet – Tera Mujhse Hain Pehle Ka Nata Koi which was later reused as the title of a Bollywood blockbuster, Jaane Tu Ya Jaane Naa.
4. Tum Bin Jaun Kaha – Pyar Ka Mausam is one of the rarest movies where a single track was recorded in both Kishore and Rafi’s voices and both versions excelled in quality. Music was composed by R. D. Burman.
5. Le Jayenge Le Jayenge – Chor Machaye Shor starring Shashi Kapoor and Mumtaz was a smash hit at box office, and one of the biggest hits of Shashi Kapoor as a solo hero. Music was composed by Ravindra Jain and the song was later reused as the film title of Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge – the longest running Indian film.
6. Dil Mein Tujhe Bitake – This extremely melodious and sizzling song from Fakira was composed by Ravindra Jain. Though it’s a solo track sung by Lata Mangeshkar, I would like to include this favourite song of mine in the list of Shashi Kapoor songs. The song featured Shashi Kapoor and Shabana Azmi.
7. Pardesiyon Se Na – This song belonging to the movie, Jab Jab Phool Khile always find a place in the list of top 10 songs of Shashi Kapoor. The actor has a huge fan following crowd in North African countries like Algeria, where the movie was successfully screened for every two days for a couple of years. Songs of Jab Jab Phool Khile boosted the career of less-known music composers till then, Kalyaniji-Anandji. Same was the case of Shashi Kapoor too and the success of the film cemented his position as a romantic hero of Bollywood.
The song also had a female version sung by Lata Mangeshkar. Ek Tha Gul Aur Ek Thi Bulbul and Na Na Karte Pyar Tumhin Se are the most popular duets of the film featuring Shashi Kapoor. The solo track of Lata Mangeshkar ‘Yeh Sama Sama Hai Yeh Pyar Ka’ also featured Shashi Kapoor, alongside Nanda. Raja Hindustani starring his grand-niece Karishma Kapoor and Aamir Khan was inspired from Jab Jab Phool Khile too was a huge blockbuster.
8. Kehdo Tumhe Ya Chup Rahoo– Deewar proved to a milestone movie of Shashi Kapoor’s career and after this iconic movie was released in 1975, a series of Bollywood films were released where Amitabh Bachchan and Shashi Kapoor shared screen space. This romantic duet featuring Kapoor and Neetu Singh who later married Shashi’s nephew was the most popular song of the album. Music was composed by Rahul Dev Burman, and the song was sung by Kishore Kumar and Asha Bhosle.
9. Ni Sultana Re – Lovely pictured and beautifully rendered song belongs to the movie, Pyar Ka Mausam. Shashi Kapoor was paired with ruling queen Asha Parekh for this romantic film, and the songs were huge hits. Ni Sultana Re was sung by Rafi and Lata. The movie also included some of the finest songs of Lata such as Na Jaa Mere Humdum and Main Na Miloongi, and also featured Shashi Kapoor. Che Khush Nazare sung by Rafi also featured Shashi Kapoor.
10. Sa Re Ga Ma Pa – The movie Abhinetri starring Hema Malini and Shashi Kapoor fared only average at box office. However the music composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal became extremely popular. Sa Re Ga Ma Pa is counted among the top duets sung by Kishore Kumar and Lata Mangeshkar all time. The movie also included the extremely popular solo sung by Lata Mangeshkar – O Ghata Sanwari.
11. Chale The Saath Milke – One of the top hits sung by Rafi for Shashi Kapoor, the movie belongs to Haseena Maan Jayegi. Songs composed by Kalyanji Anandji became extremely popular. The movie also included the romantic duet – Bekhudi Mein Sanam. Shashi Kapoor was paired with Babita for this romantic movie, who later married his nephew Randhir Kapoor.
12. Bekhudi Mein Sanam – As told above the duet featuring Shashi Kapoor and Babita was the most popular song of Haseena Maan Jayegi.
13. Likhe Jo Khat Tujhe – Kanyadaan is one of the rarest movies of Shashi Kapoor for which tunes were composed by Shankar-Jaikishen. Shashi Kapoor was paired with Asha Parekh for this movie. Also read: Top 15 songs featuring Asha Parekh
. The solo track – Likhe Jo Khat Tujhe written by Neeraj is still popular in You tube videos. The movie included the popular solo track of Lata – Mil Gaye Mil Gaye.
14. Ghungroo Ki Tarah Bajta Hi Raha – This soft track belongs to the movie, Chor Machaya Shor. This solo track was composed by Ravindra Jain and sung by Kishore Kumar.
15. Chanchal Sheetal Nirmal Komal– And last, but not the least, this romantic track featuring Shashi Kapoor and Zeenat Aman belongs to the movie, Satyam Sivam Sundaram. Music was composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal and sung by Mukesh. The movie received Filmfare award for best music, and Mukesh received Filmfare nomination posthumous.
Here I come to an end of the list. I excluded the songs of Suhaag, Neend Hamare Khwaab Tumhare, Shaan, Trishul, Do Aur Do Paanch, Silsiley, Namak Halaal, Kabhi Kabhi etc from the list, and gave preference to melody than fast tracks.
Though Shashi Kapoor was featured in the evergreen romantic title track of Kabhi Kabhi, it’s better known as a song of Rakhee and Amitabh. That’s why I excluded this favourite song of many. Mukesh received his final Filmfare award posthumous for this evergreen romantic track. There are a few more such chartbusters songs which also featured Amitabh Bachchan and I chose not to list in Shashi Kapoor’s songs’ list. Hope you will appreciate my choice of songs.