An album featuring 22 personal favourites of Pancham - as Rahul Dev Burman was popularly known - has been recreated under the supervision of the singer herself.
Recalls Asha: "I feel I know what Pancham liked best. He preferred rhythmic songs. But he wasn't allowed to do enough of it. He used to be hugely restricted by what the producers wanted. In this new album I have included one of my cabaret songs 'Karle pyar karle', which was credited to S.D. Burman but was actually composed by his son (Pancham)."
Asha says: "It was something that my son Anand and I thought about. There are so many good compositions of Pancham that went unnoticed. It could be, because the songs were filmed on second leads or vamps. In those days people used to listen to the songs picturised on main leads only. Now, of course, times have changed... 'Do labzon ki hai dil ki kahani' in 'The Great Gambler' is still popular. But I prefer 'O diwanon dil sambhalo' from the same film.
"My son and I decided we must include those songs in this new homage to Pancham. It has 'Aaj ki raat koi aane ko hai' from 'Anamika'. I heard it when Kronos Quartet played it in their album with me. That's when I decided to include it in this album."
Asha is exultant about her eclectic excursion into the art and heart of her husband.
"I've selected songs that I hadn't sung originally, like Kishore Kumar's 'Hum bewafa' ('Shalimar'), Usha Uthup's 'One, two cha cha cha' ('Shalimar') and my sister's (Lata Mangeshkar) 'Jaane kya baat hai' ('Sunny'). I can't sing it as well as Didi. But I hope listeners like it."
For the evergreen singer no song is big or small. It's the way that you occupy that space given within the parameters of a tune that makes it special.
"If I get just one song in one soundtrack I don't look at it as a chance to prove how well I can sing. I just do my best for the composition. I treat every song like a first sing. I've never treated any song casually," she says.
For the first time extensive bass, strings, chorus sections and live rhythm and percussions have been used in this album. The songs have been re-arranged by Nitin Shankar. The album was released in the capital Friday.
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