Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Jai Matadi Lets Rock! The Greatest Hits of Himesh Reshammiya

Now that Sa Re Ga Ma Pa is off the air and my gujju brother is focusing on his acting career - opportunities to enjoy the music of Himesh Reshammiya have become limited. This has saddened me immensely because I remain a monster fan of Himanshu's music and an even bigger fan of his manic personality.

Sure Himesh gets a lot of flack from industry insiders and outsiders alike. But the fact that his ability to connect with the masses is held against him riles me to a certain degree. What!? The people who make money off the masses are too sophisticated to be liked by them now? Is Bollywood becoming so incestous that only insider taalis count?

At times like this, in order to deal with my Himesh withdrawal, I fall back on tried and tested play lists such as this one to tide me through until the next Himesh darshan.

12. O Soniya - Ishq Hai Tumse (2004)
Singers: Udit Narayan, Alka Yagnik
Bipasha Basu + Himanshu = Drift Heaven. I was so obsessed with House Music at the turn of the millennium that I stopped listening to Hindi music altogether. Years later, I picked up the soundtrack to Ishq Hai Tumse on a friend's recommendation. I heard this song. I was hooked! Bollywood had found its perfect cheesy match.

11. Aashiq Banaya Aapne - Aashiq Banaya Aapne (2005)
Singer: Himesh
A year later Himesh decides "Enough is enough!" and unleashes his unique sufi voice on an unsuspecting public. It was House Sufi well before music companies in India saw Harsdeep Kaur win Junoon and realized they were sitting on top of a largely untapped market.

10. Aapki Kashish - Aashiq Banaya Aapne (2005)
Singers: Himesh, Ahir
The first of many Himesh hits that Bollywood super starlet Tanushree gyrated to. A triumph for Himesh, Aashiq vaulted him into the play lists of anya clubs and into the hearts of rickshawallahs all over the nation.

9. Sarfaroshi Meri - Tom, Dick And Harry (2006)
Singer(s): Himesh, Tulsi Kumar
Quintessential Himesh - surrounded by women, hairline protected by his cap, funky faux-American accent, Tulsi somewhere nearby and a bunch of photogenic B-movie actors embroiled in a dance-drama.

8. Masha-allah - Karzzzz (2008)
Singer: Himesh
Often if you hear someone other than Himesh sing his compositions, you become acutely aware of their beauty. Masha-allah is one of those songs - delicately gorgeous and romantically reverent.

7. Yeh Tera Mera Milna - Aap Ka Surroor (2007)
Singer: Himesh, Shreya Ghoshal
Himesh stunned everyone with his debut film, which chomped through box office receipts like there was no tomorrow. Of his many hits from the movie - most of which leave me cold - this song never fails to get my attention. Himesh's formula of composing even ballads on top of mid-tempo beats works really well here. Himesh sings this romantic song essentially like an anthem to heart break - thus giving the song a unique sense of doom.

6. Prem Rog - Maine Pyar Kyun Kiya (2005)
Singers: Kamaal Khan, Alka Yagnik
Himesh keeps himself out of this song - but then goes and casts Alka Yagnik and Kamaal Khan. It's like sparing the rod but poisoning the child. Still, Prem Rog remains a terrific composition and its a great chance to watch Sushmita Sen mount a serious challenge to the title of Greatest Indian Overactor.

5. Meri Chandi Tu - Silsiilay (2005)
Singers: Sunidhi Chauhan, Suzanne Dmello, Kailash Kher
One of Mum's favorite songs - so it has to make the list. Himesh made one of his most foot tapping songs, but strangely gave it so little programming love that it's not complex enough to last in one's memory. Its Himesh's little song that could. Plus, I'm sure it probably features prominently on Kailash's resume.

4. Tutiya - Shaadi Se Pehle (2006)
Singers: Daler Mehndi
Built entirely around Daler's bravura singing, Tutiya is the essential heart break song in any Himesh collection. Many of Himesh's weaknesses - too much synth, over-reliance on percussion break beats, spare production that drags at times - are plainly in sight. But because Himesh can put together a great tune, he creates a memorable song.

3. Jumme Raat - Phir Hera Phir (2006)
Singer: Himesh
Easily one of my favorite songs. Composed around delicate tablas, a sarangi lick and tambourine percussion - Jumme Raat is superbly infectious. It's propulsive melody took me entirely by surprise when I first heard it. It still continues to surprise me.

2. Shabe Firaq - Chup Chup Ke (2006)
Singers: Himesh, Tulsi Kumar
One of Himesh's defining songs, although it doesn't get enough recognition. Listen closely and you'll see how his uncanny ability to compose a lilting tune rescues him over the most mundane of beats. Also on display: his ability to use mix instruments with panache and drama. But then he had to go and sing it.

1. I Wanna Make Love - Aitraaz (2004)
Singer: Sunidhi Chauhan
Purely for entertainment value, nothing beats this song. Terrific tune, great musical arrangements and Priyanka wrapping herself alternately around Akshay Kumar and the floor in one uncut, whirling shot. And the fun began after that. Often performed on reality shows - much to the inexplicable chagrin of the judges - this song is known on the Drift as the Asha Bhonsle Mood Buster.

Pappu adds the following to Himesh's best
Aawan Akhiyan Jawan Akhiyan - Ahista Ahista
Ishq Ne Tere Ishq Ne - Ahista Ahista
Kitna Pyar Karte Hain - Banaras

Kamal says this song is probably's Himesh's best
Main Jahaan Rahoon - Namastey London


Anonymous said...


as one of the original Himesh Haters around, I have to confess, I didn't realise the man did create some decent tunes. To me his singing is his downfall - it grates on me SO badly I usually can't look past it to the music.

That said, I love Jumme Raat despite his singing, and one number not on your list has grown on me - Tandoori Nights from Karzzzz and yes, again that is Himself singing.

#s 9, 10, 11 - sad to say I didn't realise they were separate songs - they all seem to coalesce in my mind into one.


Joules said...

Aashiq Banaya Aapne album was the one where I started enjoying Himesh's music. He was quite a decent singer and music director. He is a HORRIBLE actor and should give up acting pronto.

I also like the song "Humko Deewana kar gaye". A little bit of nugget on that movie - the music is by Anu Malik except for one song that Himesh was roped into sing and compose. Raj Kanwar used that song in the promos and that song more or less is the reason for the movie becoming a hit.

Anu Malik since then has added a solo music composer item in his contract.

Unknown said...

Himesh is a great jonar singer. In fact, he could put Kailash out of business. But that is where he is stuck.

Joules, great story. Didn't know about that.

Pitu said...

Aieeeeee! Himesh louve! Aiiieeeeeee!

Anonymous said...

While I am not a big himmy fan, in fact I dont really like the man - I must confess that he has some nice songs. I love prem rog, jumme raat, and shabe firaq.
I also liked all the songs of Run.
Nice post!

musical said...

Him bhaiya is a good composer and occasionally, a reasonable singer. But at times, he gets obsessed with singing just about any of his compositions, regardless of whether it suits his voice or not. There's another song composed by Himesh that i really like, it's "Ishq mein tere ishq mein", from Ahista Ahista. I LOVE the line "bechain sham-o-sehar"!

You are right, he's stuck in a certain jonar. But i have to say that there are quite a few songs withing that genre, where his voice clearly does not do them justice. His voice masks an otherwise brilliant composition. I think i've said this before, i heard Vineet sing one of Him bhaiyya's songs and that was the first time i realized how beautiful that song really was.....

I am with Bitterlemons when she says that some of his songs end up sounding the same, and no, it's not the music, it is his voice. No, don't get me wrong-he has a reasonably good voice, but he his voice has gotten overexposed, A LOT! If he picks and choose his songs carefully, he can do wonders with them. I think he likes to sing, but doesn't challenge himself enough to experiment.

musical said...

Sorry, it should have been "Ishq ne tere ishq ne".

musical said...

Sorry for the multiple comments, but it just dawned on me that "Dil Maange More" was also Himesh's baby and a very cute one at that :).

Unknown said...

Himesh's composition do meld together - and its in the way he synthesizes the beats. If you notice - this is something V-S work very hard at and have managed to make their songs sound different, primarily because of the variety in percussion.

In any case, another dude in danger of becoming Himesh - Pritam! I've been listening to Aa Dekhen Zaraa very carefully and an interesting picture of a music director at the crossroads emerges.

Sarah said...

What?? No Aapki Kashish?

In all seriousness, though, I'm frankly shocked that there are this many people who actually like him. In my mind the top 10 from Himesh would be the Top 10 Most Ridiculous, or something along those lines.

Unknown said...

Aap ki kashish is #10 on our list.

The original title for this post was Himesh's Dirty Dozen: The best of Himesh Reshammiya. But then I thought not only was that too mean, but it didn't reflect my solidarity with an outsider struggling to make headway against the connected insider pretties.

Sarah said...

*snicker* I guess my aversion is so strong that I couldn't scroll past all the videos quite slowly enough... hahah :)

Anonymous said...


Although Himesh is better known for ABA and the dhinchak music in the movies that followed ABA, to me, he has given his best in the movie "Ahista-Ahista". I can listen to the qawaali "Aawan Akhiyan Jawan Akhiyan" and the song "Ishq Ne Tere" for hours at a stretch. Also, the track "Kitna Pyar Kartein Hain" from "Banaras: A mystic love story" is very very soothing as well.

Do give an ear to these songs. Below are the links. Maybe you will redefine your list.

Unknown said...

Pappu, great list - I added the songs to the post at the end.

Anonymous said...

Shukriya, Aspiji...

Only you understend my inner Kashish, my frand.

Only you ken understend thet my music is just not a means to put ROTLI ane shaak on the tebal.

wahh waahhh mere yaar...Jai Mata Di Let's ROKE!!!

I'm so over whelm, I must maane must sing hunh, Aspibhai.

(clears his nose)
Ashiq Banaayaaaaaa
Aspi Chhaa gayaaa
Kya mast likhaaaaaa
Aap ne

Anonymous said...

Main Jahaan Rahoon (Namastey London),
If we assume that this composition is a HR original then I think this is his best work till date.

The beauty of this song it that it is so non-HR type.

musical said...

Aspi, glad that you added Ahista Ahista to your list :).

Btw, there are a cpl. of other songs from Silsilay "Mehmaan ban jayiye" and "Belibaas", very melodious tracks. And i you haven't, do check out the "Dil Maange More", the dance number "Gustaakh Dil", has a very Shammi Kapoor feel to it, loved it!

Unknown said...

Wow who knew Himesh was such an irresistible force of nature?! :)

Anonymous said...

This video is one of the reasons why I love 'Main jahan rahoon' so much.


Anonymous said...

Masha-allah from Karz(2008), this was my 6yr old's favorite. Has been totally into Hollywood music since. Our family had to hear this song 24/7 for a month. Himeshji ki jai ho....

Kanan said...


My favorite would have to be "main jahaan rahoon".

Aspi, thanks for this musical post.

<3 to Himes

Anonymous said...

Aspi Ji:
Ab Himmy ko Rukhsat Karo ( with your new topic )

Anonymous said...

According to me best of HR are...1/aashiq banaya aapne 2/aapki kashish 3/tu yaad na aaye 4/naam hai tera 5/all songs of namastey london,aapka surroor,aahista aahista,aitraaz,humraaz 6/lut jaaon,masha allah n dhoom 4m karzzzz

Anonymous said...

Side Issue:
Worst Movie of Century
Heaven on Earth
*ing Preeti Zinta
Directed by Deepa Mehta

1000 & Pukeworthy
Total Mental Bankruptsy
Horrible Shit of a Movie

Anonymous said...

Himass is like Remo, because they both want their people to be specialists in their area.

But Remo na, is good at what he does, unlike Himass.

In fact, Remo is a much more believable person than Terence, even tho Remo looks he needs a good shave and scrub down.

I'm with you Remo.

Anonymous said...

I'm so confused!

Last time it was Dance Dance, Now it's Dance India Dance.

wah kya baat hai, I'm all over the place

dunkdaft said...

Though I avoid Himesh a lot [besides being fellow Gujju]; I just love his Main Jahan Rahoon....
And recent, 'Dhoom tere ishq ki..'

taj said...


You are loving and dying for a nose monster!!

Unknown said...

I love and die for a lot of people, taj :)

Man, it sure is hard to post these days. That Jhalak Dikkhla Jaa is hilarious. It deserves to be talked about!

Anonymous said...

This writeup has overstayed - Please add something new for bored people with this writeup

Anonymous said...

u r epic phail!! yai yem chaaampeyn. naat himesh! maaro deekro mane chodi gayo!! i am d rokstrrrrrrrrrrr

Anonymous said...

So what if I'm a fatass? I WILL win Jhalak Dikhlaja!!!!!

Anonymous said...

so What if i'm a fatass attention deprived, now attention craving, loser desparado, i WILL WILL win jhalak dklja!

all fatties of the world unite, jai ram ji ki.

Anonymous said...

Aspi, a request, would like a review on music of 'Sikander'. Music Guru please give us your thoughts :o\

Anonymous said...

Hi All,
This is a bit off topic (i.e. it has nothing to do with Himess), but I thought I would share with you all a wonderful movie I saw last night. I am not sure this was discussed here already (my apologies if it did). The movie is called "Sita sings the blues". You can download it from It is available under the "Creative Commons Attribute-Share Alike" license. I haven't laughed this hard in months.

Aspi, it would be great if you could write a review, or better still interview Nina Paley (the writer-director-producer-animator) of this film.

-- Texan

Unknown said...

Jai, I know you'll win!

Texan, I've been talking to Nina for a bit but she's gotten really busy around the release of the movie. I'll ping her again to see if she'll do a retooled version of the interview we tried to do a bit ago.

musical said...

Found this on YouTube today:

Check it out :). May be you already know this one.

Anonymous said...

OMG, They blocked your blog at work now! I can't believe I won't get my daily fix of what's going on in Aspi's mind!!

LOL! This was a Genius idea!


Unknown said...

musical, thanks! Your tips always turn me on to something I wasn't paying attention to.

gg, I knew those filters would punish me for that Salman Khan post.

Anonymous said...

I know. Bastards! That just means I can't guss-puss as much during the day!!

Anonymous said...

Please if you are back from March Break , the blog needs update ( after March 11)

Anonymous said...

Although I am not so familiar with the flow of the tunes, I find it good and well deserving of an applause. Great musical show, beautiful people around and good showmanship. Truly a thumbs up.

Anonymous said...

..because of his early hits my first impressions of Himess are inextricably linked with the image of Emraan Hashmi.. both unwatchable. Great music tho when taken in small doses :)

Chandra Singh said...

Hi Aspiji,

I've been reading your blog and it has been really awesome! I'm with - we are a large and growing (500,000+ visitors per month) website focused on movies and celebrities - our Bollywood homepage is at We would love to add you into our blog roll and explore more ways of tapping into your expertise if you are interested.
Look forward to hearing from you!
Thanks! :)

Unknown said...

Chandra, I'm always willing to listen :) Shoot me an email at ahavewala at gmail.

Anonymous said...


His all tunes are same.
Hoping this doesn't offend anyone, but people in the music fraternity and the people having music sense would realize that his all songs have virtually same tune. Just a little variation.

The only song i liked was "Main Jehan rehoon".