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A Musical Walk Down Memory Lane – Songs That Revolutionized Indian Music – Part 1

Music is eternal. Music was composed a century ago and music will be composed a century from now (assuming doomsday doesn’t occur on December 21st this year). The only thing that changes is the style and the audience. A newer generation results in a newer audience who are generally receptive to a different music taste as compared to their ‘ancestors’.

Similarly, Indian music underwent a major metamorphosis during the 90s. I am NOT referring to filmy music a.k.a Bollywood. I’m talking about private albums launched by independent artists/bands that gradually introduced western musical influences to traditional Indian music. And boy! were there many. I’m going to list 20 such personalities who defined – No, wait – RE-defined Indian music and brought about a major change for the next generation.

For the sake of simplicity, I’m dividing this article into two parts. Let’s get started.

Alisha Chinai – Made In India

Who can forget the sexy stunning Alisha Chinai being carried in muscular Milind Soman’s arms. This song, beautifully composed by Biddu, was a major milestone in the indipop genre and is her most major claim to fame till date.

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Aryans – Aankhon Mein Tera Hi Chehra

This song was every lover’s anthem way back in the 90s. Who can forget the look on lover boy Shahid Kapoor’s face when Hrishitaa Bhatt’s on-screen lover slipped a ring on her hand? This is one of the most beautiful romantic songs ever.

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Biddu – Boom Boom

One of the most beautiful songs of the late Nazia Hassan, Biddu’s composition was an instant hit amongst the masses. It was a very fresh song for that era and stayed true to the indipop genre.

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Daler Mehndi – Bolo Ta Ra Ra Ra

Punjabi pop became the flavor of the season when Daler Mehndi released his first album, Bolo Ta Ra Ra. Every second person was grooving to this song with the trademark bhangra steps post its release.

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Junoon – Sayonee

I was extremely sad when I heard that Junoon has disbanded. These guys brought Sufi Rock to India with a bang way back in 1991 with Sayonee. I’m sure at this moment you are remembering yourself crooning ‘Sayoneeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee’.

 [youtube_video id=GONiLbKSX3k] 

Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan – Piya Re Piya Re & Aafreen Aafreen

Words fall short when speaking about late Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan sahab. He was the best Qawwal without doubt. Piya Re Piya Re is the perfect amalgamation of Sufi, Western & Indian music.

 [youtube_video id=pFSUosi5zn4] 

Raageshwari – Duniya

The extremely gorgeous diva Raageshwari’s sultry voice in Duniya made me swoon. She is amongst the first pioneers of Indipop. It’s a shame we barely hear her any longer. Another huge hit of hers was ‘Oye Shaava’.

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Shaan – Tanha Dil

A true popstar in his own right, Shaan a.k.a Shantanu Mukherjee caused a musical revolution with his second album ‘Tanha Dil’ especially the title track and Bhool Ja. His first album Loveology was a hit amongst the young lovers too.

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Shubha Mudgal – Ab Ke Sawan

The sheer power in this classical singer’s voice is breath-taking. Her albums Ali More Angana & Ab Ke Sawan are aural proofs. From the youngsters to the elderly, everyone was grooving to Ab Ke Sawan after its release.

[youtube_video id=08jCsrIsc-0] 

Shweta Shetty – Deewane To Deewane Hain

Remember this dusky beauty rustically singing in gold attire amidst a group of men swooning all over her in a very folk-like setting? Her first album, Johnny Joker, was a mediocre success, but this escalated her to the top of the charts.

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A.R. Rahman – Vande Mataram (Maa Tujhe Salaam)

This is the largest selling Indian non-film album till date. It was released to commemorate the 50 years of Indian Independence. The sheer brilliance of this song is awe-inspiring. Rahman became the first Indian artist of popular music to go international when Vande Mataram was released simultaneously in 28 countries across the world.

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Stay tuned to for Part 2. 

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