Ghairat (1976) Music by Tafo. Lyrics by Khawaja Pervaiz. Singers: Nahid Akhtar, Afshan. EMI EKCC 5546. Vol.2
All the ingredients for the Soundtrack to this gritty black and white Punjabi action pot-boiler are perfect. The year is 1976 when Lollywood music maestros had begun to dabble with new drum machines and electronic keyboards and Music Directors like Tafo and M. Ashraf were churning out some stunning western-style psychedelia set in most cases in the delightful flea-pit “Club” – a haven for the notorious, the debauched and of course the predators (think Aslam Parvez and Shahnawaz).
Side One: KUNDALAN DE WAALAN – Nahid Akhtar:
The first song on the Ghairat 45 is Kundalan De Waalan by Nahid Akthar is a pleasing enough song with a traditional dhol arrangement with no western strains or influence. The songs orientation is that of a typical simple traditional folk song. Nothing particularly memorable and yet a perfectly okay tune to have on your “mixtape”.
Side One: PAM PAM PA – Afshan:
a frothy lightweight and quite silly little ditty but delightful enough with the wonderful instruments so typical of the Lollywood “Club Dance” sound. A unique, strange and quite delicious concoction of all sorts of influences and styles with superb use of the electric guitar, first generation drum machines and those amazing keyboards and weird “electronic” shehnai sound that was such the signature of the Lollywood “Modren” sound. Afshan was a competent singer who would be given the odd song that was probably not considered “good enough” for the big guns Nahid Akhtar and Noor Jehan and to a lesser extent Mehnaz who in general struggled when it came to sexy, saucy numbers and was no match to Akhtar or Noor Jehan in this regard. Sauciness and Mehnaz just didn’t work. Here Afshan performs Pam Pam Pa with ease. Not a memorable track, but a fun little club ditty none the less. Afshan is of course no Nahid Akhtar.
Side 2: KOI ASLI CHOR – Nahid Akhtar:
Undoubtedly the Ace track on this Ghairat 45RPM is Nahid Akthar singing “Koi Asli Chor”. The song, a dance by Najma set in a seedy club is full of drama, urgency, menace and of course a sizzling beat, fabulous use of stops and silences and delicious licks of the keyboards in the totally exhilarating style of Lollywood “Club” songs at their most intoxicating and seductive. Though Tafo has put together a dynamite little composition for this track once again Nahid Akhtar takes it to another level and proves how she had no peer when it came to saucy club songs of this kind. She belts out a killer with a performance that shows her on top of her game and in full command and with total confidence.
By 1976 Nahid Akhtar was the number one female Urdu singer in Pakistan despite whatever Madame Noor Jehan fans may have to say about it. Of course, it helps that Madame’s voice had aged to the extent that for it no longer suited the younger heroines and Noor Jehan by 1976 was confined in Urdu films to singing the big dramatic finale for Rani films or then a similar Bombastic tear-jerking number for Shabnam. More and more so, Nahid Akhtar as well as Mehnaz had taken over the role of the voice for the younger generation of actresses as Madame’s tone was now unsuitable.
It has always been the case in South Asian films that the heroines singing voice in films is always rendered by a singer whose voice is fairly high pitched (“girly” even) as in the voices of Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle and co. Singers who hit a lower range of notes tend to voice the vamps’ songs or the saucy item numbers (Think Usha Iyer and Usha Uthap etc). Angelic heroines are “supposed” to sound like angels!! Regardless, Koi Asli Chor is a gem of a Tafo/Nahid Akhtar track, certainly from the top draw along with the classics from Nawabzada and Aj Da Badmash.