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Laxmikant-Pyarelal (also known as LP or Laxmi-Pyare) were a popular Bollywood composer duo, consisting of Laxmikant Shantaram Kudalkar (1937-1998) and Pyarelal Ramprasad Sharma (born 1940). They composed music for about 500 Bollywood movies from 1963 to 1998, working for almost all notable filmmakers including Raj Kapoor, Dev Anand, Feroze Khan, B.R. Chopra, Shakti Samanta, Manmohan Desai, Yash Chopra, Subhash Ghai and Manoj Kumar.

Laxmi-Pyare worked with almost all reputed music directors (with the exception of O. P. Nayyar and Shankar-Jaikishan) of the 1950s. In 1953, they became assistants to Kalyanji-Anandji and worked with them as assistants till 1963. They worked as music arrangers for many music directors including Sachin Dev Burman (in Ziddi) and also for his son Rahul Dev Burman (in his first film Chhote Nawab). Laxmi-Pyare and R D Burman remained very good friends, even when Laxmi-Pyare started giving music independently.

Early life

Laxmikant was born into a poor family. He was quite impressed by mandolin and learnt to play it on his own eventually playing the mandolin publicly in street functions. Later, for financial reasons, he started organizing Indian Classical Music concerts and started performing in them. He also started playing mandolin for Bollywood film music directors.

Pyarelal was the son of a renowned trumpeter Pt. Ramprasad Sharma (popularly known as Babaji), who taught him the basics of music. He learnt to play violin from a Goan called Anthony Gonzalves. Incidentally, Amitabh Bachchan's character was called Anthony Gonsalves in the movie Amar Akbar Anthony as a tribute to Mr. Gonsalves (The movie had music by Laxmi-Pyarelal).

Pyarelal was born in Gorakhpur district of Uttar Pradesh. Started learning violin at the age of 8 and practised it 8 to 12 hours daily. At the age of 12, he started playing violin in studios to earn money for his family, whose financial condition had deteriorated.

Formation of composer duo

When Laxmikant was about 10 years old, he once played mandolin in a Lata Mangeshkar concert in Radio Club, Colaba. Lata was so impressed that she talked to him after the concert

Laxmikant and Pyarelal met at Sureel Kala Kendra, a music academy for children, run by the Mangeshkar family. After she came to know about their financially poor backgrounds, Lata recommended their names to music directors like Naushad, Sachin Dev Burman and C. Ramchandra. Similar financial backgrounds and age made Laxmikant and Pyarelal very good friends. They used to spend long hours at the recording studios, sometimes getting work for each other and even playing together whenever they got the opportunity.

Pyarelal often used to frequent the Bombay Chamber Orchestra and the Paranjoti Academy, where he would perfect his skills in the company of Goody Seervai, Coomi Wadia, Mehli Mehta and his son, Zubin Mehta. Laxmi-Pyare were not content with the payments being made to them for their music, so they decided to go to Madras (now Chennai). But, it was the same story there. So, they returned back. Once Pyarelal decided to leave India and go to Venice to play for symphony orchestras, just like Zubin. However, he stayed back at Laxmikant's insistence. Some of Laxmi-Pyare's colleagues at this time included Pandit Shivkumar Sharma (Santoor) and Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia (flute). Later, Shivkumar and Hariprasad also ventured in Bollywood as Shiv-Hari.

Music career

In their early days, Laxmi-Pyare's music was very similar to Shankar-Jaikishan's music, as Laxmikant was a great fan of theirs. Once Shankar even changed his orchestration to make sure that his music did not sound like Laxmi-Pyare's. Laxmi-Pyare's first film as music directors was not released. The first released movie which featured them as music directors was Babubhai Mistry's Parasmani (1963), which was a B-grade mythological film. Throughout their tenure as music directors, Laxmi-Pyare only used A-grade singers. Their mentors, Lata Mangeshkar and Mohammad Rafi, agreed to sing for them in spite of low budgets, and Laxmi-Pyare always remained indebted to them. In fact, both Mohammad Rafi and Lata have sung the maximum number of songs in their career for Laxmi-Pyare.They continued to give patronage to Mohammed Rafi , sometimes against filmmakers' wishes. They had a great rapport with Kishore Kumar as well. Kishore Kumar sang maximum songs (402) for LP among all male singers, followed by Rafi(about 365 songs).

Laxmi-Pyare hit the big time with Rajshri Productions' 1964 film Dosti. The film had two newcomer heroes who never became popular, and the film was a success due to its music. Songs like Chahoonga main tujhe shaam savere and Rahi manava became very popular. R D Burman played mouth organ for all songs of Dosti. Laxmikant once made a guest appearance playing role of himself as a Composer of Song "Dil Ki Baat" in Teri Kasam (1982), which had music by R D Burman. At that time, many used to think that there was a single person by the name of Laxmikant Pyarelal. Laxmi-Pyare won their first Filmfare Best Music Director Award for the movie, ahead of stalwarts like Shankar-Jaikishan (for Sangam) and Madan Mohan (for Woh Kaun Thi?).

After Dosti's success, Laxmi-Pyare started getting work from all major filmmakers. The rise of Laxmi-Pyare, Rahul Dev Burman, and Kalyanji-Anandji marked the end of an old era of Bollywood music, which belonged to Shankar-Jaikishan, Sachin Dev Burman, Naushad, C. Ramchandra, Khayyam, Madan Mohan, O. P. Nayyar, Roshan and others.

The team of Laxmi-Pyare and lyricist Anand Bakshi churned out some of the most popular songs in Bollywood history. The combo composed songs for more than 250 movies. Anand Bakshi was the lyricist who wrote the maximum number of texts Laxmi-Pyare gave music to. He was actually the lyricist for all the films for which Laxmi-Pyare won Filmfare Awards, except their very first award.

Style of music

Laxmi-Pyare gave Indian classical music as well as Western music. But they were most popular for their folk tunes and semi-classical music. In Shagird, they created Rock-n-Roll-style foot-tapping melodies. The film Karz is worth specially mentioning here where LP successfully, gave disco-like music, in this film they had experimented with a ghazal "Dard-e-dil Dard-e- jigar" by westernizing it. The song is strongly remembered even now, and the duo the Filmfare Best Music Director Award for the year.

Although not as a rule, Laxmikant mostly looked after vocals and Pyarelal used to take care of orchestration. Both had vast knowledge of various music generes, musical instruments and orchestra management.

Lata Mangeshkar and Laxmikant-Pyarelal

Lata Mangeshkar played a major role in shaping up the careers of LP. She sang the maximum numbers of songs for them. She sounded extremely melodious under LP. Lata Mangeshkar and Laxmikant-Pyarelal shared a long, close and rewarding association. From 1963, to the next 35 years, Lata Mangeshkar and Laxmikant-Pyarelal were to chalk up around 700 songs together, which accounted for one in every 10 Hindi film songs recorded by the Melody Queen, and one of every four songs composed by the duo. Their work includes a variety and range; there were chart-slammers and classics, and chaalu numbers as well as connoisseur choices.

LP also produced some memorable songs rendered by Kishore Kumar namely "Mere Mehboob Qayamat hogi", "Ye Dard Bhara Afsana", "Ye Jeevan Hai", "mere Diwane Pan Ki", "Aap Ke Anurodh Pe", "Ik Ritu Aaye", "Gadi bula rahi hai", "Ruk jana Nahi" and "Om Shanti Om" amongst many others.

LP worked with Mohammad Rafi, Kishore Kumar, Mukesh, Asha Bhosle, Manna Dey, Mahendra Kapoor, Alka Yagnik, Kumar Sanu, Udit Narayan. However, they also gave big breaks to many newcomers like Shailender Singh, S.P.Balasubrahmanyam, Kavita Krishnamurthy, Mohammed Aziz, Suresh Wadkar and Shabbir Kumar, Sukhwinder Singh, Vinod Rathod, Roop Kumar Rathod etc.Lp also introduced singer like Anuradha Paudwal.

After Laxmikant's death

After Laxmikant's death, Pyarelal has done some work independently. When the playback singer Kumar Sanu turned music director, he approached Pyarelal to arrange music for him. Pyarelal was approached to assist in the music of Farah Khan's Om Shanti Om song "Dhoom Tana Tana", but no credit was given to him on the album, as per Pyareji's insistence. In 2009 Pyarelal won the Sachin Dev Burman International Award for Creative Sound and Music at the Pune Film Festival.


Laxmi-Pyare gave music for almost 635 films in their 35-year career, winning 32 Gold Discs. They won seven Filmfare Awards, including four times in a row. They also won the Lata Mangeshkar Award. Some of their successful scores include

Parasmani (1963)
Dosti (1964)
Sati Savitri (1964)
Aaye Din Bahar Ke (1966)
Farz (1967)
Milan (1967)
Shagird (1967)
Mere Humdum Mere Dost (1968)
Raja Aur Runk (1968)
Do Raaste (1969)
Jeene Ki Raah (1969)
Aan Milo Sajna (1971)
Humjoli (1970)
Khilona (1970)
Mehboob Ki Mehndi (1971)
Mera Gaon Mera Desh (1971)
Patthar ke Sanam (1971)
Shor (1972)
Dushman (1972)
Gora Aur Kala (1972)
Daag: A Poem of Love (1973)
Bobby (1973)
Roti (1974)
Roti Kapda Aur Makaan (1974)
Amar Akbar Anthony (1977)
Anurodh (1977)
Chacha Bhatija (1977)
Satyam Shivam Sundaram (1978)
Sargam (1979)
Karz (1980)
Ek Duuje Ke Liye (1981)
Kranti (1981)
Naseeb (1981)
Prem Rog (1982)
Hero (1983)
Utsav (1984)
Mr. India (1987)
Tezaab (1988)
Chaalbaaz (1989)
Ram Lakhan (1989)
Hum (1991)
Saudagar (1991)
Khuda Gawah (1992)
Khalnayak (1993)
Trimurti (1995)
In 1997 they also given music for a Malayalam film Poonila Mazha.


After Laxmikant-Pyarelal made debut as a music director duo in 1963, they were nominated for the Filmfare Awards (Best Music Director) almost every year. Many times, they were nominated for three or more numbers of films in a particular year. At the same time LP narrowly missed the awards for musical hits like Aaye Din Bahar Ke, Intquam, Do Raste, Mera Gaon Mera Desh, Shor, Daag, Bobby, Ek Duje Ke Liye, Utsav and Sur Sangam, Farz, Shagird, Tejab, Hero and Mr. India.

LP got 7 Filmfare Trophies, for the following films:

1964: Dosti
1967: Milan
1969: Jeene Ki Raah
1977: Amar Akbar Anthony
1978 Satyam Shivam Sundaram
1979: Sargam
1980: Karz
1964: Aaya Toofan
1965: Lootera


As musicians, Laxmikant Pyarelal have worked for every reputed music director of the 1950s with the exception of O.P. Nayyar.

Laxmikant Pyarelal have given music to over 500 Hindi films.

Laxmikant Pyarelal are also winners of Indian Government’s prestigious Lata Mangeshkar Award.

Singer Lata Mangeshkar has sung the maximum number of songs in her career ever for this duo.

In the third quarter of 1963, LP's first ever songs Hasta Hua Nurani Chehara form Parasmani hit the Binaca Geetmala. After that LP's songs were regularly and prominently aired on the radio show. There used to be sixteen songs in each of the weekly Binaca Geetmala programme, more than half the numbers of the songs were of LP. There are certain weekly Binaca Geetmala programmes in which more than 13 out of 16 songs of LP were broadcast.

Even today, LP’s music is very popular all over India, even in the interior hearts of the country, and their music has always been more well-known than they personally ever were, contrary to all their contemporaries.

They also gave soulful music in film 'Dost'. The song 'gaadi bula rahi hai' was a song in which the reality of life is hidden.


Sourced from wikipedia and meant for information only.
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