Remembering Bappi Lahiri with five of his most iconic songs

Remembering Bappi Lahiri with five of his most iconic songs

Bollywood’s king of disco may be gone but he leaves behind a legacy of hits that will live on forever.
16 Feb, 2022

Bollywood’s self-proclaimed disco king of the 80s and 90s, Bappi Lahiri, passed away on Tuesday night at the age of 69. Known for his flashy gold chains and blingy style, Bappi, was a musical icon for many.

Bappi started gaining popularity as a music composer in the early 70s with songs in blockbusters working big celebrities like Sharmila Tagore, Dharmendra, Jaya Bachchan, Lata ji and Kishore Kumar — this included films such as Chalte Chalte (1976) and Aagan ki Kali (1979). In 1975, he was working on soundtracks for Tahir Hussain’s film Zakhmee and decided that he would also dabble in playback singing.

By the 80s, he had arrived. He was known for his funky disco beats and vocals in Amitabh Bachchan’s Namak Halal (1982) and Sharabi (1984). But what really cemented him in the Indian film industry was Mithun’s 1982 film Disco Dancer.

Bappi Lahiri may be gone, but his music will live on. Here are my top five favourite songs from the disco king.

'I Am A Disco Dancer'

To be honest, all the songs in this film are amazing. There’s 'Jimmy Jimmy Jimmy', (also remixed by MIA) and Hollywood actor Jim Carrey once entered The Ellen Show while this song was playing in the background. Look at the power and spread of Bollywood!

Another hot fave from the film is 'Auva Auva koi yahan nache nache'.

'Yaar Bina Chain Kahan Re'

You won’t be able to get this song from Anil Kapoor and Amrita Singh’s film Saaheb out of your head. The dream sequence and bling has everything in it.

Jhoom Jhoom Baba

This song features Pakistani actor Salma Agha in 1984’s Kasam Paida Karne Wale Ki (also starring Mithun). It is such a great reminder for the time when Pakistani artists would feature in Indian movies. Agha also starred in the hit film Nikkah and several others. Pakistani actors including Zeba Bakhityar, Sajal Ali, Mahira Khan, Meera, Veena Malik, Marwa Hocane and Fawad Khan have also starred in Bollywood films.

'Tamma Tamma Loge'

This song from 1991’s Thanedaar starring Madhuri Dixit, Jetendara and Sanjay Dutt is a dance floor scorcher. It became an instant hit owing to the dance moves and lyrics.

'Jawaane Janeman'

This Namak Halal hit has Bapi and Parveen Babi — need I say more?

Honorary mentions

'Aaj Rapat Jaye' — it was a great path-defining song for people who love rain. We saw Smita Patel, who did artsy and serious roles, in a new light. It has become a must on monsoon playlists now for most people. Second is 'Oh La La', like this song became the THING when The Dirty Picture was released and reminded people of the 80s when was Bappi was the king.

There is also 'Raat Baaki' from Namak Halal, 'Yaad Araha Hai', 'Bambai se Aya Mera Dost', 'Karate', 'You Are My Chicken Fry', 'Nothing is Impossible' and 'Taqdeer ka Badshah'.


Omveer Singh Feb 16, 2022 03:18pm
Om Shanti.
Aloo Feb 16, 2022 03:36pm
How is that even relevant to Pakistanis I don’t know
Shad Feb 16, 2022 04:16pm
@Aloo speak for yourself and not the rest of Pakistanis dude, I grew up on this stuff and loved it, so did every one else in my neighborhood
Taj Ahmad Feb 16, 2022 04:30pm
RIP to the king of music and singer. Nice man left us so soon.
LostMinds Feb 16, 2022 04:32pm
He had a big contribution in making Nazia Hassan famous in the sub-continent with song, "Aap jaisa koi" in the Indian film Qurbani. Nazia Hassan became an instant hit. He then helped Nazia and Zohaib launch their first album. Really one of the most wonderful musician in the sub-continent. RIP!
Saleem Feb 16, 2022 04:36pm
@Aloo He was an icon and very much liked in Pakistan in the 80's for his music.
Ali Mansoor Feb 16, 2022 05:18pm
His best song has to be neelay neelay amber.
Sane Mind1st Feb 16, 2022 05:55pm
Let's not spread hate here. Songs are Songs. Enjoy them. Let them take the stress out of your lives. Peace.
Raja Feb 16, 2022 06:31pm
His music made the youngsters come alive. RIP Bhappi da. Your music will live on for many years.
DrAmirAliAshleelAliAsliBadeMiya Feb 16, 2022 07:03pm
Rest in peace Bappi Da ! What beautiful catchy music he has composed.
Sal Feb 16, 2022 07:16pm
@Aloo you don't know lol
well-wisher Feb 16, 2022 07:47pm
RIP Bappi.
Rdeal Fasttrack Feb 16, 2022 07:52pm
@Sane Mind1st Very well said. Please spread peace.
UMAR JAVED Feb 16, 2022 08:21pm
@Aloo yes totally irrelevant. No Pakistani ever grew up watching Indian films, and music really isn't something that people across cultures and countries can enjoy.
Vikram Feb 16, 2022 08:55pm
Peace to his Soul ! such a legend
Hamid Feb 16, 2022 09:18pm
@Aloo This is relevant if you are a music lover and respect musicians across the border.
M. Emad Feb 17, 2022 12:26am
Bappi Lahiri started his music career in 1971 by writing a song about Sheikh Mujibur Rahman.
Ustaad Feb 17, 2022 02:28am
If these are his 5 most iconic songs... He doesnt have much to be proud of.
Wake-Up Feb 17, 2022 03:43am
What about the song "Tu Mujhe Jaan Se Bhi Pyara Hai " from film Waardat. One of his best songs!
Anjum Khaleeq Feb 17, 2022 08:38am
@M. Emad you wont succeed in your design.
Warid Rhmen Feb 17, 2022 08:54am
My favorite those days was 'ye mere jaise hasina ka dil' from armaan. There is going to be disco dance in heaven. RIP
Sharjeel Syed Feb 17, 2022 09:08am
A big loss
Observer101 Feb 17, 2022 09:16am
Indians and Pakistanis, who were called Indians once, have similar tastes in music, food and all cultural and social things.
Just Saying Feb 17, 2022 09:42am
@Ustaad What are you famous for? Spreading hatred!
Hassamkhan Feb 17, 2022 11:10am
How can you miss choli kay peechay when talking about bappi da. That one song defined a generation
Fawad Feb 17, 2022 01:44pm
Why no mention of the fact that almost all of his "famous tunes" were actually stolen from other real artistes? Be it Jimmy Jimmy Aja Aja or Tama Tama loge...and not only in tune but also the beats. I grew up to his songs but now realize they were all stolen work.
hema Feb 17, 2022 04:49pm
@Hassamkhan It was not Bappi Lahiri but Laxmikant Pyarelal who composed that song.
Shahid Feb 17, 2022 05:45pm
One of the most talented music directors of Indo-Pak. Many memorable songs to his credit. Like: 1. Tum samne baithay raho 2. Dil se mile Dil 3. Jo na chotay Hain na baray 4. Haan Pehli Baar and many more..list is long.
Manish Desai Feb 17, 2022 07:33pm
He lived across the street from my home in Mumbai and would watch us kids play cricket in the maidan between us often from his balcony. Big personality and a kind man. RIP
Rafique Feb 18, 2022 06:49am
Great person! Will miss him all eternity.