Rohit wrote on 11 Aug 2008
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). Laxmikant was born in a poor family. He was quite impressed by mandolin and learnt to play it by his own. He used to play mandolin in street functions. Later, to earn some money, 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, who taught him the basics of music. He learnt to play violin from a Goan called Anthony Gonsalves (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-Pyare). Pyarelal 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.
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 mentor 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 has sung the maximum number of songs in their career for Laxmi-Pyare. Of course, they had a great rapport with the other singers like Kishore Kumar and Asha Bhosle as well.
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. 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.
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. 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. LP have been accused of 'buying' Filmfare awards frequently.
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.
Laxmikant died on 25th May 1998 because of kidney failure. To get the 70's feeling right, Pyarelal recently arranged the music for song “Dhoom Tana” in Shahrukh Khan’s Om Shanti Om (2007).