Films with only background music composed by Salil Chowdhury
I don't know any other music director who composed
only the background music for so many films. Well, Salil was incredibly good at
it and composed just the background music for a large number of Hindi, Malayalam, Tamil films and quite few Film Division documentary films. In a recent
interview (1992) this was one of the questions Dr. Chandrasekhar of Dubai asked
him. I quote Salil's reply :
"You've asked me why I have done so many background music
scores for the songless films that crop up from time to time. This requires a
certain degree of skill in timing the length of the footage with the duration
of the piece to be recorded. I had established some sort of reputation for this
soon after I had begun composing regularly in Bombay. I remember once there was
a knock on my door at about 2 am and I found Bimal Roy, Hrishikesh and S.D. Burman
standing on my doorstep, the latter wearing a worried expression. Sachinda had
been signed up for Bimal's "Devdas", but apparently Bimal had not been
happy with his background music for the last few reels of the film. So, at short
notice early next morning, I was compelled to compose and record four reel's worth
of music for the ending of "Devdas", uncredited, as our relationships
were very cordial."
I think the first songless film of Salil, which has the
most incredible background music was 'Qaanoon'(1960). Since then Salil composed
the music of 'Sara Akaash',' Kal Patthar', 'Ittefaaq', 'Chiruthaa','Chehre Pe
Chehra' etc. There was even an LP released called 'Dramatic scenes of Kala Patthar
Interestingly, B.R.Chopra's MD was always Ravi, so why did he choose Salil for
Qaanoon and Ittefaq ? I was told that B.R. was very much impressed by the background
music Salil composed for a number of Documentary films for the Film Division of India such as Gautam Buddha, From Indus Valley to Indira Gandhi etc and also several other films before that.
In addition, there is another small extract taken from B.R. Chopra's own narrative piece entitled, "The making of 'Ittefaq'" from the magazine, 'Tinsel Town', December, 1997 :
"Though a lot of people pressurised me into including songs, I firmly stood by my decision (not to). But I was aware that the background music would play a significant role in the film. So I opted for Salil da who was an expert in scoring background music. As expected the music did enhance the film to a great extent."
For a complete list of his documentatry films, TV Films and TV serials go to the TV Films and TV Serials
page. Below is a list of all his songless hindi films I could find. Often Salil used snippets
of his background music to create new songs and sometimes used a song's melody
line with some variations as background music....
||Chehre Pe Chehra
||Plot no. 5
||Qanoon Kyaa Karegaa
||Kamala ki Maut
Strictly speaking not every film listed here is a songless film. There
are one or two exceptions and I have identified them below.
The MD of 'Anokhi Raat' was Roshan. Salil completed the background
after his death.
The MD for 'Kalaa Patthar' was Rajesh Roshan and there are of course songs composed
by him The dramatic background music is however composed by Salil.
The music director for 'Chehre Pe Chehre' was in fact N.Dutta. Salil only did
Film 'Kamla ki Maut' has a background song by Runa Laila - 'Ranjish hi sahi'.
It's not a Salil composition.
The story and the background music of Naukri* directed by Hrishikesh Mukherjee
is by Salil. The MD was R.D.Burman.
**Achaanak' is a Gulzar Film (with Vinod Khanna) and Basant Desai is the MD. Salil's
permanent assistant Sebastian was also assisted him in this film.
*** Mausam is also a Gulzar Film. MD was Madan Mohan and there are 5 songs composed
by him. After his death Salil did the background.
Salil also composed only the background music for three malayalam films
- 'Dweep' and 'Abhayam' and 'Vellam' and a Tamil Film called "Uyir". Seems like Uyir was Salilda's first entry into Tamil Films.
Received some more details on Uyir from an ardent admirer: Its a TVS Productions film certified on 10.3.1971 and released on 12.3.1971 Director/Dialogues - P.R. Somu, Music - Ramana & Sreedhar, Cast : S.P.Muthuraman, B. Saroja devi etc.