Usha Uthup's Top 10 Songs
From the evergreen Hare Rama Hare Krishna to the foot-tapping Rambha Ho, Usha Uthup is the Queen of Pop music in India.
Usha Uthup’s signature deep voice makes her a perfect fit for songs that require personality to stand out and spunk to carry a tune.
From Zeenat Aman to Priyanka Chopra, the peppy singer who loves to sport a large bindi, woven saris and mogras in the hair, has delivered hit numbers for Bollywood’s most bohemian leading ladies with effortless zing.
Now at 66, she’s making buzz with the title track of Kangna Ranaut-starrer Revolver Rani.
Here’s a compilation of her top 10 chartbusters.
Ramba Ho, Armaan
And she does it yet again in the marvelous echoes of Ramba Ho Ho Ho for the obscure 1981 release, Armaan.
If Uthup breathes fire wielding the microphone, skimpily-clad hotties Kalpana Iyer and Prema Narayan volunteer to sizzle the silver screen.
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Image: Kalpana Iyer and Prema Narayan in Armaan
Darling, 7 Khoon Maaf
Vishal Bhardwaj’s dark drama 7 Khoon Maaf fizzled at the box office but the soundtrack, especially the catchy Darling, sung by an effervescent Usha Uthup was favourably received.
Image: Priyanka Chopra in 7 Khoon Maaf
Aami Shoti Bolchi, Kahaani
Vidya Balan’s power-packed Kahaani didn’t have any scope for generic Bollywood elements like song and dance.
Even so, Uthup’s electric delivery of Aami Shotti Bolchi, which plays in the background, perfectly captures the essence of Kolkata.
Image: Parambrata Chaterjee and Vidya Balan in Kahaani
A R Rahman’s score is the only memorable aspect of Ram Gopal Varma’s convoluted road/crime caper starring Sanjay Dutt and Urmila Matondkar.
And there’s much to enjoy about both the versions of its pulsating title track performed by Remo and Usha Uthup respectively.
Image: Urmila Matondkar and Sanjay Dutt in Daud
Shaan Se, Shaan
Filmmaker Ramesh Sippy aimed to recreate a James Bondesque vibe around his ambitious multistarrer, Shaan.
Part of the concept is evident in Rahul Dev Burman’s seductive title melody with Uthup oozing husky oomph and pizzazz, which bears unmistakable resemblance to Shirley Bassey’s high-pitched vocals in 007 flicks like Goldfinger and Diamonds Are Forever.
Image: Parveen Babi in Shaan
One Two Cha Cha Cha, Shalimar
The sleek flirtations and elegant restraint Uthup exercises for another RD creation, One Two Cha Cha Cha is applause worthy.
Like Shaan, the lavishly scaled and westernised in treatment Shalimar, starring Dharmendra, Zeenat Aman, Sir Rex Harrison, flopped at the BO while its songs climbed the popularity charts.
Image: A scene from Shalimar
Hari Om Hari, Pyaara Dushman
You may have little recollection of this Rakesh Roshan-Vinod Mehra potboiler from the 1980s but there’s no way you’ve never heard of Usha Uthup’s rocking disco chant, Hari Om Hari.
The lady just sets the dance floor on fire with her pitch-perfect zeal.
Image: Movie poster of Pyaara Dushman
Ouva ouva, Disco Dancer
There’ve been covers and remixes but nothing comes close to the dynamic original.
Usha Uthup teams up with Bappi Lahiri, composer and co-singer to dazzle the speakers and screen with their enthusiastic Bang Bang for one of the hottest selling music albums of 1982.
Image: Kalpana Iyer in Disco Dancer
Tu Mujhe Jaan Se Bhi,Wardat
Bappi Da and Uthup collaborate again letting their individual charisma and style to infuse groovy punch in a standard ‘sexy siren entices debonair hero’ setup for Tu Mujhe Jaan Se.
Picturised on Mithun Chakravarthy and Kalpana Iyer, Wardat is a sequel to Suraksha featuring the star as the iconic Gunmaster G-9.
Image: Mithun Chakravarthy and Kalpana Iyer in Wardaat
Hare Rama Hare Krishna, Hare Rama Hare Krishna
Asha Bhosle dominates most of RD’s classic compositions in Hare Rama Hare Krishna.
Yet Uthup makes every listener sit up and take notice of her refreshingly original and glamorous voice in the English-speaking bits of her splendid duet with the senior songstress.
Image: Zeenat Aman in Hare Rama Hare Krishna