April 12, 2010

Your favorite ITEM songs!

First off - what exactly does Item song mean? People think it means a song that is otherwise not integrated into the story, it is just an isolated item. BUT that is NOT the case. Item is a bastardization of the term Atom - the girl dancing was supposed to be an Atom Bomb - hence ITEM song. The songs evolved from cabaret numbers where the dancing lady was usually a vamp or side character, and turned into full fledged interludes usually not relevant to the film. I LOVE ITEM SONGS! So it is hard to pick my top 10 favorites but I will try. Here goes:

1. Madhuri - Choli ke Peeche kya hai! There is a reason why Rahman chose this one to pay tribute to in Ringa Ringa from Slumdog Millionaire. The decadent lyrics and voice matched by an outstanding performance from the Dhak Dhak girl.

2. How can one forget Helen? One of my favorite Helen numbers is Baithe Hain Kya uske paas! Helen in a red rooster dress on the bar, Anju Mahendru on the floor - outstanding!

3. Bachchan parivar ka tarana - Kajrare - yes, it is fantastic! The trio have a wonderful chemistry, and Aish looks stunning!

4. Beedi - the composition is fantastic and Bipasha stuns with her sultry dance moves, ably assisted by the guys cutting loose!

5. Next up is Helen again - O Haseena Zulfon Waali - ICONIC song and dance, not to be missed, the fact that it has Shammi Kapoor is an added bonus!

6. Heck I might as well get my Helen numbers out of the way - MONICAAAAAA O my darling! Remixed by the Kronos Quartet, loved by one and all, RD Buramn and Asha magic, and Helen on screen!

7. Crazy Bhojpuri and Hinglish - Dil Dance Maare from Tashan (Akshjay, Saif and Kareena in blond wigs). An Item song out of nowhere, and set nowhere, my absolute favorite!

8. Ishq Kameena - Aishwarya as the dream girl, SRK as the drifter, magical number!

9. Dhoom Machaale - people dislike Esha Deol, for me she reflects some of her mother's charm, and ROCKS here with Uday Chopra!

10. Mera Naam Hai Shabnam - pyar se log mujhe shabbo kehte hain!! Bindu gyrates to this number from Kati Patang.

POST YOUR FAVORITES! Try to save the mujra type numbers for a post coming up soon!


ApexHeights said...

The use of item number in a Hindi movie was to bring relief from all the grim proceedings and lighten the atmosphere and in the process titillate a certain section of filmgoers and then assisting people with weak bladders.

Lately it has become prestigious for any heroine to get an item song in a big movie.

There are many favorites of mine but one which fits so well in the movie has to be:

Mehbooba Mehbooba

The Illusionist said...

Good Post here, Pardesi. Two item songs which come to my mind are:

Mehboob Mere

Aisa Jadoo

More later .. :P

Pardesi said...

Nice picks Illusionist! The Mehboob Mere song is amazing. Sushmita's grace shows even as an ITEM girl. Compared to today's leading ladies she is not doing bad aerobics, but dancing with passion and style. Aisa Jadoo dance is energetic, and I like Lara Dutta, but she is much less graceful there. Love the song though.

AND Mehbooba Mehbooba is iconic for so many reasons, RD Burman's voice, the dancing by Jalal Agha and Helen and the great Gabbar Singh. Nice pick!

The Illusionist said...

More of my picks :

Chamma Chamma from China Gate.

Khallas from Company.
Ashaji is at her best here. Just awesome :)

Minnie said...

Great post Pardesi….The definition of what constitutes an Item song is still vague in my mind. So, if it is not an isolated item irrelevant to the story, then what is it? I googled the term and was surprised to find many articles written on item songs! Here is the Wiki link for an Item Number :


An item song apparently no longer needs to be a cabaret in a bar or club ( remember the fantastic dance moves of Helen in those 60s and 70s movies! ). It is no longer a side character or vamp’s domain to sing these numbers in revealing clothes...a modern item song can be sung by lead actresses (who can forget Madhuri’s iconic Ek do teen?). In fact, it can also be sung by male actors these days…. Shahrukh’s Dard-e-Disco or Hrithik’s Krazzy 4 can definitely classify as item numbers! So, I guess the only requirement that is still left intact is that it needs to be a racy and an upbeat dance number which is not required or integrated with the story of the movie. But then one could question the requirement of 99% of songs in Hindi movies!!

Anyways, here are my top picks of this somewhat fuzzy category of songs:

Mera naam chin chin choo

Jawani Jaaneman

Ek do teen

Mein aayee hoon UP Bihar lootne

Sharara sharara

Maiya Maiya

Kaisee paheli hai


Anonymous said...

i gave link to Tata Youngs DOOM yeh Esha deol ka kha se ho gaya .

also no item numbers of katrina in list ? yeh to nainsafi hai .

Pardesi said...

No one can beat Esha Deol in Dhoom Machale! But feel free to post your won links!

Minnie - I love all your links, and I already beat the definition by posting Dil Dance Maare!! :D

Minnie said...

Another one on the request of a friend:

Oye oye

Pardesi said...

Another great one Minnie!

To this grand repertoire I should add the inimitable Cukoo from the 1952 AAN.

ApexHeights said...

Today ,literally there is an item number in each and every Hindi movie and most of them are hummable, so listing them is quite a task.

But as I said earlier, there are few which really fit into the situation and come as a jolt to the ongoing proceedings. I remember this one in Ghatak with Mamta Kulkarni and it was a craze esp. Mamta Kulkarni was hot property then

Maara Re – the dance was top notch and liked the beginning and ending

Koi Jaaye to le aaye

Let me narrow my list bss my favorites bss actor / actress since that makes more sense:

1) govinda – Raja Babu – pak chik pak ( title song ) Govinda did the MJ dance steps with panache
2) sanjay dutt – ishq samundar dil de andar - has to be the one for me
3) salman – aa aa jaane jana ( pyaar kiya toh darna kya ) also no entry ara re aa is personal fav too. Actually he is the best among males for item number due to his dance steps
4) anil kapoor / nana – kia kia ( welcome ) I like Anand Raj Anand’s voice here
5) Katrina – zara zara ( combination of sexy voice with added glamour of kat )
6) Srk – chaiyan chiayan ( Billu Barber item songs were good but got too itemized and held no value due to poor placement )
7) Aamir – Kali Nagin is great number and Rani never looked so sexy. Then who can forget aamir and gang in mr lova lova from ishq
8) Mads / sridevi – many . but never got to liking both of them doing anything in any movie
9) Raveena – Shaher ki Ladki ( Rakshak ) / Cheez badi hai mast ( mohra )
10) Karisma – Sundara Sundara from same movie
11) Kareena – Nothing exciting but Its Rocking can be passable
12) Malaika arora – all her item nos are great due to her dance steps

ApexHeights said...

Don - yeh mera dil was used effectively too.

Yeh Mera Dil

There were many scary item nos in old movies

Ae Phansa

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