Item songs have been the heart of Bollywood since the birth of the Industry. The Cinema Station lists out The Most Iconic Songs of Bollywood mapping these legends to one of India’s most used trains, Lokmanya Tilak Terminus Hazrat Nizamuddin AC Express. Similar to the train, these item songs have been the life of many films and have lived through long times to be still present in our minds.
Ride of the Day: Lokmanya Tilak Terminus Hazrat Nizamuddin AC Express (20 coaches)
Aa Jaane Ja (Inteqam) – AC 3 tier
Singer: Lata Mangeshkar
The glossy music of the 60’s, the voice of Lata Mangeshkar and the dance style of Helen were all what was needed to put together one of Bollywood’s all time classic item numbers. Filmed for Inteqam the song was a classic retro hit and set the tone for many similar item numbers to follow.
Piya Tu Ab Toh Aaja (Caravan) – Pantry Coach
Singer: Asha Bhosle
Familiarizing the phrase “Monica…Oh My Darling“, “Piya Tu” is another of Bollywood’s classic slow-retro style item numbers featuring the grooves of Helen on the celluloid. The song was composed by music maestros of the time, RD Burman and Asha Bhosle, making it a much more melodious classic.
Mehbooba Mehbooba (Sholey) – AC 3 tier
Singer: RD Burman
One of the most acknowledged classics of Bollywood, Ramesh Sippy’s “Sholey“, not only was a sensational film but also delivered a punching item number. With RD Burman’s voice in an all new avtaar and Bollywood’s most accomplished dancer, Helen, the song is a frequent member of DJ remixes and playlists even today.
Ek Do Teen (Tezaab) – AC 2 tier
Singer: Alka Yagnik
The list of Bollywood item songs is incomplete without a mention of the great Madhuri Dixit and her unique dance genre. Ek Do Teen went on to be a blockbuster of its time as Tezaab brought out Madhuri, not only as a versatile actor but also as one of the best dancers of her time.
Humma Humma (Bombay) – First AC Cum 2 Tier AC
Singer: AR Rahman
People still humming “The Humma Song” from “Ok Jaanu“ would surely be aware that the song is a remake of AR Rahman’s 1998 item number, ‘Humma Humma‘. If not, to give you a refresher, the song was filmed in 1998 for Bombay and featured Sonali Bendre as the leading lady. The song gained humongous popularity and has lived through the sands of time.
Ye Mera Dill (Don) – AC 3 tier
Singer: Asha Bhosle, Sunidhi Chahuhan
Helen in 1978 and Kareena Kapoor Khan in 2006 were the frontrunners of this all time Bollywood classic. Faturing in the Action-Thriller classic Don in 1978 and its remake in 2006, the song had been a major success in both the films adding the retro mafia touch to the lead character portrayed by Amitabh Bachchan and Sharukh Khan in the respective films.
Choli Ke Peeche Kya Hai (Khalnayak) – AC 2 tier
Singer: Alka Yagnik
The item song that reckoned the Bollywood charts then, and, till today is a frequent number on playlists. The blockbuster score featured the classic Madhuri Dixit and Neena Gupta, setting the screen ablaze.
Chamma Chamma (China Gate) – AC 3 tier
Singer: Alka Yagnik
Urmila Matonkar may have not had an everlasting impact on the Indian cinema screen, but her moves and grooves were loved and appreciated in this song. Cast in a special appearance in the film, “Chamma Chamma” was one of the top mentions amongst the chartbuster listings and the fans.
Chaiya Chaiya (Dil Se) – AC 2 tier
Singer: Sukhwinder Singh and Sapna Awasthi
The composition of AR Rahman, voice of Sukhwinder Singh, an on the rise Sharukha Khan and a versatile fresher, Malaika Arora Khan was more than enough to give Bollywood a mega sensational item number. The song was one of the first to be shot on a train top and went on to conquer international chartbusters.
Kajra Re (Bunty Aur babli)- AC 3 tier
Singer:Alisha Chinai, Shankar Mahadevan, Javed Ali
One of the most beautiful faces on the planet in a classic dance number paired opposite the Bachchan father and son was the talk of the town. From “Bunty aur Babli”, this Aishwarya Rai starrer is till today one of the most refreshing and soothing item numbers this generation of Bollywood will see.
Babuji Zara Dheere Chalo (Dum) – AC 3 tier
Singer: Sonu Kakkar and Sukhwinder Singh
Rarely seen in any major Bollywood films or songs, actor/model, Yana Gupta brought the industry to a standstill with her spellbound performance. Voiced by Sonu Kakkar and Sukhwinder Singh, the item number broke multiple records to make its way into Bollywood’s evergreen item numbers’ list.
Beedi Jalaile (Omkara) – First AC
The Bipasha Basu starrer item number was no short than the thing of the year. A part of Vishal bhardwaj’s adaptation of Othello, Omkara, the song was a huge hit and once again brushed the rural grass roots of the Indian society.
Sheila ki Jawaani (Tees Maar Khan) – AC 3 tier
Singer:Sunidhi Chauhan, Vishal Dadlani
The entry of Katrina Kaif into the item number business was a record breaking dance number from an otherwise flop film. The song featured Katrina Kaif in a smoking appearance which was a treat for fans. Within no time of its release the song was out there on the lips of few while on the mobile phones of many.
Ooh La La (The Dirty Picture) – AC 3 tier
Singer:Sreya Ghoshal and Bappi Lahri
A touch of the 80’s, a ravishing Vidya Balan and the voice of Shreya Ghoshal and Bappi Lahri succeeded in recreating the aura of Silk Smitha on the 70mm screen. Based on the life of the Tamil Film Industry’s deceased superstar, Silk Smitha, the Dirty Picture and “Ooh La La” were the talk of the season, not only for its phenomenal success, but also for the on screen heat.
Munni Badnam Hui (Dabangg) – AC 2 tier
Singer: Mamta Sharma, Aishwarya Nigam
By now, Malaika Arora Khan was the item number specialist in Bollywood and “Munni Badnaam” was another huge feather in her cap. The song was both captivating and boasted off the rural Indian outlook which helped the song spread like wildfire on across the Indian masses.
Chiknni Chameli (Agneepath) – AC 3 tier
Singer: Shreya Ghoshal
Katrina Kaif was known to have an affinity for the art of dance ever since “Sheila ki Jawaani”. “Chikni Chameli” was another overwhelming performance that proved that Bollywood’s then leading lady was both, a skilled actor and a dancing fireball.
Fevicol Se (Dabangg 2) – AC 3 tier
Singer: Mamta Shah and Wajid Ali
After Munni’s stellar performance in the prequel, “Dabangg 2″ fulfilled the expectation of an entertaining dance number. With Salman Khan and Kareena Kapoor Khan at the centre , “Fevicol Se” gathered unbelievable fame and rapidly became the common man’s dance number.
Baby Doll (Ragni MMS 2) – AC 3 tier
Singer: Kanika Kapoor
Even if you are an occasional listener to hindi songs, Baby Doll is something you would not have missed. A bold, seductive and beautifully sung item number presenting Sunny Leone on the screen spread across the nation like wild fire. The song got a huge response on social media platforms as it was a life saving grace in a dead horror film.
Ram Chahe Leela Chahe Leela Chahe Ram (Goliyo ki Raasleela- Raam Leela) – AC 2 tier
Singer: Bhoomi Trivedi
Amidst talk of competition with Sunny Leone’s Baby Doll earlier that year, Priyanka Chopra unleashed another bold and powerful item number in the Bhansali film, Goliyo ki Raasleela- Raam Leela. The song may not have been remembered that long but certainly made an impression on the industry and the audience.
Manali Trance (The Shaukeens) – AC 3 tier
Sisnger:Lil Golu and Neha Kakkar
Manali Trance was a surprise package for the Bollywood fan audience. Charming us with her moves, Lisa Haydon delivered a power packed performance nudging on the tastes of India’s mystic hill station, Manali. The song was a widespread success and caught the attention of the Indian Smokers Association.