Saturday, 1 January 2011

Pyar Ki Piyas (پیارکی پیاس): Will The Real Man Behind It Please Stand Up?



First, I wish all the visitors to my blog a very happy and prosperous 2011.

Second, I just made a leveraged buy-out deal; MTV is my property now and I am ready to launch my own satellite into space.

Third, I just made this up; in reality I have only launched my own video channel, TTV, on YouTube.

Since the world’s dumb fingers are too busy punching ‘smart’ Black Berry and I-Phone buttons these days, allow me to tell you something about the kind of work that I have done in the past. Now please do not get any ideas that might be funnier than my own.

Way back in the early 1990s, I was commissioned to write and compose for, arrange, record, mix and produce an upcoming band from Lahore called Wet Metal. The boys never played metal music but rather excelled at doing pop cover tunes at weddings and concerts.

I will spare you the details that will look better in a book I am contemplating writing and which is tentatively titled ‘The Missing Pages Of Pakistani Pop History’.

The title of the Urdu song Pyar Ki Piyas means 'Thirst For Love’; it was written in an era when men had stopped thirsting for knowledge. Najam Shiraz was then the lead singer for Wet Metal, with Shehryar as the guitarist, Ali at the keyboards and Saeed Hasan Turk on the drums (in the video you see Tariq Tafu pounding away at the drum-kit).

The song’s video was aimed to give the public a taste of Wet Metal’s upcoming debut album for which I was hired to do everything except appear as a regular band member. The song was slated for release as a debut single.

To this day, I retain the ownership rights to the lyrics, composition and the arrangement. It was also stipulated in the original contract that I had the ‘right to later release the same song with an altered arrangement under my own name’. Who knows, I just might decide to release a Pyar Ki Piyas video under the right launch conditions. It will not be difficult to get people from Bollywood interested in a re-make of the song but then who wants to see scantily-clad women dancing to my song?—not I. As it is, Munni’s notoriety (Munni badnaam huwee) and Sheila’s (Sheila ki jawani) youth has been rather over-exposed in public.

Mismanagement claimed the life of Wet Metal; it split shortly after the release of this video. Najam Shiraz later released Pyar Ki Piyas in his debut audio album, Khazana, in 1996. Although not fully acknowledged for my work, my name was misspelled in the album’s liner notes as Tahir Hassan Gul. You will not see my name on pirated CD versions released later because the album was originally released in cassette format.

I wrote Piyar Ki Pyas in 1991, composed and played all electronic instruments (sequencing) and single-handedly recorded and mixed the analogue audio tracks at my own studios (Sound On Sound, Karachi). Najam Shiraz only recorded the lead and backup vocals. Because since childhood I have been quite comfortable with oohs and aahs, you can actually hear me do the same in the song’s backup vocal track.

Shehryar played the guitar solo whose melody I hummed to him as we recorded the take. Ali is pretending to play the keyboards and Tariq Tafu is doing the same with the drums; such make belief happens in film and music all the time. What was certainly not my idea was Najam getting caught with his pants down, wearing just the shorts, when he sings meray yeh haalaat hein (meaning: this is my condition).

Fast forward nineteen years.

Najam Shiraz is now an internationally known Pakistani pop singer. We still see each other every few years. He says he announces my name whenever he sings this song on stage; I have no reason to doubt that. Not many these days admit in public what ladders and shoulders they rented to get to such dizzying heights. Indeed Najam's success is his own doing.

All the meticulous track-sheets, master mix-down track and contractual paperwork are still in my possession. This is proof of the pudding I made years ago and which—despite the passage of so many years—I enjoy consuming in my memory’s dessert plate once in a while.

By today’s standards, the song might sound a bit dated but listen to it with ears from the 90s. If I manage to salvage the original digital audio tape (DAT), you will be able to listen to a high quality audio version of Pyar Ki Piyas. I also intend to post the original Urdu lyrics and their translation here on my blog.

Stay tuned and God bless you all for the hugs and kisses you will now despatch in my direction.

Read Pyar Ki Piyas (پیارکی پیاس): Urdu Lyrics With English Translation
For crazy Bollywood song parodies, please visit:
Bollywood Song Parodies by Tahir Gul Hasan

40 comments:

  1. ok TAHIR, kindly stand up please......to accept a standing ovation given by me!!!!!!!!!!!! i'm suitably impressed!

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  2. Tina, you're always the first! Thanks!
    You're gonna get a seat in the front row at a future concert!
    I'm up and about now, make that ovation long and thunderous!

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  3. i was aiming for that front row sweetie, which is why i wanted to be the first!

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  4. hmm....well...what can I say...this is the way of world...you never get the credit if you do somehting good and praise worthy...and always get caught if you messed up...

    ...just consider...if you had not successfully made this song...(sorry for not using jargons on music as I dont know them)...even the pirated cassettes would had your name in bold...

    ...hmmm...I am impressed...

    By the way...I like Najm Shiraz voice...but only in the back ground....I can't manage to watch and bear his DOING(what I believe he consider as dancing)...

    Good luck to you !

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  5. Tina, so you're gunning for the front seat instead of aiming for the one the stage?

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  6. Thinking:
    Hmmm...I don't worry about others NOT giving me credit. It shows their own insecurity when facing something greater.
    Just focus on what the lyrics say and stop looking at the monkey-dance.
    Thanks for being here at such a short notice.
    Hmmm...

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  7. eeeeeeeeeeeeuuuuuuuuuuu i can never aim for that or any stage...i suffer from stage fright....happy being in the front row where i get to gv you that standing ovation!

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  8. ...you never seize to amaze. Impressive

    Best of luck for everything you opt to do in the future.

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  9. Tina, I meant "the one ON the stage" but anyway, you know what I meant!

    Do you mean by 'stage fright', scaring away the singer and his band?

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  10. UAE:
    After the dazed and confused stage, comes the A-MAZED stage.
    N-joy!

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  11. I Knew this since the album "Khazana" was released and I guess I also mentioned to you when I first befriended with you facebook.

    I don't what was the actual point you wanted to make by your article. But so far as I have known Najam he has always acknowledged whoever original work to people the credit must be given. Same is case with his recent Khwabon K rishtey which he mentioned in several interviews belongs to Aamir Zakir. Not to defend Najam but to share just my thought...you know him personally and you can share more!

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  12. sweetie, your FAULT as usual.....you ate up the "ON".....gun for the one on stage...i'll always be more than willing to do so!!!!!!! you DO KNOW THAT!

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  13. Thanks Hassan Nasir; I hope you drop in here more frequently.
    There are so many points I have not made over the years. The fourth para from the bottom says something about it though.
    Look at the number of collaborative efforts that take place betweeen artists and ex-bandmembers abroad and see how everybody here blows his/her own trumpet!
    Anyway, more later...
    Stay well.

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  14. I swallowed ON to stay turned on forever, Tina!!!

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  15. very interesting and intriguing...and the plot thickens:))))Happy New Year, TGH!

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  16. Neli, thanks for dropping by and becoming a member (are you following me now?) of my blog. You don't know what you're getting into. Hahaha!
    So what's the intrigue about? X-plain...

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  17. So I saw the video and it took me back! I enjoyed the lyrics and Najam Shiraz's scissor step (ah, the 90s). The sudden appearance of the frosted pink lips took me a little by surprise but it was so much fun to watch and great fun to hear!

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  18. Thanks very much for having a glass of 'piyar ki piyas' here Ruby Shoes!
    Watch this space for more updates please. And don't lift heavy objects while unpacking out in Kali-Fornia! :))
    PS: I don't your face in the FOLLOW ME list?

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  19. In the meantime, my 'fay-muss' friend Muhammad Ali Shyhaki wrote on my YouTube channel...

    01006336201 (1 hour ago):
    Dear Tahir, I need two solos and one duet song for coke studio recording I wondered if you could complete them till end of this month. A coke studio standard payment would be made. If yes, plz confirm or give me a call...The songs should be good melodious, with latest beat oriented trends...yours truly..Shyhaki

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  20. Jhilmil Breckenridge6 January 2011 at 18:28

    Wow! Will your talents never cease to impress us?? Happy 2011, and nineteen years later, maybe you can make some more music that is more contemporary!

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  21. Thanks for being her JB! Aap kay samney meray TALENT ki kia majaal hey! :))
    No, I keep making it (music i.e.) and putting all that stuff in the cans. Arrangements can always be altered to change a ditty to suit modern tastes. Nahi? :))

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  22. Cool! You have played Scrabble with memories here.... Bingos were popping one after the other.... WORDS are linked above so expressively one could imagine the visuals as well... Im really impressed. It seems as if you steal the memories through telepathy from some of the people here you just mentioned above! Gosh Damn Old Days All running in Flashback!!!!!! remember? Jason... Argh! people whoever wished to rise were bound to reach you on the top floor! ;)

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  23. Ama Sequencer Khan sahib!
    Thanks Qibla Misbah, for dropping by with your kind words and fond memories. I'm sure we can reach the heights of delight of we do it again as SENIORS! Salah seems game for this; how about you my friend?
    Stay well. See you soon.

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  24. With all due respect....this was a LONG time ago...can't you just move on? Ok given Najam doesnt look great with the dance moves (probably why he stopped doing that later?)....but at least he has energy. Even if you watch choreography from those days it looks quite comical today.
    If you have talent...write another song...surely you have more than just one song over 15 yrs in your kitty?

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  25. Look here anonymous, sure it was a LONG time ago but this was done to set a few records (no pun) straight.
    I have moved on; only you can't see it from so far away.
    Write another song? Gimme a Kit Kat! I do that on a regular basis, as naturally as most people smoke or use cellphones.
    If I don't loan or sell my stuff to incompetent fools or don't appear on screen often, that doesn't mean what you think it means!
    You don't seem to appreciate what I did but I can live with that.
    Maybe next time.

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  26. Heard it a few times in the last one week, and must say have begun to enjoy listening to it more and more ! You amaze me sometimes Tahir..:-)
    Honestly love this pyaar ki pyaas..

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  27. Thanks for loving it, Meena jee! I thought I'd surprise you a bit.
    How on Earth did you wind up on my blog? Aap ko itni dayr baad kaisay khayal aya? Chalo aya to sahi...
    Please stand by for the English translation and better quality audio of this song in my next blog.
    :))

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  28. Hi Tahir,

    Here is link for you:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-4JfJN9-YhM

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  29. Thanks, Hassan Nasir for the link!

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  31. Nice work tgh, the composition is good,lyrics are okay and Najam looks like a cockroach. Its good work on your part.In my view, you should do more music arrangements, why to deprive people of your talent?

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  32. AZK, Najam will be thrilled to hear that; he lives in Karachi now!
    The people of my country are bogged down by utilities related problems, why bore them with my love arrangements?
    Thanks for your appearance!

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  33. Good stuff Tahir,
    Do you still write for Najam? Any latest projects? And is Sound on Sound Studio still running in Khi?

    Lynette

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  34. Thanks for dropping by, LDG!
    I write for my own pleasure now. My songs are like one's children, some people don't know how to handle children.
    I shouldn't have wasted my time doing work for others; all of them are forgetful and thankless.
    If I get the right people, I just might do a few songs or an album. I have enough material to last me a few lifetimes!
    As you can see, I'm more into other things now, therefore SOS is dormant but not dead.
    :)

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  35. Good to hear that..
    Wish you all the success.. Reason why I ask about SOS is because we were looking at Studios in Khi. Will chat about it at a later time..

    Cheers!!

    Lynette

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  36. Thanks for your kind wishes, Lynette!
    Is Max planning on a comeback or what? Studios are dime a dozen, its the production skills that are hard to find these days.
    :))

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