Laxmikant-Pyarelal (also known as LP or Laxmi-Pyare) were a popular Bollywood composer duo, consisting of Laxmikant Shantaram Kudalkar (1937-1998) and Pyarelal Ramprasad Sharma (born 1940). They composed music for about 500 Bollywood movies from 1963 to 1998, working for almost all notable filmmakers including Raj Kapoor, Dev Anand, Feroze Khan, B.R. Chopra, Shakti Samanta, Manmohan Desai, Yash Chopra, Subhash Ghai and Manoj Kumar.
Pyarelal borned in Gorakpur district of Uttar Pradesh started learning violin at the age of 8 and practised it 8 to 12 hours daily. At the age of 12, he started playing violin in studios to earn money for his family, whose financial condition had deteriorated.
Laxmikant and Pyarelal met at Sureel Kala Kendra, a music academy for children, run by the Mangeshkar family. After she came to know about their financially poor backgrounds, Lata recommended their names to music directors like Naushad, Sachin Dev Burman and C. Ramchandra. Similar financial backgrounds and age made Laxmikant and Pyarelal very good friends. They used to spend long hours at the recording studios, sometimes getting work for each other and even playing together whenever they got the opportunity.
Pyarelal often used to frequent the Bombay Chamber Orchestra and the Paranjoti Academy, where he would perfect his skills in the company of Goody Seervai, Coomi Wadia, Mehli Mehta and his son, Zubin Mehta. Laxmi-Pyare were not content with the payments being made to them for their music, so they decided to go to Madras (now Chennai). But, it was the same story there. So, they returned back. Once Pyarelal decided to leave India and go to Venice to play for symphony orchestras, just like Zubin. However, he stayed back at Laxmikant's insistence. Some of Laxmi-Pyare's colleagues at this time included Pandit Shivkumar Sharma (Santoor) and Pandit Hariprasad Chaurasia (flute). Later, Shivkumar and Hariprasad also ventured in Bollywood as Shiv-Hari.
Laxmi-Pyare worked with almost all reputed music directors (with the exception of O. P. Nayyar and Shankar-Jaikishan) of the 1950s. In 1953, they became assistants to Kalyanji-Anandji and worked with them as assistants till 1963. They worked as music arrangers for many music directors including Sachin Dev Burman (in Ziddi) and also for his son Rahul Dev Burman (in his first film Chhote Nawab). Laxmi-Pyare and R D Burman remained very good friends, even when Laxmi-Pyare started giving music independently. R D Burman played mouth organ for all songs of Dosti. Laxmikant once made a guest appearance playing role of himself as a Composer of Song "Dil Ki Baat" in Teri Kasam (1982), which had music by R D Burman.
In their early days, Laxmi-Pyare's music was very similar to Shankar-Jaikishan's music, as Laxmikant was a great fan of theirs. Once Shankar even changed his orchestration to make sure that his music did not sound like Laxmi-Pyare's. Laxmi-Pyare's first film as music directors was not released. The first released movie which featured them as music directors was Babubhai Mistry's Parasmani (1963), which was a B-grade mythological film. Throughout their tenure as music directors, Laxmi-Pyare only used A-grade singers. Their mentors, Lata Mangeshkar and Mohammad Rafi, agreed to sing for them in spite of low budgets, and Laxmi-Pyare always remained indebted to them. In fact, both Mohammad Rafi and Lata has sung the maximum number of songs in their career for Laxmi-Pyare. When Rafi's career was sidelined due to Kishore Kumar's ascending star, Laxmi-Pyare continued to give patronage to Rafi, sometimes against filmmakers' wishes. Of course, they had a great rapport with Kishore Kumar as well.
Laxmi-Pyare hit the big time with Rajshri Productions' 1964 film Dosti. The film had two newcomer heroes who never became popular, and the film was a success due to its music. Songs like Chahoonga main tujhe shaam savere and Rahi manava became very popular. At that time, many used to think that there was a single person by the name of Laxmikant Pyarelal. Laxmi-Pyare won their first Filmfare Best Music Director Award for the movie, ahead of stalwarts like Shankar-Jaikishan (for Sangam) and Madan Mohan (for Woh Kaun Thi?).
After Dosti's success, Laxmi-Pyare started getting work from all major filmmakers. The rise of Laxmi-Pyare, Rahul Dev Burman, and Kalyanji-Anandji marked the end of an old era of Bollywood music, which belonged to Shankar-Jaikishan,Sachin Dev Burman,Naushad, C. Ramchandra, Khayyam, Madan Mohan, O. P. Nayyar, Roshan and others.
The team of Laxmi-Pyare and lyricist Anand Bakshi churned out some of the most popular songs in Bollywood history. The combo composed songs for more than 250 movies. Anand Bakshi was the lyricist who wrote the maximum number of texts Laxmi-Pyare gave music to. He was actually the lyricist for all the films for which Laxmi-Pyare won Filmfare Awards, except their very first award. LP have been accused of 'buying' Filmfare awards frequently.
Laxmi-Pyare gave Indian classical music as well as Western music. But they were most popular for their folk tunes and semi-classical music. In Shagird, they created Rock-n-Roll-style foot-tapping melodies. The film Karz is worth specially mentioning here where LP successfully, gave disco-like music, which is strongly remembered even now.
Although not as a rule, Laxmikant mostly looked after vocals and Pyarelal used to take care of orchestration. Both had vast knowledge of various music generes, musical instruments and orchestra management.
Lata Mangeshkar played a major role in shaping up the careers of LP. She sang the maximum numbers of songs for them. She sounds extremely melodious under the LP. Lata Mangeshkar and Laxmikant-Pyarelal shared a long, close and rewarding association.
From 1963, to the next 35 years, Lata Mangeshkar and Laxmikant-Pyarelal were to chalk up around 700 songs together, which accounted for one in every 10 Hindi film songs recorded by the Melody Queen, and one of every four songs composed by the duo. Their work includes a variety and range; there were chart-slammers and classics, and chaalu numbers as well as connoisseur choices. LP also produced some wondeeful songs renderd by kishorekumar namely "Mere mehboob kayamat hogi", "Yeh Jeevan Hai", "Ik hasina thi ", "gadi bula rahi hai", "Ruk jana Nahi"
LP worked with Mohammad Rafi, Kishore Kumar, Mukesh, Asha Bhosle, Manna Dey, Mahendra Kapoor, Alka Yagnik, Kumar Sanu, Udit Narayan. However, they also gave big breaks to many newcomers like Shailender Singh, Kavita Krishnamurthy, Mohammed Aziz, Suresh Wadkar and Shabbir Kumar, Sukhwinder Singh, Vinod Rathod, Roop Kumar Rathod etc.Lp also introduced singer like Anuradha Paudwal.
After Laxmikant's death, Pyarelal has done some work independently. When the playback singer Kumar Sanu turned music director, he approached Pyarelal to arrange music for him. Pyarelal was approached to assist in the music of Farah Khan's Om Shanti Om, but no credit was given to him on the album.
LP got 7 Filmfare Trophies, for the following films: