A man ahead of his time. Sitting atop a pyramid. Strumming his instrument. And in his atypical voice he sings out to his beloved somewhere much beyond the desert beneath him - O sanam, teri yaadon ki kasam. That was one line which made MTV India a rage amongst those growing up during the 90s. Obviously there were other artists who powered the growth of non-filmy music, but Lucky Ali continues to remain a favourite.
Not then. Not now. Not ever, up till now. His unconventional voice, Lucky Ali's music is pure magic. His songs are imbued with this exquisite lethargy, telling us to stop every once in a while and take it all in. There has not been another Lucky Ali, and there never will be. So let's take a moment to celebrate the man's genius, listen to his glistening voice and say thank you.
Here are 14 of his songs you cannot afford to not listen to.
1. O Sanam
That iconic music video not only did justice to Ali's brilliant melody by preserving its melancholy, but also helped it to rise to greater heights.
2. Dekha Hai Aise Bhi
In typical fashion he fused folksy percussion with a great acoustic sound, which meant that Ali's voice was well supported on the American freeways as he sang to his lover of the past.
3. Kitni Haseen Zindagi
Ali brought out the hipster in him, as he brought forth his folk influences by starting with a morchang supported with that guitar arrangement.
4. Kabhi Aisa Lagta Hai
A typical Lucky Ali love ballad, which features his silk voice and a smooth guitar arrangement backing him up.
Featuring a terrific bassline, this is that rare Lucky Ali song which wasn't all that laid back.
6. Tere Mere Saath
An insane guitar riff gets this groovy song started. This was the closest Lucky Ali came to composing a rock ballad for himself.
7. Tu Kaun Hai
From his 2001 album Aks, the song was a late bloomer. People only discovered this much later in the 2000s after it released with the film Bhopal: A Prayer For Rain.
8. Gori Teri Aankhein
Released as a single, the song was probably Ali's most mainstream gaana. Over the years, it has only grown in popularity and safe to say it's one of his most famous songs.
Composed as a part of Sanjay Gupta's remake of Reservoir Dogs, it was unlike anything Bollywood had heard. With that intense riff opening the act for Ali's vocals and then when the bass kicks in, the song comes full circle.
10. Khuda Hafiz
Sung for AR Rahman's album in Yuva, the composer used Lucky Ali's vocals to perfection as the song explodes with ANJAANA...!
11. Naa Tum Jaano Na Hum
The one song that we all hummed to back in the days. And he nails being Hrithik's voice.
12. Aahista Aahista
Brought back to life by the brilliant duo Vishal-Shekhar, Lucky Ali breezed through this song with Shreya Ghoshal and brought the coolness to a different goal.
Another Vishal-Shekhar song, where Lucky Ali was an absolute star. Becoming Ranbir's voice for a second time, Ali brought the coolness to a whole new level.
Singing for the maestro himself, Ali just let his lungs bleed in Safarnama as he sang for the free soul escaping all status-quos and entering a world of his own.
Doesn't matter how old we grow, Lucky Ali's songs will always tug at our heart-strings.