Written by Omair Alavi

By: Omair Alavi One thing that connects all Pakistanis around the world is Dil Dil Pakistan, the song that made Vital Signs popular 29 years back and that shaped the future of pop music in the country. Junaid Jamshed who tragically died in a plane crash will always be remembered for his contribution to music, besides…

SAMAA | Omair Alavi – Posted: Dec 8, 2016 | Last Updated: 5 years ago

By: Omair Alavi

One thing that connects all Pakistanis around the world is Dil Dil Pakistan, the song that made Vital Signs popular 29 years back and that shaped the future of pop music in the country. Junaid Jamshed who tragically died in a plane crash will always be remembered for his contribution to music, besides his humanitarian work, his business and his hamd and naats. Here are Top 20 of his songs that will keep his legacy alive for a long time and will remind us of the pop icon who is no more with us.

Dil Dil Pakistan (Vital Signs Vol. 1 – 1989)

Perhaps the first music video in Pakistan, this song made Vital Signs famous in every part of the country; Junaid Jamshed being the handsome lead singer became a heart throb and the music industry went to the next level just because youngsters like Rohail Hyatt, Shahzad Hassan and Nusrat Hussain had the guts to break the taboo and create music for all. Before that, music wasn’t considered a worthy profession and was restricted to just a few people.

Tum Door Thay (Vital Signs Vol. 1 – 1989)

Vital Signs’ first album had many hits but this sad number helped JJ explore his capabilities as a vocalist; the song was one of the early filmi pop numbers that could have easily made it to films had it been released today. He not only gets to act in the video but also look sad and heart broken, which was something new for the tall and handsome JJ!

Goray Rang (Vital Signs Vol. 1 – 1989)

It was this song that consolidated Vital Signs as the premier music band in the country because while others were just trying to be cool, VS were defining the word cool.

Yeh Shaam (Vital Signs Vol. 1 – 1989)

And then they surprised us with this number where Junaid’s vocals, Rohail’s composition and Shoaib Mansoor’s craftsmanship were all taken to the grand level. The lyrics still echo in my ears and I feel as if JJ is still mere paas.

Sanwali Saloni (Vital Signs Vol. 2 – 1991)

Their second album was an even bigger hit with songs like this one. There were many mehndis that year where Vital Signs were sort of guests via the then popular Deck system (now controlled by DJs).

Mera Dil Nahi Available (Vital Signs Vol. 2 – 1991)

Back to their favourite pop genre, this Vital Signs number became a sort of anthem for those who wanted to act as if they didn’t care about anything. Lyrics were catchy, music was addictive and then there was JJ!

Tere Liye (Vital Signs Vol. 2 – 1991)

People may not rate this song highly but whenever I play it on my MP3 player, I am transported back into the good old days of the 90s where there were less hassles and more things to look forward to. Very filmi if you ask me!

Naraz (Vital Signs Vol. 2 – 1991)

Another underdog song from the house of Vital Signs where JJ’s vocals held the key.

Wo Kaun Thee (Aitebar – 1993)

Guitar 93 was one of the best things to happen in 1990s and one look at this song would tell you how advanced Pakistani directors were 2 decades back. They don’t show the face of the woman they are talking about but only her point of view through camera. All the band members act as if they had fallen in love and would have given competition to any actor of that era!

Aitebar (1993)

And then there was this number that changed the perception of the pop band. A truly filmi number where JJ’s vocal chords get the necessary exercise; the composition and the use of violin is etched in our memories as if it was something that happened 2 months, not 2 decades back!

Tumhara Aur Mera Naam (Junaid of Vital Signs – 1994)

Innovation, at its best! JJ’s first solo hit required a brilliant music video and Shoaib Mansoor directed it to perfection. When JJ is running and singing, he is doing that in slow motion which was something unheard of in Pakistan in those days. The lyrics may seem odd but when it comes from the heart, there is no rhyme nor reason that can shape the wonderful expressions that this song depicts.

Ab Jiya Na Jaye (Junaid of Vital Signs – 1994)

Music composer Biddu did this song for JJ’s first solo album and it became quite popular, considering his other pupils Nazia and Zoheb Hassan had called it quits a few years earlier.

Barish (Junaid of Vital Signs – 1994)

Junaid’s first album as a solo artist comprised of songs from music composer Arshad Mahmud who in his usual style gave a light number that we still recall when its raining!

Maula (Patriotic number)

Vital Signs revived with this patriotic number, the music video of which was directed by Bilal Maqsood of Strings. The song went onto become a huge hit due to its inspirational lyrics by Hassan Akbar Kamal while the rainy video gave hope to the Pakistanis who started hoping that everything will go away with the rain!

Us Rah Par (Us Rah Par – 1999)

JJ as a taxi driver? What is that! That’s the title track of his second solo album which went onto become the best-selling album of the 90s! He plays a taxi driver in the song who falls in love but is left heart broken in the end. The music video was directed by Bilal Maqsood and remained on top of the charts for a long time.

Aankhon Ko Aankhon Ney (Us Rah Par – 1999)

Slow motion song, check. Song without the face of the woman, check. Song in rewind movement – Na Tu Aayegi. Shoaib Mansoor and JJ combine once more to give a music video that had no equals. The VFX were also produced in Pakistan and were at par with any song produced anywhere in the world. As for the song – easily JJ’s better ones!

Dil Mangay Dil Mangay (Patriotic number)

Although the lyrics were written with commercialism in mind (it was a promotional song for a soft drink company) they hit you hard because they are this close to your heart. Composed by Kamran Khan aka Kamijee, the song had a fast pace and with Junaid’s vocals, they were as good as anything around.

Tu Hai Kahaan (Patriotic number)

With Strings, Junaid Jamshed and Haroon combined, you get this bomb of a number that raised every Pakistanis hope of a World Cup victory ahead of the mega event in 2003! The sight of Wasim Akram and Junaid Jamshed was something to die for and even today, when Pakistan wins big we recall this number, loudly and gladly.

Dil Ki Baat (Dil Ki Baat – 2002)

There were many songs in JJ’s final album that could have made it to this list but he hardly promoted them as he quit as soon as the album was out in the market. The title track remains one of the most accomplished numbers by JJ where the arrangement is different in a good way and the vocals are super amazing. Talking about his album’s promotion in India which coincided with the visit of the then President Pervez Musharaf, JJ once said, ‘India main 2 Pakistani bohat mashoor thay us waqt, ik President Musharaf aur ik tera bhai’.

About the author

Omair Alavi

Omair Alavi is a highly regarded journalist, critic, and commentator, specializing in news, sports, showbiz, film, blogs, articles, drama, reviews, and PTV drama. With extensive experience and a keen eye for storytelling, he captivates audiences with his insightful analysis and compelling presentations. His expertise and contributions have made him a prominent figure in the media and entertainment industry.