THE singer Ayub Bachchu, who died on Thursday morning at the age of 56, has been a byword for rock music in Bangladesh. Bachchu, also a composer and lyricist and often named more as a master guitarist, left in his passing a void in the music industry and took with him a model that inspired thousands of young people aspiring to become musicians and a rock star that had entertained tens of thousands of people who love music. In his music career, he dealt with rock, blues, fusion and folk. Yet, he would be remembered for his experimentation with music, for which he set up his own studio, AB Kitchen. In his college days, along with his fellows, he founded a band which performed in programmes in the neighbourhood. Embarking on his journey to become a music professional, he banded with Feelings, a popular band of the time, in 1978 and having spent two years in the band, he joined Souls, set up in 1973, as its lead guitarists in 1980. The band earned a huge popularity for some numbers that still hark thousands back into the period.
He left Feelings and moved on to found his own band, LRB, or Love Runs Blind, what he once said was out of ‘the deepest of his impulses’, in 1991. His experimentation with the music and the industry became evident in the release of his band’s first production in double-album, what people in Bangladesh had till then not experienced. His experimentation with music continued in the lyrics that he wrote, the tunes that he composed and the songs that he sang. He released 16 solo albums and 12 albums from his band and, predominantly, two of which, the solo album Kashtha released in 1995 and the band album Pherari Man released in 1996, made him immensely popular. Soon after an album, solo or band, had been released, one or two numbers from the album would become instant hits. One such number is ‘Chalo badle jai’ (Let’s change), from the band album Sukh, released in 1993, which Ayub Bachchu had to sing almost every time he would perform on stage. While he became famous with his second solo album, Mayna, released in 1988, between his first solo album, Rakta Golap released in 1986, and the last one, Jibaner Galpa released in 2015, he composed about 500 songs many of which people would love to listen to after many years. He also sang songs as stand-in for the stars in films.
Most of his songs, after their release, have not remained his or the band’s, but they have become everyone’s, a feat that makes any artiste proud. In a song in his band album Sukh in 1993, he sang: Ei rupali guitar phele | Ekdin chale jabo dure, bahudure (I will leave behind my guitar one day to set forth for somewhere far away). Everyone does leave, but he left his guitar and all too early.
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