“Ami koshto pete bhalobashi, tai tomar kache chute ashi”
“Hashte dekho, gaite dekho…..dekho na keu hashi’r shesh’ey nirobota”
“Shei tumi keno eto ochena holey…tumi keno bojho na tomake chara ami oshohaye….”
“Ei Rupali Guitar feley ekdin chole jabo duure”
These aren’t just songs.
They tug at your heartstrings, reminding you of your heartbreaks, nostalgia, sorrow, freedom, longings and more. Such was the magic of LRB, and of course Ayub Bachchu.
Let’s take a look back at the glorious history of LRB – a rock band that has revolutionized the hard rock music scene in Bengali.
By the time he founded Love Runs Blind or LRB, Ayub Bachchu (AB) was already an experienced musician. He had been playing the guitar since boyhood. He had been a member of multiple bands˗ Ugly Boys, Feelings and Souls. He played with Souls creating numerous hits. After a decade, realizing his music tastes and interests were different AB left the band.
He loved western music from his very childhood and was eager to create music that was loud, powerful, energetic, and had a pure rock sound. Even though western sound was still an evolving concept then, especially hard rock, AB wanted to do just that. He also had the relentless urge to do something revolutionary in Bangla music.
With that, he formed LRB in 1991, having Swapan, Joy and Tutul as bandmates.
They began their career by performing live gigs for flood victims. In 1992, they became the first Bangladeshi band to release a double album: LRB I and LRB II. The tracks Hawker and Ghum Bhanga Shohore paved the way to create more groundbreaking and beloved songs.
LRB’s breakthrough came in 1993 when they released their third album, Shukh. This contains some of the most popular LRB songs including the rock-power ballad Shei Tumi and Rupali Guitar. When AB wrote and recorded Shei Tumi at one go from his Malibagh residence, he had no idea about its impending immemorial status in Bangla music.
In the following years, LRB kept on experimenting with music styles and released more albums. The smooth velvety voice of AB, sometimes singing delicately and sometimes with vigour; the jazzy guitar riffs, the phenomenal guitar improvisation; the innovative music with hard rock, psychedelic, metal and heavy metal tone well blending with Bengali lyrics – all meant that LRB had now become an icon.
The band’s lineup changed various times over the years. Riad, Kazi Hablu, Milton, and Suman joined at different times. In 2016, when the band celebrated their 25 years anniversary by playing at a local concert, the lineup consisted of AB, Masud, Swapan, Romel and Shamim.
In 1997, LRB did their first international show in Jadavpur University in India. The following year, they went on their first international tour in the USA where they performed in 7 states. Till date, they are the only Bangla band to perform in Madison Square Garden in New York. Over the years, LRB has performed 2500+ times both home and abroad.
The list of albums below shows that LRB was quite active in audio industry from 1992 to 2012
- LRB I & II – 1992
- Shukh – 1993
- Tobuo – 1994
- Ghumonto Shohore – 1995
- Ferari Mon – 1996
- Swapno – 1996
- Amader Bismoy – 1998
- Mon Chaile Mon Pabe – 2000
- Ochena Jibon – 2003
- Mone Ache Naki Nai – 2005
- Sporsho – 2008
- Juddha – 2012
Aftermath of AB’s death
In 2018, AB died suddenly from cardiac arrest. It was an unexpected blow for the nation. It’s all the sadder when one reads AB’s interviews where he’d shared his vision for his old age: playing blues and jazz and heading a music school.
The members of the band split apart due to inner conflict. Few members wanted to run LRB their own way but didn’t succeed. They tried to run the band with different vocalists starting with Balaam Jahangir calling themselves Balaam and The Legacy. The recent line up with vocalist Mizan neither got audience acceptance. Various social media platform show, such activities resulted in disappointment of LRB fans all over the country.
After a number of disappointing incidents by LRB members, AB’s family finally took control over the rights. On 18 October, second death anniversary of guitar maestro Ayub Bachchu, Bangladesh Copyright Office unveiled the first-ever digital music archive (abkitchen.org) that contains the songs of LRB and Ayub Bachchu. The rights are now legally being reserved by his family. To preserve the works of Ayub Bachchu, unauthorized use has been prohibited through an announcement.
LRB will always remain as one of the most iconic and beloved Bangla bands. With its main man Ayub Bachchu’s passing away, perhaps things may change. Only time will tell.
Whatever happens, the golden age of LRB can never be forgotten. They’re a special band whose music spoke to the masses. The eternal themes of the songs and the melody are always there for us whenever we need a friend or just someone to relate to and understand our emotional states, whatever they are.