‘Chain ek pal nahin, aur koi hal nahen’, ‘Zamany Kay andaaz badlay gaye’ who doesn’t remember these lines by the ever-famous Sufi Rock band Junoon. With Ali Azmat, Salman Ahmed, and Brian O Connell in the band, they sold more than 30 million copies of their albums. With nineteen albums to their name, they have been the most successful Pakistani and South Asian musical band. Pakistani Music can never be complete without mentioning their name. But what really happened to Junoon? ‘Kahan Pardon Mein Gum Hain?’
Some of their albums include Junoon, Talaash, Inquilab, Azadi, Parvaaz, Andaaz, Deewar, and Daur-e-Junoon. Junoon has been famous across the border for its unique music. Their music carries variety from western guitars to the eastern tablas, folk music, and poetry. They were inspired by the music of Led Zeppelin, Nusrat Fateh Ali Khan, U2, Bee Gees, Queen and Pink Floyd, etc. The poetry they used for their music was by Allama Iqbal, Maulana Rumi, Bulleh Shah, and Shah Hussain. They also collaborated with Junoon and Coke Studio.
They have been satirical of the political conditions which led to their ban in their early days by the state. Their song Ehtesaab from their album Kashmakash was critical of the political parties ripping off Pakistan. Taken as an offense by the ruling party of that time, they were banned. Yet they never seemed to stop from being vocal about their thoughts and stance against the ruling elite. They were also critical of the nuclear arms race in the region causing instability. Their vision was of a peaceful region where countries work for their people rather than investing in arms and nuclear strength.
They have been part of the humanitarian work including shows organized for Tsunami and earthquake victims etc. Salman Ahmed was the goodwill ambassador for the fight against AIDS in Pakistan.
A symbol of HOPE
Junoon was a symbol of hope, standing on your principles and making a sound that was different than everyone else. They really touched a different cord with their albums. Junoon made waves across the USA when they released their special song for 9/11 “No More” which was shot in New York, especially after being banned in Pakistan. The song was aired internationally and got universally appreciated by the masses worldwide. All while being banned in Pakistan.
We still wish for a day to see JUNOON live on stage. They did reunite for a brief while in 2018 but it was just one concert that also in Dubai. They are supposed to perform in Canada in January 2022. We can only wait….