Bollywood boasts of a wide range of songs and dance numbers; from the ancient era which was ruled by innovative directors like Gurudatt, who first thought of introducing item numbers to a movie, to the present day’s songs of Yashraj Films and Dharma Productions, which are always running high in their glamour content.
A movie consists of a few actors who perform their respective roles throughout the movie; they have to act in certain scenes and then dance in a few other, all of this happens in the same movie. But when someone who is not included in the cast of the movie comes in for performing a small dance sequence, then it is called an item song or an item number. As the trend goes, usually it is a female actor who performs these an item song in a movie.
Through the years of Indian cinema, item numbers have become immensely popular among the masses. So there is little surprise in the fact that Bollywood has produced a long list of item songs. There are some very old songs like Baabuji Dheere Chalna, Aaiye Meherbaan which became popular. And today, there is a terrific frenzy of producing item numbers for a movie. There are some very popular ones like Munni Badnaam Hui, Sheila Ki Jawaani and many more.
Check out this video to have a look at the evolution of item songs in Bollywood.