In their early days, their music was very similar to Shankar-Jaikishan's music, as Laxmikant was a great fan of theirs. Once Shankar even changed his orchestration to make sure that his music did not sound like Laxmikant–Pyarelal's. Laxmikant–Pyarelal's first film as music directors was not released. The first released movie which featured them as music directors was Babubhai Mistry's Parasmani (1963), which was a costume drama. All the songs of the film became immensely popular, esp. "Hasata Hua Nurani Chehara", "Wo Jab Yaad Aaye" and "Mere Dil Main Halki Si". Throughout their tenure as music directors, Laxmikant–Pyarelal only used A-grade singers. Their mentors, Mohammad Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar agreed to sing for them in spite of low budgets, and Laxmikant–Pyarelal always remained indebted to them. In fact, all three, Mohammad Rafi, Asha Bhosle and Lata have sung the highest number of songs in their career for Laxmikant–Pyarelal. They continued to give patronage to Mohammed Rafi, sometimes against filmmakers' wishes. They had a great rapport with Kishore Kumar as well. Kishore Kumar sang the most songs (402) for L-P among all male singers, followed by Rafi (about 388 songs).
Laxmikant–Pyarelal hit the big time with Rajshri Productions' 1964 film Dosti. The film had two newcomer heroes who never became popular, and the film was a success due to its music. Songs like "Chahoonga main tujhe shaam savere" and "Rahi manava" became very popular. At that time, many used to think that there was a single person by the name of Laxmikant Pyarelal. Laxmikant–Pyarelal won their first Filmfare Best Music Director Award for the movie, ahead of stalwarts like Shankar-Jaikishan (for Sangam) and Madan Mohan (for Woh Kaun Thi?). Then came Lootera, a superhit musical non-star cast film, which is remembered only because of Lata Manageshkar's superhit songs with Laxmikant–Pyarelal.
In 1966 L-P started cementing their place in Hindi film music. L-P's first musical hit film, with a big star cast, Aaye Din Bahar Ke was released, followed by Pyar Kiye Jaa. Even in films with lesser-known actors, L-P scored hit music: in Sati Sawitri (Songs:"Tum Gagan Ke Chandram Ho", "Jeevan Dor Tumhi Sang Bandhi", "Kabhi To Miloge"); in Sant Gyaneshwar (Songs: "Jyot Se Jyot Jagate Chalo", "Khabar More Na Line"); in Hum Sab Ustaad Hai (Songs: "Pyar Batate Chalo", "Ajanabi Tum Jane Pehachane Se"); in Mr. X in Bombay (Songs: "Mere Mehaboob Quayamat Hogi", "Chali Re Chali Re Gori", "Khoobsurat Haseena"); and in Shriman Fantush..(Songs: "Sultana Sultana Tu Na Ghabarana", "Yeh Dard Bhara Afasana").
In 1967, L-P consolidated their position in the Hindi film industry with a series of hits, one after another. Non star cast film Farz was L-P's first golden jubilee musical hit, followed by big star cast films such as Anita, Shagird, yet another Golden Jubilee hit, Patthar Ke Sanam, Night in London, Jaal and another evergreen musical hit Milan. L-P received their second Filmfare Trophy for Milan without any stiff competition.
The rise of Laxmikant–Pyarelal, Rahul Dev Burman, and Kalyanji-Anandji marked the end of an old era of Bollywood music, which had belonged to Shankar-Jaikishan, Sachin Dev Burman, Naushad, C. Ramchandra, Khayyam, Madan Mohan, O. P. Nayyar, Roshan and others. Big film producing names, such as Prasad Productions, Rajshri Productions, J. Om Prakash, Raj Khosla, Manoj Kumar, Ramanand Sagar, Madan Mohla, Mohan Sahagal, V.Shantaram, Raj Kapoor, Yash Chopra, Manmohan Desai, Subhash Ghai and many more, started replacing their regular music directors and preferred Laxmikant–Pyarelal on a regular basis, and in return L-P have given outstanding music to justify the replacement among the big names.
One of the most important associations that the duo developed was with lyricist Anand Bakshi. The team of Laxmikant–Pyarelal and lyricist Anand Bakshi churned out some of the most popular songs in Hindi Cinemas history. The combo composed songs for more than 250 movies. Anand Bakshi was the lyricist who wrote the maximum number of texts Laxmikant–Pyarelal gave music to. He was actually the lyricist for all the films for which Laxmikant–Pyarelal won Filmfare Awards, except their very first award.
Actor Rajesh Khanna kept Lakshmikant Pyarelal as music director for 26 of his films.
Another great collaboration was with Asha Bhonsle. She has sung many hits under their baton. "Dhal Gaya Din" (with Rafi) in Humjoli (1970) became a superhit. "Roz Roz Rozy" from Khilona (1970), "Bane Bade Raja" from Abhinetri (1970), "Hungama Ho Gaya" and "Balma Hamar Motorcar Leke Aayo" from Anhonee (1974), "Aye Mere Nanhe Gulfam" from Jagriti (1977), "Aaiye Shauk Se Kahiye" from Parvarish (1977), "Teri Rab Ne" from Suhaag (1979), "Ek Hasina Thi" from Karz (1980), "Are Bhaago Are Dauro" from Bandish (1980), "Man Kyun Behka Re" from Utsav (1985), "Balram Ne Bahut Samjhaya" from Ram Balram (1990) etc. They recorded the second most songs with Asha Bhosle. In the years 1980-1986, most of their songs would be sung by Asha only. "Hungama Ho Gaya" from Anhonee was a chartbuster and Asha was nominated for Filmfare Award in 1974. The song was later re-recorded for the 2014 film Queen, with additional voice by Arijit Singh, it again hit the top charts and became a superhit. "Man Kyun Behka Re" with Lata was also a hit and several blockbusters by L-P had Asha as lead voice in films such as Suhaag, Vakil Babu, Dostana, Adha Din Adhi Raat, Loha and Anhonee etc. to name a few.
Style of music
The film Karz is worth specially mentioning here where L-P successfully gave disco-like music, in this film they had experimented with a Ghazal, "Dard-e-dil Dard-e- jigar" by westernising it. The song is strongly remembered even now, and the duo received the Filmfare Best Music Director Award for the year.
Although not as a rule, Laxmikant mostly looked after vocals and Pyarelal used to take care of orchestration. Both had vast knowledge of various music genres, musical instruments and orchestra management.