Pakistan is quite a religious state and popular music following in Western footsteps of music development has been amazing till recently. "Vital Signs" was the first Pakistani pop band and it was given the title "the pioneers of pop music". The original members were as follows: Junaid Jamshed as a lead singer, Shehzad Hassan on bass, Rohail Hyatt on keyboards and Nusrat Hussain on keyboards, too.
The band became one of the most popular Pakistani bands after their first release - the patriotic song "Dil Dil Pakistan". It was released in 1987 and was sold greatly in Pakistan. And still "Vital Signs" remain the greatest selling pop band with native roots in Pakistan. This song became widespread outside Pakistan as well - thus it was voted the third most popular song of all time by BBC.
Later Nusrat Hussain broke up with the band and his place was taken by guitarist Salman Ahmad. This renewed cast released their first album in 1989 along with television producer Shoaib Mansoor who wrote lyrics for most songs of this album. However, a year later Salman Ahmad was replaced by guitarist Rizwan-ul-Haq as he couldn't get along together with the band.
With Rizwan-ul-Haq "Vital Signs" released the album titled "Vital Signs 2" in 1991 which was a twist away from their previous image as a rosy and soft pop band. Their sound became more complicated and many Pakistani music critics noticed it. The leading Pakistani music critic Nadeem F. Paracha helped to promote their music however in 1996 he switched to "Junoon" after popularity of "Vital Signs" had begun to wane.
In 1993, one of the most popular Pakistani bands started to work on their third album "Aitebar" which was released a few months later and became a massive hit outselling its predecessor "Vital Signs 2". They toured across Pakistan and South Asia and performed a lot of live concerts. In 1995, their fourth album "Hum Tum" came to existence and received much acclaim from music critics.
Its music was much like the moody Pink Floydian sound and the main themes were borrowed from "Vital Signs 2". After releasing "Hum Tum" their popularity started to wane as the members got tired of themselves and their ways gradually parted. Shehzad Hasan concentrated on his work as a music producer, Junaid Jamshed started his solo career and Rohail Hyatt founded a recording company.
"Junoon" is the most popular Pakistani bands in South Asia to date. It was formed in 1990 in Karachi, Pakistan by Salman Ahmad who invited the vocalist Ali Azmat and Nusrat Hussain to perform on keyboards. Although their first self-titled album was not sold well the second one was far more successful. It was titled "Talaash" and was followed by even more successful "Inquilaab" album in 1995.
An interesting mixture was introduced in Junoon albums. The band was heavily influenced by Led Zeppelin and they found ways to blend rock guitars with eastern elements, vocals and traditional Pakistani folk music. Their success didn't come easy as Pakistan is a conservative state and any hint to politics in their music was the reason for censorship and banning. One of the most popular Pakistani bands has already released seven albums.