Empty thoughts and mutterings

Monday, December 05, 2005

Under appreciated Gems

I have always wanted to make a small list of songs that I thought were brilliant, but never made the charts because there were other songs in the same movie that took away all the popularity awards or were just not projected enough to get people's attention. I don't know if it's just me, but I have believed that the music directors are the real heroes in the movie and can make or break a movie with their performance. It is a shame, that some wonderful music has been grossly under utilized or ignored or horribly picturized in the 80's and 90's. Some directors/producers have no concept of how much creativity and hardwork it takes to create music. Raja took the brunt of the hits in all of these. Not that he ever let that deter him for his next performance. He kept coming up with some wonderful songs for some utterly stupid movies. I am not complaining because if he had decided to match the quality of his music to the quality (or lack of it) of the movie that he agreed to do, we wouldn't have been the beneficiary of all those timeless numbers. In a recent interview, Rahman was openly frustrated that some of his compositions for Period movies like "Earth" and "Legend of bhagat singh" were badly utilized and hence the true value of these compositions never came out. Although it was a little surprising that the calm and composed Rahman came out to the media with his frustration, the points that he put forward have to be respected. I don't mean to undermine everything else, but it is my opinion that composing music is probably the hardest part in making a movie and it is the director's responsibility to make sure that the work of the composer is projected the right way. And it is in turn the Music director's responsibility to spurn those directors who don't understand the value of the music or the effort that the composer has to put forth to have a decent album. And another reason that brillant directors like Manirathnam and Balachander are so reknowned is the fact that they use the music so well. While some wonderful songs, re-recordings and BGMs have come to the fore front either by their own merit, or by the sheer popularity of the actor/banner, some other "Dravid"esque performances, have been buried in the archives, by some of the above mentioned idiosyncrasies of the movie industry. Here are some of those songs that deserved to be better acknowledged in my opinion. Please suggest more songs that you think would fit this category.

"Naan paadum sandham" from Duet:

A classic from SPB and Kadri.Especially the part where he goes, vaazhkai oru duet adhile "inba thunbam irandum undu" where his voice gels with the sax, and there's an indistinguishable harmony. He sings at such a high pitch, that when you try to make that pitch, you feel stupid :). Sriram, remember your trip to akron, and how we listened to this like 15 times straight during the drive to cuyahoga falls/stow ? :)

"Anandham Anandham" from Muraimaaman:

Another classical beauty from the under rated Vidhyasagar. My respect for this man has been steadily growing, because of his endurance, quality of music and versatility. While he never gets mentioned in the "Best ever MDs in tamil" list, he's slowly sneaking up my charts for sure. This song was rendered beautifully by unnikrishnan and is a must listen to classical fans.

"Adi Nenthukitten Nenthukitten" from Star:

The one song that wasn't a remake from the Hindi movie Thakshak. And that's what happens to the one song in a movie where all other songs get remade. It gets forgotten ! Karthik makes a dream debut through this song ! Beautiful bhaavam and very pleasing naadhaswaram...Classic !

"Nathioram veesum thendral" from Alexander:

One beauty in a forgotten movie. Everything else deserved to be forgotten. It's hard to remember this song too, if all you've done is listen to it in passing, and you see Vijaykanth in an orange suit, dancing to this. This is another mellifluous unnikrishnan song with a beautiful classical touch.

"Arumbum Thalire" (Bhajan version) from Chandralekha:

I can't find this song in any of the music listings or archives. This is another of Raja's brilliant songs..Very soothing, pleasing song.

"Sollayo vaai thirandhu" from Moghamul:

A beautiful Shanmughapriya ! Sreekumar was excellent with this rendition.

"Poo poothathu" from Mumbai Express:

This is not really a completely forgotten song. I have it here because I thought this song was under appreciated. Wonderful use of the accoustic drums and the song in itself, had a beautiful flow and weaved a story from the start to the end. The genius of ilayaraja shines through !

"Vaan nila tharum" from Kaadhal Virus:

A late addition. Thanks Govind for reminding me about this song ! Terrific usage of the instruments to bring a "jazz" feel to the song. The transition at the start of the saranam to me was very pleasing. Loved karthik's voice in the song !

A lot more comes to mind. But I'll stop here for brevity's sake and yours :)