Wednesday, January 19, 2005

People I admire - SPB

From one legend called Ilayaraja to another called SPB, I don’t know why but this month I seem to be courting controversy with my reviews. To make it amply evident at the beginning itself, let me warn you that SPB for me is ''the GOD'' - I shall brook no contrary opinion :-) I realize my friends who have heard him sing Hindi songs might snigger but believe me, the man has sung in atleast 8 Indian languages and is as competent in his mother tongue Telegu as he is in the rest of them.

1. This review is a compilation of my favorite 20 Tamil songs sung by SPB.
2. To do justice to 20 songs without spilling into the comments section is impossible so I have given details about 12 hits here and 8 of the others which make it into my top 20 SPB list are explained in detail in my earlier post on Ilayaraja.

I have attempted to pick and choose from all composers and eras but I guess this will always be MY CHOICE and urs could, nay would, vary. After that lengthy prelude, here is some music for your ears :-)

Song - Movie (Yr of release) - Music Director - Co singers(if any)
Kadhal Rojave - Roja(1992) - ARR
This is my all time favorite song, Raja hits included. Period. The pain and angst that the hero experiences when he is separated from his loved one is wonderfully conveyed by SPB. What I like even more about this song is the way SPB improvises it everytime he sings it on stage, mixing Hindi and Tamil. My knees go weak and there is always a lump in my throat when I hear this number. This is what I would call ''Direct Dilse'' song

My favorite lines:

''Vaayillamal ponaal vaarththai illai kannae, Neeyillamal ponaal vaazhkkai illai kannae''

Anjali Anjali - Duet(1994) - ARR - Chitra
This song is a tribute by the hero to the woman of his dreams and who better to sing in this situation than SPB. The soft soothing start, the rise in the pitch at the end of Saranam1 when he cries out '' Anjali anjali en uyir kaadhali'' are all touches that only an SPB can give. Trivia: Did you know that the alaap in between was sung by Gopiika Poornima ?

My favorite lines:

''Azhagiyae unaipolave adhisayum illaye, Anjali paeraichchonnaen avizhndhadhu mullaiyae''

Minnale - May Maadham (1994) - ARR
OK to be honest the first time I heard this song I fell in love with the violins - Then what struck me next were the stunning lyrics - so simple yet so haunting - It was only on my fourth or fifth hear that I had this ''Wow'' feeling sink in about the rendition and from then on this song is a regular whenever my spirits badly need a lift. I would not call it a very complex composition but makes this number memorable are the emotions in the song.

My favorite lines:

''Kan vizhiththup paarththapoadhu kalaindha vannamae - un kairaegai ondru mattum ninaivuchchinnamae''

Yenai Kaanavilllaye - Kadhal Desam(1996) - ARR - Arun, Rafee
Another song sung by the hero who is on a soul-searching mission - the pain, the confusion all so strikingly brought out by some fantastic lyrics and brilliant rendition. Check out the start of the song and watch out for SPB when he kicks off Saranam1 - Simply awesome !

My favorite lines:

''Meyyaaga nee ennai virumbaadha podhum , poi ondru sol kannae en jeevan vaazhum''

Taj mahal - Amaravathi (1993) - Bala Barathi - Janaki Not many would have heard of this composer but yes, besides Amaravathi this guy also gave the musical hit Thalaivasal. This particular choice of mine is a soft romantic number in which SPB and Janaki combine magnificently to create the perfect ambience of love. No loud instrumentation here - its a very pleasant hear.

My favorite lines:

''Taj mahal thevai illai annamae annamae, kaadu malai nadhigal ellam kaadhalin chinnamae''

Nalam nalam ariya - Kadhal Kottai(1996) - Deva - Anuradha Sriram
Once in a while Deva does surprise everyone and this one is the ''perfect melody'' if there ever can be one. A simple yet heartwarming song about two lovers exchanging pleasantries styled in almost conversational mode, this one was a chartbuster when the movie made it big. And for me, this was the dream combination - SPB and Anuradha Sriram :-)

My favorite lines:

''Un mugam naan paarka kadidhamae dhaana, vaarththaiyil theriyaadha vadivamum naana''

Ilaya Nila - Payanangal mudivathillai (1982) - Ilayaraja
This song came during that season when every Ilayaraja- Mohan movie had to have a mike song :-) Check out the wonderful guitar piece towards the end besides of course, SPB in full flow.

My favorite lines:

''Varum vazhiyil pani mazhaiyil paruva nila dhinam nanaiyum..''

Kadhalin deepam - Thambikku endha ooru (1984) - Ilayaraja
Anyone who is a big fan of Rajini in his hey days (when he had lotsa hair) and has watched DD in the 80s would have seen this song in an advert for Bush TV. With the luscious Madhavi as the inspiration being the song, this slow and contemplative romantic number is one of those early songs which helped in catapulting Rajini to super star status.

My favorite lines:

''Ennai naan thedi thedi unnidam kandu kondaen''

Then Madurai - Dharmathin Thalaivan (1988) - Ilayaraja - Malysia Vasudevan, Susheela
First things first - what I like best about this song is the situation in which it is set - a family get together celebrating one of the member's Birthdays - then I have to admit that simple though it is, at a composition level, this has to be one of Raja's best - and yes, all three singers do ample justice to this winner.

My favorite lines:

''Nenjil ennai naalum vaithu konjum vanna thogai ondru''

Mannil Indha - Keladi kanmani (1990) - Ilayaraja
Ages before Shankar Mahadevan tried singing ''Breathless'', the maestro Ilayaraja had experimented with this number. While the jury is still out whether the Saranam was actually sung at one go, irrespective of that, this song is sure to charm any listener. The profound lyrics and the simple tune pale into comparison when compared with SPB's flawless rendition. Another feather in his cap.

My favorite lines:
The entire song

Innum yennai - Singara Velan (1992) - Ilayaraja - Janaki
Wonderful sets - Kamal and Khusboo in a western setting, cowboy attire et al.. Sensitive lyrics, melifluous Janaki and of course SPB is in his inimitable style. This song is a winner all the way.

My favorite lines:
The entire song


Anonymous said...

I missed Kaadhal Kavidhaigal from Gobura Vasaliley :(

Anonymous said...

Im kinda prejudiced abt ppl who think abt ilayaraja and spb as more than mortals.. and its not a happy prejudice..

but then again some of the songs are my more than music..

U missed out on Raja Raja Chozhan.. IR with KJJ
Sangeetha Maegam.. IR with SPB.. but thats IMHO

Enna Satham, Thenmadhurai Vaigainadhi, "Varum vazhiyil pani mazhaiyil" are soul stirring Id say.. and many more.. andhi mazhai.. read each one, sung whatever I knew and proceeded.. good post!

Man with no Name

dumbs said...

I was told that the song Minnalae from May Madham did not have violin but key board. I wouldn't believe my friend played it out for me....what do u think?