Friday Review » Music

Updated: January 6, 2010 08:23 IST

Remembering Rahman's best songs on his 44th birthday

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On Song: AR Rahman
PTI On Song: AR Rahman

Rahman’s magic reached crescendo when he became the first Indian to win double Oscars for the song Jai Ho in the film Slumdog Millionaire, a BAFTA award and a Golden Globe award. On the home front, he has been honoured four times with National Film Awards.

From Roja to Jai Ho, AR Rahman, who turns 44 on Wednesday, has endeared himself to millions with his lilting melodies and created history with his double Oscar.

Rahman’s magic reached crescendo when he became the first Indian to win double Oscars for the song Jai Ho in the film Slumdog Millionaire, a BAFTA award and a Golden Globe award. On the home front, he has been honoured four times with National Film Awards.

On the occasion of the musician’s birthday, IANS goes down memory lane to recall some of the his all-time hits.

Roja — In 1992, Rahman made his debut as a composer with the soundtrack of Roja and the title track struck a chord with the audiences. Time magazine included Roja album in its list of “10 Best Soundtracks” of all-time in 2005. This poignant, romantic number in the voice of S.P. Balasubrahmanyam is slow-paced, with music and lyrics so profound that made it a chartbuster.

Ye haseen vadiyan — The Roja album included another great composition in Ye haseen vadiyan. Crooned by Chitra and S.P. Balasubrahmanyam, the song is a treat to ears owing to its orchestration and vocals. Even after 18 years, the eloquent romantic number still has the same impact.

Tanha tanha — In 1995, Rahman’s compositions for Rangeela became an instant hit. The song Tanha tanha, sung by Asha Bhosle became chartbuster and was a song on everyone’s lips. The light, breezy track had good lyrics and was beautifully picturised on actress Urmila Matondkar.

Tu hi re — In the same year, he produced another winner in the form of Bombay. The song Tu hi re caught the fancy of music buffs. The sad romantic number captured the angst and the loneliness of a lover. Sung by Hariharan and Kavita Krishnamurthy, it’s an appealing and touching number.

Maa tujhe salaam — Rahman released his own album in 1997 and created a stir with the patriotic song Maa tujhe salaam. Sung by the composer himself, it became one of the most sought after versions of the Vande Mataram.

Chaiyyan Chaiyyan — The song from the film Dil Se was released in 1998 and broke many records. The song with a punch was crooned by Sukhwinder Singh and is still a hot favourite.

Piya Haji Ali — After churning out patriotic and romantic numbers, Rahman treated his fans with the Sufi song Piya Haji Ali in the movie Fiza. Rendered by Kadar Ghulam Mustafa, Murtaza Ghulam Mustafa and Shrinivas, the song that talks about divine power has tranquillising effect on the listeners.

O rey chhori — In 2001 he composed another hit romantic number O rey chhori for the Oscar nominated film Lagaan. It is a sweet, mushy outing with intermixed Indian and western influences. While the Hindi lyrics have been voiced by Udit Narayan and Alka Yagnik, the English part in the song has been rendered by Vasundhara Das. It is surely a pleasing and melodious song.

Saathiya — The title track of 2002 release Saathiya is worth repeated listening. The love ballad is perfect for all moods. Rhythm is the overpowering factor in the number and it clicks instantly. Sonu Nigam’s silken voice gives the already brilliant song an edge.

Roobaroo — The hip, young, carefree song from 2006 hit film Rang De Basanti, became an instant hit. Sung by Rahman and Naresh Iyer, the track belongs to the Indi-pop genre and was a favourite of people from all age groups.

Tere bina — Rahman has proved his mettle time and again, but his proficiency in creating romantic tracks is unmatchable, something he proved with Tere bina in the 2007 film Guru. Sung by Rahman himself along with Murtuza Khan, Quadir Khan and Chinmayee.

Jai ho — His composition for the song Jai Ho in the film Slumdog Millionaire turned out to be a turning point in Rahman’s career. It fetched him his first Oscar. Sung by Sukhwinder, the fast-paced, high-spirited, energetic song was liked not only nationally but internationally too.

Kabhi kabhi aditi — It is a light, uplifting song that makes you feel nice. Crooned by Rashid Ali, the song from the film Jaane Tu...Ya Jaane Na, is beautiful from the word go, the guitar strumming and the casual lyrics made it a favourite among the youngsters.

Khawaja mere khawajaKhawaja mere khawaja is another Sufi track from the talented composer and it hit the right chords with the audiences. The song, which was a part of the soundtrack of the movie Jodhaa Akbar, is a fabulous qawaali-based song sung by Rahman himself. The notes of harmonium are interwoven with those of stringed instruments that produced a sweet harmonic sound, making the song highly relaxing.

Masakalli — Rahman hit the bull’s eye last year with Masakalli from the film Delhi-6. The free flowing, addictive, fun song is crooned by Mohit Chauhan.



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