Blogging 2017

Always on Repeat (Part 6 – Ilayaraja SPB hits)

I could not have chosen a ‘better’ time to write on this combination, but I should have written on this list long ago. No amount of discord or confusion between Balu and Raja as they are popularly known can tarnish the memory of the beautiful songs they have given to us. This list is my personal favorites of the hundreds of songs I could choose from under the same combination.

Without much ado, the (slightly curios) list.

Kalyana Maalai – Pudhu Pudhu arthangal

Easily my most favorite Raja – SPB song ever. I love a lot of things about this song, be it in the lyrics or the rendition or the emotion behind the song. This movie is special to me for various reasons and so is this song. This comes under the ‘eternal favorites’ list. The song still manages to evoke a special emotion in me mainly because of its lyrics. This is actually one of the more popular numbers but I grew addicted to it only about seven or eight years ago.

Ilanjolai poothatha – Unakkagave vaazhgiren

One of the songs I regret hearing very late in my life. This was a fairly recent find despite being around for three decades. I first heard this while channel surfing one fine afternoon and stopped abruptly. Not quite having the habit of tuning into the music channels, I caught only the tail end of the song and had little info with which I could search for this in the internet. Finally, word combinations including the names of the actors finally gave me the name of the movie. Happy camper since then.

Nalam Vaazha – Marupadiyum

My ‘recovery from being disappointed’ song. I listen to this whenever I need some pick-me-up. The main favorite part is the lyrics, undoubtedly. But the actor is also an additional plus (ahem). I have not seen the movie yet despite liking one more song from this album because it has not appealed to me. But I love the song very much and this has given me company during sad and happy times. Emotion neutralizer, this one.

Mannil Indha Kaadhal Andri – Keladi Kanmani

Another famous favorite. This is when the ‘singing at a single breath’ thing became a super hit. I like the ‘humble modesty’ SPB himself displays on screen before he begins singing, and I marvel at how he manages that so wonderfully. Credits go to both the singer and the composer for this one. Easily a great travel companion.

Mandram Vandha – Mouna Raagam

A hit album. One of the best Maniratnam Ilayaraja combos. I love the movie and never tire of watching it. Supposedly belonging to the golden trio of standard Maniratnam love stories, (According to a meme, they are Mouna Raagam, Alaipayuthey, OK Kanmani – each of which dealt with a curious aspect of love in its own way, and not an analysis I am going to make here) this is the movie that captured my heart in many ways. Of the whole album, this song tops my personal favorite list.

Kadhalin Deepam Ondru – Thambikku Entha Ooru

Easy hit, this one. Very famous and made eternally so due to the screen presence of the Super Star, I got used to the melody only after I had repeatedly watched all the jokes and the parodies surrounding it that I got curious enough to hear the original. And lo, addicted at the first go. The movie also has another song that I love but this one takes the first place without much competition.

Chinna Chinna thooral enna – Sentamizh paatu

Another beauty I regret listening to only very, very recently. I first heard an independent band performing this on YouTube, and then got so attracted to the song that I had to search until I got the original which, needless to say, arrested me from the first word. The composition is what I like about the song more than the voice or the lyrics themselves.

Sangeetha Jaadhi Mullai – Kaadhal Oviyam

This song taxes the singer to his threshold and he delivers perfectly. This movie is almost a musical, and also a dance fest because the central subject is based on that. Ilayaraja is at his best in this movie and therefore the song is on many different playlists for different reasons. I don’t need to elaborate on this song or how this is a musical treat.

Aanenna Pennenna – Dharmadhurai

A family favorite. This song has strong memories associated with it and I love listening to it randomly. The voice rings out clearly, best in earphones and I love the lyrics and the music equally. There is no particular reason why this song has made this list, except the strong memories associated with it. A gentle composition, one that I will cherish and enjoy for many reasons.

Idhu oru ponmalai pozhudu – Nizhalgal

This song is one of the most popular of the composer-singer duo. The movie itself is popular and gave some (now) famous actors a ‘prefix’ to their name. But what works for me the best in this are the lyrics. I love the song very much because this is one thing I have grown up listening to.

The decision to not include the other famous songs from this combination is a conscious one. This list only covers a small percentage of the songs I love from the hit duo. I have very varied preferences and have a playlist that extends to more than 35 songs. This list is, as usual, chosen from my MRU because I never tire of these songs. All songs in the list are of personal significance one way or the other and that is why they find a place in this top ten list. If I had to choose, I choose these.

*Calm Hagrid*

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