Tuesday, July 26, 2005

The Essential ARR collection a.k.a ARR for Dummies

For a long time, I have wondered what I'd do if I met someone (an Indian that is) who did not know who ARR was. Every single time I played pool at the Students Center at univ, I decided that the next time I was there, I'd get a ARR compilation for them to play on the sound system to substitute for the usual hip hop/R&B fare. But that "next time" never came. And then a few months ago, I started making this list, a sort of "ARR for Dummies". It is quite different from what I had in mind earlier. This one is solely for the non ARR camp from a hardcore ARR fan!

For someone like me, a top ten ARR list would never do justice. So I have made this a two disc collection! The list has a lot of usual suspects (if you are Tam) from 1991 to 2004, but mostly the list comprises of all those gems that, according to me, slipped under the radar. To hear these songs, just go on to ARR's page @ Raaga.com (except for the one's from Andhimandharai) and click on the particular movie. So here goes.

The Essential ARR Collection - Disc 1
  1. Parkathe Parkathe - Minmini (Gentleman, 1993) [Check out the catchy whistling / flute / organ]
  2. July Madham Vanthal - SPB, Chitra (Pudhiya Mugam, 1993)
  3. Thee Thee - Carolene (Thiruda Thiruda, 1993) [The picturization of this track rocked, with rapid shots with a moving camera in tune with the song's rhythm!]
  4. Putham Puthu Bhoomi - Mano, Chitra (Thiruda Thiruda, 1993) [Mano's booming voice singing 'Sondha Aagayam Vendum' still raises goose bumps!]
  5. Yedhukku Pondatti - Shahul Hameed, TK. Kala, Sunandha (Kizhakku Cheemayilae, 1993) [I know this is a strange choice, but its a personal favorite, slightly risque lyrics not withstanding!]
  6. Uyirum Neeye - Unni Krishnan (Pavithra, 1994) [Personally, even if someone says Unni Krishnan did not deserve the National Award for Ennavale, he certainly deserves it for this song? The guitar riffs (?) that open this song remind me always of Thamizha Thamizha, but its Unni Krishnan all the way afterward!]
  7. Sevvanam - Mano, Pallavi (Pavithra, 1994)
  8. Markazhi Poove - Shobha (May Madham, 1994) [Always thought it was Anupama? Kavitha Krishnamurthi rocked in the Hindi version of this song from Love you Hamesha.]
  9. Vidu Kathaiya - Hariharan (Muthu, 1995)
  10. Kaiyil Midhakkum Kanava Nee - Srinivas (Ratchagan, 1996) [Srinivas's debut?]
  11. Unnai kanavilai netrodu - SP. Balasubramaniam, OS. Arun, Rafee (Kadhal Desam, 1996) [OS ARUN? The classical singer? But I distinctly remember the inlay card crediting SPB and Aslam Mustafa!]
  12. O Vennila - Unni Krishnan (Kadhal Desam, 1996) [My ragging song! For the most part of my first year at Shanmugha, part of my ragging was to lean on a wall with a outstretched hand and sing this song repeatedly without laughing or smiling while the seniors used to do all kinds of stupid tomfoolery around me. All because one guy explained the lyrics to me (along with an accompanying sob story) that brought tears into my eyes when I heard it first!]
  13. No Problem - Apache Indian, ARR (Love Birds, 1996) [The movie seems to be the inspiration behind Kaho Na Pyar Hai, with the equivalent song being Ek Pal Ka Jeena]
  14. Kappal yeri poyachu - SP. Balasubramaniam, Susheela (Indian, 1996)
  15. Sakhiye Nee Dhan - Unni Krishnan (Andhimandharai, 1996)
  16. Oru Naal - Swarnalatha (Andhimandharai, 1996) [Is it by Swarnalatha? I don't know, but can't find this song on Raaga or Musicindiaonline, which is shame!]

The Essential ARR Collection - Disc 2
  1. Ayirathil Naan Oruvan - Mano (Iruvar, 1996)
  2. Narumugaye - UnniKrishnan, Bombay Jayashree (Iruvar, 1996) [Everytime I hear this song, Satish's the face that I reminded of. Dude, in case you read this, you rock. Jagadish, do pass this on to him, if you read this!]
  3. Oru Poiyavadhu - Srinivas / Hariharan (Jodi, 1999) [Two different versions of this priceless gem that went unnoticed in lieu of the other songs that were repeated from Doli Saja Ke Rakhna]
  4. Theendai Mei Theendai - SPB, Chitra (En Swasa Kaatre, 1999)
  5. Swasame - SP. Balasubramaniam, Sadhana Sargam (Thenali, 2000)
  6. Nenthukitten - Karthik, Chitra Sivaram (Star, 2001)
  7. Azhage Sugama - Srinivas, Sadhana Sargam (Parthale Paravasam, 2001)
  8. Nee Dhan En Desiya Geetham - Balaram (Parthale Paravasam, 2001) [Balaram's Debut! Where is he now? He had another awesome number with Vidyasagar and one with ARR, but seems to have gone missing now]
  9. Vellai Pookal - ARR (Kannathil Muthamittal, 2002)
  10. Vidai Kodu Engal Naadae - Balram, MSV (Kannathil Muthamittal, 2002)
  11. Vaanila - Srinivas, Karthik (Kadhal Virus, 2002)
  12. Pookum Malare - Hariharan (Udaya, 2003) [A beautiful song that went widely unnoticed]
  13. Udaya Udaya - Hariharan, Sadhna Sargam (Udaya, 2003)
  14. Yedho Yedho - Karthik, Gopika Poornima (Enakku 20 Unakku 18, 2003)
  15. Azhagiya Cinderella - Hariharan (Kangalal Kaidhu Sei, 2003)
  16. Thotal Poo Malarum - Hariharan, Harini (New, 2004) [All you non-Tams should hear the original first and then this remix to see what ARR's done. Too bad SJS's attempt to recreate similar magic with Mayilirahe and its Maramkothiye remix did not work!]
(P.S Before all you IR hardliners sharpen your knives, I have to say that such a two disc compilation would be totally impossible for IR, just as a top 10 list cannot do justice to ARR. Mottai rocks, but ARR impresses me in his own way! Peace!)


Nithya Swaminathan said...

Quite a few songs that I havent heard, and one or two that I havent even heard of..:D

I am no great fan of ARR (as you'd already know), but he does impress me with a few stunning numbers... My favorites by ARR are very few, but I dont see any of them in ur list..:((((

I'd have loved to c
a) Anjali anjali from Duet - fab song!
b) Thoda thoda malarndhadhenna from Indira - stunning! I jus cant get enough of SPB in that number!
c) Anbe anbe from Jeans - thats my fav from this movie, where I thought all other numbers were over hyped..:D
d) Pachai kiligal tholudu - more so for the fabulous lyrics...
e) The song in Kizhakku cheemaiyile which has the lines "thai maaman seer somandhu vaaran di, avan thanga kolusu kondu thaaran di".. very folkish number...
f) Thirakkadha kaatukkulle from En swasa katre...

Among the ones u've listed, I *love* vellai pookkal... his voice and the lyrics create such a deep impact in me! And the "edho edho" song from enakku 20 unakku 18 is also a lovely one... I love the way Karthik starts...

Agree with you on Thottal poo malarum.. that was one heck of a remix! But I like sakkara better.. the SPB factor..:D

Nithya Swaminathan said...

Hey, not a single number from Dil se, or Uyire for the Tams?!!! Thats not fair!!! You shud include "poongaatrile" which was a stunning composition, even though the Hindi version rocked more!

Anonymous said...

The choices are deliberately leaning towards the lesser-known songs I suppose.
"Kaiyil Midhakkum Kanavaagi" was Srinivas indeed, credited as Shreeni.
And wasn't "Oru Poiyaavathu Kannae" from Jodi composed by Sabesh-Murali? Heard someone telling me so quite some years ago that the bgm (this is credited for sure) and this song was composed by Sabesh-Murali. am not sure. I personally dint like the song and was convinced that it was Sabesh-Murali indeed.
May be this song is the jodi-equivalent of "Naendhikittu" song from Star (extra song composed by ARR for tam version, that is).

commonfriend said...

Good collection..

Obviously, one will leave out many a gems when they try to put some in a couple of CDs.

I hope you will play them next time when you play pool at the student centre.

Anand said...

Hey Anti! Nice job... of course I have so many others that are my personal favourties... but then again... this is 'your' Ipod playlist aint it? ;)

Anonymous said...

Wasn't Srinivas' debut "Sorgam enbathu namakku" from "Nammavar"? *Scratches head*

Harish said...

nice compilation aNTi.. but as commonfriend says, u still have missed quite a many gems. free-a vidunga.. naana irundha indha alavukku kooda shortlist panna kashta patturupaen! :)

buy I'm bloody glad u picked songs that've gone unnoticed by many!

Chenthil said...

The last line on IR saved you Anti :-).

KORANGOO said...

Hey Anti,
The movie 'Jodi' had 2 MDs, Rahman and Yuvan Shankar Raja. All the Rahman songs were a remake of 'Doli Saja Ke Rakhna'. Yuvan composed just one song, a beautiful sting called "Oru poiyavanthu".

So its not a Rahman composition.


anantha said...

Chenthil: That's a heartfelt statement... really...

Harish/Anand/Nithya: As Zero put it, this was a ARR primer in the "I bet you haven't heard this song before" mold even for Tams. Well, mostly. Which is why there is none from Uyire or Minsara Kanavu (despite Vennilave being one of my absolute overall favs)!

Harish: Ya, like I said, this is a compilation of mostly unnoticed gems.

Krithika: On second thoughts, you are right! Nammavar was Srinivas's debut!

Anand: Waiting for my Ipod yet :( But ya, this is my list!

Commonfriend: I don't think I'll play at the Student Center anytime in the future. God, I don't want to!

Zero: Ya, the bgms for Jodi were by Sabesh-Murali. But I think that "Oru Poyyavadhu Sol Kanne" was by ARR. I instantly warmed up to this song, mainly cos of Hariharan's humming at the start of the movie. Btw, there are two versions of the song in the album - one by Hariharan and one by Srinivas.

Nithya: Those on your list are absolute gems. And the song from Kizhakku Cheemayile that you are talking about is "Maanoothu Mandhaiyila Maangutti Petha Mayilu"! But for me the song of the movie was Aathangara Marame!

Prabha said...

hmm..nice collection
Theendai Mei Theendai is a lovely one..esp the last bit of the song...
but even a 2 disc collection doesnt do justice :)

anantha said...

Korangoo: Ummm, I tried to get a source that would link YSR to Jodi and got zilch. I am SURE that Jodi's by ARR alone, since I have a source that says that ARR agreed to compose this song that was added into the album much later (the original cassettes did not contain it), because of the "lukewarm response" to the re-used DSKR score.
And are u sure u are not confusing Jodi with Poovellam Kettuppar (YSR)? Cos both these movies had similar stories and there was some dispute when the movies were releasing.

Barath said...

still wondering..how would your friends at the univ center will feel if they get a chance to listen to arts like Dil se, Bombay, Alaipayuthe, Kandu kondein..., Roja, Muthu...and the essential/general tops...whatever the case...this is ur list! :) BTW what ya think abt a aah!?

dev2r said...

Dey, no song from 'Rhythm' ??? Blasphemy!

lazy geek said...

I would probably have Kadhal Rojavey and Aathangara Maramey in my list.

anantha said...

LG: Yup, in any other ARR list, I'd have them too!

Dev: Machi, Rhythm not in cos of Lakeer!

Barath: Ofcourse boss, these are not the songs I wanted to play for them. A different list for them! Would have the likes of No Problem, Mustafa, Shakala Baby etc. As for Aa Ahh.. its so so! Mayilirahe and Anbe Aaruyire are the saving graces, even now. More listening might change things, I don't know....

Prabha: Theendai is SPB at his best! Not to mention Thanga Thamarai Magale, Sakkara (as Nithya said earlier)...But thats for another list....

ioiio said...

I dont think U can do justice to ARR with two CDs..

But Paarkaathey paarkaathey wudnt have made any of my list any day..Was surprised to see that as no.1

Thamizha Thamizha/Kaadhal Rojaavey/all of uyire and rhythm r my all time favorites

Om said...

# Oru Naal - Swarnalatha (Andhimandharai, 1996) [Is it by Swarnalatha? I don't know, but can't find this song on Raaga or Musicindiaonline, which is shame!]

--- This song is very very highly ranked in my list of thalai's favs. At a point of I time I used to listen to this song every night while going to sleep. What a gem. What a voice!

And hey, what do u mean 'Is it by Swarnalatha?'. She has sung some of the absolute beauties by thalai. Poralae ponnuthayee(karuthamma), evano oruvan(alaipayuthe), Signore(Kannathil Muthamittal), etc. I wish he used her voice more often...

F e r r a r i said...

Thalaivar paatu kku rendu CD poraadhu naina.
But I love your collection.

And one song thats haunting me for past two days. Banno rani from 1947-Earth :-)

Nilu said...

Hmmmmm.....I stick to my stand - I hate the human voice.

Hawkeye said...


good list. i am an ARR and mottai fan. prefer to enjoy two of the greatest MDs of my time than fight over them.

i dont like "no problem" on the list though. but some of the lesser known rare gems that you have put here is a good idea. it certainly makes people go and check them out. u seem to be as much a fan of ARR as i am. oh i forget... we were in college when ARR rise began.. so the effect is inescapable.

Anonymous said...

still am not able to get out of the orphan-state of the additional song in Jodi.
dug quite a bit and got this link and got this info - just a passing guy mentioning that "Oru Poiyaavathu Sol" is composed by Sabesh-Murali. :p


P.S.:- Tamil music Databases suck. Heck, we are not able to resolve such a relatively small confusion. Should I rent Jodi tonight just to get peace into my trivia-mongering mind... :))))))))

anantha said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
anantha said...

Zero: I saw that link. But you have quoted "arr fan (@ bkj-cache81.jaring.my)"! And just a few msgs above, Gopal Srinivasan (who moderates the ARRahmanfans Yahoo group) is the one who actually starts the Jodi discussion on that link. In fact he emailed me yesterday with the same info.
Oru Poyavathu Sol Kanne was indeed composed by ARR. Around the time that Jodi was announced, Ramiy Records in Europe released a bootleg album called Oonjal which had tamil versions of the songs of Doli Saja Ke Rakhna. The makers of Jodi, which was to extensively reuse the tunes of DSKR panicked and rushed out the soundtrack of Jodi with another version of all the DSKR songs, even before a frame of the movie had been shot. I think the plan all along was to have a couple of new compositions. Around the time of the movie's release, the revised soundtrack comprising two versions of Oru POyavathu and Mel Nattu Isai was released. The one song that was dropped from the initial release was Vannapongavai Pol. To the best of my knowledge, Sabesh Murali were not credited for these songs on the soundtrack, in the movie or anywhere in the media. UNless the commenters on your blog have inside information I would be reluctant to accept their claim. Sabesh Murali did score teh background music for the film and in true ARR style reused the tunes of the songs in the BGM. This might have sparked off this speculation. As for YSR, this is the first time I am hearing his name in the context of any ARR film.

I'd take Gopal to be a better source of info! But mebbe u can really clear the confusion ;)

Bharath: No Problem was a unique song even by ARR standards. Adhukku munnadi, I am not sure whether someone did that kinda collaboration, except probably Biddu and Nazia Hassan (even assuming Nazia Hassan was a huge star before Aap Jaisa). No Problem tried to set a trend and not many, outside Tam land know about it.

Nilu: To each his own da ;)

Ferrari: Banno Rani... aaahh :)

Om: I was just trying to find out who the singer was. I thought it was Swarnalatha, but was not sure. When I made the list, I made it from memory and went back on Raaga for some clarifications (for eg. with Anbe). That certainly was not an exclamation of any sort. It was a question :)

ioiio: You still are not bowled over by the violin in that song? Hmmm, our tastes differ i guess!

loverBoy said...

Hey buddy, you got a great list there!

Hear ARR's latest Aa Aha! Musicz cool here too...

F e r r a r i said...

yaar pa ange. Indha paatu list pannina anti kku sooda oru ghee roast kodungapaa

Anonymous said...

and I dint have to rent Jodi, for god's sake, now....

Jagadish said...

Anantha, I've mailed Satish. Dont you have an RSS feed I can track?


வேதா said...

hi that was very nice collection.my favourites include kadal rojave from roja,netru illada matram from pudiya mugam,en mel vizhunda(may madham),kalayil dinamum (new).ofcourse arr rocks,but ir rules the music world.can something match mandram vantha thendral, raja raja chozhan nan,en eniya pon nilave,all songs from punnagai mannan oh my god! he is a genius yaar,he is the music god .he is unbeatable and he proved thro his thiruvasagam

viji said...

thrz 1 more amazing song frm "love birds"...
naalai ulagam illai endraanaal...

anantha said...

Viji: Hmmm, ya. Somehow No Problem appealed to me much better than the other songs in Love Birds. As I said, UQ (Uniqueness Quotient - aaah.. i coined the term!) much higher.

Veda: True True. I actually missed considering Kalayil Dhinamum on the list. But again, it was not anything new that he attempted. IMHO, Uyirum Neeye and Sakhiye Nee Dhan were much better, so I think I am ok with this miss.
Anyways, Mottai oda music oru kadal alavu and my knowledge kai mann alavu. I don't think I am even qualified to talk about his mastery. But having said that, I have to say, definitely, at this point of time, ARR seems to be doing relatively better. No offense meant. Yup, Thiruvasagam.... People still talk about Nothing But Wind and How to Name It. Kanna mudikittu, you just flow with the music. TiS a porutha varai, you need much more than a keen ear for music. Paapom, in time, we shall know. Till such time, I will still maintain Guru on top of my IR list!

Jagadish: Mine is not a RSS feed. Its that other thing that Blogger has, ya, Atom! Sometime I changed from RSS to Atom , just because Blogger went ooh aah over it. Avasara pattuten....Anyways, my atom feed is @ http://superstarksa.blogspot.com/atom.xml

Zero: lol...I dunno what it is with ARR and duds! I mean, he's been associated with so many duds like this (like the recent New / E20U18 / KKS)! I think he is too nice to say no to the people who gave him chances when he was a fresher!

Ferrari: Fat free ghee use panna sollunga ;)

Balaji said...

hardcore IR fan here. find many ARR's tunes to be amazing for a few listens but they havent stood the test of time. i rarely go back and listen to his albums the way i go back to 'idhayakoil' or 'ninaivellaam nithya'. but do agree that if i were to compile a few CDs of my fav songs, a few songs from your list will make it there :)

dev2r said...

Machi, Rhythm not in cos of Lakeer!
What's Lakeer?

Chakra Sampath said...

Cool list!
Last line is superb.. an apt disclaimer!!

capriciously_me said...

vandha kekara maadiri link-a podungappa!!!

ada-paavi!!!! said...

uvemissed 2 of ARR best movies : Bombay and duet! wit out em a ARR compilation can never be complete.
alaipayuthae also has some gud numbers, again mised (i mean essential list it shud be there)
roja absent again,

as chenthil said last line on IR saved u!

anantha said...

Vatsan: I have said it many a times in this same comments section. This is a concious attempt to steer past the usual suspects. You think, even after mentioning the words "hardcore ARR fan" to describe myself, I'd miss something as obvs as Duet? And ya, that last line was not to save myself, but save you guys from the trouble of lynching me virtually. So that disclaimer actually was to save *you* :p

CM: aamam, Ellathayum naane kuduthutta, apparam eppo dhaan neenga pudusa edhavadhu kandupidipeenga? The whole object of this exercise was to focus attention on ARR's lesser known films. Naan ella links ayum kudutha, you'd listen to just that one song and leave it ;) This way, you might discover something yourself!

Chakra: Thanks.

Dev: Lakeer was a hindi movie which had all the songs from Rhythm, in Hindi, that is! And ya, it had couple more songs as well and those songs might just be on a similar list of Hindi songs, but since those songs came out in Hindi and were played on TV, I made it a point to steer away from them. In contrast, some of these songs went unnoticed cos they were almost never played on TV!

Balaji: For me all/most of these songs are the play it again and again forever kinda songs. And as for you being a hardcore IR fan, I am one too. I can't choose between them. Mood a poruthu irruku, I guess!

ada-paavi!!!! said...

i got tat anti, but actually when u work towards a essential ARR music collection, and stuff like ARR for dummies shudnt it contain some of his best works? seriously think of it.
when u steer past the usual suspects, wat u actually do is educate ppl bout ARR, not provide the essential stuff,

an essential ARR collection for me will tell an entire generatoin whove missed ARR, under tat circumstances i feel it shud contain some of his best works,

but this is just my perspective,

my belif with ARR is tat till he went to bollywood and established himself as a musician of repute his music was good, then it dropped!

anantha said...

Vatsan: "wat u actually do is educate ppl bout ARR" - that was my intention. Hmmm.. my bad. Should have made it clear....

Praveen said...

IR ARR-nu pesartha paartha neenga TFMPage pakkam vanthirupeenga pola irukkae :)

GratisGab said...

good job anti-boy! now, new post please!

anantha said...

Gabby: Danks, will do...

Praveen: Not much da. I can't stand the whole IR vs ARR mud slinging. For one week I was a member of the IR fan group on Yahoo and I was totally pissed. The same holds true for the ARR group as well, but for that one week I found that the IR group was much much worser. So just decided to be a one man fan group for IR and a silent member on the ARR group.

Vinesh said...

Good list of songs!
Rahman has been totally rocking the industry with his consistent good music over the years.

Five of my favourites that I could immediately think of, that were missing from your list..

1. Poongaatrile Un Swaasathai (UYIRE)
2. Minnale Nee Vandhadhaenadi (MAY MAADHAM)
3. Poarkkalam Ange (THENAALI)
5. Vetrikkodi Kattu (PADAYAPPA)

As for the comment that it is not possible to compile even 2 CDs of Raaja's collection, I will smile at your ignorance (sorry if I sound harsh)

anantha said...

As for the comment that it is not possible to compile even 2 CDs of Raaja's collection, I will smile at your ignorance (sorry if I sound harsh)

Vinesh: You got me totally wrong there! I meant that you need much more than 2 discs for IR (refer to the second part of the same line i.e just as a top 10 list cannot do justice to ARR)! So now do you get what I am trying to say? God... I have a way of confusing people, I think!

Anonymous said...

The song from Love Birds "Naalai Ulagam"...there are dozens of songs like this which may not have been a super hit but nevertheless have haunted me till date..another song that i can think of immediately is the "Sugam Sugam" song from Vandi Cholai Chinnarasu.

Vinesh said...

@Anti: Cool buddy, I'm sorry I got it wrong. Your words had me fooled a bit :-)

B o o said...

Hi! I stumbled upon your blog today and I am amazed how ignorant I ve been all these days(months)without knowing one thing about Indieblogs. The list of ARR songs is cool except a couple of songs whose lyrics are highly objectionable. Also, my all time not-so-popular favourite song of ARR is "Rakozhi rendu" from Uzhavan. Yesudas and Swarnalatha are an awesome singer-duo, dont you think?

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