After his National Award-winning debut with Roja, Rahman went on to deliver back-to-back hits and it marked an era of music that is cherished till today.
Compiling a favourite list of songs from Rahman’s discography is no mean task as the composer has made sure he catered to all kinds of music-lovers and experimented with all kinds of music. But here’s a list of 5 songs that needs to be on everyone’s playlist.
This song is a classic for a reason. “Pudhu Vellai Mazhai” works on every level as a soft, romantic song, be it the visuals or the harmony between the composition and the lyrics. Singers Kavitha Krishnamoorthy and Unni Menon compliment each other perfectly as they give life to Vairmuthu’s brilliant lyrics depicting and comparing the essence of the lead pair’s firsts – their first time in the snow and their first time with each other. But understanding the lyrics is only an added bonus because the melody is simply enough to transcend all language barriers.
Everybody in the 90s made sure they had a cassette of Kadhalan in their walkmans because the whole album is amazing. With hits like “Muqabala Muqabala” and “Petta Rap”, the album will always go down in history as one of Rahman’s best works. But there is something about the eclectic and mega-fun “Urvasi Urvasi” that stands out. So much so that it inspired popstar Will.I.Am to do a version of his own.
Showing us that Rahman is truly the master of soulful music, is this song from the movie Indira. There are two renditions in the movie, by Hariharan and Harini respectively. Although I am partial towards Hariharan’s version, it is impossible to simply ignore them both and their beautiful contribution to this song. Vairamuthu’s lyrics goes on to make it a masterpiece.
It was back in 2009 that Indian composer A.R. Rahman was honoured with two Oscars for his song Jai Ho. Cut to 2020, the foot-tapping number made it to an original song montage at the Oscars ceremony in Los Angeles.
Rahman had struck gold for original score and original song in Danny Boyle’s Slumdog Millionaire.
On a Sunday night, American composer-lyricist-actor Lin-Manuel Miranda presented the montage that included hits from Slumdog Millionaire, Titanic and Wayne’s World.
Emily Heward of Music OMH called “Jai Ho” an “exuberant Bollywood dance number” that “encapsulates the film’s feel-good-factor, and reminds us just how much this score deserves the accolades it has already won and the many it is sure still to receive – just as India’s most treasured composer deserves the new-found global recognition it has earned him”.
With its catchy beats and dynamic dance moves, AR Rahman’s Mukkala Muqabla from the 1994 Tamil movie Kadhalan remains one of the most popular songs of all time even to this day. While the Tamil version was a runaway hit at that time, heard across every club, disco, restaurant, marriage hall, its dubbed versions in Hindi and Telegu were also well received by the audience.
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