The Best Movie Album

Listening to music from Dil Se now, and thinking of the best movie album that I have heard….the most important criterion is that all songs must be good. All of them. Overall listening satisfaction must be high. As Jatin said, I should be able to play Side A and Side B of the tape without any need to forward/rewind/stop. To be fair to Indian Movie culture, the album should have at least 5 songs.

Ok, without further ado, here are the contenders for the top 5 favorite albums of all time:

Dil Se – But for Satrangi Re, this would have been a clear winner. Also, could have had a theme song. But the overall effect is incredible. Rahman has elevated music to true bliss in those five other songs. Classy Urdu lyrics in Chaiyya Chaiyya, also an element of abandon that hits me each time I experience this song, great fusion stuff in Jiya Jale, the absolutely haunting Ae Ajnabi, and the I-cant-place-my-finger-on-it-but-something-about-this-song-captivates-me title song….

Aaradhana – Legend has it that R.D has as much to do with this as S.D. Either way, father and son have come up with this truly evergreen music album that every romantic swears by. Sapnon Ki Raani is my personal favorite, with great romance, loads of attitude, and the echoing train jingles in the background. The romantic Kora Kagaz Tha Yeh Man Mera, the peppy Gunguna Rahi Hai, the seductive Roop Tera Mastana, and the pathos-filled Saphal Hogi Teri Aaradhana….probably any music director’s best rendering of his own song ever….

Geeta (Kannada) – This is one incredible composition by Ilayaraja. All songs are top notch. Except for maybe the antara sections of Kelade Nimageega where the tribal stuff starts. One classy album, this. The best use of drums in Indian music. Check out the title song….Boy!!

Khamoshi (New) – I might be a little biased toward this one as I heard this when I was in the throes of first love. But I still like it, I love it. Jaana Suno, Bahon Ke Darmian, Ae Dil Sunraha Hai – All of these take me back to the glorious days of second year pre-university.

Rangeela – None of the songs are exceptional, but all of them are great. For overall satisfaction (at least for me), its up there at the top. I remember having listened to this tape over and over again, maybe Kya Kahe Kya Na Kahe more times than the last one in Side B that was sung by Rahman. But overall, this one makes it to my top-5. Maybe I am biased, but I do love this one.

Very close next-level contenders are Guide, Abhimaan, Bombay, Roja, Kati Patang, Phir Teri Kahani Yaad Ayi, Aashiquie, Raaja Nanna Raaja (Kannada), Kavi Ratna Kalidasa (Kannada), Dilwale Dulhaniya Le Jayenge, Dil To Pagal Hai, Safar, Jewel Thief, Amar Prem, and a few more…Of coruse, its just my list, and overall satisfaction was the main criterion. If individual songs were to be considered…..I would be literally out of words.

A song is worth a thousand theories

I am listening to Tere Bina Zindagi Se Koyi Shikhwa Nahin from Andhi, sung by the I-can-so-imitate-him-but-he-still-remains-elusively-inimitable Kishore Kumar and Lata. It is so easy to lose myself in this song, in the lyrics, and in all those emotions and memories that take over and transport me someplace else.

This particular song has a curious mix of pathos and elation. The protagonists feel bad about the lost years that they couldn’t be together, but in their glances and gestures they display a love which transcends age and which speaks of a hope about the future. This paradox of emotions is captured in the first 2 lines of the lyrics –

Tere bina zindagi se koyi shikhwa to nahin, shikhwa* nahin…
Tere bina zindagi bhi lekin, zindagi…toh nahin, zindagi nahin, zindagi nahin…

*shikhwa == complaint

I resist the urge to ponder about why I feel so strongly about a song; what it is that results in a rush of blood to the head, a rush of blood to the heart. Literally.

I ponder about listing all those moments when I have felt similarly. Can I figure out some pattern? I am anyway not able to deduce any deterministic theory to explain emotions…..but I do sense a very strong link between music, memory, and emotion. Music moulds memories around dominant thoughts and emotions about current events as I listen to it. The same music is able to recall those memories or emotions about the same events in a jiffy after ages. What baffles me is that simple commands are enough to recall facts, but recalling emotions seems to be much harder. But music and smell have helped me recall emotions. They have made me re-live some of the same emotions now; I am re-living one right now.