Tuesday, January 05, 2010

Anu Malik

Before the five of you who read my blog decide to judge me over this post or abandon me and my blog completely hear me out. I am no fan of Anu Malik and this post is not any attempt to change your personal opinion about the person. This post is about those songs composed by Anu Malik that I personally enjoyed and liked at some point of my life. Some of these, I still do. Anu with all his plagiarism or "inspired" compositions aside, did manage to give some memorable music. There is no denying that Anu ruled most of the 90s when it came to Hindi film music. His minor detour of dabbling in pop music is the kind of stuff SNL writers sink their teeth in :
Exhibit A -

Eeeegaawwddd!!

His musical career is mostly marred with such self-adulatory compositions or blatant plagiarism. Somewhere in between however, this son of Sardar Malik managed to churn out some decent melodies. This list is a quick collection of my personal Anu favorites (not in an order of liking). Do you have yours, if you care and dare to admit, i.e.?

Badalon mein chup raha hain - Phir Teri Kahani Yaad Aayee
Many of the Bhatt factory movies had Anu's music.The entire soundtrack of this movie is pretty awesome - Kaifi Aazmi's shayari is also noteworthy. On another note - remember Rahul Roy??

Churaake dil mera - Main Khiladi Tu Anari
This is an immensely hummable tune, although it falters in the antaras. Shilpa Shetty still can carry that leopard print outfit.

Aankhon mein base ho tum - Takkar
Aah, Sonali Bendre.....Ugh, Sunil Shetty. Beauty and the ugliest beast.

Sambhala hain maine - Naraaz
Another from the Bhatt factory. On another note, remember Atul Agnihotri?? What can be worse than a movie with Atul Agnihotri in it? A movie with both Atul Agnihotri and Rahul Roy in it!!

Panchee nadiyaan - Refugee
A beautiful tune and equally beautiful picturization. J P Dutta knew how to shoot Indian locales, especially Rajasthan.

Raah mein unse mulaqaat - Vijaypath
A fairly traditional track, but wins with its simplicity. Do you remember Ruk Ruk Ruk from this movie? Tabu shaking her Thunder Thighs like it's nobody's business.


Dekho Dekho Jaanam hum - Ishq
Another simple melody, from Kajol's unibrow days.

Aane wala kal ek sapna hain - Phir Teri Kahaani Yaad aayee
I am still trying to understand the lyrics of this song, Kumar Sanu surely ruled the 90s and featured in many of Anu's songs.

Jiske aane se - Diljale
Ignore the nasal "heenhh heennh heenhh" of Kumar Sanu, and this one is a decent melody, and of course Sonali again.
Koi Jaaye to le aaye - Ghatak
Mamta of the Kulkarnis gyrating to this catchy number from this Sunny-Raj Santoshi movie.
Taare hain baraati - Virasat
This was when Priyadarshan knew how to make decent movies. This song is one of his best picturised songs ever. It creates the atmosphere of a traditional Indian wedding wonderfully and the lighting in each frame is near perfect....fantastic. Jaspinder Narula's strong vocals elevate the tune even more.
Hume jabse mohabbat ho gayee hain - Border
A soft melody and J P Dutta captures the rustic Indian countryside beautifully once again.
Chunari Chunari - Biwi No. 1
Most of us know this from Monsoon Wedding, but this was it's original avatar. A terrific dance number.
Dil kehta hain - Akele hum akele tum
The Indian Kramer Vs Kramer had some plagiarized songs, but this one I think was an original.
Ajnabi shehar hain - Jaan-e-mann
Ok, the following two are not from the 90s, but neverthless beautiful tunes and yes Gulzar's words.

Sau Dard - Jaan-e-mann

7 comments:

Ambarish said...

hey ajit.. u did a good work and research on anu malik's songs.. i didnt know that some of the songs u listed here were composed by anu malik.. i personally never liked him for his arrogance, airy-headedness, etc.. but the songs u listed are really wonderful songs..

Urmimala said...

I agree..! There have been nice melodies indeed by him. I know when I had mentioned it to folks .. got raised eyebrows and such.

On similar lines maybe more radical - our dear Himesh Resh... - i actually liked the song "man ka radio". I am sure I am hearing lots of "how can you ...!! :) "

See ya.

Sargam said...

I am an unashamed Anu Malik fan.

It does get frustrating when people, who go on about their musical favourites, raise their eyebrows, as Urmila said, when I declare my love for Anu Malik's music.

I'm not deaf - so I know he has composed some stinkers in his time (Neela Dupatta Peela Suit!) and a lot of his work has been strictly average. So it's great to see you noticing 'the other side' of his work.

There is only a small number of films in Bollywood that allow Music Directors to do critically acclaimable work. My point is, you can't expect masterpiece music in a film like Judwaa, can you?! Given that people don't offer Malik many films with great musical potential (i.e. films like Devdas, Rang De Basanti, Lagaan) he's done well to make the many great soundtracks that he has.

My list of Malik favourites would be by the album, not per song:

Main Hoon Na, Baazigar, Virasat, Phir Teri Kahani Yaad Aayi, Border, Refugee, LOC Kargil, Umrao Jaan, Yaadein, Aks, Asoka, Fiza, Filhaal, Jaan-e-Mann, Kareeb. (Other Anu Malik albums also have great numbers, but the above are all consiistently awesome soundtracks.)

As all who read this will see, there is an exceptional variety in his work. Anu Malik's versatility is truly comparable to that of A R Rahman's. The thing that has prevented Malik from being 'accepted' is his inconsistency.

And annoyingly, films for which he has made great music have been box office duds so the music didn't reach the masses.(e.g. Refugee, Umrao Jaan, Jaan-e-mann, Aks, Asoka - his top 5 albums). Whereas films like Munnabhai MBBS, No Entry, Biwi No 1 etc., for which Malik did normal masala music, went on to be successes.

Sargam said...

I am an unashamed Anu Malik fan.

It does get frustrating when people, who go on about their musical favourites, raise their eyebrows, as Urmila said, when I declare my love for Anu Malik's music.

I'm not deaf - so I know he has composed some stinkers in his time (Neela Dupatta Peela Suit!) and a lot of his work has been strictly average. So it's great to see you noticing 'the other side' of his work.

There is only a small number of films in Bollywood that allow Music Directors to do critically acclaimable work. My point is, you can't expect masterpiece music in a film like Judwaa, can you?! Given that people don't offer Malik many films with great musical potential (i.e. films like Devdas, Rang De Basanti, Lagaan) he's done well to make the many great soundtracks that he has.

My list of Malik favourites would be by the album, not per song:

Main Hoon Na, Baazigar, Virasat, Phir Teri Kahani Yaad Aayi, Border, Refugee, LOC Kargil, Umrao Jaan, Yaadein, Aks, Asoka, Fiza, Filhaal, Jaan-e-Mann, Kareeb. (Other Anu Malik albums also have great numbers, but the above are all consiistently awesome soundtracks.)

As all who read this will see, there is an exceptional variety in his work. Anu Malik's versatility is truly comparable to that of A R Rahman's. The thing that has prevented Malik from being 'accepted' is his inconsistency.

And annoyingly, films for which he has made great music have been box office duds so the music didn't reach the masses.(e.g. Refugee, Umrao Jaan, Jaan-e-mann, Aks, Asoka - his top 5 albums). Whereas films like Munnabhai MBBS, No Entry, Biwi No 1 etc., for which Malik did normal masala music, went on to be successes.

Sargam said...

sorry for the double post guys

Rathchakra said...

@Sargam - Thanks for the thoughts and the list of your favorites (Fiza - what a great soundtrack that was). However, I would not go so far as putting Anu on the same pedestal as an ARR.
@"The thing that has prevented Malik from being 'accepted' is his inconsistency."
I think it's more to do with his integrity to his art and profession more than inconsistency. Generating mediocre music is not so much an issue (all artists have generated mediocre art at some point in their careers), as someone who unabashedly copies someone else's art and calls it his/her own, is a CRIME, no matter how one looks at it. And that's what gives Anu a bad name (deservedly), he has done it so many times that it cannot be ignored as minor lapses of judgment. Although, I would agree that he has generated good original music (and hence the post) unlike the other thieves of his era - Anand-Milind, Nadeem-Shravan etc. Pritam today is the king of "inspiration", but that's for another post.

Sargam said...

Sorry, I tend to take a very 'industry' point of view in these matters. So I concede on the two points on which you challenged me.

1. It is indeed wrong for me to compare Anu
Malik's amateurish versatility (he is a completely untrained musician after all) with ARR's mastery over most genres including jazz, bhajan, waltz, thumri, Sufi, hiphop and even the traditional Bollywood love duet! My statement arose from industry magazines which in the 90s ( before Rahmania and Malik's downfall) would often compare the two.

2. Again, when I mentioned acceptability, I meant that from the film industry itself. And as you would know, Bollywood is not too big on artistic integrity - so Malik's plagiarism cannot be blamed for the fact that he never got work from the prestigious Yash Raj banner, or that he didn't get repeated by Subhash Ghai, Dharma Productions, VVC or R Mehra. It was his inconstinency that lost him favour.

But I definitely agree with you - he plagiarises . A lot. But his best work is original. Of the 15 albums I mentioned, only four songs were 'inspired'. And I do mean inspired in the proper sense - they were not direct lifts, rather he took an aspect of the original and worked on it to make something new. Check out items 1, 24, 47 & 61 at http://www.itwofs.com/hindi-am.html for more details.