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01-05-2009, 03:20 PM #1
Music Trend: Old songs are finding their way into new films
Music Trend: Old songs are finding their way into new films Click here to add this article to My Clips
By Screen Weekly, January 5, 2009 - 09:04 IST
Old songs are finding their way into new films - the latest examples being in Slumdog Millionaire and Chandni Chowk To China. The mechanics differ from film to film, but the trend seems here to stay
Bappi Lahiri personally mutates his own 1976 cult song in an ultra-gimmicky way complete with actually meaningful Chinese lyrics in Chandni Chowk To China where the regular songs are being done by Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy and Kailash-Paresh-Naresh. Changed considerably, starting with the mukhda that goes India se aaya mera dost, it is the latest example in a decade-long line of licensed inclusion of songs in contemporary films.
The earliest way of paying tribute to old songs was to spoof them as single or multiple tracks. Called parodies, this trend began from the '40s and reached to the early '90s, whereas in Maine Pyar Kiya (1989), original mukhdas were strung up together. The K.L.Saigal classic Ek bangla bane nyaara played on a vintage gramophone in Do Raaste (1969) and Babul mora was heard similarly in Purab Aur Paschim (1971). But despite the copyrights being with the same music company, the songs were not featured in the new films' albums.
The first time
Mast (1999) used the 1982 hit Pooncho na yaar kya hua from Zamaane Ko Dikhana Hai in the voices of Sonu Niigaam, Sadhana Sargam and Nitin Raikwar with some minor musical changes by Sandeep Chowta. The lyrics too were altered and the Venus soundtrack gave due credits to original creators R.D.Burman and Majrooh Sultanpuri and music label Universal- a first in the industry.
The vintage motif
The reasons for re-use obviously vary from case to case. A common reason was the situationally-apt number, like the songs used on the Bluffmaster! soundtrack that had Chetan Sa****al's and Saira Husain's vocals added onto the original Mehmood track of Na biwi na baccha (Sabse Bada Rupaiya), besides a re-creation of Neela aasmaan from Silsila and the use of original Kishore Kumar (Do Aur Do Paanch's title-song) and Geeta Dutt (Tadbeer se bigdi hui/Baazi) songs. All these songs were shown playing in discos and pubs within the film.
In Salaam-e-ishq, Geeta Dutt's Babuji dheere chalna from O.P.Nayyar's 1954 Aar Paar was recreated since Anjana Sukhani was shown teaching retro dance to students.
Nostalgia was obviously the common thread for the use of such songs. In Jogger's Park (2003), Dil jalta hai to jalne do, the 1945 Mukesh hit from Pehli Nazar rendered like the original in Saigal-esque mode by Sudesh Bhosle, was fittingly filmed on Victor Banerjee in heartbroken mode.
Finally, Mohammed Rafi's Aaj mausam bada beimaan hai from Laxmikant-Pyarelal's Loafer was incorporated in Monsoon Wedding, both in the film itself as well as on the album.
The ubiquitous Rishi Kapoor
In 1973, Rishi Kapoor arrived like a romantic typhoon with Bobby followed by Khel Khel Mein. Obviously, his youthful songs were manna from heaven. 31 years later, as Saif Ali Khan's portly father in Hum Tum (a film title derived from the Bobby hit, Hum tum ek kamre mein band ho), Rishi made his screen entry singing another Bobby evergreen, Main shaayar to nahin. The song, re-recorded by Jatin-Lalit in the original singer Shailendra Singh's voice, was however not incorporated in the film's soundtrack, but when the Rishi Kapoor-Dimple Kapadia team of Bobby came back together as a middle-aged couple in Pyaar Mein Twist, he tangoed on-screen to his Khel Khel Mein chartbuster Khullam khulla pyar karenge complete with the introductory passage Kya tumne kabhi kisise pyar kiya? and the prelude music of his Karz chartbuster Om shanti om. Ranbir Kapoor too recited the same lines from Karz in his debut film Saawariya.
Besides Zamaane Ko Dikhana Hai mentioned above, Rishi's Bachna ae haseeno from Hum Kisise Kum Naheen was used as a promotional video and inspired the title of the Yash Raj film starring Rishi's son Ranbir. Technology came to their aid as add-on tracks are necessary for proper sound reproductions of old "mono" tracks and Vishal-Shekhar blended the original Kishore Kumar track with a fresh segment rendered by Kishore's son Sumit Kumar. The circle of nostalgia was complete!
Rishi Kapoor's songs have always enjoyed iconic status. His classic from L-P's Karz, Ek hasina thi was re-mixed ingeniously by Himesh Reshammiya in that film's 2008 remake, Karzzzz. Himesh was also shown singing the mukhda of Dard-e-dil dard-e-jigar, another Karz perennial, in Aap Kaa Surroor.
Yash Raj Films seemed to work a lot around old hit songs, using them as surprisingly-apt titles for their films, beginning with Dilwale Dulhania Le Jayenge and moving on to Hum Tum, Laaga Chunari Mein Daag, Bachna Ae Haseeno and now Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi!
A music group dedicated to R.D.Burman was shown in Jhankaar Beats wherein a remix of Hamein tumse pyar kitna from Kudrat was re-created in the voice of Kishore's elder son Amit Kumar. If this song was tweaked to sound modern, so was Mehbooba o mehbooba with a half-beat twist by Himesh Reshammiya in Aap Kaa Surroor. And when Ram Gopal Varma remade Sholay as Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag, his version of Mehbooba was almost entirely changed.
A trend comes to stay
Now A.R.Rahman has re-recorded Choli ke peeche from Laxmikant-Pyarelal's Khal-Nayak in his much-acclaimed international film Slumdog Millionaire (besides Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy's Aaj ki raat from Don - The Chase Begins). The film needed a '90s whiff with its energy and the composer felt that no song fitted better than this 1993 chartbuster. Rahman has also repeated the original singers - Alka Yagnik and Ila Arun - but recorded the song afresh with contemporary treatment.
Remakes, obviously, are also an excellent matrix for re-treated old songs, as these films need a maximum re-connect with the audience. Apart from the Sholay and Karz examples, we had Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy giving contemporary colour to Kalyanji-Anandji's timeless Khaike paan Banaraswala (with add-on lyrics) and Yeh mera dil in their Don remake. Viju Shah too reprised Thoda sa thehero and Do bechare, two more chartbusters by the senior duo, when he "inherited" the remake of his father's and uncle's cult caper Victoria No. 203.
Notes of caution
B-Graders Double Cross - Ek Dhokha and 99.9 FM used a host of old originals and remixes, while in Dil Vil Pyar Vaar, 13 R.D.Burman numbers were re-recorded with original lyrics and used as regular songs. But the change in form (solos to duets etc.) was rejected. Obviously, conditions do apply.
01-05-2009, 06:28 PM #2