After more than 3 months, back to this thread. Music is an integral part of Indian cinema; hardly are there movies without songs. Since this is a vast subject, I will not touch upon the old movies/music and the verdict would be solely based on the current state of quality.
Tamil film music directors(MD):
Tamil film music directors(MD):
The unarguable leader is AR Rahman. His growth was phenomenal, but fortunately/coincidentally happened during the time when Ilayaraja's music started to sound less and less interesting. From 1992-2000, much of his attention was in Tamil cinema but ever since then, he first became a 'National music director' and then 'International MD'. I would still include him under 'Tamil' category.
Following closely on his footsteps are extremely talented and promising MDs like Yuvan Shankar Raja and Harris Jayaraj. One can always expect something different and exciting from these two. They are ready to take the mantle from Rahman, in case he decides to score most of his music outside Tamil. Next level includes Vidyasagar, and Bharadwaj. Others are, IMHO, good enough for a good surprise number here or there. Since most of the viewers of this blog are Tamils, I dont think I need to write more about the achievements of the aforementioned MDs.
Hindi film MDs:
Until Rahman's 'Rangeela', Hindi film music was rather mostly predictable. MDs like Laxmikant-Pyarelal, Kalyanji-Anandji and even RD Burman (1942 A Love Story was a glorious exception) liked to use 'Violin-based music' a lot, which made most of the songs and tunes monotonous. After Rahman's entry, they realized that they need to change their music-making style in order to survive in the industry. Unlike in Tamil, music companies (such as Tips and Venus) had a much bigger say in the movie matters, so their constant pressure resulted in a forced form of Hindi music in the late 90's. Some survived to give good numbers, whereas some faded into the background. That was the time when the 'remixes' and Indi-pop albums made unwelcome entry into the mainstream music. Needless to mention, the quality of film music largely sucked then. I would touch upon some recent music directors and their prowess.
Right now, they are undoubtedly #1 in Hindi. They started off slowly with 'Mission Kashmir', 'Dil Chahta hai', and 'Armaan' as noteworthy albums in their first 3 years; but with 'Kal ho naa ho', their ascent to the present position has been very steady. They have Rahman-touch in their music, but they cleverly mix and blend Western and Indian music to give us some mesmerizing numbers. Their recent hits include 'Bunty aur Babli', 'KANK' and now, 'Don'. If famous and young directors like Farhan and Karan continue to stick to them, they are sure to sustain their position for quite sometime now.
Though they gave a super-hit 'Jo jeeta wohi Sikandar' early in their career, the turning-point in their career was 'DDLJ' and there was no looking back for them since then. Well, almost.. they were the #1 choice for big banner movies, (KKHH, Mohabbattein, etc.) but they had a rough patch in the late 90's-early 2000's, when only Rahman and remixes ruled. This duo is famous for having rendered music to some of the most melodious, soft and romantic Hindi songs. Their recent hits include 'Hum tum' and 'Fanaa', esp. the latter. I strongly recommend the music of Fanaa, for those who havent listened to it. Mind-blowing..
If I had to list the Hindi MDs for their number of albums, Anu Malik would have certainly at the top of the list, but that is his problem too. He is almost like our 'Deva'.. too many movies at a time, and sometimes all of their music suck. He has had a successful collaboration with the masala directors Abbas-Mastan, but a decline in the quality of their movies of late affected his fortunes too. After memorable music in late 90's like Virasat, Border, Ishq, Kareeb and Soldier in the late 90's, he was sort of pushed back later by others. Like 'Deva', he was also labelled 'copycat' for so obvious and shameless 'inspirations' from outside Hindi. His recent hit albums that I liked were 'Murder' and, to some extent, 'Mein hoo na'.
They were once very exciting and promising duo, after the success of 'Aashiqui' in early 90's.. Their music became a rage, with a string of hits like 'Dil hai ki maanta nahin', and 'Hum hai rahi pyar ke'. Later, they were riding very high with the success of music of 'Barsaat', 'Raja Hindustani', and 'Pardes' when tragedy struck. Nadeem was accused in the murder of Gulshan Kumar and he had to live in UK for a few years. So, the frequency of their movies decreased but still they managed to give hits like 'Dhadkan', 'Raaz', and 'Andaaz'. 'Pari pari' from 'Hungama' is a sweet number. Things might have been very different for them if not for that major glitch during a crucial time.
There are others like Uttam Singh (Dil to Pagal Hai, Gadar), Himesh Reshammiya (MD of Kamal's 'Dasaavataram'; his Hindi memorables are Tere naam and Aashiq banaya apne; I dont like him as a singer and with that cap..), and Ismail Darbar (Hum dil de chuke sanam, Devdas, Kisna) who give some hit numbers once a while. But, if you do a head-to-head comparison, in terms of the versatility, creativity, novelty and quality, Tamil music directors edge past their Hindi counterparts.
So, the lead for Tamil is 3-1.
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