8 comments on “Sometimes a Movie with Great Songs Really Is As Good As the Songs

  1. I just love this music and I love the songs, so much so that I even tolerate Bharat Bhushan!

    Ishq, ishq is a quawali that I listen to over and over and Maine shayad tumhein is a poem of such love…

  2. Bawa, glad that this was a hit for you! Do you really find Bharat Bhushan intolerable? That’s pretty funny. I thought he was all right here, and I was thinking that he might be pretty good in Baiju Bawra (a movie that I haven’t seen yet but have seen a few clips from – and which impresses me a lot with the music too). I must admit, though, watching his character(s) on screen, I ended up wondering how or why all these wonderful women fell so madly in love with him. I figured it was a combination of the songs/poetry and the hairdo.

  3. I like Baiju Bawara, and love the songs, but cannot stand Bharat Bhushan: such a wet fish! But maybe tastes change..
    Naushad re-recorded songs in the 70s? or so and O Duniya ke Rakhwale from BB was one of them. He recalls in the introduction that Rafi had to practise for 15-20 days before recording the song (he said he was testing Rafi’s range so it was written deliberately), and couldn’t sing for days afterwards.

    But he observes that in the re-recording Rafi actually went 2 notes higher than in the original, so obviously, like a good tenor who takes care of his vocal cords, his voice was improving and maturing over time.

    Nowadays it would all be lost as they only have to sing 1 note at time…no wonder so many professional HIndi film playback singer are embarrassingly bad when singing live (I am thinking of the Mission Ustaad tv programme where there were some truly horrendous performances..)

  4. Bawa, as I’ve mentioned before, I agree that the old filmi music is far better for the most part than the newer stuff and that it would probably be impossible to find a new singer with the talents of Rafi these days (or at least it would impossible to find one in popular movies). On the other hand, I have strangely mixed feelings when people complain about music being produced through advanced technological processes rather than being able to do things purely “live.” I’ve also been a big fan of electronic pop music and have been happy to hear old stuff put into a new context through sampling, etc. If something sounds good in the end, that’s fine with me.

    I suppose that when these singers try to do their act live and fail so badly, part of the problem is “faking it.” A musician who is really open about the technical process will admit that something cannot come off right “live” without the right technological ingredients.

    I guess a good example of that is M.I.A. I was a pretty big M.I.A. fan when I started this blog, so I saw her act a couple of times live back in 2007 (and saw clips of her live going back a bit further). Of course, I never said that she was a good singer, and I don’t think anyone in their right mind would (though she is a decent rapper, which is a different way of using the vocal chords). But she has been very good at producing music through the technical process, finding interesting things (like old music from Ilaiyaraaja) and mixing them up with everything else. Her live show was full of people working with technical equipment and tapes, and nobody expected otherwise.

    Maybe these new filmi singers would do better if they just admitted that the technological process is a big part of their work and didn’t try to pretend that they could do something live without the same kind of processing that they get in their film work. (Though I guess there’s the danger that if everybody becomes so open about the process, more people will say the hell with the singers, let’s just see the music directors! Or let’s just go see a DJ like Bally Sagoo.)

    Anyway, just a few thoughts here – hope I haven’t gone off too much on an abstract kind of tangent…

  5. Memsaab, I’m glad that you’re enjoying Tommmydan1’s site. In addition to the fact that he has some good films up there, the quality of the song clips is excellent (and I know he works hard to make it so). And unlike with the movies, you don’t need to download the player and register to see the song clips – so nobody has an excuse not to go there! :)

    I do wish there were a way to embed Veoh.com clips into a WordPress.com blog, but as far as I know, the only way to embed clips is to follow the directions for YouTube, Dailymotion and Google (and something else which I can’t quite figure out :) , and I can’t see a way of doing this.

    Oh, well…

    Have you seen all the great Helen clips that he’s just added to the videos page? You might have already known that he has a separate “Helen channel,” but when I checked his regular site, there were tons of new old Helen clips up there, including lots of black-and-white stuff that is really great.

  6. Hello Richard,

    Thanks for the long and thoughtful reply. I have nothing against electronic or technological processing myself. M.I.A. is good.Bands we danced to(remember our exposure was ltd by what was available in a town in in India) were Abba and Boney M, but previously, Dad had a collection records including Bill Haley and the Comets, Pat Boone, Shirley Bassey! and the Beatles :) I myself went and bought Kraftwerk with my b’day money, and when in the UK, liked The Smiths and Ian Dury & The Blockheads.
    By now, we have a very eclectic collection indeed.

    I think you made the point well when you say that people who do not acknowledge that what they owe is due to technology…and who forget that any singer, well has to sing and that is practise practise everyday.
    One of the most used female voices around sang Lata’s “Yashomati maiya se bole nand lala” on Mission Ustaad, and I was squirming with embarrasment. It would alright if it was an amateur, but if you are going to be on TV… then I thought, maybe that is really the Best they can do, being never called upon to sing a thing from beginning to end.

    There is a guy who posts amateur sings singing in Patna Bihar because they love music, and there are some heart-warning singers like this girl

    But its nice when you find people who appreciate old, lovely Hindi film music.

  7. Richard, I should explain that I have managed to post the one clip with a lot of talking and no subtitles. Basically she is explaining how another fellow student was committing a mistake by changing scales in the middle of a song, but could not hear her mistake despite the teacher telling her where….and she demonstrates by giving an excellent rendition herself! The pause in the middle is to tell where the other girl was making the mistake..

    At the end she says she gets goose-pimples (you can see the gesture) everytime she sings this song, because it is so wonderful.
    so another non-talking number would be:

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