In the Slumdog Millionaire review the other day I called composer A.R. Rahman a “Bollywood legend” and, for those of you unfamiliar with his oeuvre I thought I’d give you a few samples to demonstrate what I mean.
I first heard Rahman’s music when I stumbled across an mp3 from the 1998 film Dil Se.. on some blog or other. It was catchy as all get out and I was hooked. This is “Chal Chaiyya Chaiyya” which was re-purposed slightly for the Rahman-Lloyd Webber West End musical “Bombay Dreams” in 2002.[audio:http://funeralsandsnakes.net/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/chaiyya-chaiyya.mp3] Sukhwinder Singh & Sapna Awasthi — Chal Chaiyya Chaiyya (right click to download)
When I was running the Paramount back in 2004, we had a regular Bollywood Sunday night hire and one of the featured films was the big budget epic drama Swades: We the People starring Shahrukh Khan. The promoter gave me a copy of the soundtrack as a thank you and it became one of my favourite CDs of the year. This is “Yeh Tara Woh Tara”, the opening theme:[audio:http://funeralsandsnakes.net/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/01-yeh-tara-woh-tara.mp3] Udit Narayan, Master Vignesh, Baby Pooja & Kids — Yeh Tara Woh Tara (right click to download)
Finally, from Slumdog itself “Jai Ho”, one of two Rahman songs nominated for this year’s Best Original Song Oscar:[audio:http://funeralsandsnakes.net/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/13-jai-ho.mp3] A.R. Rahman (feat. Sukhvinder Singh, Tanvi Shah, Mahalaxmi Iyer & Vijay Prakash) — Jai Ho (right click to download)
Rahman has two of the three Oscar song nominations this year. I’m looking forward to seeing what the telecast looks like. In fact, I may even take a little time off that afternoon to check it out.