AR Rahman's best songs, from the Rockstar OST to Thiruda Thiruda: Firstpost Playlist

FP Staff

Jan,07 2017 09:34:10 IST

Through 2016, every weekend, the Firstpost newsdesk got together to put out a playlist that reflected our individual preferences in music. From songs in a number of Indian languages to rock, pop, dance music, country, the classics — one thing you were assured of, was that the mix would be eclectic. But for this second weekend of 2017, we've got a playlist dedicated entirely to the genius of AR Rahman. Why? Well, Rahman celebrated his 50th birthday on 6 January. And if that wasn't as good a reason as any, there's the fact that we're united in our love for all tunes Rahman.

So here's an all-Rahman playlist. Plug in those earphones, and let the Mozart of Madras sweep you off your feet:

'Khoon Chala' from Rang De Basanti

You cannot pick just one song of Rahman's. It's unfair and impossible. His genius shone in Roja, 'Veerapandi Kottaiyile' from Thiruda Thiruda, 'Uyire Uyire' from Bombay, 'New York Nagaram' from Sillunu Oru Kaadhal. Rahman changed things forever in Bollywood with his Hindi compositions. We can endlessly listen to Rangeela, Thakshak, Mangal Pandey, Dil Se, Pukaar, 1947: Earth, Zubeidaa, Yuva (the Tamil album was mind-blowing as well) — I could go on without pausing.

Rang De Basanti is one such album of Rahman's. Each song has a haunting quality and sends shivers down one's spine. In this particular song — 'Khoon Chala' — no one noticed Mohit Chauhan's resurgence because of the sheer extraordinary brilliance of this track.

— Devparna Acharya


'Rasaathi En Usuru' (cover) by Job Kurien

Job Kurien breathes a new life into this classic folk meets acapella composition by AR Rahman in Thiruda Thiruda. The song, originally sung by Shahul Hameed, espouses the sentiment of a man unable to come to terms with deep feelings of love and loss — viraham, if you will. It's a fairly underrated song, compared to the composer's other obvious hits.

'Gira Dil Kahin Dafatan' from Delhi 6

This has to be one of Rahman's less-listened to songs. This is the only song I truly love from Delhi 6 even after eight years of its release. Prasoon Joshi's lyrics are not the only poetry in this song — it's everything, the pace and the arrangement of the music.

Sample this: Sipiyon ke honth se moti chalak rahein hain/ Ghazlon ki sohbat mein geet bhi behek rahein hain/ Samundar... lehron ki... lehron ki chadar odh ke so raha hai

It even makes for a fantastic video with the two different worlds of New York and New Delhi melding, almost like a visual representation of how we make space for all the things that fascinate us in our own contexts.

— Vishnupriya Bhandaram


'Tu bole, main bolun' from Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na

One of the most underrated songs by AR Rahman is 'Tu bole, main bolun', the title song of the movie Jaane Tu... Ya Jaane Na. Only an artist like Rahman could use elements of jazz in a Bollywood song in such a beautiful and harmonious way. A unique aspect of the song, which separates it from the usual Bollywood songs, is the instrumental in the last minute of the song which uses the trumpet to again show us the talent of Rahman. (By the way, ignore the video in this track and focus only on the music.)

— Anshu Lal


Rockstar soundtrack

One of the hardest things you'll ever have to do is pick your favourite AR Rahman song. It's just criminal. With such a vast range of songs, soundtracks and background music that is equally spell-binding, it may take me a whole day of getting lost in his music to come up with a list of my top 20 songs, and even then, I may be fighting internally to pick the top five. So I've decided to make my (and everyone else's) life easier, and list out some of his best soundtracks. Some of my favourites are Taal, Roja, Thiruda Thiruda, Bombay, Rangeela, Dil Se, 1947: Earth, Alaipayuthey, Kannathil Muthamittal, Delhi 6, Ok Kanmani, Highway, Vinaythandi Varuvaya, Tamasha.

And then there's Rockstar. Rockstar's soundtrack is a story on its own. It has it's own musical film playing out while the plot of the film unfurls. It is the glue that sticks Imtiaz Ali's brilliance together. There are no words to describe this soundtrack. I wish there were; I'd have written an essay.

A superficial listen to album will tell you it's about loss and love, self-discovery. But Rockstar has its own vocabulary. Each song from Rockstar, be it 'Shehar Mein', 'Jo Bhi Main', 'Nadaan Parindey', 'Kun Faya Kun' tells us a story about its central character Janardan Jordan. Even the album's weakest song, 'Sadda Haq', is better than some of the stuff we hear today. "

Here's 'Aur Ho', from the soundtrack. Tune in, Tune out.

— Swetha Ramakrishnan

Updated Date: Jan 07, 2017 09:34 AM