My love for Ilayaraja’s music is nothing new. I want to hear the man, live, at least once. Hopefully, it’ll happen sooner than later.
This week is Ilayaraja special on Airtel Super singers. Some of these kids have been doing such a wonderful job! Its got into this total Raja mood. Today, I woke up and played some of my favourite Raja songs while I made some yummy badam kheer! It put me in such a wonderful mood for the rest of the day. I’ve always wanted to make a list of my favourite Ilayaraja songs. But I have so many favourites that its hard to pick out only a select few. So I want to list some of my favourites by genre. Today, I’m going to list my favourite love songs of Ilayaraja. I only wanted to post 10 songs but I could not get the count down from 15. So I’m going to be posting this as a 3 part series. So, here goes my favourite 15, part 1 in no particular order.
Kadhal oviyam – Alaigal Oyvathillai
This song oozes innocence. It does what it is supposed to in a very soul stirring way, celebrate love that is young and pure. It starts with a hymn and a lovely veena prelude. It then progresses in a very unconventional way with some interesting beats and chorus that reminds you of choral singing in a church. Fascinating to see how even the tune and arrangements blend in with the story line. Jency voice teases you with such sincerity! She may not be a very versatile singer, but the honesty in her voice is something I love! Though Ilayaraja is an unusual choice for the male lead voice in this kind of a song, he brings a certain rough edge to an otherwise innocent song.
Sundari Kannal oru sedhi – Thalapathi
This is yet another song that has my fav pair, SPB – Ilayaraja! What starts of as a slow song of yearning slowly weaves into it a lovely interlude that tells you about the struggle in the hero’s mind. You can clearly make out the conflict between the two emotions in the song, duty and love, even if you have never seen the video or not know anything about the movie.
But if you’ve seen the video you will know how stunning Shobana looks! She easily looked her best in this movie if you of course, discount Suhasini’s rather irritating dubbing.
Thulli ezhunthathu – Geethanjali
This is not one of those extremely popular songs of Ilayaraja. Again, this song has a appealing honesty about it. Its one of those uncomplicated simple flowing songs that sounds just right after a long hard day. Ilayaraja is partial to the guitar. He arranges the most beautiful preludes and interludes on the guitar. This song is one such example. Many people have a problem with Ilayaraja the singer. I agree that is not the best of them. But there are songs, like this one, where I can’t imagine any one else doing justice to the rendition.
Partha Vizhi – Guna
This is not even a full length song. It is one of those tiny little songs that completely steal all the thunder away from even some of the proper 4-5 min songs. Yesudas’s voice with the chenda (?) beats sounds just mesmerizing. This song another one of his songs that has a lot of chorus very predominently. This man doesn’t need great singers to make his songs work!
Maankuyile – Karagatakaran
This is one of Raja’s best movies. I love all the songs in this movie cos it redefined the perception of folk music in everyone’s mind. It wasn’t just loud melam and nayanam and mindless beats. This song especially was a trend breaker cos it was unheard of for folk songs to be slow and melodious. Again a masterpiece by SPB. If one can ignore the Ramarajan’s heavy pink lipstick and Kanaka’s fake drawn eyebrows, this song is a pretty enjoyable one even to watch!
I will continue with part 2 next week!