Iconic songs of Raja

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Iconic songs of Raja

Post  fring151 on Fri Mar 21, 2014 10:33 am

My own comment on App's brilliant post on Madai thirandhu here (http://ilayaraja.forumms.net/t172p60-minimum-500-preferably-1000-rasa-songs-with-nice-lyrics-not-written-by-vm) is the trigger for this thread. The purpose is to list those songs of Ilayaraja which have secured a permanent place in the IR wall of fame and discuss how and why they have acquired that status - Songs which are enduringly popular, have entered pop culture references AND are..err.."iconic" (will be elaborated below) in one sense of the term or another.

So what do I mean by iconic? One litmus test is that an ignorance OR dislike of "iconic songs" can justifiably elicit reactions like "Nee thamizhane kidayadhu", "Nee oru rasanai ketta jenmam", "Nee laam edhukku man innum uyirodu irukka" etc. Not very helpful is it? Lot of mafia will likely say all IR songs are iconic   Razz  . So to give an example, "Madai thirandhu" is an iconic song. "Ilamai idho idho" is iconic, "Amma endrazhaikkadha" is iconic. So, all these songs have one thing in common, which most people will notice right away. They all deal with specific themes and insofar as TFM is concerned, these are pretty much THE definitive songs in their respective genres. Of course, that is not the only criterion, you can have other benchmarks for calling a song iconic. Now I am not going to provide any further justification for my three choices (hey, I started the thread, so I earned that privilege  Smile  ), but I will most certainly expect that those who nominate a "Oru kanam oru yugamaaga" or " Kaadellaam pichippovu" or even the popular "Rojavai thaalaattum thendral" or "Ae thendrale" as "iconic" give reasonable justification for their choices.  Smile

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Re: Iconic songs of Raja

Post  crimson king on Fri Mar 21, 2014 5:25 pm

Some choices that seem self evident (but I will provide justification later if it is debated):

1) Aduvom Paaduvom
2) Aasai Nooru Vagai
3) Ae Atha Athorama
4) Enkitta Modadhey
5) Ponmeni uruguthey

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Re: Iconic songs of Raja

Post  app_engine on Fri Mar 21, 2014 5:41 pm

Let me reserve two songs for my (additional) blA-blA later on :

vaLaiyOsai kala kala kalavena
iLaya nilA

BTW, those links have some justifications already Smile

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Re: Iconic songs of Raja

Post  fring151 on Fri Mar 21, 2014 7:10 pm

No justification needed for any of those except Ponmeni and aaduvom paaduvom. I would argue that as far as matter songs go, Nila kaayudhu is probably THE ultimate, iconic one in TFM. Even our friend Kaarigan can't resist dissing this song for introducing "Aabaasam" in TFM every single time he faux-outrages and hyperventilates about IR's lyrical and vocal transgressions.  Laughing.

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Re: Iconic songs of Raja

Post  crimson king on Fri Mar 21, 2014 7:15 pm

I think Ponmeni Urguthey is one of the ultimate vamp songs and Bhagyaraj sort of post-modernised it in Dhavani Kanavugal, making it even cooler than it already was.  I don't know how many prior instances there were of using a known IR hit in a very different context to evoke some sort of retro cool; Ponmeni in Dhavani Kanavugal was probably the first

And I suggested Aduvom Paduvom because it is one of the first 'Superstar' songs. Basically that 'podhuvaga en manasu thangam' just epitomises Rajini, summons his image just from the words and them music.

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Re: Iconic songs of Raja

Post  Drunkenmunk on Fri Mar 21, 2014 7:36 pm

Ponmeni's case in the Iconic list can be made musically just for its rhythm section pyrotechniques. Plus super hit song. Plus super hit movie. Straight in Razz

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Re: Iconic songs of Raja

Post  fring151 on Fri Mar 21, 2014 8:35 pm

Oh, that Bhagyaraj/Dhavani kanavugal reference is lost on me. The song is a deliciously subversive piece of art though, no doubt.

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Re: Iconic songs of Raja

Post  crimson king on Sat Mar 22, 2014 4:37 am

fring, there's a scene in Dhavani Kanavugal where kid Priyadarshini lets her hair down and dances vigorously to Ponmeni and this in a conservative, lower middle class family.  See, youthu appeal from the 80s.  Very Happy

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Re: Iconic songs of Raja

Post  writeface on Sat Mar 22, 2014 6:25 am

How about -isayil thodanguthamaa- from Hey Ram?

Gokul

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Re: Iconic songs of Raja

Post  Wizzy on Sat Mar 22, 2014 5:53 pm

all these icon talks reminds me of this..icon/no con Smile  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lg0-4rNGmHU

SPB version of 'Mankuyile'..just the nadhas/thavil prelude will suffice..should feature in top 5 most recallable raaja prelude ever.
when does the 'Harbinger' release  bounce

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Re: Iconic songs of Raja

Post  fring151 on Mon Mar 24, 2014 10:35 am

[size=12.727272033691406]Agni natchathiram was a landmark movie in Tamil and a bumper hit for both IR and Mani. I recently tried watching the movie on youtube and at the risk of sounding irritatingly contrarian and wilfully anti-Mani, let me state that I found the movie to be absolutely unwatchable and now consider it one of the most inexplicably overrated movies in Tamil cinema history (TCH) featuring probably THE most unfunny comedy track ever in TCH. Till date, I have also never understood this fuss about Karthik's performance - whether in this movie or Mouna raagam and cannot fathom why he is praised so much for these performances.[/size]


[size=12.727272033691406]The soundtrack however is another matter - a masterpiece IMO, six gorgeous songs - all classics, all still extremely popular out of which I consider two iconic - Raja rajathi rajan and Ninnukori varnam. Ninnukori is perhaps the most stylish use of Mohanam raagam in film music and arguably Chitra's most famous solo IR song. The basslines are also part of standard repertoire of many bass guitarists in Tamil Nadu and is regularly featured in IR's concerts. "Raja rajathi" is epic for the vocal-rhythm pad games of Raja and also for the picturisation with Karthik and gang frolicking aimlessly (which again, I am at a loss to understand scratch )[/size]

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Re: Iconic songs of Raja

Post  Drunkenmunk on Mon Mar 24, 2014 11:18 am

fring151 wrote:Agni natchathiram was a landmark movie in Tamil and a bumper hit for both IR and Mani. I recently tried watching the movie on youtube and at the risk of sounding irritatingly contrarian and wilfully anti-Mani, let me state that I found the movie to be absolutely unwatchable and now consider it one of the most inexplicably overrated movies in Tamil cinema history (TCH) featuring probably THE most unfunny comedy track ever in TCH. Till date, I have also never understood this fuss about Karthik's performance - whether in this movie or Mouna raagam and cannot fathom why he is praised so much for these performances.


The soundtrack however is another matter - a masterpiece IMO, six gorgeous songs - all classics, all still extremely popular out of which I consider two iconic - Raja rajathi rajan and Ninnukori varnam. Ninnukori is perhaps the most stylish use of Mohanam raagam in film music and arguably Chitra's most famous solo IR song. The basslines are also part of standard repertoire of many bass guitarists in Tamil Nadu and is regularly featured in IR's concerts. "Raja rajathi" is epic for the vocal-rhythm pad games of Raja and also for the picturisation with Karthik and gang frolicking aimlessly (which again, I am at a loss to understand scratch )

idhu neenga solreengaLA illa edhAdhu article'la yArAchum sonnadhA? I'd personally rate Roja Poo Aadi Vandhadhu (Amala fan for lyf) and Oru PoongAvanam to be more iconic Razz

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Re: Iconic songs of Raja

Post  fring151 on Mon Mar 24, 2014 2:17 pm

Lol. My attempt at objectivity. One of the purposes of the thread was to note IR's work and influence as a neutral without my(our) fanboy goggles  Razz. So even though "Ae aatha" or "Podhuvaaga en manasu thangam" are not personal favourites, they are nevertheless iconic if I put on my neutral hat. Likewise, my personal top 3 from AN are, in that order, "Thoongaadha vizhigal rendu", "Rojaapoo aadivandhadhu" and "Vaa vaa anbe anbe", but if I have to objectively state based on my observations and experiences which songs are most popular among the masses and have been talked about/written about the most, I think it would be Ninnukori and raaja raajadhi. If your experience differs, do share!


Oh, and if you have seen anyone else call AN a crap movie, do share that also  Smile

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Re: Iconic songs of Raja

Post  app_engine on Mon Mar 24, 2014 4:00 pm

fring151 wrote:Oh, and if you have seen anyone else call AN a crap movie, do share that also  Smile

+1000, I've frequently written harshly about this movie. i.e. ever since I happened to see the kuppai a couple of years back (didn't watch it at the time of arrival).

Totally share your opinion about the movie. I got totally irritated with that masAlA kuppai.

Also, ++infinity on "comedy with kAma nedi". 

AN clearly showcases the severe limitations of MR in that domain.

The movie became a superhit those days MAINLY because of rAsA.

Period.

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Re: Iconic songs of Raja

Post  crimson king on Mon Mar 24, 2014 4:08 pm

Thoongadha Vizhigal is my favourite from that film, followed by Poongavanam. But in terms of iconic appeal, Raja Rajathi Raja is no.1, maybe Ninnu Korri no.2 but Rojapoo Adivanthathu is also a good choice.

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Re: Iconic songs of Raja

Post  crimson king on Mon Mar 24, 2014 6:48 pm

I wouldn't call it crap but only because there were far worse films being made then (just like today or possibly any other age in cinema!).   I really disliked the surfeit of tragedy-specials in that period.  Not that I hate tragedy per se (I love Requiem for a dream) but these Anand/Kanni Raasi/Varusham 16 type of films were very painful to watch.  Agni Natchatram, at least the pace was brisk and there was some action to fill in for the absence of an interesting story.  But it is a hideously overrated film, like much of MR's work and rides heavily on songs to compensate for very poorly constructed characters.  I hardly get to know anybody other than the father-son trio in the film; nothing much would change if the girls weren't there.

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Re: Iconic songs of Raja

Post  Drunkenmunk on Wed Mar 26, 2014 8:38 pm

fring151 wrote:If your experience differs, do share!

Roja Poo. P_R articulates my thoughts best (I can't be as good with words on this song as this post is): http://dagalti.blogspot.in/2011/10/blog-post.html?m=1

Oru Poongaavanam. Raaja's articulation in the NEPV audio launch fascinated me no end on how he was able to subvert a classical Sudha Dhanyasi and suit it to the director's commercial needs (the total disdain to Mani chaar was noted and enjoyed) and yet retain the classicism and yet have elements of jazz and S Janaki pwning it puts it beyond appeal for me Razz Of course every other song in this film is a personal favorite too. But these 2 take my cake, eat it and laugh at me. I enjoy them doing that.

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Re: Iconic songs of Raja

Post  fring151 on Mon Mar 31, 2014 9:08 am

Drunkenmunk wrote:
fring151 wrote:If your experience differs, do share!

Roja Poo. P_R articulates my thoughts best (I can't be as good with words on this song as this post is): http://dagalti.blogspot.in/2011/10/blog-post.html?m=1

Oru Poongaavanam. Raaja's articulation in the NEPV audio launch fascinated me no end on how he was able to subvert a classical Sudha Dhanyasi and suit it to the director's commercial needs (the total disdain to Mani chaar was noted and enjoyed) and yet retain the classicism and yet have elements of jazz and S Janaki pwning it puts it beyond appeal for me :POf course every other song in this film is a personal favorite too. But these 2 take my cake, eat it and laugh at me. I enjoy them doing that.

Oru vaati padichen - oralavukku thaan purinjidhu  scratch . Nalla writer paa ivaru, both in English and Tamil  thumbsup.
One more attempt at decoding later...

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Re: Iconic songs of Raja

Post  fring151 on Wed Apr 02, 2014 9:41 am

Edho mogam - Because if I were asked to pick one song that demonstrated IR's WCM mastery it would be this. Canons, counterpoints, C&R are all accommodated with astounding ease in what is ostensibly a passionate folk song.


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Re: Iconic songs of Raja

Post  Drunkenmunk on Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:15 pm

fring151 wrote:Edho mogam - Because if I were asked to pick one song that demonstrated IR's WCM mastery it would be this. Canons, counterpoints, C&R are all accommodated with astounding ease in what is ostensibly a passionate folk song.


Raaja recounts this in his Sangeetha Kanavugal which he wrote as a series for one the magazines (Kungumam, Kumudham, Vikadan based) on his trip to Europe and USA (Paul Mariat, memorial of Brahms, Strauss, workplace of Bach, etc) in 1983. He meets a composer in US (unable to recall name immediately) who shows him around their studio, introduces him to the latest synthesizers and treat him like any global colleague (no special privilege, no disrespect). He plays his Mad, Mod, Mood, Fugue which he would release as part of HTNI (1986) which he used to floor the great Paul Mariat. The composer is awed and his musicians stop their work and claim to be enamored and disturbed by this piece. He then plays Edho Mogam. The orchestra there are zapped and they claim this is international music. Canon, counterpoints, C&R in a passionate Tamil folk song. Indeed! Smile

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Re: Iconic songs of Raja

Post  app_engine on Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:27 pm

DM wrote:
Raaja recounts this in his Sangeetha Kanavugal which he wrote as a series for one the magazines (Kungumam, Kumudham, Vikadan based) on his trip to Europe and USA (Paul Mariat, memorial of Brahms, Strauss, workplace of Bach, etc) in 1983.

Kumudam.

I've read it "chudachchuda" each week, when it appeared - with photographs of his trip too Smile

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Re: Iconic songs of Raja

Post  fring151 on Wed Apr 02, 2014 7:29 pm

Interesting!Thanks for sharing. I knew the Paul Mariat story but not the one about the US composer...

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Re: Iconic songs of Raja

Post  crimson king on Thu Apr 03, 2014 6:27 pm

Well, in terms of pure musical output instead of something linked to a cinematic context, Endrendrum Anandhame is his most iconic song for me.  It is totally mad music (and yet holds up to dissection, as usual), it has no place in film music but he was prepared to take such risks.  That and other such songs with massive amounts of risk taking like Ithu Oru Nila or Ada Macha from Chinna Veedu establish clearly the difference between IR and the other composers.  People talk about his mastery of both musical worlds, Western and Indian, or his speed but none of those things necessarily help to make his music as fresh and creative as it is.  That is down to his appetite for taking risks which is simply unparalleled.  Risk taking is not just using some new sounds or genres as RDB did in the late 60s/70s or ARR in the 90s.  It is also about experimenting with concepts that could potentially unsettle the listener and force them out of their comfort zone.  Ilayaraja has been prepared again and again to venture out of the soothing-calm-melody-circuit and do music that zaps the mind.

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Re: Iconic songs of Raja

Post  Drunkenmunk on Thu Apr 03, 2014 7:23 pm

CK,

Absolutely! One of my all time favorites too  doublethumbsup and considering it is quite rare a song for the mainstream, I am strengthened to recommend Kanavil Midhakkum's candidature. Never attempted before, never attempted again kind of song from Raaja. Psychedelic stuff. And literally makes you feel floaty inside a dream. How he nails what the song needs every time is a wonder. You/me may not like a song. That's a different deal. But I am ready to get into a turf war with anyone who disagrees with my claim that every Raaja song absolutely gets the required mood for the situation it is set in bang on. That he has provided so much to dissect musically beyond satisfying the director 4,500 times is a marvel imo.

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Re: Iconic songs of Raja

Post  crimson king on Thu Apr 03, 2014 7:27 pm

Love that song, needless to say.  Yeah, very psychedelic, those lovely chords draw you into a trance.

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