Archive for the ‘song covers’ Category

Song cover – Raabta

November 20, 2022

Song: Raabta

Film: Agent Vinod

Music: Pritam

Singers; Arijit Singh/Shreya Ghoshal

This is a deceptively tough song. And, perhaps because we don’t take singing in ‘new’ songs seriously on a technical level, its difficulty isn’t fully appreciated. There is also the small matter of studio editing, which ensures that the delivery sounds easy and fluent in the studio version.

But I have parsed through multiple live performances of both Arijit and Shreya Ghoshal and they have to do the necessary breath adjustment in the mukda alright (usually by way of quickly drawing in breath between lines or taking the next line one count late and adjusting by singing that word faster). There doesn’t seem to be any other way to sing it.

Actually, the first time I properly heard the song was when I attended Ghoshal’s concert in 2016. Of course, back then, she was performing at ‘galactic levels’, as Koenig would say, and was genuinely able to make the delivery sound super-effortless. To say it was magical-sounding wouldn’t be an overstatement. Below is a rendition (starting at 9:25) from a Kolkata show in 2016, which sort of captures what the experience was like:

Arjit on the other hand does wrestle a bit with the song, as seen in this performance. It’s completely understandable; the Raabta mukda is a monster hiding in plain sight.


Song cover – Stargazer (Rainbow)

November 14, 2022

Dio rose very quickly to the top of my favourite singers list from the first time I heard him back in 2007. Since then, I have been mesmerized by the particular combination of power, control, melody and distortion he delivered time and again.

Stargazer is perhaps not as tough as the stuff on Heaven and Hell or his solo albums, but it has a very epic quality that not much of Dio-Sabbath or Dio solo could capture. So it’s long been an ‘ambition’ of mine to be able to sing Stargazer.

To be very frank, it looked completely unattainable back in 2009.

I have at last come to the point where I can say I am able to hit the notes. Now whether the notes sound good is for the listeners to judge. I certainly will not claim to be able to hit them as well as Dio. Rest In Peace, Legend!

Cover – Jee Lee Zara – Talaash

October 22, 2022

Something different, more recent after staying in the Kishore-SPB space for the last month or so. A beautiful song from one of the best Hindi film albums of the 2010s and onwards. Some technical problems came up in video recording and since I had anyway started finding it boring to record myself singing from the same two-three rooms, just used a movie image instead.

Tere Hawale (cover)

September 18, 2022

Another song from Laal Singh Chaddha that I loved. It’s a duet but I have sung both male and female portions, hence taken the antara in a lower octave to manage it (as it is written for a female voice).

Koi Sagar Dil Ko Bahlata Nahi – cover

September 16, 2022

In this Naushad composed classic, Rafi captured the outpouring of grief by an intoxicated man even though he didn’t drink. Here is my attempt at it:

Phir Na Aisi Raat (cover)

September 16, 2022

Laal Singh Chaddha was a flop at the box office but the film did yield an amazing album. Phir Na Aisi Raat is my favourite of the songs and here’s my attempt at it.

Cover of Tere Mere Sapne

July 23, 2022

Guide is an album that needs no introduction to any lover of Hindi film music and Tere Mere Sapne and Din Dhal Jaye are arguably its crown jewels. I obviously did cover them in my book but here is an ‘audio’ tribute to Tere Mere Sapne. One of the few songs across genres and languages I have heard, where each and every moment can hold you in rapt attention and transport you somewhere else even though, on the surface, it’s just a slow melodic number with a restrained arrangement.

Deacon Blues (They’ve got a name for the winners in the world)

June 18, 2022

Deacon Blues has been one of my favourite songs ever pretty much from the time I first discovered the Aja album. It has lately acquired new meaning as I am in a better position to relate to what Messrs Fagen and Becker (RIP) have to say about the song in the classic albums documentary.

As you may or may not know, I came out with a book on Indian film music called Raga 2 Rock. It has received some extremely heartwarming reviews and most of those who didn’t review it have also told me how they enjoyed it. But as an outsider to publishing/media/entertainment without the means to advertise the book, I sought out the help of those on the inside through my contacts. With complimentary copies and no strings attached, mind you.

I am happy to report that I have been rewarded for my efforts with the most scintillating apathy and indifference. Oh well, not that I expected otherwise but it does amuse me that they would gatekeep me away as well. They do take no chances, do they?

And you know what? I don’t care! As the song goes, “They’ve got a name for the winners in the world/I want a name when I lose”. That’s all I ask for. As for the rest, the reviews have given more than enough gratification and I once again thank every one who has never met me in person and still placed faith in the book and then helped me along with a brilliant review.

If by any chance, all this has piqued your interest in the book, here’s a link to the same.

And here are excerpts as well as links to read the fabulous reviews I mentioned above.

Ninaithu Ninaithu Parthen – Tamil tribute to KK

June 11, 2022

Pure Bollywood buffs may not know that KK sang a lot, a lot in South films also and particularly, some of the biggest hits in Tamil of the 2000s. Actually he got his start in Tamil back in 1997 with Rahman’s eclectic Strawberry Kanne (which you may have heard as Strawberry Aankhein from Sapnay). As in Hindi, his range was diverse in Tamil too. But Ninaithu Ninaithu Parthen (of which there is also a beautiful female version sung by none other than Shreya Ghoshal) stuck with me the most. It’s one of the most beautiful and haunting compositions of Yuvan Shankar Raja, the younger son of living legend Ilayaraja. It also has very poignant lyrics by the late Na Muthukumar.

Khuda Jaane – another tribute to KK

June 5, 2022

I posted Pal a few days back soon after the news of KK’s shocking demise broke. I wanted to do something more exuberant, more representative of his work in film music.

From back in the day, I used to like the fact that this song actually has interludes. The interlude was already an endangered species in Hindi music by then and is close to extinction now, but this song not only has nice interludes but there is a nice bit of modulation going on at the end of both.

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