S.P.B: Legend is an understatement

21 Jul

If we listen to any song in Telugu/Kannada/Tamil, especially songs from late 70’s to the 2000’s the voice we would find for most of these songs would be that of Shri S. P. Balasubramaniam, who ruled the South Indian music industry for over 3 decades (he still sings very well) with his mesmerizing singing.

To list out SPB’s good songs is a pointless exercise as its an ocean by itself. He was extremely talented and lucky to sing with all the best music directors—K.V.Mahadevan, M.S.Vishwanathan, R.D.Burman, Ilaiyaraja (what a team), M.M.Keeravani, A.R.Rahman, Hamsalekha and Vidyasagar, to name a few. The greatest asset of SPB’s singing was the life he gave to a song of ANY genre. According to me Mohd. Rafi and SPB are the two best singers for voice modulation and conveying the exact emotions of a song. If its a fast-paced song SPB would make you dance, if it was a sad song he would literally move you to tears. He would speak thro’ his songs, such was his genius. To cite an example—who can forget the varied emotions he conveyed in a seemingly innocuous song—Hey Ranga Sri Ranga (from Singaaravelan) where he imitates a pan-chewing guy, makes different sounds according to the song’s mood. SPB is the perfect example of a singer who takes a song to a totally different level. Even a simple tune would sound awesome when SPB lent his voice and embellished it with his own unique touches.

SPB’s statistics are akin to Sachin Tendulkar’s in cricket, a staggering 35,000+ songs in almost over 6 languages! If I am right, after Lata Mangeshkar, he is the singer who has sung the most number of songs. Apart from being a singer, SPB is also a good actor, producer, music program host etc. In spite of so many achievements and awards, SPB is a very humble, humorous and down-to-earth person who has endeared himself to millions of fans all over India.

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One Response to “S.P.B: Legend is an understatement”

  1. Arun July 22, 2009 at 1:37 am #

    Excellent post, Prakash! We should consider ourselves extremely lucky to have had the privelege of savouring so many of SPB songs.

    As you said, he doesn’t just ‘sing’ his songs. He breathes life into them.

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