Tag Archives: Singers

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.



19 Oct

Mohammed Rafi-the phenomenon continues to live among us through his songs. Sonu Nigam, one of his most famous fans (or should I say devotee?) has done an amazing project, which has released quite recently-RAFI RESURRECTED. Basically, Sonu has collaborated with the City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra (CBSO) to sing 16 songs of Rafi with a grand orchestral setup.

As expected the result is stupendous! I bought the CD recently & it was worth every penny because:

  1. It contains a booklet (about 30 pages) of rare Rafi photographs & a mini-biography of the legend.
  2. The CBSO has done a marvellous job of exactly replicating the music for most of the songs and the soul of the song has not been tampered with. Its so nice to listen to live instruments especially in today’s age of electronic synth music.
  3. Sonu has sung with his heart-it shows!

For all Rafi fans out there-for lovers of vintage Hindi music, this is a MUST-BUY. Go get your copy-its priceless!! Let us support such projects by buying the original CD’s, that’s the least we can do and spread the word too 🙂

Hariharan-My Favourite Singer

9 Apr
I had an opportunity to listen to acclaimed ghazal singer Shri Hariharan in one of the ghazal concerts recently. The concert lasted for about 3 hrs and we were in bliss for those 3 hrs. The genius of his singing is difficult to describe. Hariharan is a master of Carnatic and Hindustani music. It is so evident in his singing. That evening he sang with so much variety and range that it was mind-boggling to listen to him. Moreover the accompanists in guitar, flute, sarangi, tabla & keyboard were maestros themselves. I can say that he is the best singer I have heard ever. (Though there are many who are close to him like Rafi, Yesudas & SPB) He has some great ghazal albums to his credit like Hazir, Kaash, Gulfam, Paigham et al.
I also follow Hariji’s singing in Hindi, Tamil, Telugu & Malayalam. He has rendered some wonderful melodies in these languages too. Music dirs like Rahman, Vidyasagar, Vishal Bharadwaj & Ilaiyaraja have given some immortal melodies thro’ him. I have earlier attended 2 of Hariharan’s concerts before where he sang tamil songs.
There’s a lot to look forward to from Hariharan in the future..a new ghazal album, another Colonial Cousins album, more film singing…..its definitely going to be exciting……