Apr 14, 2005

Illayaraja - the Raja of melodies

I had always been a Rahman fan and never listened to Illayaraja's songs from my childhood. Melodies are always my favorites and I can listen to Rahman's melodies for hours together. In the past one year, I caught hold of a few good Illayaraja numbers and listen to them while working. Bang!!! A change has happened in my music taste buds. How can a person who adore melodies miss this maestro's songs? This was the question that came to my mind when I started liking Raja's songs. Better late than never, I consoled myself. From all possible sources, I got a good collection of the genius works and am listening to them at this very moment.

Just like how Rahman and Maniratnam combo works these days, Illayaraja and Maniratnam combination should have worked really well in the 90's. Be it the super star's Thalapathi or world star's Nayagan. Although both these movies are action-packed, the songs are mellifluous. "Sundari Kannal", "Yamunai Attrile", "Thenpandi" and "Nee Oru Kaadhal" will take any melody lover to a tranquil state. Can anyone forget about the wonderful movie ever taken in the history of Tamil Cinema? Yes, I'm talking about my most favourite movie "Mouna Raagam". The background score as well as the songs blend so well into this family melodrama.

One more blasting combination is Illayaraja-Mohan-SPB which has given countless mesmerizing songs. This combo has worked very well in the 80's. It is very difficult to come out of the effect these songs produce on oneself. You can listen to "Udaya Geetham" and "Mella Thirandadu Kadhavu" songs several times.

The ace director Balachandar's movies always have a different story line and Illayaraja's music provided the much needed support for these new themes. Punnagai Mannan's theme music has become one of my most heard themes. All songs are peppy with a touch of Raja's melody. The low pitched voice of SPB in the song "Keladi Kanmani" in Pudhu Pudhu Arthangal is a master piece.

These are just 10% of the beautiful melodies given by the great Illayaraja. His melody list is endless and my collection grows everyday.

His songs have just widened my interest base when I was only focussed on Rahman's show cases. Both Rahman and Illayaraja are a boon that has happened to music industry. Keep listening to these enchanting melodies. Life will be at peace.

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