Tuesday September 25, 2018

The Splendid Music of Salim-Sulaiman

Posted by Karthik

Remember the Voodoo Rapper? No? Take a look!

This was way back in 1993! Long before Sandesh Shandilya roped in Chithra to sing alongside Ustad Sultan Khan in 2000 (for Piya Basanti), Salim-Sulaiman had got her to sing along the mysterious Voodoo Rapper for the 1993 Magnasound album called Ragga Raaga! Chithra, in the album cover, looks less like a fortune teller looking at a crystal ball and more like she’s holding her head with the feeling, ‘What have I got myself into!?’ 🙂

It’s one hell of a cringe-worthy album (in hindsight) that seemed to be an assembly-line production of Magnasound, targeted at MTV and Channel V with this even more cringe-worthy video 🙂

From this… to the 2000 album ‘Bhoomi – Colours of India’ that featured Ustad Sultan Khan’s (again!) Kate Nahin Raat Mori… the duo had come a long way! Post that early pop phase, the duo has steadily produced a lot of good music in Hindi. They have also been a lot templatized that I have criticized over the years, but as I listened to their repertoire again to make a list of my favorites, I was surprised that even my initial shortlist amounted to almost 50 songs! Some albums like Fashion, Rocket Singh, Kurbaan, Band Baaja Baraat and Jai Gangajal are absolute favorites and I had a tough time dropping some songs in order to create a more representative set of 25 songs.

There are a lot of soundtracks where they have contributed only a few songs, so had to be careful in ensuring that I pick only their songs. Plus, in recent times, the duo hasn’t been that active, but for 102 Not Out this year and Poorna last year. Jai Gangaajal from 2016 was a #200 on Milliblog and a complete surprise considering the duo’s sparse music by that time and the kind of music in Prakash Jha films lately.

Here’s the list my favorite 25 from Salim-Sulaiman’s repertoire.

01. Imaan Ka Asar – Dor (2006)
02. Mar Jaava – Fashion (2008)
03. Kate Nahin Raat – Bhoomi: Colours of India (2000)
04. Ainvayi Ainvayi – Band Baaja Baaraat (2010)
05. Premalekha Raasene – Anaganaga Oka Dheerudu (2010)
06. Aiyo Ji – Satyagraha (2013)
07. Cheene Re Mora – Coke Studio MTV Season 3 (2013)
08. Dheere Dheere – Jai Gangaajal (2016)
09. Kurbaan Hua – Kurbaan (2009)
10. Nazaara Hai – 8 X 10 Tasveer (2009)
11. Aashiyana – Fashion (2008)
12. Aashayein – Iqbal (2006)
13. Haule Haule – Rab Ne Bana Di Jodi (2008)
14. Pocket Mein Rocket – Rocket Singh: Salesman Of The Year (2009)
15. Shukran Allah – Kurbaan (2009)
16. Aadha Ishq – Band Baaja Baaraat (2010)
17. Neeyat – Teen Patti (2010)
18. Maai – Jai Gangaajal (2016)
19. Dua – Kurbaan (2009)
20. Haafiz Khuda – 8 X 10 Tasveer (2009)
21. Khulla Saand – Rabba Main Kya Karoon (2013)
22. Kuch Khaas – Fashion (2008)
23. Tarkeebein – Band Baaja Baaraat (2010)
24. Dhoom Dhadaka – Chain Kulii Ki Main Kulii (2007)
25. Chak De India – Chak De India (2007)

As always, the platforms played truant. YouTube has 24 of the 25 songs. It’s missing only Maai from Jai Gangaajal that’s only available inside the film’s jukebox. Saavn has 23 songs; it is missing the very first song – Dor’s Imaan Ka Aasar and the duo’s Telugu song, Premalekha Raasene, from Anaganaga Oka Dheerudu (that’s only available on YouTube, incidentally). Apple Music is the worst of the 3 – has 21 songs. It’s missing Dor’s Imaan Ka Asar, Anaganaga Oka Dheerudu’s Premalekha Raasene and the 2 songs from Jai Gangaajal – Dheere Dheere and Maai.

Playlist on Apple Music | Saavn | YouTube

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