Andha Naal Gnyabagam – Music in my college days (Part 4)

With less than 24  hours to go for the largest alumni gathering of PSG Tech outside India, we are down to the final post in this series- the songs that made an impact during my final year in college. The PSG Tech alumni event, M4M is fully sold out and features the singing talents from over the years at Tech.  Without further ado, here are the songs that made it big in the 1999-2000 time frame.

 1999

After a Spring loaded with big hits, we entered our final year of college, hopeful of a job, an admit to a good university abroad and a ton of fun with friends- one last time.  A job was the first thing in mind from the first day of college. Campus interviews kicked in instantly and the focus was all on that. But there was always time for music – be it while celebrating someone getting a job or waiting hopefully for the interview call after the written test or getting over that day’s dejection and preparing for the next day’s written test in the morning.

June did not have very many releases – Vijay had a movie with Isha Koppikar called Nenjinile. While the movie went nowhere, there was one standout song that was very hummable – Manase Manase. The big release for July was ARR’s compositions for Kadhir’s Kadhalar Dhinam. The movie was pretty bad by any standard but a couple of songs stuck around in the cassette recorders in the hostel for a while. Oh Maria was a internet generation piece (pretty amusing to look back at it now). Enna Vilai Azhage was the best piece of the lot.

In what now seems like a very rare occurrence, ARR had two releases in the same month- Kadhalar Dhinam and Sangamam. The latter was a Suresh Krishna dance musical that ended up failing at the box office. ARR had some good classical and folk compositions that were quite popular- it wasn’t the college type songs but there were so many ARR fans then that it did not matter. Mazhai Thuli,  and Varaha Nadhi karai oram were two good songs from Sangamam.

August 15th brought Bharadwaj’s music for Saran’s Amarkalam. Two SPB songs made it very big – Megangal and Satham illadha. The gaanaish Mahaganapathi piece featuring dance master Lawrence was quite popular too. With final year love stories abound, Amarkalam songs were huge.

ARR reused some of his music from hindi for a tamil movie, Jodi and while the songs were not upto ARR’s high standards of the day, they were still pretty popular. Of note were Kai Thatti thatti and Velli Malare.  And then there was a lull of good music for a couple of months.

November again brought two ARR releases. Both of them were huge musically. The first was Shankar’s megahit Mudhalvan. This was a typical Shankar movie with a strong message packaged in an audience friendly masala manner and the songs were huge – be it the Sushmitha Sen dance piece Shakalaka Baby, or the romantic number Azhagana Rakshasiye, or the lavishly mounted title song.

The second November ARR release was the debut of Bharathiraaja’s son Manoj in Tajmahal. A horrific movie by every possible standard, it featured some hummable village tunes with a modern twist by ARR. Three songs stood out and made it big at Tech – Kulirudhu, Sotta Sotta and the addictive Thirupachi.


December brought with it a landmark Tamil movie from a debutant director and the relaunch of a big star, Vikram. Bala’s Sethu arrived in December and completely took over. Everyone was talking about the movie and its music by the Maestro. Illayaraja gave a huge soundtrack with songs that suited the overall feel of the movie. Some of the notable songs were Maalai Yen,   Sikkadha Sittondru and the hugely popular Kaana Karunguyile.


2000

Ilayaraaja continued his hit streak after Sethu with two musical hits in January 2000. The first was a movie called Kadhal Rojave. The movie was forgettable but for two hummable and popular tunes- Izhavenil Idhu and Ninaitha Varam Kettu.  Fazil tried to repeat his Kadhalukku Mariyadhai success story with Vijay and Shalini in Kannukul Nilavu. The movie didn’t live up to its expectations but had some relatively popular songs- Roja Poondhottam and Oru naal oru kanavu.

February saw Raaja’s big season continue with his brilliant score for Kamal Hassan’s magnum opus, Hey Ram. The movie bombed but the songs were just fantastic. The romantic piece Nee Partha Paarvaikku was awesome as was the period piece, Isayil Thodangudhamma and the controversial title piece. To me though, the one song that captured the entire gamut of musical composition and being the right fit for the scene is Vaishnava Janato. I wrote an entire post about this song and I cant recommend it enough.

February saw a big hit for Deva in the form of Mugavari. Some of the songs were lifted from other sources but the songs were very successful  and college audience friendly nevertheless.  Of note were Hey Keechu Kiliye, A Nilave, and Oh Nenje Nenje.

All of this was soon going to be engulfed in the monster hit that was to be Alaipayuthey. Manirathnam’s ode to love and the ups and downs of marriage was a huge success with the younger crowd. It was a rage in college and ARR’s music topped the charts in a big way. Every single song was a mega hit and it is almost impossible to pick one over the other. From the title piece Endrendrum Punnagai to Swarnalatha’s soulful rendition in Evano Oruvan to  the colorful Pachai Nirame and the utterly gorgeous Snehidane, everything was just fantastic. To me though, two songs standout even amidst these awesome pieces – the small but utterly divine Mangalyam Thanthunanena and the playfully sexy Kadhal Sadugudu.

Nothing that year was going to stand up to Alaipayuthey. That much was certain. In the waning days of my undergrad life and in the company of my future wife, this was all that I could have asked for. The only thing that came close before I left college was another ARR soundtrack- one that was steeped in melody and simplicity, Kandukondain Kandukondain. Rajeev Menon’s gorgeous take on Austen’s Sense and Sensibility was given the best support by ARR’s music. Be it the Shankar Mahadevan sung Enna Seyya Pogirai or the peppy Konjum Mainakkale or the retrospective Enge Yenadhu or the Hariharan title track Kandukondain Kandukondain, the songs were simple yet spectacular. My personal favorite was and continues to be the Chitra piece, Kannamoochi Yenada.  The Yesudas-Chitra duet version of the same song sounds even better.

With Alaipayuthey and Kandukondain, I left college. Four years of friendship and memories. Never before and never again would life be the same. I will sign off here. In less than 10 hours, the stage for the evening alumni event will start getting set. I will get to meet friends, old and new and hopefully relive some of these wonderful memories of my college life through the music.

Hope all of you enjoyed this walk down memory lane as much as I did, putting it together for you (and me). I thoroughly loved this project- so many memories came flooding back. The feeling was just awesome.

As always, the public Youtube playlist with all the songs featured in this series of posts can be found here. Enjoy.

Posts in this Series:

Andha Naal Gnyabagam-Music in my college days (Part 1)

Andha Naal Gnyabagam- Music in my college days (Part 2)

Andha Naal Gnyabagam- Music in my college days (Part 3)

Andha Naal Gnyabagam – Music in my college days (Part 3)

We are less than a week away from the biggest gathering of PSG Tech alumni outside India. And I am counting down to the event with a series of posts on tamil film music in my college days. Over the last few days, we covered my freshman year and sophomore year and the songs that made it to the popularity charts then. We are now on to my junior year in college. This was the year I met my wife for the first time. So you can imagine this being a special year for us and the music made it all the more memorable.

1998

Over the summer of 98, the biggest hit was Priyamudan. This Vijay thriller was a big hit and the songs continued to echo in the college when we got back from our break. Deva was inspired by a whole slew of musical sources for his compositions for Priyamudan. The one that made it big was Bharathikku Kannamma. Vijay continued to have his share of hits with Nilave Vaa. With two heroines to choose from and a college setting to boot, the movie had some popular songs. The songs with air time were Nee Katru and Nilave Nilave.

This brings us to one gentleman named S.A.Rajkumar. S.A.R made his bones composing for Vikraman, he of the brother/sister/big family/village sentiment. In 1998, Vikraman made one such weepy emotional drama featuring Karthik called Unnidathil Ennai Koduthen. And true to form, SAR composed a song Edho Oru Pattu, which played and played everywhere you went. In buses, in the radio, in the TV and what not until you had enough of it.

September brought a big hit for Prashanth and Simran in the form of Kannedhirey Thondrinal. It also had a strong friendship theme to it with Prashanth and Karan and ended up being very popular among the college crowd. Quite a few of Deva’s songs made it pretty big like Salomiya, Kothal Savadi and Kanave Kalayadhe. The biggest one in college was Eshwara. The rest of the year did not have a big enough hit to surpass Deva’s gaana songs for Kannedhirey Thondrinal.

For the rest of the calendar year, there was not much to croon. Sollamale was a surprise hit with Livingston and Kausalya and had some decent songs but nothing to write about. The last decent hit of the year was Ilayaraja’s tunes for Agathiyan’s Kadhal Kavithai. The movie, an attempt to cash in on the fame of late Diana had some popular songs like Alana Naal Mudhala and Diana Diana but the movie itself was no big shakes.

1999

As if to compensate for the slim pickings in the last part of 1998, the next year opened up big and stayed big all Spring and summer until we left for the summer break. The first major hit for the year was the Vijay-Simran starrer Thulladha Manamum Thullum. A weepy romantic movie, it had superhit romantic songs that made it pretty big like Thodu Thodu, Innisai Padi varum and Iruvadhu Kodi.  But the biggest was Megamai Vandhu.

The year was just getting started. In a few weeks from when Vijay and Simran were rocking the charts, came Deva’s gaana magnum opus Ninaivirukkum Varai. This movie starring Prabhu Deva is not remembered as much for the  story or any such as much as it was for its two massive gaana hits- Kathadikkudhu Kathadikkudhu and Thirupathi Ezhumalai.

The end of February brought the long delayed Arvind Swamy starrer with ARR’s music in En Swaasa Katre. En Swaasa Katre did average business at the box office but given the Rahman rage going around town, the songs like Jumbalika, and Thirakkadha were quite popular. The biggest hit was Chinna Chinna mazhai thuligal but my personal favorite was SPB and Chitra’s Theendai.

March was a quite month because of the monster that was to follow. Rajinikanth’s movies were big, whichever you looked at it. In the media, around town and all over college, the songs from a Rajini movie were heard, period. Throw in ARR’s music and you had a heady concoction. And if were to be a monster hit like Padayappa, you can only imagine. Padayappa stormed the screens in early April and vanished all competition. For the romantic at heart, there was Suthi Suthi, a tantalizing piece by SPB. For the ones looking for motivation, there was Vetri Kodi Kattu.  For the Rajini intro song, there was Singa Nadai pottu. But the song that made it to the top of the pile was the lazy philosophical piece, Kikku Yeruthey.

The last few months of my third year in college had brought a surfeit of hits but it was not all done. The last major hit for that spring was the Ajith-Simran-Jyothika starrer Vaali. With its taut script and Deva’s tunes, the movie went head to head with Padayappa and did well. The movie had some great songs which made it very big in college – April Madhathil, Nilavai Konduvaa and more. The biggest of course was the Ajith-Jyothika piece, O Sona.

After a relatively timid start to the academic year, the quality and quantity of popular songs picked up  as the year progressed culminating in some major hits. It was a great year to be in college and the songs made it all the more special. Later this week, in the last and final post in this series, I will revisit the songs that made it big in my final year in college. Stay tuned.

As always, the public Youtube playlist with all the songs featured in this series of posts can be found here. Enjoy.

Posts in this Series:

Andha Naal Gnyabagam-Music in my college days (Part 1)

Andha Naal Gnyabagam- Music in my college days (Part 2)

Andha Naal Gnyabagam- Music in my college days (Part 4)

 

Andha Naal Gnyabagam-Music in my college days (Part 2)

A couple of days ago, I kicked off a 4-part series on music from my college years. The posts are timed to coincide with an upcoming mega alumni event in the Bay Area featuring some of the very best alumni PSG Tech TekMusic artists. As part of this series, today’s post features some of the most popular songs from my second year in college, 1997-98.

We got back to campus by late summer and the songs of V.I.P were doing the rounds. It was not a massive hit but something for the summer. Mayilu Mayilu was the standout piece from an interesting album by Ranjit Barot. For the Raaja aficionados there was not much to cheer with ARR ruling the roost. Raman Abdullah by erstwhile star director Balu Mahendra offered some good Raaja melodies. The popular piece here was En Veetu Jannal. Then came Nerukku Ner.

Nerukku Ner had a lot of things going for it – young and upcoming stars, a respected director in Vasanth and a big producer in the form of Manirathnam. The songs were very popular with Deva delivering some of his best tunes, none more so than Manam Virumbudhe.

Music has this interesting quality that often times, the simplest tunes work better than most. Porkalam, the Cheran movie with music by Deva stormed our campus with its simple tunes, two of which were very popular- Cingucha and Thanjavur mannu. On the opposite end of the spectrum, ARR’s next album, much touted and publicized by K.T.Kunjumon for its music and star pairing of Nagarjuna and Sushmita Sen was a damp squib. Songs like Soniya Soniya had a brief run but didnt make a big mark.

And then came Kadhalukku Mariyadhai. This December release featuring Vijay and Shalini was a massive hit both as a movie and as a music album. Ilayaraja made his way back to popular consciousness in a big way. This was one album that was heard in every floor of every building in the hostel. The romantic theme of the movie coupled with some melodious pieces made a huge impact. Ennai Thalatta varuvaalo was the pick of the lot. O baby  sent a swath of boys and girls to Landmark scouting for the elusive “Love and love only” book.

The latter half of my sophomore year at college didnt produce the wonders that the first half did. The first song that comes to my mind from this period is Ilasa Ilasa, an average number from a forgettable movie, Naam Iruvar Namakku Iruvar. The only reason I remember it is that my classmates danced for it on stage.

Kadhal Mannan made some minor waves because of Ajith and SPB’s hit song, Unnai Partha Pinbu. Kamal’s first release of 1997 Kadhala Kadhala featured some peppy music by Karthik Raja which garnered some play time in college. Of special note was the big hit piece Kasumela Kasuvandhu.

The second year thankfully did not end with a whimper but a bang with ARR’s hit music for Shankar’s magnum opus, Jeans. The movie did average business but the songs were popular all over. Classical singer Nithyashree hit all the right notes for the visual extravaganza Kannodu Kanbadhellam and with it the academic year came to an end.

In the next post, I will try to capture what was in and what rocked the corridors in my third year. Until then, enjoy the trip down memory lane. The Youtube playlist with all the songs from the first and second posts in this series is here.

Posts in this Series:

Andha Naal Gnyabagam-Music in my college days (Part 1)

Andha Naal Gnyabagam- Music in my college days (Part 3)

Andha Naal Gnyabagam- Music in my college days (Part 4)