Friday, September 25, 2020

Enga SPB

Everybody is familiar with the ‘80s SPB during the Golden era of the Raaja... On to the ‘90s, we got introduced to Isaippuyal via SPB in Roja, Kadhalan, Uzhavan and so on. SPB continued  continues to rule even in 2000s, until now. Ofcourse, the Indhi belt keeps talking about the Salmaan SPB from the ‘90s... the only SPB they probably know of.

In Tamizh, not many people speak about the ‘60s and ‘70s SPB... atleast on social media. Except for the QFR series , Oliyum Oliyum equivalents on Sunlife, Murasu TV etc, makkal don’t quite talk about his ‘70s and his ‘60s, in Tamizh cinema. IMO, this was the most glorious era of SPB. He continued to sound the same as he did in Aayiram Nilave Vaa and Iyarkai Enum Ilaya Kanni, even now. How like that?

Thanks to my father I got introduced to SPB’s songs from the ‘60s and ‘70s. That SPB era, now feels more like ‘Enga{L} SPB’ which a lot of makkal don’t know about or atleast not talking about.  When I say ‘Enga’ I include me, my siblings, parents and a close circle of a dozen friends born in the ‘70s. When I say ‘Enga SPB’ is also feels a lot personal and a bit possessive. Let me introduce you to a few of my favourites of ‘Enga SPB’.

(Image from one of the whatsapp videos on SPB shared)

1. Naalai Namadhe: Though He was not the voice of MGR in this particular song, this tops my MGR-SPB playlist. May be because my dad used to sing this really well when we were kids. This is a duet with the legendary TMS , yet SPB holds his own. When he begins with an “Anbu Malargale.....” it’s instant love! My father had tried to ‘Karaoke’ this song last year in Madras, and I hope I have a recording of it with me. This movie plays quite often on TV these ‘Lockdown’ days and I sit thru’ all the masala only to listen to this track.

2. Devan Vedamum : SPB-Susheela and Thyagarajan (Top Star Prashant’s father) singing / speaking in this song. Again, this was introduced to me by my father. V.Kumar FTW! Romba beautiful song. 

3. Ilamayenum Poongatru: No inter-collegiate hifi culturals in Madras was complete in the ‘80s and ‘90s without a rendition of this song. I have listened to this more during ‘Mardigras’ / ‘Saarang’ selection rounds, sung by the professional college music gangs than in OLiyum Oliyum. For everyone’s benefit, I’ve linked the video without the “actual video”.

4. Vaarthai Thavari Vittai: Thanks to this track being featured on OLiyum Oliyum on high rotation, I’d sing (oLarify) this, as a kid , with the “Ennadi Meenacheee...”

5. Kamban Emaandhan: The amazing Kamal-SPB-MSV-Balachander combo! That place where SPB goes “Malarendraaaannn” is sheer magic! The other magic from the same film is “iLakkanam Maarudho....”. When he begins the song with ‘Ilakkanam” Deiva Level! I’m told Kamban Emandaan is Vishwanathan Anand’s favourite too.

6. Vaazhvil Sowbaagiyam: It’s not an overtly sweet romantic song, though it featured a (then) real life couple, on screen. We owe a lot of Ceylon Radio for introducing such gems to us.

7. Thoduvadenna Thendralo : If you ask my dad his top 5 favourites, this will definitely feature in that. SPB takes you to Kulu Kulu Kashmir when he sings about ‘Pani’, ‘kuLir’ etc.. Pppaah!

8. Poopole Un Punnagaiyil: This, again was a Ceylon Radio intro. Sivaji sings, yearning for his daughter’s love...You cannot but feel the sadness of a father when he sings “Ammavendru varum kannukutti”.

9. Uchchi Vagundeduthu: A cousin , Priya , used to love this song. I haven’t spoken or met her in decades but this song and its rendition takes me back to childhood days when Priya would keep mentioning this song. Again, the sogam of Sivakumar is brought out so well in this song, thanks to Ilaiyaraaja and SPB.

10. Paadum Podhu Naan Thendral Kaatru: This song is what one calls ‘breezy’.True to the lyrics, the ‘Thendral’ification of the song oozes in SPB’s voice.

There are many many more gems of ‘Enga SPB’ that one can continue to talk about. At the beginning of this Lockdown period, I had made a series of playlists and one of the first few playlists made was ‘Lockdownil ‘70s SPB’. Never did I think I’d listen to this playlist on repeat , on a day like this.

(Image from one of the whatsapp videos on SPB shared)

Thank you, SPB for the wonderful songs and memories from the ‘60s until now🎙❤

3 Responses:

The Practical Idealist said...

Lovely post! Even though I was only born in the late 70s, thanks to oliyum oLiyum, I had the opportunity to listen to a ton of his songs from that period. Later on in life, I discovered even more of his songs, but I struggle to pick favourites: there are just too many!

He was a legend, one of a kind both as a singer and a human being. This is one of the saddest days for South Indian film music.

aruna´s world said...

Thanks!! Lovely article & i agree his songs can still be hummed even today... the black & white sassy kamal / rajini ... illamai unjal aadradu was what friday evenings were meant to be

aruna´s world said...

Really lovely article echoing the thoughts of all us 80’s mangais... Friday evening was meant for a sassy kamal & rajini illamai idhonidho/ illama unjal / billa