Saturday, 14 July 2018

My favourite six by the King of Melodies MSV

During the late ‘60s and early ‘70s, the entire music fandom in Tamilnadu was relying on Bollywood numbers. Even marriage halls in remote villages have R D Burman playing his chords via mammoth loudspeakers.

At the time, it was the King of Melodies (Mellisai Mannar) M S Viswanathan, along with his musical-half, T K Ramamoorthy, who grabbed the attention of people with their Tamil tunes and laid the foundation for expanding to a bigger audience in the State which was taken beyond boundaries of Tamilnadu by MSV's successor Ilayaraja.

Here is a throwback on the third death anniversary of MSV, with a list of some of his my favourite numbers.

Malrandhum Malaraadha - Paasamalar - 1961

The all-time lullaby of Tamil cinema. This number by M S Viswanathan and T K Ramamoorthy duo is totally irreplaceable and immortal. It is one of the iconic songs that was bang on with the tune, lyrics, vocals, presentation and screen presence of the actors - everything came out in the best form. The song sung by P Susheela and T M Soundararajan is based on a tune that would touch the utmost depth of human relationships.

Nenjam Marappathillai - Nenjam Marappathillai - 1963

This number was an experiment by the Viswanathan-Ramamoorthy duo. The same tune was adapted for four different songs and versions. A male version by P B Sreenivas, a female version by P Susheela, and a happy and sad duet by them both were in the movie. Since the movie's plot was on the line of reincarnation, the musician duo had a lot to experiment with.

Anubavam Pudhumai - Kadhalikka Neramillai - 1964

MSV, who always has had an influence of western strings and percussion in his songs, made this romantic melody in a complete jazz flavour. The song travels with the love pair residing in the same premises of an estate where they sing recalling the memories of each other.

Since the situation demanded a turbulent flow of emotions, the song was extended with two stanzas for the hero sung by P B Sreenivas and two for the heroine. by P Susheela. Every time the stanza ends, the first line of the pallavi, 'Anubavam pudhumai....' pops out, which turned out to be the USP of the song.

Engey Nimmadhi - Puthiya Paravai - 1964

This was yet another experiment by MSV and still has a world record for having the most number of instruments in a song. In the peak of confusion and depression of the protagonist, played by Sivaji Ganesan, this song appears with a sequence magical-realism shots. For this magical-realism, the tune was made in such a way that it was a medley of various themes, including horror. The song, sung by TMS, runs for about six-and-a-half minutes which was pretty long for a melody of its time.

Ninaivale Silaiseidhu - Andaman Kaadhali - 1978

This number is a melody that is placed in the movie for the love of a couple who reunite after decades. Since the song involves the couple who are mature adults, the tune, too, had to be on a mature scale, which made the song sound ‘heavy’ in terms of conveying emotions. The voice of K J Yesudas for Sivaji and Vani Jayaram for Sujatha, too, added a rich flavour to the song's content.

Raagangal Pathinaaru - Thillu Mullu - 1981

This is one of the evergreen songs that brought out the best in singer S P Balasubrahmanyam. Especially, the first aalaap is still fresh. The song turned out to be an amalgamation of love and lust of the hero who proposes to a 16-year-old which is the first line. Featuring Rajinikanth, the song was also presented in a melodramatic fashion by filmmaker K Balachander. It was also used again by music director-duo of MSV and Yuvan Shankar Raja in the 2013 remake of Thillu Mullu, sung by Karthik.

- Santhosh Mathevan,
Chennai, July 14, 2018.

A part or complete version of this listicle by Santhosh Mathevan has appeared in This is completely based on the perceptions of Santhosh Mathevan alone. This does not reflect the views of two or more people or a community. Queries and criticism shall be addressed to the writer only. Photos/images appearing on the post are sourced from various sites across the web.