The Classic Killers
After the astounding success of Bally Sagoo’s remixed version of R. D. Burman’s ‘Chura Liya Hai Tumne’, a spate of remixes appeared on the music charts. Given the rich repertoire of Hindi film music, there have been numerous remixes in India. Classics such as ‘Man Dole’, ‘Dum Maro Dum’, ‘Jhumka Gira Re’, ‘Chura Liya’ have all seen remix versions. Instead of promoting old melodious songs, music companies cashed in on the financial viability of the remix versions. They take hit songs that have succeeded in the past, so the likelihood of them succeeding again is very high. Remix must seem like a perfect formula to earn quick buck. Today the remix industry has become so widespread that any one who may not have any notions about music or the melody remixes almost any old masterpiece. Can one, for instance, imagine ‘Ab Ke Sawan’ with rap sequences for interludes (in Tango)? Doesn’t the electronically manipulated voice of Neha Nagpal get on one’s nerves in her remix version of ‘Man Dole’? Why do we need the music of early icons when all we want to do is to give it a complete makeover that renders it barely recognizable, if not ruins it totally?
One thing good about Indian cinema is that no particular trend, howsoever paying it may be, is allowed to become monotonous. The remixed versions of ‘Kanta Laga’, ‘Meri Beri Ke Ber’, ‘Pardesia’ and ‘Bin Tere Sanam’ may have topped the charts last year, but the sounds of music emanating from music channels and discos now is indicative of a new trend. Originals are back in business with people giving the thumbs down to remix numbers. Albums of individual artistes and original film scores are much in demand. Sales of remixes have hit rock bottom. And original music albums have made a major come back. Singers, are now back to cutting their own albums rather than singing remixes. And they include the remix master Bally Sagoo who is now totally involved with his original music albums. Old classics from the golden decades of 50s-70s are also in demand. Good news for those who have grown up with a reverence for classics - ‘Pirates of the Classics’ are definitely passé.