It is said, the older the wine, the better, because some old things remain the best with time. And what if it is packaged in a new form? Does it become new? Maybe, but surely the essence does not remain the same. Why am I talking about these things is, the same goes with music and to be precise songs. We had some great music composers and singers in our Indian cinema, and so had some lovely melodies. The way it was presented and composed just left us wanting for more. But yes, this is what the older generation thinks. Because our younger generation is happy rather mused by the addition of extra ‘tadka’, ‘rap’, and ‘beats’ in it, which is being served along with the aged old songs. I am talking about the remixes and the recent trends of songs remade for current music albums.
A 15-year-old is humming to the tunes of evergreen song ‘pal pal dil ke pas’, and I hurt my neck when I turn my face in a sudden jerk to see who is this wonder boy who is singing a song decades old, being so young. I restrain myself from happily asking me, as to from where did he learnt this old song and developed a liking for it (it has been one of my favorite among oldies) when simultaneously I stumble across the TV screen where Gurmeet Choudhary, the new hunk in tinsel town is lip sing to the same song along with a blonde, and I realize it is again a remake. Now I won’t be the same anymore, to listen to it as its video flashes will be diluted by Gurmeet alongside Rakhi and her flying letters.
Remakes and remixes were a growing trend in 90’s when Norwegian’s Negar Khan ruled the tv screens destroying every song with her ill-clad videos and inclusion of lots of beats and raps in songs. ‘Chod do aanchal’, kabhi aar kabhi paar’ ;ek pardesi’ were some songs which had been remixed and was a huge hit at that time. All the top models of that time had one remix in their booty. Those were the times when the singles were equally or rather more popular than film songs, sharing an equal proportion of viewership. Remixing old songs gradually decreased over the period and film music completely took over, the only singles which would be heard were of reality show winner or a new entrant who was trying to squeeze into the industry.
The new wave today is different from 90’s as the songs are not remixed but modified, altering the lyrics along with the music, serenity and the loss of essence was the blame it is being accused of. And to an extent it is true.
I thought of the idea of writing on it when, the recent remade occurred on one of my most favourite and nostalgic song, ‘humma humma’ from ‘Bombay’. I recall dancing on it with my elder sister for hours together when it used to be played on the radio. Though I liked the newer version also, but when I went on to ask reviews about it I realized that song was special for many, and most of them hated the newer version. They said the older was much better and the composers are destroying the legacy of the old music composers over the time. Scrolling the playlist on my phone, I stumbled upon every other song being, a remake and a modified version of some old melody.’ ae zindagi gale laga le’ , ‘ kisi se pyar ho jae’, ‘Pal pal dil ke pas’, ‘maahi ve’ are some to name a few, where the lyrics are also changed.
If it’s good or bad, should be done or not, is something which is relative and varies to person to person. If we think like an old school, and most elders would agree with me that it is destroying the beauty of the old melody, it used to have. The younger generation will never be able to enjoy the smoothness and calmness those songs had as the new remade will always overtake them.
But if I try to decipher the reason for it being remade will be, may be its way of introducing evergreen songs to the present listeners updated according to the present time…
The reason may be whatever, but making a cocktail of an already present cocktail is not being accepted very well by the listeners. After all preserving the history and legacy is important for any industry.