The phenomenon is at an all-time high: old classics are being re-created left, right and centre in new Hindi films. So all-pervading is this trend that we are mentally set to
explore such "items" (what else can we call them?) in almost every fifth major release, and often in the smaller ones.
The latest is the lot is 'Tumhein Apna Banane Ka Junoon' re-created by Amaal Mallik in the forthcoming Hate Story 3, a redux from 'Tumhein Apna Banane Ki Kasam' composed by
Nadeem-Shravan in the 1991 film Sadak. To its credit, the song is imaginatively re-written by Rashmi Virag, but in a way, that also defeats the main objective: because very few of today's
generation may actually connect this with the original.
Yes, the question of copyright issues and credit lines in such songs-irrespective of music label-is cursorily dealt with-a passing mention in small print on the CD inlay. But in an era wherein CD
sales have reached a nadir and most listeners prefer legal (or illegal) downloads, the song, if it proves popular, will rob the original creators of due credit. In most cases, even on the inlay,
the music company is mention as the commercial deal is struck between two music labels. Besides, of late, T-Series is mostly redoing tracks originally released on their own label, and are now being
reused in their own productions!
This leads to many piquant situations-the music of Heropanti, for example, was on T-Series, but the track 'Whistle Bajaa' inspired by the music riff of 'Lambi Judaai' from the
1983 HMV hit Hero, had to be released on Saregama-the new name of the HMV label in India!
The Pratiggya song 'Main Jat Yamla Pagla Deewana' was on Saregama, but when the Deols wanted to re-use it in Yamla Pagla Deewana in its original form (by Mohammed Rafi), they
were forced to take the pragmatic way out because of the change of label. The song was finally re-recorded by Sonu Nigam, some portions added by RDB as the new music label was T-Series! This was
not without irony: for both Pratiggya in 1975 and Yamla... in 2011 were both Dharmendra's home productions and technically, they owned the earlier song too!
T-Series, off-late, has been unleashing a blitzkrieg of re-created songs in their own productions. It all began with Karzzzz, in which the song 'Ek Haseena Thi' was repeated from the
1980 Karz from which the film was taken. However, here again, the original was with Saregama.
That is probably why there was a long gap till the 2013 Nautanki Saala! came along, in which Anand-Milind's 'Dhak Dhak Karne Lagaa' (Beta) was refurbished by Mikey McCleary,
while he also treated the Tezaab hit 'So Gaya Yeh Jahaan' to a faster beat by retaining the original Laxmikant-Pyarelal recording and voice.
T-Series' list of such songs from their own musical repertoire has been burgeoning by the day. All Is Well had a changed version of 'Ae Mere Humsafar' (Anand-Milind / Qayamat Se
Qayamat Tak) done by Mithoon. Hate Story 2's only popular song was 'Aaj Phir Tumpe Pyar Aaya Hai' (Laxmikant-Pyarelal / Dayavan) done by Arko.
Ek Paheli-Leela refurbished two songs-Ismail Darbar's 'Dholi Tharo Dhol Baaje' from Hum Dil De Chuke Sanam as 'Dhol Baaje' and Sajid-Wajid's 'Deewana Tera' from
their non-film top seller Deewana (2000), both done by Meet Bros. Anjjan. In their non-starter I Love NY, T-Series re-created R.D. Burman's title-track from their own production
Aaja Meri Jaan from DJ Phukan.
T-Series continued to use this ploy in their small film Bhaag Johnny, in which another Deewana track, 'Iss Qadar Pyar Hai' was rehashed by Arko. And in a hit single that they
shot abroad with Hrithik Roshan and Sonam Kapoor, they went the reverse way-converting the Nadeem-Shravan film chartbuster 'Dheere Dheere Se' from their 1990 hit production Aashiqui
into a non-film video single by Yo Yo Honey Singh!
Says Vinod Bhanushali of T-Series, "If we find that an old hit of ours can fit into a situation in a new film, we decide to use the opportunity to re-create it with updated words and sound, keeping
the composition essentially same, as everyone have got used to the tune after listening to it for years. In any situation, the mood needed should match that of the song that we use and the thought
must be on the lines of the original. We then look for the right changes that can justify the essence of the older song and the needs of the latter."
He admits that in a way, it is a revival of their old catalogue, but he stresses that some amount of market research also goes into this phenomenon. "Though so far, we have had almost a 100 percent
success rate, it is not easy to crack which old song will work, and so it is not something we are doing to make a fast buck,' he says.
Also, what is known as a re-creation today is not the same as the Jhankaar Beats phenomenon of the '80s or the "remixes" of the '90s and early millennium. The former were like cover versions
done as gimmicks, with even male songs sung by female singers and vice-versa with the addition of gaudy beats. The latter also had this quality but were either a re-treatment of the originals or
re-interpretations of the older melodies, but usually with videos. The lyrics and even the tunes were untouched by and large, and none of these tracks were ever used within a film.
And let us not forget that the oldest way of pressing F5 on an older song were the parodies we heard down the decades, from that of a single song that was reworked with a humorous angle ('Jab
Pyar Kiya To Marna Kyoon' in Kalyanji-Anandji's 1966 Raaz from Naushad's 1960 classic 'Jab Pyar Kiya To Darna Kya' from Mughal-E-Azam) to composite parodies with multiple
songs used with or without changes in lyrics in films like Mr. India, Maine Pyar Kiya, Lamhe and others.
The first widely known actual re-creation was when 12 R.D. Burman songs were remodelled in Dil Vil Pyaar Vyaar (2002), making up its entire soundtrack. However, none of the songs nor the
film worked, as they were shabbily redesigned and sung and filmed both irrelevantly and irreverently, like solos turned into duets! This was intended to be a tribute album to the senior composer.
Another film that paid him a tribute was Jhankaar Beats (2003), in which Amit Kumar, original singer Kishore Kumar's son, sang 'Hamein Tumse Pyar Kitna' from Kudrat.
In Hum Tum (2004), the Laxmikant-Pyarelal Bobby evergreen 'Hum Tum Ek Kamre Mein Band Ho' was used on the older film's hero Rishi Kapoor with the same singer, Shailendra Singh,
and was actually re-recorded by Jatin-Lalit. Technology has also been used to incorporate the older songs and the original voice into their newer versions, as in utilizing the title-track of
'Sabse Bada Rupaiya' in Bluffmaster! (2005), the title-track of Bachna Ae Haseeno (2008) from a song of that name in 'Hum Kisise Kum Naheen', and similar conversion of
old songs into titles and re-created songs for newer films (Aa Dekhen Zara, Yamla Pagla Deewana, Laaga Chunari Mein Daag).
Re-creations, Karzzzz apart, were also common when the films themselves were re-made, like in Don, Victoria No. 203, Zanjeer (where the song 'Kaatilana' was a clever
redux of 'Diljalon Ka Dil Jalaake' from the older film) or Himmatwala.
In the blitzkrieg of such renovations, Laxmikant-Pyarelal and R.D. Burman led the honours with 23 songs each, with the latter having 12 of them in just one film and two more blended into just one
song ('Duniya Mein' and 'Monica O My Darling' in 'Parda' from Once Upon A Time In Mumbaai). For the record, the only tunes re-done more than once are the aforementioned
flute riff of L-P's Hero, heard both in Gang Of Ghosts and Heropanti, and Rajesh Roshan's Lootmaar hit 'Jab Chhaye Mera Jadoo' in both Hattrick and Charles Aur
And while the general reaction is uncongenial (most do not agree with defiling an older classic) and older composers scoff at the creative inability to match classics with original new
compositions, the need is clearly not just commercial but also nostalgia-based for many filmmakers and composers-it is a way of paying tribute (as happens internationally) to iconic creations by
having their own interpretations worked into a film.
So all we need to do is to just wait for a deluge in the years to come.
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