RD Burman’s iconic number Lakdi Ki Kaathi from Shekhar Kapur’s Masoom (1983) has been reborn in the June 2 release Hanuman Da Damdaar. Did it need to be resurrected through the remix route, especially when the original tune is catchy enough?
Remixes of iconic Hindi film songs are now a staple of soundtracks. Some of the retooled versions work well in reconnecting younger audiences with the pleasures of the original numbers. But several songs are peppy enough to begin with. Might it not have been easier to buy the rights to the tune and reproduce as is?
Here are ten tracks that do not need a DJ to ruin their original impact.
Composer Mikey McCleary tweaked – and ruined – the iconic Sridevi dance number from Mr India (1987) for Shaitan (2011). The remix entirely remasters the song with Suman Shridhar’s warbling vocals, right to the original’s delightful nonsensical opening verse. The new song’s jazzy inflections fall short in trying to replicate the original’s frisky mood.
Tamma Tamma Loge
Bappi Lahiri’s lift of Guinean singer Mory Kanté’s single Tama is the highlight of Thanedaar (1990). Madhuri Dixit burns up the dance floor alongside a visibly awkward Sanjay Dutt for a song that is an undeniable party favourite. Retaining the original vocals of Lahiri and Anuradha Paudwal, Tanishk Bagchi’s version for Badshah’s rap in Badrinath Ki Dulhania (2017) splurges on electronic beats. Dutt and Dixit’s suave chair routine is replaced by contemporary fads such as the mannequin challenge and Naagin moves, wrecking the original’s charm.
Tanishk Bagchi and Badshah’s remix of the AR Rahman chartbuster Humma Humma from Mani Ratnam’s Bombay (1995) caused uproar among fans upon its release. The new track has a wholly redundant rap infusion that only undermines the already groovy original. Sung by Remo Fernandes and Swarnalatha, the Bombay number juxtaposes an item song with the consummation of the inter-faith marriage between Arvind Swamy and Manisha Koirala. OK Jaanu, a remake of Ratnam’s Tamil language OK Kanmani, features the remix during a similar intimate moment between future live-in partners Aditya (Aditya Roy Kapur) and Tara (Shraddha Kapoor). The Tamil film had the breezy number Paranthu Sella Vaa for the same situation. Why Humma Humma then?
Yeh Mera Dil
In the seductive number Yeh Mera Dil from Don (1978), lustily sung by Asha Bhosle and composed by Kalyanji Anandji, Helen is trying to distract Amitabh Bachchan from leaving an apartment in the hope that the waiting police will trap him. The remix in Farhan Akhtar’s remake Don (2006) sees Kareena Kapoor in Helen’s role. While the original boasted of an alluring balance between the background keys and Bhosle’s vocals, the Sunidhi Chauhan number is overpowered by the beats.
Laila O Laila
In yet another Kalyanji Anandji foot-tapper, Zeenat Aman shake a leg to Kanchan’s vocals. Ram Sampath’srecreation of the song in Raees (2017) stays true to the original’s tune, but trumpet sounds take the place of strings. Sunny Leone dances and tries to seduce Shah Rukh Khan’s smuggler, but it doesn’t match up to the original’s subtlety.
Tenu Kala Chashma Jajta Ve
The bhangra pop hit Tenu Kala Chashma Jajta Ve was composed by Kam Dhillon in 2005. The groovy number was allegedly penned by a head constable in Punjab. The rehashing of the tune in Baar Baar Dekho (2016) retains Aman Arshi’s vocals but peppers it with Neha Kakkar’s vocals and superfluous rap segments by Badshah.
Payal Dev replaces Kishore Kumar’s vocals in Rajesh Roshan’s rejig of the original in Kaabil (2017). Featuring Raftaar’s rap sequence, the song stars Urvashi Rautela in the place of Amitabh Bachchan and his groovy footwork. Bachchan’s bulb-embedded attire is not the only thing missing from this track.
Gajar Ne Kiya Hai Ishara
Clad in shimmering belly dance attire, Madhuri Dixit, Sangeeta Bijlani and Sonam twirl in synchronised beats to the Kalyanji Anandji composition. The DJ Chetas remastered version in Azhar (2016) features Nargis Fakhri, who plays the role of Bijlani in the Mohammad Azharuddin biopic. Replacing the original’s iconic clap sequences with thumping beats, the song only makes us want to stick by the original.
Bachna Ae Haseeno
In one of the biggest chartbusters from the 1970s, Rishi Kapoor dances suavely in this RD Burman number crooned by Kishore Kumar. The recreation of the song features Kapoor’s son Ranbir Kapoor in Bachna Ae Haseeno (2008). Composed by Vishal-Shekhar, the song thankfully holds on to bits of Kishore Kumar’s vocals and the glorious trumpet sounds, but is also accompanied by singers Dadlani and Sumit Kumar, redundantly capped with rap notes.
Apni To Jaise Taise
The Kalyanji Anandji tune from Laawaris (1981) has Kishore Kumar lend a folk touch to disco-themed beats. Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy remastered the song as Dhanno in Sajid Khan’s Housefull (2010). The new track is not a line-by-line remake of the original, but it struggles to justify its existence.