I am an AR Rahman collector. I have close to everything he’s done in Hindi, and a lot of the other stuff too. Yes, even Love Birds. And Lakeer- Forbidden Lines. And yes, even the Hindi dubbed version of Duet, known as Tu Hi Mera Dil. Such a thing exists.
But there are a lot of AR Rahman songs that even his (northern) fans have not heard. Some movies did not get released, some were never heard north of the Deccan plateau. So– here are my favorite 7 AR Rahman songs that many people (even among his fans) have not heard, or are unfairly ignored:
“Dola Dola” from Dil Hi Dil Mein: (video)
Singers: Srinivas & Swarnalata
A very ‘old style’ song. If you heard the song on its own, without context, you might think it was an old ’50s song. Another song from this movie was the classic “saagar ke liye hai fishing net, pyaar ke liye hai internet”. (translated: for the ocean there is a fishing net, for love there is the Internet)
“Yaar Teri Bewafai” from Love You Hamesha: (audio)
Singer: Mahalaxmi Iyer
I believe this movie (starring Sonali Bendre and Akshay Khanna) never actually got a formal release, but thankfully the music was released. Yaar Teri Bewafai is one of my favorite Rahman songs, and probably the one with the best lyrics. It is a sung by a woman who is telling her former lover that it’s great that we broke up, we shouldn’t have been together anyways.
” Humne Bhi Tod Di Kasmon Ko, Vaadon Ko
Bhool Gaye Hum Bhi Teri Sab Yaadon Ko
Tune Yeh Dil Aise Tod Diya
Lekin Humne Bhi Haath Tera Chhod Diya
Tu Hai Udaas, Pareshaan Hum Nahin
Tere Jaise Anjaan Nadaan Hum Nahin
Yaar Teri Bewafaai Ka Humko Zara Sa Gham Nahin
Yahan Tere Se Haseen, Tere Se Jawaan Kam Nahin
Tu Nahin Mila, Koi Aur Mil Gaya
Dil Nahin Khila, Par Dard Khil Gaya
Pyaar Sholaa Hi Hai, Shabnam Nahin”
“Anjali” from Duet (tamil) (video)
This is a great solo saxophone followed by SP Balasubramanian singing the same tune to words.
“Mustafa Mustafa” from Duniya Dilwalon ki (Kadhal Desam in tamil) (video)
This is probably well known, but I feel it doesn’t get the respect it deserves. I love it and it’s one of the best songs to sing out loud. Especially when it gets to the chorus.
“Smiyai” from Kandukondain Kandukondain (tamil) (video)
Singers: Clinton (not Bill), Devan (not me)
This one was a big hit in south India, but not so much north of Chennai. A very classy, modern, fast paced beat including a capella style vocal beats. In fact, for the adventurous, almost every song from Kandukondain Kandukondain is great.
“Hai Dard” from Ada (video)
Singer: Udit Narayan
This is the most recent one (2008) on the list. This is another one where I don’t think the movie ever got released. But thankfully, the music did. Only one other song from this album was any good– “Ishq Ada Hai”.
“Noor un ala Noor” from Meenaxi (video)
Noor-un-ala-noor 2 FR Meenaxi
This is one of the great qawwali’s of all time. Extraordinary stuff.
So that’s all I have for now– enjoy!