Come Back, Illayaraaja

Listening to a Kolla Kuthu (meaning a gaana) song called Sandai Kozhi from Dhanush‘s latest flick Sullaan, me and my friend pondered over the music sense of the current tamil music dierctors.

We both agreed on the fact that Illayaraja‘s music was free flowing even in a Kolla Kuthu song. These days, even if it is a melodious song, either you sit, listen and concentrate to enjoy it. Or shut it down, because it hinders your jobs.

But now, even as I am connected to the net and typing this very blog post, Illayaraja’s 80’s hits is playing in the CD player. Not a slightest disturbance it does to my thinking nor does it affect my flow. It serves as perfect background and still makes me jive. Ok, so you might argue that it is one of those Illayarajaa’s melodiest song that plays now. No way. It is Muthaduthey Muthaduthey Raagam from Nallavanukku Nallavan. It is fairly a fast paced song with disco beats. The amazing way the music flows given S P Balasubramanian‘s lovable voice, I think we are dearth of such music these days.

A R Rahman to a huge level filled up this gap. But because of his recent association with Hollywood, the gap has widened and gives me a feeling that tamil film music is getting down to ditches.

Even Yuvan Shankar Raja or Vidhyasagar comes out with some amazing tunes. I recently fell in love with Bharadhwaj’s Manasukulley song from Autograph, especially that malayalam accent was a great blend and the recent YSR’s Kanna Kaanum Kaalangal from 7G Rainbow colony are precious ones, hard to find stuff in the given tamil music scenario. But they don’t fill up the quest for good music of a tamil music fan. They don’t even come near it.

At this juncture, I can’t hope more except to shout, COME BACK ILLAYARAAJA !!

108 thoughts on “Come Back, Illayaraaja

  1. Aayirathula oru varthai, Guru! Some of his songs that sound simple superficially, have amazing tunes when you listen to them. A good example is this song.

  2. Fully agree with you…He is unbeatable..

    BTW, I thought nallavanaku nallavan was composed by Sankar ganesh ?

  3. Lazygeek, you have hit up on a good point. Even when Raja wrote the music for a song with meaningless words “Pottu vaitha kathal thittam..”. I think music must move on with history so Raja can only put out an occasional hit like “Virumandi”. He has done his job. It is upto the current musicians to do theirs. On an other note, folk singer Pu. Kuppusami (& v.imp. NOT his wife) is an unrecognized genius.

  4. Will check that Arvind.

    The song that I was playing was from an MP3 cd names Illayaraja’s 80’s hits.

    BTW, Shankar Ganesh could have not composed that amazing Unnaithaaney and Chittukku which come from the same movie.

  5. Maran, Lets shout together so that it reaches him.

    Ripples, this is also a great point. Superficially some songs sound ok. But on listening them carefully you would get an amazing tune.

    Ashok, Pushpavanam Kuppusami is gone, the minute he jumped into movies. I’ve written him off.

    Ravi, Even if Thaanu or AVM Saravanan hires Illayraja, it isn’t enough. We need that genius, spontaneous, versatile 80’s Illayaraja with that same form.

  6. Arvind, I was right. Check out Raaga link.

    As I said, Shankar Ganesh could have never come with such brilliant songs.

    Chittukku Chella Chittukku really rocks, even today. And after I have said this listen to Muthaduthey and tell me if Illayraja is anything short of genius.

  7. I think part of the reason is, he is making himself scarce these days not wanting to overshadow his kids. Otherwise, with A R Rahman not doing much of note these days, he will be the No.1 choice. Maybe this is good, it will make us appreciate his genius more.

  8. Talking of Raja’s songs, well there’s so many that just can’t be replaced.Give me :
    Netru Intha Neram- 3 Tic
    Ithu Oru Nila Kaalam- 3 Tic
    over any of the latest songs .
    Pani vizhum malar vanam is another masterpice.SPB’s voice just floats thru with the guitar bit in the charanam.The list is endless.Although a lot of new singers are being exposed these days-which is a great thing-I must say we did have quite a few different voices in the Raja era-Jency,Sunanda, Uma Ramanan, Deepan Chakravarthy etc.Some of Raja’s greatest hits have been rendered by them
    I shud say that the Late Mahesh’s songs are really great to listen, in terms of melody.Im listening to vanam Vasapadume right now, its really soothing, I must say.
    Ive enjoyed ChandraBose’s songs in some films-Anna Nagar Muthal Theru had a few melodious numbers and Anadavane Paakanum-not sure which movie-a Satyaraj starrer as well was a good number.

    BUT YEAH-BRING THE 80s RAJA BACK.

    Do the kids who grew up in the 90s and 2000s agree?

  9. Priya, You got some fabulous ones listed. Anadavana Paakanum was from Makkal Enn Pakkam.

    And yeah, Panivizhum Malarvanam is magic. Can’t even think it was ever orchestrated. It generally came down to the world. Thats it.

    Adding to your list of singers is Jeyachandran. Remember Raasathi Unna Kaanatha from Vaithehi Kathirunthaal. Recentlt I loved him in Rajyama song from Baba. Thanks to Rahman for bringing back Jeyachandran.

  10. Yes, thanks Lazy Geek for reminding me of Jeyachandran .Another number I love of his was Paadi Vaa thendrale…Again, no idea which movie.
    U know, Salil Choudhari gave quite a few hits as well-Ullamellam Thalladuthe was a very sweet song,that comes to my mind.Also Poovannam Pola Nenjam from Azhiyatha Kolangal was good.
    I can listen to En Iniya Pon Nilave ..a thousand times -Raja’s music and Yesudas’s voice is a perfect blend there.

  11. OK, hate to be the party pooper here, but as a “kid who grew up in the 90s” I dont necessarily agree with the comparisons. I think it’s *hugely* shortchanging what AR Rahman has done for Tamil cinema. He did over 70 first class albums before even *considering* foreign cinema – where he is doing impressively well and raising Indian/Tamil music singlehandedly to a global level (something I don’t think can be attributed to any musician besides maybe Zakir Hussain or Pandit. Ravi Shankar). He literally changed the sound that we love listening to in less than 5 years (1994-1999).

    The fact that my marwadi friends started singing alaipayudhe’s lyrics and britishers are singing “shakalaka baby” is a tribute to where ARR has taken tamil music (until then there was a distinct difference between fans of tamil and non-tamil music).

    Hats off to IR in the 80s, but I hate to think that we can’t find a new 26 year old to recapture some of that magic. To imagine that we only can have one person to produce that effect among the plethora of musical genuis in tamilnadu seems silly to me…

  12. Im in the exact same position of Anand…I like Ilayaraja songs, but I love ARR songs. IR songs are something that you can listen to while doing something else. ARR music is something a lot more deep that, u have to read into it, its like reading poetry; many levels of understanding. ARR songs, the more you listen to them the more magic you’ll discover with them. You can never completely digest an ARR song, there’s just always something that you may not have listened to the previous times. My recent example of this fannah (on repeat in my car for the past 2 weeks, sorry cant get enough of that song :)).

  13. As the arguments diverts into comparing Rahman or Illayraja, I am not for it. This post wasn’t meant to compare Rahman and Illayaraja. This has happened in many forums and I hate to start one.

    Because they have different kingdoms in music to rule.

    I was trying to say that after Rahman has ditched tamil music, I say this a die-hard rahman fan, tamil music is going to ditches. So to save we can’t call rahman back. He is obviously busy in taking indian music to a different paradigm.

    Illayaraja needs no time, schedule. He can come back with a bang anytime and rock us. Remember Kamal told that Hey Ram will be one of Illayraja’s best. And that Isayil Thodanguthamma song with a bhimsen joshi like voice, Illayaraja re-assured that he is a messiah.

    Come back, Illayaraja, I say again.

  14. Geek, is ilayaraja really gone? IMO he’s still making some nice melodies like “Etho Onnu” from Cheran’s Solla Marandha Kadhai, his pace has slowed down but he still continues making awesome songs like this every year. And who could possibly not like “Elangaathu Veesuthey” from Pithamagan?

  15. But are you aware of a man called Illayaraja who tuned all the songs of Enn Rasaavin Manasiley in just one day and they became a super dooper hit.

    That is the man that I am looking for. Tell me if you find him.

  16. Probably we are starting to dislike the heavily Synthesised Music that brushes our ears today..
    so much so that we are pining for the natural music of yesteryears.

    Talking about Raja, I really like the Jesudas-Raja combinations like ‘Kanne Kalaimaney…’.

  17. Yes, I agree. We shouldnt be comparing Raja to ARR,here (atleast not this post).They are both geniuses of their own kind and genre.Im a great fan of ARR and personally think that he has great a voice too.Fanah-the end bit,Dil Se and so on!!
    Since we are talking abt the great music of Raja,Many many songs come to mind-

    Nizhalgal-Ithu Oru Pon Maalai, Poongathave.
    Germaniyin-Movie??
    Kannan Vanthu, Raja Raja Chozhan
    Solai Poovil Malai thendral
    Kodai Kala Kaatre-Malaysia Vasudevan’s voice which is normally used for QAWWALI type songs and village type songs, is a wonderful surprise here.In fact all songs in Paneer Pushpangal
    Uravenum Puthiya vaanil-Nenjathai Killathe
    Nathiyil Aadum Poovanam-Ananda Raagam I think

  18. Hey there, No arguments, Ilayaraja and ARR are geniuses in their own aspects. If u thought Raja’s Punnagai mannan (enna sathma indha neram, ethetho…),Moondram pirai(kanne kalaimaane…),Keladi kanmani(Nee pathi naan pathi, mannil indha….) were superb, don’t forget the mersmerising May maadham(Minnalae nee vandhadhenadi….), Roja(Kadhal rojave…), Minsara Kanavu(Anbendra mazhayilae….),Alaipayuthey(Evano oruvan vaasikiraan…) of ARR that are equally good. I grew up listening to the best of both these worlds and i guess both ARR and Raja leave their marks on Tamil film music, but in a different way and age. Of course, one has to accept that Tamil film music, of late, has been really irritating with Manmadha raasa and Appadi podu etc becoming super hits. But u cant blame music directors or film-makers about this, because all this depends upon the public’s taste. Raja might give us “Ilankaatru veesuthey”, but what if people prefer “Chinna veeda varattuma…” YOU CAN’T SHAKE HANDS WITH A CLENCHED FIST. I don’t know when Tamil audience will understand “Kani iruppa kaai kavarndhatru…”(Thirukkural)

    Luv,
    Madhu
    (One of the few good music lovers left)

  19. hi lazygeek
    A small correction. Isaiyil thodanguthamma from Hey Ram is not bhisen joshi as u mentioned, it is Ajay Chakraborthy. Great singer indeed.

  20. Isaiyil thodanguthamma from Hey Ram is not bhisen joshi as u mentioned, it is Ajay Chakraborthy

    geek, this is what i wrote. I’m truly aware that it wasn’t bhimsen joshi.

    quote :
    And that Isayil Thodanguthamma song with a bhimsen joshi like voice, Illayaraja re-assured that he is a messiah.

  21. ok, so priya is on a great trip of listing Illayaraja’s great numbers. All of them are great except one – Raja Raja Chozhan. I have a small question on that song. Will write a post on that soon. I am sure that it will be a interesting piece of news for you.

  22. hey madhu, there you go with that thirukural. great comment.

    but i have to agree that i loved appidi podu. does that mean i ain’t a music lover.

    I’ve been longing for the same old illayaraja. ARR came along and made me forget him temporarily. but now it’s back.

    I can’t list the songs that i like. they might run into pages.

  23. I know-someone’s gotta stop me..I can get very excited when it comes to Raja’s songs.I wud list Rahman’s songs too, but that wud be too much for everyone-you know, stating the obvious.
    But I have to agree with Lazy Geek on the Appadi Podu Song-quite catchy.
    Altho’Manmadarasa didnt quite get to me.

  24. Sorry for not reading ur posting properly. Eagerly waiting to see what u have to say about Raja Raja Cholan Song.

  25. Hi,

    Even he has composed some lovely songs on kannada movies. The “Geeta” movie’s songs are ever green songs in kannada filim industry.

  26. Coming to IR’s song, name any genere of music and he’s got songs in it. From classic to Rock, to R&B to Rock and Roll. Although his forte is Fusion, if he decides to give a pure classical or western classical music, he sticks to it in an absolute profound manner.
    Have any one listened to his “Solla solla” from Ellam Inbamayam(1981). His use of chorus for orchestration in that song is mind boggling. Thats pure Rock and Roll. Listen to Niram Piruthu from Time, thats pure WCM. For fusion , take “Andhi Mazhai” from Raja Paarvai. Another interesting fustion would be of “Megam Karukkayile” from Vaithegi kaathirunthal. Its interesting to note that the guitar accompanying the song is actually Western in its inception but the vocals are folksy.
    Coming back to the original topic, Come back ilayaraja, never has he gone out of scene man, its only us who havent been listening to his gems of 90’s. He will always rule the Music scene in India. Hail the genius

  27. Coming to IR’s song, name any genere of music and he’s got songs in it. From classic to Rock, to R&B to Rock and Roll. Although his forte is Fusion, if he decides to give a pure classical or western classical music, he sticks to it in an absolute profound manner.

    Have any one listened to his “Solla solla” from Ellam Inbamayam(1981). His use of chorus for orchestration in that song is mind boggling. Thats pure Rock and Roll. Listen to Niram Piruthu from Time, thats pure WCM. For fusion , take “Andhi Mazhai” from Raja Paarvai. Another interesting fusion would be of “Megam Karukkayile” from Vaithegi kaathirunthal. Its interesting to note that the guitar accompanying the song is actually Western in its inception but the vocals are folksy.

    Coming back to the original topic, Come back ilayaraja, never has he gone out of scene man, its only us who havent been listening to his gems of 90’s. He will always rule the Music scene in India. Hail the genius

  28. IR IS A GENIUS AND THERE IS NO ONE ON PAR WITH HIM. COMPARING ARR AND IR IS JUST A MERE WASTE OF TIME AS ARR IS GOOD ON HIS OWN SET BUT CAN NEVER COME ON PAR WITH IR. THOSE MESMERISING TUNES OF 80’S AND 90’S STILL LINGER OUR EARS..LET ALL FILMI PEOPLE WHO REALLY MADE IT TO THIS STAGE WITH IR AS SUPPORT OR BASE SHOULD THINK OF THE PAST AND WE WANT THE SAME COMBO IR — SPB — VAIRAMUTHU — BHARTHIRAJA — K BALACHANDAR — MANI RATHNAM.. BACK IN ACTION…
    LET US ALL PRAY FOR THE OLD CHAPTER TO BEGIN WITH A NEW CHARM..

  29. hi folks,
    I am new to this site. i always used to think I the greatest fan of Illaraaja, but I find many. I read with interest lot of postings on this site, but u all have forgotten that IR himself is a great singer,. eg,. Metti oli Kaatrodu from Metti, Naanaga Naanillai thaaye from thungaadhe thambi thungaadhe,Janani janani from Thaai Mookambikai.
    I hope u know that Balamuralikrishna also sang songs for IR, who can forget Chinna Kannan Azhaikiraan from Kavikuyil.
    There are thousands of songs of IR like this.He was also the first Asian to compose a Symphony( I do not know why it is not being released). I also feel sad being the genius he there is no recognition for him, probably because he has not scored much music in bollywood or they cannot pronounce his name. Even now the bollywood people agree the the song surumai akkiyon mein ek sapna dekha re from Sadma is the best lullaby ever composed, but ask them who composed it , they are ignorant.Same film one more beautiful son is He Zindagi gale lagaa le sung by Suresh Wadkar.
    Sorry , I am talking too much.
    Any comments I would like to read.
    see ya later.

  30. Being #2, Avis Cars and Tamil film music…

    Guest Blog #32 – Anand C The piece, “What should you do if you are #2?” which I got to from marketing playbook, got me thinking… As Laura Ries says in this post, Avis is one of the most memorable…

  31. Hi Guys,

    Have u heard ‘ Arumbu thalire .. thalir aendidum alaiyae… ‘ from Chandralekha, ‘ Ninaikkindra pathaiyl nadakkindra thendrale ‘from Athma, ‘ Maharajanodu rani vandu serum from Sathi Leelavathi, Minimini parvaigal from Julie Ganapathy, ‘ Idhyame.. Idhayame..’ from Julie Ganapathy, ‘ Thenpandi cheemayle’ from Nayagan etc…? aren;t they maestro pieces?

  32. Dear Music Enthusiasts (friends),

    Its nice to see that there are so many Ilaiyaraja fans out there! I had the privilege of meeting the Maestro personally on 3 cherished occasions. I place him on a pedestal and would not compare him to anyone! Having said that, I am not suggesting that AR Rahman is in any way inferior! He has produced some mesmerising pieces and so saying that he is not ‘good’ or ‘as good’ would be a very unfair and biased call. I agree with Lazygeek that we should not delve into the debate as to who is better – Ilaiyaraja or Rahman? That’s like asking who is better Sting or U2 (for example). Both of them (Ilaiyaraja and Rahman) in their respective times have elevated and still are elevating Indian Music (more specifically South Indian Music) by their compositions! Remember that IR himself has said that he is merely a ‘magician’ who simply ‘reintroduces what is already there in a different form’. That simply sums up his genius and tells us (IR fans) how we should be viewing music. Music is borderless and timeless, so let us quit this debate of who is good and who is not. Let us celebrate Ilaiyaraja and AR. Rahman for the wonderful compositions they have given us.

  33. I understand that IR is busy composing ‘Thiruvasakam in Symphony’ – a huge project he has embarked upon to compose the writings of Saint Manickavasagar into a symphony. So, that could explain the scarcity of his compositions in movies these days. I was of the opinion that Illaiyaraja of the 80’s and 90’s was in a different class – timeless! I have now come to realise that a lot of his recent compositions are very different and are experiments in their own right! The Genius in him is not happy to rest on the laurels of the 80’s but he thrives on creating something new!

    Few new numbers that have really impressed me with their beautiful arrangements and unique feel:
    • Mayilpole & Ethilum Inggu (others are good too) – Bharathi
    • Elangkaatru Veesuthe & Adada – Pithamagan
    • Rottoram Paatu Sattham – En Manavaanil
    • Every Song in Kaasi
    • Every Song in Azhagi
    • Kaatre Kaatre, Manase & Kannimaaru Kovilile – Kathal Saathi
    • Onne Vida, Kombule Poove Sutthi & Karpakaraham Vittu – Virumaandi
    • Every Song in Solla Marantha Kathai
    • Appadi Paakrathunna Vena & Thoollu – Ivann
    • Kaathal Meethil Oru & Nee Thoonggum Kovilil – Kaathal Kavithai
    • Etho Etho, Koottukuyilu, Ilavenirkaala Pournami – Manam Virumbuthe Unnai
    • Engge Sellum, Maalai En & Sikkaatha Sittonnu (others are good) – Sethu

    Few older numbers – there are too many so here are just a few at the top of my head:
    • Raaja Raaja Cholan – Rettai Vaal Kuruvi
    • Oru Raagam & Megam Karukkuthu – Anandha Raagam
    • Maina Maina, Poovile, Poomalaiye & Naan Appothu Paartha Pulle –Pagal Nilavu
    • Adi Aathaadi, Kodiyile, Poguthe Poguthe – Kadalora Kavithaigal
    • Kanne Kalaimaane & Poongkaathu – Moondram Pirai
    • Ithalil Kathai Ezhuthum – Unnal Mudiyum Thambi
    • Nee Pournami, Malaiyoram Mayile & Singgaara Pennoruthi – Nenjil Or Alayam

    I should stop now but the list goes on and on! I have quite a good collection of IR songs. Do get in touch with me if you need to know anything about IR songs.

    Congratulations on a very well run website Lazygeek! Would you be able to tell me which movie the song Narinil Poo Thoduthu Maalai Akinaen is from? I have been trying to source the song but have not had any luck so far!

    Thanks,

    Tirukumar (Sydney, Australia)

  34. Lazygeek, just read this blog piece. Whats the point that you said you have got about “Raaja raja chozhan” that doesnt make it a great song? You havent mentioned it yet.

    I have listened to most of what IR has to offer and have been a fan of his for many years now. My opinion is that in the last few years his compositions in Malayalama have been far superior to that of Tamil film music. He does only a few films there but delivers most of the time. As far as Tamil film music is concerned he has’nt been quite enhthused. Most of his recent songs give you a deja vu and the “feel” of the songs, except for the recording, makes it look like as if it was composed 15 years back. It doesnt help that he isnt working with some big-time directors who can push him to get better music. I still hope that he does a few filsm every year and doesnt totally quit to do his non-filmi projects. But since he is doing only a few films per year these days it would’nt be totally unfair to expect soem fresh, good numbers from him now and then. So far it hasnt been happening much

  35. Raaja is not an old man now. He is a 62 year old young boy who still has the same enthusiasm He had 3 decades back. Young MDs can compete with Him if they want(it applies to even Yuvan Shanker Raaja, Karthik Raaja, and Bavathaarani). But the beauty in Raaja is that He never competes with others.

    Anybody wants to agree with me that Raaja has composed pure Western Songs…No single indian instrument being used(Rock genre)?

    1. Kannan Vanthu Paadukiraan Kaalamellam
    2. Mandram Vantha Thendrallukku
    3. Roja Poo Aadivanthathu

    Priya(Do the kids who grew up in the 90s and 2000s agree)….I am a 22 year old guy who grew up listening to ARRs and Western. Atlast came around to find Mighty Raaja beside myself humbly composing in His own style.

    Tirukumar Thiagarajah….Thanks for your selfless attitude. Even I have songs of IR (from His first 150-200 Films. People please contact me if you want those. I would love to share those.

  36. Raaja is the Raaja !!! Others may be GREAT but Raaja is GREATER THAN THE GREATEST !!! A Thousand Fountains can not replace a Rain or a Water Fall or a River !!!

  37. Hai all,
    I am great to see many IR fans in this site and I feel great to join u. I’m from andhra and I always dream to be in chennai and meet IR. Fortunately I am in Chennai, but still have’nt met Raja. He has given 100s of songs in telugu which are always ever green and a treasure to telugu people. God has given me a voice and can sing any tune of Raja, without missing even the interludes from note to note.
    I request raja to give more good numbers in future.
    If u get a chance, please listen to songs from following movies and share among u.

    1. Preminchi Pelladu( Even Raja have’nt given such wonderful tunes till now after these songs. they are light and soft songs)
    2. Prema
    3. Abhinandana
    4. Surya IPS
    5. Swarnakamalam(has semi classical songs)
    6. Sankeerthana

    these are few movies, please try to listen to these songs without fail. He has done many experiments in these songs an u can observe once u listen these.

  38. hi,
    am lookin for illayaraja’s fusion – ‘How to name it?’
    if anybody huv it or knw the url pls let me knw…
    thnx
    kabilan

  39. The link saying 1000 best songs is not available. Someone please suggest me a link of a zip file containing Raja’s Songs. Particularly the albums Nothing but wind, How to name it, india 24 hours

  40. hi

    stumbled onto this site by accident. I would like to modify Tennyson’s poem “The Brook” and say

    “Music Directors may come music directors may go
    by IllayaRaja will go on for Ever”. He is always ILLaya (young) Raja.

  41. Some one has stated that AR Rahman and Illayaraaja are two Genius. Sorry I differ with you. There is difference between brilliance and Genius. ARR is brilliant but Raaja is a Genius.

    Raaja started his career in 1976 and between 76 and 81 he scored music for 100 movies(Mudupani If my memory is rite)and between 81 and 91 he scored music for another 400 -Anjali is his 500th movie. This is for people who are particular about numbers.

    Compare the first 15 years of both the music directors – Raaja and ARR. You can actually count the number of melodies for ARR – If you want to say that all his songs are melody I can oly pity you guys. But for Raaja the list is long.

    As they say always compare apples and apples. Not apple with orange. Its doesn’t mean that I dont listen to ARR. I do, But Raaja is in a different league.

  42. Dear Raja music lovers,

    it has been my great experience to come to this post accidentally to know that there are thousand admirers of music god, raja.

    there are thousand songs of raja, which by itself is a symphony in its own right. sometimes, it looks to me that, he gave too much music that even we could not even understand it. all bgm in any good song is good enough for number of songs.

    is there any site for downloading the bgm and the songs? the sites though mention is not working properly. can anyone suggest me to get the old glory.

    someone said, all his music are not made, they came from galaxy as cosmic message. like river, mountain, like butterflies, raja’s songs are nature’s creation. we can only watch in awe and astonishment.

    i am not seeing any comments after sep 2004. what happened. i wish this site a sucessful new year and keep this activity going on.

    rajasekar vw

  43. Hi folks,

    I am really so excited and surprised to see so many IR fans talking about his greateness. But, I feel it’s a big waste of time to debate on whose the best MD, ARR or ILLAYARAJA? Both these geniuses have their own style and own way of doing music. I am just proud that both of them are from South India and they did rock and shake north Indian music and also went far to the west. They are definitely the greatest music directors we had ever and am proud to be born in the same century as them.

  44. There can never be another Illayaraja. All his songs are amazing (Chinna Kounder, Mouna Ragam, Udhaya Geetham), the list goes on:). Rahman is amazing in his own right. Recently i head a song from Manmadhan, Kaadal Valarthe, which had me reminiscing about Raaja’s music. These days all I hear is “Manmadha Raas” kind of music and it so discouraging:).

  45. en iniya thamizhargale

    i wanted to have a Raja back ground for my desk top…..googled and landed up in this site ….i am particularly looking for His still with the harmonium which was the poster in mount road when vanna vanna pookal( ..kannammma..kadhal ennum kavidhai solladi..) i think that picture was shot by balumahendra…it comes in the back ground in another balu mvoie … marupadium…in arvindsamy’s house

    ( i have used only two capital letters so for in this comment. i think that conveys the message…yes isn’t He God…by now)

    Deiva

  46. I think ARR is much much bolder than IR, in that he really experiments. That shows his confidence, ability to accomodate and straddle between different styles of music. ARR’s music is basically Indian, but has moved beyond being only that, into a rich world music form. Illayaraja’s genius got expressed more or less through a very peculiar style that brought with it particular choices of instruments and patterns in composition. Although we are sure we will always enjoy Ilayaraja’s newer compositions as well, w.r.t. ARR, I for one definitely see unexpected twists in his style every other year. That adds a lot of suspense, really, which is what I like about ARR.

  47. Yes,
    Illyaraja was milestone in the history of tamil film music.
    Illyaraja was a turning point in the history of tamil music, which was becoming more and more ‘mellisai’.
    Illyaraja single handedly changed it to back to classical – both in ‘western’ and ‘indian’ – both in harmony and melody.
    Composing with Raagas came naturally free-flowing to him.

    On Kuthu Songs:
    Unfortunately Vidyasagar and Bharatwaj are remembered for their Kuthu songs, and their awsome melodies are underrated.
    Kuthu songs are more of Director or actors (like Vijay) choices rather than that of the composer. Vidyasagar once said in an interview that he will beg with the director to include atleast a classical melody in each album!
    But thats not happening always as we see.

    Good Songs sometimes dont get noticied. But we the listeners would have to encourage and spread the word on good songs. They would in turn get noticed and get popular. The popularity Kuthu songs will die away by themselves.

    I have put up my top 10 good songs of the year 2004 here:
    Listen to what you had missed out.
    http://www.mouthshut.com/review/Ten_Best_Tamil_Songs_of_2004-66954-1.html

    Cheers.

  48. Hi,
    Any one heared the song “Pazhaya sogangal” from “Eera Vizhi Kaviyangal”. Its entirely in a different world. I donno how many of you heared that song.

    Also ” Kanne” from “En bommu kutti Ammavukku”

  49. HELLO TO ALL TAMIL NATIVE BROTHERS,

    ILLAYARAJA IS THE MAESTRO AND GENIUS IN THE MUSIC FIELD, MUSIC FOR A FILM IS NOT ONLY THE SONGS THE MAJOR PART OF THE FILM MUSIC IS WITH THE BACKGROUND MUSIC. THERE IS NO ONE IN TAMIL FILM INDUSTRY WILL MATCH WITH ILLAYARAJA IN THIS MATTER. THE FILM LIKE NOORAVATHU NALL IF ONE SEE THE FILM IN THE THEATRE EVERY ONE FEELS THE FEAR THAT TYPE OF SENSATIONAL MUSIC IS NOT COMING NOW A DAYS, EVEN THE MOST POPULAR A.R. REHMAN IN HIS FILM FOR A CLIMAX FIGHT GIVEN FLUTE AND MIRUNDANGAM SOUND, THE MUSIC SHOULD BE LIVELY. I WISH ILLAYARAJA SHOULD COME BACK AND TO GIVE LOT OF MELODIES FOR THE COMING GENERATION. IN 60’S TO 70’S ALMOST MOST OF THE SONGS ARE MELODY THEY WERE TOO MELODY THERE WILL BE NO MUSIC TOTALLY DOMINATED BY VOICE AND IN 80’S AND 90’S THE MELODY SONGS TREND REDUCED AND THE MUSIC IS HAVING VOICE AND SOUND THAT WAS PLEASENT BUT NOW ONLY SOUND IS COMING NO VOICE IS COMING ALL SINGERS ARE SHOUTING NOT SINGING.

    THE BEST COMBINATION OF A SONG WILL BE ILLAYARAJA, MUSIC, SPB, MALE SINGER, JANAKI, FEMALE SINGER NO OTHER COMBINATION WILL COME IN FUTURE ALSO FOR TAMIL FILM INDUSTRY, SO THIS COMBINATION TO COME BACK AGAIN FOR A REVOLUTION.

  50. Illyaraja is no doubt the best Music Director in India and no other music director can come close to his music. Whether it is folk or classical or carnatic or western, it is the Great Illayaraja.
    Comparing him with ARR or any other music Director is non-sense. Iilayara’s music shoud spread around the world. As Kamal Hassan said in one interview, that Illayaraja’s talent is being wasted by India…But I am fortunate that I am born tamilian to listen his Music.Ilayaraja should be used by Greats like KB,Manirathnam,Bharatiraja and even Rajinikanth to bring out the full talent our of Illayaja.Only Kamal is intelligent enough to use his music

  51. Hi all,

    Though my visit to this forum was an accident, I am extremely glad it happened. I enjoy discussing Ilayaraja and I breathe his music. I’ve emailed several of you my ftp link where you can download Raja’s songs.

    As I am writting this, I have the song “poonthalir aada, pon malar sooda” from the film Paneer pushpangal, blasting in my headphones. It’s actually one of my fav. 🙂

  52. Dhinesh this is for you especially. I am sorry my friend Rehman can never be in the same league when it comes to experimenting in music.

    Raaja was a pioneer in experimenting. He has composed songs on certain Raagas which others dare to touch.

    Can you name a single song in ARR’s composition which is based on the following Raagas

    (1) “Chala Nate”
    (2) “Simmendra Madhyimam”

    Raaja was a dare devil when it comes to experimenting with Raaga. May be ARR was good in experimenting with different voices (Even though he least bothered about the sweetness of the voice)

    Here is a list of songs which are based on a specific Raaga ? I doubt whether ARR will be able to identify them.

    1. Poovarasam Poo Poothachu (Kizakke Pogum Rayil)
    2. Maanjolai Kili thano (K P R)
    3. Tenral than (Keladi Kanmani)
    4. Om Nama Sivaya (Salangai Oli)
    5. Siru Ponmani Asaiyum (Kallukul Eeram)
    6. Oh Vasantha Raja (Neengal Kettavai)
    7. Poonthalir Aada (Panneer Pushpangal)
    8. Engengo Sellum (Patta Kathi Bhairavan)
    9. Yedho Ninaivugal (Agal Villaku)
    10. Pada Vandha Oor Gaanam (Ilamai kaalangal)
    11. Ragavane Ramana Raghunatha (Ilamai Kaalangal)
    12. Thavikudhu Thayangudhu Oru Manadhu
    13. Naan Thedum Chevvandhi Poovidhu
    14. Sree Devi En Vazvil Arul Seyya Vaa (Ilamai Koolangal)
    15. Poo Poo Poo Pu Pootha Velai (Pudhu Nellu Pudhu Naathu)
    16. Manasu Mayangum Mouna Geetham…..
    17. Aayiram, Malargale….
    18. Pothi vache Malligai mottu….

  53. To the author of this article and other IR fan(atic)s who think that Raja is the be-all and end-all of melodies, its obvious you guys havent been exposed much to the music of 60s and erarly 70s. MSV re-defined melody in TFM and to appreciate the nuances in his intricately woven melodies requires exposure to music and meantal maturity. When some of you grow up and hit your mid-30s and when your mind craves more for melodies than for any catchy music or pretentious song masquerading as a melody, go back to the 60s, the golden age of TFM and listen to how great poetry and great tunes co-existed blissfully in many songs. I am a big fan of Raja as well but this is just a plea to not ignore our great history of TFM and to make atleast some of you guys aware of all the masters who preceded IR, set high standards, and as IR himself confesses often, paved an easier way for him.

  54. hi IR fans,
    have any one of u heard the music in song “APPADI PAKARUTHANNA VENA..” from “IVAN”, PLZ HEAR THE music which comes in between the song which has soft violin and rhythmic drum beat and u will know why ILLAYARAJA is still the best.
    i am eagerly waitin for MUSIC OF “MUMBAI EXPRESS” and “THIRUVACHAKAM IN SYMPHONY”.ANY DISCUSSION ON ANY SONG OF IR, DONT FORGET TO MAIL ME.

  55. Hi All,

    I am wondering if the song “Ponenna povenna kannae, un kanaadi ullathin munnae” from “AZHAGI” was composed by IR or MSV?

    And if anyone of you have that song, please do let me know. Thanks.

  56. Dear Friends,
    I am hardly trying to identify the song…Middle of the song contains the lyric going like this… “poo manjam unakethan poothadum kanmani…; Thanaka tharamattal tamilnattu penmani..”. The melody will resemble like first song in Panchathanthiram. can any one help me..

  57. Dear All,

    I am great fan Illayaraja from my childhood, i still love the films relesed in 80s & early 90s during the festivals were very good movies with great music, which i don’t see now. Illayaraja composion is just great irrespective of langages. His composions in Kannada, telugu, Malyalam. Nowdays there are least no of melody songs.

    We should just hope for mastros return with bang.

  58. Dear friends,

    This is from Trincomalee, Sri Lanka. I have been a great lover of songs composed by Isaignani Illayaraja. His music is so melodious and the use of instruments between lines is so charming.

    There was free flowing of melody in every song he does to the tamil films. I am also learning tabla during my leisure time, which is so close to my heart.

  59. hi
    can anyone tell me where i can find the song “Isai Arasi’ from the movie thai mookambikai or otherwise spelt as Thai moogambigai.(Unable to find it in Raaga.com 🙁 )

    Thanks

  60. I have a lot of respect for ARR and for his accomplishments but I think Ilayaraja is out of world, very pure, uncomplicated and divine..
    If there could be any tool in near future to calculate the mathematical correctness, imagination, creativity..etc.. I bet there will be nothing to discuss !!

  61. Namaste illayraj sir iam sampath from AP i love ur music very much i had the collection of ur songs from telugu films.you are the greatest of all music directors in india. I wish u all the best sir we are waiting for your come back into limlight thank you sir.

  62. ulagathukku pitha – kadavul
    kadavulukku pitha – isai
    isiakku pitha – “isia inbam illayaraja”

    i’m a diehard fan of him frm malaysia. the greatest moment in my life is I’ve saw him in KL once he came to lounce his book “valzi thunai”
    talking about IR is endles.
    I;m also expecting more classical instruments like ‘Thabella’ and voilin. it seems to getting less and less nowadays. but still he gives craziest tunes with other instrument. have you guys listern to song thendral vanthu theendum frm avatharam. you’ll get crazy if u listern too deeper to all the different combination tunes and instrument that used in tht song. n of course the theiveega voice of illaya raja.

    when Thiruvasagam in symphony come to market and can i get it in Mlaysia? – any idea please let me know. s_mariese@yahoo.com

  63. thank you for this blogs,

    i thought i am the only one who is waiting for ilayaraja’s come back.i notice most of the interviews from directors, actors and cinema people they all claim that we the listeners and viewers are interest on this kind of latest indegistable tamil songs, this is an evidence for them that they are wrong, just see how many ilayaraja’s fan eagerly waiting for his come. i just like to highlight the tamil cinema must fully utilised great people talents like MR.Raja. you will regret when he is not around ( sorry to say this)i really hope that the combination of ilyaraja, s janaki and sp. bala will come again.i also hope that tamil film will have tamil girls as heroin. i really hate see the girls miming.don’t tell me, there is no single tamil girls don’t want to work in tamil cinema. because according to mr r.v uthayakumar (chinna kaunder director) in recent interview in malaysia said that tamil girl don’t come forward to act, excuse me do you wacth tamil serials sir, who are they. they are not tamil girls is it.we hope for the best in future.

  64. thank you for this blogs,

    i thought i am the only one who is waiting for ilayaraja’s come back.i notice most of the interviews from directors, actors and cinema people they all claim that we the listeners and viewers are interest on this kind of latest indegistable tamil songs, this is an evidence for them that they are wrong, just see how many ilayaraja’s fan eagerly waiting for his come. i just like to highlight the tamil cinema must fully utilised great people talents like MR.Raja. you will regret when he is not around ( sorry to say this)i really hope that the combination of ilyaraja, s janaki and sp. bala will come again.i also hope that tamil film will have tamil girls as heroin. i really hate see the girls miming.don’t tell me, there is no single tamil girls don’t want to work in tamil cinema. because according to mr r.v uthayakumar (chinna kaunder director) in recent interview in malaysia said that tamil girl don’t come forward to act, excuse me do you wacth tamil serials sir, who are they. they are not tamil girls is it.we hope for the best in future.

  65. Ilayaraaja is old now. He has served Indian people with unbelievable compositions, but not all of India has yet encountered his genius like the lucky people in the southern region. We have several musical geniuses, no one is lesser than IR, but IR has transcended several limitations of the times and brought newer vocabulary as will be expected of anyone who needs to take the rich legacy of his predecessors forward. Rahman has done his bit to awaken newer generation to the power of music, which is the next best means after prayers to be closer to God. However, it will be IR’ ideas that will however continue to enthrall and mystify people all over the world about the depth of Indian musical traditions to procreate such divine and magical music even for the everyday listener of popular music.

  66. Hi Guys,

    I just sneaked into this website as I am a great fan of Ilayaraja. In my background I am listening to “Devathai pol oru ..” from Gopura Vasalile which was scored by Ilayaraja.
    It’s very hard to believe people comparing Ilayaraja with AR. There is one and only melody king and that is Raja.
    Guys forget about the comparison , when you want to listen to melody type of songs listen to any of Raja’s.

  67. Hi Guys,

    I just sneaked into this website as I am a great fan of Ilayaraja. In my background I am listening to “Devathai pol oru ..” from Gopura Vasalile which was scored by Ilayaraja.
    It’s very hard to believe people comparing Ilayaraja with AR. There is one and only melody king and that is Raja.
    Guys forget about the comparison , when you want to listen to melody type of songs listen to any of Raja’s.

  68. Hello my dear fello Ilayaraja fans,
    I too am a major Ilayaraja fan – and have enjoyed over the years many great songs from him.

    In one of the threads – a mantion was made of “thendral vandhu theendumbothu” from avathaaram. Great song – wonderfully captures the thoughts of a person who is visually challenged!

    Even though IR composes for lesser number of movies – I feel that he is still turning out gems!

    One thing in defence of the modern day music directors: The Tamil TV music channels typically (dis)play only the “pouplar” songs (invariably these are songs which run out of steam pretty quickly). Then they move over to the next movi/song, etc. They also play only part of the song.
    Years ago – when I was living abroad (1991-1997), anyone who returns with a collection of new songs invariably brings in all the songs from a movie. I used to listen to all the songs – then choose the ones I liked and create a tape for myself. There seemed to be lots of time available – and this made me locate gems among ordinary stones.
    Hope you get a drift of where I am going with this. I feel that we may have missed out a few gems even from the modern-day music directors – due to this TV culture – where the VJ’s choice – or popular choice (and songs with pleasing videos) are the ones which get airtime. I wish there was a programme like the one I used to listen on Ceylon radio when I was in school: “Malarndhum malaraadhavai” – where they used to play songs which are good but did not become a “hit” or the movie never got released.

    It would be great if someone could compile a list of such songs – which didn’t set the VJ requests ringing – but were timeless classics, nevertheless!

    Thanks for a woinderful thread – looks like this has been going on for a long time!
    Ciao,
    Shankar

  69. I am a die hard fan of Illayaraja Sir. Words are not sufficient to tell about his music. His music is inspiration. Whenever, I sit to study and could not concentarte, I do listen to his music especially the albums named “Nothing but wind” & “How to name it?” to come back to a fresh mood. There is a great potential in his music to change the moods. I am really very fond of his music. For that reason only, I have creatd a webpage in my site dedicated to Illayaraja Sir. The URL of the webpage is appended below:
    http://maxpages.com/sumankasturi/illayaraja_the_maestro
    Lastly I would like to add onething:
    “he is a man who has brought fusion of iazz, western of classical music to films and is a household name even today.so much has been writen about him and yet so little has been actually said.perhaps because,talents of his stature,are beyond words”

  70. Hi folks,
    I am a north indian girl. Cant understand a word of tamil, but listened to one Illayaraja number and fell in love. Now, like a man lost in the desert, who is given but a single drop of water, I thirst for more, but try as i may, I cannot find any cd, mp3 or even a cassette of Illayaraja hits here. can someone please help me and suggesst a way out.
    nupur

  71. Hai guys,
    Recently I could seen this site to tell about Illyaraja great faith in music.
    I have read all comments about Illyaraja.
    I was really fruitful to read all those messages.
    I thought myself and few of my friends only few people only know about Illyaraja’s music talents.
    Now I have got enthusiastic about lot of people from all over the world for IR’s music.
    Many of them are comments or compare IR with ARR.
    I never compare IR with ARR.
    ARR did some fatastic music I agree that. But I am sure that all his music was static. Once we hear the masic then go that all.
    But IR’s all his music was memorable, unforgettble, feelingable, fruitful, enthusiastic, greatful, never comparable with other music directors.
    IR’s music hit by more than 80% of his total songs.
    Please dear my IR lovers, I can appreciate IR’s music not only in songs watch and listen his backgound music on all his movies.
    I can say few of his movie titles:
    1) Swathi muthyam – Sippikkul Muthu
    2) Nayagan
    3) Poovizhi Vasalelae
    4) Mandhira Punnagai
    5) Ullasa Paravai
    6) Chinna Thambi
    7) Punnagai Mannan
    8) Sindhu Bairavi
    9) Salangai Oli
    10)Kadal Oviyam

    Also listen all his Music between gaps in songs stanza.

    Few examples I can say few (0.1%) examples

    1) Nizhalgal
    2) Nandu (Mahendran Film)
    3) Nenchathai Killade
    4) Udhiri Pookal
    5) Kozhi Koovudu
    6) Jhony
    7) Sippikul Muthu
    8) Moodupani

    Don’t hesitate my sincere music love of Illyaraja

    Regards
    Mohan Durai

  72. Talking about IR is endless…
    Anybody know what movie is the song ‘alagee amuthe puthendral thalathum poonjholaiyee..’

    hey guys, is there is any cd or cst like a collection of his movie background music?
    Pls let me know.

  73. Guys
    i am a die hard fan of illayaraja..Infact i end up fighting with rahman fans…not that i dont enjoy his music.its just that raja is so special and when you like something you cannot pinpoint anything easily(why you like it)..kudos to mastero and his symphony!

  74. Hi folks,

    I am an ardent fan of this “living legend” from Malaysia.
    I believe Illayaraja is the greatest ever gift to India and his accomplishments and feats have yet to be recognised and rewarded fully till today. I personally feel that in all these years he should have been awarded more National Awards for best music than any other composers all over India but surprisingly he was only recognised 3 times thus far. I am not against AR Rahman, but i think his national awards for Lagaan and Kannathil Muthammital is questionable. I don’t find the track for these 2 movies are that impressive that it can be classified as award winning movies for music as opposed to Illayaraja who has done fantastic work in many movies that should have bagged the national awards. The comparison drawn between Illayaraja and AR Rahman now is like comparing the great Pele with Maradona. There can only be 1 king and that is Illayaraja, the one and only.

    May God continue to bless Illayaraja in his humble journey that has span more than 25 years.

  75. One more thing about Ilayaraja is the speed at which he composes the music. In 20 years time he had composed music for almost 750 Movies. This comes to around 35-40 movies per year (app 4 per month), which is unimaginable. And assuming 5 songs per movie, he had composed 20-25 songs in a month.
    Composing here means not just compsing the tunes, but recording the song also. Apart from that background music too…
    Still he is able to give high quality songs.

    There are some incidents when he had composed some super hit songs in 20 -30 mins time..

    He is really a genius…!!

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