That sounds bad, just calling him my 4th favorite! But he should be flattered, he comes after Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy, AR Rahman, and Vishal-Shekhar. And right before Pritam. And today he is 43, so I get to put up all my favorite songs and reasons I love him! 25 in all, for the age he was when he wrote his first hit song.
1. I love you because you come from a real film family, not one of the famous and powerful ones, but a working one. Your father was a music director, one who worked behind the scenes, not one with a lot of big names on his filmography.
2. I love you because you started out as a TV producer, who also wrote a few songs. You started not as an “Artist!” but as a businessperson.
3. I love you because you had an arranged marriage at 21, which is strangely refreshing in the age when most celebrities have very public and passionate affairs.
4. I love you because you have been loyal through out your career to those who helped you at the start, composing your first song for the Salman starring and produced Pyaar Kiya To Darna Kya, and 17 years later composing the music for his Prem Ratan Dhan Payo.
5. And I love you because you struggled, composing a song here and a song there, singing a song here and there, sometimes just doing “incidental music”, before you finally hit it big with Tere Naam.
6. Although even your first song for a film was pretty awesome! And something of a hit the year it came out, I believe.
7. And I think we can forgive you if your next song sounded remarkably similar to your last one. At least the actress was a different Mukherjee cousin?
8. But then your next film sounded very different! Looked different too, with Sanjay and Govinda instead of Salman and a Mukherjee.
9.Humraaz was your last film before you finally hit it big, and the songs were pretty great, despite the lack of ability of the 3 stars to sell them (Are there a worse group of dancers in Bombay films than Bobby Doel, Amisha Patel, and Akshaye Khanna?)
10. Woo! Tere Naam! I finally watched this movie just last year, but I already knew (and loved) all the songs long before that. Especially this one (the dancing balloons!).
11. Although this one is a close second.
12. After Tere Naam, there are too many hits to list out one by one, so I am just going to talk about my personal favorites! For instance, I had NO IDEA you did some of the music for Taarzan: The Wonder Car! I love Taarzan!
13. Vaada! You wrote my favorite catchy but soooooooooooooooooooo stupid song! Although if you only did the music, not the lyrics or the costumes, I can’t really blame you for the stupid bits.
14. Speaking of sexy, your first really huge hit as a playback singer! Much more of a hit than the film it came from.
15. Okay, I know 36 China Town is a silly movie and this is a silly song, but I really love both the movie and the song. Especially the remix version.
16. Okay, I also kind of love this song. Even with the stupid slang use of “24/7”. So catchy!
17. I don’t really love you for thinking you could transition to being an actor sometime around 2006. But I do love you for providing a great film to be discussed by the Pretentious Movie Review Guys! (very excited about Kanan Gill being Sonakshi Sinha’s love interest in Noor!)
18. Although, at least even while you are trying to be an actor and an international music superstar, you still kept composing! Often providing the one bright light in an otherwise bland movie. For instance, “Shakalaka Boom Boom”!
19. Although even better is when you wrote good songs for good movies. Like, Bol Bachchan, which has world’s catchiest title song.
20. Or Son of Sardaar by the same team, which is the first time I really noticed you as a composer, because I heard the songs and went “whoa! who wrote that? I love that!”
21. “Raja Ko Rani” is catchy, but “Bichdann” is the one that just kills me from that album. The way it isn’t afraid to pause, and have a little break in the chorus, I love it so much!
22. And here you are coming together with my favorite non-movie composer, Yo- Yo! This is a stupid stupid movie, but MAN! Do I love this song!!! Although I have a hard time finding it because I keep thinking it should be titled “In My City”.
23. And then there’s Prem Ratan Dhan Payo. A Rajshri film presents some unique challenges to a music director, first that there are just soooooooooooooooo many songs. And second, that they all have to have that distinctive “Rajshri” sound. You rose to the challenge brilliantly! Starting right from the beginning with your awesome song that also served as the intro to the film.
24. You nailed the title song too, to the point that it always plays in my head whenever I write the title.
25. But I think my favorite might be the song you wrote for Sonam, all polite but firm.