Discussion Post (Because No One is Commenting and I Have Writer’s Block): What Do You Think is the Best All Time Indian Film Soundtrack Album?

I was all set for people to get angry with me for my Hindi Film 101 on class and Kangana, and nothing. And not really any comments on my Super Deluxe review either (if someone wants to link back to it from the Bardwaj review page as an example of a review that is critical of the film, that would be great). Anyway, when the comments drop down, so does my ability to think abstractly and intelligently and I end up putting up stupid posts like this in an attempt to get a response from the void.

Ready for a stupid question that hopefully we will have fun talking about? What is your favorite/the best soundtrack album as a whole? We all have one or two songs that are our favorites, but what is an album where the whole thing is good, and matches perfectly with the film.

For years my answer to this was Rang De Basanti. Songs in multiple genres that all felt like a cohesive whole, and each one a classic. Whether it was the melodic love song of “Tu Bin Bataye” or the rousing Bhangra of the title song.

But Gully Boy is presenting a real challenge to the Rang De dominance for me! More songs, in more genres, that still feel like they are all telling the same story. I may have to make it a tie.

And then the southern movies have opened my eyes to a whole new world of soundtracks! Maybe the best one in India isn’t from the north at all, maybe it is Kondukondein Kondukondein in Tamil!

I don’t know, what do you think?

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31 thoughts on “Discussion Post (Because No One is Commenting and I Have Writer’s Block): What Do You Think is the Best All Time Indian Film Soundtrack Album?

    • I considered Dil Se, except for me Jiya Jale and Satrangi Re aren’t perfect. Dil Se Re and Chaiyya Chaiyya and Aye Ajnaabi are, I could listen to them over and over again.

      On Thu, Apr 4, 2019 at 11:35 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Satarangi Re is my favourite song from Dil Se.
        Jiya Jale I agree is not perfect, because I don’t like Lata ji voice , but the malayalam part is perfect.

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  1. The RDB soundtrack truly is a wonderful one. A few of the Gully Boy songs have been on repeat for me since its release but I wouldn’t tie it with RDB, for the simple reason that every song and score of the former film fits it perfectly and advances its story. Plus, there’s a song for nearly every mood in the RDB album.
    Which definitely was not the case with Gully Boy, what with a few forgettable songs which weren’t done justice to in the film. And didn’t have a whole lot to do with the story either.

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    • Good point about the Gully Boy loser songs! If it was stripped down to just a half dozen tracks, it could be all perfect, but with the random filler thrown in, RDB might still be the winner.

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  2. I have no idea what my favorite Indian soundtrack is because they are so many good ones but I recently discovered the Rhythm soundtrack which I mainly really enjoy minus the last song. I haven’t watched Kandukondain Kandukondain yet (though I will probably soon because I watched Minsara Kanavu the other day and really enjoyed it) but I really love Konjum Mainakkale

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I have a few all-time favorite albums. Pyaasa, Guide, Umrao Jaan, and Silsila from the old-timers. And in the new-age, I love – Taal, Zubeida, Dev D, and Refugee. If I was forced to pick only one album from all of these I would pick Guide!

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    • Oh, Umrao Jaan is so good! And in interesting one, because it is really all one genre, and yet it covers such a variety of moods.

      On Thu, Apr 4, 2019 at 1:21 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  4. Pakeezah Pakeezah Pakeezah

    every song perfect

    Chalo dildar Chalo
    Chalte Chalte
    Inhi logon ne
    Mausam hai aashiqana
    Teer-e-nazar
    Thade rahiyo

    Every one perfect, memorable, ever-green and perfectly singalongable. There will never be a more perfect soundtrack. Umrao Jaan comes close, Sholay comes close, Mughal-E-Azam cones close

    but

    Pakeezah

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    • Oh, I didn’t even think about Sholay! That movie is so good it overshadows its own soundtrack, but the soundtrack is really good too. And has that perfect combination of genres and yet all feeling connected feeling.

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  5. I don’t know if I have that one perfect soundtrack. There is always that one or two songs that I don’t listen, because I don’t like them. But the closest to perfect are Devdas (the SRK one), and Mirzya.

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    • Oh Mirzya! Yeah, that one is amazing, and I can’t think of another soundtrack like it. Jagga Jasoos tried to do the same thing, but it just didn’t work.

      On Thu, Apr 4, 2019 at 3:01 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Anaarkali of Aarah deserves a mention too. It’s not perfect for me (I only listen to half of the songs), but it was perfect for the movie, and it’s very different from others soundtracks, very folk’y, very good and it stays with you months after seeing the movie.

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        • Udta Punjab is another one I was thinking about. It’s an amazing soundtrack, and very different sounding from anything else around.

          On Thu, Apr 4, 2019 at 3:18 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  6. I’m going to mention Sneha Khanwalkar’s work as very “well rounded” too. Oye Lucky Lucky Oye, or Khoobsurat, or Manto, or Gangs of Wasseypur….she does a very good job of creating a sense of time and place through her music, and at the same time creating good variety within the same album. Must have been esp hard to do with Oye Lucky, since the market was saturated with Punjabi songs at the time. Yet, hers sounded different from one another and from everything else out there.

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  7. Not sure if this was one of the Devdas-es that you watched, but the Telugu Devadas has a phenomenal sound track (the old one with Savitri and ANR). The lyrics are deep and actually relevant to the meaning of the original story (unlike the lyrics in SLB’s version)

    Swarnakamalam (telugu again) also has a phenomenal soundratck. The movie is about the herione’s journey through hating dancing to loving it, and each song reflects a different aspect of what dancing means to her. The songs are great, the videos are great (I just love the soundtrack and Bhanupriya’s dancing makes it even better). I HIGHLY RECOMMEND, GO CHECK IT OUT!!!

    Also, Baahubali!!! I don’t know about the other languages, but the lyrics in Telugu were just perfect for each scene with touches of certain religious and mythological aspects that contributed to the story.

    Dil Se, Pakeezah, Mughal-E-Azam, Rang De Basanti and Gully Boy are great, but here’s some southern representation as well!!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Southern films, represent!

      Bahubaali is an interesting one, because the songs without the film are mostly so–so, but put in context of the characters and the situations they are just beautiful. An odd situation where for once the film elevates the songs instead of the other way around.

      On Thu, Apr 4, 2019 at 4:58 PM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  8. I think my true, absolute, all time favorite soundtrack of all time is Khamoshi (the 1969 one with Waheeda). It’s a very small soundtrack, to go with the really restrained feel of the movie (black and white, basically three characters, no item number, etc.). I’m not super into Dost Kahan Koi Tumsa, but the others are so beautiful. Even though they are not sad songs per se, they all evoke the film’s underlying sadness and the sadness of Waheeda’s lonely character, including Humne Dekhe Hai, which is supposed to be a peppy, sophisticated, fun song.

    My second runner up is Abhiman, and if I have to pick a modern one I’d say Cocktail.

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    • Omg omg omg omg! You’re so right about Khamoshi. Such little of it, but just enough. And all great. Woh Shaam.. usually makes me tear up. Not (just) because it’s a somewhat sad song but because I’m reminded of Waheeda’s expressions and state of mind during the song. So heartbreaking!

      Abhimaan is one of my faves too.

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      • The picturization of all the songs is really evocative. Mr. and Mrs. 55 have a great article about the cinematography in Tum Pukar Lo, where Waheeda is slowly climbing the stairs to Dharmendra’s room.

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  9. Considering only movies with all songs that I like –
    Hindi – Rangeela, Dil Chahta Hai, Dil Se, Kuch Kuch Hota Hai, Dil To Pagal Hai
    Telugu – mostly Ilayaraja from 80s: Sagarasangamam, Swarna Kamalam, Rudraveena, Abhilasha, Challenge, Geethanjali, Kokila. Others: Classical/Semi-classical like Sankarabharanam, Swatikiranam, Saptapadi and Devi Sri Prasad’s Anandam, Nuvvostanante Nenoddantana, Varsham, Pournami, Srimanthudu

    Dubbed from Tamil to Telugu – From ARR: Roja, Bombay, Jeans, Minsara Kanavu, Muthu; From IR: Mounaragam, Pithamagan, Naan Kadavul, Agni Nachatram

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    • Oh, Dil Chahta Hai is a good one! Different songs, but all with the same youthful new vibe.

      On Fri, Apr 5, 2019 at 12:02 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  10. Love Alaipayuthey/Saathiya – every song is an earworm. The slow romantic song- Snehidane/Chupke se, the falling in love song – Pachai Nirame/ Saathiya, the pining song – Evano Oruvan/Yaar milade, the wedding song – Yaaro yaarodi/ Chalka re, the western upbeat no – Endrendrum Punnagai/ Oh humdum, and the item no – September Maadam/ chori pe chori. Mani + ARR works most of the time.
    I also like Ayutha Ezhuthu/ Yuva – again great variety.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Saathiya is pretty great. The only reason it isn’t in my top top list is that Chupke Se, for me, feels a bit familiar and not perfectly only could be in this film the way the other songs do.

      On Fri, Apr 5, 2019 at 12:37 AM dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • I think it does fit because “Chupke Se Lag Ja Gale” means “hug me silently”. It comes after they are married secretly and cannot be husband and wife in public. In Tamil it is “Ragasiya Snehidane” which means “secret friend”.

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