A.R. Rahman

Dil Se...

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A case of too many firsts -- the first Bollywood venture of Mani Ratnam, Lata Mangeshkar singing for the first time for A.R. Rahman, and a well-known session bassist (Guy Pratt) employed for the first time in Bollywood -- and the music of Dil Se eventually grew larger than the film itself. While Rahman's earlier hits like Roja, Bombay, and Rangeela helped to establish his unconventional, vibrant, and sparse melodic sound in Indian music, Dil Se stamped the seal on Rahman's ability to create marvelous music continuously. And here are the accolades: 1999 Filmfare Awards for Best Music Director (A.R. Rahman), Best Lyricist (Gulzar), and Best Male Playback Singer (Sukhwinder Singh). The song "Chaiyya Chaiyya" was voted among the Top Ten most famous songs of all time by the BBC World Service in 2003. Essentially a dance number with typical Rahman-styled percussion and Sufi lyrics, "Chaiyya Chaiyya" was later featured in the musical Bombay Dreams, in the 2006 film Inside Man, and in the television shows Smith and CSI: Miami. It also provided much deserved visibility to Sukhwinder Singh. Rahman sings on the much publicized title track with a noticeably thin bassline by Pratt. The highly melodious "Jiya Jale" and "E Ajnabi" augment the overall feel of this magnificent album and help deliver a faultless package. Dil Se sparked a music revolution, as film directors started taking their music more seriously, considering it to be more than merely filler to stretch a movie's length.

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