Trivia that couldn't be
listed in any other section in this site!
Title Music / Paul Mauriat's Mamy Blue
Tamil movie lovers would still recall veteran Director K Balachander with a lot of respect for the kind of movies he has produced. He branched out to TV serials a couple of years back and has successfully exploited the lacrimal glands of millions of women across Tamil
Nadu. So its fairly surprising that one finds a direct lift in the title song of one of his recent serials. His serial
'Anni' has a title song, which was fairly popular when the serial was on air - its going thru the rerun routine now - 'Oh
Anni' that is lifted straight of a 1968 Paul Mauriat track called
'Mamy Blue' (From the album, 'Love Is Blue')! Composer Rajesh
Vaidya, who has done a few other title tracks for
K Balachander's other serials, is the one to blame! Does the veteran Director know about the lift?
I had recently come across a song from the
Tamil movie 'James Bond' (2000 - the movie has got nothing to do with
007, but the 2 lead characters are called James and Paandu!!) - the
song, 'Kannenna Misaarama', by composer S A Rajkumar. It is an exact
replica of an instrumental piece I'm very familiar with, but haven't
been able to recall its title/ group!! Every time I hear this Tamil
song, I can clearly recall the instrumental piece - most probably a
Spanish/ Latin kind of piece, though it does have Middle-Eastern
influences as it progresses, but have not been able to place the song. A
few things that came to my mind off-hand were the soundtrack of the
Vanessa Williams starrer, 'Dance with me', some film awards show in
which this might have been played in the background and so on. Just
listen to the Tamil song and see if you can identify the original!
This one's finally been
cracked - check out listing no. 49 in Tamil - Others page!
Toofan Ki Raat / Paula Abdul's 'My Love Is For Real'
Had got a mail from one of my site's visitors, Vikas Deep Sharma who had mentioned about a Paula Abdul song, 'My love is for real'. Vikas felt this song resembled some recent Hindi song. When I heard the track, I found the first two lines bearing a striking similarity to A R Rahman's Thakshak (1999) number,
'Toofan ki raat'!! It was rather surprising, considering only the first 2 lines sounding similar and the rest was very different. But because the opening
similarity was too real to discard, here I am adding both the songs!
About the song 'My love is for real': The first single off Paula's 1995 album, 'Head Over Heels', 'My Love is For Real' was co-written by Paula and has a middle-eastern Arabian groove Ofra Haza's vocals. "My Love is For Real" wasn’t a huge commercial comeback hit for Paula, but the song made it to #28 on the Billboard Hot 30. Several mixes of the song were produced and the track was a hit with dance clubs.
Trivia note on Ofra Haza: One of Israel's most popular singers, Ofra Haza broke through to international recognition during the mid-1980s when her traditional music found favor on the U.K. club circuit, its success leading to a series of unlikely pop projects. Born in Tel Aviv on November 19, 1959, Haza was the daughter of Yemenite parents forced to flee from their native country's Muslim regime; at the age of 12 she joined the renowned Hatikva theatrical troupe, and with the group cut a number of award-winning records before serving a compulsory two-year tour of duty in the Israeli army. Upon her discharge, in 1979 she mounted a solo career, becoming a star not only at home but also in
neighboring Arab nations; in 1983, her recording of "Hi!" placed second in the annual Eurovision Song Contest.
Inspired by the ancient melodies taught to her by her mother, in 1985 Haza recorded Yemenite Songs, which featured traditional instruments as well as lyrics drawn from the 16th century poetry of Shalom Shabazi; not only a major hit at home, the album was also a worldbeat smash in England as well. With 1988's Shaday, she turned away from traditional sounds to pursue more dance-flavored material, and the single "Im Nin'al" even reached the Top 20 on the U.K. pop charts, additionally becoming a club favorite in the U.S.
The 1989 album Desert Wind' was sung largely in English, and its release corresponded with Haza's first American tour. For 1992's Grammy-nominated 'Kirya', she teamed with producer Don Was, and welcomed guests Iggy Pop and Lou Reed; that same year, Haza also recorded the single "Temple of Love" with British goth-rockers the Sisters of Mercy. Despite her success, however, she was silent throughout the middle of the decade, finally resurfacing in 1997 with a self-titled LP issued on her new label BMG Ariola. Haza died unexpectedly of AIDS-related complications on February 23, 2000.
Romeo's 'Mellisaye' / Maurice Ravel's Bolero
posted a query about the connection between A R Rahman's Mr. Romeo
number, 'Mellisaye' and the theme music of the cartoon series 'Kozacks'
(or Cojjacks?). While I couldn't locate the exact theme tune of this TV
series, a post in this site's message board (by Ganesh) suggested that I
listen to Maurice Ravel's 'Bolero'. And so I did. Surprisingly, I felt
there are definite shades of 'Bolero' in the Rahman number - sort of a
subtle influence? [What do you
think?]. Also think that the TV cartoon series' theme should
have been inspired by Bolero, since Bolero was first composed in 1928!
Trivia note on Maurice Ravel: Maurice Ravel was born on March 7th, 1875 in
Ciboure, France which is located in the heart of the Basque country in southwestern France. Strongly influenced by the works of
Liszt, Mussorgsky, and Faure, Ravel, along with Claude Debussy created a style of music that was largely inspired by the Impressionist paintings of Claude Monet. Impressionistic music dealt largely with evoking images of moods and places. Ravel’s style of music began to change around the time of Claude Debussy’s death in 1918. His work became more abstract and closer to the neo-classical styles of Stravinsky, incorporating early jazz rhythms and harmonies. However, Ravel retained that quality of style which made all his music instantly recognizable as his own.
Stravinsky once referred to Ravel as “the Swiss watchmaker” because of his painstaking attention to detail. He would perfect small, self contained blocks of music before integrating them into a larger, more complex structure of his composition, much like the many moving parts of a watch.
Apparently, Ravel did not feel that composing music came easily to him. He wrote, "I am not one of the great composers. All the great have produced enormously. There is everything in their work - the best and the worst, but there is always quantity. But I have written relatively very little . . . and at that, I did it with a great deal of difficulty. I did my work slowly, drop by drop. I have torn all of it out of me by pieces. . . and now I cannot do any more, and it does not give me any pleasure."
In 1928, Ravel wrote his most famous piece of music, Bolero, while on holiday in his hometown,
Ciboure. Each year, his whole family would return to visit Ciboure for their annual vacation, and he had continued to visit even after his parents deaths. Bolero is built upon two musical themes which is repeated eighteen times during the work. It is not an attempt of Spanish dance music, nor is it a bolero or folk dance at all. It is slower in tempo than a bolero dance, and is a combination of a polonaise, chaconne, and zarabande while throughout the piece the rhythm of a snare drum beats relentlessly. Most people either love or hate this piece. Many think it is repetitive and boring while others find it hypnotizing and fascinating. It is, in any event, the world's longest musical crescendo.
In fact, on Sept 1, 1997, a British study published in 'Psychiatric
Bulletine' claims Ravel may have been in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease because of its repetitive melody. Dr. Eva
Cybulska, the author of the study, suggests this possibility due to the fact that most people with this affliction suffer from an obsession with repeating words and gestures.
from Taj Mahal's 'Karisal Tharisal'
Maran from Malaysia wanted me to listen to a particular interlude from A R Rahman's
'Karisal Tharisal' song from the movie Taj Mahal (1999). He pointed out that it sounded very similar to a background piece from the Antonio Banderas - Antony Hopkins
starrer, 'The Mask of Zorro'. Well, it does sound very similar! And it turns out that the piece is composed by James Horner (this piece best comes out in the track titled 'Diego's Goodbye' in the
OST). There's a vocal version of this track too, by Tina Arena and Marc Antony - 'I want to spend my lifetime loving you'! To be fair to
Rahman, this interlude similarity is for a few odd seconds. James Horner has the reputation of deriving inspiration from many sources, including a lot from Western Classical...who knows...this could be one of them too!
I had come across the promos of a B-grade flick recently, called
'Yeh kaisi mohobbat' with music (surprise!) by Sandeep 'Holier-than-thou'
Chowta! One song (Tu yahan hai...,
Title Song) featured reminded me of some older song and I later managed to identify it too. It sounded a lot like Nadeem Shravan's
'Adaayen bhi hai' from Dil Hai Ki Manta Nahin. Now, we know that DHKMN has quite a few other lifted numbers too like Bachelor Boy in 'Oh mere sapnon ke
saudagar' and Demis Roussos' 'Lovely lady of arcadia' in 'Yuhin kat
jaayega'. So I strongly suspect 'Adaayen bhi hai' to have an original too, though it is just a hunch. If it indeed does, then Sandeep has
derived inspiration from the same source! Let
me know if anyone knows if there's a common original!
This sure makes up for an interesting story! Its started with Dr Dre
saying "The song is really simple. All it is, is a drum track, bassline and this Indian girl singing. And it was
incredible". He was talking about his latest US chartbuster sung by Truth Hurts, 'Addictive'. The 'Girl' in his quote happens to be our own Lata Mangeshkar and its mighty apparent that Dr Dre
doesn't know a thing about the 'girl' who sang that part in his song! Thankfully Mumbai-based journalist Narendra Kusnur (with Mid Day Newspaper) did the much-needed background
research and the following has been extracted from his research.
Dr Dre had merely sampled an obscure 80's Hindi film song and while you listen to 'Addictive' you'd also notice that the entire song is based on the direction provided by this particular sample - meaning, this sample does much more than what a sample normally does to most songs! The sample is from the song
'Kaliyon ka chaman...thoda resham lagta hai..." from the 1981 movie
'Jyoti' with music by Bappi Lahiri. Interestingly when Narendra Kusnur read out the lyrics to him to confirm Bappida didnt remember his own song. Later he did! The director of this movie, Pramod Chakraborty didnt remember this song from his movie either! Thats how obscure this song is! And finally when Narendra Kusnur asked Bappi Lahiri whether he was planning to take any action because the American artistes hadn’t given any credit or asked for permission, Bappida replied,
"I’ll think about that later. Right now, I am really happy that I and Lata
didi, the legend of Indian music, are at the top of the international charts. This is an unforgettable day for me and for Indian
The other part of the story is an Indian version to the Truth Hurts number. This one features in the assorted remix compilation UMI10 - Volume 3! The music is credited to composer Harry
Anand. When Narendra Kusnur asks him about the origins of his song, Harry responds back saying that he was asked to remix the US smash hit in his own way by the record label. He apparently has no clue about Jyoti and the actual original! Even more funnier is the video for the remixed Indian version...its a straight lift of the US version! So they lift our song, and we lift the lifted. We also lift their video! Interesting equation, this!
song from Millennium Stars and a ghazal by Hariharan
Indian composer Vidyasagar probably had/has his most fruitful innings in
Malayalam. His music for Malayalam films portray him as a highly
talented composer though his Tamil and Telugu numbers are more on the
massy side. There is this particular song by Vidyasagar in the 2000
movie 'Millennium Stars' - 'Parayaan nyaan marannu' - which has a very
unique structure. The opening part of the song has a fast, catchy
western tune, followed by part two which has a typical Malayalam flavour
and the third part having a ghazal like feel with Hindi lyrics! Its a
rather strange number and sung by KJ Yesudas, his son Vijay Yesudas and
Hariharan. What's striking is the third part which has a
tune. The tune is almost an exact rip-off of Hariharan's 1983 ghazal 'Jabse
woh maahpara gaya' from his own album 'Sukoon'. Hariharan had composed
music for Sukoon. I wonder how he agreed to sing this number by
Vidyasagar which had ripped off his own ghazal!
pyaar tumhe karte hain from Ek Ladka Ek ladki
A rather interesting lift/ inspiration! Anand Milind had composed
fairly good numbers for the Salman Khan - Neelam starrer 'Ek ladka ek
ladki'. I had recently mentioned that one of the songs (chotisi duniya
mohobbat ka hai mere paas...) was lifted from a Pakistani number! Here's
another, though I'm not sure, how many would agree. My friend Gopal
Srinivasan informed me about an old, famous Kannada song that sounds
like 'Kitna pyaar tumhen karte hain...' from Ek ladka ek ladki! This
Kannada song is fairly old, probably from the 50s or 60s, still not
clear about its release year. It goes, 'Hindustanavu endu mareyada...'
and is from the film 'Amrutha Ghalige'. The composer was Vijayabhaskar.
When I heard it, it sure did sound like Anand Milind's Hindi song...at
least the way it opens!! Check it out! Knowing Anand Milind's penchant
for lifting from regional soundtracks (more so, Ilayaraja's
soundtracks!), the thought of a lift from the old Kannada song seems
Rajnigandha (1974) title song sounds similar too!! If the Kannada track
is indeed from the 1980s, as mentioned in RMIM, then Salilda's number
seems to be the precursor to all others!
This is NOT an instance of lifting/ copying. Its more about sound
sampling/ use of loops. These are commercially available pieces and are
used by musicians worldwide. Sandeep Chowta did it for the orchestration
of Pyar Tune Kya Kiya's 'Khambakt Ishq' (its a different issue that he
lifted the tune, which was rather blatant!). Al Di Meola's 'Race with
devil on Turkish highway' (1998) has a prelude piece which is EXACTLY
similar to the opening piece in Taal's (1999) 'Raga Dance' music piece
by A R Rahman! Al Di Meola had fellow guitarist Steve Vai collaborating
with him in this number (this song was originally composed by Meola in
1978, for his album 'Elegant Gypsy' - it was then called 'Race with
devil on Spanish highway'). Strangely enough, you'd not find the Taal
piece in Meola's 70s version. I had found a mention about this in an
online message board where the poster had alleged that Rahman has copied
Meola! Just wanted to let this site's visitors know that this would not amount
to copying, since the very purpose of creating samples and loops is for
use by musicians. A review
of Meola's album 'Infinite desire' says, "Di Meola is nobody's
technophobe, so in addition to delicately played acoustic guitar and
piano, many tunes here feature sampling technology and looped-sounding
rhythm tracks". Another review,
on a different note, talking about Meola's music style says, "Al
is joined by fellow guitarist, Steve Vai, and the two of them race
through the complex number in mind-boggling style and tempo. You can
really tell these two cats like to wail at each other" -
Precisely what I felt when I heard this eclectic and disparate sounding
Note: After listening to Meola's music, if you are curious to know
more about him, check
Na Kaho (Amir Jamal)/ Tamally Ma'ak (Amr Diab)
You must have seen the promos for a new movie titled 'Murder'
( a rip-off of the Diane Keaton - Richard Gere starrer 'Unfaithful' which came out in 2002 - well, what else do you expect when Mahesh Bhatt is at the helm of affairs!). There's an interesting song, 'Kaho na kaho' that is garnering all attention since it also has
Arabic lyrics in between. As far as I understand, Anu Malik is credited with its music (at least in the promos!), but the origins of this song go a long way back!
'Kaho na kaho' is sung by Pakistani singer Amir Jamal
and is his composition from his 2003 album by the same name. If you had heard the song, you'd have
Arabic lyrics that goes, '...tamally ma'ak'. And there lies the twist! This song
was originally composed by Sherif Tag (lyrics by Ahmed Ali Mousa) and sung by Arabic singer Amr Diab under the name (what else?) 'Tamally Ma'ak' in the year 2000 (from the album of the same name). Amir Jamal simply lifted this song and added Hindi lyrics and used it in his album. This song has also found its way
in to 'Murder',
thanks to the
Bhatts! Its one thing to copy a song with no credit whatsoever to its original composer and its completely another thing to use the same title/
lyrics in the copied version! And does
'Tamally Ma'ak' sound similar? It
just might...'cos Sanjeev Darshan have already lifted 2 songs from this album for the Anil Kapoor starrer
'Rishthey'! Check out the page on
Sanjeev Darshan for details!
Listen toKaho na
kaho [Amir Jamal] | Tamally Ma'ak
Another interesting aspect here is that Amir Jamal is not the only person to lift this song.
There are, on last count, 6 other versions of this song, besides Amir
Jamal's Hindi/ Arabic version! And not even one version is legal - not one was
done with permission from Amr Diab or with a credit to him! But this
shows how popular Amr Diab is across the globe! Here's a list of the
other lifts of Tamally Ma'ak...Thanks to information from the website on Amr Diab. Israel: Artist: Orna & Moshe Datz, Song: You're In My Heart,
Year: 2001 [Listen to You're In My
Heart] Bulgaria: Artist: Ivana, Song: Skitam se az, Year:
2002 - [Listen
to Skitam se
az] Argentina: Artist: Andrea Del Valle Bela, Song: Te voy a dejar,
Year: 2004 - [Listen to Te voy a
dejar] Spain: Artist: Carmona, Song: Te Quiero Ti, Year:
2003 - [Listen
to Te Quiero
Ti] Russia: Artist: Avraam Russo, Song: Daleko Daleko,
Year: 2002 [Listen toDaleko
Daleko] Japan: Resung in Arabic by the Japanese band 'Warna' and released
as a video. Watch the video at this
Amr Diab site!
Konden, the movie, copied off 'Klassenfahrt', a German
I had listed 3
lifts in the recent Tamil hit 'Kaadhal Konden' by composer Yuvan Shankar
Raja recently (now available in the Yuvan Shankar Raja Page). Turns out
that the film's theme in itself is lifted from a German movie called 'Klassenfahrt'
(English title, 'School Trip')...not only the theme but also the
mannerisms of the original's lead guy, whom the Tamil hero Dhanush apes
unabashedly. I remember Dhanush getting loads of praise from the Tamil
press for his 'acting' in the film...:-)
Milke (Main Hoon Naa) / In Zaire (Johnny Wakelin)
update, for a change, is not about a lift. Its about a biased review in
which the author claims that a particular song is a direct lift, while
the truth is that it is not. The song in question is, "Tumse milke
dil ka" from Anu Malik's 'Main Hoon Na'. Manjulaa Negi, who reviewed
the movie in The
Hindustan Times, alleges that this song is a straight lift from the
70s hit number, 'In Zaire'. In Zaire has already been mauled by Jatin
Lalit in the 'Kabhi haan kabhi naa' song, "Sachi yeh kahani hai...'
and has been listed under Jatin Lalit page too, in ItwoFS! So why is
Manjulaa accusing Anu? This issue also gives a good opportunity to
explain what I think is a lift and what is not.
Yes, the way percussions open both the songs sound similar, but my angle
to inspiration/ plagiarism is not mere percussions/ beats/ rythms
sounding similar. In my opinion, that is completely besides the point.
In the Indian film music context, its the actual tune that matter. Does
the way 'Tumse milke dil hai jo haal kya karen' sound like anything in
In Zaire? That gauges a lift in the Indian context. Precisely the reason
why I do not consider the 'ace of base' sounds in Rahman's 'Indian' film
track, 'Telephone dhun mein' or many of the instances listed in the
Rahman page. Manjulaa is wrong this time, even though most plagiarism
allegations against Anu Malik turn out to be genuine. And her use of the
words 'direct lift' when there is no actual lift, reeks of personal
bias, but I suppose Anu's shady past is partly responsible for that
bias. Lets give the man his due when he does something
good...something original...albeit rarely!
Thadayam Title Track (Sun TV -
I've never been a fan of Sun TV's Tamil serials (or 'mega serial'
as they are termed these days since they annoy people on a daily
basis!), but I sure am a fan of Bananarama! Who'd have thought that a
Tamil serial in Sun TV will have a title track lifted off Bananarama's
classic oldie, 'Venus' (1986)? Yes, the title track of the serial 'Thadayam'
uses the Bananarama classic almost to the hilt! I recall reading about
the Serial title track composers making it big in the film world
too...people like D Iman (who also scored for the Hindi flop, 'Kis kis
ki kismat, starring Mallika 'look-ma-no-clothes' Sherawat and Dharam
Paaji!), Rehan, Kiran and the most successful of the lot, Dhina. I'm not
sure about the composer of Thadayam's track...maybe someone who's better
clued-in could mail me!
This has got to be one of the weirdest cases I've added here...and a
classic case for reverse plagiarism! Found this in Manoj's
Minor Scale Blog.
There's this obscure song by Ilayaraja in the 1985 Rajnikant starrer
'Sri Ragavendra'. The song, 'Unakkum Enakkum' sounds completely out of
place in the otherwise 'religious' movie...sounds more like a
'seduction' song :-). Even more wierd is the fact that someone like
Black Eyed Peas decided to do a 'remix' of this obscure track! And
you've gotto listen to it to believe this! Much more blatant than Truth
Hurts' Addictive that merely sampled a few bars from the original Hindi
track. And surprise surprise...Black Eyed Peas decided to drop this
track (called 'Elephunk Theme') from the later versions of the album's
(called 'Elephunk'!!) release! But yes, quite a few reviews have already
made a mention of this track using epithets like, "Bollywood-soaked"
bring sitar, flute, and an Indian vocalist in to serve it up Bhangra
style" (Bhangra? Gawd!) or "incorporates
this year's hottest trend, Indian music"!
So, why did they drop this track? Scared of
getting into a legal mess? And how in the world did these
guys come across this rare Tamil track?! Also, was someone
credited in the original version of the album - if so, who?
Black Eyed Peas' 'Don't phunk
with my heart' (2005)
Seriously, what is wrong with Black Eyed
Peas? Not that I considered them any good, in the first place. But they
seem to be on a complete trip of Indian 70s/ 80s tracks. Their new
album, 'Monkey Business' has the track, 'Don't phunk with my heart'.
This track's prelude was alleged to have been lifted from 'Yeh Mera Dil'
(Don, Kalyanji Anandji, 1978). Yes, quite true. What's even more
shocking is the actual song in itself seems to have been inspired by
another Kalyanji Anandji track, 'Aye naujawan' from the 1972 film,
Apradh! But, this album does have the necessary credits to all parties
related, including, Kalyanji Anandji & Indeewar and also adds, 'Contains
a sample from “Ae Naujawan Sab Kuchh Yahan” sung by Asha Bhosle'!
Laxmikant Pyarelal's only
Malayalam score for the film 'Poonila Mazha' - Song, 'Thak
The Mariachi track, 'Cancion del Mariachi'
by Antonio Banderas and Los Lobos was part of Robert Rodriguez's
'Desperado' (1995) soundtrack. Daboo Malik has already used up this
track for a number in Pran jaaye par shaan na jaaye (2003). Here's
Laxmikant Pyarelal's version of the same track, way back in 1997, in
their only Malayalam film, Poonilamazha. The song is 'Thak thaank...'!
Pretty much direct lift, but sounds quite interesting! Another song from
the same film, 'Chilu chilu chira' seems to be inspired by Michael
Jackson's 'They don't really care about us'...just those lines, but!
This chartbuster was first released in 1990
in Pakistan, but strangely enough, its Iranian original is as old as the
70s, to the best of my search! Yes, the original is called 'Havar havar'
and was by Persian singer Kourosh Yaghmai. Lets not really get into Hawa
hawa's Indian version...quite pointless, in my opinion, since we've
addressed the source.
Himesh Reshammiya's 'Odhni od ke naachoon' from Tere Naam
Pakistani singer Naseebo Lal's 'Isqhe
da wal aagaya' has exactly the same tune, but it was
released in January 2005, much after Tere Naam's 2004
release. Incidentally, there are quite a few tracks from
Naseebo Lal that use popular Hindi film tunes! It's quite
strange that there is at least one Pakistani artist who goes
around lifting newer Indian tracks, while all other cases
pertain to the opposite! This is one case where Himesh could
sure this woman for plagiarism! Thanks to Himesh fan Yaju
Arya for relentless research on the truth behind this
lift...a revrse lift and clearing Himesh's name.
A R Rahman's 'Ottagatha Kattikko'
(Gentleman, 1993) and
La Caution's 'Pilotes
This one's a reverse! Or, it possibly could be. Just came across (thanks
to messages in the Rahman Yahoo Group and TFM Page) a track 'Pilotes
Automatqies' by a French hip-hop group called 'La Caution'. And it
samples almost throughout the song, A R Rahman's 1993 chartbuster 'Ottagatha
Kattikko' from Gentleman (called 'Roop Suhana lagta hai' in Hindi!). The
hip-hop track is part of La Caution's 2005 album, 'Arc En Ciel Pour Dal
Toniens'. Now, a few pertinent questions. Does the French album include
a credit to Rahman? How did they come to know about a Tamil track...any
possible Indian connection somewhere? And most importantly, does
While working on a lead from 'Musique Man' Varma - on the possible
source of Shankar Jaikishen's cult classic 'Yaad kiya dil' (Patita,
1953, sung by Hemant Kumar), I stumbled upon another song from the same
group, alleged to have the Patita original. The group is called Djur
Djura and its a all-women group working on Algerian folk music. The song
in question is called 'Uni-vers-elles'. This track has generous dollops
of 'Jhoom barabar jhoom', with even those three words appearing exactly!
Yes, the same Aziz Nazan cult hit in 1971 that was also used as an item
song in the film '5 rifles' (1974).
Djur Djura was formed in 1977 by its lead singer Djura (as explained in
detail in the official website of the world music record label 'Luaka Bop' owned
by musician David Byrne, co-founder of the group Talking Heads).
Considering the possibility of 2 (one confirmed, another unknown) Indian
tracks in her repertoire, I'm on the lookout for any information that
can help me place the dates of all the 4 tracks mentioned here.
Yaad kiya dil ne (Patita, 1953) - Possibly inspired by Algerian folk
song - Unconfirmed
Jhoom barabar jhoom (Aziz Nazan, 1971) - Found in Uni-vers-elles (Djur Djura,
The dates available as of now clearly points to the fact that the Indian
versions are much older.
Now, two relevant questions arise here.
01. Does Djur Djura, as a band rework existing Algerian folk music? Or,
do they also seek inspiration from across the world and could have
possibly lifted Jhoom barabar jhoom?
02. If a tune-equivalent of the Patita exists in their repertoire, does
that again point to one of the two possibilities - the band using
traditional Algerian folk or seeking inspiration from more diverse world
sources, including Indian film music?
Download the mp3 version of Uni-vers-ellese here!
Any more info on this topic will be immensely helpful! While I have
heard some rare albums of Djur Djura, I found their music to be an
interesting mix of genres including Andean folk and the kind of music
Hedningarna produces. But, I'm yet to come across this so-called
original of Patita's 'Yaad kiya dil'!
The CNBC Panel discussion on plagiarism in Indian film music!
co-panelists were...take a guess! Pritam, Anu Malik, noted copyright
lawyer Praveen Anand and UTV head Ronnie Screwvala! I joined them from
CNBC's Bangalore studio.
Karan Thapar chaired the discussion and was, for some reason, stuck on
Hattrick's 'Wicket Bacha' and its seemingly direct similarity with Harry
Belafonte's 1952 chartbuster 'Man smart (woman smarter)'! With all due respect to Karan,
I felt that was an example completely off the mark. I'm with Pritam on
this instance when he said Wicket bacha is in the calypso genre and not
a direct tune lift. Couldn't agree with you more, Pritam! Listen to Wicket bacha |
...and decide for yourself!
Pritam was surprisingly shy and soft spoken, quite contrary to the image
I had of him, in my mind. On the other hand Anu Malik was completely the
opposite of what I had expected (mostly from his press interviews). He
did hammer on his impressive track record, how he has survived many
composers and generations through his hard work etc., which was typical
of the persona we know from his interviews.
But surprisingly, when
Karan asked him pointedly if he thinks itwofs.com is actually
discrediting Indian composers, he actually disagreed and said, if
anything, it inspires him to do more original work and he's happy that
an online watchdog is keeping track. This he felt gave him the impetus
to do original tunes! Not bad Anu, way to go! Great attitude!
Praveen made it clear that the whole set up is to blame and every one
will be made responsible, right from the producer, director, composer,
music publisher etc. if a copyright lawsuit were to happen. Watch the video of this panel discussion...check out the About ItwoFS page for video links!
It was a very proud moment for me when Vinay mailed me that I have
been recommended by a few people to be a judge for RMIM Puraskar 2006.
So, there I was listening to the nominated tracks and making my
choice…it has all been a wonderful experience! The polling and the whole
planning was fantastic…kudos to Vinay. And, here are the results! Even
though my personal fave was Dor (as you may have seen in my 'Top
10 Hindi songs of 2006' post in Milliblog), Omkara is a deserving choice too.
Take a look at the results here!
For those of you who voted me as a judge….THANKS!
Shing nei tobu (Lukochuri)
Kishore Kumar has often been called the 'Danny
Kaye of India' and quite a bit of singing seems to have been
inspired by the Hollywood comedian. So, its quite possible that Kishore was instrumental
in getting composer Hemanta Mukjerjee to adapt Danny Kaye's 1946
hit, 'Oh by Jingo!' as 'Shing nei tobu nam tar shingo' for the
1958 Bengali comedy hit 'Lukochuri' starring Kishore Kumar and
Mala Sinha. The singing and mukhda are quite evidently and
blatantly used in the Indian version.Thanks to 'Musique Man'
Varma for the info!
Listen toShing nei tobu |
Oh by Jingo
Besides this Danny Kaye connection,
there's another that I'm looking for more information. The song
from the 1962
Kishore Kumar starrer, Half Ticket, 'Woh
ik nagaah kya' is supposedly inspired by a scene from Danny
Kaye's 1954 film, 'Knock on wood'. Now, I've not seen both the
the films in question, but would like to know from someone who
has, if there's a musical/ song lift involved here.
Trivia on Oh by Jingo!: 'Oh by Jingo' was originally composed by
Albert Von Tilzer, with lyrics by Lew Brown in the year 1920!
Danny's version came much later in 1946. The original was
recorded by the Premier Quartet as 'Oh by Jingo! Oh by Gee' and
was released on Edison Blue Amberol Cylinder record in August
1920 and on Edison Diamond Disc 50666-L in September 1920. For
the original recording in mp3 and a bit more slightly unrelated
trivia, head to
Interlude in Saroja samaan nikaalo (Chennai
A very interesting case
of interlude inspiration that mandates a mid-week update!
Superstarksa blog has made a fantastic find on how Yuvan
Shankar Raja could possibly be a huge Spiderman fanboy! Remember
the theme music of the original cartoon Spiderman series? The
same one we used to wait desperately on weekend noons on
Doordarshan, just before heading to start the cricket match! Ah,
who can forget that? Now, how would you react if I say that the
same theme tune has been used in Yuvan's latest, 'Chennai
6000028'? Hard to believe, huh? But yes, it has been used - if I
may add, very very intelligently, right upto the choice of
instrument, as an interlude, in the track, 'Saroja saamaan
nikaalo' (more on this song's title - in the trivia!). Very
smart, Yuvan. No, I'm not blaming him this time - this is
perhaps the real way to pay homage, I guess! Incidentally, many
others have done it, with this theme, according to
Trivia on Spiderman cartoon
spidey fan site helps us with the details of the cartoon
theme's credits - Words by Paul Francis Webster and music
by Bob Harris, Stu Phillips and D Kapross. Also, the mention of
Charlie Mingus' 1959 boogie track, 'Boogie stop shuffle' as the
possible inspiration for the cartoon theme seems well grounded
too! Listen toBoogie stop
shuffle (Charlie Mingus). Watch the Spiderman cartoon
Trivia on the words 'Saroja
saamaan nikaalo'!: I recall
reading Chennai 6000028's director Venkat Prabhu talking about
where he got these words. Director Shankar's Arjun starrer
Mudhalvan (Nayak, in Hindi) had a scene, where, after becoming
the 'one-day-CM', one of the chores that Arjun attends to is to
weed out subletting on government-allotted quarters for slum
dwellers. They had incidentally sublet their quarters since it
fetches better returns. One of the doors Arjun knocks with the
entire media in tow is a 'Sat(e)' (Chennai parlance for any
North Indian businessman/ moneylender - usually a Marwadi!).
After the initial resistance the sat(e) agrees to move out and
yells out to his wife (Sushma, not Saroja, however! - Source:
Triviapettai), 'Sushma saara samaan nikaalo' (In existential
terms, it means, "Saroja, get our worldly belongings out!")
Paris Hilton's debut song's producers
sued for plagiarism!
Besides the news of her checking into a LA County jail, the
other big news about Paris Hilton, beleaguered celebrity
socialite and one time internet porn superstar (!) is that
record producers of her really sorry 2006 single, 'Stars are blind' -
V2 Music Publishing,
Warner Chappell Music and Hilton's songwriter/ producer Fernando
Garibay - are being sued by Sparta Florida Music Group, who allege
parts of the track are lifted from UB40's 1989 classic track, 'Kingston Town'.
According to the news, "the GBP250,000 ($500,000) writ, filed in
London's High Court, claims breach of copyright. Sparta Florida
intends to draw on evidence from a musicologist and on internet
articles to prove their case". So, I was curious about the
similarities in the two tracks in question. And guess what,
Paris could start her life afresh in India - she could speed and
break whatever speed records she has in mind...she could also
lift anything (leave alone a song) she wants and get
away with it but no dirty stuff, vogay, we already have enough things to protest against (the
latest of which is the name - 'sexy' - of a precocious 9
year old in Balki's Cheeni Kum!)! Paris' version does borrow in
small quantities (the prelude turns into the opening line - the
genre, reggae, is retained too) from Kingston Town, but as
someone neck deep in far more blatant cases of plagiarism, this
seems like peanuts! US$ 500,000 huh? Imagine the amount of moolah our producers may have to dole out if the copyright laws
are a bit more stringent? Listen toStars are blind|Kingston Town
I'd rather give the benefit of doubt to Pritam than make any assumptions. First came
'Strawberry hoon main' from Raghu Romeo (2003). And then comes
the same tune's slightly more popular version, 'Sania badnaam',
from Apna Sapna Money Money (2006). Are you aware of an original
to both these tunes? Do lemme know! Listen toStrawberry hoon main |
Jhoom barabar jhoom title song?
Jhoom barabar jhoom title song lifted? Note-to-note,
thump-to-thump and lilt-to-lilt? That too, from a South
Indian film? Huh? Does anyone have any clue on what this
news item is talking about, in its first para? Do
lemme know! Ehsaan
denies this outright. And I trust him much more than
Uzbek version of A R Rahman's Saathiya
track, 'Aye udi udi'.
Rahman's 2006 track, 'Machakkaari' from the film 'Sillunnu
oru kaadhal' has a racy and very prominent prelude that
seems startlingly similar to a prelude from a song, 'Shiver'
by the soul-rock band Maroon 5. The hitch? Shiver was part
of Maroon 5's 2002 album, 'Songs
about Jane'! Now, I do understand that this is not about
a tune lift at all, but the reason why its up here is to at
least find out if this could possibly be a commercially
available loop! Could some of the more knowledgeable/ better
connected visitors of ItwoFS throw some light on this?
Farah Khan's funny brother, Sajid Khan has been crying
hoarse that his directorial debut 'Heyy Babyy' is not
inspired by the Tom Selleck - Ted Danson starrer 'Three
men and a baby'. Well, the
teaser that was released in IndiaFM recently seems to
scream otherwise...looks exactly like the 1987 Hollywood
film! Sajid could however seek refuge by saying that he got
inspired by the 1985 French comedy, '3
hommes et un couffin' ('Three men and a cradle', the
source of the English film!), since
Sagar Ballary has made uncredited lifting of French
farces fashionable and lucrative, depending on whether you
talk about the connection or not!
But, while I was watching the fairly enjoyable teaser of
Heyy Babyy, the one thing that struck me was the music in
the background! Sajid was
quoted by DNA, on January 16, 2007 as saying, "Do
you know why I chose Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy to do the music for
Hey Baby? That’s because their name doesn’t figure in the
list of copycats on a website devoted to exposing plagiarism
in Hindi film music". Thanks
Sajid bhai, but I sincerely hope that background music is
only a piece in the trailer and not an actual song. Because
it sounds exactly like pop/soul-rock band Maroon 5's track,
'This love' from their 2002 debut album, 'Songs about Jane'.
The audio clip for the teaser is ripped from the video clip
in IndiaFM - try paying closer attention to the music in the
background over the funny lines of Akshay Kumar and the
multiple slap sounds!
Ehsaan says in
amail that the trio have nothing to do
with either the background music or teaser pieces for the
film. Thought as much. Relieved!
Pritam reusing his own tracks!
CNN IBN ran a story recently,
about our friend Pritam copying (?) his own song. I really
fail to see the news value here. Pritam has done it so often
that it sounds like a lame attempt to either manufacture
news or defame Pritam. Further. For the record, Pritam has
already lifted from his own soundtracks - not once, but as
many as 4 times. 5, if you include this latest CNN IBN
So, Janmabhoomi (and its other variant, Zindagi hai to),
from the 2004 Jimmy Shergill starrer, Agnipankh, became
Bheega bheega sa in Chocolate (2005). Its quite a different
issue that both the tunes were lifted off Abrar-ul-haq's
original, 'December'. Listen to
Zindagi hai to |
Bheega bheega sa (Chocolate) |
Again, another re-use from Agnipankh (Seems like Pritam
loves this un-heard soundtrack!) is the track, Mera dil fida,
that has been remodelled into Aa dil se dil in the recent
Naqaab! Listen toMera dil fida |
Aa dil se dil
Jal jal ke from Ek khiladi ek haseena (2005) becomes Hai
ishq, in Bas ek pal (2006). The small hitch here is that
both have been lifted off Lebanese singer Yuri Mrakadi's
Arabiyom ana (2001). Listen toJal jal
Hai ishq |
Saregama India was recently in the
news over a lawsuit they had initiated against Timbaland
and The Game for allegedly sampling one of their tracks in
the song, 'Put you on the game' (YouTube
Link) from The Game's 2005 album, 'The Documentary'. After
the Dr.Dre/ Truth Hurts incident I was curious about the
song in question and the amount of alleged lift. The Hindi
song sampled is SD Burman's (or RD Burman's, depends on
which version you believe!) Aradhana hit, 'Baagon mein
bahaar hai'. The strangest thing is the length of the
sample! It was the famous 'Na na na' part which is sung as
the answer to Rajesh Khanna's cheeky third question! The
sample is used more like an afterthought, towards the end of
the song. A lawsuit for this seems quite amazing considering
the treasure trove of lifted songs Saregama holds in their
music bank - plagiarized by composers across the years. Just
because our country doesn't care about copyright laws,
Saregama seems to be safe. If at all our legal system gets
slightly stronger on this front, I'm sure Saregama will in a
massive soup! Listen toPut you on the
game (relevant edit) |
Hum to aise hai bhaiyya (Laaga
Chunari mein daag)!
Thanks to this track, we have discovered the source of 2
other Bappi Lahiri tracks (Bappi Lahiri page, listing number
20 and 21). The main refrain in this song has a fleeting
similarity to the 1946 Calypso hit 'Mary Ann', lifted twice
by Bappi da! But, as I mentioned, the similarity is fleeting
and that's why I've added this in the Trivia page. Listen toHum to
aise hain | Mary Ann
Sue me, sue you!
Here's some fantastic
reading material - if you're a keen follower of music
plagiarism across the globe. Carl Horowitz, in his recent
write-up titled, 'Sue
me, sue you' starts with Bruce Springsteen's latest
single, 'Radio nowhere' and explains beautifully the dilemma
in identifying music plagiarism given the limited sounds we
humans work with. Makes for excellent read!
Aaja Nachle trivia!
plot seems to be inspired by the 2004 Swedish Academy Award
nominated film, 'Så som i himmelen'! Take a look at
Aaja Nachle's promo and then read about the Swedish
Wikipedia! Interesting huh?
The title song seems to have paid homage to a
Bengali folk song, 'Dada paye pori re', made popular by
Anshuman Roy. Pradipto Das who wrote in with this fab piece
of info notes that this folk track was first released in an
album during the late 70s. Listen to
Aaja Nachle - Short
promo tune |
Nachle nachle |
Dada paye pori
Ottmar Liebert and ItwoFS!
mentions ItwoFS in his
blog. The man, Liebert himself! He stumbled upon the
fact that Pritam's Ankahee number 'Aa paas aa' is lifted off
his 'Starry night' from
this site. He also notes marginal, musical lifts in the
remix of Khakee's 'Aisa jadoo'...the guitar in particular is
close to his '2 the night'. But the influences are marginal
and almost incidental, so I'm not too keen on even a trivia
Bollywood gets a chance to undo a wrong!
Here's another chance
for Bollywood to prove that they're indeed changing
for the better! The recent news that Karz is being remade
with Himesh Reshammiya in the lead poses some unique issues
- not for the people involved - Himesh and director Satish
Kaushik, but for ItwoFS. The original had a plot lifted
straight out of 'The
Reincarnation of Peter Proud' (1975) - a fact that
Subash Ghai, the maker of the 'original' (!) conveniently
ignored to mention like so many other Indian film makers
before him. And of course, the other bit of news is that
3 songs from the 'original' will be re-used by Himesh.
These are Dard-e-dil, Ek hasina thi and Om shanti om. A
quick glance at the Laxmikant Pyarelal page here would
reveal that Ek hasina thi and Om shanti om tunes are pretty
blatant lifts. So, will Satish Kaushik and Himesh utilize
this opportunity to credit the original film maker and
composers? Or will they continue their flagrant abuse of
copyrights as usual? Even the producers, T-series, could
look at buying the rights of these tracks and script
officially, and credit the originals - as a gesture of
showcasing that Bollywood is changing. Asking for too much,
am I :-) By the way, this is
Himesh's take on plagiarism - "I see to it that I compose
fresh tunes. When you copy an English song then you can't
give your feel to it because it has been done by someone
Bollywood is turning
over a new leaf! A
recent news item says that Jab we met director Imtiaz
Ali had used the track, 'Walking on sunshine' by the 80s
group Katrina & The Waves for one of the promos of the film
starring Shahid and Kareena Kapoor. Imtiaz had also planned
to use the track as part of the background music, but he
couldn't track the copyright owners of the song and actually
decided to drop its usage altogether than risk a lawsuit
Karan Johar realized the hard way! Good going Imtiaz.
The film rocks, btw!
Halla Bol promo and Van Halen!
latest, Halla Bol's teaser is out. And the teaser's music,
along with the style of words depicted on screen seems to be
causing a huge problem. Its so uncannily similar to the
opening music and video of Van Halen's 'Right now'. The
official composer of Halla Bol is Sukhwinder Singh. Wonder
if he has anything to do with this teaser! Watch
Halla Bol teaser |
Van Halen's Right Now
Bhram and Gautam da!
Here's something that
looks like an after-effect of ItwoFS. The music of director Pavan Kaul's 'Bhram' was
released recently and it has music composed by Pritam (2
songs) and Siddharth Suhas (4 songs). The most interesting
thing is Pritam's second track, Sonu Nigam-sung, 'Jaane kyon
tanha ho gaye'. The CD sleeve actually has a
pasted over the credit note of this song and it says, 'Based
on Gautam Chatterjee's Ghare Ferar Gaan (Asha Audio)'. Now,
whether Pritam got Times Music to 'paste' this over an
uncredited, earlier CD note...I'm not sure. It sure looks
like it! If such after-thought came as a result of this
website...wow! Listen toJaane kyon |
pherar gaan This addition has mere academic intention -
for people to listen to a sample of the original and
appreciate Mohiner Ghoraguli's (Gautam da's) brilliance!
Roshans pay for plagiarism!
Part One! Composer Ram Sampath takes the
Roshans to court over plagiarism! DNA reports, "The trouble
began in March when Sampath heard the title track of Krazzy4
being played on a music channel. His lawyer Virendra
Tulzapurkar said that his client bought a CD of the album
and was shocked to find that the title track, a song titled
‘Break Free’ and their remix versions were “directly lifted”
from his music for ‘Thump’ without taking his permission or
giving him any credit. In fact, credit for the music has
been given to music composer Rajesh Roshan" -
In fact, as many as 5 ItwoFS regulars (Jamshid
Mahmood, Yash Sagar, S. Sethuraj, Samhan and Manu Vyas)
have been crying hoarse about this alleged lift ever since
the Krazzy 4 soundtrack was out. What do you think? Does Ram
have a case here?
Part Two. Ok, I'm touched! After that post
earlier today where I reported a DNA news piece on Ram
Sampat suing the Roshans, there was a flood of mails asking
me my opinion, as the person running ItwoFS! So, here goes!
First, the reason why I haven't added this even after 5
ItwoFS regulars mailing me. We are so used to lifts/
inspirations in ad jingles from rhythm loops that I was
waiting to find out if the Sony Thump piece is on the same
lines - that is, to find out if Ram had used an existing
loop to create his jingle - I do not want to be caught
alleging plagiarism when the source itself may be inspired.
But, now that Ram has sued the Roshans, I assume the Thump
is his own creation. Given that, my personal opinion is that
Rajesh Roshan is guilty. The main tune that goes, 'Break
free gotta get some chutti, to do zanjeeron ko...'
and its subsequent line in a progressive scale can be found
clearly in the background of the Thump jingle. The beats/
rhythm is identical too. Based on this, I'd say that there's
a reasonable amount of evidence here that points to the fact
that the seed for the Krazzy 4 song germinated from the Sony
Ericsson Thump commercial's jingle.
This is a clear case of plagiarism and is appalling in two
respects - one, the guts with which the Roshans have openly
lifted this and have been going about promoting this in the
hope that no one will care. And two, its a shame that they
have lifted from their own team, a fellow, contemporary
composer from Bollywood. Ram Sampat deserves the kind of
money he's asking for, and more. I hope something happens to
this law suit and we have at least one Indian, legal
precedence for music plagiarism! Listen toBreak Free |
Sony Ericsson Thump
Part Three. Thanks to Justice Karnik,
we now have the very first legal reference to music
plagiarism in the country. I really admire the speed with
which he delivered the judgment, using a combination of
three sane, logical arguments - an expert's opinion (who is
Shiv Mathur, but?), Roshans' indirect admission and the best
- his own untrained ear. That's the way to go, dear Sir -
As for Thievery Corporation (The Roshans), it is mega dumb
to complain about the timing of the law suit. Roshan ji - it
really doesn't matter when the case was filed. If Ram had
timed it to put you in a spot, I say, that's a brilliant
strategy and there's absolutely nothing wrong with that.
He's the wronged party and you are the thief, for heavens'
sake! I'm happy that Ram did not file this earlier, else the
Roshans' combined clout in the industry would have threw Ram
and his singer wife, Sona out of the country/ industry. Now,
would the makers of
The Dream Team sue the shit out of the Roshans please?
Not to mention the 40 odd original artists mentioned
in this page - for all the crap they speak with zilch
conscience, they deserve to be sued to hell!
Its quite funny to see a grown up
man cry on the newspapers, right through his nose. Rakesh
passionate plea to his brethren is simply hilarious. He
may have actually had the intention of buying the rights of
a musical piece for the VETY FIRST TIME in his life and he
gets sued for that - this is what I call poetic justice. He
has literally paid for his past sins in one stroke...imagine
the number of scripts he has lifted (including The Dream
Team for Krazzy 4!!) or the number of tunes he got his
composer brother to lift. Besides the money he has lost and
a minor loss of so-called reputation, he has learnt one
valuable thing here...something we have all learnt when we
were kids - 'as you sow, so you reap'. Mahesh 'there's
nothing original in this world' Bhatt...you're next!
And, most importantly, please do not form your opinions
about Ram Sampat based on Roshan's mudslinging. Or even his
above-average work in Khakee or his incredible work in Ram
Madhvani's 'Lets Talk'. Ram Sampat, along with Siddharth
Achrekar were the brains behind Colourblind - one of India's
first ever rock bands, besides Indus Creed. Their only album
is, in my opinion, one of the best rock albums this country
has produced. This album is not available in stores any more
but Siddharth has made the album free for download,
here! Support Ram by listening to his stuff - he may be
ostracized from Bollywood shortly thanks to the Roshans'
Here's another proof of the Roshan's
dishonorable intentions. Despite my constant hammering of
Sandeep Chowta, he at least has a precedence of crediting
his sources in the tape/ CD. Karan Johar and Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy
did that to Roy Orbison in Kal Ho Na Ho. So, what would a
composer and a producer do if they indeed have the legal
rights (perceived, in this case, if Sony Ericsson goofed)?
The idea is not just to pay off the source - it is to let
people know boldly that your work is a derivative and let
them compare notes with the original and appreciate the
finer nuances you've so painstakingly put in to
differentiate your work. So, did any one find a credit note
to the Sony Ericsson Thump track in the CD of Krazzy 4?
Nope! Can we then safely assume that the end objective of
the Roshans was to pass of someone else's tune as Rajesh
Roshan's own? That is precisely the problem here. Not, when
Ram Sampat filed the suit. Not, Rakesh Roshan was 'forced to
cough up 2 crores for want of time'. Those are COMPLETELY
besides the point and only push the Roshans further into
IPL Karmayudh ad lift!
mailed me that she saw (on CNBC Story Board) ad film maker
Prasoon Pandey defend the plagiarism of the DLF IPL
Karmayudh ad campaign lifted off a 5 year old US TV promo!
The YouTube video that exposes this lift also quotes Prasoon
Pandey, possibly on mail. Prasoon says, "I am the one who
directed the IPL Karamayudh Commercial and my name is
Prasoon Pandey. The use of the splash in the baseball
commercial, I must confess is uncomfortably close to the one
in the IPL Ad. When we cut the actual footage together and
gave it to my animators to paint on top, they having painted
on top also put a splash on a shot and showed it to me. I
loved it and I am the one who asked them to go ahead with
it. But I hadn't even seen this baseball commercial till you
put it on You tube, and have just confirmed with my animator
E. Suresh of Famous Studios, neither had he. At the same
point of time, the splash can neither be anybody's property
nor is it the idea of the IPL commercial. IPL'S idea is in
the Veer Ras audio track. The splash is only a visual
punctuation in the larger imagery". What do you think?
YouTube of DLF IPL Karmayudh tune over the US Baseball
Nike ad and Bebdo!
Is Ram Sampath a lifter too?
No, he's not! When one of ItwoFS readers, Debashish wrote to
me asking this question, he had solid proof. Ram's Nike ad
has a piece of music that sounds very similar to Goan singer
Lorna's 'Bebdo'. Debashish of course gave the benefit of
doubt to Ram and had asked me to find out if the music
rights were purchased legitimately for the reuse! And it
seems he did. Thanks to Priyanka Dasgupta of
Calcutta Times for getting this info! As for the Nike
ad's version, it is sung by Mumbai based Ella Castellino and
the lyrics were written afresh by Agnello Oswin Das, Senior
VP, J Walter Thompson. Thanks to Sonia Faleiro's March 1,
2007 post for this info - there's more in that too,
check her blog! Listen to Nike ad jingle |
I've got tons of mails on Kismat Konnection's (Milliblog
music review) 'Is this love' supposedly inspired by 80s
band A-ha's Take on me. Buzz 18's Chandrima Pal seems to
have dedicated an
entire music review of the soundtrack (!!) on dissecting
and ranting on just this 'straight lift'. The culprit here
is supposed to be 'Is this love' vs 'Take on me'. These 3
words seemingly have similar tunes. My take? Utter nonsense.
I'd be the first one to target Pritam for plagiarism, as is
evident over the heartache I've given the man in the past.
But this allegation is plain silly. Those 3 words' tune is
indeed sorta similar, but one needs to use his/ her
discretion before blaming someone for plagiarism and 3 words
in any song may sure sound like 3 more words of another song
- to believe that a composer will start with those 3 words'
tune right in the middle of a song and build his own around
it simply isn't plausible, in my opinion. The similarity is
strictly coincidental. As for the Buzz 18 reviewer, try
listening the other songs in the soundtrack too lady -
getting bogged down by one lift (not even an apt example,
that too!) won't help you or your readers! And yes, this
instance doesn't warrant an entry in Pritam's page. This of
course doesn't mean I'm gonna spare him if we find the
originals of 'Ai paapi' or 'Bakhuda' from the same film! For
whatever its worth, watch the YouTube of A-ha's
Take on me
mattum kandaal' is seemingly similar to the Malayalam song,
'Baggy jeansum' (cringe, cringe!) from the film, Sainyam.
Lot of mails on this one too! Now, the Malayalam song was a
messy mix of Ace of Base's All that she wants and a joke of
a tune. Himesh's Tamil track on the other hand does sound
similar to the Malayalam song's part not lifted off Ace of
Base, but until I get behind the possible source of both
these tracks (if that exists), I'm not keen on documenting
this since I (predominantly) look for lifts with sources
outside India. Lifts/ similarities within India is a grey
area with everything from raagas and cultural history thrown
Kallai mattum kandaal |
The many hues of plagiarism
many hues of plagiarism! Came across these two instances of
plagiarism that fall outside music plagiarism that we so
passionately dissect. First, a case of content plagiarism.
The aggrieved blogger is
Inji Pennu of the Ginger and Mango blog. This post is
r-e-a-l-l-y long but I couldn't believe what I was reading -
folks from a Kerals.com and its parent company, Anashwara
seem to be going ballistic for Inji Pennu pointing out
content lifting without credit!
The second case is even more bizarre - plagiarism in Public
Relations. As a long time reader of India PR Blog (being in
the communications/ PR line myself!), I was shocked to see
a distressing post by
Tushar Panchal of 'Thursdays with Tushar' fame where he
points to one of his blog posts' content lifted with minor
alterations by another communications professional, in the
June issue of ‘Chanakya’ – the house journal of Public
Relations Council of India! And yes, the content is largely
the same, barring a few unimaginative additions across the
Terribly disgusting instances, both!
ItwoFS visitorAbhishek Mitra sent me a
Times of India Kolkata link about a really popular
Bengali song, 'Cross the line' from the Bengali film, 'Chalo
Lets go'. The song is sung by Rupam Islam with music by Neel
Dutt. While the song does remind me of Bon Jovi's 'In these
arms' and to some extent the U2 kind of music, I agree with
what the composer has to say - the tune is original. If
anything, the composer has adapted the genre of Bon Jovi and
not necessary indulged in any direct plagiarism. I've always
maintained that alleging plagiarism is a dicey business -
start alleging plagiarism in musical bits and pieces and you
end up confusing a lot of Indian tracks with many Western
tracks. Indian film music is predominantly about the core
tune and I personally feel that plagiarism, at least in
Indian film music's sense, should be restricted to
inspirations over the tune.
Watch the YouTube of
Cross the line |
In these arms
Cloverfeild vs Gujarati Pankira!
Part 1 ItwoFS reader Dharmesh Patel mailed me two news clips - from
Times of India, Ahmedabad and
Indian Express - about a
Gujarati Garba song (Pankhida o pankhida) used
without the right credits in JJ Abrams' monster flick,
Cloverfield, that released earlier this year in the US,
amidst a very well created viral teaser. The aggrieved party
seems to be Khyati Herma, daughter of Vijaya Verma who
penned the so-called original song, 'Pankhida O Pankhida'
and Ranjit Herma who first composed his wife's words as a
Hemant Chauhan's voice. It seems Ranjit Herma's Studio
Siddharth owns the copyright for this track. The lady also
seems all over YouTube and has uploaded part of a
press conference held to announce her intention to sue
JJ Abrams and a man named Lekha Rathnakumar, who has been
credited for this song, in the movie's end credits.
If money is on Khyati's mind (though she says, it's not!), I
think she's barking up the wrong tree - in full media glare.
Its surprising that not one reporting media that attended
the press conference actually researched on this issue and
just published what Khyati had to allege! Lekha Rathnakumar
is an ad film maker and music producer down South. The
producers of Cloverfield bought the song in question (Pankhida)
not from Rathnakumar directly, but through a Germany-based
which calls itself the world's largest independently owned
production music library with as much as 130,000 tracks
'owned' by it! A
simple search in the Sonoton site reveals 'Pankhida' as
a listing credited to Lekha Rathnakumar. While the original
soundtrack of Cloverfield does not include Pankhida, I
recall listening something Indian and garba'ish in one of
the scenes in the movie - for a few fleeting seconds. I'm
not sure if Rathnakumar's version of Pankhida is available
anywhere outside Sonoton's library or how different it
sounds from the Gujarati version - if someone has a copy of
the Cloverfield version, please do mail me, so that I can
So, if Khyati has a problem, it should ideally be with Lekha
Rathnakumar and Sonoton (Rathnakumar, incidentally, is the
head of Sonoton's India operations!) and not with the
makers of Cloverfield who care two hoots on which Gujarati
family owns this song's copyright. They, in all fairness,
purchased the song in good faith from Sonoton, who's primary
objective is to provide such tracks to people who need them.
Studio Siddharth's Siddharth Herma wrote in to add that
money is not the criteria for this allegation. The first is
the unaccredited use of a song that they own copyright to.
Second, is the use of a religious song in a 'drinking
scene'. I agree with the first part. Second is beyond my
area of interest - as far as I recall, the song plays for a
few seconds perhaps out of an Indian shop, when a few firnds
are walking down the road. Its no doubt credited to Lekha
Rathnakumar, in the end credits.
Spoke to Lekha Rathnakumar too, incidentally. He says his
version is different since he got Gujarati people (through
Gujarati Samaj) to rewrite the track and re-sing the
composition. While that is a valid point, I would be able to
confirm that only after listening to his version. He also
mentioned that Sonoton has blocked access to this track for
its members, on his request, since they are keen to solve
On Siddharth's second point - that, in my opinion, points to
the standard religious intolerance plaguing India. I don't
think the makers of Cloverfield intended any disrespect to
the track and they wouldn't even know it was religious in
nature, for all you know. They may have liked the sound and
would have used it. And credited it too, like it should have
been. Even assuming a far fetched case of they intentionally
using the track with disrespect (jeez, this is indeed far
fetched!), I don't think our culture/ God/ Kali would be
insulted, since they're far older and well regarded to be
affected by one single Hollywood film/ situation!
After all that hoo-haa over the
Gujarati original of Pankhida and how Lekha Rathnakumar is
ripping them off without credit, here's a Rajasthani version
that I'm sure the Herma family may not be aware of. Its
titled Pankira, performed by the Rajasthani folk-fusion
Maharaja! While this is clearly a flamenco-based fusion
attempt, the fact that its being sung by a Rajashtani folk
group perhaps points to this song's true origins. I could be
wrong and Herma's family could still be this tracks' legal
owner - but the jury is out till its proven beyond doubt.
So, what is the original? Is Pankhida really a folk number? Thanks to Tejas Bhatt
for this lead! Listen toPankira
Kathputli track from Mali? Or the other way round?
The 1957 hit track from Shankar
Jaikishen, Bol ri kathputli, from the Vyjayanthimala -
Balraj Sahni starrer, Kathputli seems to have an unlikely
brother, tune-wise. An African song by a super successful
singer from Mali, Boubacar Traoré - the song titled, 'Kayes
ba'. The most interesting thing to note here is while both
the tunes are exactly similar, Kayes Ba is usually credited
to year 1963, while the Hindi film came our a full 6 years
earlier, in 1957. So, does that mean Boubacar Traoré copied
from a Hindi track? Possible. But what also is referred to
in Boubacar Traoré's biographies is the fact that Malian
radio recorded eight of his tracks for the first time in
1963 - so its possible that these songs existed prior to
their commercial recordings in '63. But the question remains
- if we assume Shankar Jaikishen lifted it - where did they
get to listen to it first? This
is still un-clarified as to who copied who! Listen toBol ri kathputli
| Kayes ba More on Boubacar Traoré,
Pritam gets TIPS into trouble!
Brilliant news - Taiwanese singer Lee-hom Wang has apparently
sued TIPS Films for plagiarizing his song, Deep in the
bamboo grove (Chu Lin Shen Chu) in the song, 'Zara zara'
from Race. Music by...who else, Pritam. Two observations
here - past lawsuits like this which have the aggrieved
party outside India have just made news, not yielded any
results. Only an Indian lawsuit has actually ended like it
should (Ram Sampath Vs Roshans). Let's see where this one
Secondly, at least now, production companies should
seriously look at sharing royalty and part ownership (if not
complete ownership) with the composer - if not for the sake
of people like Rahman and Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy fighting for
legitimate ownership of their creativity, at least for the
fact that they will not be held responsible during such
instances . Making TIPS responsible for this act is
completely besides the point - Pritam should be held
accountable, in all fairness. But yes, since TIPS chose to
own the copyright to the soundtrack, they deserve to be held
Great news! Hope it opens a floodgate of other such lawsuits
on Indian composers and at least a few of them reach a
Himesh's chartbusting title song for Aashiq Banaya Aapne has been innovatively lifted by a
Serbian pop-folk songer, Jelena Karleuša for the song, 'Ko
Ti To Baje' from her 2008 album, JK Revolution! Thanks to
really persuasive Himesh fans like Jeetu, Yaju Arya and
Bhavuk Arora for unearthing and updating me about this
reverse-lift. Its very interesting to note that Jelena's
version starts off from the Hindi song's antara and you can
hear some background alaap in Himesh's vocals too, in the
beginning of the clip! To the best of my knowledge, Jelena
has not credited Himesh and her own name is noted against
this song. Even more interesting is the fact that for the
song, 'Mala' in the same album, A R Rahman has been credited
as 'Written by'! This is nothing but Rahman's Guru number, 'Maiya
maiya'! Wonder why Jelena credited only Rahman and not
Himesh! I'm trying to source the CD cover so that the
crediting part can be confirmed beyond relying on either
this site! Listen toKo ti to baje
Aashiq banaya aapne remix Listen toMala mala.
Bappi and conscience?
This is utterly preposterous. While
the OST of the Adam Sandler film, 'You don't mess with Zohan'
has not yet been released, Bappi Lahiri has been credited in
end credits of the film for 'Jimmy Jimmy Aaja Aaja
(Disco Dancer Remix)'! Quite a few websites (Indiaglitz,
IndiaFM) in India have recently sniffed this and
proclaiming this is a victory for Bappi and the country per
se. I say this is a terrible insult, since Jimmy jimmy is a
lift of Ottawan's 'T'es OK, T'es Bath' that came out in
1980. That the producers of Zohan chose this Hindi song and
actually credited Bappi da for it is nothing but a rude
joke...on the original composers of 'T'es OK'. Bappi made a
lot of noise when his unknown, unheard song was sampled by
Truth Hurts - wonder if he will have an iota of courtesy and
conscience to clear the air and accept that he lifted
Jimmy's tune....nah, c'mon, we're in India...yahaan sab
chalta hai. Shame...? Conscience...? Bappi Lahiri...!? No
Also, Calcutta Times has carried the story
on why Bappi Lahiri does not deserve credit for his song,
'Jimmy Jimmy' added in the Adam Sandler starrer, 'You don't
mess with Zohan' - thanks to Priyanka Dasgupta. Beyond my
rants in the article, here's more! Imagine....a few years
from now Pritam may be credited for a remix of 'Pehli nazar
mein' from Race in some obscure Hollywood film. Is that
fair? What about its Korean original then? Does it all sound
like a joke? Yes it is! As for Bappi da suing Ottawan...this
is the funniest news I've heard in ages - I wish he
seriously DOES sue Ottawan so he can make a complete %&$ of
himself. Amidst all this, I feel really glad that Zohan's
director Dennis Dugan chose to credit the owners of the song
and I really wouldn't blame him (or Zohan's producers) for
not crediting Ottawan. Their job is not to dig up sources of
Indian songs plagiarized from world music - they have been
honest enough to mention the original and even pay a huge
sum to SAREGAMA in the process. Does SAREGAMA deserve the
amount? Of course not! Will they return the amount and use
that as a plank to talk of music plagiarism in India and how
they really do not deserve the credit or the amount? Of
course not! As I said earlier, we're in India...aur yahan
sab chalta hai. "Bhaiyya...conscience
ek kilo...aur sachaai aadha kilo...pack kar ke ghar bej dena"!
If this is the case, why don't we simply legalize copying in
exams...why penalize students when adults are making big
bucks out of it? Can we also legalize plagiarism in research
papers at the college level...sounds fair right?
View the Calcutta Times story
Very interesting feature on 'The
8 most blatantly plagiarized songs'! Nothing to do with
Indian music, but everything to do with a person like me,
who loves digging into charges of plagiarism by listening to
both the tracks - the copied and the source, and go 'whoa'
on the similarities!
Vidyasagar and his assistant's work!
I've got to be honest here - I
wouldn't have discovered Stephen's awesome album, 'Romanz A' if not for this lift - or whichever way we
choose to call it. This
was first pointed out by ItwoFS regular, Vimal Vijayan
- the song from Vidyasagar's recent, 'Raaman
Thediya Seethai', Ippave ippave, has a lovely piano
prelude that seems to be used as-is from the track,
Forgiven, in Romanz A. Devassy's album has been in the
market for over an year and there are murmurs that Devassy
was not involved in the making of this particular song, even
though he collaborates with Vidyasagar quite often and is
even credited in the CDs. So, this one is in Vidyasagar's
court - even though the tune is his own (with Ilayaraja's
shades, but quite beautiful). Thankfully, this gives me an
opportunity to introduce Devassy's album to ItwoFS readers
who may not have known about it at all. Here's where you can
buy it online from, by the way! Listen toIppave
ippave prelude |
Nasha Nashila from Dil Kabaddi (2008)!
Its the damn ItwoFS thing, actually.
Just when I was singing along 'Nasha Nashila' from Sachin
Gupta's film debut, Dil Kabaddi (Milliblog
music review of Dil Kabaddi), the thought hit me. It
sounded very familiar....where have I heard this tune
before? Oh yeah, its that Malayalam song! Yes, surprising,
but its the damn thing! The groovy Malayalam song 'Karuppin
Azhagu' from the 2003 film, Swapnakoodu, with music by Mohan
Sitara. I have always had a secret wish to trace that song's
original - if it exists, since it sounds so distinctly
Middle-Eastern! Now, most of that Middle-Eastern flavor is
stripped off in Sachin's version, but just listen to the
main tune and its flow, even going into the 'Seene se' part
and its corresponding portion in the Malayalm song. Am I
imagining things? Is there an original to both these tracks? Listen toNasha nashila
Rabbi Shergill and Sorry Bhai's Jalte Hain!
complains - Court stays Onir's 'Sorry Bhai'!
If you read
Milliblog's music review of Sorry Bhai, you may have
already guessed the reason. Its also a proud moment for
ItwoFS - a Japanese follower of the site, 'Ek Japaani',
wrote to me about this similarity too!
The song from Sorry Bhai, Jalte Hain, bears an uncomfortable
similarity to Rabbi Shergill's 'Ballo' from his 2008 album,
Avengi Ja Nahin. Composer Gaurav Dayal, who's aching for a
break, away from his trashy Shael days, takes the worst
possible route to get there - was this due to Onir's
suggestion/ pressure? Whichever way you see it - shame on
you two, Onir and Gaurav. Rabbi paaji, ItwoFS is with
you...take a lead from Ram Sampath and sue the S$#@ out of
producers Vashu Bhagnani/ Sanjay Suri (sorry dude, I like
your body of work, but this is not the case I support you!)
and the director-composer duo - you deserve every penny you
get out of these folks. Listen toJalte hain |
really very unfair. Regardless of how 'well timed' the
lawsuit was, Rabbi was completely justified on suing Onir
for using his song, Ballo, as 'Jalte hain'. The main melody
was exactly same and so is the prominent hook that starts
right from the words, 'Jalte hain' (which is prominent
enough to name the song!) and all the way up to the most
catchy part, 'Dekhle...' - its the same! If Rabbi chooses to
sue Onir 2 days before the film's release, so be it - the
timing (opportunistic or otherwise) is beside the point.
The point is Onir and Gaurav Dayal need to pay for
plagiarism. And, I'm appalled to note the court's verdict - "We are of the opinion
that the main constituents of a song are the melody, and
some similarity in the rhythm of the accompanying acoustic
guitar cannot be sufficient to infer that the appellant has
plagiarized the plaintiff, song. In any event the lyrics of
the two songs are entirely different. Consequently we are of
the prima facie opinion that the song 'Jalte Hain' is not a
reproduction in material form of the plaintiff's song".
Exceptionally unfair! The same court (albeit a different
judge) used the 'untrained
ear' reasoning for the Ram Sampath Vs Roshans case -
isn't this case far more apparent to the same untrained ear?
Justice denied :-(
The Rabbi Shergill Vs
Team Sorry Bhai issue got some minor coverage online. Here's
George Thomas on this issue in PassionForCinema and
Deepak Iyer's blog on the same. Hope Rabbi fights back.
Also, more importantly, here's director
Onir himself (in the comments), answering some of my
queries (under the nickname Kay) in the Bollywood Hungama
Composer Gaurav Dayal defends, rather, attempts to defend
Passion For Cinema and that, to me, looks almost like
his confession of lifting Rabbi's song. He says, "Many
people have noticed here that I have been the music producer
of Rabbi’s track as well. Can anyone here define a music
producer? Where does the compositional contribution of an
artist end and a producer start?". I hope the court is
reading this or at least reads this at some point in time -
this is mockery of the mock justice already doled out to
AIR FM theme tune!
This has got to be the most audacious lift in this country,
primarily because it plays day in and day out, across a lot
of radios in India. And this infamy belongs to? Delhi-based
singer, Shibani Kashyap. She has been credited, quite
composing and singing the theme tune of All India Radio
FM Rainbow that plays all through the day across India. The
tune is a blatant and bloody rip-off of 'Listen to the
music' by Doobie Brothers (from the album, Toulouse Street,
The only thing that goes through my mind when I hear both
songs - 'What was Shibani thinking of?'. This is so bizarre
and almost a national shame. Listen toAIR FM Rainbow |
The interlude in Baazigar's Kitabein bahut si.
I'm sure you remember that early
Shilpa Shetty track from Baazigar, 'Kitabein bahut si'.
Remember that prominent, corny, staccato prelude/ interlude?
Yes, that one. While the main tune seems Anu Malik's
original, this piece should be quite familiar to anyone who
has seen Doordarshan or any damn documentary on the telly.
The original of this piece is an internationally famous
synthpop track titled, 'Popcorn' first composed by
Gershon Kingsley in 1969 as part of his album, 'Music to
Moog By'. Two years later, Kingsley's band, 'First Moog
Quartet' re-recorded this song. But, it was in 1972 when
Stan Free, former member of the First Moog Quartet,
re-re-recorded this song with his band, Hot Butter, that it
went on to become an international chartbuster of epic
proportions. The title refers to the sharp popping, popcorn
sound! Anu Malik. a full 20+ years later smoothens the
popping sounds into a interlude and adorns it around an
adolescent Shilpa Shetty and that be-spectacled, fresh
villain, Shah Rukh Khan. The rest is Biology, if you take
into account that 'Aye mere humsafar' was their next song.
Or is it Chemistry? Listen toKitabein bahut
si | Popcorn
- Gershon Kingsley |
Popcorn - Hot Butter
The persistent mystery of Streets of Cairo/ Oriental Rock!
We had identified a few compositions
as the source of Pritam's title song of
Bhool Bhulaiyya. The catchy ('Hare Ram Hare Ram') hook
was supposedly (according to me!) from Bill Hailey's
Oriental Rock, while the opening (prelude) was from hiphop
group, JTL's 'My lecon'. Now, the Korean allegation seems
believable given Pritam's history of lifts from that
country. But, the Oriental Rock part has some more history.
It was - as mentioned earlier - from an album titled, 'Rock
around the world', which is based on public domain folk
songs from around the world. Wikipedia notes a few examples
- "London Bridge is Falling Down" was rewritten as
"Piccadilly Rock"; "Come Rock With Me" was based upon "O
Sole Mio". The 'Oriental Rock' perhaps alludes to a Chinese
original, because of the word, 'oriental', but it looks like
it has a Middle Eastern connection, more than oriental! The
song, 'Streets of Cairo', as noted in depth by
Shira.net is a replica of the Bill Haileys' track.
Cairo? Oriental? Where's the disconnect? And it gets
worse...this track also reminds you (oh it will!) of '...mili
ek ajnabee se' from Chalti ka naam gaadi's 'Ek ladki bheegi
bhagi si'!! Whoa! So, here are the facts,
1. We have a song titled 'Streets of Cairo', who's composer
2. Its tune is used by Bill Hailey for a track titled, 'Oriental
3. Its prominent hook reminds one of Pritam's Bhool
Bhulaiyya title song hook.
4. The second part of the hook reminds one of Chalti ka naam
gaadi's 'Ek ladki bheegi bhagi si'.
This is one murky mess that I'd love to hear more about. I
hope I'm able to trace the foundation of this song before I
breathe my last - it'd be nothing short of an epiphany for
me! Thanks to Jamshid
Mahmood (direct link connecting Oriental Rock and Streets of
Cairo), johnnylubber and Arul Isai Imran (both got to
Streets of Cairo from a
Delta Faucet commercial - windows media video file -
1.55 MB) for the lead. Listen toStreets of Cairo
(MIDI file courtesy, Shira.net) |
Kuch nahi ho sakta Vs 5 Friends!
April 22nd story was about how the Karan Johar produced,
Tarun Mansukhani directed Lead India awareness film was
plagiarized from the Leonardo DiCaprio produced '5 Friends'
public service announcement (PSA).
The similarities are uncanny.
1. The original PSA had a plethora of Hollywood stars, just
like the Indian video.
2. The backdrop is minimal/ bleak - the original's was
white, while it was pitch black for the Indian version.
3. Both videos start with the negative - the original says,
'Don't Vote', while the Indian video says, 'Kuch nahi ho
sakta' and moves on to create a positive tone and explain
the importance of voting.
4. There is a definite, on-screen call-to-action in the
original. This is something the Indian makers thought may
not work in India. They could have perhaps thought of a 'sms-this-message-to-five-friends',
Noble intention, huh? So, plagiarism can be overlooked,
right? Wrong! Why? Because Tarun Mansukhani chooses to lie
over the fact that the video is copied. He's quoted in
Mid-Day assaying, "I have not seen the Don't Vote campaign
and know nothing about it. I don't think we need to emulate
the Americans as we are capable of addressing out issues on
our own. The motive behind making Kuch Nahi Ho Sakta was
simple that people should watch it and realise the
importance of their vote".
What a load of crap! Karan doesn't want to pay the creators
of original, but at least make an effort, damn it. To
acknowledge the source. Instead of lying through your teeth.
And making all your message utterly meaningless. Disgusting
example set by Karan/ Tarun. WatchKuch nahi ho sakta
5 Friends |
5 More Friends
Interlude similarity between a Tamil and Kannada song!
I reviewed a Kannada soundtrack for
Thaakath, by composer Gurukiran. Its a fun soundtrack,
with four very enjoyable tracks, but one track, 'Raiyya Rai'
had an interlude that I couldn't get out of my head. It was
very Scottish - bagpipe, I suppose. Listen toRaiyya Rai Interlude
The tune of this interlude was very familiar. My mind said,
'Jaaneman' (Anu Malik's)...I really do not know why! Then, I
got what I was looking for - a very prominent prelude/
interlude from a Tamil song, 'Poovinai' from Aanandha
Thaandavam. Music by GV Prakash Kumar. Listen toPoovinai
Do you hear anything similar? Is that a known Scottish tune
merely used as-is? By the way, that Jaaneman thought seems
vaguely right too - GV Prakash Kumar was
alleged to be the original composer of Jaaneman!
Love Aaj Kal credits 3 sources!
This is not about an instance of
plagiarism. It is about a change, however small it is, that
has happened (again, after minor such changes in the past)
with one of the most discussed composer in ItwoFS' forums - Pritam. Yes, Pritam's
latest soundtrack, Love Aaj Kal carries 3 credit notes to
sources, even if they're small and not the core tune's
The first song with a credit is 'Twist'. The credit reads,
'Courtesy Saregama (India) Ltd., for the Instrumental hook
of the song Twist from Mandole - Nagin, composed by Hemant
The second is 'Aahun aahun'. The credit reads, 'Kadi te hass
bol ve', lyrics and melody traditional.
And the third, 'Ajj din chadeya tere rang varga' - Original
line by Shiv Kumar Batalvi.
This is EXACTLY what ItwoFS has been crying hoarse about,
for nearly 10 years now. When Sandeep Chowta did it years
ago, in the soundtrack for Mast and Pyar tune kya kiya
('Main tere dil ki mallika' and 'Raundhe hain' respectively
- both listed in the page for Sandeep Chowta), it was mere
lip-service - or, perhaps the record label goofed despite
clear instructions by the composer. Pritam did it too - in
Brahm. But, the main difference between all those instances
of official crediting Vs this one? Its the fact that, in at
least the first 2 cases, the credit is for a relatively
smaller portion of inspiration - in case of Twist, its
almost a case of sampling a musical piece, while in Aahun
aahun, the inspiration builds on to the core tune. I cannot
comment on the third though, since I'm yet to listen to the
my 200 word review (Vs 100 word reviews, which is my
standard, in Milliblog) of Love Aaj Kal, with a 'Take a bow,
Pritam'. That was for the impressive music. Now, let me say,
'Hats off, Pritam'. This is for turning over a new leaf - or
at least showing all signs of turning over a new leaf. This
is indeed a landmark moment in ItwoFS' history.
I should also add Eros Music to in this instance. The record
label is equally responsible for bringing this change. This
fosters a sense of partnership with other composers and not
rivalry. Its almost akin to the hyperlinking trend in social
media - when I like a particular blog post, for instance, I
link to it and build on it by adding my opinion. Similarly,
in music, a composer shows that he's not insecure by freely
acknowledging his source and letting his audience listen to
both the source and his own interpretation, thereby
displaying his talent!
Kaminay's Dhan te nan!
Solved! The TV serial version was composed by Vishal
as he admits in this interview!
@ Breaking news!
Kaminay's chartbuster song, Dhan te nan was originally
featured in a late 90s Zee TV serial called
Gubbare. A huge chunk of the teleserial's track has been
used as-in in the Kaminay version. Now, here's the tricky
part - Vishal Bharadwaj is
credited as the director of this particular episode
titled 'Dhan te nan' - Gubbare was the title of a one hour
comedy series on Zee TV. Was he the composer as well? That
is yet to be confirmed. This update was first updated on
@TheComicProject, who confirmed that he saw it in
someone's (Neeraj Sharma) Facebook page. Here's the
Gubbare video on YouTube. As always, Vishal remains
innocent until it is proven that the TV serial version was
composed by another composer.
There's nothing quite wrong with him being the composer of
the original too!
Thanks to Anirudh Bhatt who updated this info on ItwoFS'
Yahoo Group. Listen toDhan te nan (Kaminay)
| Dhan te nan (Gubbare)
Know the original of 'Down by the river'?
I had added a
song titled 'Korbosha (Down By The River)' as the source of
one of RD Burman's songs from Mukti. Here's another 'Down by
the river', this time, by Albert Hammond, that sounds quite
similar to another RD Burman track - 'Pyar hua hai jabse'
from Abhilasha. The catch is...Abhilasha's soundtrack came
out in 1968, while Hammond's album, 'It never rains in
Southern California' (that had the 'Down by the river' song)
was released in 1972! I tried hard in tracing any possible
original of Hammond's song, but even his
official website lists just the song's Spanish version
titled 'Cerca del rio' that was sung by Hammond himself. The
tune progression in both the songs are quite similar, even
though Pancham's track has nicely rounded sentence endings,
very typical of Hindi songs. What do you think? Are they
similar? A rare case of coincidence? Reverse plagiarism? Is
there a master-original I'm not aware of?
Let me know. Thanks to the lead by Rajesh
Bapat! Listen toDown by the
Pyar hua hai jabse
For the first
time, here's an update that has nothing to do with Indian
music. I recently came across music plagiarism charges made
against a Korean pop star, Kwon JiYong, who goes by the stage name,
G-Dragon. G-Dragon's solo album is titled,
'Heartbreaker' and was released late in 2009. Two songs from
this album have been accused of being similar to music from
the West. The first is the title song, 'Heartbreaker' that
is alleged to be similar to Flo-Rida's 'Right Round'. The
second is a song titled, 'Butterfly' that is alleged to be
similar to Oasis' 'She's Electric'. Now, why is this
interesting and worth a feature in ItwoFS? Because, the
allegations have gathered steam from the US, after initial
controversy in Korea.
An American website Pollstar raked up this controversy in
the US, on September 8th. It went on to note that the rights
for 'Right Round' in Korea rests with 4 labels - Warner
Chappell Music Korea, Sony ATV Publishing Korea, Fuji
Pacific Music Korea and EMI Music Publishing Korea. While
Warner Chappell and Sony ATV have said that they have
noticed the similarities and will check with the composers
of 'Right Round', EMI Music said it saw no similarity. Flo-Rida's
Right Round is anyway a remake of the 80s band Dead Or
Alive's 'You Spin Me Around' (1984).
If American media (albeit online, predominantly) can start a
controversy over Korean pop songs' plagiarism, can Indian
songs be far behind? Considering the number of tracks listed
in ItwoFS, I'm sure this is going to be a l-o-n-g process,
but I wonder if action is round the corner. Are there no
allegations now just because mainstream American label or
their subsidiaries do not hold the rights to Indian songs,
like in the Korean case? Well, Sony is active in India and
I'm sure they'd be exercising extra diligence before adding
a song of questionable source in whatever they release.
Good background read on
the G-Dragon controversy:
Pollstar's story that started the ruckus
Sony slams YG Entertainment that holds the rights to G-DRagon's
debut solo album - there is a reference to many more cases
of plagiarism in Korea, by G-Dragon and other artists too!
(Sounds just like India!!)
3. YG Entertainment's
My opinion is that the similarity between G-Dragon's tracks
and the 2 alleged originals is real and does exist. They are
very starkly similar to Indian inspirations - looks like
G-Dragon (or his producers) used the Western originals as a
base and worked on them to tweak them further. Nothing new
at all from an Indian perspective - but interesting how
annoyed the American (music) media is. Strange they've been
treating cases of Indian plagiarism so softly!
Stolen Waka waka!
The official song of soccer World
Cup 2010 is 'Waka waka (This time for Africa)', by Columbian singer
Shakira. Super song, catchy rhythms and the lady's usual
manic pelvic movements in the video. One small problem - the
song was alleged to sound very similar to a band from
Las Chicas Del Can - the song title, 'El Negro No Puede'.
The song was written and composed by Wilfrido Vargas, in
1990. There was also a news that
Wilfrido was planning to sue Shakira for plagiarism, for
US $11 million.
Now, the funny thing is that Wilfrido's song itself seems to
be a lift! From a 1984 Cameroonian song titled, 'Zangalewa (Waka
waka)'. It was by a Cameroonian band named The Golden Sound,
who later changed their name to Zangalewa after the song
became a huge success. The tune is supposedly a popular
Cameroonian military song sung during the World War 1 and 2,
but it was the military orchestra, The Golden Sound, that
first managed to record it in a music studio. Needless to
add, all the 3 songs sound similar.
Shakira's song has been released as a single and I haven't
been able to find out it's complete credits. The problem,
however, is that it is now (and forever) called as 'Shakira's
waka waka song', completely burying any credit to the
Cameroonian original. That is terribly unfair at a time when
the World Cup is happening in Africa! Thanks for a tip from Sankar
N. Manicka for pointing me to this story! Listen to
Shakira's Waka waka:
El Negro No Puede:
Zangalewa (The Golden Sound):
Oh Jaana - Raaz The Mystery Continues!
Here's a lift that got me all
excited, after a very long time. Reason #1...I loved the
Hindi song and it was in my car playlist for quite some
time. Reason #2...it has been lifted almost as-is, with
uniquely filmy additions. The song is 'Oh Jaana' from Raaz - The Mystery Continues. The composer? Raju Singh.
And the source? Gipsy Kings' 'El camino', from their 1989 album, Mosaïque (the
European version of the same album had titled the song just 'Camino'). Raju
seems to have fine-tuned and tweaked the pitch to smoothen it out into a
full-fledged filmy number and it works beautifully. Just that...as I love
saying...it is uncredited. Listen to
The all-important rejoinder!
I was quite surprised to get a mail from Raju Singh earlier today. Raju refers
to my update on 'Oh Jaana' from Raaz The Mystery Continues and adds that they
have bought the rights to Gypsy Kings' El camino officially, besides mentioning
that they have given Gypsy Kings due credit. I did get a couple of mails when
this update went live that they recall reading about the official rights
purchase in the media, but I couldn't find anything myself so I dropped the
search. I also went back and saw the film's audio CD and there is indeed a
credit, but not exactly as what Raju mentions. It merely says, 'Original
publishing is owned by Sony ATV Music Publishing India'. It is possible that the
actual credit to Gypsy Kings may have been added in the film's end credit
portions, though adding it in the CD along with the name of the original track
would have been most appropriate.
But, hats off to Raju for pointing this out to me - he has a valid point and I
like him and this song even more now. I'll add this listing under trivia with a
clear note that this is not the case for plagiarism - if anything, this is
perhaps a good example of how it should be done.
Zor Ka Jhatka (Action Replayy)
An Assamese singer named Kumar Bhabesh has claimed in local TV channels (News Live)
that Action Replayy's 'Zor ka jhatka' is lifted from two of his songs - yes,
two! From what I heard from a couple of mails I got on this subject, the Hindi
song is allegedly a mix of 'Dehati lahi lahi' from Bhabesh's album titled 'Hunpahi'
(2000) and another song of his, 'Jowan bhara' from the album called 'Roja'
(2008). There's some confusion in the second song's name - one mail suggests
that it is a song called 'Ruksana' from the same album (Roja). The song Ruksana
is available online as a streaming version in many sites and it sounds
completely different from what Zok ka jhatka offers. But, here are two important
things to consider before we allege plagiarism.
1. Vipul Shah made Pritam sign a
anti-plagiarism indemnity for the music in Action Replayy. So, I suppose
Kumar Bhabesh has to fight this one out directly with Pritam.
2. Most importantly, the CD sleeve of Action Replayy does mention a credit for 'Zor
Ka Jhatka'. It says, 'Based on traditional melody'!!! This has been Pritam's
recent cover for quite a few songs - the last one I remember was Khatta Meetha's
'Sajde' that came with a similar 'fine print'! So, the question remains - did
Pritam and Kumar Bhabesh use traditional Assamese melodies to create their
versions, respectively? Are both the songs referred to by Kumar Bhabesh used to
create the Hindi song? If so, are both these based on traditional folk melodies?
If not, are they Kumar's own? If they're his own, why did the CD mention
'traditional folk melodies' - to avoid issues like this?
Lot of questions...and I don't have samples of the alleged originals either. So,
at this point, all this remains merely an allegation! Kumar Bhabesh seems to be
very popular but is also perhaps from the analog era - very few of his songs are
available online. If you have samples of the songs referred to above or if you
have any more information on this, please do mail me. Let us dig this up
@ So, here goes! The audio clips in the 'Zor
ka jhatka' issue! Thanks to Vaibhav Vishal
for the clips.
At least going by the clips (in whatever quality they are in, however
specifically brief they are), Kumar Bhabesh
seems to have a case. He also asserts that the songs are his own compositions
and not traditional melodies as the audio CD of Action Replayy states! Another
case of Bollywood ripping local artists? Listen to
Zor ka jhatka mukhda:
Dehati laahi laahi:
After reveling in Ravel's Bolero or Andrew Lloyd Weber's
Cats' track Memories, depending on which sounds closer to Ishqiya's motif in 'Dil
to bachcha hai ji' to your ears, Vishal Bharadwaj is at it again. For Saat Khoon
Maaf - but, ek plagiarism maaf nahi, particularly from a man of Vishal's taste
and stature. The man has just one - only one! - mention in all of ItwoFS, if you
discount the trivia for Kaminey's Dhan te nan, that was inspired by his own tune
for a Zee TV theme tune - for the song from Maachis, 'Chod aaye hum, that was
mildly inspired from Italian composer Nicola Piovani's 'il campo di pallone'.
Here comes the second! The song featured in the Saat Khoon Maaf trailer,
'Darling' seems inspired by the famous Russian folk song, 'Kalinka'
that was supposedly first composed by Ivan Larionov in 1860. It is a folk song
and it has numerous versions across the globe, so one cannot really pin Vishal
down for outright plagiarism. I can only add that it would be gracious gesture
by Vishal Bharadwaj to credit Kalinka as a possible source for his Hindi song -
it is no doubt asking for way too much from a Hindi film song composer/producer
(UTV). The version of Kalinka I've added is by Barynya Ensemble - I believe it
brings out the similarities between the Hindi track and the source best. Listen to
Darling - Saat Khoon Maaf:
Kalinka - Barynya Ensemble:
Note: Kalinka has been credited in 7 Khoon Maaf's CD.
Aaro Nee (Urumi, 2011)
The song 'Aaro nee aaro' from Urumi,
with music by Deepak Dev. This was a fabulously sung song in the Malayalam song,
by Shweta Mohan and KJ Yesudas. It turns out to be a direct lift from the song
'Caravanserai' by Lorena McKennitt (from her 2006 album,
Ancient Muse - the name 'Caravanserai' not to be confused with a similarly
album by Santana). The expansive lead line 'Aaro nee aaro' is used to open
the Malayalam track where it is used in a different context in Lorena's version,
but the actual tune is ditto! Lorena is supposed to have derived inspiration for
her album from the music of Greece, the Middle east, Far East and Turkey. If
Deepak Dev also sought inspiration from a common original, hats off to his
Kanninima (Anwar, 2010)
The source is a song titled 'Rosa Maria' by the hugely popular Spanish modern
Chambao; the song was in their 2006 album, Caminando. The format that Gopi
Sundar uses in Anwar is largely similar to the catchy, immensely tuneful
flamenco that Chambao creates in Rosa Maria, but the way Gopi smoothens the tune
to suit Indian ears is mighty impressive. So, even though you'll continue to
catch your jaw that will drop to ground level as you play both the songs the
first time as you compare both tunes...you'll certainly notice the differences
rendered by Gopi - the relatively softer tone of Shreya Ghoshal compared to La
Mari's (Chambao's lead singer) full-throated singing being one of the main
things. Good inspiration, but again, if not credited, it certainly takes the
edge out of Gopi Sundar's version!