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Trivia

Trivia that couldn't be listed in any other section in this site!

 
1
Anni 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? 
Listen to Theme from Anni | Mamy Blue
 
2
A Tamil song from James Bond (2000)
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!
Listen to Kannenna Minsaarama
This one's finally been cracked - check out listing no. 49 in Tamil - Others page!
3
Thakshak's 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! 
Listen to Toofan ki raat | My love is for real
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.
4
Mr Romeo's 'Mellisaye' / Maurice Ravel's Bolero
I had 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!
Listen to Mellisaye | Bolero 
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.
5
Interlude 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!
Listen to Karisal Tharisal Interlude | Diego's Goodbye | I want to spend my lifetime loving you
 
6
'Kabhi alvida na kehna' from Chalte Chalte
've come across a few messages on the net claiming that this song is inspired by a German folk song (volksmusik). The original is supposedly an accordion-based song.
Listen to Kabhi alvida na kehna
Do lemme know if you know more the original.
7
Title song from Yeh Kaisi Mohobbat
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!
Listen to Tu yahan hai | Adaayen bhi hai
 
8
The Great 'Kaliyon Ka Chaman' Hungama!
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 music!"

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!
Listen to Addictive [Truth Hurts] | Kaliyon ka chaman [Jyoti] | Thoda resham lagta hai [Harry Anand's remix]
 
9
Malayalam song from Millennium Stars and a ghazal by Hariharan
Multilingual South 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 ghazal-like 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!
Listen to Parayaan nyaan marannu [All the 3 parts of the song] | Jabse woh maahpara gaya
 
10
Kitna 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 possible!

Incidentally, Salilda's 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!
Listen to Kitna pyar tumhen karte hain | Hindustanavu endu mareyada | Rajnigandha title song
 
11
Taal's Raga Dance
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 track! 
Listen to Taal's Raga Dance | Race with devil on Turkish highway | Race with devil on Spanish highway
Note: After listening to Meola's music, if you are curious to know more about him, check this out!
12
Kaho 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 noticed 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 to
Kaho na kaho [Amir Jamal] | Tamally Ma'ak [Amr Diab]

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 sure 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 to Daleko Daleko]
Japan: Resung in Arabic by the Japanese band 'Warna' and released as a video. Watch the video at this Amr Diab site!
13
Kaadhal Konden, the movie, copied off 'Klassenfahrt', a German movie!
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...:-)
 
 
14
Tumse Milke (Main Hoon Naa) / In Zaire (Johnny Wakelin)
This 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.
Listen to Tumse milke (Ishq mein) | In Zaire
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!
15
Thadayam Title Track (Sun TV - Serial)
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!
Listen to Thadayam title track | Venus
16
Black Eyed Peas' 'Elephunk Theme'
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" and "they 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?
Listen to Elephunk theme | Unakkum Enakkum
17
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'!
Listen to Don't phunk with my heart | Yeh mera dil (Don) | Aye naujawan (Apradh)
18
Laxmikant Pyarelal's only Malayalam score for the film 'Poonila Mazha' - Song, 'Thak thaank' (1997)
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!
Listen to Thak thaank | Cancion del Mariachi
19
Hassan Jehangir's Hawa Hawa (1990)
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.
Listen to Hawa hawa | Havar havar [Full version, here!]
20
Himesh Reshammiya's 'Odhni od ke naachoon' from Tere Naam (2004) 
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.
Listen to Ishqe da wal aagaya
21
A R Rahman's 'Ottagatha Kattikko' (Gentleman, 1993) and La Caution's 'Pilotes Automatqies', 2005.
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 Rahman know?
Listen to Pilotes automatiques | Ottagatha Kattikko
22
Djur Djura and Jhoom barabar jhoom!
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, 2002)

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'!
22
The CNBC Panel discussion on plagiarism in Indian film music!
My 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 | Man smart (woman smarter) ...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!
23
RMIM Puraskar 2006
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!
RMIM Puraskar

For those of you who voted me as a judge….THANKS!

24
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 to
Shing 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 this page!  
25
Interlude in Saroja samaan nikaalo (Chennai 600028)
A very interesting case of interlude inspiration that mandates a mid-week update! Anantha of 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 Wikipedia!

Listen to Saroja saamaan nikalo first interlude | Spiderman cartoon theme

Trivia on Spiderman cartoon theme: A 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 to
Boogie stop shuffle (Charlie Mingus). Watch the Spiderman cartoon opening video here in YouTube!

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!")
 
26
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 to Stars are blind | Kingston Town 
27
Sania badnaam (Apna sapna money money) Vs Strawberry hoon (Raghu Romeo)
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 to Strawberry hoon main | Sania badnaam 
28
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 Noorani, though denies this outright. And I trust him much more than Cybernoon!
29
Uzbek version of A R Rahman's Saathiya track, 'Aye udi udi'.
By Uzbek pop star Iroda Dilroz (Youtube link). And it looks like Rahman knows about this!
30
Rahman's prelude inspired from Maroon 5's track?
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?
Listen to Prelude in Machakkaari | in Shiver
31
Afghans in a reverse plagiarism spree!
Afghani singers seem to be in a reverse plagiarism spree. Listen to these!
Qader Eshpari's Afghani Kal ho na ho (Mp3)
Rameen Sharif's Afghani Main yahan (Veer Zaara)
Rameen and Omar Sharif's Afghani Subaan allah (Fanaa)
Qader, incidentally, says he's sorry! (Courtesy, Priyanka Dasgupta - Calcutta Times, July 6, 2007)
32
Heyy Babyy teaser and Maroon 5!
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!
Listen to Heyy Babyy teaser | This love
Ehsaan says in a mail that the trio have nothing to do with either the background music or teaser pieces for the film. Thought as much. Relieved!
33
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 'expose'!

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 Janmabhoomi | Zindagi hai to | Bheega bheega sa (Chocolate) | December  (Abrar-ul-haq)

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 to Mera dil fida | Aa dil se dil

Raghu Romeo's Strawberry hoon main (2003) becomes the slightly more popular Sania badnaam in Apna sapna money money (2006).
Listen to Strawberry hoon main | Sania badnaam 

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 to Jal jal ke | Hai ishq | Arabyion Ana

And, to round off the list,
Listen to Aye dil (Naqaab) | Bolo (Aria)

Some list, this!
34
Saregama India Vs Timbaland!
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 to Put you on the game (relevant edit) | Baagon mein
35
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 to Hum to aise hain | Mary Ann
36
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!
37
Aaja Nachle trivia!
Aaja Nachle's 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 film, in IMDB and 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 re
38
Ottmar Liebert and ItwoFS!
Ottmar Liebert 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 mention.
39
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 else".

Karz's remakers' opportunity to redeem themselves finds its way into Times of India. T-series' Bhushan Kumar is non-committal as usual!
40
Bollywood turns a new leaf!
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 later, as Karan Johar realized the hard way! Good going Imtiaz. The film rocks, btw!
41
Halla Bol promo and Van Halen!
Rajkumar Santoshi's 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
42
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 black patch 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 to Jaane kyon | Ghore 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!
43
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" - More here!

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?


Watch the Sony Ericsson 'Thump' ad 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 to Break 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 - Splendid job!

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 Roshan's 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' combined might.

Part Four!
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 ignominy.
44
IPL Karmayudh ad lift!
Blogeswari 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?
Watch the YouTube of DLF IPL Karmayudh tune over the US Baseball promo
.
45
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 | Bebdo

Watch the Nike ad here!
46
Kismat Konnection's Is this love
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
47
Dasaavathaaram's 'Kallai mattum kandaal'
Dasaavathaaram's 'Kallai 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 in.
YouTube of Kallai mattum kandaal | Baggy jeansum
48
The many hues of plagiarism
The 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 article!

Terribly disgusting instances, both!
49
U2 Bangla?
ItwoFS visitor Abhishek 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
50
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 garba in 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 company named Sonoton, 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 compare.

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.

Part 2
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 this issue.

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!

Part 3
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 group, 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 to Pankira
51
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 to Bol ri kathputli | Kayes ba

More on Boubacar Traoré, here and here!
52
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 goes.

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 accountable.

Great news! Hope it opens a floodgate of other such lawsuits on Indian composers and at least a few of them reach a logical conclusion!

More on this lawsuit from Singapore's Electric New Paper.
53
Himesh's Serbian fan!
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 Wikipedia or this site!
Listen to Ko ti to baje | Aashiq banaya aapne remix
Listen to Mala mala.
54
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 the 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 shameless, uncredited 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 way!

Bappi da's interview with Calcutta Times where he blabbers away to glory - one perfect example of the word 'senile'!

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 JPG | Link
55
Phoren plagiarism
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!
56
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 to Ippave ippave prelude | Forgiven (Romanz A)
57
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 to Nasha nashila | Karuppin Azhagu
58
Rabbi Shergill and Sorry Bhai's Jalte Hain!
Rabbi 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 to Jalte hain | Ballo

Update: Court clears Sorry Bhai release. More on the Rabbi Vs Gaurav Dayal story...looks like Gaurav has gone off the hook too easily. Very unfair!

This is 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 page.

Composer Gaurav Dayal defends, rather, attempts to defend himself in 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 Rabbi.
59
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 strangely, for 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, 1972). 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 to AIR FM Rainbow | Listen to the music
60
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 to Kitabein bahut si | Popcorn - Gershon Kingsley | Popcorn - Hot Butter
61
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 is unknown.
2. Its tune is used by Bill Hailey for a track titled, '
Oriental Rock'.
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 to Streets of Cairo (MIDI file courtesy, Shira.net) | Oriental Rock
62
Kuch nahi ho sakta Vs 5 Friends!
Mid-Day's 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', no?

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.
Watch Kuch nahi ho sakta | 5 Friends | 5 More Friends
63
Interlude similarity between a Tamil and Kannada song!
I reviewed a Kannada soundtrack for Milliblog - 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 to Raiyya 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 to Poovinai Prelude/ Interlude

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!
64
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 inspiration.

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 Kumar'.

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 original piece.

I concluded 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!
65
Kaminay's Dhan te nan!
UPDATE: Solved! The TV serial version was composed by Vishal himself, 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 Twitter, by @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 to Dhan te nan (Kaminay) | Dhan te nan (Gubbare)
66
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 to Down by the river | Pyar hua hai jabse
66
Korean plagiarism!
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:
1. Pollstar's story that started the ruckus
2. 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 response

YouTube references:
G-Dragon's Heartbreaker | Flo-Rida's Right Round
G-Dragon's Butterfly | Oasis' She's Electric

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!
67
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 Dominican Republic, 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):
68
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
Oh Jaana
El Camino

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.
68
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 together!

@ 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:

Zor ka jhatka antara:
Ruksana:

And here is Screen Magazine weighing in on the whole story.
69
Darling (7 Khoon Maaf)
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.
70
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, An Ancient Muse - the name 'Caravanserai' not to be confused with a similarly titled 1972 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 exploratory skills.

Listen to
Aaro nee:
Caravanserai:
71
Kanninima (Anwar, 2010)
The source is a song titled 'Rosa Maria' by the hugely popular Spanish modern Flamenco band 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!

Listen to
Kanninima:
Rosa Maria:
   


Hindi

Anu Malik
Anand Milind
Anand Raaj Anand
Bappi Lahiri
Jatin Lalit
Kalyanji Anandji
Laxmikant Pyarelal
Nadeem Shravan
OP Nayyar
Pritam Chakravarty
Rajesh Roshan
RD Burman
Salil Chaudhry
SD Burman
Sandeep Chowta
Sanjeev Darshan
Shankar Jaikishen
Hindi - others


Tamil
A R Rahman
Deva
Ilayaraja
Karthikraja
Yuvan S. Raja
Tamil - others


Assorted
Coincidences
Indipop
Advt. jingle lifts
Telugu
Trivia
 

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