Heavy Rotation: Vidyasagar (Part IV)

Who has sung the most songs for Vidyasagar? Sujatha? Madhu Balakrishnan? Balram? K. J. Yesudas? P. Jayachandran? Or is it Chithra? I feel it's Sujatha, but I could be wrong!

Kaadhal Vandhadhum, Thalaattum Kaatre (Poovellam Un Vasam) - Beautiful melodies from the melody master Vidyasagar with pitch-perfect vocal backing from K. J. Yesudas, Sadhana Sargam and Shankar Mahadevan.

Naan Varaindhu Vaitha (Jayamkondaan) - Hariharan and Madhushree effortlessly glide through with their soulful rendition of this lovely melody.

Ding Dong (Ji) - Madhushree at it again, this time joining hands with Madhu Balakrishnan for an absolutely delightful romantic duet.

Nilavile Nilavile, Ithanundu Muthathile - I am addicted to the two songs, and will always be. It's the tune, but it's also Madhushree (making her singing debut in Tamil) and Udit Narayan's singing that's doing the trick.

Enna Enna (Joot) - Very Vidyasagar and very Ilaiyaraaja! And Vijay Yesudas is in top form.

Raa Raa/ Vaarai Naan Unnai Thedi (Chandramukhi) - Even though the original sung by Binny Krishnakumar is phenomenal, Nithyasree's version in Telugu is altogether on a whole new level. It's also one of the very few songs she has sung for Vidyasagar, the other being Thoongum Puli from the movie Puratchikkaaran.

Thajam Thajam (Mahesh, Saranya Matrum Palar) - Binny Krishnakumar aces this Carnatic-leaning melody spectacularly well, but props to Vidyasagar for crafting such an inventive tune.

Aalanguyil Koovum Rayyil, Kanaa Kandaenadi (Parthiban Kanavu) - The lilting tunes notwithstanding, how can you not fall in love with Madhu Balakrishnan's voice!

Kandaen Kandaen, Iru Vizhiyo, Nenjathilae, Medhuva Medhuva (Pirivom Santhippom) - A fantastic soundtrack abound with Carnatic-leaning melodies and a must listen.

Vaarthinkal Thellalle (Dreamz) - That flute in the second interlude, damn!

Thanka Thinkal (Indraprastham) - It's not just Vellinila Thullikalo that features M. G. Sreekumar and Chithra in fabulous form, this song, from Vidyasagar's second film in Malayalam, is equally splendorous.

Chingamaasam, Pakkaala Paadan Vaa, Chi Chi Chi, Thai Maasam, Machan Peru Madhurey, Hey Meenalochani, Thappu Thanda - Absurdly foot-tapping and so peppy, with pitch-perfect vocal backing from Shankar Mahadevan.

Mazhayil Kulitha, Oru Nila, Imai Thoothane, Thozha Vaanam (Ilaignan) - One of the most outstanding efforts by Vidyasagar, so grandiose and opulent in terms of composition and arrangement.

Anujudai Lakshmanudu, Kasthuri Thilakam, Adhi Needhani Idhi Naadhani, Ramaa Vinodhi Vallabha, Okka Kshanam (Swarabhishekam) - Vidyasagar hails from Vizianagaram, and so it's perhaps fitting that he got his much deserved National Award for a Telugu film. You can listen to the whole soundtrack here.

Raappothu, Thai Maasam, Appadi Podu - Thai Maasam deserves a second mention just for Anuradha Sriram, who flexes her vocals to fantastic effect!

Ippavae Ippavae, Kandaen Kandaen, Manjin Velli Thooval Chutti, Ravereyayi, Oru Kili, Thangakkili, Vizhiyum Vizhiyum, Thendral Ennum, Pesa Marandhaayae, Konjam Neram, Sollitharavaa - More of Madhu Balakrishnan please. Can't get enough!

Virahini Raadhe, Nizhalaadum Deepame, Pinneyum Pinneyum Aaro, Ninakkente - K. J. Yesudas' voice is so perfect, I literally cannot imagine anyone else in his place.

Otthhu Thanni Aathoda, Moolipaattum Paadi, Yaradu, Engey Engey (Sadhurangam), Neenda Mounam, Nee Vendum, En Ragasiya Kanavukal, Thendralukku Nee, Thaamthakka Dheemthakka - Karthik is so effortless a singer, I am not surprised he has aced every single kind of song thrown at him.

Kaalai Arumbi (Kana Kandaen) - Kana Kandaen and Chandrolsavam both released within weeks of each other in 2005, but what's more interesting is his reinterpretation of Aaraarum, giving it a slightly more contemporary spin in Srinivas and Kalyani's superlative rendition.

Ettu Muzha (Karmegham) - Unni Menon has had a steady presence in A. R. Rahman's discography right from Roja to Rhythm, but not so much in Vidyasagar's. Which is all the more surprising given the latter's amazing work in Malayalam. That said, Ettu Muzha works amazingly well, even if it's a tad simplistic.

Devuda Devuda (Chandramukhi) - SPB did sing a lot of memorable tunes for Vidyasagar in the 90's, but the 2000s were far and few, the most prominent ones being Thirumalai (Azhagooril), Anbe Sivam (Mouname Paarvayai), Poi (La La La), Thavasi (Desing Raja Thaan), and of course, the insanely energetic dance number Devuda Devuda.

Orae Manam, Malai Kaatru, Poothirukkum Vaname, Udaiyatha Vennila, O Dilruba, Mayikayamam, Ennai Konja Konja, Thavamindri Kidaitha Varame - I don't know if I would even survive without listening to Hariharan at least once a day. His heavenly voice is the ultimate bliss!

Adi Thozhi, Mazhai Nindra - Kalyani delivering again, this time going solo for the captivating folk-laden melodies.