Heavy Rotation: Vidyasagar (Part II)

No offense meant to the current crop of composers out there, but where is Vidyasagar? While I await his return, here's a continuing exploration of his music from the 90's...

Thottu Thottu Pesum (Ethirum Pudhirum) - Imagine my surprise when I recently found that this addictive westernized Tamil folk song was set to tune by Vidyasagar. And Swarnalatha and Pushpavanam Kuppusamy, what vocals!

Mugam Enna (Subash) - After Malare Mounama, S.P.B. and S. Janaki join hands together for yet another delectable melody.

Oru Theithi Paarthal (Coimbatore Mappillai) - Vidyasagar may have subsequently repurposed portions of this captivating melody in Vellinila Thullikalo, but the strings-laden arrangement remains a highlight in both the songs.

Dilruba Dilruba (Priyam) - Is this really Vidyasagar? The middle eastern flourishes are so on point!

Kanaavil Partha (Aatha Naan Pass Ayittaen), Kadhale Thangakili (Chirunavvula Varamistava/ Vicky) - Where Vidyasagar channels Ilaiyaraaja in the most beautiful way only he can.

En Anbe En Nenjil, Silaneram Yedhedho Nadakum (Poo Manam) - Vidyasagar's debut outing as a composer, which includes En Anbe... (Chithra, Dhenesh), a mellifluous retro-styled song that he later reused in a similar context in Parthiban Kanavu's Buck Buck Buck, and a pretty Ilaiyaraaja'esque melody Silaneram Yedhedho Nadakum sung by P. B. Sreenivas.

Gopiloludu (Chilakapachcha Kaapuram) - A sultry semi-classical folk fusion, absurdly catchy and sung with vigour by Malgudi Subha.

Nee Choopu Suprabhatham (Madhavayya Gari Manavadu), Guruthunda Neeku (Raguluthunna Bharatham), Thoorupu Sindhoorapu, Inta Inta (Allari Pilla), Cheliya, Nadiveedhilo Amma, Yendammo Magasiri (Minor Raja), Chikkenamma Chakkanamma (Dharma Teja) - Those Ilaiyaraaja feels! Bliss!

Thamarai Poovukum, Adi Aathi (Pasumpon) - Thamarai is too pretty a folky melody to give it a miss, but Adi Aathi is the first Vidyasagar composition to feature both Chithra and Sujatha in one song, a feat they would repeat in Snegithiye in not one, not two, but three songs.

Anandham Anandham (Murai Maman) - Barring Sudum Nilavu, Mainaave Mainaave and Un Samayal Arayil, Unnikrishnan is a rare presence in Vidyasagar's discography, but this is such a delightful semi-classical song. Just listening to it fills you with happiness!

Nanna Usire Jo Laali Jo (Mangalasutra) - One of the very few Kannada songs from Vidyasagar, but a signature semi-classical composition too exquisite for words.

Minnum Nilave (Ezhupunna Tharakan) - Scintillating mix of saxophone, flute, guitars and classical elements, superbly tuned and well sung by Yesudas and Sujatha.

Maha Ganapathim, Krishna Krishna (Millenium Stars) - Setting aside the fact that Millenium Stars was Vijay Yesudas' debut as a singer, the soundtrack sees Vidyasagar in hyper-inventive form. Featuring vocals from Hariharan and K. J. Yesudas, it's easily one of his finest works till date. Perhaps far ahead of its time too!