Remixes of classic music ruled Bollywood in 2017, indicating a dearth of creativity in music writers.
In a year where the Hindi film industry brought many impactful original stories on screen, a lack of novelty in its music was majorly felt as remixes of the hit '80s and '90s tracks dominated the Bollywood albums.
The tone for remixes, which are nowadays called 'recreated versions', was set right from the first month of the year with the release of superstar Shah Rukh Khan's "Raees", actor Hrithik Roshan's "Kaabil" and Shraddha Kapoor-starrer "Ok Jaanu".
While the album of "Raees" featured the remix of popular Bollywood number "Laila Main Laila" (originally from the 1980 Zeenat Aman-starrer 'Qurbani'), by composer Ram Sampath, "Kaabil" soundtrack had "Sara Zamana" remixed. The original song belongs to the album of megastar Amitabh Bachchan's 1981 film "Yaarana".
Interestingly, both the new and the old version were composed by Rajesh Roshan. Both "Sara Zamana" and "Laila Main Laila" could not recreate the magic of the originals.
The listeners also had a revamped version of the evergreen party number, "Humma Humma" -("Bombay") for "Ok Jaanu". The remixed track received a mixed response from the fans. The remix of the title track of Dev Anand-Zeenat Aman starrer "Hare Rama Hare Krishna" (1971) found its way in the album of Vidyut Jamwal's action film, "Commando 2". The song failed to create any impact on the listeners.
Bollywood star Akshay Kumar launched the remixed version of his superhit track "Tu Cheez Badi Hai Mast" ("Mohra"), with much aplomb, as it featured in the soundtrack of Bollywood debut of actor Mustafa, son of Mustan (of director duo Abbas-Mustan).
The song, programmed by Tanishk Bagchi, had Udit Narayan's vocals, which were also a part of the original song. While the "Mohra" song, which featured stunning chemistry between Akshay and Raveena Tandon, is still one of the favourite party numbers, its recreated version received a rather lukewarm response from the listeners.
Bagchi's other work, "Tamma Tamma Again", however, was lapped up by the listeners, despite the original version- featuring Madhuri Dixit and Sanjay Dutt ("Thanedaar")- still remembered for its beats and tunes.
The new song was a part of the album of Alia Bhatt-Varun Dhawan-starrer "Badrinath Ki Dulhania".
Another remix that became the face of a film was Punjabi musician Guru Randhawa's "Suit Suit", originally released in 2016, which featured in the soundtrack of actor Irrfan Khan's "Hindi Medium". The remix, which was also by Randhawa, became one of the most popular Bollywood songs in the year gone by.
Punjabi music star Sukhbir remixed his own '90s superhit track, "Ishq Tera Tadpave", for the movie, and as nostalgia hit the audience, the recreated version got everyone raving about. The rest of the album of "Hindi Medium", composed by Sachin-Jigar, was eclipsed by these two remixes.
As Bollywood musicians rolled out one remix after the other, it was clear by mid-2017 that the year suffered from a dearth of creativity. But the indolence of Hindi film musicians became a point of discussion only after ace composer Pritam announced his exit from Sushant Singh-starrer "Raabta", saying he could not include a remix in the soundtrack, something that the makers wanted for promotion's sake.
Pritam, who had re-worked on his own old romantic song "Raabta" ('Agent Vinod') for the film, requested the makers to not give him credit for the movie's music. His team, however, completed the work on the film.
Days later, it was announced that the 2013 Punjabi hit "Na Na Na Na" by J Star, was remixed as "Mai Tera Boyfriend" for "Raabta". The new version borrowed the hook line and the signature tune from the original song. It was composed by Meet Bros and sung by Arijit Singh and Neha Kakkar. The song was used extensively to promote the film. It, however, did little to save the film's prospects at the box-office.
Even as Pritam's decision allowed the film music industry to reflect on the lack of originality, it seemed to have no impact because there were many more remixes that followed, mainly used as a promotional tool.
Whether it was "Jaanu Meri Jaan" from Rajkummar Rao- starrer "Behen Hogi Teri", "Daru Vich Pyaar" from "Guest Iin London" or Mubarakan's "Hawa Hawa" and "Gulabi 2.0" from Sonakshi Sinha's "Noor", there was a host of recreated tracks pegged as the highlight of these films.
Other such examples include "Mere Rashke Qamar" from Ajay Devgn-starrer "Baadshaho", "Raat Baaki" in "Sidharth Malhotra's "Ittefaq" and "Hawa Hawai 2.0", featured in Vidya Balan-starrer hit dramedy "Tumhari Sulu".
Varun Dhawan-starrer "Judwaa 2", the reboot of 1997 hit Salman Khan comedy "Judwaa", in fact, had almost the whole soundtrack recreated from the original. Anu Malik, the man behind the hit album of "Judwaa", also worked on the recreated version of the film's two most popular songs- "Oonchi Hai Building" and "Chalti Hai Kya 9 se 12". The new versions, however, failed to excite the audience.
This turned out to be the biggest problem with the trend of rehashing old songs in 2017. While the trend has gained momentum over the last few years, the substandard quality delivered in the year gone by was noticeable by the listeners.
The year ends on a complaining note for the music industry, which more than showing a lack of imagination, compromised on the quality and hence doing injustice while revisiting old content.