S P Balasubrahmaniam – The Eternal Voice Of Love
S.P. Balasubrahmaniam fondly known as SPB, when made his debut in Hindi cinema, he was already a legend in his own right. He had sung for the superstars like MGR, Gemini Ganesh and Shivaji Ganesan in the south and had won many awards as well. So when Ek Duje Ke Liye was launching Kamal Hassan, who in the movie is shown unable to speak proper Hindi, SPB was the first choice due to his heavy South Indian accent himself. Little did the industry know that this man, with an ever lasting smile is here to stay, and how!
His journey in Hindi movies continued contrary to popular belief and but then in 1989, came the love tsunami called Maine Pyar Kiya! On first instance, everyone thought SPB’s voice was too accentuated for a young Salman and yet again he proved everyone wrong! Not just the songs became eternal blockbusters, SPB was now the favourite on-screen voice for the reigning super star!
While this gentle giant celebrates his 73rd birthday today, he continues to sing love anthems and every time his voice is heard there is romance in our hearts too.
So here’s a quick list of 5 songs where SPB has made audiences fall in love with the idea of love and immortalised the songs!
1) Tere Mere Beech Me – Ek Duje Ke Liye
Imagine a man who is deeply in love with a woman from another caste and while he is already struggling for a proper verbal communication between them, he is ridiculed by people around for his poor accent. His knowledge, his calibre or his true love doesn’t matter, but just a minor point of not knowing a language does. While Kamal Hassan depicted this pain beautifully on screen, he had complete support through SPB’s voice for lip syncing. SPB was an extended personality for Kamal’s character who made everyone believed in his love. He struggled with the lyrics, diction but excelled eventually. Laxmikant Pyarelal’s soulful music and Anand Bakshi’s lyrics are fully justified by SPB’s heartfelt rendition. While Lata ji’s version was a happy love duet with SPB only pitching in with dialogues, SPB’s solo version will make you feel his pain and yearning. No doubt he won a National Award for this melody.
2) Sach Mere Yaar Hai – Sagar
When one thinks of Sagar, mostly it is Dimple Kapadia in Goa beaches or Pancham da’s eternally beautifully songs which instantly come to mind. But one more thing which one cannot be forgot is the aching heart of Raja loosing his childhood love to someone else. Remember the scene in the song “O Maria” where just to grab his lady love’s handkerchief he hurts himself among the crowd. That’s true love and when he sings in the voice of SPB Sach Mere Yaar Hai, Bas Yehi Pyaar Hai, Jiske Badle Me Koi To Pyaar Hai… Baki Bekaar Hai Yaar Mere! You feel for him!
3) Dil Deewana Bin Sajna Ke – Maine Pyaar Kiya
Salman Khan was launched as a leading actor through this love story (he had already played a negative character in Biwi Ho To Aisi). The story, songs and those cute friendship romance moments were love goals for all youngsters of that time. When the songs were launched, everyone was sceptical about SPB’s voice gelling well with the macho debonair image of Salman Khan. To the contrary of general belief, SPB’s voice made Salman Khan’s character’s love authentic. SPB had a sense of comfort in his voice which made everyone believe Prem truly loved Suman! And before we knew SPB became the most authentic voice for Salman Khan ever since. While Mere Rang Me is a sensuous beautiful romantic song, I feel this sad version of Dil Deewana is piercingly emotional song. He sounds young but deep in love and wasn’t such the character of Prem??
4) Priyatama – Love
The movie Love might not have been a great box office success, but it surely gave music lovers some amazing love anthems. How can any love album be complete without the mention of Sathia Tune Kya Kiya in the soulful voices of SPB and Chitra. Salman Khan’s stoic silent Prithvi and Revathi’s frolicking Maggi, were the cutest on-screen couple. The movie had one more beautiful song which is far more emotional and romantic. Its painful yet hopeful. Maggi is fighting for life in the hospital and had taken promise from Prithvi that he would perform in a show which would change his career positively. Reluctantly Prithvi goes to the auditorium and performs only for his love. I would not be wrong in saying that SPB’s voice in the given situation would make anyone cry with deep emotions.
5) Hum Aapke Hain Koun! – Title Song
When a movie starts with a song which finds a major spot in your heart, rest assured you are sure for a musical treat during the entire movie. Something similar is the case with the title song of the country’s most favourite wedding story Hum Aapke Hain Koun!. Even before we are introduced to any characters or situations, we are dished to a soft romantic song with some stunning black and white mugshots of two of the most good-looking people of Hindi cinema. Their love and yearning for each other, their strength in character and their dedication and sacrifices, everything can be felt through this one song and it sets the right pace for the joyride. A hidden gem indeed from the over exposed treasure of the movie.
It is very difficult to pick just a handful of songs sung by this legend, when he has an ocean full of beautiful numbers to his credit. I have only tried to remember some of his songs which deserve more credit than it has garnered. A small gesture to tell him, we love him always. What is your favourite song of this southern symphony man?