OMC Profiles | Shyam’s Theme Music Compositions

Shyam’s dabble in Theme Music had started long before Irupatham Noottandu or Oru  CBI Diary kurippu happened. I feel he started it off in Nirakkootu (1985) itself, where the character played by Mammootty ( Ravi Verma) always had a ‘thematic intro’ running throughout the movie. Shyam, like Raveendran also used to cleverly use his melodies in the background scores of other movie – if you listen closely, there is the melody of  Kannanthaliyum Kaattukkurinjiyum from Anubandham ( 1985) running through Uyarangalil (1987). Anyways, back to his Themes. He recalled in an interview in The Hindu that the two Directors  really enjoyed  working with IV Sasi and Joshi.  According to me, his  memorable Theme Scores were featured in the following films :

Nirakkoottu (1985)

New Delhi(1987)

Nadodikkattu (1987)

Irupatham Noottandu (1987)

Oru CBI Diary Kurippu (1988)

Jagratha  (1989)

Sethurama Iyer CBI.(2004)

Nerariyan CBI (2005)

Sagar Alias Jackie Reloaded (2009)

Irupatham Noottandu theme

My musically inclined friends could correct me and maybe kick me all the way to rock n roll hell and back, but I feel his Irupatham Noottandu theme was taking forward the Beethoven’s 5th, and making it into a delightful bit, somewhat one the lines of the legendary opening riff of Deep Purple‘s Smoke on the Water. It is the basic four note combination in another delightful memorable way. Its just my opinion. Please don’t shoot me.

The theme music from Irupatham Noottandu. Starts at 3:13

Oru CBI Diary Kurippu theme

12 years since release, the theme riff is now more of a parody than a thrill-inducing intro. But, in 1988, things were different. Oru CBI Diarykurippu was Shyam’s double whammy in a genre hwich he single-handedly introduced and put in place in Malayalam Cinema, and the same riff would carry on for its 3 sequels, and hopefully will go on till the main protagonists grow old in the movie and pass away in the end, probably with a pathos variation of the signature theme. I am thinking AD 2345, not far into the future. What do you think, my learned, generous reader and friend?

Here is the opening from the first one in the series, Oru CBI Diary kurippu (1988). The riff plays right from the start in a sustained melody loop.

The theme of Irupatham Noottandu comes in its remixed, reloaded avatar in the sequel, Sagar alias Jacky RELOADED in 2009. Judge for yourself.

Next : Shyam’s Gospel Album in Malayalam.

7 thoughts on “OMC Profiles | Shyam’s Theme Music Compositions

  1. i dont think the cbi intro is a parody,its a hit even today, just be cause the theme is used for a parody version of the movie,the theme doesnt become a parody,and i dont think there is a similarity between Irupatham Noottandu theme, smoke on water and Beethoven’s 5th. Sagar alias jacky music was by Gopi Sundar,he made the remix

    1. Dear Anonymous,
      I think you missed the context of description of “parody” mentioned in the post. If it had been a mere one at that, I wouldn’t even have gone ahead and put this down, wouldn’t you agree? What it says is that 20 years down the line, the original riff has been done to death and parodied in so many programs and movies in mainstream media, that the original itself has kind of become unrecognisable. And if you notice, it is mentioned as a “thrill-inducing intro”. Regarding the thematic “similarities” sonically, I still think its a simple 4-note combo in a class by itself, more on the lines of what Roger Glover, in one of his old interviews, said of the SOTW riff ” its so simple, its immediate.” And that is what is mentioned there. That, it is a variation of a simple four-note combination into something thats so instantly recognisable yet so simple. It could be said of the CBI theme too. It’s my personal opinion and I still stand by it. The Sagar Alias Jackie Reloaded theme Music had to be a version of the current time, yet built on the original popular riff, and that is why the the sequel riff sounds that way. I am sure the way the James Bond signature riff that has evolved through 1962 to 2012 is not lost on you. Thanks for writing in, cinematters.

  2. CM
    I stand corrected. This album was released in 1982, and it was supposedly the first christian devotional album produced and released by Tharangini.. What a beautiful composition !! It has Shyam’s signature written all over it. Do you by any chance have the details of 9th Angel Records ? I would like to purchase the CD version, if it is still available.

  3. Very informative. I have been waiting for the next in the series – Shyam’s Gospel Album in Malayalam. I searched for it but could not find the link. Can you let me know if its already published or by when it will be published. Thanks !

    1. Hi Felix,
      Thank you so much for your continued interest in OMC. Means a lot to me and this initiative. The fact that it got delayed was that I was trying my level best to get hold of an inlay cover of the original cassette tape album released in 1982! I asked around but have been unable till now. My very own battered copy, along with the hundreds in four cartons was gifted away to the friendly neighborhood ‘recycler man’ by my dearest Grandma 🙂 as she cleaned out my room at home in Kerala.
      Will post it this week itself. Thanks again.. CM

      1. You mean the 1984 album titled ‘Parishudha Gaanangal’ produced by Tharangini and lyrics by Bichu Thirumala? What a fantastic album it was! I had lost the original cassette but my father had made a copy, so I still have it. It is an absolute treasure.


        1. Hi Felix,
          The very same, but I recall it as the release from 1982 – which was also one of the reasons I so desperately wanted to take a look at the inlay sleeve. The CD version that I have now, brought out by 9th Angel Records, from Chennai also shows a P&C from 1982. It would be great if you could confirm this fact from your sources if possible. Thanks again.. CM

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