The non-identical twins in Malayalam Film Songs

Malayalam Cinema's most famous twins onscreen - Seetha (1960)

Introducing Sajith Bhaskaran‘s The Missing Sound Project.

{ The Missing Sound Project is a journey through an interesting aspect of the Malayalam film songs of the 60s to 80s – the concept of “dual existence”. No, we are not talking Particle Physics here, but the very fascinating fact of two versions of a song – the real and edited versions existing for some of the very popular tracks that we have so come to love and cherish.Sajith Bhaskaran has painstakingly collected a cross section of audio files of popular Malayalam Film Songs – each as a set containing an  excerpt from the Vinyl Record, and an excerpt from the movie soundtrack. He diligently explains with his notes on each set , his thoughts and observations of the Song and its Twin.}

 Sajith’s Introduction  of the Project.

Sidharth Bhatia, a Mumbai based journalist in the Hindu  alerted all who keep a fine collection of old records that the craze for records is sweeping the world of music buffs. Dealers in second hand records in Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and elsewhere have figured out the craze for these records and jacked up their prices. The reason for this sudden upsurge of interest maybe nostalgia, or a way of sailing back to the past when things appeared to be simple and uncomplicated, or else the realization that the vinyl music sounds warmer.

Recently, Music shops in Kerala also started displaying Long Play records produced by Sathyam Audios priced at Rs. 650 per record. Maybe the new trend of buying and collecting records will become a hobby here also.. When many feel that it is time to rediscover the golden era of music the old records of the 60s and 70s will be re introduced as LP versions.

But, I believe that at least a few know the fact that the records of majority Malayalam film songs are edited ! In other words, this fact can be corroborated by verifying the duration of a song in record version and that of the sound track version. Why this difference in both version, rather record version getting edited? To unearth this mystery, we have to learn the details of discs released for Malayalam film songs.

Right from the 50s till towards the end of sixties, 78 RPM discs were used to record Malayalam film songs. This was later overtaken by the 45 RPM discs both in SP/EP versions. SP denotes Short play and EP refers Extended Play. SP records have one song on one side and another on the other side.

The SP of Guruvayoor Keshavan (1977)
The SP Record and Sleeve of Guruvayoor Keshavan (1977)

EP recordshave two songs on one side and 2 songs on the other side. Normally one song in both SP and EP can hold song with 3 to 4 minutes length. But the same song in the movie on an average is 3.5 to 4.5 minutes long. This may be the reason for songs getting edited and I don’t know at what point this song gets edited.

The EP of Malayalam Film Dathuputhran (1970)
EP of Dathuputhran (1970) by ODEON

This problem can be addressed if Long Play records are preferred instead of the SP/EP versions. But considering the cost and demand for records, the Gramophone Company of India ltd, the major player in the industry (rather a monopoly in the industry) preferred SP/EP versions for Malayalam songs.

Later in the seventies, Malayalam 33 RPM records appeared in the market. They call it as mini LP. Songs of Nellu, Raagam, Sandhyavandanam, Dweep, Dheerasameere Yamunatheere, Madanolsavam, to mention a few, were released in this genre.

Mini LP Record of Pratheeksha
Mini LP Record of Pratheeksha

In the case of Madanolsavam –  Maadapraave Vaa, Mele Poomala, Sandhye and Nee Maayum Nilavo were released in 33 PRM and Saagarame/Ee Malar Kanyakal was released in 45 RPM as an SP version. In other words, both the songs in SP version are edited!

Hit songs of Devarajan, T K Pukazhenthi, S Janaki, K J Yesudas and P Jayachandran  were released in LP version from the late 60s onwards along with devotional songs/non film songs.However, LP records were released for songs in Hindi since there is a wider market and the full version of songs is there in Hindi LP records.

Gems of Yesudas LP - Sajith  Bhaskaran's Collection
Gems of Yesudas LP – Sajith Bhaskaran’s Collection

The Vinyl Record edited versions could be classified into three types.

1. Those Songs in which either the Anupallavi, second Anupallavi or charanam are deleted in the record version
2. Those songs in which BGM is deleted in the record
3. Those songs in which certain lines are edited in the record version
I have included a detailed note on each song is included. In the case of songs with 4 stanzas, I’ve used the nomenclature Pallavi, Anupallavi, second anupallavi and charanam. For example let us take the song Periyare, periyare from Bharya. (Unfortunately this song is also edited in the record version). Its structure would go this way :
•    Periyare Periyare   (Pallavi)
•    BGM
•    Mayilaadum Kunnil Pirannu (Anupallavi)
•    BGM
•    Ponnalakal Ponnalakal (Second Anupallavi)
•    BGM
•    Naadake Telineer Nalkenam (Charanam)
•    Pallavi (repeat)

Going forward, I’ve included a few songs in each category. I still believe that majority of our songs are edited for the above reasons. To prepare a full catalogue of such songs takes a long time. If we want to analyse this phenomenon, both the record version and movie version are needed. But, as you know, the negatives of lot many films are lost. Anyway, this matter needs further investigation by the learned personalities of our fraternity. Let us hope that further interesting findings will follow.

However, in a very few songs the record version is a little bit longer than the movie version. For example, the record version of Kanninum Kannadikkum (Achanum Baappayum) has an extended BGM which is edited in the movie. Similar is the case with Kalyanasowgandhika poonkaavanathiloru (Vaazhvemaayam).

Last Word.

There are lot many music lovers with wonderful knowledge in this subject who may prefer to keep silent. My knowledge regarding the discography and songs are limited. However, I hope that the masters in this subject will respond to enrich the little information already gathered here and served across the various categories in this Project. Thanks.

Sajith Bhaskaran’s The Missing Sound Project | First Set.

30 thoughts on “The non-identical twins in Malayalam Film Songs

    1. Dear Krishnan
      Instead of old records please use ‘records of malayalam film songs’. As you know, after the mid 80s, the records vanished and the space was captured by cassettes. The records are available with a few collectors at Kottayam, Thiruvananthapuram, Kozhikode, Earnakulam etc. Just browse the words Old Malayalam Film Records and you will see the site of a dealer at Kozhikode. Sometimes you will get your favorite pieces. I have a few records which i started collecting from 1991 onward. Nowadays its very costly for these records just because the demand is high but the availability very limited. One thing, i would like to submit to you. Its totally different to listen to a song from the record version than the CD. I hope you agree with my point

      B Sajith

  1. This is one subject that interests me. I have collected almost 600 songs where there is a difference from the vinyl version and the original tracks. There are songs where an extra stanza is included in the original tracks…. for example.. Chandrakiranam chaalicheduthoru… from the movie Devi….. Praananadhan enikku nalkiya Paramaanandha rasathe from Enippadikal…and Manichi kaatte from Mayilaadum kunnu. I can very surely say about Manichi kaatte because I have watched the picturisation of the sequence. The film was shot in our village.

    Another very interesting thing is that, the song Vasanthathin makalallo Mullavalli from the movie Vivaahitha has 2 entirely different versions. The original track is rendered by Yesudas and P Susheela and the vinyl version is sung by Yesudas and Madhuri… 🙂 Thanks Sajith and CM to have compiled such an informative thread. Looking forward to seeing more of these. CM shall send you the songs mentioned above… 🙂

    1. Dear Viju
      At the outset itself let me inform you that majority of the songs in Malayalam released during the record era are edited. Sandhyamayangum Neram from the film Mayilaadum Kunnu is also edited.
      You rightly pointed out about the total variation in Vasanthathin Makalallo from Vivahita. But the real editing of songs happened in your example of Chandrakiranam from Devi. Everybody know the line Ninte Naabhi Pushpadalangalil … but who know sarvachara chara, the anupallavi of the song.
      Editing of Prananaadhan from Enippadikal is new to me. I never saw the movie version of the song. Thanks for the information.



        1. Dear Viju
          Yes. I am interested to know the structure of the movie version. We all know that there is anupallavi and Charanam. But no idea where the missing part fit into… Viju, you can publish the version in the OMC so that all interested can know about it.
          Please listen the movie version of Priyasaghi Gange with its counter part. It is same as you observed in Vasanthathin Makalallo from Vivahita, In the case of these two songs its better to say total variation rather than editing. Am i right?


          1. Dear Sajith
            If you feel so will surely publish it here with a real interesting personal experiance with the song the song… Lets see if CM finds it interesting :D. I have both the versions of Priya Sakhi Gange. Yes I agree with you about Priya sakhi Gange… Have u heard the song Sundara Raavil from the movie Kochaniyathi? There is a humming in the beginning… Actually that is one of the best parts in the song… you should listen to it. It is one S Janaki’s best songs. I believe Pukazhenthi himself couldn’t believe when he heard her sing the track. He had explained the situation and the feel and finer nuances were added by our great S Janaki. This is getting very interesting… Thanks again Sajith.

      1. When Malayalam films moved from 78 r.p.m records to 45 rpm records many songs were hopelessly mutilated from the original sound track.For example, Jayettan’s song “Ashtapadiyile gayike” from the movie ‘jee vikkan marannu poya sthree” and that sweet sweet lullaby of Dasettan ” Sharada rajani deepam unarnnu” from”Panchathanthram”.It was exasperating to find many songs stopping in the midst of a sentence.Some sanity was restored when they changed to 33r.p.m records.

        1. Dear Paulose
          I do agree with your statement. But a close scrutiny will reveal that the songs in the 78 RPM era were also subject to minor editing. But, as you mentioned, the editing was severe in the case of 45 RPMs released in EP and SP. Its very interesting to note that the record of the film Chitchor in hindi was released both in 45 EP and 33 LP. The 45 version is edited and the full version of all songs are included in the 33 RPM LP

          The song Kurumozhi Mulla Poove in Ee Ganam Marakkumo is released in 33 RPM and the song is edited. They deleted the second anupallavi of the song. I also feel (not Sure) that the song Aaraattu Kadavil Annu Raavil from the film Puthiya Velicham is also edited


      2. This is one subject that had intrigued me time and again when I watch old movies, as I know many of the songs in those movies inside out. Pranasakhi (Pareeksha) – repetition of enkilum en omalaalkku, Kayaampoo kannil (Nadhi) – BGM, to name a few. And in case of Innale mayangumbol, the pallavi repeats in between.

        I remember one particular SP record of those days (early 1970). It had Ambalaparambile aaraamathile on one side and Uththaraayana kili paadi on the other side. The former is from Ningalenne Kammunistakki and the latter, Thaara. How did this happen? Songs from 2 different films on one record? I don’t know if there were any more records of that kind. Can some one explain how could this have happened? Same production house may be? Or same recording studio? Or left overs from the two movies?

        1. Dear Jagadish
          To my knowledge, Gramaphone Compony of India limited, Jessore Road, Calcutta was the only one company at that time producing the records. Initially these songs were released in 78 RPM followed by 45 and later 33 RPMs. 78 RPM records have two songs – one on one side and the second on the other side. These songs belong to one film. The 78 RPM era was overtook by the SP/EP records in 45 RPM where songs of one film is released. But occasionally, the Gramaphone Company releases selected hits which include songs from different films.
          The first Long Play records of Malayalam film discography appeared in this form. It includes Hits of S Janaki, Hits of T K PUkazhenthi, Hits of K J Yesudas, Hits of G Devarajan etc. Along with the LPs, the company also released hits songs in EP records also. Such EP records have 4 songs in total. You rightly mentioned about the two songs Ambala Parambile and Uttaraayana Kili in one record though the songs belong to two Films. The famous Alliyambal from the film ROSY was included in one such EP record released in this genre.
          Similarly, there may be films with five or three songs. In such situation, the not so hit song of such films will be brought together in one record. I remember one record having two songs of Anavaranam on one side and two songs from two different films (Pushpasaram & Samasya) on the other side of the record. There are lot many records released in this manner.


  2. still dint understand the whole thing…did these have to be edited to be pressed to fit the records??

    1. Dear Sibi
      Randomly choose a song released in the year 1970 or 1971 or 1972. Listen the version available in cassettes/audio CD. If you got a print of the film in which the song appears, just listen the movie version. There may be variations in the length of the two versions. In other words, the movie version will be much lengthier than the other. This is because, they edited the movie version of the song song just to fit into the record.


    2. Dear Viju
      Its very interesting to know that you had gone into the depth of these songs. Congrats my friend.
      This is also new to me. I request you to put this song Sundararaavil also along with Praananaadhan in the OMC. The song poonthenaruvi from the film oru penninte Katha also starts with a humming in the movie version. You remember it?


      1. Yes Sajith, Have heard it over and over again… Thanks for reminding… Actually this discussion can be never ending… 🙂 we’ll have so much to discuss… Actually looking forward to it from this thread….Keep going my dear friend… will be there all the way.. Regret having got into the discussion so late… 😦

        1. Dear Viju
          Its easy to compile the two adaptations provided you have the vinyl and movie versions. But if only one version is available and the other unknown, how can you make sure that it is edited. However, a close scrutiny of the song books reveal that the songs are edited.
          One such song is Raathri Raathri from the film Pattalam Janaki. This song was composed by G Devarajan though all other songs in this film are composed by K J Joy.( I strongly believe that this song was actually recorded for the film Penpuli but later due to reasons unknown included in Pattalam Janaki) This song can be considered as a melody having a haunting flavour. In fact, i’ve seen the film. The record version have only pallavi and Anupallavi. . But in the song book of the film, the charanam is there; means the song is edited.
          I believe that this is the same fate for Kaveri Kaveri having the same haunting music from the film Kuttichaathan composed by R K Sekhar.
          Have you noticed it?


          1. Thanks Sajith
            This is news to me. I haven’t noticed the difference. Yes what you said is true. This Raathri Raathri is included in Penpuli as per the records in MSI. I haven’t cross checked with my collection of track version songs. Will go through it and let you know. Whatever Track version I have collected, I have the vinyil version as well. But not in the vinyil format though 🙂 Do u have Kaveri Kaveri with you? I mean the track version? Don’t remember whether I have it. Its a lovely haunting melody and so is Raathri Raathri. Thanks a lot for the info Sajith.

    1. Dear Viju
      I’ve verified Kaaveri Kaaveri in the song book of Kuttichathan. This song is also edited. Raathri Raathri is included in the EP record of Penuli though the song appears in Pattalam Janaki. Kaaveri Kaaveri is a beautiful song. I dont have the movie version of this song but am in possession of the vinyl version recorded in the cassette.
      These two songs belong to the category of Haunting songs.Songs of this category have haunted and will continue to haunt the memories of discerning listeners for years to come. They are haunting in the literal sense too, all picturised in eerie and mysterious contexts. I hope somebody may go in depth to learn the commonalities and uniqueness of these songs.Who can forget songs like Potti takarnna (Bhaargavi Nilayam), Chandrodayathile (Yakshi), Kaanana Sadanathin (Chekuthante Kotta), Aatire Tiruvaatire (Prethangalud Taazhvara)… to mention a few
      Its also sad to find that the song Nizhalaayi (Kalliyangaattu Neeli), Raappadi Paadunna (Vishukkani), Vaumathi Ritumati (Gandharva Kshetram) and ottu vala edukkan (AAdyathe Katha) are edited !

      1. Dear Sajith
        Thanks for all the info. I just saw this comment. Didn’t get a notification… 😦 Yes I totally agree… these songs are sure to haunt us for years to come. They don’t make such songs anymore 😦


  3. Hi Sajith and Cinematters
    Great (in all senses of the word) project. As Cinematters says, an invaluable treasure for future generations, and who ever wants to know more about this. And also, curious on-lookers like me.


  4. hats off to you…..well researched article…the information is something new- frankly never even realised about the editing of songs

    1. Dear Narayan Radhakrishnan
      Thanks for the comments. Even the songs of Chemmen were edited. In fact, you can also suggest songs that you noticed in this subject



  5. great article by sajith bhaskar jee.. same thing happened to JAGAD GURU AADHI SANKARAN song starting SANKARA DIGVIJAYAM… the volume of the song is decreasing in the half way stage and laterr volume is increasing up again.. this was happened bcoz the song was divided equally in 2 records when its was released. same thing was happened when it was converted into audio cassette. so to get the full song we have to watch the movie (which was telecast ed only once by TVM DOORDARSAN and ASIANET) or we have to record it from paattuppetty or classics shown in asianet..

    1. Dear Gopalji
      I have the movie version of this song but dont have the other version.This information is new to me


  6. CM
    Thanks for all the efforts you initiated. All the songs are released either in SP/EP. its not LP.



  7. Dear Sajith,
    This an absolute treasure ! Thank God the practice died a natural death with the advent of new storage media that was capable of reproducing the compositions in its entirety. Come to think of it, I wonder who actually “held the scissors” before the track was sent for “pressing” as an Vinyl. Who really decided that .:) Thank you so much for this effort. I am sure this would be an invaluable archive for anyone interested in the history of Malayalam Play Back History..cinematters

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