S Janaki, an HMV best-seller LP and Devarajan’s ire.

S Janaki  Courtesy The Hindu[ This came originally as a detailed response from Sajith Bhaskaran to a post here on S Janaki, and knowing the amount of information he manages to pack to each response, strongly warranted a “place” of its own, and hence this post. S Jankai, P Madhuri and G Devarajan have always been an intersting trio for any Malayalam music buffs who care about Malayalam Film Playback history, for the musical creativity and output between them and a certain degree of intrigue that surrounded the great music director’s choices in vocals over some of the best-loved gems from Malayalam films of yore. Over to Sajith]

This is a note on the post of yours on the songs of S Janaki. Your selection of songs traverses through the path of Malayalam film music right from the sixties to the nineties.

In fact, HMV, in the late sixties released an album of selected songs of S Janaki and a few songs in that list are also found among your favourites.

The S Janaki Malayalam Hits Compilation LP brought out by HMV

The Playlist of the LP Compilation was as follows :

1. Keshaadi Paadam Tozhunne
Film : Pakal Kinaavu
Lyrics : P Bhaskaran
Music : B A Chidambaranath

2. Gopura Mukalil Vaasantha Chandran
Film : Vithukal
Lyrics : P Bhaskaran
Music : T K Pukazhenthy

3. Kannil Kannil Nokki Irunnal
Film : Danger Biscuit
Lyrics : Sreekumaran Thampi
Music : V Dakshinamoorthi

4. Taliritta Kinakkal
Film : Moodupadam
Lyrics : P Bhaskaran
Music : M S Baburaj

5. Oru Kochu Swapnathin
Film : Tharavaattamma
Lyrics : P Bhaskaran
Music : M S Baburaj

6. Vaasantha Panchami Naalil
Film : Bhaargavi Nilayam
Lyrics : P Bhaskaran
Music : M S Baburaj

7. Unarunaru Unni Poove
Film : Ammaye Kaanaan
Lyrics : P Bhaskaran
Music : K Raghavan

8. Unaru Vegam Nee Suma raani
Film : Moodal Manju
Lyrics : P Bhaskaran
Music : Usha Khanna

9. Aathira Kulirulla Raavilinnoru
Film : Madhuvidhu
Lyrics : ONV
Music : M B Sreenivaasan

10. Chirikkumbol Koode Chirikkan
Film : Kadal
Lyrics : Sreekumaran Thampi
Music : M B Sreenivaasan

11. Anjana Kannezhuthi
Film : Thacholi Othenan
Lyrics : P Bhaskaran
Music : M S Baburaj

12. Kanmaniye Kanmaniye
Film : Kaarthika
Lyrics : Yusufali Kecheri
Music : M S Baburaj

This record was very popular at that time and these songs subsequently appeared in the cassettes titled Hits of S Janaki in the 70s. It is very curious to note that even a single song composed by G Devarajan appeared in this list ?

What had always piqued my curiosity was why Devarajan chose P Susheela and P Madhuri for most of his songs. However, M S Baburaj was the musician who composed most of the so-called “ever-lasting classics” for S Janaki.

Five songs in the above list were composed by M S Baburaj, two by M B Sreenivasan and one each from K Raghavan, V Dakshinamoorthy, B A Chidambaranath, T K Pukazhenthy and Usha Khanna. The selection of the above songs also missed at least one song from A T Ummer and R K Sekhar who too had composed a part  of her popular hits repertoire.

In the nineties, Compact Discs appeared and in the year 1998 HMV released its first disc of S Janaki Hits (Digitally re-mastered in .wav format with 21 songs).

The price of the CD was Rs. 275 !  To the existing LP list of songs, HMV added 9 more tracks, as follows :

[ Please click on the song title to listen to the tracks ]

Song Title Film Lyrics Music
Vaidoorya Ratna Maala Pullimaan Sreekumaran Thampi M S Baburaj
 Velichame Nayichaalum Vidyartikale Ithile Ithile ¹ Vayalar M B Sreenivaasan
Nalanda Takshashila ² Vidyartikale Ithile Ithile Vayalar M B Sreenivaasan
 Veenakambi Takarnaalende Ummachoo P Bhaskaran K Raghavan
Anthivilakku Periyar P J Antony Job
Udukku Kotti Paadum Kaatte  Kandavarundo Sreekumaran Thampi R K Sekhar
Tulavarshameghangal Anweshanam Sreekumaran Thampi M K Arjunan
Maanasa teerathe Detective 909 Keralathil P Bhaskaran M K Arjunan
Kaarvarnna ³ Preethi Dr. Pavithran A T Ummer

1. A very interesting film directed by John Abraham. Students of a school while playing football break the statue of the founder of the school. The film unfolds the efforts of the teachers and students to collect funds for installing a new statue in its place. They succeed in their efforts and the new statue is installed. The film ends with another bunch of students playing football and again breaking the new statue.

2. This song has a another version set in a different tune and different BGM sung by yesudas – A rare phenomenon of a same song having different tunes

3. In the CD version, the songs of A T Ummer and R K Sekhar appeared.

M S Baburaj was so fond of the voice of S Janaki like Madanmohan or Salil Chowdhury addicted to Lata Mangeshkar. S Janaki was the favourite of M B Sreenivasan, V Dakshinamoorthy, A T Ummer, K Raghavan, T K Pukazhenthy and R K Sekhar. Still I feel that all music directors composed for S Janaki and they all are very good songs. It was just that some lavishly adored her vocal prowess with their compositions, but others were  a little bit choosy, in their own professional ways.

As usual, would love to know your thoughts on this. Do write in.


6 thoughts on “S Janaki, an HMV best-seller LP and Devarajan’s ire.

  1. i think you are being biased.. how can you claim MSB alone composed malayalam Classics.
    Most of Devarajan-vayalar -PS songs are called classics as well .. be it rajashilpi , sravana chandrika, etc ..

    1. Dear Raj
      This is an article on the LP record S JANAKI HITS released by HMV in the 70s and the Compact Disc of S Janaki released in the mid nineties by the same company. Since the theme was S Janaki and the selection was made by HMV, i was wondering why Devarajan songs of S Janaki was not included. Let me also put forward that some of the best songs of S Janaki was composed by M S Baburaj

      Secondly, i fully agree with you that the rich melodious era of Malayalam Cinema was moulded by Vayalar, Devarajan, P Bhaskaran, Baburaj, Sreekumaran thampi, V Dakshinamoorthy, K Raghavan, K J Yesudas, P Susheela, S Janaki, R K Sekhar, P B Sreenivas, Kamukara Purushottaman etc. As you pointed out, the trio – Vayalar, Devarajan, P Susheela – created such great songs and it will be difficult to select a handsome from the list. Thanks for your comment


      B Sajith

      1. What you said now is correct but in the original article you did mention that only baburaj composed classics. That’s the reason for my reply… SJ’s voice is of hindustani type whereas PS’s is so much sweet and richness and clarity and hence GD chose her while MSB chose SJ. but PS’s songs in MSB’s music were good as well like Anarkali and many more.

        Those were the days full of good music

        1. Dear Rajesh
          Thanks for your observations. Sorry that i could not promptly respond. As you said, Susheela sang some good songs associating with M S Baburaj. Gangayaar Ozhukunna Naattil (Film Kaattu Tulasi) is one such example. What i am trying to say is that if you choose ten songs of S Janaki, the majority will be those composed by M S Baburaj

          B Sajith

  2. Dear CM
    Its surprising to see an old note i sent to you, maybe an year back, now presented in a very delightful manner. Thanks.
    However, let me point out a minor error, maybe my mistake when i sent the note to you. The song tulavarshameghangal from the film Anweshanam was composed by M K Arjunan and not by R K Sekhar. Right?

    B Sajith

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