Remixed & Ruined: The new avatars of old hit songs are not music to our ears!


Old wines are best not tampered with. You don’t force-add fizzy bubbles to a vintage favourite and expect it to transform into a fresh and frothy champagne. The end result is invariably like cheap cola!

Time and again, Bollywood filmmakers have taken the easy way out, remixing old hits for current film scenarios… to invariably disastrous results! The early 2000s had seen the trend emerge and now it sees a revival again. From Kaabil to Raees, and OK Jaanu to Badrinath Ki Dulhania, practically every film these days includes remixes of old hit film melodies.

Mostly they have been ‘modernised’ with fresh beats and even (shudder!) rap. In today’s scenario, no evergreen hit song is safe from the clutches of music directors out to revamp, rehash, remix… and successfully spoil a song for us forever!

Recommended Read: Sorry Jacqueline, Madhuri’s ‘Ek do teen’ had started the Best Choreography Award!

Driving the point home is the latest ‘Ek do teen…’ Leave alone the terrible backlash that actress Jacqueline Fernandez and choreographer Ganesh Acharya received for its depiction onscreen, the track itself was not a patch on the Tezaab original. With music recreated by Sandeep Shirodkar and rapping by Parry G, even the vocals by Shreya Ghoshal failed to make an impression. The copy pales badly in comparison to the original rendered by Alka Yagnik and composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal.

Tanishk Bagchi’s update of ‘Tu cheez badi hai mast mast…’ , that club anthem from Mohra, was found sadly lacking in the energy of the original. The song was reworked for Machine, starring Mustafa and Kiara Advani, and it sank just like the film did. Other than the trademark refrain, the number had a completely new feel to it – and not in a good way. Rendered by Udit Narayan and Neha Kakkar, there was really nothing ‘mast mast’ to rave about here.

‘Laila main Laila…’ from Eighties’ hit film Qurbani was refurbished for Shah Rukh Khan’s Raees. The music was recreated by Ram Sampath while some additional lyrics for the song were penned by Javed Akhtar, no less. Yet the song, rendered onscreen by the sizzling Sunny Leone, lacked the sultry punch of the original, composed by Kalyanji–Anandji, and sung by Amit Kumar and Kanchan.

Tamma tamma again…’ (Badrinath Ki Dulhania), Tanishk Bagchi’s recreation of Bappi Lahiri’s ‘Tamma tamma loge…’ from Thandedaar (1990) was rendered irritating by the mandatory addition of rap verses by Baadshah. Composers apparently know no other way of updating a song these days.

Was it sheer laziness that compelled the producers of Judwaa 2, featuring Varun Dhawan, Taapsee Pannu and Jacqueline Fernandez, to reuse the same tunes from the original Judwaa? Both ‘Oonchi hai building 2.0…’ and ‘Chalti hai kya 9 se 12...’ were pinched from the original 1997 Salman-starrer.

When the makers of Ok Jaanu rehashed that A R Rahman smash hit ‘Humma Humma…’ they didn’t do anyone any service. Did this gorgeous song from the film Bombay which released in 1995, deserve the lame remixing and the random rapping from Baadshah? And to think the legendary Rahman did this damage himself!

Those of us accustomed to hearing the sonorous tones of Kumar Sanu crooning ‘Dheere dheere se…’ from Aashiqui took a while to adjust to the remixed version with vocals by Honey Singh. And after giving it a decent chance and even trying to focus on Hrithik Roshan and Sonam Kapoor prettifying the accompanying video, most of us still swiftly reached for the stop button. Sorry Yo Yo, that was a no-no.

The less said about the ghastly butchering of the iconic ‘Dum maaro dum…’, the better. The original from the 1971 hit, Hare Rama Hare Krishna was refurbished for the crime thriller Dum Maaro Dum (2011). Sung by Anushka Manchanda to music set by Pritam and lyrics composed by Jaideep Sahni, this Deepika Padukone number made waves for all the wrong reasons! The lyrics included such gems as “Unche se uncha banda, potty pe baithe nanga. Phir kaahe ki society, saali kaahe ka paakhanda…” Hare Rama, Hare Rama, we needed to rinse out our ears after that one!

‘Aaj phir tum pe pyaar aaya hai…’ (Dayavan), ‘Tumhe apna banane ki kasam…’ (Sadak), ‘Har kisi ko nahi milta…’ (Janbaaz), ‘Pal pal dil ke paas…’ (Blackmail), 'Khaike Paan Banaras Wala...' (Don),Aise na mujhe tum dekho…’ (Darling Darling), ‘Maahi ve…’ (Kaante)… apparently no even half-way good song can be left alone and untouched. And we’re not even counting the endless numbers of Punjabi songs including ‘Rock the party…’, ‘Saturday Saturday’, ‘Main tenu samjhawan ki…’ and ‘Kala chashma…’ that have been rehashed but not necessarily improved.

One can even understand the ‘copy rather than create’ philosophy that is the hallmark of our hurried times. So, can we at least stop adding our two-bit of ‘creativity’ and tamper as little as possible with the original? It’s the least we can do to give these original compositions the respect they deserve.