T. Rajendar is a crazy genius. He is like that mad creative crazy scientist you see in funny science fiction movies who just wants to play with everything. There was a time when people were crazy for his movies. He was the darling of college students from early 80s and his love stories were huge hits among his target audience. In fact, most of the movies even followed a pattern and eventually, they ended in tragedy.
In the modern world of social media, he has become an icon of funny memes that mock him to unimaginable levels and his off screen antics doesn’t help. If the current generation watches his movies, I can’t even imagine the mocking that might ensue. But, in a way, the current generation is prejudiced about his movies and music. This post is to bring back the golden music from his movies that created a place for him when Ilaiyaraaja was ruling the movie world.
1. Vaasam Illa Malarithu (Oru Thalai Raagam)
Oru Thalai Ragam was the debut of T Rajendar and the movie is still in dispute on who directed it. But to be honest, one man who made it big from the list of debuts in the movie had been TR. This song became an anthem in the early 80s for young men who want to subtly express their love towards a lady. And of course, like most other songs of TR, himself wrote this one. The whole album was a runaway hit with En Kadhai Mudiyum, Ithu Kuzhandhai Paadum and Kadavul Vaazhum taking the honours along with this song
If you want to read more about the movie, you can read it on my 50 Tamil movies to watch before you die list – this movie was one of them
2. Nenjam Paadum Puthiya Raagam (Nenjil Oru Raagam)
How about a crazy techno fusion? Listen to the interludes of this song, he is bound to make you go mad and of course, SPB is just wow in this song.
3. Vasantham Paadi Vara (Rayil Payangalil)
This one is should be in your staple unrequited love songs list. It’s lilting melody that will make your heart swing. The whole album should make it to the unrequited love songs list as the movie is all about that – Amaidhikku Peyarthan Shanthi, Vasantha Kalangal and Noolumillai are the other hits from the movie.
S Janaki version
4. Cut adippom Cut adippom Collegekku (Uyirullavarai Usha)
The precursor of college based teasing kuthu songs..
I can’t go without mentioning “Vaigai Karai Kaatre Nillu” from this movie. An amazing folksy composition that oozes sadness. And oh yeah, the title for the movie was intentional to show his love towards his wife Usha.
5. Sollamathane En Manasu Thudikkuthu (Oru Thayin Sabatham)
T Rajender has this knack of missing folksy tunes with techno percussions. It doesn’t follow any rules and that’s why I call him the mad scientist. This is one interesting experiment and please don’t watch the over the top picturisation.
6. I am a little star (Samsara Sangeetham)
Simbu indeed had a lot of little kids as fans and there were movies made by his father just to portray him in pivotal roles. A complete hero based song for his son could be the heights of audacity but it did happen. The song is filled with predictions of how Simbu would become in the future and advice for kids/adults (I am not kidding). Nevertheless, the tune is extremely catchy and S Janaki rendered the song.
7. Endhan Paadalgalil Nee Neelambari (Uravai Kaatha Kili)
This song usually ends up in Ilaiyaraaja’s playlist and that itself makes it imperative in TR’s list.
8. Moongilile Paatisaikkum (Raagam Thedum Pallavi)
An excellent melody will sink your heart and is peppered with some amazing lyrics.
9. Oru ponmanai (Mythili Ennai Kadhali)
This semi-classical brilliance is not a song that you can expect from T Rajender but he delivers with aplomb. And of course, SPB makes it sound so easy but this composition is beyond comprehension when it comes to nitty-gritties.
10. En aasai mythiliye (Mythili Ennai Kadhali)
And the final one for yours truly. Mythili Ennai Kadhali was the first movie that I saw and remember. And it seems, I used to sing this song all the time and there are audio cassette recordings of me singing this song. So, one for me ☺
His musical prowess cannot be explained in 10 songs but this is a sample of a crazy genius. He needs to be seen without the prejudice you have in mind. And, he wrote all these songs and some of the lyrics will literally blow your mind.