Of late, I have been following a Google group called rec.music.indian.misc (popularly referred to as RMIM). Although the platform is dated, it is a very good forum for Indian (specially Hindi film) music lovers. I think it should move to Facebook, but that’s not the reason I write this post.
The reason for this post is an exchange in this group in which one of the members says
“….rare songs are rare by no accident. They were definitely not worth listening else they would not be rare and would have seen light of the day”.
I vehemently disagree with this person. Songs can become rare because of a number of reasons – a) they appeal to a small population of music lovers, b) they are not played a lot on radio, TV, etc. c) they are not stocked in stores, d) there were not packaged and marketed well at the time of release and therefore did not make it to a “hit” list, e) there are no means of easily discovering them (and this by the way, is one of the problems we, at Mavrix, are trying to solve).
1) Why did Saagar Kinare (Saagar) become a hit and got Kishore Kumar a Filmfare Award while Humein Raaston Ki Zaroorat Nahin (Naram Garam), which was released 4 years earlier, got relegated to obscurity despite the two songs’ almost identical mukhda?
2) In an interview with Rajeev Masand (starting at 4:54), Asha talks about the most-requested songs in her concerts. Apparently, these four songs even come to haut her in her dreams. She then goes on to list her favorite songs. One of them is a song that’s not heard much – Chain Se Humko Kabhi (Pran Jaaye Par Vachan Na Jaaye). Why are the four most-requested songs more popular than Asha’s own favorite song?
Here’s what I believe:
- Popular songs are not necessarily the best songs. Conversely, “rare” songs (i.e. song that are not heard a lot) are not necessarily bad.
- A good song does not automatically become popular
- It is unlikely that a bad song will become popular