Ilaiyaraaja's glorious run in Telugu cinema
Ilayaraja Birthday: ‘Isai Gnani’ Ilaiyaraja turns 77 today. Quite simply, he is an unmatched legend
Ilayaraja Birthday: 'Isai Gnani' Ilaiyaraja turns 77 today. Quite simply, he is an unmatched legend. His work spans across Indian cinema, predominantly in Tamil, where he was introduced 44 years ago. Telugu cinema too embraced his amazing talent and in turn, has been enriched by many landmark films in which he scored evergreen hits. A few of his highlights are listed below:
• Director C V Sridhar introduced Ilaiyaraja in Telugu for the first time in an original Telugu film – Vayasu Pilichindi, released in 1978. One of the songs from this super hit film (starring Kamal Haasan and Rajinikanth with Sripriya and Jayachitra as the female cast) still reverberates across Telugu states – Mabbe Masakesindi le….
• 'Yugandhar' (1979) starring N T Rama Rao, the remake of Bachchan blockbuster ' Don' was the only film in which Ilaiyaraja scored music for the thespian.
• His first collaboration with Chiranjeevi was in the film ' Abhilasha' released in 1983. Directed by A Kodandarami Reddy, it was a blockbuster. Other notable films with the megastar were 'Challenge'(1984), 'Jwala' (1985), ' Rakshasudu' (1986), 'Kirathakudu' (1986), 'Aradhana' (1987), 'Marana Mrudangam' (1988),'Rudraveena' (1988), 'Rudranetra' (1989), ' Jagadega Veerudu Athiloka Sundari ( 1990), ' Kondaveeti Donga (1990), 'Stuartpuram Police Station' (1991)
• His association with ANR and Nagarjuna was in 1987 with the film ' Sankeertana'. Later on he scored hit music for ' Aakhari Poratam' starring Nagarjuna and Sridevi in 1988. The other hits which followed were ' Geethanjali', ' Siva' (1989),'Chaitanya' (1991), ' Nirnayam' (1991) and 'Killer' (1992).
• 'Victory' Venkatesh hit the bull's eye in the 1988 hit ' Varasuduochadu' which had musical score by Ilaiyaraja. He followed it the next year with ' Prema'. Later notable releases were ' Bobbili Raja'(1990), ' Coolie No:1' , 'Surya IPS '(1991), 'Chanti'(1992) and 'Chinnabbayi' (1996).
• Balakrishna's first film as a hero ' Sahasame Jeevitham' released in 1984 had music by Ilaiyaraja. His other films with Ilaiyaraja were ' Rakthabhishekam (1988), ' Ashoka Chakravarty' (1989), 'Aditya 369'(1991), 'Aswamedham' and ' Dharma Kshethram' (1992).
• Cinematographer Balu Mahendra's film ' Nireekshana' (1985) had its musical score by Isaignani Ilaiyaraja.
• 'Saagara Sangamam' (1983) was K Viswanath's cult classic with the Madras maestro. They collaborated in a few more films over the next few years.