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Telly melodies

TV shows learn the hardsell from Bollywood by launching their own soundtrack, writes Princy Jain.

india Updated: Jul 11, 2006 15:21 IST

Remember Ally McBeal’s famous track For once in my life, featuring Vonda Shepard? Or I’ll be there for you, the theme song of Friends performed by The Rembrandts? Well, trans-Atlantic TV serials are known to have their own soundtracks. But closer home, though one of the earliest Indian TV shows to have its own soundtrack was Amanat (Zee TV) in the early 90s, it’s only now that the trend is catching up big time.

The new tele-shows with soundtracks include Left Right Left (Sab TV) and Prithviraj Chauhan (Star Plus). Remix (Star One) too has its own music, an album containing the popular tracks of the serial which was released last year, was composed by Bappi Lahiri and Pritam and sung by the band Aasma. Even Sony had launched an album containing the title track of its popular soap, Jassi Jaissi Koi Nahiin.

In big league

What’s noteworthy is that it’s mainstream singers and composers who are now working on the music of TV serials.

For instance, the title track of Left Right Left, has been composed by Vishal & Shekhar (who hit big time with Dus and Bluffmaster), and has been sung by Kunal Ganjawala. Similarly, the lyrics for the songs of the period show Prithviraj Chauhan, have been penned by Ravindra Jain and the seven songs in the album have been sung by Shreya Ghoshal, Babul Supriyo and Udit Narayan. Even Sahara One has created an anthem for its channel, featuring protagonists from all its prime shows. Titled Naya Rang, the composition is choreographed by Feroz Khan and sung by Shreya Ghoshal.

Wonder act

No doubt, there’s big money involved even in TV music these days, but does it really help? Priya Jain of Sab TV says, “The peppy music of Left... helped popularise the show, making the target audience look forward to its telecast.”

She claims that this song “has done the same for the show what Right here right now did for Bluffmaster.” Ajay Vidyasagar of Star India, on the other hand, feels, “it’s more about extending the show’s brand value. Soundtrack of Nach Baliye and Remix helped both the shows and we hope the same for Prithviraj Chauhan.”

Cost effective

The marketing strategy involves playing these songs in public places -- the promotional song of Left... was played in cinema halls, while the soundtrack of Prithviraj... was all over the radio. Sums up Kunal, “TV is almost like a family member.

India being a nation of music lovers, these songs and albums are bound to be noticed. And they also make the shows popular.” But unlike flop movies, which succeed in leaving a mark through good music, a TV show has to survive on its own, with or without a rocking soundtrack.