Forcing old wine in new bottle: When repackaging ruined popular songs

  • Sneha Bengani, Hindustan Times, New Delhi
  • Updated: Jun 11, 2016 16:01 IST
The trend of remaking popular old songs is not new to Bollywood. While some work, others just kill the nostalgia associated with the original. (YouTube grabs)

Remember Nachange Saari Raat, the Stereo Nation song that took millennials by storm? Yes, the one that you listened to on loop for days. It’s been repackaged for a movie called Junooniyat — starring Yami Gautam and Pulkit Samrat and scheduled for release on June 24 — adding to the long list of songs we wished no one messed with, ever.

After listening to it we have only one question in mind — WHY?

Read: Happy birthday Sunil Dutt: Iconic songs to celebrate the actor

Riding high on the popular trend, that of making Maggi 2 minute noodles, this song is a glaring example of all that is wrong with repackaging popular old songs. Though Maggi always tastes good, no matter how many times you make it, it’s not so with song-remakes.

Read: Hide yo daughters, hide yo wives: Most perverted Bollywood songs ever

While we swooned when Ranbir Kapoor cautioned all the beautiful ladies about his charm (Bachna Ae Haseeno, 2008), much like his father did about 30 years ago (Hum Kisise Kum Naheen, 1977), all of us cringed when Urmila Matondkar tried to redo Mehbooba in Ram Gopal Varma Ki Aag (2007).

Here we list 10 songs that were loved too much, so much so that they were altered, retuned and messed with beyond repair.

Nachange Saari Raat

This one tops the list for two reasons: it is the latest, also probably the worst. It is a different song altogether trying to cash in on the first two lines of the original. What hurts the most is that it could have been easily made it into a new party song but was not. It is sounds more (read exactly) like the party numbers of today than the original.

Original: Stereo Nation (2000)

Remake: Junooniyat (2016)

Oye Oye

The original song in Tridev was a rage in its time and contributed significantly to the film’s box office success. The repackaged version in Azhar is just its forgettable, soulless copy and sounds like any other song made these days.

Original: Tridev (1989)

Remake: Azhar (2016)

High Heels

Can you make a Honey Singh song any worse? Yes, you can. Ki & Ka’s High Heels Te Nachche is a case in point. Everything it does differently from the original works against it. Adding a female vocalist and the forced techno beats only kills the cool, upbeat mood of the original by Jaz Dhami.

Original: Yo Yo Honey Singh (2012)

Remake: Ki & Ka (2016)

Aye Mere Humsafar

A song that defined romance for an entire generation was brutally altered to fit in the requirements of a movie that came and went, unnoticed. Mithoon and Tulsi Kumar tired to pull off something of the sort that Udit Narayan and Alka Yagnik did in the 90s. Needless to say, they were delusional.

Original: Qayamat Se Qayamat Tak (1988)

Remake: All Is Well (2015)

Tumhe Apna Banane Ki

This remake is the perfect example of how the perception and projection of love has changed in the last 15 years. A Kumar Sanu-Anuradha Paudwal romantic number typical of the 90s was repackaged into a raunchy, sensuous and explicit love-making lounge song to suit the listeners of 2016. The song did work, but that cannot hide the fact that it lacks inspiration and originality.

Original: Sadak (1991)

Remake: Hate Story 3 (2015)

Is Kadar Pyaar Hai

The song is one of the most popular ones from Sonu Nigam’s iconic album that pretty much cemented his position in the music industry. While we loved everything about the original—the music, the feel, the lyrics, the emotions it stirs, and of course, Milind Soman; the 2015 remake is nothing more than its discounted shadow. It is exactly like most romantic remakes are these days. You can’t tell it from the others.

Original: Deewana, Sonu Nigam (1999)

Remake: Bhaag Johnny (2015)


A much-loved Punjabi song was turned into a song you could dance to at weddings. You cannot dance to every Punjabi song there is. How difficult is it to get?

Original: Dr Zeus (2003)

Remake: Chaar Din Ki Chandani (2012)

Laila Main Laila

This is how you ruin a classic forever. The good thing is, the remake is so bad, that no one really knows of it. But those who do know what time and the ability to produce a song can do to the best of things.

Original: Qurbani (1980)

Remake: Chalo Dilli (2011)

Ek Haseena Thi

Another classic song ruined at the hands of those who do not know any better. You have Himesh Reshammiya crooning and featuring in the remake. Need we say more?

Original: Karz (1980)

Remake: Karzzzz (2008)

Mehbooba Mehbooba

This one was the biggest of all blunders. It was so bad that we thought all would take a cue from it and would stop this lazy repackaging business once and for all. You do not try to recreate what Helen and RD Burman did. You cannot. Some things are sacred, can’t be touched.

Original: Sholay (1975)

Remake: Gopal Varma Ki Aag (2007)

The author tweets at @sneha_bengani.

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