After that update about an Indian (Tamil) film with all the songs ‘inspired’, here’s another film that tries its best to come really close – 6 out of 8 songs copied. The film is Mann (1999). This is even more special because, for the film’s composers, Sanjeev-Darshan (sons of Shravan Rathod of Nadeem-Shravan fame), this was the debut! One would have expected a debut to be a showcase of highly original music, but this one was quite a departure from originality. The sources of inspiration are literally from all over the world.
Song 1 – Kali Nagin Ke Jaisi
The song is a note-to-note copy. The original tune is a 1973 Algerian chaâbi genre song called ‘Ya Rayah’, by Dahmane El Harrachi, one of the most popular chaâbi artists. The song has been covered by many artists but made most popular by Algerian singer Rachid Taha, who included his version in his eponymous 2nd album in 1993.
Song 2 – Nasha Yeh Pyar Ka
This song is a note-to-note copy too. The original is an Italian song by Toto Cutugno, called ‘L’Italiano’, from 1983. This original too has been covered multiple times across the world and has, among others, a Finnish, Israeli, Brazilian, French and Vietnamese versions.
Song 3 – Tinak Tin Tana
This is the 3rd note-to-note copy from the soundtrack. The original belongs to a Malaysian/Indonesian singer named Iwan, who is credited with renewing interest in an Indonesian folk music genre called ‘Dangdut’ popular in Indonesia, Malaysia and other countries. The original song is called ‘Yang Sedang Sedang Saja’ from Iwan’s 1997 album, ‘Dangdutnya Iwan’. It is said that Iwan sued Sanjeev-Darshan for the plagiarism and won the case, winning 1 million in Malay currency.
Song 4 – Khushiyan Aur Gham
The 4th note-to-note copy of the soundtrack is ‘Khushiyan Aur Gham’. The original is again Italian, like the source of ‘Nasha Yeh Pyar Ka’, and from the 80s, again! The song is called ‘Come vorrei’, by the Italian band, ‘Ricchi e Poveri’. The song was part of the band’s 1981 album titled, ‘…E Penso A Te’. Interestingly, the starting lines of Tamil pop music star Suresh Peters’ song ‘Mughilena Mazhaiyena’ (from his 1994 album ‘Minnal’) sounds similar to the progression in ‘Come vorrei’.
Song 5: Chaha Hai Tujhko
The 5th note-to-note copy of the soundtrack. This time, Sanjeev-Darshan’s source is much closer home – down South, to the precise. The original is a Tamil song called, ‘Edho Oru Paatu’ from the 1998 film, Unnidathil Ennai Koduthen, with music by S.A.Rajkumar.
Song 6: Kehna Hai Tumse
Finally, a song that is not a note-to-note copy, but mighty substantial nevertheless. The opening 40 odd seconds of ‘Kehna Hai Tumse’ (that also contains an instrumental version of the ‘Kehna… Hai Tumse Kehna…’ hook) is straight out of the Christian rock band Jars of Clay’s 1994 song, ‘Liquid’! Surprisingly—and thankfully—the actual Hindi song’s tune (that goes, ‘Sau baar janam lein tere liye’) seems original!
It’s fascinating that a pair of debutants, sons of a well-known composer no less, decided to copy 6 out of 8 songs in their very first film. Many composers, when asked about plagiarism, are known to pass on some blame to the producers or directors of their films. Even then, to put together such an eclectic assortment of sources—Algerian chaâbi, 2 Italian songs, Indonesian Dangdut, Christian Rock and a Tamil song—is quite an achievement!