The music is heavier than Main Hoon Na which was very young and rock roll, this one Farah thinks is more filmi in terms of orchestration, its more earthy, with its live drums and a lot of Indian instruments. She had initially got in A.R. Rahman and they did make some music together before the track hit a bottleneck. Rahman wanted a share of the music rights pie along with the producer and this didn't go down very well with Farah and Shah Rukh Khan. The baton was thus passed on to Vishal-Shekhar. Gut feeling is what Farah went by while listening to her music directors. She admits to not being trained in music which is why the gut becomes so critical. “I always feel my first reaction is the right one; for music especially, either I like it or I don't. I don't take three days to like a song; I need to like it in 3 seconds. Either I get goose bumps in the beginning or I say don't waste my time give it to some other director,” laughs Farah. …….. (Page 125)She thinks that for the music composer duo, this proposition got them to do a very different kind of music, “They have never done such commercial earthy music in such a big scale. Jhankar beats had good melodies in it but it was small. This one they have expanded their horizon, they wanted to go to Prague to do a song, we said go. They wanted Pyarelal to arrange it for them, I said go get him. We weren't paying them much, so we said go and spend the money on the damn music,” laughs Farah…….. (Page 125)
The premiere song- Ajab si
Javed Akhtar takes a flight to the U.S and vanishes. Farah is desperate; she needs a song so Vishal takes over the pen and does a great job of it. The brief was to put in words the emotion of a fan, what he would feel if he would come face to face with his idol. The song wafts over the screen when Om sees Shanti for the first time, the movie premiere event.
It's the first song on the album with a very pure vocal melody, very very spare, very simple orchestration. It's based around an acoustic guitar, a tabla, just one really tight drum loop. The way its shot it's almost thought rather than sung. “It's new for us to do that because we are used to making a lot of noise,” grins Vishal. …….. (Page 126)
The Condom man number-Dhoom Tana
The Condom Man number-Dhoom Tana. This is a major number. Huge. Colossal. Lyrics are completely 70's. The music, the dance and even the song sequences are from 70's movies. The idea is to show the various successes of Shantipriya, for in the story she is the top heroine of that age. Vishal Shehkar were reeling; the song has about 85 drummers- Dholak, Tablas, Dhol, and Bongos, Congas-the works, 45 string sections, 32 piece chorus, close to 180 musicians; this was quite a task-a colossal song which defined the 70's. “We didn't know how to manage so many musicians, if you give us 200 musicians, it would be chaos. We do all music in layers, 12 at a time, 5 at a time.” Beating their heads in percussion, they think how Laxmikant Pyarelal would have done something like this. A beat later they realize Pyare saab is still around.
They go to him nervously; it was like asking Picasso to teach you how to paint. The legend agrees; he likes the song! He would need three to four days of rehearsal and three to four days recording time. The kids are asked to come to the house the next day for the rehearsal. They are taken aback. Generation gap! Did rehearsals used to happen? The next day at Pyarelalji's house they find 50 people in the hall with Dhols, Tablas, Sitar, Guitar rehearsing the song from beginning to end, with Pyare Saab on the piano. It blew their mind. “We thought we would go to a recording process next but no, we went to the recording studio and did a whole day's rehearsal. It was like going back to the 70's and recording a song, it was a full learning process…….. (Page 128)
Pyarelalji is however upset that he wasn't called for the mixing. “I leave a lot to the end and change and add new things in mixing. They also forgot my name on the album cover but at the end of the day it doesn't matter for when people hear the song they'll know its Laxmikant Pyarelal, kyonki beta jab biriyani pakate ho to ghosh dalna nahi bhulte,” he laughs. He was though quite touched by the fact that Shah Rukh had come personally to thank him for the song and Vishal Shekhar had also apologized for the same… (Page 129)
Dard E Disco - The six pack ab item number
Farah knew exactly what she wanted - a really inane item song. She already has the title in mind. Years ago, Gulshan Kumar of T-series, in a monologue on what sells in music, had told her that in India, only two types of songs do well-dard bhare gane and Disco. Farah adds her own genius to it. Why not a dard bhara disco song? And so the genesis of Dard E Disco. With a Main Hoon Na experience, Javed Akhtar must have got used to Farah's whimsy. So he must not have been too badly shaken when told, that listen, it's a terribly inane song but you have to write it very seriously. Like Gulzar Saab. Think Gulzar and write. And nobody should really understand what is happening and it should sound nice. Use spoofy rhymes like rhyme disco not with jisko but say San Francisco. Akhtar comes through and the number is exactly as its title, really corny. With lyrics under the belt, it was time to wake up Vishal Shekhar who snap it up. They love the lyrics……. (Page 134)
To top off the zaniness, Farah thinks of Shah Rukh to be the item boy. He is a superstar of the 21st century and these are the times when every superstar is removing his shirt with a physique to die for. This was a must do for the character played by Shah Rukh Khan, is how she justifies it though. She doesn't want an item girl, didn't want a run of the mill dance number, Shakira couldn't make it, so Shah Rukh is in. The man agrees but he refuses to take off his shirt till he gets the six pack ab look. Now every week Farah strips Shah Rukh to does an ab check…… (Page 135)