Old Bollywood songs are coming back in a new avatar!

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What is common to Kaabil, Raees, OK Jaanu and Badrinath Ki Dulhania? All these films, which are recent and forthcoming releases, feature song sequences remade from superhit numbers from the ’80s and ’90s.

Song remakes are the flavour of the season. Joining the league of Haseeno Ka Deewana (from Yaarana, 1981), Laila Mein Laila (from Qurbani, 1980), Humma Humma (from Bombay, 1995), and Tamma Tamma (from Thanedaar, 1990) is the megahit number Tu Cheez Badi Hai Mast Mast (from Mohra, 1994), to be recreated for the next thriller, titled Machine, from director duo Abbas-Mustan. Also, filmmaker David Dhawan is bringing back two tracks, Oonchi Hai Building and Tan Tana Tan, from Judwaa (1997) for the sequel to that comedy.

Composer Tanishk Bagchi, who has revived Humma Humma and Tamma Tamma, feels that the trend is here to stay. “If there’s a requirement for such a song in the film, then why not do it? But it should be done with good intentions,” he says. “Whenever I work on such a track, I always use new sounds and groove. For Tamma Tamma, I used some rap by Badshah.”

For Bagchi, both the songs were a tribute to the original music directors; Humma Humma was his tribute to AR Rahman, and Tamma Tamma was dedicated to Bappi Lahiri. “I was overwhelmed when both of them liked my recreated versions. While AR Rahman tweeted about it, Bappi Lahiri called me to congratulate me,” says Bagchi with clear delight.

Every announcement of a new remake version generates a lot of interest among film buffs — it follows that all these remade songs are chart-toppers. Filmmaker Sanjay Gupta shares that Haseeno Ka Deewana did much better than the other tracks in Kaabil. “We were happy with the way the young generation lapped up to the remade version,” says Gupta. “[Song remake] has been happening in the west. I feel we have a whole new generation that isn’t aware of these wonderful old numbers. So why not give them a repackaged version? They’re loving it. Also such songs have a longer shelf life.”

While Bagchi has a list of old songs that he can recreate, Gupta plans to use a few more as well, depending on the script.

Lyricist Amitabh Bhattacharya is wary of the remake trend. “These songs are popular, so they’re generating business. But personally, I don’t like this approach. I’d rather have a fresh track,” says the National Award-winner.

Singer-songwriter Sona Mohapatra is also not a supporter of the trend. “The truth is, creating original music is always more interesting,” she says. “I guess the industry is operating on the fear of not being successful in terms of business. I think every generation should have its own soundtrack to cherish. If this remake thing continues, then that may not be possible.” That doesn’t mean Mohapatra won’t ever sing a remade old song; she says that she will, if she gets to reinvent it.