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Will the real Rockstar please stand up?


Hollywood or Bollywood? Mark Wahlberg or Ranbir Kapoor? Rock or Rehman? Cast your votes and opinions now!

The increasing amount of hype being created within the Indian audience in the wake of Imtiaz Ali’s ‘Rockstar’ is becoming only slightly annoying. Walk past any college campus and you will inevitably come across some local cool dudes, sporting unkempt facial hair, fake Aviator sunglasses, arm bands (no, not the fake Live Strong ones, those are passé), blasting out ‘Sadda Haq’ ring-tones on their cell phones… the list of clichés could go on, but to preserve the sanctity of Rock, I cannot.


Pictured: Sanctity of Rock

I don’t have anything against A.R. Rehman’s take on ‘Rock’ – why, it is as subjective a genre as any other – but my annoyance stems mostly from the blasphemously blind bandwagon jumping manifested by the Indian audience. Throw in distortion and handful of power chords, and even the most blasé bhangra-esque beats will suddenly become hip. Today, it wouldn’t be uncommon to hear someone say – “Ranbir Kapoor looks like such a badass in Rockstar.” Weilding a Gibson SG (regardless of him knowing how to even tune it) why wouldn’t he? After all, that guitar has become iconic only because such real musicians as Eric Clapton, Pete Townshend, Keith Richards and Angus Young, among others, have played with it.

It is slightly overwhelming to see the overnight craze surrounding the release of this movie, especially considering how a decade ago, a Hollywood production of the same name was a commercial let down. What’s disappointing is, the plot of the Mark Wahlberg starrer was actually based on the real-life rags-to-riches-and-back story of Tim ‘The Ripper’ Owens’ brief stint with British Heavy Metal gods, Judas Priest. The 2001 ‘Rockstar’ film also featured actual musicians, who composed and played music for the soundtrack, yet today, this remains largely unknown. Here’s a taster

[youtube_video id=Ri0ErAhgz8k]

Now tell me if that doesn’t get your blood flowing. Jeff Pilson’s thumping basslines, Zack Wylde’s spiral soloing on lead guitar and Jason Bonham’s drumming, along with Jeff Scott Soto’s singing is sure to give you the much-needed fix of adrenaline. Now compare this to the aforementioned “Sadda Haq.”

[youtube_video id=BaSlM1pZl30]

Still not convinced? Hopefully that will bestow your faith in good ol’ Rock N’ Roll.

[youtube_video id=jQ94BTIfMxM]

Ok, this may seem biased or unfair, so lets give Rehman’s Rockstar another chance. This time, something a little softer and accessible.

[youtube_video id=sbDy_elJxGs]

Competition? A ballad, featuring Steel Heart’s Milijenko Matijevic on vocals this time.

[youtube_video id=N1TOC3X7ASE]

How does Bollywood respond? By incorporating Mohit Chauhan on vox and some synthetic dance-happy beats.

[youtube_video id=MgH9nAadlwc] 


So who’s the winner? You know my opinion is already biased. As much as I like A. R. Rehman’s older music, I would be lying if I said I liked his latest composition as well. But what about you guys? Who do you think is better? Lets keep score. Please feel free to vote and comment, supporting your votes.

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