AR Rahman: Top ten Bollywood albums

A REMARKABLE career has seen AR Rahman become the most successful music director of the modern era, delivering an eclectic array of songs that have delighted audiences globally, including his stunning Oscarwinning soundtrack for Slumdog Millionaire.

This week the musical maestro will be celebrating his 51st birthday. To mark him turning a year older, Eastern Eye decided to create an ultimate playlist by finding his 10 best Bollywood soundtracks…

Roja (1992): Although the stunning musical debut was originally recorded in Tamil, it was also released in Hindi. This not only turned the musician into an overnight star, but also started his incredible partnership with director Mani Ratnam that has continued until today.

Bombay (1995): The now legendary soundtrack introduced AR Rahman to audiences around the world. Like Roja, this too was recorded in Tamil and then a Hindi version was released. The blockbuster songs helped turn the powerful film into a hit and perhaps features the greatest instrumental in Indian cinematic history.

Rangeela (1995): The first full-blown Hindi soundtrack from the musical maestro continued introducing his unique sound to Bollywood, and audiences fell in love with it. The songs, which capture a number of moods and emotions, included a passion-filled instrumental.

Dil Se (1998): The blockbuster soundtrack helped a movie that under-performed in India become an international smash. The songs include the now legendary Chaiyya Chaiyya, which turned singer Sukhwinder Singh into a star and inspired Andrew Lloyd Webber to create hit West End musical Bombay Dreams.

Taal (1999): The soundtrack smashed all records when it released and helped turn what was an ordinary film into a massive global success. The big musical numbers include Ishq Bina and the stunning Taal Se Taal.

Lagaan (2001): The superb songs played a large part in helping the Oscar nominated historical become a huge success. The multi-award winning soundtrack was ranked as one of the greatest world music albums of all-time and many of the songs became anthems.

Saathiya (2002): A remake of Tamil film Alaipayuthey had an award-winning collection of songs that had the unique signature of Rahman. The mostly romantic tracks effortlessly glide through different moods and emotions. The best-selling soundtrack helped turn the movie into a cult classic.

Rang De Basanti (2006): The award-winning soundtrack has an impressive variety of songs that range from the haunting Ik Onkar to the powerful title track. He assembled impressive singers for mostly passion-filled songs.

Guru (2007): The musician always creates magic with his mentor Mani Ratnam and did that again with these amazing songs. The marvellous numbers include incredible rain song Barso Re, sexy item number Mayya and the romantic Tere Bina.

Jodhaa Akbar (2008): The musical genius showed a lot of artistry in this soundtrack. Everything from the background score to the superb songs bordered on perfection. The tracks include Sufi-inspired Khwaja Mere Khwaja, which the deeply spiritual maestro sang himself.