In my opinion Ilayaraja is the best music director India has ever produced. Some of the songs he had composed are so melodious that you dont get tired even after listening to them a million times. Some people might argue that Rahman is the best of the lot. I am a big admirer of Rahman's work as well. But I dont find the same longevity and melody in Rahmans compositions as I find in Ilayaraja's work. I listened to most of Raja's songs composed for Telugu film industry and a few composed for Bollywood. But this might be only a minor share of his work, since a majority of his work was in tamil, a language that I do not understand. Thanks to my friends of tamil origin, especially Venkat, I have had the oppurtunity to listen to some of Raja's great hits and I have been all admiration and awe for his music. I wish I could understand Tamil, as I am told, the lyrics of some of the songs make them much more beautiful. A few songs of Raja, I greatly adore
1) Aei Zindagi gale laga le from SADMA : The highlight of this song is that many number of instruments are used to compose it and never do you feel the transition of their effect on your ears. The instrument usage is very coherent and the lyrics of this song is simply out of this world.
2) Kanne kalaimane from MoonramPirai: This movie is the Tamil version of Sadma. Melody oozes from every node of the music and add to it the voice of Jesudas...this song is a cracker. And this song is picturised on possibly the best Indian actor and actress in last two decades, Kamal Hassan and Sridevi.
..... to be continued