Any work from Rahman is special and choosing the best is like choosing among gems...
So there will be disagreement, but below is my favorites list, in chronological order.
(Before we start, the near misses are Bombay, Earth & Meenaxi)
1) Roja – First one’s always special and boy, wasn’t it…
Best Song: Chhoti Si Asha, it all began with this, the song that catapulted Rahman into greatness and got me hooked to music forever.
2) Rangeela – Rahman’s first true foray into Hindi film music elevating it to an all new different level.
Best Song: Tanha Tanha, it will always remain special(:P) to my generation, an emotional bond of growing up days!
3) Dil Se – Rated by many as maestro’s best work.
Best Song: E Ajnabi, it's simple, beautiful lyrics & music, Udit Naryanan’s rendition of voice takes the song to higher altitudes.
Haunting, 'once in a lifetime' stuff.
4) Taal – It so nearly dethroned ‘Dil Se’ from Rahman’s best work. Well...
Best Song: Nahin Saamne, Hariharan at his best, a song that will touch your soul every time you listen. Ethereal.
5) Takshak – All Rahman albums take time to get addicted, but this one takes the longest and then gets you hooked completely.
The album and each song’s so very different and my favorite here changes every time I listen :-)
6) Lagaan – A timeless classic.
Best Song: O Paalanhare, “A great album is like a bhajan" Rahman had said once and here's a beautiful Krishna bhajan which's a musical masterpiece.
7) Saathiya - Mostly South Indian tunes, rich & enthralling.
Best Song: Saathiya, Gulzar’s lyrics are a breath of fresh air and syrupy sweet vocals of Sonu Nigam do wonders.
8) Swades – An album that’s earthy, pure and has an inexplicable special charm about it.
Best Song: Ye Jo Des Hai Tera, Rahman's best as singer, even long after you have switched off the music, the song keeps playing inside your heart.
9) Rang De Basanti – Considering the range & variety this has to be the most complete Rahman album.
Best Song: Roobaroo, OMG it beat the ‘Luka Chuppi’, can you believe it!
10) Slumdog Millionaire – WOW.
Best Song: One of my friends succinctly put it “Best work from the combo of three of India’s finest ever, Rahman, Gulzar & Sukvinder”
Update 1: Where do I fit in Dilli6 now? Every time I listen, it's becoming tougher not to:-)
Update 2: Two more trophies to the maestro and this time it's Oscar :-)