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Did R.D.Burman really preferred KK over Rafi?

This article is written by Mr.H.V.Guru Murthy.

A regular browser to web site, having gone through the letters of Rafi lovers would assume that R D Burman did not utilize Rafi properly, instead he preferred Kishore Kumar. Because of this reason, Rafi Fans are still upset with RDB even though he passed away a decade back.

Yes, it is true that RDB preferred KK over Rafi during early seventies. For that matter, which Music Director or Actor or Producer or Director will not have his preference. It was well known that Raj Kapoor always preferred Mukesh, Manoj Kumar preferred Mukesh or Mahendra Kapoor, B.R.Chopra films had Mahendra, MD Ravi also had plenty of songs with Mahendra so also O.P after he broke with Rafi. Similarly OP always had either Asha or Geetha Dutt and never Lata. Salil also used all other Singers. Director Subba Rao insisted on Mukesh for SAATHI even though the hero was Rajendra Kumar and MD Naushad, two Rafi Fans. Even Kalyanji Anandji had many films with Mahendra Kapoor, Mukesh and KK even though Rafi was instrumental in their raise through JAB JAB PHOOL KHILE, AAMNE SAAMNE, etc. LP, by all means Rafi Bhakts, used KK regularly in the early seventies even for Rafi heroes like Jeetendra, Dharmendra, etc. SJ also switched over to KK in movies like MAIN SUNDAR HOON, DIL DAULAT DUNIYA, KAL AAJ AUR KAL, etc. Of course, the music standard came down a notch or two in that period. But, well, it is their prerogative to have whomsoever they wanted though I am sure in heart of heart, why even openly, they would have admitted the superiority of Rafi over all other Singers. Similarly, RDB also used KK for almost all his movies in the early seventies as perhaps he had some special chemistry with him.

However, let us not forget that RDB used Rafi extensively during late sixties as his main playback singer right from the first movie. He gave hit music with Rafi in TEESRI MANZIL, NAQLI NAWAAB, CARAVAN, PYAAR KA MAUSAM, THE TRAIN, ABHILASHA, ADHIKAR, RATON KA RAAJA, etc. Later during late seventies he returned to Rafi and gave hits like SHAAN, HUM KISISE KUM NAHIN, ABDULLAH, ZAMANE KO DIKHANA HAI, etc. In between, he had Rafi in CHANDI SONA qawali with Mannadey (Ek Shok Hasina Se), YADON KI BAARAT (Title song and who can forget the duet with Asha Chura Liya Hai Tumne), DIL KA BAADSHAH (this Raj Kumar starrer had all songs by Rafi), THE GREAT GAMBLER (Raftasa Mera Naam), SHEHZADA (Solo Tere Attaroo and duet with Lata Kaahe Ko Bulaya), etc.

Mohd Rafi with R.D.Burman

If a person cannot appreciate the greatness of Rafi, then it can be safely concluded that the person does not have a sense of music. Of course, RDB was a good MD though not a great MD like Naushad, Madan Mohan, OP Nayyar, SDB, etc. RD would have definitely known the great qualities of Rafi, the Singer. Just because he did not use Rafi extensively as one would expect, let us not degrade this MD who gave us some good songs in CHANDAN KA PALNA, PADOSAN, HARE RAMA HARE KRISHNA, MERE JEEVAN SAATHI, AJNABEE, AMAR PREM, SANAM TERI KASAM, BHOOT BANGLA, BAHARON KE SAPNE (Rafi solo Zamane Ne Maare), PARICHAY, KINAARA, APNA DESH, ZAHREELA INSAAN, RAMPUR KA LAKSHAMAN (Pyaar Ka Samay with Lata, KK and Rafi), 1942 – A LOVE STORY, KATI PATANG to certain extent, etc. though he gave some very mediocre music in films like DEEWAR, SHOLAY, KITAAB, ZAKHMEE, RAFOO CHAKKAR, NAMKEEN, DHARAM KARAM and BIWI O BIWI (so un-RK film like), etc. so many forgettable movies as for as music was concerned.

The irony of RDB was either he gave good music or petered out to a very mediocre music in so many films. I read some where that Shashi Kapoor called RD as National Anthem Music Director. In those days, theatres used to play National Anthem at the end of the movie and the Hall doors used to be shut till the completion of the Anthem. As soon as the Anthem used to commence, our in-disciplined people used to rush to the Hall Door and wait for the door opening. Similarly, whenever RDB songs commenced in most of the movies, people used to rush to toilet.

Still, it is not fair that we use harsh and sometimes, un-parliamentary language against any body if they differ with our views. We cannot forget the contribution of all these MDs, Heroes, Singers, Directors, etc. in making the Indian Film Music so rich.

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1,376 Blog Comments to “Did R.D.Burman really preferred KK over Rafi?”

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  1. anonymous says:


    I guess you and I have different tastes. I can understand someone musically rating HKKN over AAA – but both were truly awesome. And AAA was lots of fun. The two qawwalis in the movie were very stylish and intricate. “Humko Tumse Hogaya Pyar” had a decent (not 60s quality) tune BUT the using of 4 great singers well & in good chemistry is enough to overpower any shortcomings. You JUST can’t go wrong with Lata, Kishore, Mukesh, and Rafi! I can clearly see someone make a distinction between popular & great with “My Name is Anthony Gonsalves” so I’ll make no mention of it (nevermind irony). I also dare to say that you have not watched all 200 scores that LP produced in the 80s (neither have I! so we’re both on same boat) to be able to say only 30 albums are great. You are right that “O Mumy Mumy” wasn’t a great song – but that was LP yielding to commercial – just as they did with “Tu Cheez Badi Hai Mast Mast” which became iconic uberpopular! Can you blame them? Did they have a choice? Yet with the former song, in the same movie “Deewana Mastana” you have a classic tune given to Sonu Nigam and another very good duet given to Alka Yagnik (excellent singer) and Vinod Rathod (not so good) that you would have fully appreciated had the singers been Rafi & Lata. Kaate Nahin Tak Ye Din Yeh Raat was a CLASSIC, EXCLLENT composition – the only criticism you could say is that the other singer wasn’t the Empress Lata Mangeshkar. To rate RDB over LP is to rate black over white, orange over apple. They’re different but both classic great. LP did win the race 80s and they gave hits despite having their favorite Rafi and made singers like Shabhir Kumar, Pankaj Udhas, Mohamed Aziz – stars. That says a lot! I personally feel the COMPOSITION (not necessarily all SINGERS – try to make that distinction) in Mr India was good enough to compete with 60s albums. LP proved from time and time again, at least according to me, with compositions like “Kaate Nahi Tak Ye Din Yeh Raat” , that they always retained their talent for great music (but sometimes they had to yield to the times). Btw, “Choli Ke Peeche” – yes Ila Arun had an ugly voice and yes LP (musical geniuses) very well knew of this – but they took her in for commercial, weirdness appeal that proved to be an uberhit (not to mention lyrics, Madhuri Dixit, etc). But they also had quality – the instrumentations themselves were EXCELLENT and Alka Yagnik’s SWEET, SWEET, CRISP, CLEAN, ANGELIC voice of Alka Yagnik and it did have the makings of a great song and was a classic hit of the 90s. When LP are doing so well with those songs – can you blame them? Did they even have a choice? NO! Excellent, timeless MDs who could change with the times and be at the top in the 60s, 70s, 90s, and 90s. That’s 4 decades!

  2. anonymous says:

    i also want to add that i rate rdb among the very best – right there with shankar jaikishan & his father, when it comes to musical tunes. i also think people give too much attention to his lifting of tunes and blow it out of proportion. he came up with many EXCELLENT, ORIGINAL tunes and even small fraction that he lifted – he added his own genius and made it his own.

  3. anonymous says:

    P Haldar:

    These you can’t deny:
    1. “Mere Dost Kissa Yeh Kya Hogaya” ; Dostana (excellent by all standards)
    2. “Dard E Dil” ; Karz (so stylishly rendered by Rafi Sahab)
    3. “Aadmi Musafir Hai” ; Apnapan (simple composition yes, excellent singers!)
    4. “Hum To Chale Pardes” ; Sargam (wah Rafi Sahab!)

    These are pretty good contenders
    5. “Tu Ne Mujhe Bulaya Sherawali” ; Aasha (one of the best bhajans EVER – that should mean something)
    6. “Woh Woh Na Rahe” ; Badaltey Rishte
    7. Last song from Aas Pas – who else but Rafi who did not disappoint even while God was pulling him away from us! Credit to LP for utilizing such a super
    singer. Great song.

    8. “Saath Ajube Is Duniya Mein” (excellent compositions, two great singers)

    These you can question but they are excellent
    9. “Bane Chahe Dushman Zamana Hamara” ; Dostana: (even a 5 yr old can understand emotions of Rafi Sahab in the song & love the composition so much that he
    watches the movie 6 times just for that one song – that itself warrants this song a mention).

    10. “Shirdwale Sai Baba” ; AAA
    11. “Parda Hai Parda” ; AAA (intricate composition, excellent rendering by Rafi Sahab)
    12. Title Song ; Chor Sipahee (A very underrated Rafi-Kishore duet. The beginning by Rafi is so lively, full, and melodious).
    13. “Dafliwale” ; Sargam
    14. “Salam Hai Sawan Mein” ; Aasha

    15. For the following song – I admit the lyrics are silly / mediocre compared to 60s – but be objective and give attention ONLY to the compostion / tune (not to mention Rafi Sahab’s amazing voice) if you can. The interludes are so melodious and excellent transitions! Love the harmonics! “John Jani Janardhan” from Naseeb. Great composition, great singer.

    Haldarji – you may only accept half of these – but they do prove that LP never lost its talent for great music. Additionally, the list also emphasizes how LP compositions are rendered 100% and the songs instrincially become great simply the excellent decision to use the Emperor & Empress – Rafi & Lata. At the same time, you are right to say 80s didn’t really have 60s quality so often – but you admit yourself commercial and quality don’t always match and that a 1960s quality gem in 1980 would struggle to sell and so LP had no choice. It’d be unfair to expect them to do it. I’m not comfortable rating RDB over LP – you are TRULY comparing apples & oranges here. Additionally, you can’t so nicely sweep under the rug RDB’s poor decision not to fully utilize Rafi. LP did a great job with utlizing Kishore too – even if they were Rafi-centric. To me this is a big deal in an objective viewpoint for juding MDs (and not the biased viewpoint of the Rafi fan that I am). It is strong plus for LP to have made great use of Kishore and give him some of their best compositions (and get most memorable songs in return) and also have their name attached to some of Kishore’s best. I give credit to RDB for coming up with unique, different, yet GREAT compositions. I know it sounds ironic for someone who was known to lift tunes – but RDB was a genius who added his own trademark to it. LP remained with traditional, Indian melody (traditional is not as unique) and gave some immortal songs. Apples & oranges – but I rate both in the highest tier of fruits (music directors lol).

  4. xxx says:

    refer to post 234 & 235
    i accept d points
    “If R.D. Burman did not use much Rafi Saheb in the 70s, it was RDs loss and not Rafi Sahebs”
    ” Rafi Saheb’s name and fame is far bigger than RD’s”
    as rafi sahab was gr8tst even in 70s

    and rdb never gave any song which cud match d quality of re tu kahe na
    2.jinhe naaz hai
    3.aaj k raat mere dil ki salami… & a bulk of songs can b added to d list

    also i wud like to add one more point if rafi sahab wud rendered all those rdb’s tunes, the status of rafiji wud remained same as it is now…
    as it was 40s,50s & 60s music who made rafiji lord,,
    rdb’s music has lot to do wd kk rise but nothing to do at all wd rafi sahab..
    as rafiji was always remained numero uno… so wat if rdb preffred kk more, i dn think it caused any harm to rafiji… also KK never got any filmfare under rdb in 70s but yes it was only rdb’s music who gave kk some space to breath.

    so its a fact dat rdb never reached d heights attained by rafiji…

    but we cant deny the anodr fact dat rdb was most talented md among his contemporaries ..
    he was equally acclaimed in classes & masses…

    in d words of salil choudhary-“The only musical phenomenon
    that happened in the last
    20 years of our film era.

    even many of d vetran mds shared d similar thoughts abt rdb,, and also he contributed maximum in terms of quality among his contemps(lp,ka,rr,bl,rj) ..

    so plz dn compare rdb wd lord rafi sahab as he is far behind frm d rafi sahab
    ,, no can reach d heights of rafi sahab

  5. P. Haldar says:

    mr. anonymous, I’ve posted several lp compositions from the 1964-69 period. For the sake of discussion, can you cite 15 or more lp songs from the 1974-79 period that match or surpass the songs given below. It is possible that I have some biases that may be cleared by your post.

    chahunga main tujhe (dosti – rafi)

    rahi manwa (dosti – rafi)

    jaanewalo zara (dosti – rafi)

    mere mehboob qayamat hogi (mr. x in bombay – kishore)

    tum gagan ke chadraama (sati savitri – manna & lata)

    hui sham unka khayal (mere humdum mere dost – rafi)

    na jaa kahin ab na jaa (mere humdum mere dost – rafi)

    ajnabee tum jane pehchane (hum sub ustad hain – kishore)

    aane se uske aaye bahar (jeene ki raah – rafi)

    yeh dard bhara afsana (shreeman funtoosh – kishore)

    suno sajna (aaye din bahar ke – lata)

    khizan ke phool (do raaste – kishore)

    yeh reshmi zulfe (do raaste – rafi)

    maajhi chal ho maajhi chal (aaya sawan jhoom ke – rafi)

    sawan ka mahina (milan – mukesh & lata)

    ram kare aisa ho jaye (milan – mukesh)

    aa jaane jaa (inteqam – lata)

    jo unki tamanna (inteqam – rafi)

  6. myk says:

    Before anyone misunderstands me, let me repeat what I mentioned. Who were the ones responsible for SJ’s downfall ?. Who were the ones that beat SJ, not in terms of talent, but in the commercial game ?. The answer is: SJ Themselves.

    No composer or composers could knock SJ off the top position commercially, the only way LP managed to do this is due to SJ’s own inner problems, fights, Sharda in the picture, Jaikishan’s health, and so forth. If SJ had no problems and maintained their quality, no one including LP would have been able to reach them and displace them.
    Rajiv Vijayakar an LP fan as well as a Rafi fan (as I have read on this forum) mentions LP’s reign from 1969 to the nineties, but I say it was more when 1970 hit, so at the end of 1969, start of the new decade. Anyways, its not as if SJ consistently produced the same high quality, then Jai passed away, then the downfall happened. It was happening before that, and the albums like MNJ were exceptions. They still had big banners by their side, and still produced quality, but some mediocre work was also there. You could say SJ beat themselves at their own game.
    LP also managed to grab those big banners as well as some SJ banners, starting with JOP’s Aye Din Bahar Ke in 1966. SJ then signed a multitude of films to keep up with LP’s pace. LP took advantage of SJ’s problems and got their banners as well as other banners, and displaced them.
    We must also give credit to LP for producing amazing music during this time, and music like that would have anyhow taken them to great heights like it did, but as long as SJ at their best were there, no one including LP could break through. The problem was SJ were fragile now, and LP did something no other composer(s) could do for the previous two decades. Given LP’s talent they would have given SJ a run for their money even if SJ were going strong and been a contender for that top spot, but I doubt SJ would have given up that top position at full strength.

    SJ at their best, without any problems, were unbeatable and were the best duo ever to grace HFM. It is sad that problems started to arise between S & J, which caused Jai to drink more and his unfortunate passing away so early in his life. What would the 70’s musical situation have been if S-J were still there.

    Definitely in terms of talent, no other duo overtook SJ, they were supreme. I was just talking about the commercial aspect. I wonder how Bobby, SSS, Dharam Karam, Prem Rog, Biwi O Biwi would have been with SJ. We might have even seen Sholay going to SJ considering the Sippy’s and SJ had a great relationship. RDB took many of SJ’s banners after Jai passed away.

  7. myk says:

    Ref Post 232:

    “Chand Mera Dil” is one of the best RD compositions, the lead guitar in this song is amazing, excellent bass guitar as well and it is a masterpiece chord progression based composition. It may have been Dilip Naik playing the lead guitar in that song and Tony Vaz on the bass guitar. This song was one of the many chartbusters from this amazing RDB album, definitely one of his Top 10 all-time albums, and one of his top albums in terms of variety. Rafi’s singing is sweet and awesome and this song ranks amongst his best as well.

    P. Haldar can you please add your inputs about these two musicians in the RD camp, D. Naik and T. Vaz.

  8. myk says:

    P. Haldar and XXX,

    When I mentioned LP surprassed SJ, I meant by the turn of the decade (1970), they donned the numero uno position. Definitely SJ were the greatest duo ever, and LP did not surprass them in terms of greatness, but by 1970, LP had come out with humdinger after humdinger (from 1964-1970) that for the first time in two decades, a composiing entity provided a challenge to SJ and displaced them.

    The reason for this was not SJ’s lack of composing talent, but basically their inner fights, the Sharda factor, working seperately except for big banners, and in the process some of their quality suffered, and LP finally managed to be numero uno. Jai may have had his last hit as number 1 in 1971 from Andaz (Zindagi ek safar) but by then SJ were scattered all over the place, and Jai’s death made it worse.

    Before that SJ were still tops while LP producing hit after hit were slowly catching up. Lets just take the year 1969, LP had a whooping 17 releases and 12 of them became musical blockbusters, compared to SJ’s 9 releases and just a few became big hits. This was the year that clinched it for the duo, and by the end of the year, at the turn of the decade they were at the top. It wasn’t just one year, it was many hits before that, but SJ still managed to be tops before that, but after due to SJ’s problems, quality suffering, LP could take over. If SJ didn’t have any problems, and their quality didn’t suffer, no one including LP would have managed to take them over. Had Jai lived and things gotten better, I think SJ would have regained that top position, but once LP managed to grab it, they kept it and not even RDB, KA or anyone took it away from them. KA also provided serious competition to SJ and 1970 was a big KA year as well.

    In other words, SJ’s downfall was due to their own problems and not compeition from others, nor was it due to their talent, they were still the most talented, and supremely gifted musicans and always will be. Jai’s death wasn’t the start of the downfall, it happened a bit before that. Jai’s death was basically the final blow. They still had the big banners with them, but some of their quality had definitely dipped, how do you explain pedestrian scores like Preetam, Umang, Pehchan, Main Sundar Hoon and so forth, that’s not vintage SJ music.


    XXX, those RDB albums you mentioned from 1970-75 are all great, and I could do the same for LP albums during that time, which is why my view is that both were great during that time even though LP was always a step ahead in the game whether it be with producers, hits and so forth. This is precisely how they stepped into SJ’s shoes because before them it was SJ doing the exact same. Both LP and RD were very talented, and as you listed RDB produced great albums from 1975-1980 and so did LP.

    You mentioned if LP were suprememly talented, how come they produced those low songs in the 90’s, well those songs don’t have anything to do with their talent, they could have been composing purely for the masses in those albums. RDB has his share of junk songs, but we don’t question his talent, because he could have been doing the same thing.


    P. Haldar, I love how you mentioned that Laxmi, Kalyanji and Pancham all wanted to be the next Jai, great comment there and it makes sense.

  9. xxx says:

    well mr.anonymous……
    the song u hav mentioned “kaate nahi katte” is a very good song… but it stands no where against “mere dil mein aaj kya hai”, “yeh jivan hai”(Early 70s kk-lp gr8s)…….

    also i dn think its a quality song.. actually its a nothing more dan d typical song of 80s… now a days no one(or very few) wants to listen dis song as these types of songs are bounded by particular era,,,, now consider d song “chhoti si kahani se, barisho k paani se saari vaadi bhar gayi” this song is really a quality song as it liked by peoples today much much more dan “Kaate nahi kat-te”… means this song will b never bounded by d time,age,gneration,era..etc etc hence more quality song dan “Mr.india”

    like most of d gr8 mds
    2.dada burman
    gave the super duper quality songs in 40s,50s & 60s…

    well i still firmly believe dat it was only lord rafiji’s golden voice dat maintained d level of lp in late 70s ….
    also i wud like to add dat rdb also ruined in 80s… specially in 1984 all d rdb output was crap & from dere bappi & lp kicked rdb…
    odrise frm 1980-83 rdb conquered quality market wd following unparalleled gems
    1.humein tumse pyar kitna(both female & male)
    2.tune o rangile kaisa(gr8 lata num frm 80s)
    3.dekha ek khwab to kahan aa gaye hum
    5.chhodo sanam
    7.pyaase udase kabse
    8.pyar humein kis mod pe le aaya
    9.dilbar mere
    10.sanam teri kasam(album)
    13.agar tum na hote(album)
    15.zamane ko dikhana hai(album)
    16.more angna aaye re… many odrs can b added…

    recently pyarelalji did d orchasteration for d vishal-shekhar’s song dhoom-taana(OSO)…… and i liked orchastration really….

  10. binus2000 says:

    to the bengalee rafi saab lovers…..from binu nair…

    i love the music of dada burman saab and r.d.b… hence i have
    arranged two musicals of the father-son duo in 2008 as a tribute
    to their contribution to indian music…

    besides i have also kept musicals on shankar-jaikishan/op.nayyar
    and rafi-lata…. most of them in part i and part ii : only to accommodate
    the “jewels” these teams have produced..

    friends we have a lot of music lovers in our midst.. can we all plan
    few programmes which will “enhance” and “spread” the fragrance
    of rafi saab’s songs than writing of other singers in these columns….
    my assistance will go out to these “arrangers” , i assure this…

    binu nair.. ////the rafi foundation///// mumbai… cell : 9833 250 701

  11. xxx says:

    well mr.anonymous i dnt think dat lp really overtook rdb from 1977-80…
    ya lp got awrds but mostly coz of big banners & rafi sahab’s voice..rdb was no less dan lp in late 70s…

    also lp did 70(approx) movies & they did 14-15 good albums & wat abt rest of movies??….
    rdb did 40 movies & juss go thru these albums ,, u will find at least 30 among them really good & even comparatively more popular today…

    also i think dat quality of kinara & hkkn was better dan dat of aaa(in 1977)
    although anurodh,aaa were nice albums but still kinara & hkkn were more quallity albums….
    also in 1977-80 period rd produced many gems
    5.gr8 gambler(do lafzo is amazingly popular amung youths )
    10.burning train
    13.jal mahal
    16.kasme vaade
    ……………. & many odrs…

    i consider these albums as more quality output dan those of lp from 1977-80.

    but i accept d point dat lp had superb sense of melody… their greatness was incorporating melody into song, dats y they surpassed rdb in 60s,,, although rdb introduced some new rhythms but i think in 60s lp dominated…

    they gave truly gr8 songs wd lord rafiji in 60s.. like wo jab yaad aaye, raahi manva & many odr gr8s…..
    lp also gave some gr8 albums in early 70s… but suddenlly unlike many gr8 mds(sdb,naushad,sj,mm,roshan) they started taking assignments in bulk and dats y dey suffered in 80s aftr lord rafiji……

    although they maintained stnd in early 70s by giving superb songs like ek pyar ka nagma hai… but in late 70s their standard was maintained by only rafi sahab’s golden voice….

    tell me one thing how one can bring melody into his work by doing so many albums at a time??? lp did 400+ movies bw 1970-1990… (& 500+ overall)dats y they suffered.. you can name only 30-35 good albums among those
    400+ albums as their most of d gr8 work were from 60s….

    from 1970-1990 rdb contributed maxium in terms of quality…. only mediocre film making ruined him…
    and also mr.anonymous i accept that albums dat u have mentioned were gr8 as lp were still gr8 in early 70s but i think it was only rdb who dominated from 1970-75… wd gr8 albums like
    1.kati patang
    2.amar prem
    3.hare rama hare krisna
    5.paraya dhan
    7.mere jivan sathi
    9.apna desh
    10.yaado ki baarat
    11.heera panna
    14.jawani diwani
    16.khusboo .. & many odrs…..

    ya he neglcted lord rafiji bw 70-75 but i dont think dat it cause any harm to lord,,, rafi sahab was gr8 enuf to produce gem wd even mediocre mds…
    although rd definiately helped KK to earn money & respect wd his music..

    also i wud like to add one more fact dat rafi sahab is lord of music bcoz of his gr8 work of 40s 50s & 60s rather than dat of 70s,, and it wudnt made any diff in rafiji’s stature if he wud rendered all those rdb’s compositions….

    also rafi sahab was lord bcoz of truly gr8 mds
    1. naushadji
    2.dada burman
    5. Roshanji(these 5 composers means a lot to me)

    & rdb was not as gr8 as d above mds…

    also i wud like to ask 1 ques from mr.myk & mr.anonymous dat LP were still there in 90s in strong position & wd backing of big banners…
    wat they did in terms of quality in 90s?? if they were really supremely talented than y day gave such a mediocre songs like choli k piche kya hai & o mummy mummy o dady dady…..
    note dat im not showing any disrespect 4 the duo, as i respect dem a lot for wat they did bw 1963-75…
    and also mr.myk…. i dont think that lp ever surpassed sj in any possible aspect……. sj were truly gr8 & really made d lord rafiji most versatile by their rock n rolls, romantic numbers, yahoo frm junglee…. & many odrs that you know very well as ur knowledge base seems to be really gr8….

  12. anonymous says:

    xxx: i guess that kishore song didn’t have the full legendary effect as the co-singer was not lata – but the other singer did a youthful, excellent job. there’s another solo by kishore something like, “zindagi yahi beet hai” (don’t remember) – it was excellent too. i hope i don’t sound clownish trying to promote a 1987 song over 1960 classics – (certainly not something like Man Re Tu Kahai Na) but they were excellent (even if you’re a non-kk fan).

  13. anonymous says:

    P Haldar: you still think RDB was afraid to use Rafi because of LP? Do you think a genius like RDB would doubt his ability to compose his best, use the best singers Rafi & KK, and then confront LP? Don’t you agree that when RDB did use Rafi – it helped him tremendously. 1977 was a competitive year but because RDB used the best weapon in music – he got a FilmFare and beat his fierce competitors in that regard. 1980 LP overtook him but RDB used his best weapon – and came out with one of the best songs of that year (he prevailed once again). It had more to do with RDB wanting to promote KK over Rafi and so he avoided making Rafi sound great.

  14. anonymous says:

    To answer XXX…: Kishore Kumar song from Mr India “Kaate Nahi Tak Ye Din Ye Raat” was as good as any song in the 70s. The female singer was also excellent. That was an excellent song – musically. The composition itself alone was a masterpiece.

  15. P. Haldar says:

    ref post 226:

    mr. anonymous, when I said that lp’s quality started deteriorating in the 70s, I didn’t mean it started deteriorating in 1970 itself. The “jeevan mrityu” duet is definitely very good. both lp and rd were immensely talented. The problem is that when commercial success becomes the sole yardstick of performance, the quality of music suffers. I think we all agree that it is very, very difficult to produce high-quality music and at the same time be commercially successful. Consider madan mohan and salil chowdhury; despite composing some of the most memorable songs in hfm, they were not commercially successful, but some of their songs are as popular now as they were 50 years ago.

    Naushad, SD, OP and SJ were some of the mds who produced high-quality music and were also commercially successful. Naushad never compromised with the quality of music; success came later. OP was a maverick; if he were politically more savvy, he would have fared even better. SD was an eccentric but his ears were always close to the ground. He would try out his tunes on his servant or durwan to get their feedback. As for SJ, they were the ones who truly mastered the art of balancing commercial success with quality.

    What started happening in the early 70s was really unfortunate. Pancham, laxmi and kalyanji — each of them thought that he was the next jai. Kalyanji thought he was the closest to jai, lp started sounding like sj and pancham thought he had slipped into sj’s trendsetting shoes. This left poor sj so confused that they started sounding like lp! Why couldn’t pancham idolise his dad and laxmi idolise anna or madan mohan? The three-way race left everyone scrambling to produce the next hit at the cost of quality. But in the 1970-76 period, rd did come out with some outstanding compositions that have stood the test of time.

    myk, I’m not sure what you meant when you said that lp overtook sj. No one ever did. There will never be another shankar, another jaikishan. They are the greatest composing duo that hfm has ever seen. Mind you this is not my personal view; most people in the music fraternity consider this to be gospel. Jai died when he was only around 40 years. If he were alive, you’d have seen much better quality music in Satyam Shivam Sundaram, Prem Rog and Ram Teri Ganga Maili. At best, the music in those films was ok. And listen to sj’s compositions in Joker, their last outing with RK. Two Mukesh solos, “jeena yahan marna ihan” and “jaane kahan gaye woh din” with brilliant violin interludes:

    Every rk film that they worked on — barsaat, chori chori, shree 420, anari or sangam — they turned into gold. You can’t compare the music of ram lakhan or tezab with such scores.

  16. Hussein Sheikh says:

    Rafi Saheb’s name and fame is far bigger than RD’s.

  17. Hussein Sheikh says:

    If R.D. Burman did not use much Rafi Saheb in the 70s, it was RDs loss and not Rafi Sahebs.

  18. binus2000 says:

    Happy 2008 mohd rafi saab and thank u… pls read post 219
    for the ‘new year greetings’ to rafi lovers…

    thou shall not rise again; thou music will ,

    across all borders and frontiers – above the cacaphony of sounds,

    melodies of yore, bringing joy to human souls,

    songs for every mood, across all musical shades…………….

    thy name is music; thou name bharat ratna – mohd rafi saheb.

    by binu nair…. //the rafi foundation/// mumbai…

    and sargam music & magazine… cell 09833 250 701

  19. chaman bagga says:

    Rafi saheb did go thru a low period during 70’s. But whatever he sang for RD, they were huge hits, and masterpieces of innovativeness.

    I was surpirsed to see the way Rafi Saheb has sung “Chand Mera Dil”, a typical chord progression based composition, a typical KK style song.

    Like Edgar Cayce said, the rule of God is “you reap what you sow”. When RD wasn’t left with many first rated compositions during 80’s, Rafi saheb was no more to make 2nd rated compositions also hits!

  20. myk says:

    P. Haldar,

    I am not sure if you were referring to my post on the Burmans’s success or RDB in the 80’s. About RDB in the 80’s, I answered, but about Guide and HKSKN, I have read and heard from several sources that the Burmans although having great albums after those two scores, could not repeat the success of those two albums. Both Guide and HKSKN were landmarks in their respective decades, both albums with awesome variety and fantastic songs. Also, both were denied awards which they should have won.

  21. myk says:

    Adding one more thing, when I mentioned the selling aspect of LP’s albums it was to also show that they could gauge the public taste for all those years (and even now when those albums still sell) and it was with classy and mass music all rolled into one. To do this requires unique talent just as SJ had, the ability to create wonderful music, to please not only the masses but the classes as well, and stay on top of the public pulse as well as on top in general for such a long time.

  22. myk says:

    Would like to add that both LP and RD could produce various types of songs. The youthfulness and melody aspect was mentioned before and there are many other aspects as well. If both were known for specific genres, the other could produce songs similar to that genre as well. For example, Karz was up RDB’s street and LP came out with a cracker of an album. On the other hand, a score like Aap Ki Kasam was something LP would have excelled at, and RDB came out with a top notch score. There are many more examples one can add here.

    A drawback that RD had was his choice of singers for particular songs, something he should have learnt from his father who was a master at picking the right singer for a particular song. LP were better at this aspect, of choosing the right singer for a particular song.

  23. myk says:

    Mr. XXX,

    You differentiated between commerically great albums as opposed to quality great albums. When I mentioned the word great, I meant it in general, good overall stuff. I think, like you, I should have differentiated between quality great and commercially great but that’s fine :). I don’t think you can call Tezaab and Ram Lakhan mediocre, they were great commercial albums, with hit tunes, and some quality-based songs ofcourse not as high in quality as their previous works but definitely better than what most were churning out at that time. I could say the same about RD albums of that time as well. You have to keep in mind that it was only LP and RD keeping some sort of standard in the 80’s at a time when Bappi’s disco had taken over. Also, the trend RD started back in the 70’s which was great, also came back to haunt him later on when the likes of Bappi etc. became more successful than him. In this case RD was trapped in an image, something LP never were stuck in.

    When we say these composers deteriorated, we mean they produced sub-standard stuff later or could not produce the same standard of music as their earlier work. I don’t think we can say they deteriorated as in they lost it and could not produce anything but trash, its more to do with their standard not being matched. Let’s take Bappi for example, after 1980, he hardly produced a few albums worth keeping, most are trash but before that he was excellent. That’s called deterioration. Atleast LP and RD still produced some good music and albums worth keeping in the 80’s, lower than their standard but still listenable and good. So they did deteriorate by their standards but not totally that they didn’t produce listenable/good music at all. Also, Rafi saab definitely helped them both, and with Rafi gone, their music wasn’t at the same standard as before, and they had to do with all the clones and so forth. This is also not to say that LP and RD didn’t have their run of trash, they both did, but they also gave choice winners along the way too.

    Agreed, LP were fantastic due to Rafi but Laxmi Pyare were very talented themselves. They had something in them which made them conquer the music world or over three decades, and overtake SJ, something RDB could not even do with his initial success. Only real talented people are able to achieve this, which is why Lata and Rafi backed them early on and saw the potential they had. Lata and Rafi being the genius singers they were, would not take just any composers under their wings, they had to be supremely talented and LP were just that. Laxmi was a genius tunesmith a la Jaikishan, and Pyare is probably the most complete musician in the industry, he could do it all from notations to conducting the orchestra, arranging and so forth. I am not going to comment on LP’s talent vis a vis RDB because both were supremely talented. Rafi added a whole new demension to LP songs, without Rafi the effect and final product would have been much lower, we could say the same about the majority of composers and Rafi including RDB, but this does not mean the composers themselves weren’t talented, they were including LP, and they were lucky they had the Best of them all, Rafi there to make their compositions flourish, for without Rafi we would not have seen those compositions.

    You mentioned youthful music, yes RDB was the master at youthful music but LP also have that freshness and youthfulness in their music as well, even though RD was the master at this genre. When we think of youthful music we think HKSKN, YKB, Teesri Manzil, Jawani Diwani etc. but LP have a good number of albums with that element as well, just to name a few, Bobby, Karz, Farz etc. LP were masters at melody, when we think melody we think Dosti, Milan, Lootera, Sargam, Inteqam etc. but RD also has melody albums such as Aandhi, Kinara, Caravan, Pyar Ka Mausam and so forth. So it goes both ways.

    Ofcourse LP in the 80’s hardly matched the quality of “Woh Jab Yaad Aaye”, no one is disputing this, but the same can be said of RD and others. Did RD in the 80’s have one song that could match the quality of “Kuch To Log Kahenge”, or “Churaliya Hai Tumne” or a “Zamane Ne Mare Jawan Kaise Kaise”, the answer is the same as LP.

    Also, LP did bring melody back in the disco wave of the 80’s, with Pyar Jhukta Nahin and Hero (as well as other albums), as melody was always the base of their music. So in this case, at a time when trash was being churned out, they brought back melody.

    RDB is popular for a lot of reasons. He has Asha promoting him left center and right, which adds a lot to his image. His last score 1942 ALS won an award and is in recent public memory, and he has an award named after him when other genius composers like LP, SJ, MM, SDB etc. don’t have any awards in their name. True, his music also makes him popular but his popularity is also due to other factors as well, and not just his music. LP do not get as much promotion as RD, which is sad.

    I mentioned before, that I would not judge LP and RD by their talents, as both were supremely talented. They may have had individual qualitites that made them better than the other but that is a discussion for another time. Focusing just on the 70’s, they had a battle royale against eachother and in terms of quality in my view, each came out on top. True, both had their share of sub-standard albums even at that time, but the quality was still glowing.

    Also, LP always had the edge on RD, whether in music sales, producers, or in other areas and always achieved more than him. Most of the complete scores sold in stores today are by LP, so to say that they didn’t produce as much quality as RD is being ignorant of facts. They may have even produced more quality albums as a whole than RD.
    Yes, what sells does not mean it has to be quality. For example, Himesh sells today, does that mean most of his songs are full of quality ?. Hardly. But LP were no Himesh and when talking about sales you have to differentiate between talents and individual albums. LP were very talented (unlike Himesh) and their albums are golden and full of quality (unlike Himesh), so that’s where the difference lies and the quality speaks for itself. SO if they sold before and are doing so now more than RD albums, whether it is from HMV, Polydor or any other company, can we say people who buy them don’t know quality music but if they buy RD albums then they do, certainly not !. Because we know LP is quality, so the people who buy their albums know quality music, whereas today when people buy Himesh albums, we know his music lacks quality so people buying it could be due to the hit factor associated with it and not just about quality. Which leads me to mentioning that people buying Himesh albums may not have bad taste in music, they may know quality music, but just buy his albums due to their own preferences. So it varies from individual to individual, but overall LP spelled quality, and to maintain quality for long periods of time requires lots of talent.

    Moreover, if you take all the 500+ Kishore/RDB songs, atleast half are nothing much to write about, whereas if you take the 400+ LP/Rafi songs, the majority are great. Even the 120+ RD/Rafi songs, the majority are great as well, this is where the Rafi factor comes into play.

    Anyways this post has gone on long enough, Happy New Year to you all.

  24. anonymous says:

    i just want to reiterate one important point: rdb could have rescued himself from lp’s onslaught by using rafi as his rescue weapon. it was rafi who rescue (and not hurt) him in 1977 which was a very competitive year for lp, ka, and rdb. it was rafi who rescued (not hurt) rdb with burning train when lp was clearly #1. rdb learned his mistake too late…and lost. later we’ll talk about why his tunes are very popular over other mds who were just as good e.g. shankar jaikishan…that’ll be for another day.

  25. anonymous says:

    I still have a LOT to learn – I am not nearly as knowledgeable as xxx or P Haldar but of the few albums I am familar with


    Aan Milo Sajna:Kishore – Lata duet “Aacha to Hum Chalte Hain”. One of my favorite compositions and just as good as 60s IMO.

    Himmat: Hai Shukar Ke To Hai Allah – what VOICE CONTROL by Mohd Rafi! So much energy! Hear it in CD quality and you’ll be amazed at how clean Rafi’s voice remains despite all tomfoolery in that song! Big gain for LP by using Rafi – Rafi made this composition special.

    Jeevan Mrityu: Top class Rafi-Lata duet that is popular to this day! (just as good as 60s)

    Khilona: Masterpiece of an album! So melodious!


    Mehboob Ki Mehndi – excellent album altogether!

    Haathi Meri Saathi: Who can forget Rafi Sahab’s Nafrat Ki Duniya – it was just as good as 60s music. So much emotions expressed masterfully by the one nad only. To use a different weapon altogether – we’ve got Kishore Kumar singing that catchy number Chal Chal Mere Saathi. It was very popular and memorable song that kids to this day listen to!

    Aap Aaye Bahar Aaye: The song “Sare Zamane Pe” was extremely melodious thanks to Rafi Sahab! Once again – credit to LP for UTLILIZING such a melodious, supreme singer and gaining!

    Raja Jani: Love that Lata title solo picturized on Hema Malini!


    Piya Ka Ghar: No top 10 Kishore Kumar song is complete without “Yeh Jeevan Hai”. LP made great use of Kishore’s low scale ability! Also that sweet duet from the King & Queen of singing: Yeh Zulf Kaise Hai – Zanjeer Jaise Hai!

    Roop Tera Mastana: Excellent Mohd Rafi solo “Bade Bewafa Hai Ye Husn Wale” – evergreen and in Rafi’s Golden Collection

    Manchali: Excellent Kishore Kumar album! Gham Ke Phasan – so melodious & smooth – great directing of Kishore’s vocals!

    Anokhi Ada: Tere Dil Mein – evergreen song popular to this day from Rafi & Lata. Isn’t this the same album with evergreen qawwali from Kishore? EXCELLENT.

    Loafer: O Aaj Mausam Bada Bei-maan hai….still hummed and sung and popular to this day! Who else but Rafi could have done it?



    Roti: hit song “Yeh Jo Public Hai” – this is what I call poor quality in the 70s – but hey – it was the Kishore wave and this was the stuff that sold – so what could you do? Composition alone was excellent! Singer was excellent – lyrics could take some improvement with that english part IMO.


    Pratiggya: Main Jat Yamla Pagla Deewana – wah wah Rafi Sahab – what voice control!

    Of course – I’m sure I’ve missed a lot of gems due to my limited knowlege. Some of the songs here – you just can’t put a price tag on or a finite value. Nafrat Ki Duniya or the Rafi-Lata duets or O Aaj Mausam Bada Beiman Hai or Yeh Jeevan Hai – these songs are evergreen & immortal. I won’t argue who did better in the 1970-1975 period but I’ll say that LP was excellent by themselves. Where RDB failed to help himself with Rafi – LP excelled. It was very competitive period – at the least – and RDB did not single handedly dominate that period as some will say. You cannot “dominate” the immortal songs I mentioned above! Of course -in the long term, we know what happened. Rafi Sahab was back to No 1 in 1976 and LP regardless overtook RDB.

  26. anonymous says:

    RD Burman was once asked in the mid 70s why he infrequently used Rafi. RD Burman said something to the effect that that Rafi Sahab was king for 20 yrs and Kishore didn’t get much opportunity to sing – so now he wanted to make Kishore do some work and make him sweat.

    P Haldar proposed that RD Burman limited his use of Rafi because if Rafi was on top – he’d be a great weapon for LP. Think of it this way: did RD Burman not have enough confidence in himself to compose his best & use one of the best along with Kishore and challenge LP? When he composed Teesri Manzil (1966) – did this really hurt him in any way by the other competing composers who also loved Rafi? Mohd Rafi was already back in full gear by 1976 when musical blockbuster Laila Majnu released, regardless of what the press will have you believe. So when RDB used Rafi for Hum Kisi Se Kum Nahin – it didn’t hurt him – it elevated his album to win the Filmfare award! When RD Burman composed a great qawwali with Rafi in Burning Train – it never hurt him – it gave him one of his greatest songs ever! Had he used someone else but Rafi – he would have failed to gain such an immortal gem. LP was clearly #1 in 1980 – if anything, using Rafi for RDB tremendously helped him throughout his career! So I think this dispels P Haldar’s very thoughtful suggestion.

    RD Burman avoided Rafi because he wanted to promote Kishore Kumar and the only singer of threat was Mohd Rafi. So Chote Nawab tried to hide away Rafi as much as he could. To make Rafi look BAD – Chote Nawab gave him his mediocre tunes that were very unpopular and not hummable. The exceptions were as a result of market pressure. If RDB gave poor tunes to Rafi during those times – he’d have been thrown out and lost big (as subsequently happened in the 80s). Tum Bin Jaaon Kahan was another clever trick by RDB. I’ve always wondered why the sad version was not released in the soundtrack (of course we’ve all heard it). I suspect that yodelling would appear ridiculous in that composition & sad setting. That song was a light one that could NOT employ Rafi’s ability for great depth (that SD Burman always utilized) but was suitable for yodelling.

  27. anonymous says:

    I’m not sure if it is fair to ask LP to compose a music of similar quality to 60s. They HAD to change with the times with that special, chameleon like ability. Do you guys think songs of Parasmani would sell in the 1980s or would be appreciated by the masses as they were in the 1960s? I don’t think so. It was not a waning of talent from LP but a response to the trends. Second, remember that Mohd Rafi & Lata Mangeshkar are frequently considered the benchmarks of playback singing. They were, as SD Burman put it, the first serve. Kishore Kumar & Asha were the second serve. It is to LP’s great credit that they composed the most songs for both Rafi & Lata. Essentially, their material was most frequently GOLD. Voice of Rafi or Lata give LP’s songs that immortal magic.

    Furthermore, LP made reasonably distributive use of Kishore Kumar too! After the Burmans – I’d definitely rate LP as Kishore’s best MDs. In contrast, RD Burman failed to reasonable utilize Mohd Rafi’s vocals and that was his big loss. Of course the charts were manipulated in the 70s (early against Rafi, late against Kishore). But looking at them – LP definitely overtook RDB from 1977-1980. Just look that the carts. People say that LP could only resist RDB for so long. On the contrary – it is LP that outlived all the other MDs and always remained competitive during the 35 yrs of music. It is RD Burman who lost his early steam from the 1970s. It is LP that you could only resist for so long.

    It should be to LP’s great credit for remaining on top even after losing their favorite Mohd Rafi. Remember that LP never struggled to find work whereas RDB’s last years were very stressful – he had heart attacks because his tunes kept getting rejected repeatedly. LP made some memorable albums in the 80s: Tezaab, Mr India, Nagina immediately spring to mind (and I’ll admit, this effects my knowledge on RDB, I haven’t seen a lot of 80s movies). We also had ghazals from LP with new singers like Pankah Udhas – Chitti Aayi Hai was a smash hit! 1989 LP had the #1 song on Binaca Geet Mala. 1990s – Kalnayak and Mohra with Alka Yagnik & Udit Narayan were super popular songs. It is a talent for LP to reinvent themselves repeatedly and with many different singers (singers who weren’t nearly the ability as peak Lata or Rafi). What was RD Burman doing during this time? Flop after flop!

  28. xxx says:

    Mr. P haldar,

    iam agree wd u dat annaji & salilda were gr8 but they never surpassed their contemporaries…… reason was simple that they mostley preffered odr singers dan rafi sahab, and paid for dat…

    i rate naushadji as numero uno bcoz he really created magical numbers wd rafi sahab & he was 1st person who recgnised d talnt of rafi sahab…
    most of their songs are real gems…. also he never compromised wd d quality of music till end of his career….
    dada burman & sj were true market leaders in terms of both quality & mass appeal……….

    and y these 3 composers are best is simply bcoz they gave their best tunes to rafi sahab & rafiji made those tunes immortal in both masses & classes…

    in early 70s rdb neglected rafi sahab but i think it did not cause any harm to rafi sahab…. ithink wat made rb to survive on those days was his intelligence to form a tunes dat have huge mass appeal among youths…

    rdb music is popular coz of youth appeal in his music…

    im a 20yr old college going guy & all my batchmates luv d albums padosan,kati patang,yaado ki baarat, jawani -diwani ,amar prem & teesri manzil

    all these albums are popular among youths even today…. dats y music of rdb is so popular even today bcoz of having maximum mass appeal among youth….

    well im agree wd Mr.P haldar dat annaji & salilda were gr8 also,, but odr gr8 composers of their time made better use of rafi sahab…..

    and also in my opinion lp were always lethal wd rafi sahab wdr it was 60s era or 70s… lp wre nice composers in 70s but they suddenly became mediocres after demise of d gr8 rafi sahab…….

    anyways……….. happy new year to you & all rafians…

  29. xxx says:

    i agree wd u dat lp & rd gave their best work in 60s & 70s….
    as i mentioned earlier dat lp were gr8 in 60s & early 70s …

    but my point is simple … can u name any one song of lp in 80s dat cud match d quality of wo jab yaad aaye….
    it was rafi sahab’s golden voice who made lp gr8 odrwise they were surely less talented tnan rdb….

    also acc 2 u ram-lakhan , tezaab were gr8, but these albums were commercially gr8 & quality wise they were mediocres……

    also lp did 200 movies in 80s & honestly we cant name more dan 14-15 good albums…..

    but i think it was only pancham who contributed truly towards melody in 80s…

    although all we know dat golden era died on 31st july 1980 but still it was only rdb who maintained some standard in 80s….

    well all discussions apart ,,happy new year to u & all rafians

  30. myk says:

    P. Haldar,

    Great to see a post from you after a while. In regards to Burman Dada, I fully agree, when he was healthy he still managed to produce winners, no doubt about that. However I was just focusing on RD in the 80’s, his creativity and experimentation along with his overall music in general went downwards in my view. Like I said earlier, if one was to judge pancham by his 80’s works, he wouldn’t make the cut as a trend-setter or as one of the all-time greats. For him to make that cut, one would have to listen to his 60’s and 70’s works and realize what a talent he was.

    I did hear about Kersi Lord’s father passing away, and I do agree, RD’s orchestra was indeed made up of special musicians and their sound under RD was unique. RD also was strong on technology and recording techniques which is why many of his songs have great sound quality.

    I also wonder what would have been had the handsome Gujarati composer not passed away so early. How the situation would have been different. I remember your comment on how Rafi must have seen shades of this composer in Pancham, as both were trend-setters always willing to experiment and both were creative.

    For me, even though they managed to produce great music here and there in the 80’s, both LP and RD’s quality deteriorated after Rafi passed away. As for KA, the moment they decided to do those action films with useless music is when their quality started to deteriorate and this came sometime in the mid to late seventies. Throughout that time they still produced great music but the downfall was starting to creep in. With Rafi there they still managed to produce quality albums as well. Then in the 80’s, after Rafi passed away, they went the same route as LP and RD. One man (Rafi) made all the difference.

    And yes I disagree that LP made better songs for Kishore than the Burmans. Kishore’s best composers were the Burmans followed by Rajesh Roshan (in my view) and then the rest.

  31. myk says:


    When I mentioned nice LP albums I didn’t mean they weren’t great, they were also great scores with excellent songs.

    Both LP and RD had their share of great albums in the 80’s. For example, LP came out with Sur Sangam (I mentioned this album before) which was classical based and could rank up there along with their overall best, and RD had a Ijaazat which could rank up there with his overall best as well. Also LP had a Utsav (I mentioned this album as well before) and RD came out with a Masoom. There are more from both sides, but their truly best work came before.

    Also, the number of great albums from the 80’s that could fit into the overall best of both LP and RD is very few. They may have been great for that decade (the 80’s) but not great enough to merit mention amongst the best works of the composers.

    Try making a desert island list of LP and RD and see how many albums from the 80’s would make that list.

  32. binus2000 says:

    Dear Rafi saab Lovers:

    2 0 0 8 is at the door………..remember, life is short, break the rules,
    forgive quickly, kiss lips slowly, love truly,
    laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that made u smile.

    send to all people u love and don’t want to lose in 2 0 0 8, even me…

    have faith in yourself……and remember the goodness of rafi saab….

    binu nair…. the rafi foundation…mumbai…

    cell.. 9833 250 701

  33. P. Haldar says:

    ref post 207:

    xxx, your comments reflect the wisdom of an old monk. I just can’t tell you how much your views tally with mine, especially your ranking of md’s; if you consider hfm as a whole, I’d also add salil and anna to that mix.

    As for your views on rd, I agree with you. The only other person on this forum who shares these views is raju korti but we haven’t heard from him in a long time.

    myk, you are being a little too harsh on the burmans. As for senior burman, he was confined to the sick bed most of the time during the 70s. When he was in a state to compose, he produced memorable scores in films like prem pujari, abhimaan, tere mere sapne and sharmilee.

    Where I’d differ with xxx is that I think lp’s quality started deteriorating in the 70s, not in the 80s. In the 60s, lp generated music that can easily rank alongside that of the best md’s of the earlier generation — e.g., parasmani, dosti, mr. x in bombay, mere humdum mere dost, inteqaam, milan — but in the 70s, they entered a three-way race with rd and ka, and the quality of their music went down. I don’t know a whole lot about post-1980 music, but if you consider the 70’s decade, rd led the field in terms of quality (I don’t pay too much attention to box office records).

    myk, you might be aware that cawas lord passed away a few days ago. The lords (cawas, bujji, kersi), manohari singh, tony vaz, bhupinder, dilip naik, maruti rao, uttam singh… rd inherited these musicians from sj and his father’s stable. You cannot deny the fact that the sound they produced under rd’s direction was simply incredible. Listen to the orchestration in rafi-asha’s “o haseena zulfo wali” and you’ll agree that there was something new about his music. Listen to the music of “roop tera mastana”, with kersi on the accordion and manohari on the sax — and you’ll realise that if rafi had sung it, the song would have been equally, if not more, successful.

    If kishore da were alive, he would have been amused to hear that people on this forum consider lp to have composed better songs for him. His first wife, his last wife, his two sons — practically almost everyone associated with him — swear by only two md’s: father and son. And, at the risk of sounding repetitive, I will say again that, if it were not for the wave produced by the son, rafi would have beaten kishore to pulp. I’m saying this without any disrespect to kishore, whom I consider to be a wonderful singer, but the truth is that rd used kishore for maximum strategic advantage. Add to this the fact that the handsome gujarati trendsetter left us in 1971 and that sher-e-punjab lost his touch, and you get the complete picture. As they say, it’s all in the stars.

  34. myk says:

    RDB could never repeat the same success of ‘Hum Kisise Kum Nahin’ until 1942 ALS. Same with Dada Burman, he could never repeat the same success he had with ‘Guide’ in his films that came after. The common denominator in both is Rafi.

  35. myk says:


    Song # 7 you mentioned I believe is composed by Illayraaja from Sadma and not Pancham. Also, “Chehra Hai Ya Chand” is pedestrain at best because of Kishore’s rendition in which he sounds old and dated. If Rafi was around to sing that song, it would have been a classic. The rest are good songs.

    Although RDB gave some good music in the 80’s, he also wasn’t the same as in the previous two decades. His best came before the 80’s when his experimentation and creativity were at their peak. In most of the 80’s, I find that Pancham magic missing, along with mediocre music, with the exception of choice albums and songs here and there. Add to this his 20+ flops in a row and he never recovered. What he is known for, being trendy and creative he achieved in the 60’s and 70’s and even his best off-beat themes came during that time, so I think he also did deteriorate.
    If listeners were to judge RDB by his 80’s work, that would be sad indeed, and they would be missing out on his really great work before that. Rafi there in the 80’s would have made all the difference, as even with his pet singer Kishore, he couldn’t stay afloat. Rafi was indeed a one man industry and he would have made all the difference to everyone and every composer. If Rafi was there in the 80’s, I am sure Pancham would have come up with great albums. They gave us a glimpse of what could have been with their early 80’s work such as Zamane Ko Dikhana Hai, Abdullah, Bulandi, Shaan, The Burning Train etc. all great albums thanks to Rafi’s presence in them.

    As for Bappi, the less said the better, his best came in his first few years. In general, LP, KA and RDB could not produce the same standard of music in the 80’s as they produced earlier.

    If you name any ten albums of L-P, K-A and RDB in the 80’s that are great, I am 200 % sure that you will find much better albums in the 60’s and 70’s from all these five composers (five taking each name on its own).

    After Rafi passed away, the industry went into a pit hole and composers could not maintain their overall quality.

  36. xxx says:

    ya lp gave some nice albums in 80s but never gave great albums in 80s…

    the reason was simple dat they compromised wd d quality of music in cost of making d fast money… in 80s they joined d bappi lehri league of taking dozens of assignments at a time & giving none in terms of quality & melody…

    although they gave good music comparatively bappi as they were xtremely talented but never gave gr8 music in 80s….

    in 80s alone lp did 200 movies(approx)… most of dem were wd good banners & actors but can anyone name one album among dat 200 albums dat cud match d quality of their own 60s albums…

    in similar fashion bappi did 250 movies(approx) in 80s & only 2 or 3 albums are bearable…

    on d odr hand rdb did 100 movies(approx) in 80s & 60% of dem were wd poor banners, crap directors & less famous actors…. but still he managed to produce some real gems wd good directors like gulzar, hrishikesh mukerjee, sippy… etc

    on d odr hand lp did album wd raj kapoor in 80s too … i think dat was prem rog… & result was same … music was not as magical as it used to be… dats y later rk switched over to ravindra jain…

    also can anyone name one song of lp,bappi or junior roshan dat cud match d quality of d following songs..
    1.mera kuch saaman
    2.tujse naraaz nahi zindgi
    3.khali hath shaam aayi hai
    4.roz roz aakhon tale
    5.kardo kripala mohana
    6.chehra ha ya chand
    7.aey zndgi gale laga le
    8.khamosh sa afsana…
    rdb never deteriorated, it was mediocre film making dat ruined him… he always prooved himself wd good dirs,,, but unfortunately he never got nice movies in late 80s except few…

    although we cant forget d gr8 contribution of lp in 60s &70s…. but in 80s i dn think dat they did any justice…. as long as rafi sahab was there, they were good but aftr rafi sahab they deteriorated themselves….

    well it was rafi sahab’s magical voice who bring lp (also rd) into limelight & aftr maestro’s death lp became mediocres…

    actually golden era ended wd rafi sahab’s death…..

    infact rafi sahab hinmself was a golden era…. (1942-1980 golden era of HFM)

  37. myk says:

    I agree, both L-P and R-D churned out some absolutely bad stuff in the 80’s. If Rafi had been there, RD would not have had that low period, and his music would have fared much better. As for L-P, when Rafi passed away, their music was never the same again.

    XXX has mentioned some great RD albums in the 80’s, here are some nice L-P albums in the 80’s:

    Ek Duje Ke Liye
    Sur Sangam
    Prem Rog
    Pyar Jhukta Nahin
    Hum Paanch
    Ram Lakhan

    So they still managed to produce good music, and some of the above albums have Rafi in them (recorded before he passed away), but definitely overall, with Rafi gone in the 80’s, L-P’s music was never the same again.

    Even RD was on a recording spree with Rafi, and the 80’s would have seen them in a great “second innings partnership” (in the words of P. Haldar).

  38. xxx says:

    well its truth that naushad, sdb,mm,roshan,sj were truly gr8 but not due to they used rafiji regularly, they were gr8 on their own, all these mds were musically highly qualified,talented & creative guys……. although rafiji made their compositions immortal through his unique & great singing…. but i think all these mds were main pillers behind rafiji’s succes…..

    among all these mds i really respect naushadji, as he was 1st person who recognised d rare talent of rafi sahab at right time & gave him gr8 songs like suhani raat dhal chuki… & later he added new dimensions to rafiji’s career through great classic songs of baiju bawra.. it was baiju bawra through which rafi sahab’s fever spread all over the country…. HFM peoples came to know abt rafiji’s range through renditions like o dunia k rakhwale, tu ganga ki mauj…

    rafi sahab & naushadji were made for each odr… truly a greatest mdir-singer pair industry have ever produced… they bring so much magic wenever they came 2gdr….

    anodr composer whom i respect is burman dada… dada was really well cultured & gr8 composer…. dada burman clicked wd every singer of his time. dada burman gave some gr8 songs wd hemant & talat, also gave some good & respectable songs wd KK… but dada burman always gave his best compositions to rafiji as rafiji was best…. some of their gr8 songs are…
    1.jinhe naaz hai hind par(surely among one of d top 10 songs of rafiji) mehlo ye takhton(andr gr8 song)
    3.hum bekhudi mein tumko…
    4.khoya khoya chand
    5.tere bin soone nain hamare
    6.din dhal jaye…………….. & many odrs

    now refering to d post 211 i dn think lp were more talented dan rdb… though lp always managed to surpass rdb commercially, but in terms of quality rdb was always better…. even in 80s & 90s(when lp deteriorated) rdb managed to produce number of quality songs……

    and even gr8 mds like naushadji,sj,salilda,anilda… also used to praise pancham a lot..
    once naushadji wrote abt rdb on his birthday,, juss go through this…


    “Came across an article written by Naushad ji on Pancham on his birthday carried out by noted Bengali film Magazine. Anandalok in their June 2003 issue. Very emotional in content & has very interesting views.

    Remembering Pancham: Pancham did not keep his Words
    (Excerpts) by Naushad-ji

    Pancham is one of the most gifted music director Hindi film has ever seen & he has presented us with array of compositions representing different moods for us to savour……..SD initially was quite worried about RD but I reassured him that that it’s difficult to stop him from achieving superstardom b’cos of the rare talent he possess. From the very first film he showed his class. His ability to fuse Indian melody with western base & his terrific knowledge on Indian Classical & folk was unparalleled which inspired a whole generation then & MD’s even today……Sometimes I fail to comprehend when I think what made the genius, who composed such innumerable lyrical compositions like ‘Mere Naina Sawan’ both in Hindi & Bengali, compose few cheap songs like “Monica my Darling”, “Mehbooba Mehbooba” & “Duniya Main Logo Ka” …..I feel it’s just a waste of his huge talent…….

    A stage came in his career when he got caught in vicious cycle of failures & when I thought that with the kind of potential he has, would make a huge turnaround, he simply wilted under pressure… In my life also I have seen dark clouds of failure & rejection, life seem to be endless tunnel with no light at sight but I fought back & that’s the reason I have reached the position I’m in now. But despite such great talent Pancham simply gave away……

    In 1989 he had undergone Bypass surgery & I thought that after such a major scare he would stay clear of all such things which took him to such a state. Even he promised to me that he will not touch wine after the operation. But he did not keep his words & again hit bottle to fight loneliness during that time…..A genius who ideally should have sailed in the Ocean of music & presented us with rare pearls of sur& taal instead immersed himself in the sea of wine….gradually pushing himself to the doorsteps of death. What a waste of potential & talent! Why Pancham, why did u do this?

    A creative & a versatile genius who had lots of music left in him to again transform moribund music scenario of today’s & I believe only he could given a new direction to hindi film music died suddenly…. and a flower wilted before its full blossom.

    (Pancham u did not keep your words.)”””””

    so their is no questions left upon rdb’s greatness… even naushadji liked rdb’s
    work & belived that only he was capable of changing d lull music scenario of 90s…..

    well it doesnt mean dat lp were not gr8, they were really gr8 in 60s and early 70s, afterall in 60s they grabbed d popular awards in d presence of biggie giants of music……
    but its also truth that they became mediocre in 80s & 90s….

    but im very thankfull to lp that they always produced gems wd mighty rafi sahab… rafi sahab really provided lp d gr8 heights, although lp were also gr8 on their own……

  39. Hussein Sheikh says:

    Naushad, SJ, MM, Roshan, etc… were “A” grade music directors who used Rafi Saheb more than other singers. S.D. Burman had also made nice songs with Rafi Saheb in many films.

  40. Hussein Sheikh says:

    R.D. Burman made some nice and bad (noisy) songs as well, but LP were more talented than R.D., who copied western songs more than others.

  41. xxx says:

    well i wanna say dat its a well known fact dat rdb produced more quality music dan his contemporaries in 80s & 90s … dats y he is greater dan lp,ka,bappi,junior roshan,…

    during early 60s rdb composed gem like ghar aaja ghir aaye & in late 80s
    he gave mera kuch samaan, khali hath sham(almost equally good songs as ghar aaja).. but can anyone name one song of lp in late or early 80s dat cud
    match d quality of their own very 1st gem “wo jab yaad aaye,,,wat a gr8 song it is & way d rafiji started that song is just woooow…..”

    it was mediocre film making dat ruin rdb in 80s

    however its a fact dat gr8 mds of 70s(lp,rdb,ka) failed to sustain & pass the legecy of music to next generation by setting up wrong examples in 80s….

    however mds like naushad,sdb,mm,roshan,sj were truly gr8 coz dey not only
    gave gr8 music in their era but also passed d legecy to next gen properly…

    ye 50s,60s k kuch composers jaadugar the…

    aur jate jate ek naara lagaunga…..”rafi sahab jindabad,rafi sahab amar rahen sada hamare dilo mein”

  42. unknow1 says:

    I want to ask who said that RD is the best offourse I gree with him that he was great but not greater than SJ or Naushand,Madan Mohan,SD,LP,OP Nayar and few more AND why who like KK they said RD is the best?!!!!!it mean that KK is because of RD but as I think KK gave his best songs not with RD but with LP but all songs singed by Mohd Rafi for RD are 90% hit if am not wrong,plz answer me why RD back to Mohd Rafi in late 70’s the answer is boz LP backed with Mohd Rafi and RD had nothing to do else only to be with Mohd Rafi again and the answer is hit songs of Mohd rafi………..

  43. H.V.GURU MURTHY says:

    I fully agree with XXX. MM, Naushad, SDB, OPN, Roshan, Chitragupta, C.Ramachandra, Salil maintained their standard throughout their career wheras SJ became mediocre in the seventies, LP in the eighties, KA also now then came down from their pedestal and RDB was the most inconsisitent, though all these MDs were highly talented.

  44. xxx says:

    Ya commercially LP always managed to surpass rdb as LP were extremely
    talented, but my only complaint against LP is y they bcame so mediocre
    in 80s…
    here are some of gr8 songs of lp in 60s..
    1. Wo jab yaad aaye(wd rafiji & lataji)
    2. chahunga main tujhe
    3. janewale o zra
    4. mera to jo bhi kadam
    5. sawan ka mahina(wd mukeshji)
    6. ye dard bhara afsana(wd KK)….. list is endless

    now let us c LP of 80s..
    1. accident ho gya rabba rabba(gr8 disappointment)
    2. 1 2 ka 4, 4 2 ka 1
    3. karma mvie songs(really mediocre).. again list is endless

    so it simply means that even wd big banner & good directors they were failed
    to deliver good music…(except few songs like lambi judai)

    some times i fail to comprehend myself that y they made d songs like
    accident ho gya rabba rabba…. can anyone believe dat they are same LP
    that gave d gem like wo jab yaad aaye(simply amazing song)…

    also in 90s LP’s output wd big banner was khalnayak(huge disappointment) & rdb’s output was 1942 a luv story(a step was taken 2wards meaningful music again………but unfortunately soon aftr this rdb died)

    lets talk abt rdb… rdb also gave mediocre music in 80s but whenever he
    got chance to work wd big banners & minded dirs he produced gems like..
    7.satte pe satta..
    8.basera……….these r some of d good albums frm 80s

    and in 80s all dat crap songs of rd were wd small banners & poor directors…
    even in pathetic movie like jeeva he gave roz roz aakhon tale…

    i think some of d composers dat were really gr8 are:
    1.Naushad ji(Main piller behind rafiji’s success, who can forget baiju bawara)
    6.OPN(least amng all above, not commercially but qualitywise)
    all these remaind consistent throughout their carrers….

    even during d bad phase, naushad ji managed to provide gr8 songs 2 rafiji
    1.jab dil se dil takrata hai
    2.main tooti hui ek naiya hun aadmi ka koi bharosa
    4.sawan aaye ya na aaye
    5.aaj ki raat mere dil ki salami lele(beautifully rendered by rafiji)
    naushad ji was truly gr8..

    rafiji also shows his brilliance wd dada burman
    1.jinhe naaz hind par wo kahan hain(gr8 shayari, gr8 singing, gr8 tune) mehlo ye takhto
    3.khoya khoya chand… & many more…

    MM,SJ,ROSHAN & OPN also used rafiji really well…
    all these composers were truly gr8… they worshiped music till their last breath..

    aur aakhir mein yehi ki rafi sahab ke kya kehne…
    aaj bht dukh hota hai ki nagmo k shehenshah ko media ignore krti hai…

  45. myk says:

    L-P always managed to be a step ahead of RDB commercially. LP produced winner after winner not only in the 60’s but in the 70’s as well. In the 80’s they also produced winners but it was never the same once Rafi saab passed away. True, in terms of classical music, Pancham may have been more trained than his contemporaries but that does not mean LP did not have a great classical base. There are numerous compositions of theirs with classical flavour including some classical based albums. They kept on re-inventing themselves every few years and managed to be a step ahead of the competition. Laxmi even said “they kept us on our toes” referring to Pancham and K-A. All of them were very talented and could produce a variety of music.

    L-P also followed the great saying “best tunes for best singers” and look at the magic they produced with Rafi. On the other hand RDB was so into Kishore that he didn’t follow that saying and in the end his compositions weren’t given enough justice. RD gave many of his best tunes to Kishore, and if the majority had been sung by Rafi they would have been much better. But knowing RD, Kishore was always going to get a good number of his best tunes, so even if Rafi had sung half of them, the results would have been much better. For example, most of the Gulzar albums, it is Lata who outshines her male partners be it Kishore or Bhupinder. If Rafi was there, RD would have had much better scope to produce a lethal compositon. This does not mean Kishore didn’t do justice to those RDB tunes, he did, but not all of them. Also, Rafi also got a good number of RD’s best tunes, and look the high quality of those songs thanks to Rafi.

    Even though Rafi sang lesser for RDb compared to kishore, their combination (Rafi-RD) is long lasting and contains many of RDB’s best songs. The songs xxx mentioned are all great, and there are many more we can add to that list.

  46. xxx says:

    well i think rdb music was so unique that he never required rafi’s level of
    genious to render his compositions…..

    also rdb tunes were simple enuf dat KK rendered dem beautifully(KK was enigma those days)…

    remember dat rdb tunes were simple melodies not complex classical based..
    also rdb gave some of his best numbers to rafi sahab(in 70s also)

    1.chura liya hai tumne(hook line of dis song was inspired, not copied)
    2.gulabi aakhen
    3.kya hua tera vaada
    4.carvan movie songs
    5.chand mera dil
    6.pal do pal ka sath
    7.hai agr dusman………. & many more

    although SDB,SJ,naushad,MM were great dan rdb but rdb songs r more popular coz
    rdb’s songs were & are more appealing in youth…

    and i wud like to add one more point…
    LP never surpassed rdb, rdb was miles away fom them in terms of talent…

    LP never gave classical song equal to d quality of “raina beeti jaye”
    LP never produced cabret song caliber of “piya tu ab to aaja”

    although LP were great in 60s but they deteriorated in late 70s & 80s(along wd rdb) …. and bappi lehri does rest of d job(Baap of deterioration)…

    also LP were fail to produce great songs in 80s but rdb clicked well in 80s(with gulzaar)

    in 90s LP gave “choli k piche kya hai” & RDB-“1942 a luv story(GR8 music)”

    yes lp were gr8 but only coz of rafi sahab’s gr8 voice….*LONG LIVE RAFI SAHAB*

    they grab do raaste fom madan mohan sahab in 60s but i think MM was far
    far away from lp…
    MM was simply gr8….
    well it doesnt mean i dont like lp..
    lp were gr8 and last titans of golden era but i think they compromised with
    quality of music in 70s & 80s by doing 400+ assignments …. like bappi lehri..

  47. anonymous says:

    clarification: binu, i was referring to you quote about dev anand saying “rafi was my heart, kishore was my vocals”. what does that mean?

  48. anonymous says:

    binu nair,

    1. dev anand’s comments don’t make any sense to me. can you clarify?
    2. i am not familiar with rafi doing a semi-retirement (besides that haj in early 70s) and i find it very hard to believe rdb would care at all. he already failed to make proper use of vocals on many occasions.

    although i think raju bharatan isn’t very bright – i believe him about rdb not caring for rafi. if rdb gave songs to rafi in caravan or hkkn – it was because of nasir hussain. rdb made a joke out of rafi’s talents by making rafi unnecessarily and pointlessly go to a high pitch in “salam kijiye” aandhi. he made rafi sahab bark in that song “ek bechara” which was an insult to the maestro. he was a skilled composer who could direct a singer in a way to make him appear lesser – he deliberately set a competition in “tum bin jaon kahan” while it is fare for kk to use rafi’s reel as rafi did many times – it is not if you’re going to try to have a competition between the singers! if rafi recorded after listening to manna sing a song – the two versions were not set to compete as rdb made it.

    people say rdb used rafi the second most – that hardly means anything. kishore had 500+ songs, rafi had 108, manna had 30something, bhupinder with 15 or so, with regards to male singers. for rdb – it was ONLY kk and no one else he cared for. even those 108 – it was either to insult rafi or because he was forced to use rafi, so it should probably be much lesser.

    i still to this day don’t understand why rdb’s songs are so much more popular than say his father or shankar jaikishan, lp (who beat him in the contemporary race and was succesfful to this day). is it because of amitbah bachchan, or asha bhosle begging people to promote her & rdb songs, or because rdb lifted western tune?

    i’ll admit that rdb was a brilliant md, was unique in his own way, and had a great streak, and some of his rafi songs are my favorites, but his failure to employ the right singer for compositions like his father was an achilles heel that hurts his music, and he produced too much average music / flops and had a short streak to be regarded as highly as he is.

    case in point about the first: had rafi sang with kishore for “yeh dosti” in sholay and had rafi rendered “koi haseena” with his romantic voice – those songs would have clicked with the audience spot on. kishore kumar sang it in his cool, kishore kumar trademark – but that should have been a romantic song in the voice of rafi. the kishore kumar trademark was misplaced and the romance wasn’t there in the song as it was supposed to be – that is why that song did not click. and of course rafi-lata is the gold standard for “holi ke din” SINCE it was especially on dharmendra. rdb should added a killer track for amitabh in the voice of kishore.

  49. xxx says:

    rd was great….
    he was master of every genere of music…

    and i think this post is totally illogical & useless coz if we xclude all rd & rafi
    numbers from rafi’s songs, we will find that rafiji is still great singer…

    rafi sahab already proved himself(much much earlier dan rd’s entry into HFM) in 40s & 50s wd great MDs like SDB, NAUSHAD, MM, SJ etc etc…

    as far as rd concnd… he was great…. no one was dre at dat time to
    produce such a multidimensional music…..

    although no one can touch rafi’s greatness …

    but cum on all rafians dnt blame kk & rd as they were gr8 admirers of mighty rafi sahab…. even more dan all of you…

  50. rafian1 says:

    Dear Mr Sumit.

    The song ‘Tera siva na kisi ka banoonga,khoone jigar mein likh kar mein doonga’ is from Proffessor Pyarelal(1981) .

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