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Quality Rafi Songs from So Called Lean Period

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

Quality Rafi Songs from So Called Lean PeriodMohammed Rafi, the great Singer, ruled the Hindi Film Music World since he began his Singing career in the mid forties till he reached the heavenly abode in 1980. But there was a period in the early seventies, precisely from 1972 to 1976, when it was considered that Rafi was eclipsed by Kishore Kumar. Was it really so?

Well, the reasons can be many. First of all, it was given that Rafi refused to sing for nearly eight months due to certain beliefs he suddenly developed, otherwise, perhaps Rafi would have sung all the hit songs of ARADHANA, due to which KK became popular and became the voice of the then heart throb Rajesh Khanna. Though Rajesh had Rafi as main play back Singer in other movies released during the period like MEHABOOB KI MEHENDI, THE TRAIN, DO RAASTE, apart from the two songs in ARADHANA itself, some how the voice of KK got stuck with RK. And Producers, Directors, Actors rushed to KK to make hits like ARADHANA, but all other MDs were not SDB and the standard of music in most of these movies was far below that of ARADHANA. And these people were also handicapped by the fact that Rafi refused to sing for a long period. Changing tastes, commercial interests, a combination of different factors made the situation very complicated and perhaps, the down slide of Hindi Film Music started during this period.

One of my friend used to say that a song can appeal to your ears, but will soon fade out after sometime like most of the songs of today, but a great quality song will always appeal to your heart and remain there forever. How true, most of the songs of fifties and sixties are still etched in our memory but most of the songs of mid seventies and eighties are hardly remembered.

Mohd RafiFor Rafi fans having brought up on more or less on strict Rafi diet, it was especially frustrating to listen to ONLY other Singers, when the BEST of all reduced his songs. That too, just prior to this period, we had wonderful Rafi songs from movies like CARAVAN, DO RAASTE, MEHABOOB KI MEHENDI, HIMMAT, HUMJOLI, THE TRAIN, MELA, MAA AUR MAMTA, GANWAR, ANDAZ, BHAI BHAI, etc.

When Rafi realized and took the challenge, to the immense joy of his Fans, he could once again give quality songs, but no doubt, the quantity had come down considerably. Even in popular Film music programs like Vivid Bharati and Radio Ceylon and especially Binaca Geet Mala, the number of Rafi songs could be numbered to one or two, but there was a considerable increase in the number of KK songs. But Rafi being Rafi, he gave good songs as usual in the same voice, same melody, with same distinction with which he had enthralled countless of his Fans for the previous three decades. The QUALITY in the following songs recorded by MR during the period of 1972 to 1976 remained intact.

In fact, when “Main Ek Raja Hun” (UPHAAR) with LP as MD came on Binaca Geet Mala, the compeer, the redoubtable Amin Sayani remarked that with this song, Rafi would make a come back. How prophetic his words were! The period also had wonderful songs from LP like “Aaj Mausam” (LOAFER), “Aa Batandege Tuzhe” (DOST) with Lata and Shatrughan Sinha, “Bade Bewafa Hain Yeh” and “Hasin Dilruba” (ROOP TERA MASTANA), “Ke Aaja TerI Yaad Aayi” (CHARAS) with Lata and Anand Bhakshi, Solos “Ik Na Ik Din Ye”, “Tere Nain” and title song of GORA AUR KALA, “Patta Patta Boota Boota” (EK NAZAR) with Lata, “Nafarat Ki Duniya Ko” (HAATHI MERE SAATHI), “Main Wohi, Wohi Baat” (NAYEE DIN NAYEE RAAT), “Na Zat Yamla” and a duet with Lata “Morni Re Morni” (PRATIGYA), “Koi Nazarana” and title song with Lata (AAN MILO SAJANA), two solos “O Meri Mehabooba” and “Are Maine Tuzhko Chaha” and with Mukesh “Saat Ajube” (DHARAMVEER), “Tere Ishq Ka Muzhpe” with Asha and “Hapte Mahino Barson Nahin” with Lata (NAGIN), “Tere Hathon Me Pehanake Chudiyan” and “Chalo Re Doli Utao”. “Tu Gaddar Sahi” (GADDAR) was another hit song.

KA gave “Tumse Door Rahke” (ADAALAT) with Lata, “Wada Karle Sajana” (HAATH KI SAFAI) with Lata and “Deewane Hain Deewanon Ko Na” (ZANJEER) with Lata and “Main Tuzhase Milne Aayi Mandir Jaane Ke Bahane” (HEERA) with Lata and “Yeh Raat Hai Pyaasi Pyassi” (CHOTI BAHU). Another musical was BAIRAAG, the songs became hit during this period though the movie was released much later. It had two duets with Asha “Sare Shahar Me” and “Peete Peete” apart from the Lata duet “Are Sunore Suno”. MARYADA had “Mohabbat Ke Suhane Din”, Lata duet “Tu Bhi Aaja” and Asha duet “Humse To Hasina”. SAMJHAUTA had two wonderful solos “Badi Door Se Aaye Hain” and “Sabake Rahte”.

Madan Mohan during this period gave “Jis Din Se Maine” with Asha and solo “Are Hasnewalon” (PARWAANA), “Tum Jo Mil Gaye Ho” and “Ye Mana Meri Jaan” (HANSTE ZAKHM), “Chadi Re Chadi Kaise” (MAUSAM) with Lata as well as some patriotic songs in HINDUSTHAN KI KASAM.

SDB as usual, came out with stunning numbers like “Tere Nainon Ke Me Deep” (ANURAAG) with Lata, “Teri Bindiya Re” (ABHIMAAN) with Lata, “Ae Mere Dil” (US PAAR), “Sare Gama” (CHUPKE CHUPKE) with KK.

Mohd Rafi
Mohd Rafi

RDB, the so called KK Fan also gave some hit numbers with MR like “Chura Liya Hain Tumne Jo Dil Ko” with Asha and title song with KK (YADON KI BARAAT), “Ek Shok Hasina Se” (CHAANDI SONA) with Mannadey, “Kahe Ko Bulaya” with Lata and solo “Tere Attaroo” (SHAHJADA) and “Ae Jaane Wafa” (CHALIA).

Naushad gave “Nayi Hawa Me” (GAON HAMARA SHEHAR TUMHARA) and title song of TANGEWALA.

OPN after patching up with MR gave beautiful songs like “Zamane Ki Aankhon Ne” (EK BAAR MUSKURADO), “Hont Hai Tere Do Laal Heere” with Dilraj Kaur and “Kuch Aur Nahin Bas Dyaan Tera” with Mannadey (HEERA MOTI). In fact, OPN is suppose to have remarked, ‘give me one film, I will show you who is Rafi?’ which is sufficient proof of OPN’s acceptance of Rafi’s superiority.

SJ, the true Rafi fans came out with solos “Jab Mohabbat Jawan Hoti Hai”, “Mere Sapnon Ki Raani”, and duets with Asha “Mil Gayi Mil Gayi” and “Na Rooto Na Rooto Na” (JAWAAN MOHABBAT) as well as “Maati Ke Jalte Deepak Ki”.

MD Ravi came out with stunners in “Door Rahakar” and “Matlab Nikal Gaya” (AMANAT) and “Mere Dost Tuzhe” (DHARKAN) and “Aaj Mere Yaar Ki Shaadi Hai”

Rajesh Roshan gave “Sazi Rahi” (KUNWARA BAAP) with Mehamood, “Kahun Kya” (GINNY AUR JHONNY) with Asha and “Ghadi Milan Ki Aayi” (EK BAAP CHE BETE) with Sulakshana Pandit and another duet in PRIYATAMA – “Na Na Na Na”.

There were other quality songs like “Apni Aankhion Me Basakar” (THOKAR), “Dil Ne……. Pyaar Kiya Hai Ek Bewafa Se” (SHARARAT) under MD Ganesh, “Kahin Aisa Na Ho” (MILAP) under MD Brij Bhushan, “Kahin Ek Masoom, Nazuksi Ladki” (SHANKAR HUSSAIN) under Khayyam, “Teri Galiyon Me Na” (HAWAS) under Usha Khanna, “Raaj Ki Baat” and “Main Tera Gunahagar Hun” (DHARMA) with Asha under Sonik Omi, “Dil Ka Suna Saaz” (EK NARI DO ROOP) under MD Ganesh, etc. which clearly showed Rafi’s class. Two other movies with Rafi as main singer were AAP KE DEEWANE and ZINDA DIL. RAM BALRAM and PROF. PYAARELAL also had some MR songs.

Mohd Rafi
Mohd Rafi

If one observes closely the above songs, majority of these songs have LP as MD and followed by others like KA, RDB, RR, MM, SDB, OPN, Naushad, Usha Khanna, etc. Does it reveal some thing? I have listed only some of the quality songs which I could immediately recollect and which I have enjoyed listening to, though Rafiji sang many more songs during this period.

Later, once again Rafi wave started with Laila Majnu with Music by the great Madan Mohan followed by AAA, HKKN, Aasha, Shaan, Sargam, Abdullah, Naseeb, Mrig Trishna (the classic “Nava Kalpana Nava Roopase”), ZKDH, Karz, Swayamvar, Sazan Ki Saheli, Naach Uthe Sansar, etc. reestablishing Rafi as no. 1 Singer again in terms of quantity though he was always no. 1 as for as quality was concerned. And after 1976, the songs of Rafiji as usual occupied the main space in programs like BGM, VB, RC, etc.

Mr. Nitish Sinha from Rourkela has already written a very good article on the same subject, but I thought I could substantiate further on the topic. I am sure other Rafians can come out with scores of other songs sung by Rafiji during this period.

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77 Blog Comments to “Quality Rafi Songs from So Called Lean Period”

  1. binus2000 says:

    post 46 harvinder ji..,

    i too would have written the same lines if i was away 600 km or
    more and do not have direct source with the hfm journos and
    artistes who interact with the singers of the day many times
    in the recording studios.

    more, ur disagree-ing will not alter “facts” as my source are
    first hand and impeccable..

    i too love lata and asha for their singing talents and i wish them
    very well – to make “bigger moolahs”, which they deserve to.

    but , my appeal to them is not to badmouth rafi saaheb, my second
    god and the saintly figure who stood out like a “lotus” in the ponds
    of the “opportunistic” film industry and immortalised the music and
    also gave meaning to our lives.

    binu nair,,, the rafi foundation.. mumbai

  2. Manish Kumar says:


    You’re overanalyzing her mentioning Rafi first in the list. I’m not here to put down legends unnecessarily nor does it in any way elevate our favorite. However, Asha Bhonsle is very very competitive. I’ll say no more.

  3. Post no. 46. Long time back, I listened to Asha in one of the radio programs, when she while narrating an incidence said that she happened to see a great Singer on that day and she mentioned Rafiji’s name in this context. I also personally feel that Asha, herself a great Singer would not speek in such a distasteful way about a great Singer like Rafiji especially having sung more than 700 songs, most of them hits with him.

  4. Asha says:

    Binuji, kindly provide your sources from where you claim that Asha called Rafi “besura”. Allegations like this should be substantiated with some proof. According to me, I doubt Asha would ever say that and that too in media. If you forget to reply to my post, I will take the pain of reminding you once again. Thank you.

    >> even today asha says : that in the industry the most “besura” singer
    >> is mohd rafi., as she has to collect the royalties from the music of
    >> r.d.b and now s.d.b.

  5. Harvinder says:

    Reply to Binus 2000 post # 9.
    I disagree with the allegation that Asha Bhonsle could utter such silly words for Mohd Rafi Saheb. On the contrary, I heard with my own ears last year in one of her concerts and than in her interview. She stated that she has achieved everything in her life after having sung alongside great singers like Rafi saheb, Mukeshji, MannaDey and Kishore Kumar. Most notable part is that she starts with Rafi Saheb. I have stated in the past also that Asha has always maintained that the ability of Rafi Saheb to come from high pitch to low so effortlessely is unparralleled by any singer, besides being melodious. Having said that, I agree that she has become so commercial that even though she is finished ( I can say that after attending her concert) she still wants to rake in as much money as posdsible. For that she is using RD and KK’s name all the time. I was upset when she was requesting promoters to organize one more show. She never comes alone, but has to seek help of so many youngsters help like Sonu, Kher & party.

  6. binus2000 says:

    post 44.. maruti ji..

    Welcome to the rafi foundation fold but let me tell u that
    all genuine rafi lovers “are” members of the rafi foundation.

    we are an unmbrella organisation for the rafi lovers of the
    world to come under and express and feel the”magic”
    of rafi saaheb.

    the magic must spread hence please contact me on
    +9833 250 701 and u are invited for the “free” live programme
    of rafi songs on march 8 at 6.30 pm. at king circle near the
    gtb rly. station and canara bank.

    its also a get-to-gether of rafi ji lovers and music connossieurs.

    so see u there on the 8th of march….

    binu nair….. mumbai…

  7. Maruti Mulupuri says:

    Dear Binu ji,

    Please give me your telephone and your address details. I would like to become member of Rafi Foundation Mumbai Chapter.
    The information given by you and others is mindblowing. I myself am a Rafi and SJ fan, but the details provided by u people is really really out of this world.

  8. binus2000 says:

    post 35..

    aseerji… we need a laugh occassionally and if the pun is practical
    or realistic, it adds mirth to the script…
    keep on following and writing too as rafi lovers are all kind and
    unique people, they get bonded well and jaldi jaldi….too.

    binu nair. mumbai

  9. binus2000 says:

    even after 27 long years of rafi’s demise, the “magic” is spreading
    new rafi fan clubs are opening everywhere…. i may ask how many
    fan clubs didi has, or taii or our home spun and in-house
    pundit hridayanath have in various parts of the world.

    rafi’s voice is eternal and divine and the magic never stops.
    mr.vinay pathak of film “bheja fry” says that he has grown up
    with rafi songs and magic . he sends in his best wishes from
    munnar, kerala to the get-to-gether of rafi lovers on 8th march at
    mumbai, king circle at 7.00 p.m.

    binu nair, the rafi foundation…

  10. suraj says:

    myk & hv guru murthy,

    i agree with your assessments on sj’s decline & rafi. thanks for your responses. yes, i had just thrown it out for the heck of it – but you guys have ended that question quickly. i think if jaikishan had lived on – he’d have used rafi exactly like lp. still use him even during the BREAK phase (maybe even use more) and then a few years later when rafi sahab made a full scale attack, give him all the songs. yep, sj was having a little slump thanks to the previous factors i had mentioned, but they would have made a comeback. thanks for your responses.

    i greatly enjoyed reading your article hv guru murhty ji.

  11. souvik says:

    Rafi was a sensation in the history of playback singing and SJ acknowledged his talent over the years.

  12. A S MURTY says:

    Gurumurthy sahab, I have just emailed to you the song “bade bewafa hai yeh husnwale” which Mr. Mansoor Alhi Khan sahab had sent to me. Thanks.

  13. souvik says:

    Laxmikant Pyarelal had a very eventful musical combination with Lata over 40 years. They were as respectful towards Rafi as they regarded Lata. Even during the phase when music got commercialised in the 80s,

  14. Anmol Singh says:

    An old reference “Rafi’s Lean Phase – Beginning and End”

  15. Aseer says:

    this is a qualitative analysis. those who doesnt blv that scorecard/statistics is ass, for them, Rafi sahab was the most recorded singer in 80s. He recorded a total of 1258 songs compared to most hailed singer of that decade who sang 1252 songs.
    this is after all those ‘sannyas’. world tour, Haj .
    This man, oops angel himself was unstoppable,wasnt he?

  16. Aseer says:

    @ binu ji
    quoting u– pundit???? hridaynath—- really had a hearty laugh. thanx for these punches. keep this up. u keep following those greats and i ll keep following u…

    pundit???? hridaynath——-LOL u said it sir.

    lets award pundit\ustaad to each other from now on. U r pundit Binu Nair and I am Ustaad Aseer Ahmed. we can now on impart our musical wisdom with some weight behind it.

  17. myk says:

    I personally don’t think that because S-J remained loyal to Rafi after Aradhana, they went down. History shows that whoever used Rafi and was loyal to him always succeeded. S-J went down because Jaikishan passed away in 1971, besides various other reasons. Moreover, S-J did use Kishore along with Rafi in their films during the early 70’s, and they were successful. Had Jaikishan lived, I am sure they would have continued to be the top MD’s. In 1971, they had their share of flops at the box office, which affected some of their music (as it did to all MD’s, including Pancham, many of his greatest music was for flop films), but they would have recovered, and Jai’s death was the blow that took the soul away from the team. Shankar continued to produce good music but it was never the same once Jai was gone.

    Rafi produced so many winners during this so called lean phase, that its crazy that they didn’t make it to the charts. However, it doesn’t matter, because those songs were full of quality, and better than many mediocre songs that made it to the charts. You can say that some of the charts during that time were manipulated as well, how can you explain one Rafi song in the BGM in 1971, when Rafi produced so many hits that year.

    This so called trend didn’t matter to Rafi, he once again proved he was the greatest. I agree with Binu-ji, if the songs of Bobby were sung by Rafi, they would have been in another level and class all-together.

  18. Rajnath Singh says:

    aap ki kasam & aan milo sajna both are produce/direct by J. Om prakash

    he took lp for aan milo…..& rd for aap ki kasam, rd never used rafi because he did’t like rafi saab.

    he took rafi saab in teesari manzil, yadon ki barat, carvan, hum kise se kam nahi, jamane ko dhikhana hai, pyar ka mausam……………….only because choice of Nasair hussain……..

    Nsair hussain never finish his film withiut Rafi saab & asha parekh.

  19. binus2000 says:

    my friends

    music is a business for the likes of lata , asha , pundit???
    hridaynath, amin sayani and many others…. but not for the
    legend rafi saaheb……

    always take with a “pinch of salt” whatever they say as i am
    closely following their statements for some years.

    binu nair…
    the rafi foundation,
    bombay (mumbai)

  20. A S MURTY says:

    thanks Binuji for the correction. I always get confused between the two titles – aan milo sajna and aap ki kasam – however i had also meant the aan milo sajna song in my post no 21 which you have rightly corrected. thanks again.

  21. binus2000 says:

    post 15.. suraj ji..

    here are the answers…… first, thanks for trusting me.
    second, on record those liars will be scared to speak….
    asha said the above quoted words in a public forum and it went
    to naushad ji.
    naushad ji had this to say in his unik way : o.k., asha ji, please
    tell us in which songs rafi became be-suraa.
    recently, in a recording too asha reapeated the slander and one
    of the rafi fans staged a walk out leaving the recording. he said
    and i quote : ” asha-ji, i do not agree with ur statement.

    remember , what sonu nigam had said : in the recording rooms
    the name of rafi saab was taboo, take any one’s name, not rafi’s.

    one and one is always two and not three… the peddar road sisters
    and their lackeys have spread much falsehood and has not yet

    the country’s libel laws could be used for slandering anyone and
    these two can take “anyone” defaming them to court and ask

    they would never do that since they know that they wont succeed.

    perhaps i may have answered ur query, I suppose and please write
    to me at my e-mail address for a lively discussion on the sisters.

    binu nair.

  22. binus2000 says:

    the film bobby was going to kalyanji anandhi if l & P refused.
    l p did not want to ditch shankar jaikishan and come in their place
    but the market equations forced them to “take” bobby.

    shailendra singh is forgotten and the bobby songs are not much

    but i feel few of the songs in rafi’s voice would have made
    musical history – ” once more “.

    binu nair…. mumbai…

  23. binus2000 says:

    post 21: murthy ji..

    please check : the song is from aan milo sajna of 1971.. a great
    hit lip synched by the rajesh khanna but not played too often
    due to obvious reasons…

    aap ki kasam did’nt have a single rafi song.

    binu nair.

  24. binus2000 says:

    Suraj ji..

    i agree with u on the break factor.

    drumstick sambar with idlis every day for a fortnight will make
    anyone excuse himself from his wife, dash to the nearest
    restaurant and order a “chole-batura” or a “samosa” with lot
    of chole or red chilly sauces…

    u really have a point…….. sir..

    binu nair… mumbai..

  25. suraj says:

    kj ravi! :good man! i was just listening to that song from natak based on your recommendation! SPOT ON! wah rafi sahab wah! i extend ravi ji’s reccomendation to you all! i absolutely loved it – it is quickly one of my favorites now (first time i heard it) – that is rafi sahab for you – his career has too many gems! thanks to laxmi pyare too!

  26. Mr. Murthy Saab, Why dont you mail “Bade Bewafa Hain Yeh” to

    Also post no. 22, Naveenji, thanks for the correction. It may also be noted that earlier in Binaca Geet Mala, not more than two songs of one movie were played due to which many good songs lost out.

  27. suraj says:

    the charts were **indirectly** manipulated. producers were **especially** flocking to new voices in an attempt to ride the wave. producers are, to an extent, movers and shakers. their actions trickled down to listeners having less exposure to rafi sahab hence the funny charts. i wouldn’t point at the binaca geet mala program itself.

    naveen mentioned raj kapoor. there’s one instance that can support the thought: the success of chura liye from yaadon ki baraat. it implies that a rafi song in a big movie will indeed be recognized. that single occurence could be an exception however since the song was very **unique and different** (nevermind the irony of that description – but i’m referring to the SINGING not the tune lol). in a way this unique and different goes well with the want for change hence the success. how about the other duet which was also very good – the title song? it was *only* 28 back then. remember that raj kapoor couldn’t even help **himself** with mera naam joker. but it is definitely a possibility – i would never underestimate a super singer like rafi. in any case, we’re only discussing all this for fun – today those events such as the “lean phase” are irrelevant and all that is relevant today are the amazing songs we do have to enjoy.

    rafi was already coming back since 1974, contrary to what people think. you’ll see a rise of singing assignments during this period. the rajesh khanna ***wave*** was declining and so was this trend of failing to appreciate heavenly music (although mind you – i’m a big fan of kishore kumar too -notice that even after rajesh khanna’s reign kk ruled along with rafi sahab – both were quality singers. i don’t see how it raises rafi sahab to put down his friend kishore so i won’t). so it was already **starting** – laila majnu just scored a knockout punch!

  28. binus2000 says:

    My internet suraj is failing me hence i will not be able to
    respond to your queries today. ( Post 15 ) but surely the above
    points need further discussions. I will be back with the answers
    may be to ur satisfaction.

    Binu Nair.

  29. Naveen Zalpuri says:

    Congratulations for a good article.But sometimes there are little inconsistencies that takes away the reading pleasure.For example Ram Balram, Aap Ke Deewane,Prof Yarelal were 1980 or later movies when Rafi was already No 1 as far as charts are concerned. Rafi Sahib’s weakest year on charts was 1971 though especially considering he had a high volume of quality songs that year that didn’t get their due.

    Surajji, I have to agree with you about the break thing.That may be one of the several factors. However it does seem that charts especially Binaca were partial those years,they didn’t air Rafi songs as much they deserved. It also depends upon the movies,how big hits they became..MK-KK duet was from a superhit film Victoria No 203(or something). For a score like Abhiman where almost all the songs are equal on the strength of composition, it is little iffy and is somewhat left to discerning of Ameen Sayni and co to play candidate songs. Let’s go back to 63-64.Not all songs of Phir Wahi Dil Laya Hoon were on the charts,they usually pick one or two.I think both Banda Parwar and Lakhon Hi are equal hits or equally popular but given the way Binaca worked their picks could have somewhat been governed by mere probability. In the years 71 though 74,that chance factor was not in favor of Rafi .Otherwise how could other singer’s song from Seema,Aap Aaye Bahar Aaye,Carvan,Choti Bahu et al run ahead of Rafi songs from these movies although Rafi songs from these scores proved overall longterm greater hits. As far as Bobby is concerned it could have changed because Raj Kapoor was the biggest name in the industry as far as filmmaking was concerned. (LP were prodded by Mukesh to lap the Bobby offer as it would add feather to their caps even when they were topmost composers commercially). Bobby could have established Rafi as voice of Rishi early on. If you look at it from 71 to 76 what Rafi misses is a big blockbuster ( that is also a musical) that he handled singehandedly. He had big films but they flopped or did average business.Or if the films had succeeded he had shared credits with others (e.g Yadoon Ki Baarat). Laila Majnu changed that.It was a superhit and a big musical too.


  30. A S MURTY says:

    ref my post 1 requesting for the song ‘bade bewafa hain yeh husnwale’ and lo and pronto. i got the song within the next few hours from mr mansoor ali khan (he had earlier too lent another great song that I had wanted – zara sun haseena aye nazneen and within a few hours of my requesting for it through these columns). coming back to the article in question, the songs “door rahkar na karo baat karib aa jaao”, “apni ankon me basakar koi ikraar karoon” “main ik raaja hoon” etc. were all very fabulous compositions and rafi sahab had excelled beyond belief. i do not know whether ‘aap ki kasam” comes under the period under reference but it had one party song – falak se tod kar dekho sitare log laayen hai – koi nazrana lekar aaya hun main diwana tere liye – rafi sahab suited rajesh khanna to the hilt matching the latter’s mannerisms and voice. i never felt the need for a kk for this song.

  31. A S MURTY says:

    Thanks Suraj Ji, I get your point which I really had missed out earlier. Frankly this leaves a bitter taste in my mouth for unnecessarily brining in the same things that you had actually brought out in your posts. I am sorry about the same. I never for once imagined that you are not a true rafian, you are certainly a true follower of rafi sahab from what I can now surmise and believe me, i always knew that there were millions of much bigger and more knowledgeable rafians out there unknown to me. i agree that a great majority of music lovers seek change – it is human nature – and frankly the years 1969 (aaradhana onwards) i too was following kk’s songs and was a rajesh khanna fan. but like you opined i have come back a full circle from where i had left off – on the path of rafi sahab’s songs. yes a brief change did come in my life too and i could study the new melody as brought about in the 1970s in the form of kk as also rafi sahab. i am sure that we continue to have this kind of healthy debate for it certainly cleanses our minds. would like to see your comments on almost all the articles that come up on this website every now and then, for we are benefitted by the new insights that are reflected in the comments of all of us.

  32. Hussein Sheikh says:

    Bobby songs were hit than Abhimaan, as Suraj said, then this could be differences of Laxmikant Pyarelal and S.D. Burman respectively, but why drag Rafi Saheb in the middle? As per this Suraj, Bobby songs were more melodious/hit than Abhimaan. Both duets had Lata, now it means Lata failed in Abhimaan duet and scored in Bobby duet? Very strange! Today I can hear Abhimaan Rafi Saheb-Lata duet hundreds of times, but I cannot like to hear Bobby duet even for a single time! Shankar Jaikishan lost their charm after Jaikishan’s death and not because they didn’t use KK more than Rafi Saheb. “Rafi Saheb Shanker aur Jaikishan ki JAAN the”. KK is no where to Rafi Saheb, even KK admitted this fact. And if this Suraj need to change taste, he can go for Himesh and others….

  33. Dear Surajji,

    You have a point, otherwise, all the great numbers of Rafiji mentioned in the article and not mentioned in the article would have become super hits. Perhaps people wanted a change and after seeing the results of the change they required, they came back to Rafi. It is true that some pointless songs like Do Bichare Bina Sahare, Sacchai Chup Nahi Sakti, etc. would not have become big hits in Binaca Geet Mala at the cost of good songs from Hanste Zakhm, Abhimaan, etc. Either people wanted a change or the charts were manipulated. Perhaps only Amin Sayani can throw some light.

    Regarding SJ, I would rather say that they went down after they left Rafi. For example, most of their early seventies songs did not have Rafi like Dil Daulat Duniya, Main Sundar Hoon, Kal Aaj Aur Kal, Beimaan, Pehachaan, Sanyaasi, etc. and the quality of songs in these movies except perhaps to certain extent KAAK, Pehchan and Sanyaasi was really bad. In fact, the Film fare award was so much manipulated and given to Beimaan that Asha Bhonsle and Praan, the winners of best Singer and Best supporting actor award that year refused to accept the award as they thought that Paakezah deserved the best MD award.

  34. Anmol Singh says:

    The lean phase for Rafi (1969 – 1975) is basically a media creation aided by the anti Rafi lobby, which in fact is active even today. Surprisingly in Yahoo Group there is discussion topic on “Rafi Haters”. Surprisingly there is no such topic dedicated to any other legend. May be Rafi Sahab was too good for many to digest.

    Rafi has delivery incredible hits in every era as long as he lived. Once he leaves us the hits from all corners are vanished.

  35. K.J.Ravi says:

    Enjoyed the article and the comments. Even during the so-called ‘lean period’, Rafi Sahab made his presence felt with some remarkable songs. In fact, many music directors, including Rahu Dev Burman and Bappi Lahiri had to rope in Rafi Sahab for some of their more intricate tunes. One particular melody from the 1975 film Natak (‘Sagar nahin hai to kya hai…, music by Laxmi-Pyare) reveals the range and versatility of Rafi Sahab. I would urge the discerning listener to carefully follow the nuances of the song and apprreciate (and applaud) the manner in which Rafi Sahab lets his voice soar and then immediately dip in the same line.

  36. suraj says:


    I trust you but I request if possible – take the trouble to get a slim mp3 player and record these interview you take. 300 years from now that evidence may become handy. when you hear stuff like jaidev composing songs of guide and him personally saying so – you wish there were a recording of that. Would you consider it? I know some people will decline the mp3 recorder but that is their choice – you still have it available.

    my next question is do you have the interview / article can you refer me to where asha says rafi is the most besura singer? i would really have an hours of comedy / laugh with such a priceless article? i’m very well aware of not to trust someone as cut throat as asha.

    anyway, you point out why there are LESS songs from rafi, why there are less hits. i agree and believe that. but you’re ignoring something else – what about the many great songs that rafi ***did actually sing***. why weren’t they high up on the charts? the best duet by lata in 1973 was the abhimaan one with rafi and yet the lata-shailednra duet is in #1. why wasn’t that song even in the top 30? why why why? we can extend this to other songs that ***WERE ACTUALLY EXISTENT and rendered by rafi sahab in 1971-1974*** period! explain that! because truth is – very few prefer to have the same voice for 20 yrs straight for different characters in the same movie! such was rafi’s dominance. they were taking a break and the lesser singers scored. it’s that simple for me. don’t focus on numbers – tell me why the many quality numbers that this article pointed out did not reach the charts as high as they should have been.

    thank you binuji always good to read from you.

  37. suraj says:

    awww man – i caps locked some key phrases & words to give punch but they all got lower cased lol.

    anyway, AS Murhty Ji, I too want to add fuel to the debate…

    My intention isn’t here to start a Rafi-Kishore debate (BORING & WRONG to both singers who were great friends & great singers). But furthering to the idea of taking a break…

    I say Shankar Jaikishan went down because they remained LOYAL to Rafi and did not switch enough to the Kishore Kumar wave. They failed to make optimal use of Kishore. When they should have been doing more of Zindagi Ek Safar Hai Suhana – they did Jawan Mohabbat (GR8 songs – wrong TREND / ERA / FASHION!). SJ would have remained #1 in 1971 had they switched to Kishore. What is your opinion of this? It is a matter of TREND & WAVE and there is little doubt that the WAVES & TRENDS were NOT in Rafi’s favor in 1971 with Rajesh Khanna!

  38. suraj says:


    Please read carefully!

    You completely MISSING what I was trying to say! I AGREE 100% of YOUR post but you are PREACHING TO THE CHOIR. I NEVER tried to say that Mahendra Kapoor or Shailendra Singh were better singers than Rafi (the mere THOUGHT makes me SICK!) ! NEVER! As I said in my original post – if the songs of Bobby were rendered in Rafi’s voice – they would be MUCH BETTER REMEMBERED TODAY. They keyword is TODAY.

    But yes, in those FEW YEAR in the early 70s – I AM NOT talking about 60s, I am NOT talking about TODAY, I am NOT talking 100 years from now – I AM TALKING 1971-1973 – during THOSE few years – Mahendra Kapoor & Shailednra Singh WERE in the reckoning. NOT BY RAFI STANDARDS of course – but by non-elite standards i.e. take out Lata, Rafi, Kishore, Mukesh. If you don’t believe this, see the Binaca Geet Mala charts. Before discarding them as manipulated – think WHY!

    NOT EVERYONE is a DEVOUT of a Rafian as you or Binuji! We are TALKING MAINSTREAM! MAINSTREAM represents a WIDE RANGE OF PEOPLE! A minority of people LOVE to HEAR the same voice all the time! That minority can encapsulate some of the most devout Rafians. But even very dedicated Rafians like me (trust me I am) like to hear variety. I’ll listen to Rafi for a couple days and then after of course I still like to hear him but I like to switch to Kishore or Lata to get VARIETY for a BRIEF CHANGE – and then I’ll return to Rafi and the cycle continues! Do you honestly think that the MAINSTREAM doesn’t want a “break” AFTER 20 YEARS of the farishta being the VOICE FOR EVERYONE EVEN IN THE SAME MOVIE! human NATURE! take your FAVORITE FOOD ok. eat it for 20 years. and i mean lunch, breakfast, dinner. then 20 years later i give you a new dish, which is much lesser. for a couple days -what will you prefer?

    Mohammed Rafi’s GREAT SONGS in 1973 did NOT get the DUE RECOGNITION THEY deserved (that they get now). Don’t you think that THERE SHOULD HAVE BEEN MORE RAFI SONGS on the charts for 1973? Can you explain WHY they weren’t there or as high as you think they should have? My second questoin to you is why were the songs of Mahendra Kapoor or Shailendra Singh (#1, #2 in 1973, to give a small glimpse) which are not remembered as well today – why were they so popular then? Why over the Rafi songs of that time? MY EXPLANATION! It was never about MUSIC – it was about TAKING A BREAK. We’re not taking a break today – are we? HENCE RAFI songs get DUE POPULARITY! We are NOT just coming from 20 years of Dominance! I hope you got me this time!

  39. suraj says:

    ref post 8

    hussein sheikh,

    you’re completely missing the point. rafi is my favorite singer too, i consider him the best of all time. but i was correctly speaking of THEN ie. early 1970s

    look at binaca geet mala 1973

    the #1 song is a lata-shailendra duet from bobby: hum tum ik kamare mein

    is that song remembered as fondly as tere bindiya re? does that duet compare to tere bindiya re or deewane hai deewane the rafi lata duete from zanjeer (SAME YEARS)? ABSOLUTELY NOT! and yet in 1971 it was #1 on the charts and those rafi-lata duets were no where to be found. people were taing a break from rafi.

    once again, the #2 song in binaca geet mala was do bechaare bina sahaare bheek poochh poochh kar. this is a duet by kishore kumar & mahendra kapoor. is that song remembered as nearly as the rafi-kishore duet from yaadon ki baraat? does it compare to the rafi-kishore duet? ABSOLUTELY NOT! and yet again, it was much higher on the charts. this is all i was saying, trying to explain the wave.

    do not close your eyes and jump the gun my friend.

  40. suraj says:

    hussein sheikh,

    i said 1971 to 1975. NOT 1976 or 1977

    if you don’t believe me, check the charts. i also explained WHY this was the case. let me ask you this: if rafi’s songs from abhimaan, mehboob ki mehndi, or haathi mere saathi were overlooked in the charts, you don’t think the same could happen for songs of bobby in the voice of rafi? i think it would. incidentally, the songs of bobby in shailendra singh’s voice were big hits. i made it abundantly clearly that rafi was 1000 times better than shailendra singh- but that is trends for you in reaction to rafi’s prior dominance and the public taking a break..

    b.v.: …shhhhhhhh!

  41. A S MURTY says:

    Suraj Sahab, Shailendra did have the ‘bobby’ songs and a few more perhaps, but there were others too who came and went. But those songs last maybe a couple of years or so, unlike the songs of the 1950s and 1960s where rafi sahab held sway and those songs are just as popular today as they were during those two decades. surely, we just cannot compare these singers to rafi sahab. was there any ’emotion’ in them ? did these other singers give something ‘special’ in their diction or were certain words or lines rendered in such manner as to be labelled at par with those of rafi sahab ? certainly not. rafi sahab entered the soul of the song and the character and merely put lips to lyrics. he conveyed a whole lot of meaning into the compositions and the void will never be filled. hundreds of songs of these ‘other’ singers would have become immortal had they been rendered in the golden voice of rafi sahab and not vice versa, i feel. no pun intended Suraj sahab, just to prolong the debate that i have mentioned your name in particular (ref post 2). it could be due to the ‘break’ factor as you have mentioned that these ‘other’ singers got chance to make their day. but certainly mahendra kapoor was in no reckoning in the 1971-1977 period? and lastly, ref post no. 3 where you mention the name of himesh reshmiya who is not a singer in my opinion by any standards. he can at best lend his voice to the pre-recorded tunes and fill up the gaps but playback singing is a different ballgame altogether.

  42. binus2000 says:

    Post 2….suraj ji

    why the sudden change in public taste?… I will tell u… rafi saab
    went on a long foreign tour , may be for haj…

    according 2 shakti samanta ji whom we met recently, shakti said
    that rafi went on a foreign tour and he wanted to record 2 songs
    in KK’s voice for aradhana and it clicked in a big way.
    at the same time rafi took a break from music and no industry will
    close down due to the un-availbility of an individual .

    so KK reaped the harvest aided by the mangeshkars and r.d.b
    who never lost an opportunity to say “rafi days are over”

    no, they were proved wrong. rafi was told by naushad ji and well
    wishers that “this is ur profession” and u can’t run away from it.

    guruji heeded and came back with a bang. just hear naseeb song :
    john , johny , janardhan and one will know how the legend came
    back with a new tone for amitabh.

    even today asha says : that in the industry the most “besura” singer
    is mohd rafi., as she has to collect the royalties from the music of
    r.d.b and now s.d.b.

    more, she has to run down all legends from the 50 s to prove that
    r.d.b + Kishore + herself are the legends of the h.f.m.

    she is a lobby-ist and one never knows where she will take the
    wealth. is it morally “right” to degrade a “farishta” of the calibre
    of mohd rafi saaheb and other legends of the hfm.
    every one knows of her “character – less” life and i wish to advise her
    not to attract “sins” by attacking messiahs of the centuries.

    instead she must lead a holy life for the next ten years of her life…

    all the best to her and may better sense prevail is my prayer for her.

    binu nair… the rafi foundatin… mumbai…

  43. Hussein Sheikh says:

    Ref. post # 2: Songs of Mahendra Kapoor and Shailendra Singh being more popular than Rafi Saheb’s from the 1971-1977 period…! This is total unbelieveable and no one will accept this. Rafi Saheb’s songs are heard even to this date! It was a rotten joke by Suraj.

  44. Aseer says:

    its not nafrat nikl gayi to as witten in the article. Its matlab nikal gayi to– pahchante nahi…….. picturised on Manoj Kumar but I must say, this is a song we shouldnt pick to sow Rafi’s supremacy.


  45. Hussein Sheikh says:

    I believe there was no “so called lean period” for Rafi Saheb. He was # 1 singer till 31st of July, 1980. We are not going to get such melodious voice anymore.

  46. joy says:

    it is very much true. Rafi is the only good singer.

  47. binus2000 says:

    Second rate and third rate songs were featured in binaca geet malas
    and they died a “natural death”..

    the filmfare awards too became a “purchasable commodity” .
    music companies and the promoters of binaca and their h.m.v. made
    the moolahs and rafi saab songs were given the short shrift.

    rafi saaheb gave more stage shows and was back in the reckoning
    due to popular demand and post 1977 , about 12 songs in binaca
    geet mala was of rafi saaheb out of 16 songs.

    the many lobby-ist had failed by then but made their moolah.

    binu nair…

  48. Suraj says:

    i want to clarify that citing yaadon ki baraat was not a good idea (as I think Rafi songs did hit the charts) but i meant a of other equally great songs that did not get due justice that time due to break factor. no point in arguing the popuarity of rafi songs even in early 70s – of course they were popular – rafi always had a presence in the charts even in 1974 & 1975 – but they weren’t as popular as they should have been.

    i’m also curious why rajesh roshan’s “rafi song” (BIG BIG QUOTATIONS please” was popular in 1974. rafi sahab renders his part BEAUTIFULLY but he did this in other songs that didn’t make it. i think it was popular not because of rafi but because the trashy parts sung by others in that song that really hurt my ears. hard to believe it wsa more popular than aandhi’s tera bina zinagi se koi (one of greatest songs of all time). i wanted to point this out and bring it up because it does show what the musical tastes & standards of trendy people became at that time. it makes me thnk himesh reshamiya today.

  49. Suraj says:

    Rafi was #1 for 20 years and even in the same film he was the voice for multiple characters. Very few like to hear one voice all the time. Eventually people wanted to take a break from his voice. This is why great Rafi songs in early 70s did not get due justice THEN (people were taking a BREAK) but today are revered (people are not JUST coming from a 20 year streak by Rafi as voice for everyone). Raj Kapoor was clever to want a fresh new voice for Bobby (1973). Had the songs been in Rafi’s voice, today they would be even more revered than they are. In 1973 they would have been relatively ignored like the other Rafi classics from Abhimaan, Haathi Meri Saathi, Yaadon Ki Baraat. Shocking to imagine songs by Mahendra Kapoor & Shailendra Singh being more popular than Rafi’s from the 1971-1975 period but it happened. Never for musical reasons but the “break” factor. Shankar Jaikishan went down in early 1970s because they remained loyal to Rafi (besides Sharda, rifts, alcohol). If they replaced Rafi with new voices they would have remained #1 even in early 70s against RD Burman. Of course Rafi songs from early 71-75 easily outstrip the Mahendra Kapoor & Shailendra Singh songs from that period in the TEST OF TIME 30 years later today (heavenly voice can never be replaced) – but back then during the wave & trends it was a different scenario.

  50. A S MURTY says:

    Fabulous writing by Mr. Gurumurthy Ji. You have practically named almost all the movies of that period where Rafi Sahab once again produced gems of songs, in his most inimitable voice. I particularly liked reference of one song “Bade Bewafa Hain Yeh Husnwale Par Teri Baat Kuch Aur Hai” (ROOP TERA MASTANA). That is a grandstand rendition once again but not very popular. I request some of the rafians having the song to kindly send it to me at Then again, although the movie Mehboob ki mehendi was mentioned, one song “pasand aa gayi hai ik kafir haseena” is again a very unusual style but very appealing song. This again went unnoticed but is a class song by itself. One correction though Gurumurthy ji, the song from “amaanat” is “matlab nikal gaya hai toh pehchaante nahin” and not as stated. Several other songs mentioned in the article emphatically establish the supremacy of rafi sahab over all other singers. perhaps rafi sahab had cut down on his singing, else the list would be much much lengthier. great article and great piece of writing too. thanks.

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