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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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1,381 Blog Comments to “Did R.D.Burman really preferred KK over Rafi?”

  1. ashish kapoor says:

    Hi to all rafi fans, as every body knows,Mehmood had approached S.D Barman for the music of his first movie Chhotte Nawab,with a blank cheque.Now Dada Barman was not inclined towards it,but when Mehmood insisted,he was guided to R.D Barman.And what great music R.D.B gave for the movie.In this movie, Mehmood is shown as an adult,but with the brain of a child.The first song is picturised on Mehmood and some kids.Rafi sahab has sung the song so well that each and every word is crystal clear. Now when we come to the 2’nd song, it has been picturised on Mehmood , with his father on death bed.The song is something like this “Ilahi tu sun le hamali [hamari] dua, salamat rahe saaya maa-baap ka” it has been rendered so beautifully by rafi sahab and the music composed so well.Has any body heard the song?Mr Haldar I request you to please hear it and then compare the best KK song of R.D.B with it. regards, ASHISH KAPOOR

  2. B.Venkatadri says:


    The discussion seems to have currently steered itself to whether RDB is a great Music Director or not. My unequivocal answer is: NO.

    And it is not because what he did or didn’t in favor of or against Rafi Saab. But, simply based on the quality of his music, not all of which was his own, in any case! Many of his ‘mediocre hit’ songs are credited to Usha Uthup’s knowledge of Spanish, Angolan and Peruvian songs!

    And, friends, some lofty issues such as ‘quality of music’, etc. cannot be democratically decided! Else, Shan and Adnan Sani will be the best singers of all times!

    RDB just finds no place among stalwarts and great MDs such as his own father, SDB, Naushad, SJ, Madan Mohan, Roshan, RAvi, OPN (his love-rival?) or even Khayyam, Iqbal Quereshi, N.Datta and others.

    His best work (and the one that I like) came only 1.when he was humbly assisting his father and 2.during his first 3 or 4 films such as Chote Nawab, Teesri Manzil. The moment the little success went to his head and he started thinking he knows more than his father, his music has plummetted to mediocrity.


  3. binus2000 says:

    Rafi fans : a documentary of 2 hours : a labour of love by a rafi
    fan in delhi is made and I want to meet him. pls. see post 120 in
    king of mel o d y and know how some stalwarts of the rafi era
    behave to day after enjoying success from rafi songs.
    I want to meet this documentary maker urgently and please help
    me in doing so.
    binu nair mumbai the rafi foundation : cell : 09833250 701.

  4. binus2000 says:

    Haldar ji:
    wihout malice i would venture out to say that Rajesh Khanna-r.d.b.
    were the archit e c ts in changing the wave in fovour of Kishore
    in the 70″s.
    A notable feature u would agree is that in this era even second grade
    songs of Kishore were passed off as great hits and the farishtas classy
    songs were drubbed as “near flops”.
    Vested interests were simultaneously working overtime and broad-
    casting that rafis days are over. It was painful years for rafi fans
    like us in our college days to see rafi being run down. What we did
    then : go to rafis live shows when possible, see the films that had
    rafi songs and generally forget about music since the din of the
    bongos were painful to the ears.
    the sound of dholaks from l & P and the occassional K &A rafi numbers
    were the only soothing things for the ears. A special mention of :
    apni aanknon mein basakar , koye ikraar karoon here; a hit of those
    years comes to the mind.
    On July 29 the lady doctor fan of u l h a s nagar is singing this song
    on stage as her tribute to rafi saab on his 27th anniversary : her
    singing at the rehearsals left me spellbound as the words suits rafi
    saab to the letter t in capitals. M y compliments to the doctor family
    a h u jas and his rafi fan club team of ulhas n a g a r.

    I am not surprised by the flow of response on this topic: it”s an outlet
    of anger against the mean minded people of the industry who played
    games against rafi saab. Second being the love towards rafi saab and
    against the injustice done to a farishta.
    The views are quite balanced and nothing personal : haldarji I subscribe
    to most of ur views and I look forward to ur article for sar g a m
    which is on a aug15 release.
    Rafi lovers : the rafi foundation work is being highlighted by the
    media and ur views and suppor is welc o m e and anticipated.
    binu nair the rafi foundation mumbai :

  5. Harvinder says:

    Mr Guru Murthi’s article has invited lots of response from hard core Rafi fans and self proclaimed analysts. Some like our regular contibutor on rafi forum Mr Haldar are hell bent on trying to claim that RD Burman was so great that he only sidelined great Rafi saheb between 1970 and 1976.

    I request Haldar(s) to please read the article again. Nowhere has Mr Murthy claimed that RD Burman was that great. Although the media, remix industry, Mrs RD Burman (aka Asha Bhonsle) and hard core RDB fans want to call this very good MD to be great (if not greatest). It has been stated umpteen times that Kishores/Rajesh Khanna’s rise, Rafi’s absence and sudden shift in music style changed it all. But to say that it was RDB and RDB only who brought Kishore Kumar up at Rafi Saheb’s expense. Even SJ, LP and KA switched to Kishore da for commercial reasons – how can anyone fault them from going with the stream that flowed and it was Kishore da who ruled, the way Rafi Saheb had ruled between 52 and 70. Rafi saheb was perhaps naive, too simple, gentleman and God fearing. Kishore da was reasonable educated, very smart and clever to cash in and dictate.

    Without malice, can someone give me the number of movies RDB gave music to during his career and his career graph.

    I hope I have not antagonized Mr Haldar, if so, it is unintentenal.

  6. myk says:

    Hi P. Haldar,

    I fully agree with you, the same Shakti who had musical hits thanks to Rafi saab, forgot about all that and listened to Pancham. The funny thing is that shakti mentioned in an interview that they had all wanted Rafi for KP but he was out of town. However going by what you mentioned, maybe the “all” didn’t include Pancham, and the Pancham influence had crept in just like it did with Dev Anand and his Pancham scores. For all the music Pancham made with Dev, it never matched up to what SD scored with Dev vis a vis Rafi. Pancham may have tried hard to sideline Rafi but in the end it came back to haunt him, and Rafi emerged the winner as always.

    Coming back to the point about MD’s also giving Kishore songs, it had a lot to do with producer influence as well, I mentioned this in my previous post, as did Manish in his post. Kishore’s peak periods were simply a trend, that’s all.

    Now a question to you, if Aradhana had not happened, what do you think RD would have done in that case ?.

  7. Manish Kumar says:

    btw…for all the lata & asha bashing we do lol, my question is this: why did lata mangeshkar serve as MENTOR to LP? when one was nothing but a drummer – she was impressed and mentored them. even sang songs at very reduced rates for these unknown singers and mohd rafi characteristically was happy to do the same. GREAT discovery by lata IMO. that was a VERY kind thing to do – and it really helped out rafi and music lovers too!

    can someone explain why she was so nice here? she had little to gain herself as any md would love her and give her songs (although it did help her).

  8. Manish Kumar says:

    1. I’d like an explanation from the late SDB as to why he didn’t try to “save” Rafi in the 70s. Is it because he was too old and sick and his son was doing the tricks or he didn’t care or he yielded to the Kishore-Rajesh Khanna wave?

    2. If you guys have seen Abhimaan then you know the story. After “Tere Bindya Re” the charactors “realize” that the female voice is so much better than the male voice (I didn’t think so). Do you think this was SDB’s attempt to say “Well, we can’t use Kishore becuase he’s just too good – let’s use Rafi so that Lata can beat him in the song as the movie dictates”. This is the ONLY Rafi song in the movie. Or maybe SDB genuinely thought this one suit Rafi best and the others Kishore (but if he was this fair to Rafi – then why not in other movies of the 70s?). I do hear Kishore asked the Burmans to go to Rafi with this one – as it suited him better. Any thoughts.

    3. I would kill to hear Mere Sapano Ki Rani from Aradhana and Yeh Dosti from Sholay in the voice of Mohammed Rafi. His version would be sweeter, smoother, and more melodious. I’d also kill to hear happy versions of Jaikishan’s Zindagi Ek Safar Hai Suhana. If I could get these songs in Rafi’s voice – I’d be willing to forgive RDB for what he did – help his friend. I do agree with P Haldar’s reasoning – some of you guys talks as if he isn’t a fan just because he chooses to be reasonable.

    4. LP’s music was generally more melodious than RDB’s IMO (but this is maybe a Rafi vs Kishore melody battle). Part of setting the trend, RDB amplified the bringing in of western music and of Kishore Kumar – that is not necessarily a “better” thing to do than to stick with Rafi – which is what LP did. It is trend setting though. Within India, I do think LP proved superior to LP because they also produced IMMORTAL gems (just as good as RDB’s if not better). Further, they did this as early as 1964 and continued to rule till 1998 with Juhi Chawla, Anil Kapoor, Govinda’s Deewana Mastana with great music sung by Alka Yagnik. I LOVE LP – you can’t overlook that consistency of GREATNESS (the amplitude was there too – granted I’d rather have short brilliance than long mediocrity but LP was BRILLIANT too!) and you have to ask yourself why Lata Mangeshkar sang the most number of songs for these guys! RDB gave lots of bad music too! and he wasn’t doing so well in the 1980s – LP was beating him despite him having his best singer and LP taking a big blow with the loss of Rafi!

    5. Can someone explain why RDB is, and without exaggeration, 10 times more popular (and it hurts me to do this) SJ + SDB + LP + OPN + Naushad combined among the youth or sites like HamaraCD (where more younger people go to probably). Clearly, those other MDs were just as good if not incomparably superior. The young people liking it is more due to RECENCY affect of the Rajesh – Amitabh – RDB – Kishore wave (COMBINED EFFORT – take out ANY one of these 4 and you’ve got a problem) and that is why. 100 years from now – we’ll see what really happens. Thoughts?

    Feel free to elaborate.

  9. P. Haldar says:

    ref post 81:

    myk, thanks so much for the actual figures. Based on what venkatji said, they could be even higher. Please take a careful look at the figures you yourself have presented and you’ll find the turning point remains the same. Also, the numbers start falling from 1972 onwards till they reach the lowest point in 1976. Kati Patang was released in 1970 and Amar Prem in 1971. If Shakti had made the phone call, the badshah would have come for sure. Aasman se farishta aa sakte, to london se zaroor aate. But shakti didn’t because pancham was by his side. The same pancham who took his father’s tunes created for Rafi in Aradhana and handed them over to Kishore. The same pancham who had earlier embellished the “tum bin jawoon kahan” with Kishore’s yodeling. Rafi wasn’t too happy when his neighbour Manna was beating him regularly in kites. But if he knew that his musical patang was being cut by another Bengali, he would have surely returned home. By the time he returned, the damage had been done.

  10. U0012087 says:

    Hi All

    These are really good posts that you have posted here and keep up the good work.

    I am a Rafi saab fan and I just wanted to share this to everybody even though some may say that I am stupid to be posting this here but I want to share this whatever anyone thinks.

    I had a dream about Rafi saab on Sunday last week and I saw the legend sat on a sofa with other people who I did not recognise and they were singing songs and I was stood in the next room of this house which I dont know where it was or whose house it was but I could see everybody sat down and singing and then the legend that is Rafi saab started singing and I could see him in flesh singing something which I could not make out and I started saying to myelf “there is Rafi saab singing”.

    I dont know why I had this dream but I am so happy that I did, is it because his death anniverasry is also approcahing I dont know but to have seen him in my dream like that as if he were alive and in the flesh was just so so amazing.

    Thank you everyone and I hope you dont mind me posting this here

    Many thanks

    Khalid Rashid

  11. B.Venkatadri says:


    Rafi Saab had sung between 1300 and 1400 songs (solos, duets and group songs) from 1970 onwards till the end. I have the break-up of these by year, by solos/duets/group songs and by co-singer! I have not posted those details in order not to add to the confusion!


  12. sj says:


    Superb most mate!!!. I was thinking of presenting the number of songs Rafi sang in 70’s, as per my record it is about 1250 from 70 to 80. Have you also included the 12 albums that Rafi recored in that period plus several regional songs.

    A close analysis of your the stats provided by you suggest that even the best period of KK in terms of number of songs is not that much compared to the best period of Rafi in 60’s specially when he was actually recording 1 song a day.

    Mind you we are only discussing quantity here, in terms of quality KK would finish a million miles behind Rafi and even KK fans know that in the depth of their hearts. It is simply mind bogling the impact Rafi managed to create even in 70’s with so many things against him, he was indeed a fierce competitor and with every year in 70’s the margin in terms of quantity reduced with Rafi reaching the winning line in 79 and 80.

    He proved a point not that it was required, he proved that he could win in anyone’s territory, he showed that all that backing of RD was not enough to keep him aside and infact RDB at that point of time was in doldrums. The justice was done.

  13. vijay says:

    Post 81

    Well done, those figures are more accurate. Mr. Halder do not be upset, i listed the facts,

  14. unknow1 says:

    Dear friends,
    mostly media said that it was Mohd Rafi cameback in 1977 but the true is that was RD cameback not Mohd Rafi because mohd Rafi was there,plz listen to Mohd Rafi and RD with KK songs from 1970 to 1975 u will understant what I mean.
    Dear maybe u r remmber the media made Mr Amithab Bachchan from Superstar to zero and same media made him again superstar it was same happened with Mohd Rafi as I think,When they asked mr Bachchan u was superstart he said said that i am not superstant u media made me superstar and u r(media) who made us superstart……………..

  15. P. Haldar says:

    ref post 80:

    Dear Rafifan, thanks for your kind words. No, I didn’t graduate from KGP, but I was close by.

  16. P. Haldar says:

    ref post 79:

    >>Pardon me but your posts are too repetitive, post 60 is a joke specially the number of songs you have listed for Rafi & Kishore.

    Thanks for the compliment; didn’t know I was so good at jokes. Getting better at it by watching Kishore on youtube.

    >>The list is dubious and inaccurate beyond belief. Just to prove your invalid point that Rafi made a comeback through HKKN, you have manipulated the numbers.

    Thinking I might have made a mistake, I checked the numbers again; it’s still 27 for 1975. Why don’t you try it? I’m sure you know how to use the left mouse button; tell me if you get a different number. I’m not very good at manipulation. Read the following sentence that I wrote carefully:

    “Granted it’s not an exhaustive database, but it is still indicative of the trends.”

    Instead of 27, it may have been 54. In 1960, by the same token, instead of 230, he sang 460. Do you get the idea? You’ll have to check with someone like Venkat ji to get the actual numbers. Assuming that rafi’s db and kishore’s db are representative samples, they show trends. Whether you plot the graph on an absolute scale or a transformed scale doesn’t matter.

    Let me retract my statement on hkkn. Let us all agree that rafi made a comeback with uphaar and haathi mere saathi, or better still, he was always at no. 1. Are you happy now?

    If you still find my posts repetitive, just ignore them. Remember that I am as much welcome on this forum as you are.

  17. P. Haldar says:

    ref post 74:


    I agree with everything you’ve said in your post. I’m sure you, like me, waited for Rafi to return to the top. We may differ a little on the timeline but so what? Our aspirations were the same. We knew that he had made a comeback.

  18. Manish Kumar says:

    Vijay: even he mentioned that the tallies were incomplete. Nevertheless, he was trying to show a trend of Rafi increasing the number of songs rendered – which it did. A more complete tally would further highlight the trend but this sufficed. You’re right to cite Amit Kumar but I’d refrain from comparing numbers of Rafi to number of Amit Kumar. Quality must be comparable to quality before you get into quantity I’m not sure if Amit Kumar (who actually had similar potential as his father as a singer) could meet up to the quality of Rafi or Kishore.

  19. myk says:


    I would like to add Rajesh Roshan as the last trend-setter of composers from the Golden Era. He came after Pancham and with Julie (1975) established a new musical grammar that was to be followed by others down the years. His music was totally different from that of any composer at that time, very fresh.

    I don’t agree when people mention if it was not for Pancham, musicians like RR or Bappi could not have introduced their styles, and that Pancham broke the mould which allowed those composers to do what they wanted. RR mentioned in a recent interview that he believed the previous generation of composers did not fully tap into western music, and he wanted to do that and did with great success. So I think regardless of Pancham, RR would have been able to accomplish this. This, and saying RR’s music sounds like Pancham (as I have heard many say) is also hilarious because it is definitely not true, their styles are totally different. Bappi was more of a Pancham imitator. Many a times, Bappi compositions sound like Pancham creations, but RR songs are in a class of their own, and are totally different from RD songs.

    RR is a very under-rated composer, full of talent, he could handle instruments as good as RD, and his orchestra was classy. He also knew the worth of Rafi, their combination was great. The two combo’s that would have been awesome in the 80’s would have been RD-Rafi and RR-Rafi.

    The letter “R” is the common factor in all three.

  20. myk says:

    Hi P. Haldar,

    Thanks for your post. I know I haven’t lived through the Rafi period as you and others have but I am lucky that I was introduced to this genius by my father who is a huge rafi fan as yourself and others on this forum. For me there has never been a better male singer ever on the face of this earth. I was just watching a show a few days ago and they played the song “Meri Mohabbat Pak Mohabbat” (April Fool), a beautiful song, probably a Jaikishan composition, the way Rafi managed to sound just like Biswajeet amazed me, and he could do it for all actors, that is what you call a genius.

    I know you didn’t compare Jaikishan with pancham, I was just pointing out some of their similar qualities. I rank Pancham a very talented composer, it is definitely true that without him KK would not have reached the heights he did. However there were other reasons why KK also reached there (reasons not based on his talent) and he was lucky that things were on his side.

    I think the reason why LP gave Kishore songs would be due to producer influence, even though LP may have displaced SJ, producers had a big hand in their songs those days. At the same time, LP kept on giving Rafi hit after hit song in that 72-76 period. Another reason which one of my friends came up with is because LP wanted to be partial (fair). LP also used Mukesh probably for this reason, so even if Rafi sang most of their songs, they still gave songs to others, something RD should have learnt from them. For RD, Rafi was his second most used singer, but the margin between the number of Rafi and KK songs in RD’s repetoire is quite large, and that is where the difference lies. It is due to Rafi’s genius that he left an everlasting impact in RDB’s musical heritage that if one talks of the best of RDB, Rafi’s name is bound to come up.

    Let me just take some stats from Box Office India, Teesri Manzil was one of the top most selling albums in the 60’s, out of 15 albums. When coming to the 70’s, the two RD albums that sold the most are HKSKN and YKB.

    TM might be Pancham’s best ever selling album, HKSKN was again remembered because of Rafi even if KK had his share of songs in it, and the crowning glory of YKB, and probably Pancham’s most popular and best romantic duet is “Churaliya Hai Tumne”. So Rafi is the common denominator in all three films, as is Nasir Hussain, and if you add Caravan to the list along with PKM, here are truly 5 of RD’s greatest albums, he did reserve his best for NH.

    The stats you provided was nice, I received a more accurate list of Rafi-KK songs in the 70’s, as you mentioned the database is incomplete:

    Kishore – Rafi

    1970: 47-131
    1971: 102-131
    1972: 137-95
    1973: 146-80
    1974: 137-83
    1975: 106-68
    1976: 103-67
    1977: 147-101
    1978: 122-91
    1979: 77-84
    1980: 126-103
    1981: 135-65

    Based on these stats, one can see Rafi had more songs that Kishore even in 1971, a peak Kishore period. From 72-76, each of the years has Kishore leading in songs but not by a whole lot. In 1977 Rafi inches closer just like in 1978, and in 1979 and 1980 he has more songs. This list shows the number of songs that were released those years, so if Rafi had 65 songs in 81, they were recorded in 1980, and if you add them to the 1980 total, it will be more than Kishore’s 1980 output. For ‘Teri Galiyon Mein” Rafi won the film world magazine award and according to RB this was the start of his comeback on the charts. As one can see Rafi and Kishore sang almost the same amount of songs from 1970-1980, it is surprising how critics and others can call the 70’s a Kishore decade, the stats prove otherwise.

    I don’t know why SD didn’t record the whole Abhimaan album with Rafi, they didn’t come together for a lot of films in that time frame, and it is true RD handled many of his films at that time. The last solo Rafi sang for SD in Us Paar has an RD influence. It is surprising that Pancham recorded more songs with Rafi than SD did from 70-75. One would think it would be the other way around.

    I would like to add that I think “Pyar Hai Ik Nishan Qadmon Ka” from Mukti would make it to a top 10 RD list. It is the Hindi version of Pancham’s “Madhumosh Jaaye”. Pancham sang it well but Rafi just blows you away with his rendition, a masterpiece of a song. I feel RD should have given “Suhaani Chandni Raatein” to Rafi as well, even though Mukesh did a good job, Rafi would have taken the song to greater heights.

  21. rafifan says:

    Mr. Haldar,
    I love your posts. I know that Haldar is a common name but just wondering whether you graduated from IIT-Kgp in the late 60’s or early 70s?

  22. vijay says:

    Mr. halder

    Pardon me but your posts are too repetitive, post 60 is a joke specially the number of songs you have listed for Rafi & Kishore.

    The list is dubious and inaccurate beyond belief. Just to prove your invalid point that Rafi made a comeback through HKKN, you have manipulated the numbers.

    The Rafi databse on this site which is way incomplete has more songs that you have mentioned. Use your logic, how could Rafi record 25 or 28 songs in a year. Small time singers like Amit Kumar and Shailendra were recoding 15 songs a month.

    Do your research correctly before making such naive posts.

  23. Manish Kumar says:

    I do not approve the title of the thread: at first i thought it was a silly attempt to answer it as NO but rather it is overdone to somehow present that the other MDs did the same – not exactly. they had to yield to the producers who wanted to ride off the kishore wave. they had to yield to the indian press that was giving a lot of hype which made people think that kishore was the new voice to listen to. lp for example, often brought in rafi even against the wishes of producers and such. you just couldn’t yield to the hype. hype – can you believe there are some who’d put sukwinder singh in the same league as rafi during the peak of chaiya chaiya (yukky song btw). just writing such a sentence makes me want to throw up right now – no kidding.

  24. Manish Kumar says:

    Corrections: in defense of kishore – he was supposed to sound like that for the picturization so it isn’t his fault but rather his genius to sound slurry and hoarse. if he wanted, he could sung better but the illustration demaded else. i also meant to write that the public needed a new combo of voice AND face to be willing to move on to a new change. rafi catered to this want for change of music values, evolved, and moved up to #1 again – amazing.

  25. Manish Kumar says:

    Irfan: why did BR Chopra yield to the music director or the singer? He is the producer – he has the ultimate say (whether it is wise or not). We just heard about some producer forcing Naushad (a very respected MD whom you’d probably be disinclined to ignore) & Rajendra Kumar to stick with Mukesh no matter how much they preferred Rafi. It’s a major blow to ego to yield like that for one song (mind you – that one song can sometimes make a film alone but still).

    To everyone else: Yes, RDB was the chief architect in Rafi’s sidelining but let’s not give him too much credit: he got the help of MANY OTHER FACTORS that emerged in 1969 – the inevitable CHANGE of music values & want for a brief change of a new voice – it is amazing Rafi’s greatness could thwart this for 20 years! The combined effort of Rajesh Khanna, RDB, & Kishore Kumar. Take out any of these three and the individual effort would have been futile IMO. Kishore & RDB were around long before 1969 – but they could do little. The other factors came in – the biggest being inevitable change and want for a new voice – the only question was when could a voice, voice good enough for people to allow the change. That was the biggest factor alone, not RDB – as you saw that Rafi Sahab evolved to cater to the 70s too.

    Why is RDB so much more popular today among the Internet users or even young people in India for the “CLASSIC” MDs? He was latest the trend setter from the “classic” period (i.e. before Udit & Alka with new MDs came in) and so recency affect kicks in. RDB + Rajesh Khanna / Amitabh Bachchan are the last most famous superstars of yesteryear. Additionally, Indian press really hyped these guys and that is why they are so popular even now. Let’s see what happens 50 years from now. It’s about Indian press’ hype. Why was Rajesh Khanna more popular than Dharmendra? Maybe him being single helped the situation ALONG with the fact that the was the face of the new trend which was the product of a COMBINED effort and synchronization of factors. Else, IMO, Dharmendra was better looking, more suitable as an action hero (Sholay!), had more hits than Rajesh Khanna even during the period where Rajesh Khanna was hailed the #1 superstar, and this is the only thing really open to debate – IMO had a better combination with Rafi+Dharmendra vs. Rajesh+Kishore. I just saw again Yeh Jo Mohabbat Hai – Rajesh Khanna looks like an idiot in the beginning with a hoarse, slurry voice. Rafi + Dharmendra is pure melody an good looks melded together perfectly. It just that Rajesh + Kishore was the “new trend” hence the popularity.

    A lot of hype. I have yet to see Kati Patang (low reviews btw) or Amar Prem – read the storyline – seems like a stupid story to me (and the low reviews show that) but people back then didn’t care – they were up for hype.

  26. P. Haldar says:

    ref post 72:

    Mr. Narayanan, according to the database on this site, Rafi sang a phenomenal 230 songs in 1960. Since this is not an exhaustive database, my guess is that he sang more than 300 songs in 1960, which makes it almost a song a day. I hope I don’t have to remind readers some of those songs. They are the kohinoors whose lustre increases with every passing year. Yes, I’m talking about madhuban mein radhika, na kisi ki aankh ka noor hoon, chaudhvin ka chand, lagta nahin hai dil mera, khoya khoya chand, zindagi bhar nahin, aye mohabbat zindabad, yeh ishq ishq, saathi na koi manzil, mili khaak mein mohabbat, apni to har aah ek toofan… and the many wonderful duets he sang with lata, asha and geeta. Give me one male singer whose lifetime’s output matches rafi1’s output in 1960; this is an open challenge.

    In 1980, rafi had 85 songs compared to kishore’s 82 (rough figures, actuals will be higher). If he hadn’t died in July that year, most probably the figures would have read more like 95-72 and slowly you’d have seen one graph rising and the other falling. But kishore would have still remained in the fray, with the rafi-kishore ratio settling in the 3:2 vicinity. That’s rafi for you.

    Just like kishore learnt the tricks of playback singing from rafi, rafi should have learnt the trick of how to deal with the industry folks from Kishore; he should have treated them like dirt. Zahid, his brother-in-law cum secretary, would have definitely acted much tougher in rafi’s second innings. He was always the tough exterior to rafi’s soft interior. And rafi should have spent some vacation time with kishore in khandwa; there is nothing like spending quality time with a supremely gifted and devoted fan. And like kishore, he should have learnt to squeeze bappi’s cheeks on stage.

  27. Naveen Z says:

    Dear Haldarji,

    Ref post 65:

    Well I do not shy away from the fact that Rafi in those years wasn’t the number one choice in many instances. There were so many factors responsible for Rafi’s relative low phase some real, some media created and some manipulated. Tell me if Kishore Kumar and RDB was so great why did they loose filmfare awards to others in that phase.Kishore wasn’t even nominated in one or two instances. RD registered his first win in eigties. The industry works on money or the prospect of money. Rajesh Khanna’s sudden popularity was what industry wanted to cash on and Kishore getting associated with Rajesh Khanna helped him a lot. This is one of the main reasons what led to Rafi’s slowdown. Another factor is that most Rafi centric heroes had aged and were getting out of the reckoning in that period. But the biggest factor is manipulative media and the vested interest and to top them all Binaca Annual Charts. Qualitativley I find Rafi songs of 70 and 71 of the same quality.Rafi had more songs on Binaca Annual parade in 1970 but only 1 song (that too a duet) in 1971. Sure all Kishore songs up there were hits but so were Rafi songs. A classic example of unfairness on Binaca is film Aap Aaaye Bahar Aaye. It had a Kishore -Lata duet representing on Binaca Annual Parade than any of the superhit songs of Rafi. These like these made a lot of difference in subsequent assigments. Barring Rajesh Khanna and Dev Anand movies in this period you will find a Rafi’s presence in most movies of the period and that too songs were hits if not on Binaca but otherwise on AIR et al.How can Yeh Duniya Yeh Mehfil be such a popular Rafi number when it was hardly played for a week or so on Binaca.It is not that people figured out these songs after a decade or so.Even today on AIR ,Rafi songs from Aan Milo Sajna ,Seema etc would played as much or even more on AIR than Kishore songs from these movies.
    Rafi number of songs for the entire decade of seventies till his untimely death was less than Kishore’s number by only a couple (or so) of dozens. In years 71 through 76 it was on the strength of Binaca and the Rajesh Khanna’s big movies where Kishore scored over Rafi. And that too it took couple of years after Aradhana to create that. I often compare Kishore sudden rise in early seventies to Himesh’s rise today. Himesh rise doesn’t mean Sonu and others are finsihed but media has to create stories. From 72 to 74 ,Rafi as a matter of fact started consolidating his position on Binaca annual charts right from 1972 (he had 5 or 6 songs that year) but sure it was Kishore who led wi
    th a huge margin. In 74,Rafi had as many as 4 songs in top 16 of Binaca Annual. In 75 and 76 Mukesh was more dominant in the top 10 annual of Binaca than any other male singer. My problem is that media even today (and some of us fall prey to it) that once Ardhana happened ,Rafi was sitting home and then AAA and HKSKN happened and he was back thus making a grand comeback. That is the point I protest. And these are invented lies.

    So bottomline is Was Kishore more sought after than Rafin 71-76 ,the answer is yes. Was Rafi giving a fierce competition ,the answer is again yes.And were vested interests trying to bring down Rafi that as a consequence benefiited Kishore in that period,answer is again “Yes”. All in my humble opinion.

    Naveen Z

  28. P. Haldar says:

    ref post 69:

    binuji, I’m with you on chingari koi bhadke, as well as quite a few other songs including sd’s badi sooni sooni hai. I hope you now understand why I maintain that it was rd who shut rafi out. He challenged the establishment and all the other leading md’s, including lp and ka, fell prey. If lp were that strong, they should have never switched to kishore in the first place. Look at mm; despite immense pressure, he didn’t switch. stuck to rafi during his lean phase and still managed to produce gems for him in hanste zakhm, heer ranjha and laila majnu.

    My comment on rd trying to make Kishore sound serious was not made in jest; it was dead serious. The author of this piece misunderstood the context in which I was making the comment. I don’t know for sure if rd in his heart of heart believed that kishore was the best for all kinds of songs, but that’s what his behaviour in the 1972-76 period demonstrated.

    The only living md who could have thwarted the injustice that was being meted to rafi was sd, but he chose not to. sd didn’t take orders from anyone when it came to choosing the right singer, but still he gave just one song to rafi in Abhiman when he could have given him the entire male score. And yet in that one song, rafi delivered what many consider to be one of the best duets of the 70s. In my reckoning, sd was the no. 2 md in the 1970-75 period; I don’t go by box office stats but by the effect the music creates. “Naach mere boolbool” and “soni aur moni ke jodi ajeeb” may have been bigger chartbusters, but I still cherish songs like “mera man tera pyasa” and “mehbooba teri tasveer” much more.

    There is a reason why I referred to the bengali version of “gunguna rahe hai bhanwre”; so that you could compare the effects of the two different male voices. But if you haven’t heard the rafi version, the bengali version sounds darned good. And the songs composed by the two burmans for kishore in the 70s sound very good. As I’ve said earlier, there was only one dimension in which kishore was better than rafi, but rd went one step further and tried to prove that his idol was better in every way. There is no question that musical standards had started declining in the 70s, but rafi2 and rafi4 would have ruled had the burmans not turned away from him.

    I still believe in venkat ji’s theory about the two sisters. They may not have been directly involved, but for the first time they were happy that rafi was not no. 1. They were in envy of rafi’s popularity in the sixties and when he fell, they must have had clapped their hands in glee. Binuji, you are in touch with industry folks. Check and find out what they did when Runa Laila came into the scene. I have heard some non-filmi compositions of OP for Runa; they are just wonderful. When runa came, the two sisters presented a united front with the younger one starting the “yeh hai asha” campaign. For, more than lata, it was Asha who was at risk.

    Kishore was not only a great singer, but more than that, he didn’t play dirty politics. Even at his peak, he never showed any disrespect to rafi. Compare his statements on rafi to the ones made by the sisters’ brother. Kishore was rafi’s no. 1 fan, more than anyone on this forum could ever be. And never forget a very simple fact: in the entire music industry, he was the only one who challenged Rafi. Bigots can say whatever they want to, but that’s the truth.

  29. Narayanan says:

    Haldarji fine analysis n post,
    I am not that old but used to listen to the total domination of Rafi being the single factor amongst co-singers, MDs, actors and even the heroines like Nanda,Asha Parekh, Meena Kumari,Vyjantimala,Rajshree,Saira Banu,Waheeda,Mala Sinha who had the golden opportunity to be associated strongly with the golden voice of the maestro.
    U have given the comparison of the two legends post 69 and the curve increases for our humble gaint from 77. What a great comeback?.
    Can anyone give a simillar analysis from the 40s to 69s of Rafi with other male singers?.

  30. Irfan says:

    Friends, For those who think that OPN had a fallout with Rafisaab during 70s please note that OPN was angry with Rafisaab during the recording of the song ‘baharein phir bhi aayengi’ when Rafisaab failed to make it at the decided hour.if you check it on the net Baharein Phir bhi aayegi was released in 1963 or 1966,so it has nothing to do with KK’s so called rise.

  31. shahvez khan says:

    i want more information about rafi sahab

  32. binus2000 says:

    I agree with Mr.Halder that Rafi was a fierce competitor..
    Nothing could stop his first love – singing, with or without money.
    He was available for any kind of composers or producers. Rafi told
    a composer friend: U just tell me : how many numbers I have to
    sing. I have made it now you must go ahead in chaste: punjabi.
    Both were from the city of lahore and rafi used to take rs.l00 for a song.
    In duets asha would also cut her rates for small time composers just
    as rafi ji.

    But, I feel too strongly that chingari ko badhke needed a softer voice
    as also : yeh kya hua.. kaise hua. may be the farishta would have
    made it to another din dhal jaaye or kyaa se kya ho gaya classic.
    r.d. burmans judgement went terribly wrong many times but he
    has created great works.. his greatest mistake being after doing
    great work with rafi, ignoring him for about three years. Did success
    go in to his head or was he being tutored by forces inimical to rafi – is
    the million dollar question.

    binu nair…..

  33. javifazl says:

    salam mr MOHAMMAD PARVES can u resend me thees songs plz
    1) kahaniya sunati hey pawan aati jati.
    2) chalo re doli uthaoo kahaar piya milan.
    3) mere desh premiyo aapas main prem karo.
    4)har jalwa tera jalwa teri yeh duniya sari.
    plz send me .
    e-mail -id

  34. Nair says:

    Introduction of ‘plain-note singing style’ is the sole methodological contribution made by the intruders of the 70s, regrettably/ridiculously at the cost of the purity of music (to the severe disappointment of true devotees of music). Naïve panegyrics exacerbated the situation and intruders climbed ivory towers. Musically literate ones had frequent nightmares of ‘keertanas’ floating without ‘gamaka’. On the whole, musical historians can chronicle a period of mass slaughter of ragas.

  35. Ganesh says:

    Hi KK lovers can anybody send me these two songs sung by KK

    1) Champawati Tu Aaja
    2) Pahli Baar Ha Pahli Bar Ek Ladki

    My e-mail id:-

  36. P. Haldar says:

    ref post 60:

    so-called lean phase! I wonder where the people who are writing these posts were during the 1972-76 period. Rafi was not born to sing a “mahua tera wada kya hua” here and a “teri galiyon mein” there. These are ripples in a pond. A giant like rafi used to make such huge splashes in the ocean that boats in the vicinity would sink. If some of the people who are writing on this thread clicked on this site’s database and checked the number of songs rafi sang in that period, they would be able to see the truth for themselves. Granted it’s not an exhaustive database, but it is still indicative of the trends. Here are the number of songs from 1969 to 1980 sung by rafi and kishore.

    rafi kishore

    1969 108 20
    1970 80 53
    1971 78 108
    1972 50 136
    1973 31 136
    1974 33 151
    1975 27 108
    1976 29 92
    1977 57 147
    1978 55 92
    1979 50 65
    1980 85 82

    Take a graph paper and plot the curves and tell me if you see a fall for one and a rise for another. And let me know if you can find the point where the trend reverses. The Aradhana-Kishore-RD effect lasted for a full six years before rafi started reversing the trend. And that was in 1977, when HKKN and AAA were released. Just like rafi didn’t make a breakthrough with “dil deke dekho”, he didn’t make a comeback with “hawas” (1974).

    When the three sj wannabes made their first splash, check out what rafi did for them. Yes, I mean Teesri Manzil, JJPK and Dosti. He sang every single song in the first and almost all the songs in the other two. And you’ll see that phenomenon in scores of other films in the sixties. There are some old-timers on this forum who remember those days but they have chosen to remain silent.

  37. sj says:

    also harvider ji your following point is spot on

    ‘To elevate RDB such long debates are initiated. Nobody talks of SJ or Madan Mohan ??? May be they did not have Asha Bhonsle kind of commercial wife. What a joke there is an award in honour of RDB.”

    what a shame!!!!! the industry is exposed and so its dirty politics

  38. sj says:

    Post 55 and Post 60…..excellent posts.

    Harvinder ji…..your following points are spot on:

    “More on RDB – I am sick of hearing that “Kya hua tera wada” of RDB in 1977 new lease of life to Rafi saheb. What about songs of Amar Akbar Anthony, Chacha Bhatija, Dharamveer. Many of Ravindra Jain’s songs in early 70’s sung by Rafi saheb were very melodious”

    and what about songs from Khilona (70), Naina (73), Hanste Zakam (73), Loafer (74), Suraj aur Chanda (74), Caravan (72), Chor Machaye Shor (75),
    Kaanch aur Heera (73), Ek Mahal ho sapno ka (74) … in which KK was replaced by Rafisaab……

    the stories of this so called comeback is as false as the sun rising from the west. Kings do not make comebacks, they always rule.

    I agree with Naven all this nonsese is media made and by certain mischief elements in the music world.

  39. H.V.GURU MURTHY says:

    One of the songs which helped Rafi to come back in the seventies was “Main Ek Raja Hoon” from the film UPHAAR music by LP and starring Jaya Bhaduri, but filmed on a new comer, who vanished after this movie. Even, Mr. Amin Sayani in the Binaca Geetmala stated that with this song, Rafi would come back to top again.

  40. javifazl says:

    hello : sir binu nair plz rafi sahab ki bio per jo aap book mutarif kara rahy hain kiya woh sorf hindi mein hey us ka english yah urdu tarjima bhi hey?

  41. naveenz says:

    My take is that Rafi’s so called lean phase and much talked about comeback is more or less the handiwork and creation of manipulative media. I think on these internet forums I may have been one of the first people to have made an observation that binaca charts seemed to have been manipulated in early seventies. Any unbiased film buff will note that Rafi was very much there and rocking all through those so-called (and media created) lean years. Since Kishore was no where and all of a sudden rose like a phoenix manipulative media and some vested interests started under-mining Rafi .Rafi’s absence for a brief period and lack of good PR didn’t help him either. Charts weren’t giving fair coverage to Rafi songs especially in 71. But then Rafi dominated films for older actors also flopped. Rajesh Khanna prefered Kishore to sound different. And failure of films like Mehboob ki Mehndi that had Rafi dominated scores didn’t make a strong case for Rafi-Rajesh association. RDB was a craze but at charts he was rivaled and often out-smarted by LP even in those years .LP-Kishore combination produced relatively bigger hits at charts that RD_Kishore although in case of former combination the impact was not as everlasting as the latter but box office measures success on the basis of success at that moment and not at a later moment. Laila Majnu was one one of the biggest music albums of seventies and it was before HKKN. It is again the handiwork of media to attribute Rafi comeback to some people when there was no comeback because Rafi was already there.The only thing that happened in 77 is that Rafi songs from the same films got more attention/coverage on the charts.I am one of the biggest Rafi fans but can’t digest the fact as to why My Name is Anothy Gonzalves wasn’t featured in the annual binaca parade of 77 while Rafi’s Parda He was No 2 of the year.In terms of absolute popularity I didn’t see much difference in these songs.Earlier the same charts didn’t give Rafi carvan songs the place they deserved and treated it unfairly as against Kishore’s mediocre solo.

    In short I do subscribe to some conspiracy and manipulation and anti Rafi lobby at works in early seventies to keep the titan at Bay ,but he was there and rocking . Is there a better male song in 73 than Tum Jo Mil Gaye Ho or Aaj Mausam.There may be at most equal songs but not better.It is unfortunate that they were suppressed unfairly and didn’t get what they deserved but in the hearts of music lovers /music companies/AIR et al these are the gems among others which prevailed and survived all these years.

    More later

  42. P. Haldar says:

    Friends, I am in a difficult position now, by first triggering a criticism of rd and then trying to defend him. Like rd-worshipping has gripped a large section of the Indian youth, I guess rd-bashing has also become a popular sport. I don’t fall into either of those camps. I have never questioned his talent as an md; after all, who am I, compared to Salil, OP, Jai, Madan Mohan, Laxmikant, Pyarelal and Manna Dey who held him in the highest esteem. Mr. Anmol Singh, if you ever get the chance to meet Pyareji again, ask him what he thinks of Pancham; his answer may shock you. And since all of you agree that there was something called a Rajesh Khanna wave, let me ask you this: who was rajesh khanna’s favourite md? KA, LP or RD?

    myk, please don’t misinterpret what I said about rd vis-a-vis Jai. I never said that rd was equal to jai. What I said was that if you have to compare him with anyone, it has to be jai, given their styles. rd had the instinctive style of Jai. You might want to ask prakash ji why most of the big-banner producers who worked with SJ chose to work with rd after Jai’s death. My criticism of rd has more to do with what he could have done but didn’t do. Mr. Anmol Singh, yes, Naushad was a trend-setter. That is not the point I was trying to make. In the early seventies, during the Rajesh Khanna wave, do you seriously think that Naushad would have posed a serious threat to rd? Musical tastes had changed by then, and what had worked in the 50s and 60s wouldn’t have worked then. Among the old-timers, only SD held his own in the 70s; Jai would have if he had not passed away. OP lost his touch. MM was excellent as usual but he hardly ever worked for big-banner films.

    We keep talking about the singers only, but never discount the musicians and arrangers. And that’s where RD had the edge. Manohari, Bhupi, Bhanu, Kersi, Maruti, Louis, Basu — they are all wonders of the music world. Buy a karaoke cd of rd’s music and sing kishore’s songs; you’ll be amazed at how well you sound. Gorakh, Shashikant, Ganesh and Sumit may have fallen a little too short. RD created a trend with Rafi-Asha in “aaja aaja”, then with Asha in “dum maro dum” and then with Kishore in “Yeh jo mohabbat hai”. Why LP, sd could never score over rafi with kishore. It’s rd who gave kishore the dimension that temporarily dislodged the emperor. I call it the “y” dimension. Out of the 26 letters of the alphabet, pancham focused on “Y”, which stands for yodeling and “yeh”. Yeh jo mohabbat hai, Yeh kya huwa, Yeh sham mastani… And in that “y” dimension, kishore was the king. RD had figured that out while helping his dad compose “yeh dil na hota bechara”. And while setting trends, chhote nawab was also composing:

    ghar aaja ghir aaye
    aao kahan se ghansyam
    aaja piya tohe pyar doon
    tumne mujhe dekha
    raina beeti jai
    chingari koi bhadke
    badi natkhat hai ye
    kuchh to log kahenge

    myk, you are too young to truly appreciate the phenomenon that was rafi. We grew up at a time when there were different fan clubs for Dev Anand, Shammi Kapoor, Rajendra Kumar, Raj Kumar, Dilip Kumar, Dharmendra, Shashi Kapoor, Biswajit, Joy Mukherji, etc. etc. The only common thread connecting all these stars was rafi. For all the bakwhas in the media about Lata’s superiority, let me tell you that rafi was ahead of everyone in the game. And for all the talk about his sainthood — which is true — rafi was one of the fiercest competitors the music world has seen. If he were not, he wouldn’t have been ruling the hearts of millions of music lovers around the world, coming from a poor family in rural West Punjab.

    The 100m sprint that Kishore ran was on the back of rd, and when rd started falling, lp started visiting rafi villa more frequently. That is the story in a nutshell. You can call rd a kingmaker or mischief-maker — depending on which camp you belong to — but you cannot ignore the footprints he left in the music world. I hope we all agree what would have happened in the post-1980 period had the farishta not passed away.

    Please note that my analysis may not be to your liking, but I don’t like stretching the truth. I am not going to comment on this topic anymore.

  43. myk says:

    the composers who used Kishore before Aradhana with the exception of SDB only used him majority of the time in his own films, other than that he was hardly a top rated singer for hero’s. The Burmans should take credit for reviving his career.

    It is sad that RD’s horizon was limited, in that sense he was not able to follow in the footsteps of his father.

  44. binus2000 says:

    “Teri galiyon mein” first and Laila Majnu later was the rafi comeback
    vehicle; laxmikant-pyarelal always supported rafi inspite of a powerful
    lobby at work led by r.d-asha and late.
    L and P made it a point that rafi sing for amitabh bachan in many
    movies making them all time hits..
    rafii taking a break after 2 decades of being on top of hindi playback
    proved too costly and he had to work overtime to regain his place.
    the talent showed up again and it could not be stopped – like the high
    tide of the oceans.
    But music lovers will never forget the treatment meted out to a
    legend – by a hard core corrupt caucus of the times. Some of them
    are still there making some noises which we have to tolerate for
    some time to come.

    binu nair

  45. vijay says:

    In all these years no one has better described the situation then sj in post number 49, although i just wish to make 1 minor correction.

    ” Rafi ran AND LED the marathon of singing and KK joined the race in the last 100 meters, led for the first 50 and still could not win the race…..the wise here will get my point”


  46. Harvinder says:

    I am not able to agree with Mr Haldar, although I admire his study and understanding of filmi music.

    I feel Mr Haldar is trying to attribute Rafi Saheb’s so called decline between 1970-75 to RDB alone. RDB may have contributed by using Rafi saheb less and prefering Kishore da more, but to say that RDB was a singer maker or changed hindi music is too far fetched. The wave was such. But I read somewhere that Rafi Saheb sang nearly 1000 songs and Kishore da 1400 between 70-77 – Could someone endorse this.

    RDB was always a commercial MD. SJ lost Shankar, Madan Mohan, Roshan and SDB died, OP Nayyar’s fall out with Rafi over a trivial matter and Rafi’s absence of 8 months realy timed Kishore da’s rise to fame. I am the greatest fan of Rafi Saheb, but Kishore da was also superb. Even his pre Aradhna songs are gems. From 70’s he took his singing career more seriously.

    I can not buy the gossip that Lata-Asha were also instruemental in sidelining Rafi Saheb. Leave asha bhonsle, however good she is, she does not figure in my list of greats. I only rate Rafi Saheb, Kishore da and Lata ji as greats. In fact Lata ji has always paid rich tribute to Rafi saheb and takes great pride in claiming that it is her honour that she sang most songs with him. Even today, I feel Lata-Rafi songs are pure melody and no other combination is as supreme. Rafi-Asha under OP Nayyar and some others were sheer magic .

    RDB enjoyed such popularity in 70’s that many good songs of Kishore da composed by LP or KA are also attributed to RDB. In fact in one of these forums one writers making similar error. A close friend and a devotee of Kishore da and RDB claimed the music of Safar, aan milo Sajna, Do Raaste etc to be that of RDB. It took me some explaination and fact finding to prove the stats.

    More on RDB – I am sick of hearing that “Kya hua tera wada” of RDB in 1977 new lease of life to Rafi saheb. What about songs of Amar Akbar Anthony, Chacha Bhatija, Dharamveer. Many of Ravindra Jain’s songs in early 70’s sung by Rafi saheb were very melodious.

    Mr Haldar questions Sonik Omi’s success rate. I still maintain Sonik Omi may have been “B” categorie commercialy, but listen to “Dil Nein phir Yaad Kiya”, Sawan Bhadon, Mahua ??? and research their limited but quality work and go only by percentage of good songs. I would like to know those stats.

    To elevate RDB such long debates are initiated. Nobody talks of SJ or Madan Mohan ??? May be they did not have Asha Bhonsle kind of commercial wife. What a joke there is an award in honour of RDB.

  47. myk says:

    P. Haldar,

    It is true that HKSKN was part of Rafi’s comeback, and I am surprised why it even took that long. From around 1974 when Rafi won the Film world magazine award for Usha Khanna’s “Teri Galiyon Mein” the comeback started.

    Even MM’s Laila Majnu was a blockbuster score in 1976 and this was also part of that comeback. It is surprising that even with the huge number of hits that LP gave Rafi in the early to mid seventies, as well as other MD’s, the Rafi comeback is said to have been with HKSKN.

    It is interesting that you compare RD with Jai, both were trend-setters, both had excellent command over orchestration and melody, both were top class in western music, but I would hold Jai a better composer of romantic melodies, for me there is no composer that touches him in this category. His Rafi love songs are enough proof of his talent in this genre. I really wish Jai had not passed away so early, most of those banners that went to RD would have stayed with SJ and the whole scenario would have been different.

    What is interesting is that Rafi was a regular for RD right up until 1972. From 73-76 he used Rafi selectively, and in that time frame RD had around 50+ films including some released in the 80’s whose soundtracks came out in the 70’s. Out of those 50+ films, Rafi only sang in around 12 of them, a very low percentage and the bias is clear.

    One more combo that would have been great in the 80’s would have been Rajesh Roshan-Rafi.

  48. Pappu Jee says:

    Hi Friends,

    H R U.
    This is Pappu Ji from Lahore.I would like to share that RDB should have thanked to Rafi Sahib who gave him such hillarious songs whaich can be well presented on Stage with contemporay POP music style.And even current POP singers are rendering these songs in their concerts even these days.


    Poocho na yar kiya huwa,
    Aa ga aa ga main hoon piyar tera
    O haseena zulfoon wali
    RDB has no such songs with KK even die hard association.

    RDB work is not a ballanced work. He missed the opportunity to give the people a change that was Rafi Sahib. All his work revolve arround KK or Asha to some extent. I dont think that RDB has modernized the Indian music.It was OP Nayer who brought a modern style in Indian music with catchy and melodies tunes.He brought the indian music out of typicle Classical touch.He made the Asha a Real ASHA. His tunes are occupying a main place in every second Mobile Phone Tones. Lay k pehla pehla piyar is leading in this connection.

    Indian media is creating hype about RDB. His class is good but not of the caliber that can overshadow other great MDS. Although he had bias withRafi Sahib,yet he used Rafi Shib when he had no other choice.It is a fact.Which tunes he gave to the Maestro, those were beyond the compass of any other singer.So he was constraint to do so with no other choice.How many songs he has with KK like AA GA AA GA, O HASINA ZULFOON WALI, POCHO NA YAR KYA HUWA, with pop touch, and a duet with Asha Je From Bulandi, HUM JAB EK SATH HAIN, with a classical touch which is the halmark of Rafi sahib. In this song Rafi sahib showed his class when he uttered, :Kehtay hain jisay” DILL-O-JAN KA ROG. IN the stanza “KEHTAY HAIN JISAY” HE used his the best classical skills and sung in very high pitch which was beyond the scale of any singer.Thats why this song went to Rafi Sahib,otherwise KK was the only choice for RDB even for this song.

    Dont think that RDB did not gave his tunes to Rafi Sahib. When it comes to difficult song,he was bound to give it to the maestro.

    After the demise of Rafi Sahib, Filmi Qawali also died in Indian Cinema. RDB owed to Rafi sahib for the rendation of Qawalies. Here are a few with Asha Jee.

    Yar mil giya to khuda mil giya,
    HUM kisi say kum nahin,
    Dakhi hazaron mehfilain, Film Naukar
    Pal do pal ka sath hamara Film The Burning Train

    Above Qawalies placed RDB as a best Music director in Qawali Making. KK was not able to meet the expectation in this matter.

    Rakasa Mera Nam was the best rendation in ARABIC Style. AA Rat jati hay in PUB/Opera singing STYLE from Benam.So RDB was bound to give the tunes to Rafi Sahib with no alternative.

    Chura liya hay is the most famous than any other song from RDB.

    A little work of Rafi Sahib can not be ignored from RDB music.This is the
    greatness of Rafi Shib. Rafi sahib always made his presense felt despite of a short appearance.


  49. B.Venkatadri says:

    Reg. Post No. 43

    Dear Haldar Ji,

    No doubt, I have heard, enjoyed and assessed an adequate number of Rafi songs, to generally know what kind of a divine genius he is. But, considering the breadth and the depth of the Rafi treasure, I still consider myself as one of the six blind men (as in the “Elephant and Six Blind Men” story). I am forever trying to explore this phenomenon called “Mohammed Rafi”! And in this mission, I can say that this is helping me immensely.

    There, I keep stumbling upon one rare Rafi gem after another. When I get one such, I keep thinking that it is an ultimate melody, but soon enough, I get another and my attention gets diverted to that one. Thus, only Rafi songs are superior to Rafi songs!

    It is simply pleasure to have had this discussion with someone so knowledgeable as yourself!


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