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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. few more hit songs composed by ravinder jain saab. film chor machaaye shor. with lataji ek daal par tota bole ek dal par maina and with ashaji paon me dori dori me ghoongru. film fakira with lataji aadhi sacchi aadhi joothi teri prem kahani and many more. rafi saab was always no.1. birendra singh bisht

  2. anil cherian says:

    May I request some of the senior music lovers who actually knew what was going on during this phase (and not just read about it) to enlighten us further on what people’s tastes were during this period. What I would like to know is what common folks listened to and hummed during this period (BGM could be a wrong indicator of the ‘popularity’, as many opined here).

  3. jasbir singh says:

    rafi saheb jaisa singer kabhi bhi dobara nahi aa sakta.yadi woh hum ko itni jaldi shood kar na jate tu kk ka koi naam bhi na leta.

  4. AHAMED KUTTY says:

    Dear Rafians,
    singers will come and go.but rafi saab will be immortal for ever.According to a film maker cum director of kerala told rafi saab had even beaten the olden
    “gandharvas’ as his songs are flowing till today.It is useless to compare rafi saab with any singer as nobody is there to reach him for his qualities.Can any singer can dream to bring a community in his/her name other than rafi saab.
    “the rafian community is a miracle”.
    I think the only singer can compete rafi saab is Lataji.but if we see,we can find
    the same songs rendered by these two giants seperately,rafi saabs is more popular.For example “Teri ankhon ke siva” – “Padesiyon se na” – “Mere mehaboob tuje” – “ha tumujeyum bhulana pavoge” etc.Moreover lataji need
    to sing only in one style who ever the actress.But rafi saab has various
    styles to match various heros and even comedians.
    so why we waste the time to say unnecessary things and let us dedicate this
    site for our “great, great,great, great,great,great mohammed rafi saab.

  5. Recently on 22.03.08, we (me and Mr. Narayanan) attended the “Rang De Basanti” program organised beautifully by Mr. Kaushik Kothari and Sagar Catereres. The theme was “Phir Rafi”. Wonderful songs. After Khana, Gana started at 8.30 PM and went on till 1.30 AM.

    An information which I wanted to share with other Rafi lovers was about the title song of SARANGA of which we discussed so much in an earlier issue. Though I have not seen the movie, we were informed that Rafi’s version of few lines are there in the movie. The song’s antara was sung by Mukesh and later mukhda was added to Mukesh’s version.

  6. Harvinder says:

    Posts 67 & 68 Aseer bhai and Raju bhai,
    It is all forgotten. I always knew that there was some misunderstanding in reading the comments.

    Please continue to share your knowledge. Thanks again !

  7. Narayanan says:

    Mohan sir,
    Yes Iam going to buy the book by Ananthraman soon.
    jai Rafi sahab

  8. mohanflora says:

    Music industry needs revolution in composing: Lata

    ” the biggest blow of Partition to the world of Indian film music was Noorjehan’s move to Pakistan.

    But the good thing for the industry was that both Rafi and Naushad decided to stay in India, Anantharaman says.

    According to him, 1970s were years when film music declined in quality and importance.

    “The first generation composers, singers and lyricists were long gone, many of the second generation had all but retired. With Rafi’s death in 1980, the best articulator of melody was gone.”
    He terms the 1980s as a decade music lovers dread to look back on.”

    For more, read!'Music+industry+needs+revolution+in+composing

  9. Raju Korti says:

    please refer to post 67 by mr aseer. i am happy that mr aseer has the honesty and gumption to admit he erred. very few people have the courage of conviction to admit one’d lapse and we should hail mr aseer for his sincere apologies. we all are humans and go wrong sometimes. but we should understand — more so as rafi devotees — that it is up to us to build bridges. hope mr harvinder and mr aseer will continue to write in true spirit of camraderie.

  10. Aseer says:

    @ Harvinder ji,
    re-read, understood, embarassed and offering sincere apology. Plz pardon.

  11. Harvinder says:

    Mr Aseer,

    Your post 57 in response and your reaction to my post 46. Please read again, think and then comment – You are expected to understand simple english and the feelings.

  12. xxx says:


    ref to “chura liya hai”- asha ji sung it greatly so did rafi ji, now regarding ur ques that what made dis song special, imo in ykb amongst the several duets this one is most popular, most melodious & sung greatly by asha ji & rafi ji, rafi ji used to kept asha ji on her toes everytime, juss compare asha’s odr renditions “lekar hum diwana dil” & “meri soni” from d same movie wd “chura liya hai”….

    my point is simple that rafi ji never sounded pale in comparison to the sisters but the reverse is definiately true, since u seems to be rdb fan so here is a song by rdb where rafi ji outshining lata ji::
    chadti jawani meri chaal mastaninotice that particular line”haye rama oye rama” rafi sahab rendered this wd excellent expressions but lata ji simply going as per notations.. also lata ji putting her best effort to go wd the fast rythm but rafi ji’s voice flowing with the rythm…

    and here is the song by same the composer where rafi ji outshining asha ji::
    zulfo ko aap yun na sawara karo i can cite dozen more examples..

    well, iam saying all this witout showing any disrespect to the asha ji & lata ji, as i respect them a lot, i just want to echo these words of manna da::

    People say the two sisters wouldn’t let any one else come into the industry. I say even if that was true, there was still no one who could come close to them in terms of talent and hard work..

    rafi ji, lata ji & asha ji will always remain as a top 3 singers of the history of hfm, leading by rafi ji,as i think no one can beat rafi ji, rafi ji was the deadly combination of these four attributes::

  13. binus2000 says:

    asser ji.. ur various posts : re….

    i have a great respect for u for ur views on music and rafi ji.
    even more as u are a student and u are from the gennext group.
    welcome the gennext to rafi forums.
    why i am writing u this is to inform rafi lovers of a young girl student
    whose father is a mad rafi and music fan. mr.sehgal kohli drives the
    mumbai local train ( a motorman ) in the central railway and music
    is his companion, every moment.

    he opened this site and gave a copy of sargam magazine to his
    student daughter and read what she had to say to her dad :
    how does one devote so much time for music and rafi ji in these
    busy days. ” i just cant believe it.. its so marvellous.

    if a twenty something can give such a compliment about music
    and rafi ji and to us – i think we are on the right path.

    let the gen-next numbers grow and asseer ji , my compliments
    to you….

    binu nair… the rafi foundation, mumbai.

  14. Personally I think both “Chuaraliya” and “Aaja Aaja” became hits only because of Rafi and Asha, I repeat both, and no other Singers could have done justice to these two songs so also the song “Yeh Dekhake Dil Zhooma” and many other OPN songs.

  15. anonymous says:

    i think because i’m a guy i had a soft spot for asha’s rendition in aaja aaja main hoon pyar tera. again, i love the way she changes her voice “main hoon pyar tera, allah allah”- very sultry. maybe the same could be said for the beginning of chura liye. i suppose guys can be biased to those sings. still, as a big fan of rafi sahab – aaja aaja is always identified with him, he agreed to sing it without any hesitation because he can sing anything, and wow – what PUNCH he added to that song. i cannot describe in words what that is. the aaja aaja seems to come suddenly as if the sound was propagating for a great distance and all of a sudden it hits you. his voice is silky and not loud on the ears – yet tonal quality is imposed. words cannot describe the magic in his voice. i validly praise him so much on his many great points that every now and then i like to challenge it just for the heck of it. you know as they say – a little bit of rebellion now and then is a good thing (i think thomas jefferson, 3rd president of usa and writer of declaration of independence, said that). regardless of any friendly, joking bet (of course nasir hussain ALWAYS knew rafi was rafi – his kind deed in hkkn paid off with rafi sahab singing the most enduring songs and winning the national award & ff).

  16. anonymous says:

    reason i was curious who assigned the tune to rafi is because whoever did must have been a wellwisher for rafi. whether the singer was rafi or kishore for that duet – it wouldn’t have mattered – the key part to that song was asha – her rendition is what mattered most (not a general view but particularly with this song). i’d love to hear someone refute this but i’m afraid i speak the truth. but as i said – it is trivial matter when you look at the scope of hundreds of duets where rafi was the star. this is why i don’t bother if someone tries to tell me asha outsang rafi in aaja aaja main hoon pyar tera. in fact, i was told a story by a random person on the internet (whom i wouldn’t trust) that nasir hussain and pancham had a bet as to who would singer aaja aaja main hoon pyar tera better. nasir betted on rafi and pancham on asha. nasir conceded and handed pancham 100 rupees. i’m just curious about this **rumor** – truthfully, in the big picture, these things are very, very trivial. rafi zindabad!

  17. anonymous says:

    Chura Liye Hai Tumne Dil Ko from Yaadon Ki Baraat – let’s talk about it. Frankly, the issue I’m raising is trivial but I want to throw it for fun. This song happens to be one of the most popular songs of all time. Why? It is because of Asha – the way she sings the beginning “chura liye tumne dil ko” – her voice is unique and sultry (she doesn’t regularly sing like this – even in the other parts of the song). Of course, the rest of the song was sung excellently by Rafi. He was the best choice of any male singer for that song but this doesn’t differentiate this song from the thousands of others to which we could say the same for Rafi. What does it is Asha’s beginning – that was very memorable. It would be foolish to argue that one singer carried the other because with Rafi – he was the star of countless duets – but singers sing together and not against each other. In any case – why do you guys think Chura Liye from 1973 (wow – incidentally talking about asha & rafi is on topic – this was a key duet from that period) was especially popular? Key question for rafi fans is – what made it any different from any other Rafi song? To me, this was another “Dum Maro Dum” moment from Asha Bhonsle that really stood out. I’m curious to know if RD Burman or Nasir Hussain assigned this tune to Rafi. We can criticize Pancham for lifting that tune – but MAN! – look what he did with it. The “If It’s Tuesday” song was so drab whereas this renditions is excellent.

  18. binus2000 says:

    further to the asha statements may i state that ……………
    the elephant has two sets of teeth, one for showing and the other
    for chewing.

    asha knows what to tell where. in a general concert and in
    a press conference she will never badmouth rafi ji as she will
    be hounded by the journos and rediculed.
    she did this in a recent recording and the recordist walked out
    saying that he did not “agree” to her lies and due to vested interests
    she is – badmouthing rafi ji.

    i have met ashaji many times in the uae where a
    restaurant is named after her. i had a very good opinion about her
    but now that has changed.

    binu nair…. mumbai.

  19. xxx says:

    asha was great. but rafi sahab was greatest,, asha brilliantly sung many western nums wd rdb, rythmic nums wd opn.. but she wasn’t made for the soulful and thehraav based songs in which lata was genious, similarly lata wasn’t made for western num, rythmic nums aur kawalis in which asha ruled among females…

    so plz dn compare these ladies wd rafi ji, ya they both were great in their respective genre. but rafi ji was master of all, in fact in many songs he completely outshining the asha, …

    only lata was the singer from yesteryears who managed to equate herself with rafi ji but in a very few departments, lata was never capable of singing these types of songs to perfection..
    1.jan pehchan ho
    2.o hasina
    3.kawaali songs
    4.jawaniya ye mast mast

    asha wasn’t able to sing these type of songs to perfection…
    1.suhani raat dhal chuki
    2.koi sagar dil ko behlata nahi
    3.aaj ki raat mere dil ki salami
    4.rang aur noor ki baraat….

    and none other(including these sisters) was capable to sing these
    1.o dunia ke rakh wale dunai agar mil b jaye to kya hai
    3.dekhi zamane ki yaari
    4.jinhe naaz hai hind par wo kahan hai………

    so history itself saying that rafi ji was greatest, he was the phenomenon like none other. yes lata ji & asha ji were great but no one can beat rafi ji…..


  20. Aseer says:

    @ post 46 Harvinder ji, Asha matched rafi sahab efforlessly!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! should I laugh or weep? listen to Bahat shukriya badi meharbani. I change the track after rafi sahab finishes his part. listen to hum intezaar karenge(duet version). I drag the pointer of winamp to the point where Rafi sahab enters. so plz plz plz DO NOT SAY EVER SUCH STATEMENTS.

    If any person ever matched rafi sahab, he was manna de, and look how he talks about Rafi sahab. the more fruit bearing the tree is the lower it is.
    sometimes it is lata, sometimes asha, sometimes kishor, I wonder when the day will come when Rafi sahab will become comparable to the muhalla singer. not far away I guess

  21. Rajnath Singh says:

    Asha is outspoken & people know very well. her attitude similar like uma bharati, mayawati, renuka choudhary..

    this type of person first speak & then think………I also heard personally she respect rafi saab. She never forgot mention rafi saab at any concert, interview.



  23. binus2000 says:

    post 47.. asha ji….

    why are u asking for proof. what is the proof u will believe me
    even after giving u the proof.

    U may write to me and i would put u to persons who know asha B.
    and who has heard the asha statement and her actions in the

    i do not have any axes to grind and i hope the same of you too…
    please write to me, i will give u the full details.

    binu nair.

  24. Aseer says:

    yes, that lady has been unmasked long ago. we shouldnt destroy a pure Rafi environment by mention and discussing a lady(????????) like her. she along with her famous didi can continue their campaigns. We the Rafians shudnt even blink at those

  25. Hussein Sheikh says:

    Re. post 51: I agree with you that if you spit at sky it will fall on your face itself. So, better leave that lady aside. Long Live Rafi Saheb.

  26. rafian1 says:


    We are unnecessarily giving importance to Asha bonsle.For us what is the relevence of her comments?.it is my advice to her that if you spit at sky it will fall on your face itself.Even after all the self promotion she lags far behind Rafi saab in popularity(check Asha bonsle site!).

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