185 super-hits of Rafi for LP in 70s – MOHAMMED RAFI, HIS LIFE & TIMES & SONGS (2023)

185 super-hits of Rafi for LP in 70s – MOHAMMED RAFI, HIS LIFE & TIMES & SONGS (1)

THE LAST DECADE – Rising of the Phoenix.

A Humble Tribute by Nasir Ali:

It would be also relevant at this juncture to touch upon some music directors for whom Rafi Sahaab gave his voice thus immortalizing their compositions:Laxmikant Pyarelal continued with Rafi Sahaab in the Seventies till the last breath of that great legendary playback Singer whose name has passed into the Hall of Immortality. Some of these where Rafi Sahaab sang for them include: Khilona, Mastana, Man ki Aakhen, Aan Milo Sajna, Himmat, Devi, Humjoli (1970); Uphar, Aap Aaye Bahaar Aayi, Voh Din Yaad Karo, Mehboob ki Mehendi (1971); Gora aur Kaala, Roop Tera Mastana, Dastaan, Ek Nazar, Piya ka Ghar (1972); Loafer (1973); Naya Din Nayi Raat Majboor (1974); Pratigya Zinda Dil (1975); Nagin (1976); Amar Akbar Anthony, Apnapan, Dharamveer, Chacha Bhatija (1977); Jaani Dushman, Sargam, Saajan, Suhag (1979): Karz, Hum Paanch, Asha, Dostana, Ram Balram, Do Premi, Kaali Ghata, Aas Paas (1980). Laxmikant-Pyarelal gave Rafi Sahaab all the seven songs in Sargam (four solos, three duets with Lata) and triumphed with the best music award, all seven being top of the pops. They were raging hits through the Binaca Geet Mala. They gave him five out of six (the other being Lata) in Aasha – all great songs of Rafi Sahaab. Not less than 185 superhit songs did Rafi Sahaab sing for this musical duo in the Seventies. Kalyanji Anandj also continued with Rafi Sahaab in the Seventies in such movies as Sachcha Jhutha, Geet, Kab Kyun Kahan, and Gopi (1970); Maryada, Rakhwala, and Chhoti Bahu(1971); Lalkar (1972); Zanjeer, Samjhauta and Ek Kunwara Ek Kunwari, Ghulam Begum Badshah, Kashmakash, and Heera (1973); Pocket Maar, Hamrahi, Haath ki Safaai and Vardaan (1974); Uljhan and Apna Dushman (1975); Bairaag, Adalat, and Shankar Shambhu (1976); Hatyara, Darinda, Chaalu Mera Naam, Farishte Ya Qatil and Chakkar Pe Chakkar (1977); Besharam, Ganga Ki Saugandh and Karm Yogi (1978); Ahimsa, Nalayak (1979); Qurbani, Kashish and Bombay 405 Miles (1980; Qatilon ke Qatil, Khoon Ka Rishta and Professor Pyarelal (1981); Raj Mahal and Log Kya Kahenge (1982); Jeevan Saathi (1987).

We come across occasional Ravi in Samaj ko Badal Dalo, where Prem Chopra is made to lip-synch Rafi Sahaab in TUM APNI SAHELI KO ITNA BATAA DOH (1970): Aadmi Sadak Ka, Umeed, (1971); Dhadkan (1972); Ek Mahal Ho Sapnon Ka; In Amaanat (1977) we have the terrific trio of Rafi-Ravi-Sahir, just as in Ek Mahal Ho… churning out five songs such DOOR REHKAR NA KARO BAAT, TERI JAWAANI TAPTA MAHINA, MATLAB NIKAL GAYA HAI TOH and others.

In the Seventies, Rafi Sahaab and Shankar- Jaikishen combination continued in such movies as Dharti, Bhai Bhai, Tum Haseen Main Jawaan and Umang (1970); Seema, Jawan Mohabbat, Preetam, Rakhwala, Lal Patthar, Andaz, Yaar Mera and Patanga (1971); Aan Baan, Rivaaj (1972); Chhote Sarkar, Daaman Aur Aag, Archana, Insaniyat, Neelma, Vachan (1974); Duniyadari (1977).

For Roshan Senior Rafi Sahaab had delivered many scintillating hits. Now for his son Rajesh Roshan Rafi Sahaab sang in Jinny Aur Johnny, Ek Baap Chhe Bete, (1976); Chacha Bhatija, Ek hi Rasta, Priyatama, Jay-Vijay, Inkaar, Doosra Admi (1977); Swarg Narak and Muqaddar (1978); Natwarlal, Man Pasand, Duniya Meri Jeb Men; and Kala Patthar (1979); Swayamvar, Unnees Bees, Aap Ke Diwane (1980); Yaarana, Shaaka (1981).

Bappi Lahiri was the newcomer in the Seventies and he composed the beautiful number in 1978 for Rafi Sahaab who put his charm in rendering PHOOLON KI TARAH VOH HANSTI THI (College Girl). Some other movies where Rafi Sahaab sang under the baton of Bappi Lahiri were Zakhmi (1975); Sangram (1976); Jaane Bahaar and Lahu ke Doh Rang (1979). Some of the movies of this combination were released in the very early Eighties: Taqdeer ka Badshah, Surag, Wardat, Locket, Farz ki Jung.

Naushad also comes up occasionally with Rafi Sahaab in Ganwaar (1970), Tangewala (1972), Aaina (1973), My Friend (1974), Dharam Kanta (1982); and Love and God (1986). Naushad’s last composition for Rafi Sahaab was from the unreleased Sanjay Khan’s Habba Khatun. This song which is growing in popularity with the passing years is:jis raat ke Khwaab aaye/voh KhwaaboN kee raat aayee… , based on Raag PaTdeep. The circumstances under which the song was recorded and the reactions of Rafi Sahaab havebeen touchingly told by Naushad Saab and is worth listening to here:http://youtu.be/UHwxK83itLg

According to a Malyali fan, Naushad Saab has used thesame compositionfor a song that has been rendered by Legendary Yesudas and S.Janaki in a movie called Dhwani. The wordings by Yusuf Ali are:Anuraga lola gathri, varavayi neela rathri

Next, we did mention R.D. Burman’s compositions earlier. Hence we need not repeat them here. It is noteworthy that according to Asha Bhonsle’s revelation in one of the TV channels telecast (the RKB Show in August 2007) RDB used to compose songs with Kishore Kumar in mind. However, R.D. Burman could not ignore Rafi Sahaab and we’ve seen how Rafi Sahaab’s KYA HUA TERA WAADA went on to win the 1977 Filmfare Award and also the National Award. Therefore, it is not as if R.D. Burman under-estimated Rafi Sahaab in comparison with other singers. In one of the local Indian radio programmes of Vividh Bharti called Jaimala, R.D. Burman unequivocally stated that Rafi Sahaab was the only singer who could embellish the song, just as one would polish the rough diamond. Quoting from his own experience on recording Rafi Sahaab’s song: TUMEH DEKHA HAI MAINE GULSITA.N MEIN… (from Chandan Ka Palna) he said couldn’t believe his own ears when he heard the final recording of that song. Such was the mastery of Rafi Sahaab over the medium that songs became vibrant, alive, enchanting and mellifluous when he rendered them. R.D. Burman was later to also state while praising Rafi Sahaab for his YAMMA YAMMA song in Shaan that Rafi Sahaab’s scale was unique.

S.D. Burman who had been suffering from frail health and by then heavily influenced by Dev Anand and R.D. Burman, came up with the 1971 Gambler song, MERA MAN TERA PYAASA for Rafi Sahaab to whom he had given just one song in the miserable flop movie, Prem Pujari. In 1972, in Anurag and in Abhimaan (1973) there was a single Rafi-Lata duet each. This citation, innocuous as it may seem, definitely points out to the fact that Dev Anand and S.D. Burman had begun utilizing Rafi Sahaab based on the sheer talent and popularity of this legendary singer right from the Sixties. S.D. Burman had clear “Guide”-lines from Dev Anand during the song recordings of Guide (1965) that the “Geet” should be given to Kishore Kumar and “Ghazals” should be given to Mohammed Rafi. Though the genre of Ghazal is but an indication it goes out to show that Rafi Sahaab was to be used for a difficult song structures. Is it possible that S.D. Burman had continued with recording Rafi Sahaab’s songs in the Sixties and passing them on as Kishore’s to Dev Anand? This question arises because it appears that in one of his interviews with Filmfare Magazine many years ago Dev Anand stated that his favourite singer was Kishore Kumar who changed his voice to suit the actor. Strangely it appears that by way of an example of Kishore Kumar’s best song he then cited the Tere Ghar Ke Samne song: DIL KA BHANWAR KARE PUKAAR PYAAR KA RAAG SUNO RE. He even hummed the “OOOO’ that comes after PYAAR KA RAAG SUNO RE. That mental error must have naturally gone against Rafi Sahaab. However, in other cases where S.D. Burman had a free hand he had judiciously employed Rafi Sahaab in the previous decades with great success such as in the Kala Pani song: HAMM BEKHUDI MEIN TUM KO PUKAARE CHALE GAYE….which was the version of his earlier Bengali song: GHOOM BHULECHHI NIJHUM NISHITHE JEGE THAKI….

Rafi Sahaab has surely immortalized S.D. Burman with his DIN DHAL JAAYE … as also the mellifluous TERE MERE SAPNE AB EK RANGG HAIN….and KYA SE KYA HO GAYA – the songs from Guide as well as the songs from Gurudutt’s Pyaasa in the earlier decade. It was in 1975 that S.D. Burman used Mohammed Rafi for the last time before slipping into a coma which ultimately resulted in his passing away. That was a duet which Rafi Sahaab sang with Kishore Kumar in Chupke Chupke: SA RE GA MA, AA HA, MA SA RE GA…. Dharmendra looked so natural lip-synching Rafi Sahaab there. Rafi Sahaab remains his personal favourite.

Madan Mohan too continued with Rafi Sahaab in such movies as Heer Ranjha, Dastak (1970); Parwana (1971); Hanste Zakhm (1973); Chowkidar (1974); Mausam (1975) and Laila Majnu (1976). Madan Mohan is sometimes credited with the Revival of Rafi Era with his hit numbers of Laila Majnu (1976) since he insisted that Rafi Sahaab should sing all the seven songs (four solos and three duets) for a young Rishi Kapoor. “Insisted” because we are told that the upcoming Rishi Kapoor wanted Kishore Kumar to sing for him. However, the master composer of Ghazals that he was, Madan Mohan put his foot down. This was the same music director who had given only two ghazals to Rafi Sahaab, who was at the zenith of his career, in Jahan Ara. But in the same year he had cut nine songs with Rafi Sahaab for Sharaabi – two of which were duets with Asha. While selecting Rafi Sahaab for Laila Majnu Madan Mohan knew only too well that the genre of the songs in Laila Majnu was well beyond the pale of other singers. These were not just run of the mill numbers such as “LAILA LAILA PUKAAROON MAIN BANN MEIN, MORI LAILA BASI MORE MANN MEIN.” Nor were they of the genres of a parody where the anguish of the legendary lover Qais need not be exhibited such as the funny PAANCH RUPAIYYA BAARAH AANA number of Kishore Kumar in Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi which was a late Fifties’ flick under the baton of S.D. Burman :


TERE LIYE JUNGLE PHIR SAKTA HOON

LAILA LAILA KAR SAKTA HOON

CHAAHE NAMOONA DEKH LO…HO..

KHOONE-E-DIL PEENE KO AUR LAQTE JIGAR KHAANE KO (2)

YEH GHIZA MILTI HAI LAILA (2)

TERE DIWAANE KO (2)…

Madan Mohan’s Laila Majnu was a serious but tragic saga of the Legendary Qais whose love for Laila, to put it simply, was beyond the realm of physical existence. Only Rafi Sahaab’s tonal quality, mastery of the Urdu language, his clarity of diction, his soulful rendition, pathos and the plaintive cry and lamentation of the lover Qais could do full justice to his compositions in Laila Majnu. BARBAAD-E-MUHABBAT KI DUA SAATH LIYE JAA, and TERE DAR PE AAYA HOON; HOKE MAAYUS TERE DAR SE; and LIKH KAR TERA NAAM ZAMEEN PAR are some of the evershining memorable gems of Rafi Sahaab in Laila Majnu.

A part of Sahir’s immortal lyrics: Kehna ek deewana teri, yaad mein aahein bharta haiLikh kar tera naam zameen par, usko sajde karta haiChaak girebaan khaak basar, phirta hai sooni raahon meinSaayon ko lip-tatha hai aur laila laila karta haiLikh kar tera naam zameen par, usko sajde karta hai… has been so emotionally and tellinglyconveyed by Rafi Sahaab’s lament that he even seems to echo Jami:


One who travell’d in the Desert

Saw MAJNUN where he was sitting

All alone like a MagicianTracing Letters in the Sand.

‘Oh distracted Lover! writing

What the Sword-wind of the Desert

Undeciphers so that no one

After you shall understand’.

MAJNUN answer’d — ‘I am writing

Only for myself, and only”

LAILA” —if for ever “LAILA”

Writing, in that Word a Volume,

Over which for ever poring,

From her very Name I sip

In fancy, till I drink, her Lip’.

(translated by Edward Fitzgerald)


Anyway, how correct that judgment was can be gauged from the fact that Rafi Sahaab so naturally become the singing voice of Rishi Kapoor in later films too. Can anyone forget the PURDAH HAI PURDAI (Amar Akbar Anthony) or DARD-E-DIL DARD-E-JIGAR (Karz) both composed by Laxmi-Pyare? If only they had shown the courage of conviction and remonstated at the time of the making of “Bobby,” we would have had Rafi Sahaab singing MAIN SHAAYAR TAU NAHIN for Rishi Kapoor as early as 1973. Incidentally, by lending his singing voice to Rishi Kapoor, Rafi Sahaab became the playback singer who had sung for three generations of Kapoor family: Rishi Kapoor, Rishi’s father, Raj Kapoor, his uncles: Shammi and Shashi Kapoor, as well as his grand-father, Prithviraj Kapoor.

There were also some other music directors for whom Rafi Sahaab sang memorable songs: For Ravindra Jain: Kaanch Aur Heera (1972) – though Rafi Sahaab first sang for him in 1971 for Silsila Pyar Ka which never took off; Saudagar (1973); Chor Machaaye Shor (1974); Geet Gaata Chal and Do Jasoos (1975); Aakhri Kasam (1978); Khwaab, Hum Nahin Sudhrenge, Sajan Mere Main Sajan Ki (1980). Sonik Omi: Sawan Bhadon (1970); Ladki Pasand Hai (1971); Sazaa (1972); Bhookh, Bhakti Men Shakti and Apna Khoon (1978); Maan Gaye Ustaad (1981); Khoon Ki Takkar (1981); Heeron Ka Chor (1982). For Chitragupt: Sikka (1976); Prem ki Ganga (1971); and Angaare (1975). For N. Datta: Naya Rasta and Inspector (1970); Badnam Farishte (1971); Chehre Pe Chehra (1980). For C. Arjun in Mangu Dada (1970); Sushila (1972); Aankh Ka Taara (1977); Nawab Sahib (1978). For Prem Dhawan in Pavitra Paapi (1970): ALLAH HI ALLAH KAR PYAARE; and Kisan Aur Bhagwaan (1974). For Ganesh in Shararat (1972) and the very famous song: DIL KA SOONA SAAZ TARAANA DHOONDHEGA in Ek Naari Do Roop (1973). For Hridayanath Mangeshkar in Harishchandra Taramati (1970). For Jaidev in Alingan (1974). Dilip Sen Sameer Sen in Surma Bhopali (1988). The names of the above Music Directors who utilized Rafi Sahaab are meant to be just indicative and not exhaustive.

Now it’s time to turn to some interesting events of the Seventies vis-a-vis the Legendary Rafi Sahaab.

NASIR.

To continue …..

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