Best songs of 1950: Wrap Up 3

October 19, 2015

(After the overview post on the Best songs of 1950, I have written Wrap Up on the best male solos, and Wrap Up on the best female solos by ‘other’ singers.  Continuing the series, here is the third Wrap Up on the best songs of Lata Mangeshkar. – AK)

Songs of Yore Award for the Best Female Playback Singer goes to Lata Mangeshkar (?)

Lata MangeshkarIn the three previous yearwise reviews for 1955, 1953 and 1951, the announcement of the Best Female Playback Singer of the Year was an exultant, “The Award goes to Lata..Lata…Lata..Lata Mangeshkar”. This year we had some very strong voices questioning her invincible superiority, though, by and large, she remained the overwhelming favourite for the best female playback singer. Most readers took the trouble of giving separate lists of her best and the best of “other” female singers, as well as a combined list, which had on the average about 4-5 of her songs, and the rest by the others, she, of course, being rated as the overall best. However, in a democracy, minority voices are equally important. The dissent is very categorical, and quite interesting. Therefore, this year’s announcement is suffixed with a question mark in parenthesis.

The most strident voice was of Arvind, whose best ten would include, at best, one song of Lata Mangeshkar, Koi kisi ka deewana na bane (Sargam), and this would not be at the top, because his best singer is Geeta Roy (Dutt), and the best song is Jogi mat ja (Jogan). Mumbaikar8’s singer of the year is Lata Mangeshkar, but the best female solo is Geeta Dutt’s Dagmag dagmag dole naiya (Jogan). Dinesh does not agree with the idea of dividing the female solos into Lata Mangeshkar and ‘others’. According to him there should be a combined winner; he goes to the extent of suggesting to have an overall Best Song of the Year. He has not given his own choice though. If I relate it to his other comments, his view is that the emphasis on a singer is overstated. It is the ‘song’ which matters, and everything that goes into it, including the lyrics, its tune, its picturisation and context.

In another context not related to the present yearwise review, Lata Mangeshkar’s ‘supremacy’ has come in for a good deal of questioning. Most of us consider Ae mere watan ke logo an iconic song, taken to great heights by her. SSW and Shalini question its musical merit, with the latter hammering her point by asserting that it would have sounded as good (or as bad?) in the voice of Sharda. Shalan Lal endorses her on another line of argument.

Aside from the above observations/reservations, the support for Lata Mangeshkar is unambiguous and as overwhelming as in the previous three reviews. Arunji is always clear about his choices; without any prevarication he just gives the best in each category. The best according to him is Koi kisi ka deewana na bane. Other readers have given a separate list of her best and others’ best as well as a combined list. A known LM-neutral person Ravindra Kelkar includes her six songs to four of others (Geeta Dutt, Shamshad Begum, Rajkumari and Suraiya).

Before I present the best song, let me present two pie charts, the first showing the share of different female singers in the total female solos in the year, and the second showing their inter se share in the Select List. The first is based on the data provided by N Venkataramanji, the second is based on what appears in the Select List made by me in the overview post. This chart was presented in the Wrap Up (2) as well, related to the best ‘other’ female playback singer.

Share in female solos in 1950

Hans and Mumbaikar8 have strong reservations on the proportionately much larger share of Lata Mangeshkar in the Select List compared to her share in the total songs, and consequent low share of other singers. They suggest this distortion is due to my LM bias, Hans even suggesting the SoY awards too suffer from this bias. I can’t be a judge in my own cause. Therefore, I made the fairest offer possible – make the necessary deletions and additions of songs which may have been included or excluded because of the bias, and see what the share looks like. They did not take up the exercise, though it is not very cumbersome. Thus, it is not possible for me to say how different an ‘unbiased’ pie chart would look. But a point to ponder is that in the comments she accounts for far more additions compared to any other singer. As a rough cut we can agree that Lata Mangeshkar had relatively a much larger share of everlasting songs during the 50s and 60s than her peers.

Mumbaikar8 also said that I have included some ‘average’ songs of Lata Mangeshkar, and left some of her better songs. She added a good number of songs. Other readers, too, added a large number of songs which were not included in my list, though, in general, they agreed that, for all practical purposes, there is no need to go beyond the Select List, which with 152 songs was much larger than previous years. Yet some additions are noteworthy. Mahesh mentioned Sajjad Husain’s Bhool ja ae dil mohabbat ka fasana (Khel). This was an inadvertent omission. Sajjad Husain is such a huge talent, and his total number of films and songs comparatively so small, that his every worthwhile work must be remembered. SSW too endorsed this song, and added another Lata song from the same film, Jaate ho to jaao hum bhi yahan waadon ke sahare jee lenge. A known Sajjad Husain fan (and naturally!), SSW mentioned some more songs of his, and also gave a link to Gabriel Faure’s Sicillienne, which had some similarity to Sajjad Husain’s composition.

Vinod is to Jignesh what Sajjad Husain is to SSW, and he added a number of Lata-Vinod songs. But what we found most endearing was Hans hans ke mere chain pe bijali giraye ja by Bulo C Rani from an unreleased film Rasiya. I had included Wo humse chup hain hum unse chup hain from this film in my ‘Special Songs’. Songs of this film have impressed everyone. Mumbaikar added Phir chhedane ayi hai ye kaari badariya from Rasiya. Most readers have added one of the above songs in their list of top ten. This is very unique. It suddenly pushes Bulo C Rani in the top league of best composers of the year. We would come to that in the Final Wrap Up. But for the present, it underscores that, after all, the yearwise reviews are not a futile exercise. Discovering gems from an unheard of, and unreleased, film is well worth the exercise.

Now is the time to come to the best ten. One slot goes to Bhool ja ae dil. One for a song from Rasiya. Wo humse chup hain is the general favourite, but since I have included it in the ‘Special Songs’, let me take Hans hans ke mere chain pe. For the remaining eight songs, I go through my Select List, which has about two dozen of her songs. That means one out of three would make the cut. I would go by the songs which have remained highly popular till date and are easily at the top of recall of music lovers.

But before I proceed further, I must mention a unique exercise started by the well-known SoY regular Ashok M Vaishnav, who is famous for having laid the foundation of the series on Multiple Version Songs. From this year, Ashokji has expanded the yearwise review manifold. Taking off from my overview post, he has gone into his characteristic micro details on many dimensions, notching up about two dozen articles. You can go to his last article in the series here, where you would find links to his other articles too. He has added many songs which were not there in my Select List, and you may go through his exercise as a supplement to what I am doing on SoY. For Lata Mangeshkar he has written three posts on her songs with different music directors: (i) C Ramchandra, (ii) Husnlal Bhagatram and Ghulam Mohammad, and (iii) Anil Biswas and others.

Coming back to deciding the final ten (2+8), glancing down my Select List, in the first cut I include the following songs which have stood the test of time, and can be considered combining quality and popularity:

1.  Dil hi to hai tadap gaya dard se bhar na aye kyun – Aadhi Raat (Husnlal Bhagatram)
2.  Aankhon se door ja ke jana na dil se door – Arzoo (Anil Biswas)
3.  Kahaan tak hum uthayein gham
4.  Unhe hum jo dil se bhulane lage
5.  Lagan more man ki balam nahi jaane – Babul (Naushad)
6.  Matwale naino waale ki main waari waari jaaun – Beqasoor (Anil Biswas)
7.  Paas balam chori chori aa – Lajwaab (Anil Biswas)
8.  Aisi mohabbat se hum baaj aaye – Nirala (C Ramchandra)
9.  Mehfil mein jal uthi shama
10. Abhi shaam ayegi nikalege taare – Samadhi (C Ramchnadra)
11. Jo mujhe bhula kar chale gaye mujhe unki yaad sataaye kyun – Sangeeta (C Ramchandra)
12. Koi kisi ka deewana na bane – Sargam (C Ramchandra)

The above list is dominated by C Ramchandra and Anil Biswas, with five songs each. We have one each by HB and Naushad. Pruning it to eight is a manageable exercise. There is something tragic about HB. They were hugely talented, but their protégés, Shankar-Jaikishan, took the baton from them, and sprinted away, leaving them gasping for breath. Their peak was short-lived. Dil hi to hai tadap gaya is one of the best examples of their melodious tuning with Lata Mangeshkar. My ‘veneration’ for Naushad evokes strong reactions, but I believe readers would not mind if I include Lagan more man ki balam nahi jaane. I take four of C Ramchandra (leaving one with great reluctance) and two of Anil Biswas to make up the ten.

Putting the ten in order is largely a matter of personal choice. There is no right or wrong answer, and there is no universally agreed order. Therefore, I put the best ten of Lata Mangeshkar songs in order below which is a combination of readers’ and my own preferences.

1.  Matwaale naino waale ki main waari waari jaaun from Beqasoor, lyrics Arzoo Lakhanavi, music Anil Biswas

2.  Mehfil mein jal uthi shama from Nirala, lyrics PL Santoshi, music C Ramchandra

3.  Koi kisi ka deewana na bane from Sargam, lyrics PL Santoshi, music C Ramchanda

4.  Aisi mohabbat se hum baaj aaye from Nirala

5.  Hans hans ke mere chain par bijli giraye ja from Rasiya (unreleased), lyrics DN Madhok(?), music Bulo C Rani

6.  Lagan more man ki balam nahi jaane from Babul, lyrics Shakeel Badayuni, music Naushad

7.  Bhool ja ae dil mohabbat ka fasana from Khel, lyrics Shams Azimabadi, music Sajjad Husain

8.  Abhi shaam aayegi nikelenge taare from Samadhi, lyrics Rajendra Krishna, music C Ramchandra

9.  Unhe hum jo dil se bhulaane lage from Arzoo, lyrics Majrooh Sultanpuri, music Anil Biswas

10. Dil hi to hai tadap gaya from Aadhi Raat, lyrics Asad Bhopali, music Husnlal Bhagatram

Coming back to Dinesh’s point, I don’t think I am up to finding the combined best female solo of the year.  The best I can do is to present the two lists side by side in a table, and leave it for the readers to make their own combined best.

Serial No. Lata Mangeshkar’s best songs Others’ best songs
  1.   Matwale naino waale ki main waari waari jaaun (Beqasoor, Anil Biswas) Jogi mat jaa (Geeta Dutt, Jogan)
  2.  Mehfil mein jal uthi shama (Nirala, CR)  Man mor hua matwala (Suraiya, Afsar)
  3.  Koi kisi ka deewana na bane (Sargam, CR)  Nain deewane (Suraiya, Afsar)
  4.  Aisi mohabbat se hum baaj aaye (Nirala, CR)  Ghunghat ke pat khol re (Geeta Dutt, Jogan)
  5.  Hans hans ke mere chain pe bijli giraye ja (Rasiya, Bulo C Rani)  Chhod babul ka ghar (Shamshad Begum, Babul)
  6.  Lagan more man ki balam nahi jaane (Babul, Naushad)   Sun bairi balam kuchh bol re (Rajkumari, Bawre Nain)
  7.   Bhool ja ae dil mohabbat ka fasana (Khel, Sajjad Husain)  Ambua ki daari pe bole re koeliya (Jayshree, Dahej)
  8.  Abhi shaam aayegi nikalenge taare (Samadhi, CR)  Mori atariya pe kaga bole (Meena Kapoor, Ankhen)
  9.  Unhe hum jo dil se bhulane lage (Arzoo, Anil Biswas)  Rakhti hun main pyar tera (Nalini Jaywant, Hindustan Hamara)
  10.  Dil hi to hai tadap gaya (Aadhi Raat, Husnlal-Bhagatram)  Birha ki raat mose kaati nahi jaati (Asha Bhosle, Biwi)

To conclude,

SoY Award for the Best Female Playback Singer goes to Lata Mangeshkar (?)

And the Best Female Solo of the year is: Take your pick.

{ 31 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Dinesh K Jain October 19, 2015 at 11:15 am

Dear AK, the more I stay with SoY, the more my admiration grows for you – for your knowledge, interest, dedication, commitment, and fairness of approach. And all this when you have a full-time and demanding work position. Truly, hats off to you.
Compare this with my own ignorance, my professed interest in old songs notwithstanding, that I have discovered SoY’s top Lata song of the year, Matwale Nainon Wale Ki, for the very first time now!
Thanks also to revert to my own suggestions. Let us first do up the duets, and then we could possibly juxtapose best songs in all four categories and decide over all Numero Uno for the year.
Oh, one quibble. The backdrop that you have chosen is…ahem, just terrible; makes it so difficult to read!

2 Ashok M Vaishnav October 19, 2015 at 11:25 am

The ‘other female singers’ camp would be quite satisfied with suffixed question mark !
However, 1950 does look like an year wherein the battle for supremacy can be considered to be at the peak and is thus a major landmark year as far the history of Hindi Film Music would go.

3 AK October 19, 2015 at 2:38 pm

Thanks a lot for your very generous words. Coming from you, who has strong differences with me on many musical matters, it means a lot.

‘The backdrop’ – You mean the beige colour background? I thought it is very pleasant to the eyes.

Not game for doing a combined best female solo?

4 AK October 19, 2015 at 2:47 pm

I am leaving the question open if I am being politically too correct in yielding to a miniscule minority of dissent!

5 Dinesh K Jain October 19, 2015 at 5:24 pm

It is very pleasant to the eye, sure by itself, but for the background for a scripted text, take a fresh look again; not where it the script appears directly on it. Anyway, as I said, it was merely a small quibble, and I would drop it here.
A combined best female solo! I did say let us wait for the duets too, and then best would be go for an over all best.

6 Anu Warrier October 19, 2015 at 5:31 pm

Not having any interest in ‘best’ songs (or in wondering who sang more songs than any other for which music director) I shall simply enjoy the songs you have put up, AK, and look forward to songs that may pop up in the comments. 🙂

7 AK October 19, 2015 at 6:59 pm

Nevertheless, thanks for dropping by. I hope you enjoy the craziness on SoY.

8 Ravindra Kelkar October 20, 2015 at 5:38 pm

Very nice summary & overall a fairly balanced selection. Personally, I wouldn’t have included the Naushad song from Babul, there were other better songs, just for example I would not have minded including the second Bulo C Rani song of Lata. However, knowing your fixation with Naushad……
It’s good that, you separated Lata & non-Lata female songs. I do honestly feel that due to your strong liking for Lata & Shamshad, the songs from other female singers, (especially Asha & Geeta) start with a handicap of 20 or so.
For the best female song of the year, I will put my neck out & pick the Bulo C Rani-Lata song which you have included – Hans hans ke mere…. (I listened to all 10 songs one after another & formed this opinion).
Also, the best female playback singer of the year is obviously Lata, no doubt at all in my mind.

9 AK October 20, 2015 at 9:39 pm

Ravindra Kelkar,
Thanks a lot for your comments. Hans hans ke mere chain pe bijli giraye ja is a beautiful song, and I wouldn’t mind if you select it as the best song. My ‘Lata-fixation’ has become something of a punching bag. But is Asha Bhosle there in 1950?

10 Ravindra Kelkar October 20, 2015 at 10:37 pm

My comments are very general & not to the year 1950 as such. I think, it’s natural for a hard core Lata fan. I can very well understand your thinking process, so that’s why I feel it was good to have two separate categories for female singers, Lata & non-Lata. I have known a lot of Lata fans with similar attitude. But since, you have got such a big heart you still listen to disgruntled voices like me…

11 Shalan Lal October 24, 2015 at 5:08 pm

I fully agree with “Dinesh K Jain‘s” @ 01 for his eulogy to AK. This SoY has grown like a banyan tree with many roots growing out of branches and seeking rootsback to the sources and becoming trees themselves. To maintain this Blog must be a full time job and love of the labor as well. So my tribute goes to Dinesh Jain for pointing out the great industry, time and responding to all the contributors is a Herculean task that Ak is doing and aptly needed to be re-established

There is so much hard work in the present post as well. It is nice to see the use of the Pies in the post. As all the hard work is there so I do not see there is a need of a question mark after the concluding remark about LM as 1950’top. It is her first taking as the crown of the best female singer.

Somewhere in the fifties, Anil Biswas made a statement to the effect of saying that “All Musicians were waiting for somebody like Lata to arrive so they could achieve higher levels in musical compositions!”

After seeing the present post one can say retrospectively Anilda’s statement was very true then and true now as well.

One thing about I am confused is following,” Bulo C Rani from an unreleased film “Rasiya”. I had included Wo humse chup hain hum unse chup hain” from this film in my ‘Special Songs’” and later on again “One for a song from Rasiya. Wo humse chup hain is the general favourite, but since I have included it in the ‘Special Songs’,”

This song according to my watching the film “Sargam” is there in the voices of C.Ramchandra and Lata-a duet similar to the song “Yoon To Apasmen Mein Bigadte Hai” from Andaz 1949 in the voices of Rafi and Lata.

Or the Bulo C. Rani’s song has similar words for the “Mukhada” only and it is only in the voice of Lata?

Shalan Lal

12 Shalan Lal October 24, 2015 at 5:25 pm

Further on the photo of Lata at the beginning of the post should be that which is with the song number 9 and ofcourse not of the Sarswti. It goes with the period of 1950


13 AK October 24, 2015 at 7:42 pm

Shalan Lal,
Thanks a lot for your very kind words. The blog has indeed become my second full-time job, but I am repaid many times over by the readers’ comments.

Wo humse chup hain – there is no confusion. Kindly go through my Overview post (link given at the beginning of the article), the similarity with the well-known Chitalkar-Lata Mangeshkar duet from Sargam was discussed. The similarity is only in the mukhada, the tunes are totally different. All the songs of Rasiya are gems.

P.S. I agree the picture of Lata Mangeshkar is not appropriate for 1950. Sharp observation! That was the one I had saved.

14 D P Rangan October 24, 2015 at 8:19 pm

God had decreed that no two members of homo sapiens should be identical in thinking and approach to life and he has accordingly designed the basic unit of life – the helix, A_T and C-G strands that surround like a circular staircase the basic phosphate pillar, i.e. the DNA setup. In fact each human being can be fingerprinted with his DNA and efforts are on to revive extinct species through cloning technique with DNA extracted from bone marrow as the base. The first was Dolly the sheep. Many crimes have been solved and culprits booked from the DNA lifted from the scene of crime. Maternity is a fact and paternity a conjecture no longer holds good as DNA analysis can establish parenthood beyond doubt and I think there was a recent case on this point. Hope to hoodwink fellow commentators with my half baked knowledge.

In this field diversity in conclusion is the norm rather than exception. As Madame Anu opined I follow the comments and get lot of pickings like birds getting insects when cattle disturb the vegetation with their hooves. My job of wading through You Tube pot pouri is redundant, not that I can put time saved to better use. I will cling here like a leech and swallow what is in offer in comments to follow.

15 Hans October 24, 2015 at 11:41 pm

First I would point out some facts. Inclusion of the song from Rasiya is perhaps a mistake. As per HFGK, this film is included in Appendix of Vol.3 which is for films made from 1951 to 1960. In the note on this film it is mentioned that the songs of this film were recorded in May 1954. Unless there is strong evidence to the contrary, the HFGK should be followed. Another song from the list of 12 ‘paas balam chori chori aa’ seems to me a duet. Besides the male voice (Anil Biswas as per HFGK) – though it repeats a few words, the element of chorus also takes too much space. The composition by AB though is just beautiful.

Now, I want to raise a few questions in the light of some facts. You have been saying that the level of Rafi’s songs of the earlier era was not upto the mark, though it was based on selection of songs made by you. Now, your list of 12 in the write up includes 5 each from CR and AB and one each from HB and Naushad. HB composed 18(which was the most by any MD) solos for Lata in 1950 and only one has been selected. Besides that Ghulam Mohammad, Vinod and Gobind Ram combinedly composed 24 solos for her and none has been selected. So what should we infer from that. Is it that Lata underperformed for these MDs or that these composers were inferior in ability or it is just a matter of preference being given by you to some MDs.

In my view, 8-9 songs of HB are better than Sajjad Hussain’s song which has been included and it does not have anything special. But, this is just my opinion and does not matter much. With regards to Lata vs other singers I would write separately.

16 AK October 25, 2015 at 7:18 pm

Thanks for the information on Rasiya. But this mistake has helped us discover some gems, which we would have missed altogether. But we must be accurate. Therefore, let us leave out this song.

Paas balam chori chori aa is not in my final ten. Therefore, the discussion on this song is now academic. An issue arises where to slot a song with chorus in which only one voice is distinguishable. I find it more convenient to slot it as a solo. This is purely an issue of definition.

Thus we have to take 9 songs from 11. I might take the remaining CR or an AB song.

How to interpret this list? I have mentioned that there is no right or wrong answer, and everyone’s best ten would be different. Yet, you would not be far off the mark if you treat it as the line of best fit. If you plot individual choices, this line would be passing through the cluster of data points. Our experience is that generally the individual choices are very close to the list of the best ten in the Wrap Ups, with not more than 3 or 4 off. It is highly unlikely, though theoretically not impossible that someone’s choice is entirely off. You may like to benefit the readers by your best ten.

17 mumbaikar8 October 25, 2015 at 8:05 pm

It is sad that we have to leave Rasiya songs.
Rasiya has two gems from Asha too.
Giri bhavar me naav hamari
Yeh kali kali ratiya

18 AK October 26, 2015 at 3:27 am

The first song is really very good. You have been one of the readers who highlighted Rasiya. We are leaving it from the list, but its songs would remain with us forever.

19 Hans October 27, 2015 at 12:18 am

You have not answered the question I had asked in the context of your comments about Rafi. Lata in 1950 was not just CR or AB and neither was Rafi just ‘akele men wo’. I have put up a list of 10 of his songs in the male solo wrap up. I am giving here my list of her top 10 songs without ranking them. This shows her success with a number of MDs. There are a number of other quality songs with many MDs.

1. dard mila hai tere pyar ki nishani – anmol ratan – vinod
2. dil hi to hai tadap gaya – aadhi raat – HB
3. unhen hum jo dil se bhulane lage – arzoo – AB
4. panchhi ban men piya piya – babul – naushad
5. matwale nainon wale ke main – beqasoor – AB
6. agar dil kisi par lutaya na hota – gauna – HB
7. mehfil men jal uthi shama – nirala – CR
8. koi kisi ka deewana na bane – sargam – CR
9. ye meri chalti firti lash – nirdosh – shyam sunder
10. kismat banane wale jara samne to aa – pardes – GM

20 Hans October 27, 2015 at 12:24 am

Dont despair for the Bulo C.Rani songs of Rasiya. Here are two composed by him for Lata in film Wafa.

Apni apni kismat hai
Barbad muqaddar ne (with lot of recital)

21 AK October 27, 2015 at 11:56 am

Everyone has to answer for himself – if you are asked to choose the best ten songs of Lata Mangeshkar in 1950, what would these be? That she sang excellent songs for every MD is a given. But best ten would not show equitable distribution, but preponderance of some MDs.

And the same with Rafi question. It is common knowledge that he sang many songs, much more than Mukesh, Talat Mahmood etc. Make your list of the best ten male solos of 1950. Generally it would be dominated by Mukesh and Talat Mahmood. Someone’s may be very different. That is his correct answer.

22 Hans October 28, 2015 at 12:08 am

In the Lata vs Others debate, here is a list of others’ songs which are all remembered till today.

1. man more hua matwala – afsar – suraiyya – SDB
2. nain deewane ik nahi mane – afsar – suraiyya – SDB
3. mori ataria pe kaga bole – ankhen – meena kapoor – MM
4. mohabbat karne walon ka – ankhen – shamshad – MM
5. dhadke mera dil mujhko – babul – shamshad – naushad
6. na socha tha ye dil lagane se – babul – shamshad – naushad
7. chhod babul ka ghar – babul – shamshad – naushad
8. o ichak bichak chur – bawre nain – shamshad – roshan
9. sun bairi balam sach bol re – bawre nain – shamshad – roshan
10. ye mausam aur ye tanhai – dastaan – suraiyya – naushad
11. ae shama tu bata tera – dastaan – suraiyya – naushad
12. nainon men preet hai – dastaan – suraiyya – naushad
13. mohabbat badha kar juda – dastaan – suraiyya – naushad
14. kankar kankar se main poochhoon – har har mahadev – geeta –
avinas vyas
15. ghunghat ke pat khol re – jogan – geeta – bulo c. rani
16. main to girdhar ke ghar jaun – jogan – geeta – bulo c. rani
17. eri main to prem diwani – jogan – geeta – bulo c. rani
18. jogi mat ja mat ja – jogan – geeta – bulo c. rani
19. mohabbat meri rang lane lagi hai – nirala – shamshad – CR
20. mere ghunghar wale baal – pardes – shamshad – GM
21. more nain banwre chham – 2 neer – sabak – surinder kaur – qureshi
22. jamana das das ke dan note ka – shaan – shamshad – behl
23. tadap ae dil tadapne se – shaan – suraiyya – behl

I have been an avid radio listener since late 60s and these songs were regularly played till mid 80s. But, only a few (less than half a dozen) Lata songs from 1950 were played. There are a number of quality songs from other singers which I have not included because they were not played regularly. It is clear that in 1950, other singers have a clear edge over Lata. Arvind was not far from truth when he said only one of her songs would make the top ten, but it was dismissed as a claim coming from a Geeta/Asha fan.

23 Anu Warrier October 28, 2015 at 4:03 am

I’m on record, here and elsewhere, that I’m not a great fan of stats (though I agree they have value, when it comes to written records) or of ‘Best’ (because these are, indeed must be, of their very nature, a very subjective listing). Therefore, I look at AK’s list of ‘Best’ – song, singer, whatever – as being his subjective choice of those categories.

Whether we agree with him or disagree (I have no opinion on ‘bests’) with his choices – and there is no ‘incorrect’ choice for him – I don’t think there’s any value in calling him out for them, or trying to prove what we think is the ‘correct’ song or singer who should be on that list.

For one, our choice is also subjective, and susceptible to be called out by someone else as not worthy. Two, there is no such thing as an ‘objective’, ‘unbiased’ opinion. By the very nature of humankind, we are a very opinionated, judgemental, biased lot. [Yes, all of us. Especially those who insist they are not biased or judgemental. :)]

For AK, I would submit that we stop ranking songs and singers. 🙂 (Tongue firmly in cheek here.)

24 AK October 28, 2015 at 1:49 pm

What if I think I am free from all biases? 🙂

You have problems with my categoriwise best ten. Dinesh believes in overall best or the no 1 Sartaj song of the year. I appreciate your views, but I do not promise I am going to abide by it. 🙂

On a serious note, making a list of best ten in convenient groups still makes sense. In many situations there are overwhelming favourites. For example, one knew Gandhi or Titanic would be runaway winner at Oscars. To be sure, there are interesting variations. In the 50th year of Sound of Music, I am getting to know many interesting facts about the movie. That many critics found it loathsome, the least because of Hollywood’s wonky history and geography. And the guides of ‘Sound of Music Tour’ in Salzburg ask you who all have seen the film. When all hands go up, she gives an amusing information that no one in Austria has seen the film. When it was released in 1965, they couldn’t see it because it was in English. Many years later, when they released it dubbed in the local language, they said who is going to watch an old film!

25 Anu Warrier October 28, 2015 at 9:32 pm

AK, you are of course free to believe that you are free from all biases. Believe me, you are not unique in that. We can all be quite self-delusional, until someone calls our our biases.

I’m not asking you to abide by anything, actually. I was defending your right to post what you want, how you want on your blog, irrespective of whether I, or anyone else, agrees or disagrees with what you say.

Your analogies do not hold up – making a list of ‘best’ has nothing to do with the trivia associated with films or about any film winning the Academy Awards. Simply because, one cannot, cannot choose a ‘best’. The Titanic was hardly the ‘best’ picture of 1997. But that was what was chosen by a handful of men. Shakespeare in Love didn’t deserve – in my opinion – the tag of ‘Best Film’ in 1998, and so on. But someone else thought so. ‘Best’ is subjective. And an opinion. Everyone has one. And they need not necessarily be the same.

That The Sound of Music was not seen in Austria when it released is fact. That critics hated the film for its inaccuracies – is fact. Etc.

Give me facts any time. I’d rather not quibble over ‘Best’ – especially when it comes to song and singer in Hindi films, because I’d rather enjoy the cornucopia of goodness that is mine than argue for my ‘favourite’ singer or ‘best’ song.

And as I said earlier: Whether we agree with him or disagree (I have no opinion on ‘bests’) with his choices – and there is no ‘incorrect’ choice for him – I don’t think there’s any value in calling him out for them, or trying to prove what we think is the ‘correct’ song or singer who should be on that list.

26 Ashok Kumar Tyagi October 30, 2015 at 4:55 pm

Dear AK ji,
Digressing a little from best songs(playback singer wise) category, we know Filmfare makes awards in various categories. They select the ‘best’ because they wish to give away only limited number of trophies each year. But their jury sometimes made a very poor choice. When I was a student, they once gave best music award to Shankar Jaikishan for film Baimaan. This stumped almost everyone. Though there were not too many films with outstanding music that year still they could not do a good job. Here in SoY, I find that the choices are excellent. People here know what good music is.
Still, in my view selecting the best music director in a year is not a fruitful exercise. One alternative could be that all the top music directors of that year be discussed, comments made on their works. Special discussion be made on those MDs who got less work but created a number of outstanding songs.

27 AK October 30, 2015 at 6:08 pm

Ashok Kumar Tyagi,
Thanks for your comments. The discussion on music director is my final Wrap Up. In the present case Wrap Up 4 on duets and the Final Wrap Up 5 on the best music director is due to come. If you look at the reviews of earlier years, i.e. 1951, 1953 and 1955, I have done precisely what you have suggested. Please look up for the current year’s due shortly.

28 ashok kumar tyagi November 4, 2015 at 3:53 pm

AK ji

Thanks and acknowledged.
Noted that due comments are made by you on various songs. Follow-up comments by other learned persons also make an excellent study. Yet may I say that in case one or more MDs make/create a new trend, that event may be recorded under a suggested heading : New/interesting trends.
Though only a dilettante/dabbler in music, I formed an opinion that popular songs ‘Aana meri jaan Sunday ke Sunday’ and ‘gore-gore banke chhore’ created a new trend (though Anil Biswas would not have nodded in appreciation when such songs came along). Another opinion was that Madan Mohan, who went into minute details regarding his orchestra pieces, only stuck to the orthodox percussion portion in his songs in the first few years of his career. In this regard, he was for some years, a lesser composer than say, Roshan, SD Burman or OP Nayyar. Later on he gave more importance to percussion pieces. His music got a new dimension and he immediately joined the ranks of greats.

29 KB November 5, 2015 at 6:57 pm

It is Mil gaye milne wale from Miya Biwi Razi and Mera kya sanam from Talash both duets with Asha bhosle. Incidentally, the second one was filmed on Ralhan himself.

30 N Venkataraman November 10, 2015 at 7:58 pm

Sorry. I could not respond earlier due to compelling circumstance.
I have no doubt that the best female singer for the year 1950 was Lata Mangeshkar. The other singers, especially Geeta Dutt, Suraiya and Shamsad Begum did make a strong impact. True, in a democracy, minority voices are equally important and that is why there is a space and role for the opposition too. Diverge opinions will have to be heard out before arriving at a consensus through discussion. The same is applicable here too. In an electoral alliance the combined strength of the alliance partners may override the share of popular votes gained by another party. Here we cannot go by that logic. AKji you have done a great job. On the whole a fairly balanced selection. We may differ in our choice of songs. I could find only three of the songs from my list finding a place among the declared best ten songs.

I am not in favour of doing away with the Year-wise selection of best songs and singers. In the process it gives us the opportunity to discover many unknown songs and even singers and adds to our listening pleasure. The same may not be true in case of statistics.

From the list of bests song declared in the three wrap-ups it seems C Ramchandra has emerged has a strong contender along with Naushad, Anil Biswas and Bulo C Irani among others for the best music director of the year. That reminds me I am yet put my views on the best music director (s) for the year 1950. I hope it is not too late.

Thank you once again Akji
And I take this opportunity to wish all the memberts of SoY ‘A Very Happy Deepavali’.

31 AK November 10, 2015 at 11:53 pm

Thanks a lot for your very generous words. Voices of dissent make life more interesting. Yet we can fairly say that Lata Mangeshkar was the best singer of the year. I plan to continue the yearwise reviews and selection of the best songs and singers.

C Ramchandra does have a strong presence in the year. It is not too late for giving your views on the best MD.

I reciprocate your Diwali greetings and wish a Happy Diwali to everyone.

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