Mohammad Rafi versus Kishore Kumar

November 14, 2010

An era changes with Aradhana (1969)

Rafi_Kishore Kumar When Aradhana unfolded in 1969 with the heroine sitting by the window of the hill train, tentatively browsing a book, and the hero being driven in a jonga by his friend on the hilly road alongside the toy train, with an innocent smile, a wink in his eyes and the harmonica on his friend’s lips, singing Mere sapno ki rani kab ayegi tu, a phenomenon called Rajesh Khanna was born. Also born was another and perhaps more startling phenomenon – a new Kishore Kumar who with this one film swept aside Rafi to emerge as the No.1 male singer. Rafi did have two duets in the film Bagon mein bahaar hai (with Lata) and Gunguna rahe hain bhanwre (with Asha Bhosle), but Kishore Kumar with Lata surpassed him with Kora kagaz tha ye man mera, and Rafi had nothing to counter his two solos Mere sapno ki rani kab ayegi tu and Roop tera mastana.

This was no flash in the pan. Aradhana became a clear watershed film which marked the change between the old and the new, and the end of the Golden Era of fifties and sixties. What is most interesting is how Rafi started sliding behind, and Kishore Kumar became the new Rafi, singing not only for Rajesh Khanna, but later becoming Amitabh Bachchan’s voice, and then singing for virtually everyone. This was in some ways similar to the earlier great watershed year of 1949, when Lata Mangeshkar with her immortal songs of that year with all the great composers such as Ayega Aanewala (Khemchand Prakash, Mahal), Hawa mein udata jaye mera lal dupatta malmal, Meri ankhon mein bas gaya koi re, Jiya beqaraar hai (Shankar Jaikishan, Barsaat), Uthaye ja unke sitam, Koi mere dil mein khushi ban ke aya (Naushad, Andaaz), Dil se bhula do tum mujhe (C Ramchandra, Patanga), Tumhare bulane ko ji chahta hai (Anil Biswas, Ladli), Sajan ki galiyan chhod chale, Baharein phir bhi ayengi (Shyam Sundar, Bazaar/ Lahore), La re lappa la re lappa ayee lakhda (Vinod, Ek Thi Ladki), Chale jana nahin (Husnlal Bhagatram, Badi Bahan) etc. swept aside the stalwarts of the earlier era such as Shamshad Begum and Suraiya.

But here the comparison ends. There are several contrasts. Lata had been around for about two years and barely twenty then. Kishore Kumar in 1969 had been around for over twenty years, almost as long as Rafi, and only a few years younger than him. Yet Aradhana seemed to make him twenty years younger. Then Lata’s rise can be explained by musical reasons; some have tried to attribute it to Noorjehan’s migration to Pakistan (to which I do not subscribe, see my article Lata Mangeshkar vs Noorjehan). But there are no such apparent reasons for Rafi’s slide. It was not as if one morning in 1969 all of a sudden he became an inferior singer. His voice retained its timbre and he still sounded Rafi-ish. This has given rise to a whole ‘Who is greater- Rafi vs Kishore Kumar’ industry on the internet, some of the debate becoming downright abusive to one or the other.

One story I have read is that when SD Burman took ill after composing the two Rafi duets of Aradhana, RD Burman took charge, and while Rafi was away on a tour abroad, instead of waiting for his return, he got his favourite buddy Kishore Kumar record the solos. As if to answer this charge, RD Burman got both Kishore Kumar and Rafi sing the same solo in a film – Tum bin jaoon kahan in Pyar Ka Mausam, and even an inveterate Rafi fan would have to admit Kishore Kumar’s version is far superior. Later, RD Burman used the two in conjunction to sing the title song in Yaadon Ki Baraat (1973), Kishore Kumar singing for one brother and Rafi for another. By this time there was no doubt who was the leader and who the follower. RD Burman-Kishore Kumar became a byword for the musical style of the seventies.

Laxmikant Pyarelal had achieved spectacular success with Dosti (1963) riding on Rafi’s voice. Post-Aradhana they continued with Rafi and you have a large number of peasant Rafi solos and duets in films like Khilona, Jeevan Mrityu, Humjoli, Anjana, Jigri Dost, Jeene Ki Raah, Mera Gaon Mera Desh, Aap Aye Bahar Ayee, Pratigya, Sargam etc. However, they were too smart to miss the winds of change. So you have Kishore Kumar’s Khizan ke phool pe aati kabhi bahaar nahi to Rafi’s Ye reshami zulfen ye sharbati ankhen in Do Raaste. In Aan Milo Sajna Rafi-Lata title duet is countered by Kishore Kumar-Lata duet Achcha to hum chalte hain, and Rafi solo Phalak se tod kar dekho…koi nazrana lekar aya hoon is now forgotten before Kishore Kumar solo Yahan wahan saare jahan mein tera raaz hai…jawani o deewani tu zindabad. And you have several more Kishore Kumar super hits, such as Main jahan chala jaoon bahar chali aye (Banphool, 1971), Sachai chhup nahin sakti…vaada tera vaada (Dushman, 1971), Haal kya hai dilon ka na poochho sanam (Anokhi Ada, 1973), Mere dil mein aaj kya hai (Daag, 1973) etc. The coup de grace was Karz (1980), in which they gave Rafi Dard-e-dil dard-e-jigar dil mein jagaya aapne, but Oops! Kishore Kumar sang the rock star song Meri umar ke naujawanon…Om Shanti Om. The message was clear; he was the voice of the new generation.

Kalyanji Anandji did not have much Rafi baggage, their main singer was Mukesh. While they continued to create songs for Mukesh, their adoption of Kishore Kumar as the lead singer was breathtaking. Theirs was a most amazing transformation in style – it is difficult to believe that it is the same composers that composed Kishore Kumar’s Khaike paan Banaraswala who in the 60’s had created Hum chhor chalein hain mehfil ko, Tumhein zindagi ke ujale mubarak, Mere toote hue dil se koi to aaj ye poochhe etc for Mukesh. And what stupendous success they achieved with Kishore Kumar’s voice in Sachcha Jhoota, Safar, Kahani Kismat Ki, Haath Ki Safai, Victoria No. 203, Apradh, Kora Kagaz, Don, Muqaddar Ka Sikandar, Lawaris and Vidhata, catapulting themselves to the top league with RD Burman and Laxmikant Pyarelal.

Other stalwarts of the Golden Era had already faded or were on the decline. Shankar Jaikishan owed their supremacy in the 60s to Rafi. In the new era they had a major success with Rajesh Khanna starrer Andaaz (1971). While Rafi sang a largely forgotten Re mama re mama re, Kishore Kumar had a winner Zindagi ek safar hai suhana singing for Rajesh KhannaIncidentally there is also a Rafi slow version for Shammi Kapur, but again the Kishore Kumar version stood out.

Madan Mohan valiantly continued with Rafi in songs like Teri ankhon ke siwa duniya mein rakha kya hai (Chirag), Ye duniya ye mehfil mere kaam ki nahin (Heer Ranjha), Tum jo mil gaye ho (Hanste Zakhm) etc, which all sounded the same. Coming to Mausam (1975), the main song Dil dhoondta hai phir wohi was in Bhupinder’s voice. Rafi sang Chhadi re chhadi kaise gale mein padi. The song hardly enhances the prestige of Rafi. There was a time when Rafi could sing a chhadi (stick) song Laal chhadi maidan khadi, which would make the song and Shammi Kapoor a cult figure (Jaanwar, 1965).

For over the next 10 years that Rafi continued singing, the same story repeated. Whatever Rafi did, Kishore Kumar did one better. He would sing for Rajesh Khanna, and later he would become the voice of Amitabh Bachchan. He would sing for Dharmendra, Vinod Khanna, Vinod Mehra, Jackie Shroff, Rishi Kapoor, Anil Kapoor and everyone.  And as the ultimate irony, he also sang for Dilip Kumar – Saala main to saheb ban gaya in the film Sagina Mahto.  Lest you thought this was an aberration, Kalyanji Anandji used Mahendra Kapur to sing for Dilip Kumar in Gopi – Ramchandra kah gaye Siya se aisa kaliyug ayega

Kishore Kumar would sing the iconic paan song Khaike paan Banaraswala, and he would sing the bhang song Jai jai Shiv ShankarHe would sing from ghazal Dil aaj shayar hai gham aaj naghma hai to drunken song Peenewalon ko peene ka bahana chahiye. He would sing for the street performer, Ei hai Bambai nagariya tu dekh babua to the night club to a five star hotel party to a rock concert, Apni to jaise taise thodi aise ya waise kat jayegi, Pag ghunghroo baandh Meera nachi re and Sara zamana haseeno ka deewana. He could sing of the life’s ebullient and carefree journey Zindagi ek safar hai suhana, and he would be the voice to express sombre uncertainty of life Zindagi ka safar hai ye kaisa safar. In his voice the evening could be passionate and intoxicating Ye sham mastani madhosh kiye jaye, but at times it could also be melancholy Wo sham kuchh ajeeb thi ye sham bhi ajeeb hai. He would sing the holi song Aaj na chhorenge bus humjoli khelenge hum holi, and he would sing the wedding song Le jayenge le jayenge dilwale dulhaniya le jayenge. Kishore Kumar was the new Rafi, and more. He would define the popular music of 1970’s through mid 80’s.

Rafi won the Flmfare and National Award for Kya hua tera vada from Hum Kisi Se Kam Nahin (1977). But this could not be much of a consolation. It would be difficult to put this song among his greats or anywhere near Kishore Kumar’s iconic songs of the period. Rafi’s sudden fall from the pedestal must have been bewildering to him, as it was to his fans. Incidentally Manna Dey and Mukesh would not have suffered the same agony. Their strength was never in numbers but in quality, they were not as prolific as Rafi. In the new era too their well known songs can easily be placed among their greatest – Manna Dey’s Nadiya chale chale re dhara, Yaari hai imaan meri yaar meri zindagi, Zindagi kaisi hai paheli, Ae bhai zara dekh ke chalo; or Mukesh’s Duniya se janewale jane chale jate hain kahan, Kahin door jab din dhal jaye, Maine tere liye hi saat rang ke sapne chune, Jaane kahan gaye wo din, Main pal do pal ka shair hoon, Kabhi kabhi mere dil mein khayal ata hai etc.

Rewind the clock back to pre-1969 and the contrast could not be sharper. Rafi was the master of all he surveyed. He had his first major success with Naushad’s Suhani raat dhal chuki (Dulari, 1949). Naushad juggled between Talat Mehmood and Mukesh as Dilip Kumar’s voice. But he soon settled on Rafi as his lead singer, and what immortal music they gave in Aan, Amar, Deedar, Baiju Bawra, Kohinoor, Mere Mehboob, Palki, Dil Diya Dard Liya, Ganga Jamuna, Leader etc.

Shankar Jaikishan had a clear distinction – Mukesh for Raj Kapoor and Rafi for everyone else. SJ-Rafi combination made Shammi Kapoor into a cult figure. SJ owed their dominance in the 1960’s to Rafi. OP Nayyar, Roshan and Ravi were also on Rafi bandwagon and created countless unforgettable melodies of the Golden Era.

Among great composers only SD Burman used Kishore Kumar in some significant manner for Dev Anand. But he used several other singers, and Rafi was no less important for him than Kishore Kumar. In Jewel Thief (1967) if he had Aasman ke neeche for Kishore Kumar-Lata, he had Dil pukare aa re aa re aa re in Rafi-Lata’s voice. In Teen Deviyan (1965), for Kishore Kumar’s Khwab ho tum ya koi haqeeqat or his duet with Asha Bhosle Are yaar meri tum bhi ho ghazab, Rafi’s Kahin bekhayal ho kar mujhe chhoo liya kisi ne and Aise to na dekho was more than adequate reply. In Guide (1965), if he gave Kishore Kumar a duet with Lata, Gata rahe mera dil, all the beautiful solos, Kya se kya ho gaya, Din dhal jaye haye raat na jaye and Tere mere sapne ab ek rang hain, were in Rafi’s voice. If in Paying Guest, Fantoosh and Nau Do Gyarah SD Burman tilts towards Kishore Kumar, it is Rafi all the way in Tere Ghar Ke Samne, Kala Bazaar, Kala Pani and Bambai Ka Babu, and what unforgettable songs SD Burman-Dev Anand-Rafi combination gave such as, Khoya khoya chand, Dil ka bhanwar kare pukar, Tu kahan ye bata is nashilee raat mein, Hum bekhudi mein unko pukare chale gaye in the late 1950s and early 1960s.  Outside of Dev Anand, SD Burman hardly used Kishore Kumar for any other major hero. On the other hand you have SD Burman-Rafi’s immortal songs in Kagaz Ke Phool, Pyasa, Insan Jaag Utha and Meri Soorat Teri Ankhen. A survey of SD Burman’s music for Rafi and Kishore Kumar pre-1969 seems to indicate his clear preference for Rafi.

Kishore Kumar was nowhere a competitor to Rafi. None was, though Mukesh, Talat Mehmood, Manna Dey and Hemant Kumar commanded huge respect and following. Kishore Kumar was reckoned after them. And as if to make the position clear, many composers also used Rafi’s voice as playback for Kishore Kumar. In Shararat (1959) Kishore Kumar sang a beautiful song Hum matwale naujawan, yet Shankar Raikishan used Rafi’s voice for Ajab hai dastaan teri ye zindagi to go on Kishore Kumar. OP Nayyar used Rafi to sing Man mora bawra in Ragini (1958) for Kishore Kumar.

This hardly means Kishore Kumar was an inferior singer. As a matter of fact his best songs are from this era. Besides SD Burman, Kishore Kumar’s own compositions in Jhumroo, Door Gagan Ki Chaon Mein and Door Ka Rahi are among all time greatest songs. And many of Kishore Kumar’s gems are composed by other music directors such as, Hawaon pe likh do hawaon ke naam by Hemant Kumar in Do Dooni Chaar (1968), Mere mehboob qayamat hogi by Laxmikant Pyarelal in Mr X in Bombay (1964), Ajanabi se ban ke karo na kinara (with Lata Mangeshkar) by Chitragupta in Ek Raaz (1963), Chhoti si ye duniya pehchane raaste hain by Shankar Jaikishan in Rangoli (1962), Ye raatein ye mausam nadi ka kinara ye chanchal hawa (with Asha Bhosle) by Ravi in Dilli Ka Thug (1958), Chhota sa ghar hoga badlon ki chhaon mein by Salil Chaudhry in Naukri (1954), Aa mohabbat ki basti basayenge hum (with Lata Mangeshkar) by Anil Biswas in Fareb (1953) and his very first songs for Hindi films composed by Khemchand Prakash in the late 1940s Marne ki duayen kyun mangoon (Ziddi) and Jagmag jagmag karta nikla (Rim Jhim). He also sang some evergreen Bengali songs such as Ami chini go chini tomare in Charulata by Satyajit Ray. And if you add his talents as a comic actor, writer, producer, director and composer, Kishore Kumar was a rare genius.

If you consider Rafi’s songs ranging from ghazals to bhajans to qawwalis to romantic to serious to comic to rock and roll, for Dilip Kumar to Rajendra Kumar to Shammi Kapoor to Pradeep Kumar to Bharat Bhushan to Guru Dutt to Johnny Walker to Mehmood, for Naushad to Shankar Jaikishan to SD Burman to OP Nayyar to Roshan to Ravi, he was one of the most amazing singers we were fortunate to have.

No wonder Mohammad Rafi and Kishore Kumar spawned the largest number of ‘version’ singers and followers belonging to one or the other ‘school’. So if you have Anwar, Shabbir Kumar and Sonu Nigam from Rafi school, you have Kumar Shanu and Babul Supriyo from Kishore Kumar school.

So who is greater – Rafi or Kishore Kumar? Having seen the kind of Rafi-Kishore Kumar debate on the internet, if I proclaim anyone as No.1, it would be like stepping on a landmine. However, I can say one thing. If I am exiled to a desolate island and asked to choose either Rafi or Kishore Kumar’s music as company, I would choose Rafi. And, as my tribute to this great singer, I choose a relatively less heard Roshan composition, but incredibly beautiful and my personal favourite –Aaj ki raat badi shokh badi natkhat hai from the film Nayi Umar Ki Nayi Fasal (1965). It is one of the few songs in which the singer, composer and the lyricist (Neeraj) each surpasses himself and it is difficult to determine who should be given more credit for this wonderful creation.

Aaj ki raat badi shokh badi natkhat hai
Aaj to tere bina neend nahi ayegi
Ab to tere hi yahan aane ka ye mausam hai
Ab tabiyat na khayalon se bahal payegi

Dekh wo chhat pe utar aye jo sawan ki ghata
De rahi dwar pe awaaz khadi purwayee
Bijli rah rah ke pahadon pe chamak uthati hai
Sooni ankhon mein koi khwab le jo angrayee
Kaise samjhaun, kaise samjhaun ki is waqt ka matlab kya hai
Dil ki hai baat, ho dil ki hai baat na hothon se kahi jayegi
Aaj ki raat

Ye bhatakate huye jugnu ye diye awara
Bheegate ped par bujh bujh ke chamak uthate hain
Tere aanchal mein takay salme sitarey jaise
Mujhse milne ko bina baat damak uthate hain
Sara aalam, sara aalam hai giraftar tere husn mein jab
Mujhse hi kaise, hae mujhse hi kaise ye barsaat sahee jayegi
Aaj ki raat

Raat rani ki ye bheeni si nashilee khushboo
Aa rahi hai ki jo chhan chhan ke ghani daalon se
Aisa lagta hai kisi dheeth jhakore se lipat
Khel ayee hai tere uljhe huye baalon se
Aur bezaar, aur bezaar na kar mere tadapate dil ko
Aisi rangeen, ho aisi rangeen ghazal raat na phir gayegi
Aaj to tere bina neend nahi ayegi
Aaj ki raat badi shokh badi natkhat hai

And here is my English translation:

The night tonight is playful and naughty
Tonight without you the sleep will elude me
Now is the time for you to come here
No longer can I be comforted by mere fantasy

Look there, the monsoon clouds have come down on the roof
As if the easterly wind is knocking at the door
The lightning dazzles now and then on the mountains tops
Some dream as though is aroused in my desolate eyes
How do I explain the meaning of this moment
It is a matter of heart that can not be expressed by lips

These wandering fireflies are like vagabond lamps
Shutting and then shining bright on the drenched trees
As though the mirrors and stars embroidered on your stole
Yearn to meet with me for no apparent reason
When the entire nature is entranced in your beauty
How can I alone survive this monsoon without you

The delicate heady fragrance of the night jasmine
Is filtering through the dense shrubs and branches
As though entwined with some wanton breeze
It has played with your ruffled hair
Please do not torment any more my restless heart
The night would never sing such beautiful melody again
Tonight without you the sleep will elude me
The night tonight is playful and naughty

 

 

 

Rafi sings Aaj ki raat badi shokh badi natkhat hai

{ 202 comments }

1 SSDubey November 22, 2010 at 10:15 am

A great post which contains indepth analysis about these two great singers of yester years. Congratulations..

I have not been able to get any non-filmi songs of Kishore. If you can mention about them it will be great, perhaps in your next post

2 AK November 22, 2010 at 5:08 pm

@SSDubey:
Thanks for your compliments. Off-hand I too can not recall any non-film song of Kishore Kumar, though the Internet says he sang some 80 private songs. Among the mainstream film singers, Talat Mahmood was the tops in this genre. As a matter of fact he had already earned great name for his private ghazals and geets, before he came to film singing. One can recall dozens of his non-film songs and ghazals. The other singer whom I admire equally for his non-film songs as for film songs is Hemant Kumar with songs like Aanchal se kyun bandh liya mujh pardesi ka pyar, Tumne mujhko sada jalaya, Kitna dukh bhulaya tumne pyari etc. Kishore Kumar’s non-film songs seem to have remained out of popular circulation.

3 Atul December 4, 2010 at 12:20 pm

It is a very informative article full of valuable information.

Personally I do not believe in making comparisons in any fields and certainly not in a subjective field like playback singing. Every singer is unique, and that is how it should be. And a music lover will be able to enjoy the songs of all singers, if he/she listens to them with an open mind without any pre conceived notions.

I was a pre teen in 1969 when the Rajesh Khanna/Kishore Kumar/R D Burman tsunami took Hindi movie and music world by storm. Like most people at that time, I too liked Kishore Kumar more than others. But then I was a pre teen kid at that time. Now more than four decades later, I have matured (hopefully) and I am able to enjoy the sogs of not only Rafi and Kishore Kumar, but also many other well known , not so well known as well as unknown singers. In my opinion, one should not make comparisons among singers and simply enjoy the songs of the singers. That way, one is able to enjoy those songs much more.

It is a nice write up, full of valuable information. Now I am on to the other articles of your site. I am sure I will find them equally information.

4 Chandrashekhar December 4, 2010 at 4:15 pm

The article is very informative but why the need to compare? Statements like “Whatever Rafi did, Kishore Kumar did one better.” or “Kishore Kumar was nowhere a competitor to Rafi.” do disservice to both singers. For me music matters, the politics of music is irrelevant.

Re mama re mama re, incidentally, is the no#1 song even youngsters sing when the letter ‘Ra’ comes up in Antakshari – those youngsters who still play old-fashioned games like Antakshari, that is.

5 Subodh Agrawal December 4, 2010 at 7:51 pm

Good article. My own relationship with Rafi went through a 180 degree transformation around the age of 18. I was a die hard Rafi fan when Dosti came. But by late 60′s I had started hating Rafi – particularly for the vocal gimmicks in songs like ‘meri zindagi mein aate to kuchh aur baat hoti.” Kishore was someone I always liked, but never too much. My favourite was Hemant, followed by Mukesh and to some extent Talat. Today I have more balanced attitude towards Rafi, but I would place him below Kishore in my list of favourites.

By the way, “yeh hansta hua karavaan zindagi ka” is by Hemant, and not Kishore, unless there is also a Kishore version that I have not heard.

6 AK December 6, 2010 at 1:02 pm

@Atul, Chandrashekhar:

Welcome to my site and thanks for your comments. I find many persons share your view that comparisons between two singers should be avoided. I, of course, respect this view. Having said that, I can only say in my defense that with my analytical/technical background I am inevitably drawn towards any interesting patterns and features, and comparison, if any, is only with the objective of drawing attention to that, and never to proclaim any one as superior to the other. Rafi and Kishore Kumar present many interesting features to tempt a person like me to analyse – each dominating over a long span in different eras, one movie in 1969 (Aradhana) becoming a watershed in which one stalwart gives way to the other etc.

7 AK December 6, 2010 at 5:30 pm

@Subodh Agrawal:
Your relationship with Rafi reminded me of mine, which started from the other end. I was what you might call a Rafi-sceptic. I was such a huge fan of Mukesh, and I liked Hemant Kumar and Talat Mahmood so much that Rafi did not hold anything special for me. Later I was hooked on KL Saigal, Pankaj Mallik and KC Dey, and subsequently discovered New Theatres had some more gems such as Pahadi Sanyal and Asit Baran. Along the way I started developing a liking for Rafi and many of his songs held me spellbound – such as Roshan’s the one I have quoted, OP Naiyar’s Mujhe dekh kar aapka muskurana, Naushad’s Tasweer banata hun teri khoon-e-jigar se or O door ke musafir etc. Now when I look back I am surprised how I was depriving myself of the pleasure of such Rafi gems.

Thanks for pointing out the obvious error. Indeed Ye hansta hua karwaan zindagi ka is by Hemant Kumar (with Asha Bhosle). This is from the film Ek Jhalak and composed by Hemant Kumar himself. And you might have also guessed that since I was referring to the film Dilli Ka Thug composed by Ravi, I meant the song Ye raatein ye mausam nadi ka kinara ye chanchal hawa, but inadvertently I wrote the other song which was somewhat similar. Now it has been corrected.

8 Subodh Agrawal December 7, 2010 at 8:01 pm

Let me make up for my adverse comment on Rafi by listing my favourite Rafi songs:
1. Saathi na koi manzil
2. Tere mere sapne (Guide)
3. Pukaarta chala hun main
4. Hum Bekhudi mein tum to pukare chale gaye
5. Abhi na jao chhod kar
6. Hum aap ki aankhon mein (pyasa)
7. Main ye soch kar uske dar se utha tha
8. Suhani raat dhal chuki
9. Rang aur noor ki baraat kise pesh karoon.
10. Deewana mastana hua dil
And that is without including the immortal classical numbers like ‘Man re tu kahe na dheer dhare’, ‘Man tarpat hair darshan ko’ and ‘Madhuban mein radhika naache re.’
But even today I can’t tolerate songs like ‘Khilona jan kar’ and ‘Babul ki duaen leti ja’.

9 AK December 9, 2010 at 3:48 pm

@Subodh Agrawal:
I agree with you on Khilona jaan kar and Babul ki duayen leti ja. About half of your list would also figure in my list. Rafi’s work is so huge that we can do justice only if we compile our favourites composer-wise.

10 ankm83 December 17, 2010 at 12:18 am

Very well written article. I think its Technicality vs Soulful singing here, when u talk of Rafi vs Kishore. Kishore was a better emoter, sang with the greatest expressions and feelings ever, thus rightfully making him the greatest “Playback singer” in 1970′s and 80′s. Fully agreed, that technically there were limitations in the genre of songs he could sing, but he was master of expressions, thus by far surpassing any singer in song of any mood. Although general perception is that he was best at masti songs, I think its his sad songs that bring out his deep expressive skills to the core- songs like “Badi sooni sooni”, “Mere naina sawan”, “Mera jeevan kora”, “Manzile apni”, “O saathi re”. Listen to the brillance of expressions from the soft “Humein tumse pyaar kitna” to the loud “Om Shanti Om”. Singer for any mood.

11 Rahul December 19, 2010 at 6:25 pm

Great article on 2 all-time singing legends. They are both great singers, but the immense body of work that Rafi has left behind truly dwarfs the work of his contemporaries including Kishore. You just have to compare a random set of top 100 songs of both Rafi & Kishore, and if you are totally unbiased, Rafi’s superiority will be clear. I could appreciate Kishore’s songs during teenage years, but can’t anymore! Kishore’s work sounds almost too elementary compared to Rafi’s unsurpassed range and class.

12 AK December 20, 2010 at 11:43 am

@ankm83, Rahul:
Thanks for your comments. I belong to the generation when there was no TV and we breathed and lived music through the radio in the 1960s and early 70s. Kishore Kumar was a singer on the margin, coming after Rafi, Mukesh, Talat Mahmood and Hemant Kumar in terms of commanding respect and following. He had a special niche though because of yodelling and his comic talent. It is because of his stupendous success in the 1970s and 80s, that his earlier music too is now seen with a renewed respect.

13 Samay Kumar January 3, 2011 at 3:07 pm

I agreed with you. But you have missed out some singers who belongs to the Mohd. Rafi School & Kishore Kumar School.
Now, Iam telling you, if singers Anwar, Shabbir Kumar, Mohd. Aziz & Sonu Nigam belong to the Mohd. Rafi School, then we have singers like Kumar Sanu, Babul Supriyo, Vinod Rathod, Sudesh Bhosle &
Udit Narayan who belong to the Kishore Kumar School.

14 manas das January 6, 2011 at 11:23 pm

the main difference between kishore kumar and other singers are that,if today you listen to the songs of all our past playback singers,the one voice which will stand out as if it is recorded today itself,is of kishore kumar.he was well ahead of his time.even today’s youth enjoys kishore-da’s evergreen songs.he is a class apart.with due respect rafi saaf offcourse!!!

15 AK January 7, 2011 at 11:43 am

@Samay Kumar
I am not sure I would put Udit Narayan in Kishore Kumar school. There is something very unique about his voice. I see Sudesh Bhosle more as a great mimic who can copy dozens of singers – his best are of KL saigal and SD Burman. If I have to really put singers in either Rafi or Kishore Kumar school, I would put Abhijit Bhattacharya as very clearly in Kishore Kumar camp.

16 ankm83 January 7, 2011 at 11:55 am

agreed, Udit Narayan is infact in Rafi school. Although he has a different voice, slightly heavy, but style and expressions are Rafi inspired. But he is more original than any singer of his generation

17 Subodh Agrawal January 30, 2011 at 7:32 pm

One interesting fact: There are a few songs in which Mohammad Rafi has given the playback for Kishore Kumar the screen actor. I first noticed it in the film Shararat which has many good songs by Kishore in his own voice; but the song ‘Ajab hai dastan teri yeh zindagi’ has Rafi singing for Kishore. Later I discoverd more like ‘man mera baawra’. Wonder what that has to say for the comparison between the two!

18 AK January 31, 2011 at 2:34 pm

@Subodh Agrawal
I have mentioned both the songs in my article. Shararat‘s Hum matwale naujawan by Kishore Kumar was an outstanding song, much superior accrding to me, to Rafi’s Ajab hai dastaan teri ye zindagi. Then why did Shankar Jaikishan use Rafi for this song, or why did OP Nayyar use Rafi for Man mora baawra in Ragini as playback for Kishore Kumar? I have heard two kinds of comments:
1. That Rafi was a superior singer and these were difficult songs to which only he could do justice.
2. That the music directors were exasperated by Kishore Kumar’s tantrums and unpredictable behaviour. So when he did not turn up for recordings they had Rafi do it.

19 anurag February 2, 2011 at 6:40 pm

It is simply not required- comparison of Rafi and Kishore.
Kishore himself respected Rafi as a superior singer. He left recordings mid way and told music director- this is not my tune , Call Rafi. … and without any grudges! ( Nafrat ki duniya ko ….) was originally given to Kishore, but he could not do justice to song.
Yes, in limited versions Kishore was OK; His sound quality was very good , but far far away from Rafi.
Even Manna De accepted Rafi’s supermacy in singing.

20 AM February 16, 2011 at 1:56 am

I would only add this to the debate.

One dominated when there was real melodious music, old maestros were in their prime, the standard really high and competition very stiff. I mean 50s and 60s, the so called golden era. Where Naushad, C Ramchandra, SDB, SJ, OPN, Ravi, Madan Mohan, Roshan, Hemat Kumar, Salil Chaudhary ruled. An era when we had countless such films in which all 7 or 8 songs were superhits, such that people can recount them all, even today. Such was the impression these compositions left.

In the 70s sporadically and 80s generally, actual music started giving way to little more than orchestrated noise. What can you say about an era where KJAJ, LP & RDB are the top three big guns! Mind you, these three gave some top class hits back in the 60s but come late 70s and the whole of 80s, they were churning out one forgettable tune after another, albeit in vast quantities. All sinking down without leaving a trace. For someone to have dominated this era is not all that big a feat.

21 ankm83 February 18, 2011 at 4:21 pm

@AM. It would be quite rude to ridicule RDB by talking of his era in such a light. RD’s soft, romantic, sentimental and semi-classical songs are gems, with lot of soul. Further, he was by far the most versatile composer ever. Is there any other song more touching than “Tujhse naraaz nahi”, the list is of great Lata & Kishore number is endless, so I wouldnt go on and on. True that he faded away in the late 80′s, but he left us with a memorable album “1942 love story”. He is inspiration to all next gen composers, because of his blend of modernity and traditional indian music.

22 anurag February 19, 2011 at 1:05 am

all agreed, but i still stick to my comments.
we can not compare divine singers with good singers.

23 AM February 25, 2011 at 5:28 am

@ankm83: I did give RDB credit for his better tunes, esp. in the 60s. Overall, the ratio of his memorable to trash songs was somewhat like 1:20 (and I am being quite generous with this estimate). When the great SDB was around, the junior Burman had an experienced, guiding light to temper and mellow down his discernible heavy leaning towards Western influence.

Having said that I, for one, do like the RDB-Gulzar axis which gave us some of the best creative output of RDB.

24 ankm83 February 25, 2011 at 11:30 am

@AM, I am quite surprised with your estimate of 1:20, not sure but ratio could be 50:50. I would still think leaving ratios apart, the absolute number of RD’s memorable songs and their quality would be far better than any of his peers in 70′s and 80′s. But still a disclaimer: I am not from that generation, but closely follow songs of old movies. 100% agreed that RD-Gulzar gave his best creative outpur, Aandhi is my favorite soundtrack. A number of Indian classical based songs by RD-Lata combo are testim0ny to his command over the traditional form of music.

25 Vishnu March 20, 2011 at 5:57 pm

Kishore was good for Josheele and majestic moods or even any mood. But he sings like a human.

Rafi was a divine singer. His voice sounds as if the stream is coming down from the heavens above. Rafi sings like a God’s close aide, some holy spirit.

Spiritual plane, if you compare, it is Rafi.

26 anurag March 20, 2011 at 9:03 pm

Yes, Vishnu, you have defined it in one line.
Comparison is not on equal levels.
… anurag

27 ankm83 March 20, 2011 at 11:03 pm

Agreed rafi was had clear edge in devotional songs, very divine voice.
But, I always felt kishore was more expressive and emotive as a playback singer. Unlike rafi, his ammunition was never complexity in terms of sur, but voice modulation and ability to express the mood like an actor (being an actor helped him indeed). He had the unique ability to sing like a defeated lover, yet emerge strong and not sound weeping>> “meri bheegi bheegi si”, “yeh kya hua”, “dil aj shayar hai”, “mere mehboob qayamat”; “chingari koi bhadke” — a broken yet a strong lover.

28 AK March 23, 2011 at 11:11 am

@anurag, AM, ankm83, Vishnu

Thank you all for visiting the site and your comments. Looking at all the comments I feel Rafi vs KK debate has a great deal to do with generations – for relatively younger, KK is the master; for those like me who grew up soaked and steeped in the music of the golden era (1950s and 60s) Rafi is the ultimate.

It is known KK had enormous respect for Rafi. Rafi-KK equation is perhaps best exemplified by this ode to sharing equally, from the film Fifty Fifty (1956) composed by Madan Mohan, and sung by the two maestros together:

आधी तुम खा लो आधी हम खा लें
मिल जुल के ज़माने में गुज़ारा कर लें
हो तेरा ग़म मेरा ग़म यही गातें चलें हम
दुख सुख का जी यूं बंटवारा कर लें

What a significant name of the film and what significant lyrics which can also be seen as a metaphor for equal sharing of spoils between the two great singers. Though it did not happen exactly like that – Rafi first consuming all till he gave way for KK to have it all.

Rafi, Kishore Kumar sing Adhi tum kha lo adhi hum kha lein in Fifty Fifty

29 anurag March 23, 2011 at 1:00 pm

As there was no equal present to match Rafi, the benefit goes to Kishore.
If Rafi is one to ten, Kishore can be 11th.
Do not , pl do not treat them equals, Pl understand music.
Kishore is good, Rafi superb. I repeat again, no match between these two. Yes, you should compare Kishore with Mukesh, Mehendra Kapur, Yesudas and many other very good singers.
If any other singer can match Rafi, it is LataMangeshkar.
So, pl close the topic.

30 Rama April 11, 2011 at 1:40 pm

During the emergency Kishore Kumar was banned by Sanjay Gandhi on AIR.
This brought Rafi back on top.

Laila Majnu, AAA, Suhaag, Shaan, Apnapan, Naseeb all had Rafi with the best songs. Qurbani, Yarana, Aap To Aise Na they had only one Rafi song but were big hits. One reason why Rafi faded in early seventies was that Dilip Kumar and Shammi Kapoor had stayed too long and some newness was brought in by Rajesh Khanna and Kishore Kumar.

31 SB April 29, 2011 at 4:26 pm

I completely agree with AM. RD, LP etc. music directors of 70s & 80s concentrated more in numbers, compromising heavily on quality, also to blame were the lyricists, also remember, there were Kaamal Amrohi, Kaifi Azmi, Shaqeel Badayuni etc. to complement Naushad, Roshan, Ghulam Mohammad, OPN, MM etc.

32 a c tuli May 25, 2011 at 5:05 pm

I have seen Mr Samay Kumar’s observations about Sudesh Bhosle. According to him, he is good at mimicking K L Saigal and S.D Burman. I think it is a mistake to say that Sudesh Bhosle can mimic Saigal. The trouble with most people is that they have simply heard the name of K L Saigal but not listened to him with rapt attention. The truth is that Saigal is such a unique singer that no other singer can come anywhere near him even when he tries his best to copy his songs. And those who have listened to Saigal’s non-film ghazals, such as Ghalib’s ‘Har ek baat pe kehte ho tum ke tu kya hai’, ‘Phir mujhe deeda–e-tar yaad aya’, ‘Matwale pane se so ghata jhoom padi hai, chhati se duan utha hai jo boond padi hai’, ‘layi hayaat aaye sada le chali chale’ and many others, know that he cannot be copied. God gives a voice like Saigal’s to a singer only once in centuries.

33 myc May 29, 2011 at 11:39 pm

Almost everything that can be said in this debate has already been said. It is really personal, and sometimes very deeply so for music lovers. As some have pointed out, it is not just the singers. It is a combination of lyricists, composers, and singers that create the magic. Both Rafi and Kishore of the 50′s and the early ’60s were better than anything they did in later life. The multiple combinations of singers, lyricists, and composers in those years brought out a richness that is not recreated since. The watershed of 1969 applies not only to the Rafi-Kishore shift but it is also to a whole bunch of male and female stars who should have retired many years before. Composers who were a product of the 40′s and 50′s were fading out. Rafi, in many ways, was their product with that golden voice and the fantastic talent. The real Kishore of ‘door gagan ki chhaon mein’ and ‘jhumroo’ was seen only occasionally in the post-watershed period. Generation or not it finally boils down to “koi lauta de mere beete hue din”.

34 AK May 29, 2011 at 11:50 pm

@myc:
There are very clearly two Kishore Kumars – post- and pre-watershed year of 1969. While the post-1969 gave him complete market domination, the pre-1969 KK was reckoned after Rafi and Mukesh. Yet like you it is the early KK that I like.

35 myc May 30, 2011 at 11:37 am

I really do not like ranking. Rafi’s versatility and training allowed him to sing a great variety of songs. The range in terms of octaves and genres that Rafi could cover was just not possible for any of the others, Kishore included. Rafi could not come anywhere near the comical Kishore and in many songs the pathos of Kishore was unmatched. Kishore could not have done “ai mohobbat zindabad” and neither can I imagine him singing “ehsaan tera hoga mujhpar”, or “man tarapat”. In their own domains, each was superb and this is where the composers, and even the directors and production houses came in. When concocting a movie the music, songs, and song sequences have always played a central role in Bollywood. Having Rafi, Mukseh, Manna Dey, Kishore, and Hemant Kumar around meant the producer and the composer had a huge range available. Lata’s domination since the 60′s robbed the female side of it the wide variety that was there in the 50′s and is only emerging once again now. I wonder how many serious classical-based songs, or Urdu ghazals by male vocalists featured in Bollywood movies post 1969 . Until recently, and that too thanks to an independent resurgence of ghazals, sufi music, folk music in India only the limited range distorted “Kishore-style” imitation songs is what we got for a long time. The complete market domination of a limited range Kishore was not good for Bollywood although it worked commercially for about a decade. We are back to a lot of variety but still excepting in a few cases the magic is only temporary. Rafi’s departure, marked the end of an era. Kishore’s rise represented a change but not a new era.

36 Raj gandhi July 20, 2011 at 8:22 am

Let me make it very simple. Rafi was more popular in 50s, 60s and some part of 70s. While Kishor became more popular in 70s. Overall both singers were great but Rafi was the best. Even today and times to come in future you will not find match for Rafi.

37 Reha August 4, 2011 at 1:06 pm

Great article. Being from a family where listening to old (50′s and 60′s) Bollywood music was a norm, I grew up listening to some of the best songs of Rafi, and till date I can vouch for his supreme quality, precision, and his vast knowledge of classical music. However, as I grew older, I started listening to Kishore more often, and in no time I became a die-hard Kishore fan. Even now, with the advent of KK, Shaan, and all the modern day singers, somehow my mind is always elated when a Kishore song is played on the radio. He had the ability to touch the heart, and that was what was so great about him. Both great singers, and will be Bollywood’s pride forever.

38 Krishna August 8, 2011 at 4:47 pm

Dear Music lovers,

One great article but full points to the music lover friends who have commented straight from their hearts.. Kishore was really good and did dominate 70s but Rafi is supreme.. comparison to Rafi is somewhat my soul would not accept.

rgds..

39 R. Srinivasan August 11, 2011 at 12:22 am

Rafi was a phenomenal singer with a God-given talent. Neither Kishore Kumar nor anybody else, including Lata Mangeshkar, could even come close to Rafi. In the 70′s Rafi was brought down by a caucus of narrow-minded and prejudiced mediocres who could not stomach Rafi’s genius and so went about tarnishing it. These characters deliberately boosted Kishore Kumar and gave him many awards while persistently ignoring Rafi. In my opinion, Rafi should have retired around this period rather than go for numbers with the kind of trash dished out by RD Burman and Co. The prejudice against Rafi is all too obvious. Why did he fail to get the Bharat Ratna, when an obviously lesser singer like Lata Mangeshkar got it? I would ask readers to listen to Lata’s and Rafi’s versions of this song: “Aaj kal mein dhal gaya” from the movie Beti bete. Lata does a very good job of singing it. When you listen to Rafi’s version, however, y0u instantly make out the difference between a mortal (Lata) and a divine singer (Rafi), or a pupil and a maestro. Rafi had too many guns for even Lata, though the song is well within Lata’s limited range. As for songs like Ehsan tera hoga mujh par, Tasveer teri dil mein, Aji rooth kar ab, etc., it is very painful to hear Lata struggle and screech at high pitch, while Rafi is in full control, with several notes to spare. As for Kishore Kumar, I do like his old songs and his eccentric ways. But the poor guy was simply no match for Rafi, as pointed out by many in this discussion.

40 AK August 11, 2011 at 11:21 am

@R Srinivasan
I would hate to use the term ‘lesser singer’ for Lata Mangeshkar in any context. If one has to choose one singer who had impacted us most, it would be Lata Mangeshkar.

Coming to Rafi and Lata versions of the same song, I have a more general view on such Twin songs, in which I have illustrated about 40 songs where male version sounded much better than the female version, so much so that in many cases the female version became extinct.

41 Samay Kumar August 11, 2011 at 12:54 pm

Yes, there is no comparison with Rafi Sahab. He is a God-gifted singer.
But, Mr. Srinivasan, I couldn’t agree with you, that Rafi Sahab was brought down by other music directors of the 70s. Actually it was the change in the style of music in the mid 70s that R.D, Laxmikant Pyarelal introduced. Still Rafi sahab had given many hit songs in the 70s. He also got the National Award for Kya Hua Tera Wada, whose music was given by R.D. In the early seventies Kishore Kumar’s voice was fresh & later on was playback compatible for many supertars like Rajesh Khanna, Amitabh Bachchan, Devanand & Dharmendra etc who always wanted Kishore Kumar to sing for them. They preferred him which in turn worked successfully for all music directors.

42 a c tuli August 12, 2011 at 1:08 pm

I have read with keen interest all the contributions made in this blog by different music lovers. Nearly all of them are all praise for Rafi and consider him singer-par-excellence who is difficult to be surpassed by any other playback singer. But why do we make comparisons? Why don’t we accept the fact that variety is the spice of life. I am also a great admirer of Rafi, but I think every singer has some unique quality of his own. For instance, there are songs of Mukesh which I cannot imagine any other singer singing better than him. Just imagine if Anil Biswas had asked Rafi to sing, ‘Dil jalta hai to jalne de, ansoo na baha…’, or imagine Naushad asking Mukesh to sing, ‘O duniya ke rakhwale, sun dard bhare mere nale…’ No way, for all of know that every singer’s voice has a distinct quality of its own and he should be given only those songs which he can sing best. So, making comparisons between singers is no use.
I think there is no gainsaying the fact that Lata Mangeshkar is the greatest female singer of all times. Her songs have been picturised on umpteen leading ladies over the past sixty years. But then the question arises, must we expect that every young woman to sing in the voice of Lata Mangeshkar? But, unfortunately, that is what our filmmakers thought for decades and thus deprived other talented singers of the chance to sing for films.
There was a time when there was a wide varieties of female singing voices. We had Zohrabai, Amirbai Karnataki, Shamshad Begum, Rajkumari, Geeta Dutt, Sudha Malhotra, Mubarak Begum, and a few more who regaled us with their rich voices. But then came a long period when the Mangeshkar sisters dominated the film music scene. The variety which is supposed to be the spice of life was totally missing in this long period.
Luckily, we have once again a multiplicity of both male and female singing voices. But the tragedy is that neither the lyricists nor the music directors of today can create the magic that the maestros in the 50s and 60s created for us. Film music today is nothing but unmitigated cacophony. In fact, some people say that to call modern film songs as a genre of music is to insult music.

43 SB August 17, 2011 at 4:11 pm

KK was a phenomenal performer with regard to the Indian film industry, offering a wide range of skills from play back singing to acting but he was simply not cut out to be a classical singer which in fact, was a demand of the golden era period. However he was respected for his contributions, which were sparks of brilliance, but he can never be compared with Great Rafi. It is very sad that his own directed songs did not become as popular as the songs he sang for RDB. Actually RDB & Co. has destroyed the very foundation of hindi film music, which was laid by the composers of the golden era, in the name of change.

44 Samay Kumar August 18, 2011 at 1:59 pm

@ SB
I couldn’t agree you that R.D. Burman had destroyed the foundation of hindi film music. I don’t know whether you have heard R.D. Burman’s music of the 70s & 80s. He had great contributions to the Bollywood music industry where there were numerous hits by Lata-ji, Rafi Saab, Kishore Kumar & Asha Bhosle. R.D. Burman started his career with Rafi Saab in the film Chhote Nawab (1961), & then Teesri Manzil (1966), Abhilasha (1968), Pyar Ka Mausam (1968), The Train (1970), Caravan (1971), Hum Kisise Kam Nahin (1977) etc. All songs of Rafi Saab in R.D’s music were Superhits. I don’t know whether you know all these. R.D. Burman was the only music director to record the most superhit duet song of Rafi Saab & Kishore Kumar (Yaadon Ki Baarat). R.D. Burman was the only music director who made hindi music very very popular in the 1970s as he introduced a new style in music. Some of his music have got a touch of the west, but it got the melody. R.D. Burman had also given semi-classical music. All over R.D. Burman is the model music director of today’s composers.

45 SB August 19, 2011 at 9:45 pm

Today’s music directors excepting A.R. Rehman are all run of the mill kind and they assume RDB to be closest in their proximity. Yes RDB indeed did produce some good numbers as you have mentioned but, as AM had rightly commented that the ratio of his memorable to trash songs was 1:20 earlier, I would maintain the same view. He introduced a peculiar style not so western not so Indian, not complementing either and everybody followed the band wagon without realizing that the sole Indian classical influence in film songs rapidly faded away, as all good things come to an end, the industry paved way for lesser composers spearheaded by RDB.

46 a c tuli September 11, 2011 at 1:30 pm

SB says that barring A R Rehman, all other music directors of today are run-of-the-mill kind whose creations hardly make any impact on us. I have often seen bloggers going gaga over A R Rehman, but I am the one who is often left cold after listening to his songs. It is said that technically Rehman is perfection incarnated. But just technical excellence is not enough to create immortal music. There is something else that goes to the making of immortal tunes.
I ask the admirers of Rehman: Is there just one song of Rehman that our children’s children will remember fifty years hence? Where is his Jai ho song that created such hysteria that it was created a classic at that the time when ‘Slumdog Millionaire’ was released?
Khemchand Prakash,Anil Biswas,Naushad, Sajjad Hussain, Shankar-Jaikishen, S.D Burman, Madan Mohan, Roshan, and a few others have created songs which are evergreen. ‘Aai ga aane wala..’, ‘O duniya ke rakhwale..’, ‘Yeh hawa yeh raat yeh chandni…’, ‘Sur na saje kya gaoon mein…’, ‘Jalte hain jis ke liye teri ankhon ke diye…’, ‘Hum pyar mein jalne walon ko chain kahan…’, ‘Na to karwan ki talash hai…’ — all these songs are simply unforgettable. Even the present generation loves listening to these songs. But the cacophonous things we hear today are not songs, but a travesty of music. Most of the present-day songs are pilfered tunes from the West. All that our ‘creative geniuses’ have done is to replace English lyrics with Hindi lyrics.

47 SB September 12, 2011 at 3:09 pm

By hinting at A.R. Rehman being an exception from the present day band of composers, I have never equated him with the Golden era music directors. Their compositions will continue to create impressions in the minds of the true music lovers in the generations to come and when we come back to the original discussion of Rafi vs. Kishore Kumar, I would reiterate that Rafi and music are synonym.

48 K R Vaishampayan September 16, 2011 at 4:04 pm

Hello AK,
May be, this is a rare occasion that I am unable to agree with you. No quarrel there; however, my points is: Need there be comparison between these 2 Dadas of Male Singing of Bollywood? In my opinion, it is needless. Further, let me venture and add: Both had share of bad patches and mediocre songs and strokes of fate. But, calling all that Kishore Kimar sang post Aradhana shall be stretching the Kishore legend too far…a typical 21st Century Marketing. In a nut-shell, to me both were in a league of their own and too great to comment upon. Trust, you will not view this as a critique of your article. Regards – KRV

49 AK September 16, 2011 at 7:03 pm

@KR Vaishampayan
Your views are most welcome; in fact, others also have made the point about futility of comprison between two greats. As I have already commented, the phenomenon of a watershed film and year Aradhana (1969) bringing such a sharp overturn of order, was very interesting. Let me also add I also regard both of them as great. I am planning some Kishore Kumar write ups in near future.

50 FazalAhmad September 18, 2011 at 1:03 pm

Hello friends,
I had always been a Mohd. Rafi fan, since I was a kid. Like my parents and friends, I, obediently followed the tradition to listen and admire rafi and only rafi. His “Makhmali awaaz” was always a treat to my ears. I would sing his songs at the school and with friends. People liked me because I was eventually, if not easily. able to hit those “high surs”. I was admired.
But, then I had chance to listen to Kishore da`s songs. I was moved! His voice was uniquely LARGE. The base in his voice was incredibly deep, unlike any other singer. His voice was inimitable. Such strong voice, reflected pronounced masculinity. His songs like ‘Hal Kya Hai Dilon Ka’, ‘Phoolon ke rang se’, ‘Aapke Anurodh Pe’ ‘Kuch To log kaheinge’ and many others, are great examples of his talent. You would see many singers singing Rafi`s songs, giving him a good enough tribute. There are sonu nigam, shabbir and many others who are fairly good at it. But Kishore Kumar was UNIQUE. No one in the world has such a tremendous throw and solidarity. AND now we can just IMAGINE what kishore da could have done if he was classically trained from his childhood. His voice would have broken the boundaries and CONQUERED the world!!
The khanak in kishoreda`s voice was a god-gift and the almighty has not given even one-tenth of that charismatic resonance that kishoreda was rewarded with.
Conclusively, I hope and pray that the rafi`s fans break their old bias for an hour and just listen to the songs I have recommended above! Do not banish kishore da`s talent without even weighing them fairly. And as for Rafi, he has been my guru, idol, teacher, god and always will be.

Thank you.

51 Samay Kumar September 19, 2011 at 5:26 pm

@FazalAhmad
You are absolutely correct. I am a fan of both Rafi sahab & Kishore Kumar,
I never compared between the two great legends. There are the musical icons of our Indian music industry.

52 Fazal Ahmad October 6, 2011 at 8:00 pm

Kishoreda was a maverick. His voice had a eternal resonance and “Khanak” that was unique! Voice was uniquely deep and the throw, punch and power in his voice make him the most difficult singer to sing. Rafi was undoubtedly a fabulous singer but Kishore Kumar was pure genius. Here is an anecdote (story) I would love to share with you all.
I had always been a Mohd. Rafi fan, since I was a kid. Like my parents and friends, I, obediently followed the tradition to listen and admire Rafi and only Rafi. His “Makhmali awaaz” was always a treat to my ears. I would sing his songs at the school and with friends. People liked me because I was eventually, if not easily, able to sings those classical numbers. I was admired.
But, then I had a chance to listen to Kishore da`s songs. I was moved! His voice was uniquely LARGE. The base in his voice was incredibly deep, unlike any other singer. His voice was inimitable. Such strong voice, reflected pronounced masculinity. His songs like ‘Hal Kya Hai Dilon Ka’, ‘Phoolon ke rang se’, ‘Aapke Anurodh Pe’ ‘Kuch to log kaheinge’ and many others, are great examples of his talent. Kishoreda`s ability to sing such diverse moods and styles can clearly be witnessed in above songs!! Interestingly, just notice the change in timber and texture he brings singing these diverse songs- something which Rafi never did; he just sang with the same timber/texture. Kishore could sing all the way from his upper part of the chest like in “Aapke Anurodh Pe” (where his voice comes out with so much depth and yet, he doesnt run out of air!!), then his throat like in Hal Kya Hai Dilon (his vocal chord sounds like this huge rod with incredibly high radius!) and all the way up to his mouth in Pyaar Manga Hai Tumhi Se(where he just whispers and the romance spreads in the air!!). I challenge anyone to do justice to these songs! Kumar Sanu and Abhijeet just copy one little “pehlu” or “style” of Kishore`s versatilty (just make Kishoreda`s voice thinner by 50% and add some nasality in it and you get Kumar Sanu, Yodell-ish singing style that too with erratic consistency and you get Abhijeet). One little Rang of multi-coloured Kishoreda has made their lives!! Just think about it. You would see many singers singing Rafi`s songs, giving him a good enough tribute. There are Sonu Nigam, Shabbir, Mohammad Aziz and many others who are fairly good at it (who have even sung O duniya ke rakh wale, the hardest song Rafi ever recorded and infact, Sonu has done considerable justice) But Kishore Kumar was UNIQUE. No one ever had such a tremendous throw and solidarity. AND now we can just imagine what Kishoreda could have done if he was classically trained from his childhood. His voice would have broken the boundaries and CONQUERED the world!!
The khanak in kishoreda`s voice was a god-gift and the almighty has not given even one-tenth of that charismatic resonance that kishoreda was rewarded with, to anyone else.
Kishoreda, sadly, recoginzed his talent quite late, way after he was already dragged into acting by his elder brother, Ashok Kumar– and surprisingly enough, his acting skills are still admired. What a multi-talented individual he was indeed. But its sad that we lost him early.

Conclusively, I hope and pray that the Rafi`s fans break their old bias for an hour and just listen to the songs I have recommended above! And as for Rafi, he has been my guru and idol and I always will be his fan.
Thank you.

53 K R Vaishampayan October 7, 2011 at 6:30 pm

Thanks Fazalbhai for such a wonderful analytical comment. Very nice of you to have mentioned some of the most melodious songs by Kishorda. Yes, I agree with you wholeheartedly…Kishorda was a maverick and paid attention to his singing talent , little late in life. But look at the irony; in spite of that…his quality can be felt [the typical God-gifted Kishorda] in his old songs only whether he sang for SD or for Chitragupt. I am sure Fazalbhai that you will agree with me on this count. But the greatest irony in my opinion is: Both these talented gifted singers had their ups and downs. And we can only blame the unpredictable fate for it. Best part is: irrespective of uncalled for rumors Fans like us – who loved them both equally, shall continue to love them as much…and not any less. Regards – KRV

54 Fazal Ahmad October 22, 2011 at 4:01 pm

Dear musiclovers,

All gentlemen on this thread who are reading me, I want to bring something to light. You must have noticed that the kind of songs and music that are being made today. Its a shame. Quality music is dissapearing.
I think the only way we can help improve the quality of music today is to educate our children with good quality songs. We should expose them to the khazana of music that our predecessors legends have left us with . I have noticed that youth today does not even know about legends like Rafi saab, Kishoreda and Mannadey. I mean, literally young generation doesnt even know the “names” of our legends. Infact, they find it old-fashioned when an old melody is played in front of them. Why? Thats because they have never been taught about these legends by their parents. Its very shameful.

I think the only way is to expose our children with this quality music at an early age, so that they develop an interest and love for these legends. Its then that they would be able to understand that whats quality music.
I hope all of you gentlemen here are with me for this cause. If we want to preserve our music and prevent it from getting effected by westernization then, we all need to do our duty and propagate this into the life of today`s generation.

Thanks!!

55 Samay Kumar October 24, 2011 at 4:17 pm

@Fazal Ahmed
You are absolutely right. Actually young generation of today should be exposed to quality music of Rafi Saab, Kishore Kumar etc. Parents should look after their children from an early age where quality music should be played in front of them & definitely when they’ll grow up they will have their choice of music, as which to hear & sing which not to. It’s the duty of parents. I know very well. From my early childhood I was exposed to songs of Hemant Kumar. Later on as a grown up, I exposed myself to songs of Kishore Kumar & Rafi Saab. It’s a shame for the young generation for their promotion & support to western music ultimately diminishing Indian Classical music.

56 s.m.soqlain October 25, 2011 at 4:07 pm

Dear Fazal Ahmad i respect both the singers Rafi sb & Kishoreda.Rafi sb”voice is so flexible that anyone can feel it as his own voice.No singer in world has such range & versetility.Actually he had not pay attention to his health as well as a true GOD-fearing person starts to concentrate his relegious activities after 50years of his age.Other clone singer can only copy him to some instant but when a fresh tune is given to him the quality of voice is disclosed his originality.If he were professional till last of his age no ghazal singer no classical singer in world can be matched to him . Thanks

57 harvey November 8, 2011 at 12:12 am

Rafi or Kishore?
I hope I never have to answer this question.
Both and Talat and Manna Dey!!
Thanks for this good write up. It has emotions and facts in a proper proportions!
Thanks for reintroducing me to aaj ki raat badi

58 AK November 9, 2011 at 10:12 am

@harvey
And Mukesh and Hemant Kumar too. Thanks for your compliments.

59 harvey November 9, 2011 at 6:30 pm

@ AK
How could I forget Hemant?

60 roma prakash November 19, 2011 at 10:44 am

I have always loved Mohd Rafi and also Kishore Kumar. I never had a radio in my younger years. Recently i started downloading songs of both from the internet. After some time I noticed that in the case of Mohd Rafi, even songs which i did not use to think much of earlier, on hearing now, i wanted to download and keep them for listening to again. On the other hand, in the case of Kishore Kumar even with songs that had been very popular and i had admired earlier, i was passing over now thinking in my mind – kuchh khaas nahi hai. Secondly, there are many many Rafi songs that you can listen to the whole day, repeating the same song over and over again, but i do not think there are even a handful of such Kishore Kumar songs. After listening to two or three times you want to change the song.

61 Dharamjit November 20, 2011 at 9:34 pm

I, being a singer and performer in Malaysia, have a great respect not only for Rafi Sahab, Kishoreda but also Mukesh, Mahender Kapoor, Manna Dey and others. When I am not well, I could easily sing like Kishoreda, Mukesh or other singers song but to sing Rafi Sahab’s song I must make sure that I’m perfectly fit to sing his range. Even Lataji, Manna Deyji, Mukeshji and Kishoreda had admit not to compare them with Rafi Sahab. Kishoreda ne khud kaha hai… Sekedon hai Kishore aur sekedon hai Lata.. Bin sune yoon tujhe kisteran peta… Dil na bedao na sahin.. dilko na thodo…..”Na Roop Dekhiye, Na Naam dekhiye, Jo dekhiye to Sangeetkar ka KAAM Dekhiye”

62 poorna November 27, 2011 at 7:11 pm

Fazal bhai,
Very good article. It is futile to compare both as both had different styles and both were great. The only difference I found was the tonal quality which in case of Kishoreda deterorated – listne to his songs in eighties and we can understand – where as Rafi’s remained intact till he died. Other aspect is while Rafi got opportunity from music directors to explore his range, Kishore was used mostly in playful songs. Kishore was excellent in serous songs too but got lesser opportunity. The best example is Guide when Dada Burman finalised Rafi for all the songs except one
Eventhough Kishore was close to him and was considered as Dev’s voice. We are fortunate that we had these great singers in our life time.

63 DEEPAK HARI December 1, 2011 at 10:14 pm

Hi guys,

With due respect to Kishore Kumar ji, I would like to say that no singers can match Rafi……No artist can stay at the same peak forever, if demand for Rafi’s voice declined after Kishore Kumar’s numbers in Aradhana, its coz people wanted some change a new voice, a different one that they found in kk. But it is Mohd Rafi Saab who has sung a lot of difficult songs at great ease, a quality which I don’t think any other singer can exhibit. Thanks

64 Rajesh Joshi December 3, 2011 at 3:54 pm

I totally agree both Kishoreda and Rafi were Great Singers but Kishore da is step ahead. with no formal training in music he could sing all type of songs and without a doubt 70′s was the Golden Period of Hindi Cinema where Kishoreda and RD ruled the nation.

65 Arunkumar Singh December 4, 2011 at 10:13 pm

I think India has made a big mistake by not giving the great singer Mohamad Rafi his due. Please do not compar kishore kumar with rafi. It is like comparing a god to his bhakt. Rafi was a legend. I feel sorry when people say kishore kumar is no. 1 singer compared to mohamad rafi. I just hope some miracle happens and India realises that rafi was the greatest singer and all the indians acknowledge they made a big mistake by not giving the legendary singer his due.

66 Arpit Awasthi December 9, 2011 at 9:42 pm

Both Rafi & Kishore are legends but still i believe that the changing moods and styles what kishore had was amazing. Kishore was the voice of great Dev Anand, Rajesh Khanna, Amitabh Bachchan and Rishi Kapoor – just see the spread of the era. Sad song like Yeh Jeevan hai is jeevan ka yahi rang roop, Qubwalli like Haal kya hai dilon ka, Romantic like Kya Yahi Pyaar Hai to enchanting like Woh Shaam Kuch ajeeb thi yeh shaam bhi ajeeb hai will always be liked and praised.

67 K R Vaishampayan December 10, 2011 at 1:52 pm

Hello All,
Without doubt, both Rafi and Kishoreda were great singers and they were 2 different individuals. When they were alive, both shared a great relationship irrespective of career ups & downs. Then I am curious as to why we fans should indulge in uncalled for comparison and competitive deifying of one or the other? I think, it’s high time a full stop is put this meaningless ongoing controversy. Instead, I can only Hope & Pray that we continue to enjoy both Rafi and Kishoreda…the Great singer and souls that they were. KRV

68 sivakumar December 11, 2011 at 6:37 am

It is difficult to compare Rafi Saheb and Kishore da. Each had their inimitable style but personally I rate Rafi head and shoulder above the rest in bollywood though I may find it hard to ignore the other great singer T.M.Soundarrajan of tamil if I were to consider the entire country. It is a pity most of the hindi speaking people of India have such a narrow view of India that they have poor perception of the whole couontry.

69 muhammed December 13, 2011 at 11:18 pm

Hello dears,
Comparing Mohd. Rafi saab & Kishore da. Rafi had a silky voice & Kishore had a hero’s voice, last but not least Mukeshji had a soulful emotional voice. They all had their songs which are inimitable. For eg. who among them can replace with the songs like chaudahvi ka chand ho or hame tumse pyar kitna or kabhi kabhi mere dil mein. So please don’t compare these legends. There are also great legends from the south like Ghantasala, TM Sounder rajan, PB Srinivas & the later singers like SPB & KJ Yesudas. They all have contributed to Indian film music, they all had/have different talents & quality. One can not be replaced by the other. One may have sung the most number of songs but the other may have sung popular songs, one may be good in pathoes, the other may be good in classic based. So, it is all in the game. We should be positive. There are other criteria also to be considered, ie; the era they had their career. Let us imagine if Rafi saab & Kishore da had begun their career in this era, would they have been so much successful. No they wouldn’t have.

70 shiva talwar January 22, 2012 at 1:04 am

rafi saab has touched every genre present in music. his BADAN PE SITARE is still one of the fastest and unforgettable songs. Not to forget CHAHE KOI MUJHE JUNGLEE KAHE and GULABI AANKHEIN. He sung great patriotic songs like AB TUMHARE HAWALE WATAN SAATHIYON and AYE MERE PYARE WATAN, which are still an inspiration to us. Sober songs such as AYE DUNIYA KE RAKHWALE and JAANEWALON ZARA are still unbeatable. Melodious songs like TERE MERE SAPNE, CHHALKAYE JAAM and AE PHULON KI RANI and nostalagic songs like AAJ PURANI YAADON SE and DIL KE JHAROKE ME TUJHKO BITHAKAR were a treat to listen. Maverick songs such as HUM KAALE HAIN TO KYA HUA and EK BECHARA PYAR KA MAARA. No one in that era was as proficient as Rafi saab when it comes to qawwali as PARDA HAI PARDA and SHIRDI WALE SAI BABA were one of their kind. Along with the qawwali hits, his romantic side was still breathing even in the 70′s (which are not called his heydays) in the form of TERI BINDIYA RE, TUM JO MIL GAYE HO, CHAND MERA DIL etc.
So, it would be wrong to say that Rafi saab was behind Kishore Kumar. Infact it is always wrong to compare the legends against each other. it was just the fact that in 70′s, rajesh khanna, Amitabh bachchan became the youth icons and they switched their voices to kishore kumar and indirectly representing kumar’s voice as the voice of youth. It could also be called as a reason for which Dev Saab changed their voice permanently to kishore da’s voice as he wanted to look young and youthful amidst growing age. Although legends of the 60′s, ie, Shammi Kapoor, Rajendra Kumar and Dilip Kumar used to take up their voice as Rafi saab voice and people along with youth used to love it and admire it.
There was no downfall or a rise of any of them against each other. It was just the CHANGE in the trend of actor’s image in front of audience and audience’s demand and choice. Hence, both are Rank 1 for me … and Rank 2 doesn’t exist.

71 Samay Kumar January 24, 2012 at 4:19 pm

@Shiva Talwar
Very well said. Actually Legends should not be compared.
You cannot compare Rafi Saab with Kishore Kumar. Both possess a different singing style.
I don’t know why people compare between them.

72 anil January 28, 2012 at 3:39 pm

i think rafi was a good singer but Kishore a divine singer. in depth, zest, softness, dard rafi could not match kishore “yeh Keevan hai ” aanewala pal “, “zindagi ka safar”, “jeevan se na har jeenewale”, “kuch toog kahenge”, “kaha tak andhere chalate rahenge”, “chhokar mre man ko ” are gr8 examples of his. kishore’s “maine tumse kuch nahi manga” from Katha is worth listening. kishore even exceled ghulam alis version when he san “jiska koi nahi uska to khuda hai yaro”. kishore took “Neele Neele amabr pe ” to new eights as compared to s p balsubramaniam Tamil version. all these sons re available on yet. also noteworthy is kishore’s rendition of “Man re tu kahe na dheer dhare ” in a live show avalable on u tube.

73 Vishakh Vardhan February 1, 2012 at 6:57 am

I started reading this article with a lot of interst but unfortunately within a minute I realised that it is written by a Kishore fan. Well, the rest is understood. This is total crap and I don’t want to waste my time and energy in criticising this article. All the best to the writer.

And yes, Rafi Sahab was and will always be way ahead of KK. May his soul rest in peace. Amen!

74 Mayank Jha February 27, 2012 at 8:55 am

Md. Rafi could sing anything that Kishore could, but the vice-verca is probably not true. A few songs which nobody on the planet could sing.
1) Man tarapat harii darshan ko aaj
2) Teri ankhon ke siwa
3) Theheriye hosh mein aa loon
4) All songs of Mere Mehboob
5) All songs of Ek Musafir Ek hasina
6) Din dhal jaye haye raat na jaye
Kishore was undoubtedly a great. Not knowing the nuances of music, it’ll be futile for me to judge who is greater. But one thing is certain, Rafi takes you to a region of bliss which no other singer, including Lata, can. Rafi is reason enough for me to live.

75 AK February 27, 2012 at 9:45 am

@Mayank Jha
I have refrained from saying who is greater between the two, they are two greats. But I agree with you, my own favourite is Rafi. Between Rafi and Lata it is a different matter She is to me what Rafi is to you, a singer without parallel.

76 anil February 27, 2012 at 10:47 pm

a few songs which kishore sang which rafi or nobody on planet would be able sing marvellously
1 Aanewala Pal janewala Hai
2 chal jat hu kisiki dhun me
3 thandi hwa ye chandani suhnai
4 All songs of mar prem
5 All songs of dur gagan ki haao me
6 All songs of zumro
7 yeh jeevan hai
8 zindagi ka safar hai ye kaisa safar
9 ruk jana nahi
10 hume tumse pyar kitana
11 mere naina sawn bhadi

77 AK February 27, 2012 at 11:07 pm

@anil
This is true for every singer. All the great songs get associated so strongly with its singer that it would be difficult to imagine it any other voice. For example Mukesh songs. How many of us are aware that there is a Rafi version of Saranga teri yaad mein (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_TdZ_pqxvVw). This is etched in our consciousness as a Mukesh song. Can you imagine Mera joota hai Japani, Awara hun in any other voice? Same goes for Kishore Kumar songs you have listed. I would add some more. For example Mere mehboob qayamat hogi, Khaike paan Banaras wala etc.

78 Rohit Bohra March 1, 2012 at 12:09 am

I would also like to put my two cents in..
While I personally prefer Rafi, there’s no denying that Kishore Kumar too was a brilliant singer.
I belive that some difference is also due to the actors prevalent in respective eras. If one carefully listens to the voices of the actors, it becomes somewhat clear why Rafi ruled till the sixties and Kishore in 70s. Most of the actors prior to Rajesh Khanna had a relatively high pitched type of voice…rajendra kumar, bharat bhushan, dilip kumar. The only person whose voice was a little bassish was Dev Anand and most of the early kishore songs are for Dev Anand. With Rajesh Khanna and Amitabh Bachchan, one required a voice towards the bass end of the octave and kishore’s voice suited them well. If one listens to Gulabi Aankhen jo teri dekhin….the song is quite brilliant, but somehow the voice seems unnatural on Rajesh Khanna. Another difference is that during 50s and 60s, most of the music directors were purists than experimental and the ‘trained in classical music’ Rafi was a natural choice over formally untrained Kishore. During 70s with the advent of RD that focus was diluted and Kishore fit well into that mould. the example would be “mere naina saavan bhadon” from Mehbooba. Kishore wasn’t able to sing the song until Lata had sung it first.

In fact the movies which actually propelled RD Burman to stardom didn’t have any Kishore songs….Teesri Manzil (maybe because of shammi kapoor) and Caravan (all duets are Asha Rafi).

Also about “Tum Bin Jaun Kahan” I’ve listened to the songs continuously all the 4 versions and this is whaat I believe….
1. They had to use 2 singers because songs are sung by father and son
2. Rafi’s voice has been used on the Hero — Shashi Kapoor and Kishore’s for the secondary character of Bharat Bhushan as the Hero’s father
3. One version has a really high notes part and Rafi’s voice does not quaiver at all…I don’t think I’ve ever heard Kishore sing that high with that kind of control

Also, while Kishore was able to modulate his voice according to the mood of the song he didn;t really master the ability to modulate individual words to express emotions which Rafi did almost as a second nature. The foremost example would be from Nai umar ki nai fasal..the song Karavan Guzar Gaya Gubar Dekhte Rahe.

Another reason for Kishore probably seeming to be more popular is because most of his songs are easy to sing. Whereas a lot of Rafi’s songs are quite difficult to sing–even the seemingly playful gulabi aankhen .

The debate would go on forever but there’s no denying that both have sung wonderful songs and at some point of time in one’s life, these songs are the ones that help us get by.

another thing comes to mind…the younger lot tend to prefer kishore songs but when they start exploring older music and/or get older, they tend to lean towards Rafi songs…is this worthy of note?

79 AK March 1, 2012 at 9:53 am

@Rohit Bora
Modulating individual words – very well said. The best examples are Hum bekhudi mein tumko pukaro chale gaye, Hai duniya usi ki zamana usi ka and Mujhe dekhkar aapka muskurana. Each word is as if it has been chiselled by a master sculptor – the credit goes both to the composers SD Burman and OP Nayyar, and of course the great singer, Rafi.

80 Sivakumar March 1, 2012 at 10:33 am

Talking about the ‘greats’ in hindi film of the years gone by while I, as already mentioned, rate Rafi Saheb head and shoulder above the rest, have always enjoyed the other great voices Mukesh, Hemant, Asha, Geeta Dutt. I will keep Lata’s name in some sacred separate group, few woud be able to match her accomplishment. Strangely Asha has captivated me most -perhaps it was the amazing O.P magic. But then there were Roshan (the ‘perfect’ music composer if ever there was one!), S.D.Burman the unforgettable, so on. May be my age, I feel we reached the end of the road by the late sixties and went on to another era as far as hindi film music is concerned.

81 Fazal Ahmad March 5, 2012 at 10:11 pm

I think I willl need to repeat my comment once more for ppl like Rohit boitra, who dont read other’s comments and carelessly draw the contradictios the same points that I have already clarified in my comment.
Kishoreda was a maverick. His voice had a eternal resonance and “Khanak” that was unique! Voice was uniquely deep and the throw, punch and power in his voice make him the most difficult singer to sing. Rafi was undoubtedly a fabulous singer but Kishore Kumar was pure genius. Here is an anecdote (story) I would love to share with you all.
I had always been a Mohd. Rafi fan, since I was a kid. Like my parents and friends, I, obediently followed the tradition to listen and admire Rafi and only Rafi. His “Makhmali awaaz” was always a treat to my ears. I would sing his songs at the school and with friends. People liked me because I was eventually, if not easily, able to sings those classical numbers. I was admired.
But, then I had a chance to listen to Kishore da`s songs. I was moved! His voice was uniquely LARGE. The base in his voice was incredibly deep, unlike any other singer. His voice was inimitable. Such strong voice, reflected pronounced masculinity. His songs like ‘Hal Kya Hai Dilon Ka’, ‘Phoolon ke rang se’, ‘Aapke Anurodh Pe’ ‘Kuch to log kaheinge’ and many others, are great examples of his talent. Kishoreda`s ability to sing such diverse moods and styles can clearly be witnessed in above songs!! Interestingly, just notice the change in timber and texture he brings singing these diverse songs- something which Rafi never did; he just sang with the same timber/texture. Kishore could sing all the way from his upper part of the chest like in “Aapke Anurodh Pe” (where his voice comes out with so much depth and yet, he doesnt run out of air!!), then his throat like in Hal Kya Hai Dilon (his vocal chord sounds like this huge rod with incredibly high radius!) and all the way up to his mouth in Pyaar Manga Hai Tumhi Se(where he just whispers and the romance spreads in the air!!). I challenge anyone to do justice to these songs! Kumar Sanu and Abhijeet just copy one little “pehlu” or “style” of Kishore`s versatilty (just make Kishoreda`s voice thinner by 50% and add some nasality in it and you get Kumar Sanu, Yodell-ish singing style that too with erratic consistency and you get Abhijeet). One little Rang of multi-coloured Kishoreda has made their lives!! Just think about it. You would see many singers singing Rafi`s songs, giving him a good enough tribute. There are Sonu Nigam, Shabbir, Mohammad Aziz and many others who are fairly good at it (who have even sung O duniya ke rakh wale, the hardest song Rafi ever recorded and infact, Sonu has done considerable justice) But Kishore Kumar was UNIQUE. No one ever had such a tremendous throw and solidarity. AND now we can just imagine what Kishoreda could have done if he was classically trained from his childhood. His voice would have broken the boundaries and CONQUERED the world!!
The khanak in kishoreda`s voice was a god-gift and the almighty has not given even one-tenth of that charismatic resonance that kishoreda was rewarded with, to anyone else.
Kishoreda, sadly, recoginzed his talent quite late, way after he was already dragged into acting by his elder brother, Ashok Kumar– and surprisingly enough, his acting skills are still admired. What a multi-talented individual he was indeed. But its sad that we lost him early.

Conclusively, I hope and pray that the Rafi`s fans break their old bias for an hour and just listen to the songs I have recommended above! And as for Rafi, he has been my guru and idol and I always will be his fan.
Thank you.

82 Rohit Bohra March 6, 2012 at 12:04 am

@ Fazal Ahmad

I had read all that you have written and then only put my comments in. I have also listened to all the songs you mention—before your having recommended them. But it seems to me that you actually did not read my post. you just skimmed over it saw the last line and assumed that i am denigrating kishore kumar and therefore put up your last comment. In fact it seems that you have also not read Shiva talwar’s comment which I have tried to extend.

I have said in my post that both of them are fabulous singers.
And I fail to understand which points you refer to which you apparently have already clarified.

The way you began and put up the last post it seems that you want everyone to just agree with you regarding Kishore’s voice. I never said it was not good. All I said was that It is more towards the Bassish octave and that it is easier to “SING” NOT “REPRODUCE” Kishore-RD Burman songs.
You also say that Rafi fans should break their bias—would they not already have done so in order to compare the two. By what you say it seems that it is you who needs to break out of his bias for Kishore and Kishore only. I do not–repeat–DO NOT deny that Kishore Kumar has sung songs which are brilliant. I also DO NOT deny that Kishore was able to modulate his voice according to the mood of the song. In fact I expressly mention it–
“while Kishore was able to modulate his voice according to the mood of the song he didn’t really master the ability to modulate individual words”

And I stand by what I said. I will give you an example
1. Rafi sings ” Hum Bekhudi mein tumko pukare chale gaye” –it is as if a drunkard is mouthing the words.

2. Listen to the Kishore Drunk song – “Yeh Jo Mohabbat hai”–apart from a slightly yodled voice, the expression is not there—not to say that it has been sung badly-its been sung beautifully and fits rajesh khanna’s voice to the T

There are many songs that the two have sung together
1. jaanu meri jaan from shaan I believe rafi does a better job. Kishore sounds bored–as if he’s thinking–lets just get it over with

2. Hum Premi Prem Karna Jaanein – from Parvarish the song itself is mediocre but their voices stand out

3. Humko Tumse Ho gaya hai pyaar – Amar Akbar Anthony – Rafi sings for 2 ppl Vinod Khanna and Rishi Kapoor. Kishore sings only for one -Amitabh bachchan. It wasn’t until i read the cover that i realised there were only 2 male singers

4. Yaadon ki baraat – it is clearly a case for matching actors’s voices

Another thing is that why are there so few qawwalis by kishore. In fact even RD Burman chose Md Rafi for his first and all other qawwalis never kishore.

I also refuse to accept that Rafi sang with the same texture/timber
1. Jane chaman shola badan – Gumnaam
2. Hum Kale hain to kya hua – Gumnaam
3. Jaan Pehchaan ho – Gumnaam
and these are just from the same movie

Those songs that you mention about kishore using different parts of the respiratory tract to sing. One of the reasons is the difference in composers. This also I have clearly mentioned. 50s and 60s songs were more classical based. therefore the songs needed to be mouthed very clearly. in the 70s those restrictions were gone. and let us be honest all those ppl writing music for movies also have commercial interests therefore when rafi was selling they used him and when the kishore experiment worked they started using him.

One of the reasons for Kishore’s meteoric rise in the 70s (which perhaps u fail to notice) is rajesh khanna. The movie aradhna became a hit not only bec of the music but the star rajesh khanna was born. And since the combo of Rajesh Khanna and Kishore Kumar worked it was emulated by everyone around. Its the same concept in the industry–Sridevi gives a hit with Nagina and a slew of snake movies are released in the next 4-5 years.

I agree that at the time which you are talking about, Kishore must have seemed like this breath of fresh air and everything that he did you found it awesome. The same thing happened to me with A. R. Rahman starting with 90s and till now i find myself unable to want to hear most songs coming out these days except Rahman’s.

I am not an expert on music but even I can tell that the voice of Rafi was clearer while Kishore’s voice was heavier—therefore it might seem more pleasant to others.

I don’t deny that he was a multitalented genius but if we are going to compare him as a singer to rafi, we must focus on that. I agree that had he been trained he might have been a much better singer than he already was. But could he have been better than Rafi is a question open only to speculation and I as a layman would not try to answer it even.

I shall now try and make myself more clear on what I wanted to convey through my previous post

1. Rafi was a GREAT singer

2. Kishore was a POPULAR singer

83 Rahul Vaidya March 6, 2012 at 4:10 pm

I would be lying if I say I dont like to compare, although I do agree great personalities should not be compared. But here is my point of view. I am a big fan of Kishore, if God was to give a choice of voice to me then I might, repeat I might, choose KK’s voice as it is very masculine. Then considering the fact that he was not a trained singer and still to sing songs like he did is unbelievable achievement.

But, my dear friends Rafi Saab was, is and will remain Rafi Saab. Undoubtedly the greatest. I mean common, if you want to believe me just listen to the songs from Guru Dutt’s Pyaasa and one will be able to admire the sheer range and depth and more so “dard” in Rafi Saab’s voice. He could sing songs from “Baiju Bawra” as well as “Junglee”, with equal ease, ooooooooooffffffffffffffff…………….
Please, Rafi Saab was unparalleled. Only and only Goddess Saraswati (Read Lata Mangashkar) should be compared to him although here personally I would put Lata 1mm above Rafi Saab, but then thats a different topic altogether.

Having said that let us also never ever forget other stalwarts such as my other personal favorite Talat Mehmood and also Mukesh, K L Saigal,Hement Kumar, Noorjahaan, Suraiya etc………..

Finally let me again be very clear, Kishore Kumar was also an absolute special talent and I am so very thankful to him and others alike for giving us such lovely melodies for decades.

May all those who are no more R.I.P.

Thank You.

84 Aleem March 9, 2012 at 12:17 am

Both were the greatest singers ever. Rafi’s dependence on music was much lesser as compared to kishoreda. The article compares popular songs of both the singers but not all the good songs of Rafi are mentioned which will certainly outnumber that of kishore. Without formal training of classical music, kishore a genius could sing effortlessly for all popular actors. Rafi’s distinction is in singing for all types of actors, some good, some mediocre and many forgettable actors with equal ease. People could listen to rafi songs repeatedly and try the same with kishore songs and then decide who was better. Rafi sang in almost every language and different type of songs be it ghazals, dance numbers, bhajans, qawallis, while we cannot say the same about kishore in terms of quality and quantity. If we have to give marks for acting and popularity of actor for whom the song is sung, then kishore has an edge over rafi. But, purely as a singer, Rafi was undoubtedly better than kishore. It is certainly easier to understand and sing kishore songs and hence he was and is more popular than Rafi.

85 Sivakumar March 9, 2012 at 9:49 am

While this lively seems not to end I might just add one piece of news. People may know Dr.Jesudas as one who has bagged the most number of National and Filmfare awards for playback singer. But everyone may not be truly aware of his stunning voice quality and accomplishments in Carnatic music. He learnt his carnatic music from couple of carnatic music giants in the old ‘gurukula’ style serving his teacher etc Rememebring Jesudas is by birth a devout christian one should wonder what he great achievement this has been for him. Now coming to the point I heard Dr Jesudas considers Mohd Rafi the greatest and his idol…what more one can say?

Sivakumar

86 praveen March 10, 2012 at 11:23 pm

i think there cannot be any argument on this topic.. kishore is great but RAFI MILES AHEAD. music is what comes from heart and not what looks good on screen. kishore’s success is attribuatable to rajesh khanna and amitabh bacchan. he sang a large number of songs for dev anand too, they were great but rafi’s songs for dev anand are unmatchable. one reason for kishore’s popularity is that his songs were simple and any teenager could hum them and win over his girl friend. you try singing rafi’s song in front of your gal friend and you will lose her for ever because, rafi’s songs are difficult to copy.
KISHORE had a great voice but RAFI was undoubtedly better..
Imagine kishore singing.. duniya ke rakhwale…aise to na dekho.. din dhal jaye par rat na aye..Koi son eke dilwala.. and the list is endless… I am sure now both of them being in heaven, kishore is listening to rafi, day and night on his i- pod.

87 anil March 11, 2012 at 2:29 pm

Ksihore had much more depth and softness in voice. imagine rafi singing zindagi ka safar or zindagi ke safar me gujar jate i do not think rafi can do justice to these numbers.
kishores numbers on dev anand “phhole ke rangse”, “dukhi man mera”, “dil aa j shayr hai “, “pholo ka tao ka sabka kahana hai ” far outshine rafi numbers on devanand like dull “din dhal jaye”, the only oustanding rafi numbers for dev are”khoya khoya chand” and “abhi na jao chodkar”. but in this duet asha scores over rafi

88 aatif March 11, 2012 at 4:07 pm

very well written piece, keep it up and the best part was you didnt force your opinion

89 sham March 17, 2012 at 6:26 pm

i want to know from which picture this song is? kuwe ma dub ke marjana yaro magar shadi mat karna sang by kishore kumar

90 arvind March 17, 2012 at 7:46 pm

@sham
the song is from the movie ….PARIVAR …. the link is ……

91 AK March 18, 2012 at 12:27 pm

@sham, arvind
Loads of thanks to both of you. This is one of the most wonderful video clips of comic Kishore Kumar. I wish I had known it earlier, it would have fitted so well in My selection of Kishore Kumar’s wild, comic songs.

92 Macdin March 22, 2012 at 12:27 am

Interesting comments. While Kishore Kumar was an amazing all rounder—singer, composer, actor etc.—Rafi was a complete singer. To be fair to Kishore, though, even he knew his limitations. For example, the song, Man Mora Bawara, in the movie Raagini, was sung by Rafi for Kishore! Having said that, there was a certain raw sex appeal in Kishore’s voice that was incomparable.

93 vince March 27, 2012 at 4:12 pm

if both are identical twins, i can tell who is the best! but both are from different places, different tradition, different style, different voice modulation etc etc, both got negative and positive sides in their talent. so please avoid to discuss who is the best. use your precious time to devolope your talent and workhard for the same. may God bless you all.

94 Anand Shankar, Patna April 24, 2012 at 10:13 pm

Rafi had the most melodious voice. He was a versatile singer. He could sing all types of songs- Classical, Ghazal, Bhajan, Qawali etc. His singing skills was unparalleled. People noticed him first time in 1947 for the song yahan badla wafa ka…in the film Jugnu and he became popular after singing suhani rat dhal chuki…for the film Dulari in 1949. But after Baiju Bawra in 1952, there was no looking back in his career. He ruled playback singing fot next 18 years. He has rendered his voice to all actors from Dilip Kumar to Rishi Kapoor. He has the most numbers of hit songs. It is very difficult to write about his all hit numbers, but some of his real gems are- Man tarpat hari darshan ko aaj, O dur ke musafir, Chal ud ja re pancchi, Kah do koi na kare yahan pyar, Husnwale tera jawab nahin, Sathi na koi manjil, Ehsan tera hoga mujhpe, Madhuban me radhika, Kitna hai tum se pyar, Fir miloge kabhi, Mai to tere haseen Khayalon me, Diwana huwa badal, Tumhare pyar me ham, Ai husn jara jag tujhe, Chhu lene do najuk hoto ko and ye duniya ye mehfil. We still enjoy Rafi Sahab’s evergreen songs. Kishore, though a good singer was way behind Rafi.

95 MaLegend May 4, 2012 at 5:02 pm

Choosing between these 2 genius is like asking “Which eye do you like the most”

M a hardcore Rafi saab fan…but both are genius

All of us missed out on very important point jst thought i wud highlight it,the actual genius is of writing then composition and then singing

Salute to all those incredible writers and music composers.

96 GaurangP62 May 14, 2012 at 12:47 am

The comparison is strange, but also inevitable. Born in early 60s, at the moment, I have a faint or no memory about how or when I got interested in bollywood songs but I know for sure that all my elder family members were loving bollywood classics and were enjoying, preferring Rafisa’ab. And I am aware that at 5 or 6 years their (1943- 1957) of age, they might have grown up with Talatji. And they saw Rafi effect do to Talatsah’b what Kishorda did to Rafisah’b.
But I remember that at that time their ‘favourite’ did not change. Rafisah’b remained a favourite, and I remember around Aradhana and till today my favourite remains Rafisahaab.
But there is definitely a difference happening with the time- in my way of thinking- comparison is worthless. Both are superb. Almost all Music directors have many times mentioned that they could expect Rafi to sing whatever they conceived, and for Kishoreda, Mukeshji et. al. they had to be very conscious while making a tune.

97 ayaz May 18, 2012 at 5:57 pm

Rafi, Kishor & udit Naryan orignal singers and they r greatest signers in thier own time

98 sivakumar May 19, 2012 at 4:29 pm

Please stop writing more -there is no more to be said. Mohd Rafi will remian the greatest ever for ALL TIME TO COME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

99 Rajesh Joshi May 21, 2012 at 10:48 am

Kishore Kumar songs are still so refreshing and youthful and will always remain so in the years to come.. Hence its time to say goodbye to the topic and acknowledge the fact .. Kishore can not be matched..He is and will always remain the No. One

100 Dr Virendra Singh Godhara May 22, 2012 at 10:13 am

Kishore Kumar was no doubt a multifaceted genius and proved his worth in acting, singing, writing lyrics and story, music direction, movie direction and production. I would still call him a jack of all trades. He was only lucky to snatch number one position from Rafi in post-Aradhana era but he could never reach the timber and sweetness of Rafi, nor his range. Listen these songs and think, why O.P. Naiyar, Shankar-Jaikishan and Bipin Babul chose Rafi to sing for Singing Star Kishore?
1. Mann Mora Baawra
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=br9Xra3TbUA
2. Ajab hai dastan teri aye zindagi
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NhnVzlY_5rg
3. Main is masoom chehre ko
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yShjtsP4fa8
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yShjtsP4fa8

101 Suresh Maloo June 8, 2012 at 10:14 am

Dear Sir,
The posts of all are very interesting and informative.

No singer had a choice to sing any particular song, it was for the music composer to imagine who could do his job best. his to Having said so I wish to put a stop to my limited capabilities to judge both of them.
However, I must request all of you to recall the controversy between Lata Dee and Rafi Saheb (in 1960′s) over royalty sharing issue. Thereafter Lata Dee refused to sing duets with Rafi Saheb. Please excuse me to mention here that the music composers took Kishore Daa for duets with Lata Dee; and Suman Kalyanpur for duets with Rafi Saheb.

As a results Kishore Daa gained more popularity, and attention as well.

No one is greater than the other, it is God that performs through all of us, no one else is capable of doing this.

With due respect to all, seeking due apology for derogatory words, if any.

102 sivakumar June 10, 2012 at 7:06 am

Those of you who would like to listen, again and again, to all the great melodies of the legend Mohd Rafi should visit this site -
http://musicindiaonline.co/album/20-Hindi_Compilations/28475-The_Best_Of_Mohd_Rafi/#/album/20-Hindi_Compilations/28475-The_Best_Of_Mohd_Rafi/
this is a fantastic site and such wonderful songs!!!!!!!!!!!

Sivakumar

103 Arpit Awasthi June 12, 2012 at 10:17 am

When Lata and Rafi sings than it appears that the classical singers are singing in the most pious way. But when Kishore daa sings for Dev Anand, Rajesh Khanna, Amitabh Bachahan, Rishi Kapoor etc it appears that these top actors are singing in their own voice and style this charisma Kishore Daa had which no other singer can do.

104 Sivakumar June 12, 2012 at 12:33 pm

Rafi saab sang for Kishore kumar (Sharaarat) and so……..

105 Rajesh Joshi June 12, 2012 at 4:59 pm

Kishore was so busy in acting those days. The the composers had to use Rafi’s voice for him for 2-3 songs. As far as competition is concerned there is a song ” Tum Bin jaon Kahan” which both singers sang. Kishore Kumar for Bharat Bhushan and Rafi for Shashi Kapoor and see the result Kishore Kumar’s version was far more superior and still very very popular so its a clear verdict………

106 Nimmi June 12, 2012 at 5:04 pm

Without a doubt Kishore Songs are still Very Popular. Even today after 25 years of his death Kishoreda’s songs are young and energetic. It is still the voice of the youth . There can be no one like Kishore and there cannot be for sure.

107 amit kumar ghosh June 19, 2012 at 11:15 pm

Kishore kumar is great. Mod. Rafi is also good. But kishore had a god gifted voice. That is not comparisonable.

108 Mahender D. Sundriyal June 26, 2012 at 1:17 pm

An excellent piece.

I would, however, make one comment. Just read between the lines and you will find that ascendancy of Kishor Kumar and decline of Mohd Rafi coincided with decline in quality of Hindi film music. This is all the more evident from the fact that the best songs of these two legends happened in 1950s and 1960s which is rightly called Golden Era.

109 Rajesh June 27, 2012 at 11:54 am

I would like to mention.. That the rise of Kishore Kumar gave us the Golden Era which is 70′s ….when Super star Rajesh Khanna and later Amitabh Bachaan ruled the nation and used Kishore’s Voice.

110 Samay Kumar June 27, 2012 at 8:21 pm

Neither I agree, with Rajesh nor with Mahender D. Sundriyal.
I would say, the Golden period of Indian Music started with Rafi Sahab
in the 1950s & ended in the late 1980s with Kishore Kumar. The words
“ascendancy of Kishor Kumar” & “decline of Mohd Rafi” used by
Mohender D. Sundriyal, is completely wrong. Rafi Sahab remains in his own place (i.e. No. 1) when in the 1970s the change in Indian music was brought by R.D.Burman with Rajesh Khanna on the screen & Kishore Kumar as his playback voice. Rafi Sahab still has great hits in the 1970s which I think I don’t have to mention, in the music of Shankar Jaikishen, Laxmikant Pyarelal, Kalyanji Anandji, S.D. Burman & R.D.Burman. Kishore Kumar made his own place as a playback singer by not only working for R.D. Burman, but with all of the music directors mentioned above.

111 anil June 27, 2012 at 10:14 pm

sajay has missed to mention name of rajesh roshan. kishorekumar sang many unique songs with him a typical being “yado me wo khayalo me wo”a truly offbeat. also worth mentoining are “meri yaaad ab ke ye naya gul kilayaegi”, “thoda hai thode ki jarurat hai”, “chookar mere manko”, “dil kya kare”, “kaha tak ye mank andhere “, “nahi nahi tumsa hasi “, which played kishores voice in different perspective altogether. Rafi was at peak in sixties and occupied slot one till 1968 while Kishore was at peak in seventies and occupied slot at number one from 1969 onwards. Rafi continued singing till his death especially with patronage of Laxmikant Pyarelal and also by rahuldev Burman who always gave scope to Rafi as well, but rathther dull and monotonous music of LP actually caused deciline of Rafi. Rafi did sound very good with Madan Mohan , and burmans in seventies . Also after late seventies newer composers like rajesh roshan Bappi lahiri emerged who were more kishore oriented and this affected rafis comeback after the hits given by LP and Rahuldev Burman to rafi in 1977. Lp contimued patronage of Rafi but LPs music of manmohan Desai starrer suhag etc did not click while KA produced mega hits with kishore in Don, Mukkadar Ka Sikander and rahuldev buramn partronaged kishore with melodies like rimzim giresawan aaanewala pal janewala hai and “ap ke aankho me” along with nrajesh roshans dependence on kishorekumar went in favor of kishore. This is an objective analysis.

112 Jay July 10, 2012 at 4:16 pm

Rafi is best that ever was. Who is to decide. The music director, ofcourse. Check out here the link below of the interview of OP Nayyar, and also here is what Manna Dey says – “Rafi and I could sing everything, and he was such a gentleman. He was a better singer than me, and I will say this – that no one came even close to him! ”

http://my.opera.com/rafisaab/blog/2007/11/03/interview-of-op-nayyar-by-d-mandar-for-cinema-sangeet

Case closed.

113 Jay July 10, 2012 at 4:22 pm

Further, the national awards for playback singing started in 1967. This was just at the fag end of Rafi’s popular career. Now, after 1969 Kishore rose to popularity. How many did he won? None. While, Rafi won 2 awards.

Just imagine if the national awards were there in the start of 50s, Rafi would have won it every alternate years.

114 Jay July 10, 2012 at 4:33 pm

and i have to say, the best comments here is from Dharamjeet…….. very well said…..instead of fighting for signers, enjoy the singing…….all of them were gems in their own way………and thank God, that we have playback singing in bollywood….unlike the boring hollywood :)

115 Rajesh July 11, 2012 at 11:40 am

Who is to decide who is better singer…The Music directors . Whole bunch of talented music directors R.D Burman, Rajesh Roshan laxmikant Pyarelal, Bappi Lahiri had used Kishore’s Voice and made the songs of that era…The Gems… that can’t be matched by anybody.. Had kishore lived longer the list would have been amazing. After 1969 Kishore had one 6 fimfare awards which is maximum by any male playback singer…

116 fakir July 23, 2012 at 6:55 pm

When in doubt elect to bat. Just came off listening to Gambler. Mera Man Tera Pyaasa. It is like Ek lohar ki against Kishore’s sau sonar ki comprising of rest of the sound track of the movie. I had discovered Rafi long after I had done every Kishore gem to death on my cassette collection. It was my dad who said “You like Kishore, but listen to Rafi too”. A gentle nudge towards Rafi. That was almost 21 years ago. Today, I still retain all the Kishore song list. But when in doubt, I play Rafi. So let the debate rest with Rafi.

117 AK July 24, 2012 at 9:43 am

I had never any doubt about Rafi as you can see from the last para of my article. I agree with you. May I thank all the readers and request them to let the debate rest.

118 Rajesh July 24, 2012 at 11:12 am

My friend…. Sonar produces real golden Gems and the golden Gem from Dev Sahab’s Gambler is Dil aaj Shayar Hai…Sang by Kishoreda…Sau Sonar ki…right Kishoreda has Sang hundreds of Golden Gems..Ek Lohar ki..may be others have sang very few gems… Kishore Kumar is a diamond who had a long list of Golden Gems.. The Fact remains..Let us treat it as a final verdict…Kishore rules and will remain to do so …

119 Joy Mukherjee August 5, 2012 at 6:53 pm

There is no one like Kishore !! comparing him to any other is like comparing Don bradman to Tamim , Pele to Baichung Bhutia , Gary Sobers to Shakib Hasan , RD Burman to Anu malik:)
What absolutely differentiates Kishore Kumar is his absolute numbers .. People go crazy for him even now and everywhere ! Dubai nightclub with Om shanti om , bachna aye haseeno, jaha teri ye nazar hai.. you see al kinds of creatures in all shapes and sizes doing there own thing.. can you imagine any such reaction for another singer in another era.. maybe only Elvis could capture this sort of adulation across the borders across the sands of time..
Even take every add today featuring a song .. chances are very high it would be a Kishore number.. be it Ye jawani ye diwani doing a dimag ki batti jala de or Ap ki ankhon me kuch for a film magazine.. the charisma and engima endures.. what really endures is magical and eternal .. this is Kishore and only Kishore.. the man for all the moods the voice which could modulate articulate and make you cry or laugh or smile or just overfow with any kind of emotion.. Kishore Kumar is a voice that is pure magic..

120 AK August 6, 2012 at 9:42 am

I intended many times to close this debate. But seeing this comment of a passionate KK lover, I had no heart to disallow it. May I again request all to let the debate rest at this point, even if this is not what I or most of the readers agree with.

121 Dr Virendra Singh Godhara August 7, 2012 at 10:51 am

I have been noting with keen interest all the comments for and against these two legendary singers and I think by now no nook or cranny of their total singing profile has been left unexplored. The debate at times has even turned unpleasant. Both of them were great in their own right and trying to prove one superior to other will lead us nowhere. Both have their respective following and each follower is free to hold his views. I think enough is enough and this debate should now be closed and new topics opened.

122 Ashwini August 10, 2012 at 2:59 am

Thanks for coming up with such an in-depth and balanced article about the topic which is very close to the heart of music lovers. Equally interesting was reading all these comments!! In my honest opinion, it is impossible to crown either one of them as the greatest singer. There is no doubt about Rafi’s voice quality or Gayaki; but when it comes to versatality and expressions then KK is the king.

123 Anand Shankar August 10, 2012 at 6:37 pm

It is not so that Rafi Sahab’s singing career stopped after Aradhna(1969). He gave many hit numbers after that film. For example Rimjhim ke geet sawan gaye…(Anjana, 1969), Ye reshmi julfen (Do Raste, 1969), Ye duniya, ye mehfil..(Hir Ranjha, 1970), Khilauna jankar…and Khush rahe tu sada(Khilauna, 1970), Aan milo sajna…(Aan milo sajna, 1970), Unke khayal aaye to..(Lal patthar), Mujhe teri muhabbat ka sahara mil gaya hota…and Puchhe jo koi mujhse(Aap aayi bahar aayi,1971), Ek na ek din ye kahani banegi (Gora aur Kaala, 1972), Na tu Zamin ke liye hai..(Dastaan,1972), Aaj mausam bada beiman hai..(Lofer,1973), Mai jat yamla…(Pratigya, 1973), … etc.

There was not only one reason behind the slowing down of Rafi’s career in 70s. Rafi’s career actualy slowed down after 1972, when Dilip Kumar and Shammi Kapoor who preferred Rafi, stopped working as a lead hero. Rajendra Kumar’s career also ended by then. Music Director Shankar of Shankar-Jaikishan duo, who preferred Rafi, died in 1970. OP had developed some differences with Rafi in late 60s. SD Barman was less active in 70s RD Barman liked Kishore. Super star Rajesh Khanna also preferred Kishore.

Rafi needed a big hit and that he got with Kya hua tera wada, Chand mera dil and Hum kisi se kam nahin..( Hum kisi se kam nahin, 1976). After that he gave many hit songs in films like Amar Akbar Anthoni, Sargam, Suhag and karz.

124 anil August 10, 2012 at 10:14 pm

the comnet is not correct. not Shanker but Jaikishan had died in 1970. S.D buran was very active but he used kishore in wonderful numbes on dev anand in prepujari, tere ere sapne and his greatest musical hit comparabble to guide that is sharmille. it is not based on heroes. even in aradhana and do raste rafi had sung for Rajesh Khanna . S.D Burman always preferred Kishore over rafi a fact clear fro the fact that in fifities and sixties that ost fast and hit numbtrs were alloted to Kishore. R. d Burman preferred Kishore but also liked Rafi more than S.D burman. K.A did not prefer rafi uch .Rajesh roshan ostly used kishore for best songs. Lp ainly used rafi but the songs were dull. Rafi sang popular songs but the voice lacked depth, zest in coparison to Kishore

125 Anand Shankar August 10, 2012 at 11:56 pm

It is wrong to say that Kishore did better than Rafi Sahab. Rafi got less opportunities in 1970s, so it will not be fare to compare Rafi of 70s with Kishore. We should compare Rafi in 50s and 60s with Kishore in and 70s.

If Kishore sang Kora kagaz tha, Chingari koi, Zindagi ek safar hai, Pal pal dil ke paas, Dil ki kalam se, Bhawre ki gunjan, Ziwan se bhari teri aankhe, O manjhi re, Dil aaj sayar hai, Shama hai suhana, Ye sham mastani, Khinjan ke ful pe and Zindagi ka safar, then Rafi sang Suhani raat dhal chuki, Man tarpat, Tu ganga ki mauj, Khoya Khoya chand, Chal ud jaa re panchhi, O dur ke musafir, Husnwale tera jawab nahin, Sathi na koi manzil, Hum bekhudi me tumko, Kabhi bekhayal hokar, Abhi na jao chhodkar, Zindagi Bhar nahi bhulegi, Chaudavin ka chand ho, Jane bahar husn tera bemishal hai, Jo baat tujh me hai teri tasvir me nahi, Ehsan tera hoga mujhpar, Madhuban me radhika, Radhike tune bansri churai, Hai duniyan usi ki and Chhu lene do nazuk hoto ko. If you compare Rafi and Kishore on the basis of these songs, Rafi will always be ahead of Kishore.

Both Rafi and Kishore sang in Guide(1965). But Tere mere sapne and Kya se kya ho gaya of Rafi are better than Gata rahe mera dil of Kishore.

126 Anand Shankar August 11, 2012 at 1:12 am

@Anil

Anil Bhai, I accept that Jaikishan died in 70. But I don’t agree that SD preferred Kishore than Rafi. Though SD liked Kishore, but not more than Rafi. It is evident from the fact that most of the SD gems like Khoya Khoya chand, Tu kahan ye bata, Din dhal jaye, tere mere sapne, Hum bekhudi me, Mera man tera etc. were in Rafi’s voice. Fulon ke rang se and Gata rahe stands no where in compare to Khoya khoya chand and Din dhal jaye. SD was less active in 70s in compare to 50s and 60s. But yes he gave more chance to Kishore in 70s.

127 Anand Shankar August 11, 2012 at 3:23 pm

Many singers like Abhijeet, Babul Supriyo, Shan etc. have sung Kishore numbers, because those were comparitively easy to sing than Rafi songs. Very few singers like Sonu Nigam atempted Rafi songs. Even Sonu could not create the effact of Rafi in those songs.

Rafi could have easily sing most of the Kishore songs except his udlings like Pal pal dil ke paas, Chingari koi bhadke, Khwab ho tum ya, O manjhi re, Zindagi ke safar me, Mere naina sawan bhado, Dil aaj shayar hai and Haal kya hai dilon ka. But imagine Kishore singing O duniyan ke rakhwale, Man tarpat, Khoya khoya chand, Chal ud jaa re pancchi, Husnwale tera jawab nahin, Abhi na jao chhodkar, Sathi na koi manzil, ye isq isq hai, Zindagi bhar nahin bhulegi, Chaudvi ka chand ho, Koi sagar dil ko, Din dhal jaye, Mai nigahen tere chehre se, kar chale hum fida, Madhuban me radhika nache re. Kishore could not have done justice with these songs. Very few singers attempt to sing these songs.

Rafi was a verstile singer. He was good not only in classical and romantic numbers but also in fast and dancing numbers like Bar bar dekho, Badan pe sitare, Aaja aaja mai hun pyar tera, Chahe mujhe koi jangli kahe, Lal chhadi, Mere pairon me ghunghru, Nain ladi jaihen and Mai jat yamla.

128 anil August 11, 2012 at 5:46 pm

kishore got much less chance in fifities and sixties yet ipressed with all time hits like hu matwale naujawan, mana janab ne pukara nahi, duki man mere, ai u zroo, koi humdu na raha. frankly the rafi songs listted above are much less depp and less soft than kishore serious numbers. in ganbler both sng kishores “dil aaaj shayar hai” outshines rafi’s “erea an tera pyasa”. in aradhna both sang ishore nubers outshined rafi. in ghar both sang kishores duet ” apaki aakhoe ” is an all time classic as compared to good rafi duet ” botlse i baat chali hai” when both sang kishores ye duniya ke balte rishte ” outshines oth rafi and lata part. kishores ae yyar teri ari outshines rafis part. kishores “gadi bula rahi hai” outshines Rafis kawwali in Dost,”aa bata fe ki tuze kaise juya jata hai”. in yaarana kishores sara zamana chookar ere mano , ter jaisa yar aha outshine rafi’s bishan chacha”. In kudrat ishores “hume tse pyar itna” chdo sana kahe ka gu outshine rafi’s “sukh dukh i badi ik ala ” and even parvenn sultanas rendition. Frankly rafi numbers in guide are dull as copared to the zestful ” gata rahe ” and latas “aaj phir jeeneki taan and ” ose chal iye ja ” . at that time kishore was not preferred. Jidaev had done agnificient score for “hu dono” and s.d buran had to compromise for navketan banner and stil he insisted with “dev anand ” that gata rahe will be sung only by kishore and it was the ost hit song from guide. sd burman particularly preferred zestful singing of kishore and oulded hi into this mode . so soulful kishore is ore proinently with rd buran rajesh roshan lp and ka. as soe body has put up kishore songs were “tadafdar” songs as opposed to dull rafi in guide etc. the person was referring “karvate badlti rahe ” and comented that rd burans kishore is not as tadfadar as s d burman. kishores “phooloka taro ka ” and “dil aaj shayar” are best male solos on Dev, in contrast to excellent but not zestful solos composed solos composed by jaidev

129 praveen August 12, 2012 at 1:08 pm

the longetivity of the debate indicates that both the singers were great. when we compare two great singers, quality should be more of a criterium than popularity. today Kumar Sanu has won more filmfare awards than kishore. his songs on youtube have more hits than kishore or rafi. that does not make him any great singer. he infact is boring and lacks quality. in fact i would like to know the particular street of oblivion where he is presently residing :-). kishore gave a large number of popular songs but could not give the quality and eternity of rafi’s voice. he rather piggybacked on rajesh khanna. rafi, on the other hand could lift any actor on screen. on a scale of ten rafi would score nine on quality and kishore seven. however coming to popularity both will score nine out of ten.

130 Anand Shankar August 12, 2012 at 4:03 pm

Gata rahe mera dil of kishore is a good song. But this song does not outshines Din dhal jaye and Tere mere sapne of Rafi in Guide(1965). Din dhal jaaye and Tere mere sapne are very good songs that suits to different moods of Dev in film Guide.

I like both Rafi sahab and Kishore da songs. Dukhi man mera, Mere mehboob qayamat hogi, Koi Hamdam na raha, Shokiyon me ghola jaye etc. are indeed very good songs. But that does not mean that Rafi songs are any way inferrior to these songs.

If we talk about Dev Anand songs, Rafi Sahab has sung all types of song for him- both zestful and sad songs. If Rafi has sung Din dhal jaaye, Sathi na koi manzil, Teri zulfo se, Kabhi Khud pe and Kya se kya ho gaya, then he has also sung Khoya Khoya chand, Tujhe jeevan ki dor se, Mai zindagi ka saath, Sun le tu dil ki sada, Chheda mere dil ne, Diwana mastana hua dil, Dil ka bhawar, Tasveer teri di me, Sau saal pahle, Ek but banaunga, Aise to na dekho and Mera man tera pyasa for Dev sahab.

Dev Anand songs of 70s are not as popular as those of 50s or 60s.

131 anil August 12, 2012 at 4:51 pm

no kishore has won eight filmfare awrds as many as kuar sanu. he did not piggyback on rajesh khanna. rajesh khannas popularity waned but not kishores. I do ot think dev songs in seventies are notas popular as in fities. as far as popularity charts o dev songs in fifity and sixty ore popular are mana janab ne pukara nahi, hu hai rahi pyar ke, chod do aanchal, likha hai tere anchal me, khwab ho tum ya koi hakikat and khoya khoya chand,
Also on depth kishore songs score over Rafi songs like koi hudum na raha .

132 Suresh Maloo August 12, 2012 at 6:02 pm

Reading the comments of the subscribers, I have the feeling that a few of them have assumed the position of judges. Some of these comments seem personal bias that has reflected in a very critical opinion.

However, we are human beings and we carry some weaknesses that we become referees, without acquiring adequate expertise in the subject
In this matter, we could better seek opinions of the music composers who had chosen Rafi/Kishore for any song composed by them.

Kindly forgive me for my humble remark that their celestial/divine voices are beyond our scope for judgement.

133 anil August 12, 2012 at 7:00 pm

khoya khoya chand is beautiful and perhaps the best song sung by rafi in his carrear.S.d buran had this knack of judging and getting best of a singer. he did this for Lata, Suman kalyanpur, Geeta dut, Kishore,Mukesk. He modernized Geeta to sing “tadbir se bigdi” who was typically a bhajan singer till that time. S. D burman had great restriction on using Kishore in fifities and sixties as Kishore was not used by any other composer. But once he was discovered S.D. burman used Kishore ore than rafi in seventies. the people who say that S.D.burman used rafi for guide songs one must ask the question that Lp always preferred rafi( rafi has sung max songs under their baton and in every ovie they got Rafi to sing) yet they opted for Kishore for ” ye jeevan hai “, “ruk jana nahi “. top five song of lp are kishore song ” ye jeevan hai”,”mere Mehboob kayamat hogi”,”ajanabi tum jane pahachane “, “Mere nasib me ae dost tera pyar”, ” rukjana nahi”though Lp openly said they prefer rafi and lata. also it needs to be mentioned that during fifities and sxties when Rafi sang it wwas “Lata ” whosang really great songs and i seventies it was “kishore who sang best songs” . though op preferred Rafi kishore duet “piya piya kare jiya pukare”exceld all rafi duets with opand it was a class apart. ops best songs see to be ” Chal akela “by Mukesh, ” Savere ka suraj ” by kishore, Lakho hai yaha Dilwale” by Mahendra kapur and “pukaratachala hu Mai ” by Rafi, in thyat order.I do not think “Phoola ka trao ka “is inferior to “khoya Khoya chand” “Khoya Khoya chand ” excels in romanticism but ” Phoola ka taro ka ” excels in emotional rendition and a unique song expressing “brother sister relationship.”gata rahe ” exhibits roantic relationship its exotic best but tere ere sapne does not do that toful extent due to artificial husky singing . guide was not the best score of sd buran save lata or s.d buran numbers. s.d buran really was at his best with lyricist “Neraj” and sharilee stands out in comparison to Guide “guide songs wee based on dances “but sharille songs were based o eotions and have ore elitist appeal. “Phoolo ke ranse “ay e the best song on dev anand typcally chacterizing the roles played and by dev anand and most true representative of Dev anand. While five musically best songs on Dev anand are ” ilaa j shayar hai”,”phooloke rang se”, ” phooloka taro ka “, “khoya Khoya chand “, “hu hai rahi pyar ke “

134 Anand Shankar August 13, 2012 at 1:40 am

Kishore da was a great singer but not better than Rafi sahab. Sun le tu dil ki sada of Rafi has more depth than koi humdum na raha of Kishore. If anyone want to see the depth of Rafi songs, he should hear songs like Man tarpat, O duniyan ke rakhwale, Duniyan na bhaye mohe, Chal ud ja re panchhi, Diwana hua badal, Sun le tu dil ki sada, Tere bin suni nain hamare, Aise to na dekho, zindagi bhar nahi bhulegi, Jane bahar husn tera, Aaj purani rahon se, ye isq isq hai, yaad na jaye, Madhuban me radhika and Din dhal jaaye.

Other singers were master of one or two types of song, but Rafi could sing all types of song – classical, gazal, qawali, folk, Romantic songs, Bhajan etc.

135 praveen August 13, 2012 at 8:12 am

well said anand. Kishore in his career has not sung even one qawalli worth its name. Where as rafi has sung many.

136 Anand Shankar August 13, 2012 at 8:13 am

RD was a good music director. He assisted SD in many films and learned from him. He has composed some very good songs. But his too much focus on western music took a toll on Hindustani Sangeet. Quality of Hindi songs started deteriorating from mid 70s.

137 anil August 13, 2012 at 7:17 pm

rafi could not excel in songs spelling philosophy of life like “aanewala kal”, “zindagi ka safar”, “yeh jeevan hai”, otivational songs kishore was really marvellous (“jeevan se na haar jeenewale”,”ruk jana nahi”). the songs o duniya ke rakhwale or man tarpat hari darshan ko aa ye are not songs with gr8 depth and in fact rather onotonous plus rafis voice has cracked in o duniya ke rakhwale. regarding kawaalis Mann de was excellent as seen in “yari hai imaan rera” and quwaali is not an elite form of singing rather it is for masses. kishore has sung two brilliant qawalli with rafi
” Mere dildar ka baakpan” and ‘ baibai tuz pe kurban meri jaan ” and one (unreleased with maan de narendra chancha for sholay “chand sa koi chera na phalo me ho” sunga beautiful bhajan ” muze prem ka rog laga ” where all other songs are sung by Rafi and sung two good patriotic songs ” hu hai hindosta le sunadr aasma ke hu anol sitare hai” and “yaad rakhana veer jawano ” .R.d burman offered very good catchy fast paced numbers to rafi but curiously for almost every serious song he opted for Kishore . some of the songs mentioned by anand shankar are romantic songs but not sad or serious songs full of depth philosophy of life. they all wander on shero shayari ghazal ( a good ode for poetry but not so special for usic ” husn, ishq and portary a luxurious mughal style and do not present life in its coplete aspects.

138 Anand Shankar August 14, 2012 at 12:06 am

Songs like Man tarpat and O duniya ke rakhwale are gems of Hindi film music. Even great music directors and singers have appreciated Rafi Sahab for these songs. No other singer, except Rafi Sahab could sing O duniyan ke rakhwale. Because Rafi was superb at both high as well as low notes. Rafi’s voice did not crack in this song.

Lyricists and not singers write songs. 70s is known for philosophical songs. That is why Kishore has sung more philosophical songs than Rafi. But Rafi has also sung many great philosophical songs like Mai Zindagi ka saath, Chal ud ja re panchhi, Janewalo jara mudke dekho mujhe, Rahi manwa dukh ki chinta, Ye zindagi ke mele, Aye mohabbat zidabad, Na mai bhagwan hun, Man re tu kahe na dhir dhare, Dekhi zamane ki yaari, Karwaan guzar gaya, Sun le tu dil ki sada, Dil ek mandir hai, Jina to hai usika, Aaj purani raahon se, Nafrat ki duniyan ko, pochh kar ashk, Dil ka suna saaz, Hum to chale pardes and Admi musafir hai.

Had Rafi not a great singer, most of the great music directors, such as Naushad, Madan Mohan, Shankar Jaikishan, OP Nayyar and Lakshmikant and Pyarelal would not have preferred him for their songs. These great Music Directors always praised Rafi for his singing. We do not know more than Manna de, who said that Rafi was the best singer.

139 praveen August 15, 2012 at 1:39 pm

happy independence day to all kishore and rafi fans.
one thing for sure, people here have a great taste of music. and i salute all of them for that.
as mentioned earlier i am a great fan of kishore and ardent fan of rafi. versatility and melody of rafi’s voice is unmatchable. this might hurt ‘kishore fan’ part of my heart. this is one of the reasons, kishore fan inside me still can not find a single quawwali sung by kishore. (someone tried to help me by quoting manna de.. :-) )
singing a quawaali needs classical touch which kishore definitely lacked.
today is independence day. radio stations are booming with rafi’s songs. (ai watan, jahan da dal par, mera rang de basanti chola, ham laye hain toofan se kashti nikal ke, kar chale ham fida jano tan, apni azadi ko ham hargiz mita sakta nahin… list is endless)
KISHORE HAS RATHER NONE in that catagory, worth its name. its not easy to ignite patriotic passion inside a person unless singer’s voice has depth. and i presume that’s rafi.. DEPTH VESATILITY, MEOLDY.
all in one. even kishore had all this …..only when it came to singing for rajesh khanna.
we can keep arguing till cows come home but a person with reasinable sense of music will definitely agree about rafi’s superiority over kishore da…

140 anil August 15, 2012 at 1:51 pm

please refer ppost nuber 137 for quwaali and patriotic songs sung by kishore very humable and beautiful the songsof rafi entioned nin 138 have uch lesser depth. besides the voice has cracked in o duniya ke rakhwale. o duniya ke rakhwale is a forgotten song and not amny people like it.

141 praveen August 15, 2012 at 2:03 pm

quawaali mentioned in post 137 are not worth listening. it is at best a duet. despite rafi being part of it. you might like to listen to rafi’s quwaalies on youtube. as regards duniya ke rakhwale, its better that we reserve comments on voice cracking. pitch is too high. probably the highest pitch on which a popular hindi song has been sung. rafi before singing this song was given the news that his wife had died. it was post recording, he was told that this was not true and done to get the feelings in to the song.

142 anil August 15, 2012 at 3:15 pm

The quwaalli is worth listening .it is very lengthy and full of allaps. it is one of the finest quaawali but could not get due popularity as the movie “Deedar ae yaar” flopped miserably. however best quwwali with a single singer is ” yaari hai iman era” by Manna de. also Aziz Naza “chadhata suraj dhire dhire chadhata jayega” is a faos quwwaalli. similarly “bai bai tuz pe kurban meri jaan ” by kishore rafi is beautiful. Moreover quwwalli is not an elite form of singing . many people prefer eotional depp sad and romantic songs to quwwalli, ghazal, bhajan. The young generation has discarded these forms to a large extent. if classical singing is the criterion then Mann de and Yesudas excel. Mahendra kapurs “ere desh ki dharati ” is the ost popular patriotic song and requires a high pitch. High pitch is not the only criterion. ishore was excellent and bettewr than anybody else on lower notes. Vani Jairam excel ed in high pitch singing over Lata but people regard Lata as better singer.

143 praveen August 15, 2012 at 5:04 pm

agreed,
but unfortunately we are talking about rafi and kishore and not about yeshudasm manna de, vani jairam, Elton john, Paul McCartney Pandit Jasraj etc. This healthy debate is only comparing two greats of one generation and not others.
interviews of manna de, yeshudas and mahendra kapur available on youtube do tell thier opinion about rafi. as regards younger generation, today’s TV programme on Independence day is a mirror of thier choice. listen what fve year old children from schools singing today…
AI WATAN AI WATAN HAMKO TERI KASAM.
and by the way lets not bring in Mahendra kapoor and vani jairam here and vitiate the greatness of rafi and kishore.

144 praveen August 15, 2012 at 5:20 pm

http://entertainment.in.msn.com/bollywood/article.aspx?cp-documentid=3128473#page=5
today’s post on MSN on top ten patriotic songs of bollywood.
will give an indication what ‘ young generation’ likes

145 praveen August 15, 2012 at 5:48 pm

this one on low pitch by rafi.
not as an argument or anything, just for enjoyment.

146 anil August 15, 2012 at 7:20 pm

in y opinion top patriotic song is ” a mere watan ke logo”. patriotic songs and quawwalis are not yardsticks. the song sung by kishore “hu hai hindosta ke is marvellous” and very humable. only thing is that movie flopped. he did not get uch opportunity. but his song “jeevan se na haar jeenewale” was played repetaedly during kargil war and it has all flavor of patriotc song. one can refit patriotic words if one wants. This is a true otivational songs for soldiers. there are interviews of manna de available on net listinng kishorre as number one rafi as number 2 and himself after the. thewre ae interviews of lata on net orre than one where she always said that aongst all “kishore was the best and she likes her duets with rafi.
wani jairam and geeta dutt are spelendid singers.the only point in bringing Mana de etc in discussion was that real king of quwwalis was Manna de and eal experts at classical songs are yesudas and manna de as well as Asha Bhosale. Rafi si not regarded as expert i these areas. Rafi was excellent in romantic numbers fast numbers his patriotic song is excellent . kishore has sung a classical based sad soig “mere naina sawan hado ” better than Lata and sung anoither classical song “paayal wali dekh na ” undwr the baton ofchitragupta.

147 Anand Shankar August 16, 2012 at 9:56 am

I don’t think that other singers including Manna de could have sung ‘o duniyan ke rakhwale’ the way Rafi has sung this song. No other singer was as good as Rafi at high notes. Quality and range of Rafi Sahab’s voice was unmathed. I have heared Manna De saying that he wanted to sing his uncle KC day’s composition ‘Radhike tune bansri churayi’, but when he heard the song in Rafi’s voice, he realised that he could not sing this song better than Rafi. Manna did not have the voice quality of Rafi. Where as Rafi had both- a superb quality of voice and ‘sur’.

Kishore da, Mukesh ji and Manna da, all were great singers. But they were not as verstile as Rafi Sahab. Kishore’s classical based songs, qawalis, ghazals and patriotic songs are not worth listing among all time great songs.

There was an incident, where Kishore da refused to sing ‘Nafrat ki duniya ko chhodkar’ of Hathi Mere Sathi and recomended Rafi’s name for this song, because the song required to sing on a very high pitch. All songs of Hathi mere Sathi were sung by Kishore except this song.

148 Anand Shankar August 16, 2012 at 12:52 pm

Rafi Sahab and Lata ji were best male and female singers. Both had great voice. But so far ‘sur’ and expression are concerned, Rafi was better. I realised this when I heard same songs sung by Rafi and Lata. There are songs like Ehshan tera hoga mujhpar, Mere mehboob tujhe and Aji hum se bachkar that both has sung in their voice. But Rafi’s version is better than that of Lata. Even in duets like Lagi chhute na, Jo wada kiya and Bekhudi me sanam, Rafi looks better. There is a duet song ‘Chalo dildar chalo’. Rafi sings only mukhda but stands out. His aalap hooo… is better than that of Lata.

I admired both Rafi Sahab and Kishore Da. Though I knew that Rafi was better, once I decided to listen to them in same song. I listened to them in Ham premi prem karna jane, Ab tak chhupaye rakkha and Bane chahe dushman jamana hamara. I realised that Rafi outshines Kishore in these songs.

149 anil August 17, 2012 at 10:11 pm

i rate kishore’s “mere naina sawan bhado “,mana des ” pucho na kaise maine rain bitaye” yesdas ” tu jo mere sur e ” above o duniya ke rakhwale. o duniya ke rakhawale is an ordinary song and rafis voice cracked in it. besides kishore never refused singing ” nafrat ki duniya ko ” as payarelal said that the song was always composed with rafi in ind and was offered to rafi in only. yes kishore did recomend rafis nae for ” wada tera wada” and ” salame ishq eri jaan ” high pitch is not the criterion for singers. a good range is a criterion . ere naina sawan bhado and paayal wali dekh na , ere dildar ka bankpan, muze prem ka rog laga are worth listeening.
to feel the magic of kishore listen to a very humable patriotic song “hu hai hindostake sundar aasma ke hu anmol sitatre hai” . he tone tiber elevates the song to a lilting song as adorable as a roantic song.

150 anil August 17, 2012 at 10:19 pm

all songs of asha were sung by rafi except the bhajan ” uze prem ka rog laga ” was sung by kishore. all songs of karavan were sung by rafi with the exception of “hum to hai rahi pyarke ” by kishore. all songs of guide were sung by rafi except “gata rahe dilmere” as s. d buran did not find rafi suitable for this song. all the songs of do raste were sung by rafi except the sad song “khiza ke phoolpe aati kabhi bahar nahi by kishore.
all songs of duniya were sung by afi except that shanker jaikishan called kishore for ” duriya najdikiya ban gayi”.

151 Anand Shankar August 18, 2012 at 2:10 pm

I have never heard anybody saying that Rafi’s voice cracked in the song ‘o duniya ke rakhwale’. Singers and music lovers have always admired Rafi for this song. So far classical based songs are concerned, we can compare Manna de and Yeshudas with Rafi, but Kishore can not be compared with Rafi in this department. ‘Mere naina sawan bhado’, though a good song, can not be listed among all time great classical based songs. Rafi had a long list of classical based great songs, such as, Man tarpat, Aaye na baalam, Ajhun na aaye balma sawan bita jaaye, Madhuban me radhika, Tere sur aur mere geet, Saaj ho tum awaaj hun mai, and Radhike tune bansri churai.

Yeshudas and Manna were good singer, but did not have the voice quality and range of Rafi. Rafi outshined even Manna in song ‘ye ishq ishq hai’ of Barsat ki Raat. Manna da himself accepted in an interveiw in 2009, that Rafi was a better singer than him.

152 Anand Shankar August 18, 2012 at 2:27 pm

Correction: aaye na balam is from Yesudas

153 Anand Shankar August 18, 2012 at 3:53 pm

Rafi sahab has sung all types of songs. These are some of the many beautiful romantic songs that Rafi has sung:
1.Khoya khoya chand 2.Husnwale tera jawab nahin 3.Jane bahar husn tera 4.Abhi na jao chhor ke 5.Haye tabassum tera 6.Fir miloge kabhi 7.Fir aane laga yaad tere pyar ka aalam 8. Mai nigahen tere chehre se 9.Chand jane kahan kho gaya 10.Ehsan tera hoga 11.Kitna hai tum se pyar ai mere rajdar 12.Muhabbat se dekha to 13.Tujhe jeewan ki dor se 14.Tu kahan ye bata 15.Dil jo na kah saka 16.Jaag dile diwana 17.Teri aankho ke shiva 18.Pukarata chala hun mai 19.Ter mere sapne 20.Tum se izhare haal kar baithe 21.Dekho ruth na karo 22.Baharo ful barsao 23.Chaudahvi ka chand ho 24.Mizaze garami 25.Mera man tera pyasa 26. Maine rakkha hai muhabbat 27.Ek hansi sham ko 28.Tumhare pyar me hum bekrar ho ke chale 29.Yahi hai tamanna 30.Jawaniyan ye mast mast bi piye 31.Kaun hai jo sapno me aaya 32.Tasvir banata hun teri khune jigar se 33.Itni jawan itni hasi raat 34.Ye julf agar khulke 35.Tum jis pe nazar daalo

154 AK August 18, 2012 at 4:02 pm

Dear esteemed readers,
I have no intention to prolong the debate. I thought my refusal to respond to the comments would let it die. But after my last request to let the debate rest, 33 more comments have come. It is clear both are perennial favorites. One perspective has not been much highlighted. About 75% on India’s population was born after 1965. Rajesh Khanna’s heyday was 1969-72. Which means three-fourth of Indian population in their conscious memory have seen KK dominance. Therefore this debate would also have a very strong demographic bias.

Anand Shankarji, you do not have to correct. For me and thousands of Rafi lovers like me, Aye na balam would always be this song:

May I repeat my request to let the debate rest with a salute to the two geniuses.

155 praveen August 18, 2012 at 9:46 pm

i salute two of them by playing the following LAST POST

This was a lovely story on Rafi and and kishore. Very well done the author.
Even last comments about demography say it all. During their hey days nobody ever indulged in this type of debate. Everyone agreed that both were extremely popular and Rafi any day was greatest. Debating on greatness of two greats unfortunately has brought in some very stupid arguments in the debate. Trying to match kishore kumar in quwaalies, bhajan to rafi speaks lack of music sense in some of us.
Before the debate is closed. I would like to conclude by saying the following:-
Rafi is very good in deshbhakti song BUT, mahendra kapoor is better
Rafi is very good at high pitches BUT, Chanchal (tune mujhe bulaya shera waliye fame) can go even higher. Waise I did not know rafi’s voice cracked in duniya ke rakhwale. I rechecked definition of voice cracking in dictionary. I still failed to understand.
Rafi is a tragedy king BUT, mukesh was better
Rafi is unmatchable in classical singing but bheem sen joshi is better
Rafi sang for kishore kumar on screen because, Kishore kumar was not free. He suddenly became free later in padosan , chalti ka nam gadi etc. so he was free to sing when he was at his peak, and not free when he was looking for acting career.
Lata mangeshkar said kishore was better than rafi. This has to be a lata mangeshkar of madam tussad museum and not our nightingale.
Manna dey rated kishore higher than rafi… I need to check from him.
The first Indian movie which was put in TIME best 100 movies of all times was PYASA. Rafi sang all songs in that movie ( like all other guru dutt movies) other than one song. JANE WO KAISE LOG by hemant. May be movie was hit because of this song. So hemant kumar is better than rafi.
Rafi sang for all super heroes of yesteryears. Dilip kumar, rajendra kumar, manoj kumar etc etc. because kishore kumar was travelling abroad all these years
Rafi has sung more songs than kishore despite kishore da coming to movies before him. May be those days calculators were operated by steam so they did wrong calculations.
MORAL OF THE STORY
Kishore kumar is better. May be because alphabetically, K appears before M. I can see no other logic to this

156 anil August 18, 2012 at 10:07 pm

i a born before 61. my dad born in 1928 and worked with S. d.
burman said me music should be zsetful tadafadar like mere sapnoki rani aradhana.he comented that rafi really sang only one song good in life ” khoya khoya chand” and sd burman discovered kishore in “jeevan ke sagfar me arhi”. He stopped kishore while singing and said if u always sing like this all our songs wll be hit. thewre was acarmic relationship and very diplomatically though rafi ruled s. d buran always used kishore but he had to considewr rafi as he was ruling the usic industry. he did not want his usical carrear to stop .ike anil biswas. no body said that kishore was better than rafi in quwallis. but in all sad songs philospophical songs , life songs , sonnets, happy mood songs kishore outshined rafi and mukesh as well. latas interview saying kishore was best was in all newspapers on hewr eightieth birth day. in the sae interview she entions that here duets with rafi were best. o duniya ke rakhwale rafis voice has cracked written by raju bhartan and any other journalists. anyway it is avery ordinary song not having enough depth only shouting period!

157 praveen August 18, 2012 at 11:25 pm

i would request music lovers here to google ‘rafi vs kishore’
several storeys pop up. one of them says.
‘The question that u asked,,,was asked by a press reporter to Kishore Kumar,,You Know what Kishore Kumar answered then,,,He enquired if the reporter had any idea of music,,,”there is none in this world that can be compared with Rafi Sahab,he is ,was and will remain Best” and warned him ; not to comparere singer like Rafi with anyone ,male or female not even Lata.
there is also a link which has a poll on kishore vs rafi
more: http://wiki.answers.com/Q/Who_is_better_Rafi_or_Kishore#ixzz23v9Tou9t

http://www.pollpub.com/who-is-the-better-singer-kishore-kumar-or-mohammed-rafi.aspx
i am also reproducing an article from TOI below
For years, the media without knowing inner details projected Mohd. Rafi and Kishore Kumar as arch rivals. Competitors they were but never rivals. In fact, when Mohd. Rafi sang Man Mora Bawra and Ajeeb Dastan Hai Yeh Meri for Kishore Kumar, the multi-dimensional Kumar could not and did not protest. Though he was the hero in both Ragini and Shararat, Rafi sang for Kishore under the baton of O.P Nayar and Shanker Jaikishan, very effectively creating musical history.
The two came together for the first time to sing for Bhagam Bhag and then it was the lilting, Tum Bin Jayun Kahan in Pyar Ka Mausam, tuned by the versatile R.D. Burman. No comparisons can be made between the two singing the same number as Kishore’s one was pathos oriented and Rafi’s romantic.
In the 70s, both sang Woh Din Ke Baat in Jungle Mein Mangal and Yadon Ki Baraat each composed by Shanker Jaikishan and R.D. Burman. As Kishore Kumar set the nation literally dancing to his Zindagi Ek Safar in Andaz, Rafi proved a perfect foil for him with the sad antara of the same song, Hanste Gate. Madan Mohan composed the unique Yun Na Sharma with Kishore Kumar at his romantic best and Mohd. Rafi rendering the tragic portion, Are Hansne Wale.
The 70s had Kishore Kumar ruling the roost with the maximum number of hits tuned by S.D. Burman, R.D. Burman, Laxmikant Pyarelal and Kalyanji Anandji. Yet, Rafi held his own with his inimitable Tum Jo Mil Gaye Ho, Tera Bindiya Re with Lata Mangeshkar and undoubtedly Aye Mere Man though his tonal quality had received a back seat due to a throat infection.
R.D. Burman, who was mainly instrumental in creating the Kishore Kumar wave, had to lean on Mohd. Rafi for his super hits Chand Mera Dil, Kya Hua Tera Wada and Yamma Yamma. These songs signaled Rafi’s glorious comeback in the late 70s after a brief lull earlier. Even later composers like Rajesh Roshan and Bappi Lahiri could think of no one else except for Rafi to render, Dil Ki Kali, Are Re Re Aisa Tarana and Saathi Re Gam Nahin Karna. Kishore was always with them but some songs could never be thought of without the inimitable Mohd. Rafi.
The blank face of a heartbroken Kishore Kumar prior to Mohd. Rafi’s funeral explained Kishore’s innermost feelings for his more illustrious senior, who was much more to him than a rival or competitor. No wonder Kishore Kumar paid his richest tribute to Mohd. Rafi with his Bengali haunting number, Se Jano Ajo after his favourite singer’s death. No one knew better than Kishore Kumar that Mohd. Rafi had a range and versatility which he never possessed himself.

158 praveen August 18, 2012 at 11:28 pm

i have discovered one more reason for kishore being better than rafi
IN SOMEONE’S KEY BOARD, letter ‘M’ IS MISSING.
obvious that Mohamad rafi is not in his scheme of things :-)

159 Anand Shankar August 19, 2012 at 12:11 am

Rafi sang only one good song ‘khoya khoya chand’ and ruled the industry till 1969. Rafi was an ordinary singer that is why all great music directors prefered his voice for their songs. Kishore’s ‘payal wali’ song was perhapes better than ‘man tarpat aaj’ and ‘madhuban me radhika’. O duniya ke rakhwale is very ordinary song. Everyone can sing this song. SD did not like Rafi, but recorded many great sons like Khoya khoya chand, Tu kahan ye bata, Hum bekhudi me, Mera man tera pyasa, Din dhal jaye and Tere mere sapne in Rafi’s voice. Everyone knows about royalty issue, so we can understand Lata’s view about Rafi. With these words I am also concluding.

160 sunil kumar September 24, 2012 at 12:44 am

sir when song “O duniya ke rakhwale ” was recorded there was a rumor that blood came out of rafi saheb’s mouth. This song has the highest notes ever recorded in the hindi films . This rumour was so strong that both Naushad saheb and Rafi had to appear on TV and rebutted these rumors . To prove this he organized a show of Rafi on Doorsarshan where rafi saheb sang same song and other songs of ” Baiju Bawara” live in Doordarshan. That clip is available on you tube. This song is a bench mark for every singer to check his range and class. Any singer check where he stands this song can give him that idea it is barometer to check your range . It was S P Ba
lasubramaniam who after hearing this song uttered only one word “Impossible”.

161 Anil September 24, 2012 at 4:53 pm

yes the rumour is true. but frankly many do not prefer o duniya ke rakhwale. the rafi naushad lata combo was good in o Dur ke musafir .
the barometer of singing is i think zindagi kaisi hai paheli”, “kasme wade pyar wafake”, ” zindagi ka safar”, “ye jeevan hai”, “aaneala pal”, ” anak zana k ‘”, “o meri joharajabi”, “pukar lo tumhara injar hai” for softness depth, dard, and classical base etc .

162 Anand Shankr September 27, 2012 at 10:08 am

Songs listed above are no doubt very good songs, but these songs are are not better than top Rafi numbers. Rafi songs like saathi na koi manzil, teri aankhon ke shiva, tere bin suni nain humare, husnwale tera jawab nahin, madhuban me radhika, kitna hai tum se pyar, zindagi bhar nahin bhulegi, hum bekhudi me tumko, chal ud jaa re pancchi, o dur ke musafir, etc are much better than above mentioned songs.

Most of the great music directors( Naushad, Shnkar Jaikishan, Madan Mohan, O P Nayyar, Lakshmikant Pyarelal) prefered Rafi to record their songs. This is a proof of Rafi’s greatness

163 Anil September 27, 2012 at 9:53 pm

most of the songs mentioned by anand shgankar are good. but individual tastes difer. i wont rankthem in the ame class as the songs mentioned by me as the songs mentioned are full of depth and extreme softness.
chal ud ja re panchi is a very excellent song.
ya i admit that i forgot mention one geat song in my list ” khoya khoya chand” oh and one moe ” ae mere dil kahi aur chal” and one more ” ik dilke tukde hazar huwe” and one more “tasweer banata hu tasweer nahi banati” and one more ” jeevan se na haar jeenewale” and one more ” chalo ik bar ” and one more ” tum jo itana muskara rahi ho “

164 praveen September 27, 2012 at 10:10 pm

there are some guys who are trying to reignite the fire by giving senseless analogy.
if you start counting good songs by rafi, you will need one full life.
if someone doesnot like rafi, he doesnot have music sense.
there is only one benchmark in hindi singing and that is rafi.
and that is despite the fact that kishore is a great singer and may be more popular than rafi….

165 AK September 29, 2012 at 6:23 pm

Dear readers,
I have to repeat my appeal to all of you again. We are not adding anything new to the debate. In order to let it rest, I have refrained from acknowledging and responding to some comments. I am also not approving some comments from newcomers, because I do not want to add to the heat. Hope you all understand.

166 sunil kumar September 29, 2012 at 6:45 pm

sir I thought the debate is quite good no body has gone beyond the Agni rekha and all comments are within acceptable limits . while at other places i have seen people writing all nonsense about the singer they don’t like. Here I have seen none writing bad about the other singer . We know these two are the best we had how can we ay other one w very bad.
There may have been time period when one was up and other was down . But it these two who have ruled the bollywood singing. even today no match for these two so my salute to these two great artist.

167 Suresh Maloo October 4, 2012 at 6:41 pm

Dear AK,
Thanks for concluding this debate, I humbly appreciate your comments at last, “I do not want to add to the heat.”
Hope to find some more additions to my understanding about film-music.
Regards.

168 M.A.Rafeeq November 10, 2012 at 11:25 am

Some of the good reasons music directors select a particular singer is that it is easy to compose a song with that singer, his voice may be influencing, his voice may suit the hero , the singer may be famous, bias attitude of the music director, influence of the Hero regional bias , public response to s singer , etc . In 1950,1960 most of the Music directors preferred Md Rafi Saheb. In 1970 also some music directors preferred Kishore Da also .Kishore Da had lot of talent and also influence in the industry but did not apply much concentration on music as he was interested in other fields also was not and Md Rafi had only but talent and was not from India also .his hard work and morning to evening devotion was recognized by some music directors and later by all music directors.Kishore Da diverted all is energy in singing in 1970s added to that Rafi saabs low notes were somewhat lost and everything fades with time and use.. Listen to YAD NA JAAYE from Dil Ek mandir to Pardah Hai Pardah and Shirdi song Sai baba song from Amar AkbarAnthony . Yet he could manage to sing correctly for all heroes which nobody could do.

169 shahid December 10, 2012 at 9:52 pm

Rafi sahab’s voice is the voice of the almighty god.

170 shahid December 10, 2012 at 9:56 pm

I love rafi sahab by heart.

171 shahid December 11, 2012 at 8:12 pm

Rafi sahab you are really the master of all masters. We all love you and miss you so much,but you are still alive in our hearts.

172 shahid December 11, 2012 at 8:27 pm

Rafi sahab is another face of god,his voice is the voice of almighty. Rafi sahab ke naam ko chhuna na mumkin hai,un tak pahunchna to door ki baat hai,rafi sahab jaisa na koi tha,na hai ,aur na koi hoga,agar koi 10 crore baar bhi janam lega tab bhi rafi sahab ke naam tak nahi pahunch payega.

173 praveen December 11, 2012 at 10:14 pm

bilkul sahi kaha shahid bhai

174 Rajesh December 12, 2012 at 10:58 am

Shahid seems to be possessive to Rafi’s Voice . Though Rafi too had a good voice but Kishore da is Ultimate. No one on this Universe can ever match Kishore Da’s Voice. He is still the heart throb of millions of people across the globe as fresh and as youthful as ever.

175 shahid December 12, 2012 at 2:21 pm

Kishore kumar was a good singer,but rafi sahab is an institution,kishore da ne khud kaha hai ki bohut se gaane aise the jinko gaane me,me nakaam hua,aur wo gaane rafi sahab ke paas chale gaye,aur rafi sahab ne badi asaani se wo gaane gaye,aur kishore da ne ye bhi kaha ki agar me kisi singer ko maanta houn to wo rafi sahab hai,jitna me unko maanta houn shayad koi nahi maanta.

176 M.A.Rafeeq December 12, 2012 at 3:19 pm

It is strange how people cannot judge .It is not right to compare Md Rafi to other singers The songs Mere naina saawan bhaadon, ,Zindagi ke Safar me guzarjaathe makaan , Tere saamne wali khidki me , Kehna hai aaj thumse ye pehli baar ete are only for their beautiful meaning which appeals . Any body above average can sing .Amitabh bachan ,RD Burman, Aaamir Khan also sang hit songs.Kishore Da was multi talented singer , writer , poet , actor .He proved he could also sing good songs like Md Rafi in Pyaar ka Mausam. These are all far far different from the voice Duniya ke rakhwale which reaches God, Man Tarpat which gives strength to a sick soul. Koi pyaar ke Pankh pasare which energises a sick Meena Kumari.Uta Arjun Dhanush uta in Beta Beti which holds off the Police complaint In todays science and communication , a beautiful striking on the Guitar in North pole will make one to shake his legs in South pole that is music which has no language .So also when Md Rafi says O O O in Kohinoor from one end Jeevan hears OOO from Lata from the other end That is voice which has no language.
God s voice made ordinary stones into Stars .
Rafis voice made ordinary actors into big Stars .
Kishore Da became famous singing for Big B and Rajesh Khanna who were big heroes in those days unlike Md Rafi whose voice makes us to remember so many film heroes long forgotten .

177 shahid December 12, 2012 at 8:08 pm

Mere pyare dosto agar apko meri koi baat buri lagi hogi to me maafi chahta houn,lekin rafi sahab keliye mere dil me itna pyar aur itni izzat hai ki me bayaan nahi kar sakta,rafi sahab shahanshah ki tarah aaye aur shahenshah ki tarah chale gaye,wo hamesha hamare dilon me dhadkan ki tarah rahenge.

178 AK December 12, 2012 at 8:53 pm

Dear readers,
Thanks a lot for your comments.
Every once in a while I have to come back as a moderator with a simple request. Everything that could be said about Rafi-Kishore Kumar has been said. So let us close the debate with paying tribute to both the geniuses.

179 shahid December 13, 2012 at 2:37 pm

Mera to jo bhi kadam hai wo teri raah mein hai,ki tu kahin bhi rahe dost meri nigaah mein hai. Love you Rafi Sahab

180 shahid December 13, 2012 at 2:38 pm

Mera to jo bhi kadam hai wo teri raah mein hai,ki tu kahin bhi rahe dost meri nigaah mein hai. Love you very much Rafi Sahab..

181 shahid December 13, 2012 at 2:39 pm

Mera to jo bhi kadam hai wo teri raah mein hai,ki tu kahin bhi rahe dost meri nigaah mein hai. With love to Mohammed Rafi Sahab.

182 Rajesh December 13, 2012 at 8:47 pm

Pal Pal Dil ke paas tum Rehte ho… Aur hamesha Rahoge …Kishore Da…We Miss u always. U will remain alive in our hearts till theWorld of Music Lives…Pal Pal Har Pal Tum Dil ke paas aap rehte ho

183 sunil kumar December 14, 2012 at 12:43 am

Just remember Rafi’s never die. Rafi is still alive as even today somewhere somebody is singing Rafi song every day, every minute, every second . How can such s person die he is immortal

184 shahid December 15, 2012 at 5:45 pm

Tum ko na bhool paayenge rafi sahab,you are the universal ratna,and you are the greatest human being of all time.

185 Rajesh December 17, 2012 at 10:17 am

WE Salute the Ultimate King of Music.. Kishoreda… the finest singer of our times.. All the debate now rest in peace..Its the Clear verdict… Long Live the the legend…Hamare Pyare Kishore Kumar……

186 sunil kumar December 17, 2012 at 10:16 pm

There is no comparison with kishore as kishore himself said while paying tributes to Rafi Saab “Mein to Ek ya do tarah se gaata hun aur woh sau tarah se gaate hain isiliye woh Amar hain”. he knew his limitations. He knew who Rafi was. The matter was already settled in 2001 when biggest survey of all the times declared Amitaabh Bachchan as The Best Actor of the million so was Rafi Saab Chosen as The Best singer of the million . Rafi Saab had no contest at all he won by securing 70 % of the total votes polled.Rest all Lata , Asha , Kishire,Mukesh, Talat ,Manna Dey combined got 30 % of total votes, Ther was no competition at all. Matter was decided then and there with the Title of Best Singer of the Million. So Rafi Saab is the boss. But yet very humble and humane that is what made him superstar of all the superstars. Even Amit ji Admitted saying Rafi Saab used to mold his voice for the actor he was singing for a quality a very rarely found in play back singers. He would sing differently for Dilip Saab, Differently for Shammi kapoor and Dev Saab or for that matter Johny walker or Mehmood. Listener would immediately recognize yes it is Dilip kumar singing, Yes it is Shammi kapoor or Johny walker. He taught what is real play back singing.

187 praveen December 18, 2012 at 1:27 pm

i wonder why are we arguing over a subject which can never have any argument!!. kishore was a very popular singer but could never match rafi in quality. i am reproducing an excerpt from wikipedia.
“Mohammad Rafi (December 24, 1924 – July 31, 1980) was an Indian recording artist who is considered by many to be one of the greatest Indian playback singers of the Hindi film industry.[1] In his lifetime, he was awarded the National Film Award, Best National Singer Award and six Filmfare Awards. In 1967, he was honoured with the Padma Shri award by the Government of India.[2] In 2000, the Stardust magazine named him the “Best Singer of the Millenium.”[3] ”
no question of anyone coming anywhere near rafi.

188 shahid December 24, 2012 at 2:33 pm

TO THE LEGENDARY .MOHAMMED RAFI SAHAB.Happy birthday to you, Happy birthday to you, Happy birthday to you Mohammed Rafi sahab. You are the one who are still alive in billions trillions hearts. I love you and love you always Rafi Sahab. You are the GOD OF SANGEET , SURON KE BETAAJ BAADSHAH AND THE SPECIAL GIFT OF GOD TO THE UNIVERSE. YOU ARE 100% COMPLETE AND PERFECT PERSON IN THE UNIVERSE.AAP JAISA NA KOI THA NA KOI HAI AUR NA KOI HOGA. YOU ARE THE UNIVERSAL RATNA.LOVE YOU FOREVER RAFI SAHAB.

189 shahid January 1, 2013 at 10:36 pm

HAPPY NEW YEAR TO MOHAMMED RAFI SAHAB AND HIS WHOLE FAMILY AND THE LOVERS OF RAFI SAHAB.MAY GOD BLESS YOU ALL.

190 Sudhir Dwivedi January 4, 2013 at 5:47 pm

First I would like to make you clear one thing that It was not only Aradhna’s song which made Kishore da number 1 singer.Let me clear it first which most of you might not be aware.At the same time Rafi sahab had to go for HUZ not for any tour that is the main reason rest of the songs of this movie was recorded by Kishore Da as Rafi Sahab was not available at that time.Now when he came to HUZ then most of the Maulvies told him not sing filmi songs as it’s sin to sing fimli songs.Then he stopped singing and took retirement from plaback singing and did not record any song for 8 months and went back to US to stay there.It’s obvious that if Rafi was not available for 8 months all songs would go to Kishore da as He was the 2nd leading playback singer after Rafi due to Aradhna’s song.These 8 months period established Kishore da number one singer in 70′s not by only 3 songs of Aradhna.Because before Aradhna Kishore da had already sparked in Padosan,Pyar kiye jaa,Chalti Ka naam gadi,Fantoosh,Jwel Thief and many foot taping Dev Sahab’s song. However when Naushad sahab convinced Rafi then he returned back to playback singing but It was too late as Kishore da was at his pic and in full flow and it took 6 years for Rafi sahab to get back his number one postion in 1977.But unfortunately He died in 1980 could not go ahead other wise result would have been different in 80′s as well.However it was such a big loss to the industry that people were not able to forget Rafi sahab’s song.You could feel the affect of Rafi sahab’s demise(he was at the top) that even Kishore da had a tough competition with Rafi sahab’s clone Shabbir kr and Mohd. Aziz…and in early 80′s Shabbir kr dominated and in mid 80′s Md.Aziz ruled the industry.

Now I would like to ask the author what’s your observation that at what basis you quoted that Kishore da ruled the industry till his death almost 20 years.Kishore da’s output was less during 1977-1980 as compared to early 70′s and even during 1983-1987(till his death) as market was captured by Rafi Sahab, Shabbir kr & Md.Aziz respectively.

191 Sudhir Dwivedi January 4, 2013 at 5:55 pm

First I would like to make you clear one thing that It was not only Aradhna’s song which made Kishore da number 1 singer.Let me clear it first which most of you might not be aware.At the same time Rafi sahab had to go for HUZ not for any tour that is the main reason rest of the songs of this movie were recorded by Kishore Da as Rafi Sahab was not available at that time.Now when he came back to HUZ then most of the Maulvies told him not sing filmi songs as it’s sin to sing fimli songs after having HUZ yatra.Then he stopped singing and took retirement from playback singing and did not record any song for 8 months and went back to US to stay there.It’s obvious that if Rafi was not available for 8 months all songs would go to Kishore da as He was the 2nd leading playback singer after Rafi due to Aradhna’s song.These 8 months period established Kishore da number one singer in 70′s not by only 3 songs of Aradhna.Because before Aradhna Kishore da had already sparked in Padosan,Pyar kiye jaa,Chalti Ka naam gadi,Fantoosh,Jwel Thief and in many more foot taping Dev Sahab’s song. However when Naushad sahab convinced Rafi then he returned back to playback singing but It was too late as Kishore da was at his pic and in full flow and it took 6 years for Rafi sahab to get back his number one postion in 1977 by Hum Kisi se kum nahi,Dharam Veer,Chacha Bhatija,Amar Akbar Anthony,Laila Majnu and many more films.But unfortunately He died in 1980 could not go ahead other wise result would have been different in 80′s as well.However it was such a big loss to the industry that people were not able to forget Rafi sahab’s song.You could feel the affect of Rafi sahab’s demise(he was at the top) that even Kishore da had a tough competition with Rafi sahab’s clone Shabbir kr and Mohd. Aziz…and in early 80′s Shabbir kr dominated and in mid 80′s Md.Aziz ruled the industry.

Now I would like to ask the author what’s your observation that at what basis you quoted that Kishore da ruled the industry till his death almost 20 years.Kishore da’s output was less during 1977-1980 as compared to early 70′s and even during 1983-1987(till his death) as market was captured by Rafi Sahab, Shabbir kr & Md.Aziz respectively.

192 praveen January 6, 2013 at 3:15 pm

well researched comment sudhir…the new book on rafi by his daughter in law , recently launched mentions the HAJ thing.

193 anil January 7, 2013 at 6:31 pm

no depth i voice of rafi shabbir as compared to kishores divine deep voice. till hi sdeath kishore was prefered for sad and serious songs

194 sunil kumar January 7, 2013 at 11:40 pm

where was kishore when Amyabh was given a new boys voice “Shabbir kumar” in coolie . Where was Kishore when R D Burman chose “Shabbir kumar ” over kishore for Sunny deaol launch “Betaab”. Where was kishore when in “Mard” Mohd Aziz was given chance to sing for Amitabh over kishore. The fact is that after the death of Rafi Saab Rafi Saab’s voice was so much sought after that his clones got much bigger assignments than kishore . Even in “Shaan” released in 1980 last movie of RAfi with R D Burman. There was a song “Yama Yama” which R D burman was to sing and R d burman instead of kishore asked Rafi to sing this .WHy ? because as he him self said while paying tributes to RAfi Saab that “I told Rafi Saheb that i will sing this song and you will sing with me and you have to sing it in my range the way I use a special vocal chord”. He knew that only Rafi could do it any variety, any range it is only Rafi who can match it. So the song was recorded but could not be refined as Rafi Saab died and the song was released as it is . There some one pointed who compared Rafi to mannad Dey, Mahindra kapoor , Mukesh , even Bhim sen joshi. Is ther any other singer with whom you can compare all these. He was one such singer who could sing classical as good as Pt Bhim sen Joshi, Sad songs Better than Mukesh, Qawwalis and classical better than Manna Dey and High pitch songs better than Chanchal and he matched them all with an edge of the heavenly voice which none of the of the other singer possessed. And for that song “nafrat ki Duniya”. This kishore himself has said while paying tributes to Rafi that “I told LP that this song has so many variations and only Rafi can sing this song”. Kishore can neither be considered as classy as Bhim Sen or Manna Dey or High pitch songs he never sang. For high pitch songs even Lata used to have fights with Shankar jaikishan ” he used to give me high pitched songs which Rafi Saab had already sung for the females version he used to give me same notes and i used to fight with him how can you be so cruel to me it pains me”. The problem with all of them was none of them was master of all It was Rafi only who sang Classical Bhajans like “Man Tarpat Hari Darshan ko Aaj ” and Rock song “Jaan pehchan ho “, and comedy song “Sar toh tera chakraye”, and philosophical song “Yeh Duniya agar mil bhi jaaye to kya hai”, Qawwali song “Yeh Ishq Ishq hai ” or “Hai agar dushman” and romantic song like “Ajaja re AA zara AA”. where he experimented with his voice when he sand all antras in his trembling voice. Desh bhakti songs made him idol of the youth “Jahan Daal Daal par sone ki” , Ai wattan Ai wattan hum ko teri kasam so many i have listened to since i was a child made and build the national character of the youth then these songs we used to sing in our college and school functions made us proud. There is no one and there will be no one like him again. He is a true Bharat ka Ratan.

195 praveen January 8, 2013 at 1:10 pm

i think time has come to stop this debate. there is no debate. Kishore was an extremely popular singer. more than rafi sab but rafi sab was matchless and kishore himself acknowledged that. i again repeat. saying that kishore is a better singer than rafi is equivalent to say that ashish nehra is a better batsman than sunil gavaskar.
time to have another debate.. WHO IS A BETTER ACTOR? AMITABH OR DILIP KUMAR?

196 Rajesh January 9, 2013 at 11:05 am

Praveen…. Kishore is not Ashish Nehra ..he is Sachin Tendulkar who is far better than Sunil Gavaskar.. Kishore is Great Singer who could not be matched and can never be. And Mr. Sunil for your information if Shabbir and Mohd Aziz had sang few songs for Kishore that is because in Mid Eighties Kishoreda refused to sing for Amitabh and not Amyabh since Amitabh refused to act in Kishore’s Film Mamta Ki chaon Mein.. Pls Keep urself Updated before posting … Anyhow this wont change the fact that Kishore is and will always remain The BEST

197 praveen January 9, 2013 at 2:27 pm

rajesh bhai.. sahi kaha
i fully agree with you.. kishore is SACHIN.. bilkul sachin ki tarah gata hai..
popular hai par rafi wali baat nahin:-))

198 anil January 9, 2013 at 2:50 pm

correctly said rajesh. R.d. burman did not opt for Aziz.. he gave a break to amitkumat in love story . betab score was not class. but it was decided by the producer to ive break to new voice. since shabir was unnecesarily promoted y lp t was amove to get another clone of rafi in play. as far as coolie etc manmohan movies are concrned kishore and Manmohan desai were not on god terms and hence shabir was opted. yes kishore boycoted amiabh and ths wy sns were recorded by rdb, and Ka in voice of yesudas. plase let us remeber one god song from songs sung by rafi or shabair or aziz for maith. just passable are joh jani and mere deshpeiyo. no song of suhag was a hit . on the contrary manzil, yaarana, don mukadar ka sikandar,had god memorable songs by kishore for amitabh. as far as yamma yamma is considered it was a dute of kishore and rafi but due to sore throat ishore could not come for recording so rd burman sang in place of ishore . this is sai by rd brmn in an interview. plase get the things correct before posting. yes one could be a afi an and thats nice tre rafi sang many memorable songs ur personaly i d not fid o duinya ke rakhwa;e or man tarpat hari darshan o that reat and come on he had to take a backseat after 1969 and this is a fact there should be o exccuses. true sudsdenly parda hai parda hai kya a era wada, hai agar dushman and lalla majnu ongs together became hit in 1977 and rafi’s carear got a new lease as t was on the verge of extinctio in 1974.75. 76. But rafi tried to play olitics ater that and using Lp as aweapon tried to ct smart with kishore. Kishore had respect for his coolleague and he also did not want rafi carrear to be extinct after all he had a family to look after and it was film inustry’s garce that he did see to it that rafi gets his share . But when one comes to recoledt onecan recolect some god rafi numbers til 1976 like”ye duniya ye mehfil” , “gulabi aa nkhe “, “wadia era daaman ,”pattta pata “, “ye reshmi julfe” but nit mAN AFETER 1976 WITH SLE EXCEPTIONS OF THE “PARDA HAI PADA”( EVEN ISHORE SANG TWO LINES I VERY HIGH PITCH IN HIS KAAALI), YA UA TERA WADA , ” BOTALSE I BAAT “, “ROTE UE”, “ahaniya suanti ha “, , but these songs were of lesser quality tha”aaap ki aaakhome “, “phir vahi “, “anewala pal “, “gulmohar agar tumara na hota “, “o sathi re “, “pyaer managa hai tumhi se”, “kaha tak ye manke andhre”.
true there wwee more rafi songs in final binaca of 1980 but it was in two parts . first part had mostly kihore numbers an second part he topper songs had rafi numbers more but f u count amitkumars two songs from love story which were in the second part with kishore numbers then ishore and rafi had equal number of songs and movies of kishore songs weree nt released in that year but imediately one had all time graet ishore songs” hume tumse payar kitana”, amd”chookar mere anko ” next yaer. It was ony politics of Lp who had scoe music of most films that made rafi songs more in number but most of the songs wee below quality. it waqs very clear that lp had messed with quality by capuring most producers and they could not do justice. most of the musical score was dull and flop. can somebody say music of amitabh starrer nasib ” mere nasib me tu hai ” is of same staqndard as that of yaarana or mukadar ka sikanadr or don or sharbi or khudar ? people ned to be objective in their assesment.

199 Sudhir Dwivedi January 9, 2013 at 2:52 pm

@Rajesh I am not denying this fact that Kishore da was not Sachin Tendulkar but always remember Rafi shahab was Sir. Don Bradman who will always remain number 1,I do have respect for Kishore da and after Rafi sahb I love Kishore da ,if you dont believe me you can watch my youtube channel where I have given tribute to Kishore da.I respect your love for Kishore da and you know one thing Love is always blind and you are doing the same thing.
Manna Dey,Sp Balasubramnnayam,KJ yesudas,..they all have admitted that Rafi sahab was an exceptional singer no one could match his brilliance. If you need any proof I will show you and the most important fact that even Kishore da had a great respect for Rafi sahab ,Once a reporter said to Kishore da during early 70′s “Sir aapne to Rafi ki chutti kar di” then he immediately slapped that reporter and said don’t ever think like this way you can’t compare anyone with Rafi Sahab.In kishore da’s drying room there was only one photo and that is of Rafi Sahab.So if you respect Kishore da then try to understand what Rafi sahab was for Kishore da,at least respect your GURU.

200 Sudhir Dwivedi January 9, 2013 at 3:03 pm

@Anil mind ur language before writing any rubbish.How could u say that Rafi sahab and lp played politics.When Kishore da’s song were banned by Sanjay gandhi during emergency (1975). It was Rafi shab who went to Delhi and asked Indra gandhi to lift the ban on Kishore da.Dont be blind come out with real facts.Kishore da was no doubt a great singer and I respect him but Rafi sahab was the greatest singer ever born .Read my previous comments you will come to know about the real picture.

201 praveen January 9, 2013 at 3:11 pm

jhagda mat karo yar tumlog…. kyon fight kar rahe ho.
kishore was any day more popular than rafi.. go to yu tube and see the number of hits which his songs have . ..
par rafi is rafi… agar kishore chand hai to rafi suraj… and pets not tak about jugnus (fireflyies) like shabbir, aziz, amit and kumar sanu.. inke baare mein yehan baat bhi mat karo…
agar koi ye kahta hain ki kishore is better than rafi, this means uska music sense bada weak hai..
samjhne ki koshish karo dosto..please.. suraj ko diya mat dikhao . rafi se kishore ko mat compare karo. zameen asman ka antar hai.

202 AK January 9, 2013 at 4:31 pm

Dear readers,
I would refer to my comment #178, in which I made an earnest appeal to all to close the debate by paying our tributes to both the geniuses. I have see the comments since, with some dismay. At times these have unnecessarily degenerated into personal. I should thank all for their interest, participation and very informative comments. Now the time has come to finally close the debate.

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