S. D. Burman – the gifted and versatile composer of Bollywood and Bengali cinema is known for melody tunes based on classic ragas. SD was indeed a great ocean of knowledge of classic music and he gave many amazing and magical compositions to Indian cinema, not easy to forget or re-create. A strict professional at work, his son Pancham da too carried forward the legacy and contributed the lion share of hit songs of 1970s.
Though S. D’s music and Rafi’s voice ruled Bollywood music in the 1960s, he gave equal chance to Kishore Kumar also, since his struggling period of 1950s. While referring ‘songsofyore.com’, I got surprised when I came to know that he recorded maximum songs in male voice with Kishore Kumar. Till now, I thought it is Rafi, and this combination too has given some evergreen classics since 1950s. In the site, it’s noted that he gave 115 tunes in total to Kishore Da, which comprises of 53 solos and 62 duets.
S. D was very fond of Kishore and considered him as his ‘pet’ and second son too. So it’s not surprising that his son Pancham and Kishore formed the terrific combination in the 1970s, since Aradhana’s music became a rage across the nation. It’s known to everyone, when S. D fell ill, Aradhana’s recording work was completed by his son who gave two of its compositions to Kishore which were actually reserved for Rafi. Rest is history. In fact it was Sachin da who gave Kishore the first break as a playback singer. S. D’s last rehearsed song – Badi Sooni Sooni was also sung by Kishore, before Burman da passed away.
It can be noticed that in the glorious era of 1950s and 1960s, S. D regularly used Kishore’s voice to record Dev Anand songs. He used Kishore Kumar’s voice for many musically successful films of Dev Anand such as Paying Guest, Munimji, House No. 44, Funtoosh, Guide, Jewel Thief, Prem Pujari, Tere Mere Sapne etc, and has been instrumental in grooming Kishore’s career. He either chose Rafi or Kishore to sing entire songs for Dev Anand, except a few occasions. He equally used both the versatile singers for his compositions.
Without going into details, I would like to list top 16 Bollywood albums of S. D. Burman featuring Kishore Kumar. I have sorted the films in alphabetic order and briefly described 25+ best songs of this amazing duo. And here goes my list.
1. Abhimaan (1973)
It’s one among the rarest movies of Amitabh Bachchan, for which music is composed by S. D and sung by Kishore Da. The work is regarded as one of the finest work of Burman Da in the 1970s. In the film, Amitabh Bachchan played the role of a singer and the composer used three different voices to record songs for Amitabh – Mohd Rafi, Manna Dey and Kishore Kumar, and all the songs became extremely popular.
S. D used Kishore’s voice to record two songs at two extremes – A peppy number, Meet Na Mila Re Man Ka and soulful melody – Tere Mere Milan Ki Yeh Raina, and Kishore Da donned both the songs with perfection. Not only that, among the 7 compositions of this film, only these two songs managed to find place in the top 25 songs of Binaca Geetmala annual list 1973.
2. Aradhana (1969)
Except the duet, ‘Kora Kaagaz Tha Jeevan Mera’, both the solo songs – Roop Tera Mastana and Mere Sapnon Ki Rani were not meant for Kishore Da. Who can change the destiny? After recording half of the songs of the film, S. D. Burman fell ill and he assigned R. D to complete the project. Though Mohd Rafi was the first choice of S. D to record both these songs, his son chose Kishore’s voice. This single decision definitely changed the course of journey of Hindi cinema and music paving way to ‘Rajesh Khanna’ magic and Kishore became the ghost voice of Bollywood’s first super star after that. Khanna sync-lipped to three songs of Kishore and two of Rafi.
Kora Kagaz sung by Kishore and Lata
The first two lines of the song ‘Mere Sapnom Ki Rani’ were inspired from an English song of 1950s, Tequila by Daniel Flores (1957) and it’s also rumoured that this song, along with Roop Tera Mastana was ghost composed by R. D. The same tune of ‘Mere Sapnom Ki Rani’ was later reused for one duet song of 1990s – Le Pappiyaan of Haqueeqat composed by Dilip Sen-Sameer Sen. The song featured Ajay Devgan and Tabu. The movie also witnessed the resurgence of Kishore Kumar, and established R. D and Anand Bakshi as the leading names of Bollywood. It was for the first time Kishore’s voice was used for only 5-film old Rajesh Khanna, and the three songs sung by Kishore Da became instrumental in establishing Khanna as the first superstar of Indian cinema. The movie also marked the successful beginning of the quadrumvirate combination of Rajesh Khanna-Kishore Kumar-R. D-Anand Bakshi.
3. Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi (1958)
Haal Kaisa Hai Janab Ka sung by Kishore and Asha
The movie played a significant role in establishing Kishore as an actor and singer, and this comedy film grabbed everyone’s attention for casting three brothers in a single film. Kishore Kumar sang all songs pictured on him and it included 6 out of 8. The romantic rain song, Ek Ladki Bheegi Bhaagi Si – was the top song of the movie. His duets with Asha Bhosle – Main Sitaron Ka Tarana and Haal Kaisa Hai Janaab Ka were also popular. The song featuring three brothers – Babu Samjho Ishare was the highlight of the film.
4. Chupke Chupke (1975)
One among the last works of S. D. Burman, the movie also gained attention for the popular jugalbandi (duet) – Sa Re Ga Ma between Mohammed Rafi and Kishore Kumar. It’s one of the rarest occasions of 1970s when both singing legends rendered their voices for a single song. Actually the last stanza of Kishore Da was added to the song during dubbing section, when Mohd Rafi was not able to present at the section.
5. Funtoosh (1956)
Though Kishore is known for fun-filled songs since his early days, S. D. made him sing the highly emotional song – Dukhi Man Mere which is popular still now. Mere Labon Pe Chhipe of 1951 super hit movie Baazi was one of the early songs Kishore Kumar sung for Dev Anand in S. D. Burman’s music. Since then the trio has been associated for a series of super hit movies for more than two decades.
6. Gambler (1971)
Choodi Nahi Hai Mera sung by Lata and Kishore
Neeraj has been successfully associated with S. D. Burman for many movies starring Dev Anand; Gambler and Prem Pujari are among those. The movie had 5 tracks, and S. D used Kishore’s voice to record 4 of 5 songs of the movie. The remaining track –Mera Man Tera Pyasa was sung by Rafi. The duet – Choodi Nahin Ye Mera Dil aside Lata Mangeshkar and sad solo –Dil Aaj Shayar Hai became extremely popular. The movie also included the solo track of Kishore – Kaisa Hai Mere Dil Tu Khiladi.
7. Guide (1965)
The single track of Kishore Kumar for Guide – Gaata Rahe, a duet aside Lata
The album is regarded as one among the finest works of S. D though he couldn’t win Filmfare award. He was nominated for the year, and lost to SJ’s Suraj. This iconic movie had maximum male voice songs recorded in Mohammed Rafi’s voice. However the popular duet of Kishore and Lata – Gaata Rahe Mera Dil is regarded among his top romantic songs sung for Dev Anand. Also read: Top 10 romantic tracks featuring Dev Anand.
8. Jewel Thief (1967)
This spy film of Dev Anand was a huge hit and the music album included different genres of music sung by Kishore Kumar, Mohammed Rafi, Bhupinder Singh, Lata Mangeshkar and Asha Bhosle. Two songs were recorded by S. D in Kishore’s voice and both became extremely popular – Yeh Dil Na Hote Bechara (solo) and Aasman Ke Neeche (duet with Lata) and both were fun filled songs. The movie included 7 songs.
9. Mili (1975)
It was S. D’s last work before he went to coma. Kishore’s first break to Bollywood was given by S. D. Burman, and he rehearsed his last song with Kishore before he became ill. Quite irony, the song was Badi Sooni Sooni – one of the finest songs of Kishore da. Aaye Tum Yaad Mujhe – is also a solo track sung by Kishore for Mili.
10. Munimji (1955)
Jeevan Ke Safar Mein by Kishore Kumar
Kishore Kumar is a versatile artist known for singing both fun filled songs and philosophical songs with equal ease, without any background in classical music. Jeevan Ke Safar Mein Rahi – is definitely one among his best philosophic songs, and was a huge hit that time. Its lyrics written by Sahir Ludianvi were equally appreciated. Lata Mangeshkar sang the female version of the song. Lata Mangeshkar and Geeta Dutt sang the maximum number of songs for the movie.
11. Nau Do Gyarah (1957)
The movie starring Dev Anand and his wife Kalpana Kartik was a major hit. Kishore’s voice was used for two of its songs and both became chartbusters – solo track ‘Hum Hai Rahi Pyar Ke’ and a duet Aankhon Mein Kya Jee aside Asha Bhosle.
12. Paying Guest (1957)
Yet another popular movie of Dev Anand in the 1950s, Kishore’s duet aside Asha Bhosle – Chhod Do Aanchal Zamana Kya is popular till now, and has been released in remixed versions too. Kishore’s voice was used to record all the four songs featuring Dev Anand, apart from two solos of Lata Mangeshkar. Mana Janaab Ne Pukara Nahin is yet another evergreen song sung by Kishore.
13. Prem Pujari (1970)
Phoolon Ki Rang Se sung by Kishore Da
Though the movie was a failure at box office, the music was well appreciated. Kishore’s voice was used for 3 of the 7 tracks and Phoolon Ke Rang Se and Shokhiyon Mein Ghola Jaye are among the popular Kishore tracks. Lyrics were written by Neeraj. The movie also included the popular ‘Rangeela Re’ featuring Waheeda Rehman.
14. Sharmilee (1971)
Khilte Hain Gul Yahan – One of the top songs of Kishore-Sachin da combination
The movie is the single association of S. D and Kishore Kumar for Shashi Kapoor and the movie includes the evergreen classic romantic song ‘Khilte Hain Gul Yahan’ pictured on Shashi Kapoor and Rakhee. The song has two solo versions by Kishore and Lata. They also sang the popular duet –Aaj Madhosh Hua. The title track – O Meri Sharmilee and sad song, Kaise Kahen Ham were also extremely popular in the early 1970s. Both were solo songs sung by Kishore Kumar.
15. Teen Devian (1965)
Yet another Dev Anand film, S. D used both Rafi and Kishore’s voices to record its songs. Two solos were recorded in Rafi’s voice, and rest four in Kishore’s. Except Khwab Ho Tum Ya Koi Haqeeqat, the rest three were duets. His duets – Are Yaar Meri Tum Bhi Ho aside Asha and Likha Hai Teri Ankhon Me aside Lata became extremely popular.
16. Tere Mere Sapne (1971)
The movie starring Dev Anand and Mumtaz featured two duets – Ae Maine Kasam Li and Jeevan Ki Bagiya Mehkengi, and both were recorded in Kishore-Lata voice. Similar to many works of 1970s, lyrics of Tere Mere Sapne too were penned by Neeraj who left the film industry following the death of S. D. Burman and Jaikishan with whom he frequently worked with.
And the least mention
Though Aradhana composed by S. D. became a trendsetter, he composed fewer films for Rajesh Khanna. In fact in the 1970s, music of most of Khanna’s films were composed by R. D. Of S. D. Burman’s compositions, Prem Nagar needs special mention. Similar to Pancham Da, songs of Prem Nagar too were recorded in Kishore Kumar’s voice. Sad solo – Yeh Lal Rang was a hit song of the movie.
Though music of Naya Zamana and Jugnu, starring Dharmendra were not equally popular as movies mentioned in the above list, they truly deserve a special mention. Diwali song – Deep Diwali ke Jhute of Jugnu was extremely popular among kids, and Duniyaa O Duniyaa of Naya Zamana is yet another popular song.
Top 10 songs of my choice
Before I conclude, I would like to list top 10 songs of this combination, and here it goes.
1. Khilte Hain Gul Yahaan of Sharmilee
2. Mere Sapnom Ki Rani of Aradhana
3. Roop Tera Mastana of Aradhana
4. Kora Kaagaz Tha of Aradhana
5. Gaata Rahe Mera Dil of Guide
6. Dil Aaj Shayar Hai of Gambler
7. Phoolon Ke Rang Se of Prem Pujari
8. Jeevan Ke Safar Mein Rahi of Munimji
9. Tere Mere Milan Ki Yeh Raina of Abhimaan
10. Khwab Ho Tum Ya Koi Haqeeqat of Teen Devian
I hope at least half of them match with your choices too.
It’s known to everyone, the successful association of Kishore Kumar with R. D. Burman in the 1970s. But only a few have noticed that his big hits of his career since 1950s were given by none other than S. D. Burman. When most of the leading music directors chose Rafi for leading heroes (except Mukesh for Raj Kapoor) S. D gave equal choices to both Kishore and Rafi, the only music director who did so in the 1950s and 1960s.
It can also be noticed that when most music directors used Rafi’s voice to record Dev Anand songs, S. D. Burman gave maximum songs to Kishore Kumar, and most of his wonderful songs of 1950s and 1960s were pictured on Dev Anand and composed by S. D. In the list of 16 movies given above, 10 of them exclusively belong to Dev Anand and recorded since 1951. May be, R. D used Kishore’s voice to record a couple of songs of Aradhana reserved for Rafi by his father, a myth exists in the industry, S. D gave fewer opportunities to Kishore. But it’s not a truth at all!