Recalling 15 of the best Bollywood songs of Madan Mohan and Mohammed Rafi Combination
Madan Mohan and Mohammed Rafi – the duo gave some memorable songs during 1950s-1970s. Though Madan Mohan is best known for reserving his best songs for Lata Mangeshkar, among all male playback singers, Mohammed Rafi remained his first choice ever. The king of ghazals, most of their combination songs belong to the same genre with melody as the main ‘ingredient’ among all tastes. Through this column I would like to list 15 of the best Bollywood songs of Madan Mohan and Mohammed Rafi Combination. As I am a great fan of 1960s, most of the songs belong to same decade, and has avoided many of their melodies in the 1960s.
1. Tum Jo Mil Gaye Ho from Hanste Zakhm (1973) (Lyricist: Kaifi Azmi)
I would like to begin the list with one of my most favourite Bollywood tracks all time. The song is so close to my heart that while I prepared the list of ‘Best 50 solos of Rafi’, I began that list also with this sensuous Rafi song. What to praise – Madan Mohan’s tune, Kaifi Azmi’s words, music arrangement, soft and sensuous voice of Rafi or those two lines sung by Lata Mangeshkar. I should say Rafi’s voice stood above all. Rafi Saab sang it so differently from other songs experimenting with different ranges for a single track and Madanji’s composing is too amazing – one among his masterpieces, and definitely the best song of Rafi-Madan Mohan combination.
Based on Bhimplasi raga, rain in the background, the song had a soft and marvellous touch. Filmed on Navin Nischol and Priya Rajvansh in a car, it’s unique to watch on screen. The actress has appeared in a series of classic movies composed by Madan Mohan – Heer Ranjha, Haqeeqat etc, with the ghost voice of Lata Mangeshkar in song sequences. I am not sure if this particular song is a solo or duet. But it definitely belongs to Rafi. Lata Mangeshkar sang a few lines only (Two lines of Mukda) only in this lengthy song.
2. Ek Haseen Shyam Ko from Dulhan Ek Raat Ki (1967) (Lyricist: Raja Mehdi Ali Khan)
This lovely song is one among the best romantic solos sung by Rafi for Dharmendra, and this song is special as it’s a Madan Mohan tune. The song shot in the woods also featured actress Nutan. Kisi Ka Kuchh Kho Gaya Hai, picturised on Johnny Walker is yet another Rafi track from the same album.
3. Yun Rootho Na Haseena Meri from Neend Hamari Khwab Tumhare (1966) (Lyricist: Rajendra Krishnan)
The song was filmed on Shashi Kapoor and Nanda, who did a series of movies together in the 1960s. In the 1960s, Mohammed Rafi sang maximum songs for Shashi Kapoor, while he got replaced by Kishore Kumar in the 1970s. Yet Rafi rendered his voice for a few hit songs of Shashi in the 1970s like Janu Meri Jaan for Shaan (1980).
4. Kar Chale Hum Fida from Haqeeqat (1964) (Lyricist: Kaifi Azmi)
As a child whenever I watched this patriotic song on Doordarshan in the late 1980s and early 1990s, I used to feel very sad with some of its scenes. The song is so touching, enough to bring tears to one’s eyes, and also gives a feel of pride about our brave soldiers. A big salute! Haqeeqat is one of the best war films ever made in Hindi cinema, and also best remembered for its lovely songs composed by Madan Mohan. Hindustaan Ki Qasam from Hindustaan Ki Qasam is yet another patriotic song sung by Rafi in Madan Mohan’s music.
5. Main Yeh Soch Kar Uske Dar Se Utha Tha – Haqeeqat (1964) (Lyricist: Kaifi Azmi)
Yet another song dealt with Indian soldiers from the same movie, the touching song was filmed on Sudheer, who played a soldier in the film. It’s one among the three solo tracks of Rafi, the other two songs being Masti Me Chhedke Tarana Koi Dil Ka (filmed on Vijay Anand) and Kar Chale Hum Fida. Masti Me Chhedke Tarana Koi Dil Ka is a very beautiful track and my personal favourite too, and is best noticed for the highlighted use of saxophone, along with violins, accordion etc.
6. Rang Aur Noor Ki Baraat from Ghazal (1964) (Lyricist: Sahir Ludhianvi)
Lata Mangeshkar gave Madan Mohan the title, “Ghazal ka Shehzadaa“, his compositions of Ghazal is an ode to his compositions belonging to Ghazal genre. The song had two solo versions – happy version, Naghma O Sher Ki Saugaat sung by Lata Mangeshkar and the sad version, Rang Aur Noor Ki Baraat of Rafi filmed in the climax at the wedding scene. Both the versions featured Sunil Dutt and Meena Kumari. Ishq Ki Garmiye Jazbaat and Dil Khush Hai Aa are other Rafi solos, while Mujhe Yeh Phool Na De is a duet with Suman Kalyanpur.
7. Aap Ke Pahloo Mein from Mera Saaya (1966) (Lyricist: Raja Mehdi Ali Khan)
First of the mystery trilogies of Raj Khosle – Woh Kaun Thi and Mera Saaya are best known for the stunning performance by Sadhana as a mystery girl, career best songs and haunting melodies of both Madan Mohan and Lata Mangeshkar and magical & romantic lines penned by Raja Mehdi Ali Khan. Both these films are exclusively reserved for Madan Mohan and Lata Mangeshkar when it comes the discussion about its music. But Mera Saaya also included a sad solo of Mohammed Rafi filmed on Sunil Dutt, Aap Ke Pahloo Mein. Truly, Madan Mohan was a master of melodies.
8. Tere Paas Aa Ke Mera Waqt from Neela Aakash (1965) (Lyricist: Raja Mehdi Ali Khan)
Madan Mohan has recorded quite a few duets of Rafi and Asha, and the movie Neela Aakash included three of them including Aap Ko Pyaar Chhupaane Ki Buri Aadat Hai and Tere Paas Aa Ke. Except a Lata solo, Na Aasmaan Na Sitare Fareb Dete Hain, all the songs in female voice exclusively belong to Asha Bhosle. All the duets were filmed on Dharmendra and Mala Sinha.
9. Main Nigahen Tere from Aap Ki Parchhaiyan (1964) (Lyricist: Raja Mehdi Ali Khan)
Dharmendra was not a big star when the movie got released, and the heroine, Supriya Choudhury, a Bengali actress was a less-heard name in Bollywood. Madan Mohan composed two memorable solos for Dharmendra and both got noticed.
10. Yahi Hai Tamanna Tere Dar Ke Samane from Aap Ki Parchhaiyan (1964) (Lyricist: Raja Mehdi Ali Khan)
The song is one among the 10, which got inspired from S. D. Burman’s Thandi Hawayein. This fun filled song pictured on the lead pair, Dharmendra and Supriya Choudhury was a Rafi solo.
11. Tumse Kahoon Ek Baat from Dastak (1970) (Lyricist : Majrooh Sultanpuri)
Throughout his career Madan Mohan struggled to get the recognition which he actually deserved. Though he was extremely talented, his works were mostly unrecognized during his lifetime. While most composers compete to give their best songs for lead male actors, Madan Mohan concentrated on lead heroines, and this could be one reason why he got left behind. Sadly his songs became immensely successful and he got the fame of a celebrity composer only after his death. Dastak is the only film which earned him an award in a career spanning to around 25 years, and it’s so significant as the recognition he earned was National award for best music composer. This Rafi solo was filmed on Sanjeev Kumar and debutant Rehana Sultan who also bagged National awards for best lead actors, a very rare phenomenon.
12. Teri Aankhon Ke Siwa Duniya from Chirag (1969) (Lyricist: Majrooh Sultanpuri)
Madan Mohan has composed some of the finest tunes for Sunil Dutt’s movies, and he preferred Rafi’s voice for recording Dutt’s songs on screen. This particular romantic song filmed on Asha Parekh and Sunil Dutt has not lost its charm even after 5 decades. The first line of Faiz’s poetry ‘Teri Aankhon Ke Siwa Duniya’ was used to pen the lyrics, after obtaining permission from the poet. The song also had a female version in Lata Mangeshkar’s voice.
13. Zameen Se Hamein Aasmaan Par from Adalat (1958) (Lyricist: Rajinder Krishan)
Madan Mohan is best known for reserving his career best songs for Lata Mangeshkar, just as the case of Nayyar for Asha. But there have been rare instances when he used Asha Bhosle’s voice to record a few songs, and in the case of romantic duets, it’s very rare. For the movie Adalat, Madan Mohan used Asha Bhosle’s voice to record both the duets with Rafi – Jab Din Haseen Dil Ho Jawaan and Zameen Se Hamein Aasmaan. This particular romantic song was filmed on Pradeep Kumar and Nargis.
14. Chhadi Re Chhadi from Mausam (1975) (Lyricist: Gulzar)
This national award winning film is one among the last works of Madan Mohan, and the movie was released posthumously. It was the second work of Madan Mohan with Gulzar after Koshish, and both movies starring Sanjeev Kumar in a lead role were critically well-acclaimed. Chhadi Re Chhadi is the single song of Rafi of the album, and it was filmed on Sanjeev Kumar and Sharmila Tagore, and the later received National award for best actress. Lata Mangeshkar rendered her voice for Tagore.
15. Meri Aawaz Suno from Naunihal (1967) (Lyricist: Kaifi Azmi)
The list is incomplete without Rafi’s iconic song, “Meri Aawaz Suno”, which shows the death procession of India’s first PM, Jawaharlal Nehru. Whenever we remember Rafi and his songs, this sad song definitely comes to our mind, and Kaifi Azmi’s lyrics are so intense and powerful to make our hearts melt. Tumhari Zulf Ke Saaye is yet another Rafi solo from the same movie. The movie is about an orphan child Raju who has great admiration towards Nehru.
A few more popular songs of Madan Mohan & Mohammed Rafi combination, not listed above
The duo has only a few memorable songs together. But those works can be categorized as songs dedicated to artistic excellence, which have nothing to do with the commercial element, mass appeal or popularity. Over the years most of the songs achieved classic status, though unfortunately, both were not alive to witness its magic woven in the hearts of millions of music lovers. Both passed away in their middle ages within a gap of 5 years so unexpectedly. Throughout his career Madan Mohan gave preference to create Lata Mangeshkar solos, and most of those films were women-centric too. So, though Rafi has been a part of most of his projects, the best songs were reserved for Lata mostly. Among the actors, he contributed some memorable songs to Dharmendra, Sunil Dutt and Sanjeev Kumar. Here are a few more evergreen songs.
1. Kabhi Tera Daman Na Chhodenge Hum from Neend Hamari Khwab Tumhare
2. Tumhari Zulf Ke Saaye from Naunihal
3. Hindustaan Ki Qasam from Hindustaan Ki Qasam
4. Ye Duniya Yeh Mehfil from Heer Ranjha
5. Meri Duniya Mein Tum Aaye from Heer Ranjha
6. Hoke Majbur Mujhe Usne Bhulaya Hoga from Haqeeqat
7. Masti Me Chhedke Tarana Koi Dil Ka from Haqeeqat
8. Aap Ko Pyaar Chhupaane Ki Buri Aadat Hai from Neela Akash
9. Tujhe Kya Sanam Main Dilruba from Aakhri Daao
Also go through the gallery to read a few more articles about Rafi. Here is the page link. Click on the images to read.