Top 20 Mohammed Rafi Bollywood songs tuned by S. D. Burman
S. D. Burman was one among the most talented and versatile music composer of Hindi cinema in its golden era, and he owns countless evergreen melodies to his credit. In his work front, he gave equal volume of work to both Mohammed Rafi and Kishore Kumar since 1950s, at a time when Kishore Kumar was not a full-fledged singer, but trying his luck to become a successful hero. Through this column let us discuss about some of the finest songs sung by Mohammed Rafi in Sachin Dev Burman’s compositions.
S. D. Burman experimented with the voices of Rafi and Kishore for Dev Anand movies most
Duniya Mein Meri Aaj Andhera from Do Bhai (1947) is perhaps their first song together. Sachin Dev Burman recorded 44 solos in Rafi’s voice versus 52 by Kishore Kumar (as per an online site). S. D. Burman predominantly worked with Dev Anand’s home production in the 1950s, and he mostly recorded Dev Anand’s songs in Kishore Kumar’s voice. It was only in the 1960s he gave more opportunities to Rafi. By that time he started composing several female oriented songs, and recorded mostly in the voice of Lata Mangeshkar. (In the 1950s he frequently worked with Geeta Dutt).
In 1950s and 1960s Kishore Kumar exclusively sang for S. D. Burman if the main actor is Dev Anand, and rarely worked with other composers if the lead actor is not Kishore himself, till he zoomed like a meteor with Aradhana’s success, yet another memorable work of S. D. Burman. Interestingly S. D. experimented with both the voices of Rafi and Kumar for Dev Anand in almost every album since 1950s. Needless to say most of those songs were well received, irrespective of the voice choices. Burman-Rafi duo also gave soulful music to Guru Dutt’s classic movies, Kagaz Ke Phool and Pyaasa.
When Burman da fell suddenly ill while composing the songs of Aradhana, he was supposed to record two solos in Rafi’s voice. When the unfinished work was completed by his son, he used Kishore Kumar’s voice to record those solos, along with a duet aside Lata Mangeshkar. So many felt that S. D was more interested in Rafi’s voice than Kishore’s voice and Aradhana was one among those instances. But if we look back at the list of S. D. Burman’s recorded songs in Kishore’s voice, we can easily understand that it’s not true. See the list of 16 best movies here. Only songs of Aradhana composed by Burman brought Kishore Kumar to limelight for the first time and gave him a new life in Bollywood in a fresh avatar.
Let us leave behind all those discussions and concentrate on to the songs composed by S. D. Burman and Mohammed Rafi. Here I pick 20 of their best songs. I have sorted the songs in alphabetic order.
1. Aaja Panchhi Akela Hai from Nau Do Gyarah (1957) (Lyricist: Majrooh Sultanpuri)
Burman da equally used the voices of Kishore Kumar and Mohammed Rafi to record the songs filmed on Dev Anand, and in many cases, included both their voices in the same album. In fact, Kishore Kumar rarely sang for other actors except Dev Anand, and in most cases, music was composed by S. D. The movie Nau Do Gyarah also had both the voices. Asha Bhosle sang three duets, one with Kishore and rest two with Rafi – Aaja Panchhi Akela Hai and Kali Ke Roop Mein. The movie starred Dev Anand’s wife Kalpana Kartik as female lead.
2. Aise To Na Dekho from Teen Deviyaan (1965) (Lyricist: Majrooh Sultanpuri)
The movie included two solo tracks of Rafi of which the romantic ‘Aise To Na Dekho’ filmed on Dev Anand and Nanda became extremely popular. Other track is Kahin Bekhayal Ho Kar. The movie had three heroines where Dev’ character had to make the choice for his life partner. Burman recorded a few songs for Dev Anand in Kishore Kumar’s voice as well, which was quite common those days.
3. Acha Jee Mein Haari from Kalapani (1958) (Lyricist: Majrooh Sultanpuri)
This ‘Rootna-Manaana’ song was lovely filmed on Dev Anand and Madhubala, and widely regarded as a classic duet. All the songs were recorded in the voices of Rafi and Asha, and it includes one more duet of the duo, “Dilwaale Ab Teri Gali Taq Aa Pahunche“, which was not so popular.
4. Baagon Mein Bahar from Aradhana (1969) (Lyricist: Anand Bakshi)
Whenever the topic of Aradhana’s music comes into discussion Rafi’s name definitely comes up. It is because the songs of Aradhana virtually ended the supremacy of Rafi in Bollywood, and made Kishore Kumar an overnight sensation with two solos, which were originally meant for Rafi. So, indirectly Burman’s compositions paved way for it, though unintentionally. We can’t change the destiny, and leave the discussion here to focus on the beauty of two duets sung by Rafi for the movie – Gunguna Rahi Hai and Baghom Mein Bahar Hai. These songs were recorded by S. D. Burman before he became ill and gave the responsibility to R. D. Burman to complete the work.
In this particular song, Rajesh Khanna tries to get a ‘Yes’ nod from Farida and he finally wins it. Lata Mangeshkar rendered her voice for the single song of the movie filmed on Farida Jalal. It’s said that almost every artist associated with the movie got benefitted with the film except Farida Jalal. Though she played Rajesh Khanna’s lady love in Aradhana and earned recognition for it, she got side lined for supporting roles later.
5. Dil Ka Bhawar from Tere Ghar Ke Samne (1963) (Lyricist: Hasrat Jaipuri)
Mohammed Rafi sang three solos for Dev Anand, and two more duets with Lata Mangeshkar. The song was filmed on Nutan and Dev Anand, who made a lovely pair in the late 1950s and early 1960s. ‘Dil Ka Bhawar‘ song was filmed on the replica of Qutab Minar, as it was not possible to shot the song inside the monument because of narrow steps. But Anand brothers really wanted to shot the movie sequences inside the historic monument.
6. Dil Pukare from Jewel Thief (1967) (Lyricist: Majrooh Sultanpuri)
This extremely romantic duet was filmed on Dev Anand and Vyjayanthimala. It’s the single Rafi track of the entire album, but the sweetest romantic one too. S. D. Burman used the voices of both Kishore Kumar and Mohammed Rafi to record the songs of Dev Anand, right from 1950s, and hence Dev Anand was one among the rare successful actors then, whose voice was not permanently linked with a particular singer, since his screen debut. The female voice is Lata Mangeshkar.
7. Din Dhal Jaaye from Guide (1965) (Lyricist: Shailendra)
After Tere Ghar Ke Samne, Guide is the finest work of S. D. Burman for Dev Anand. While he recorded all songs with Rafi in Tere Ghar Ke Samne, he reserved sad versions of Guide’s track for Rafi. Waheeda Rehman also shares screen space with Dev Anand in this touching solo. Initially the composer recorded a song, ‘Hum Hi Me Thi Na Koi Baat Yaad Na Tumko’ in Rafi’s voice and later replaced it.
8. Gunguna Rahi Hai from Aradhana (1969) (Lyricist: Anand Bakshi)
Gunguna Rahi Hai and Bahom Mein Bahar Hai – both the duets of Rafi are beautiful, filmed on Rajesh Khanna aside Sharmila Tagore and Farida Jalal respectively. The movie included two songs of Rafi, and both are duets. Gunguna Rahi Hai was shot in lovely outdoor locations, and the chemistry between the lead pair makes it a spectacular watch.
9. Hum Aapke Aankhon Mein from Pyaasa (1957) (Lyricist: Sahir Ludhiyanvi)
Geeta Dutt recorded some of her finest duets with Rafi in the 1950s, and all the songs of the movie composed by S. D. Burman were immensely popular. This song was filmed on Guru Dutt and Mala Sinha as a dream sequence, when the ex-lovers meet unexpectedly after a few years of breakup and separation. Two singers finish their lines, each ending with a question ‘How’.
10. Khoya Khoya Chand from Kala Bazar (1960) (Lyricist: Shailendra)
Rafi’s voice well-suited Dev Anand in this particular romantic track, and Waheeda Rehman also features in this song. ‘Uparwala Jaankar Anjaan Hai’ is yet another Rafi solo from the album, with a comic touch.
11. Kya Se Kya Ho Gaya from Guide (1965) (Lyricist: Shailendra)
One among the top songs of the movie starring Dev Anand and Waheeda Rehman, this sad melody can never miss our list. S. D. Burman earned a Filmfare nomination for its compositions, but lost it to SJ’s Suraj. I am a bit confused with Filmfare award list. Guide originally released in February 1965 is listed in Filmfare nominations along with movies released in 1966. I couldn’t find the reason behind it. In fact Guide topped the list of 14th Filmfare Awards held in 1967, winning all the 4 major trophies – best film, director, actor and actress, apart from best dialogues and cinematography. Can any reader tell the reason behind this confusing list?
12. Mera Mann Tera Pyasa from Gambler (1971) (Lyricist: Neeraj)
In the early 1970s, when most of the songs were recorded in Kishore’s voice, a particular track was exclusively reserved for Rafi by S. D. He did the same with Amitabh starrer Abhimaan and a few more movies. This soft solo was featured in the soundtrack of the 2004 film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. In this particular song, Dev Anand symbolically decorates his dream girl using a blue sari and ornaments.
13. Palkon Ke Peeche Se from Talaash (1969) (Lyricist: Majrooh Sultanpuri)
This romantic duet was sung by Rafi and Lata, and filmed on Rajendra Kumar and Sharmila Tagore. Talaash was one of the big expense films in the late 1960s.
14. Tere Bin Soone Nain Hamare from Meri Surat Teri Ankhen (1963) (Lyricist: Shailendra)
This evergreen classic song had two versions – a duet version of Lata Mangeshkar and Mohammed Rafi, and a solo version by Rafi. The duet version featured Asha Parekh and Ashok Kumar. Asha is in search of the person behind the soulful voice and she sings a few lines too. S. D. Burman is best known for incorporating Hindustani and folk music in his compositions, and songs of Meri Surat Teri Ankhen is one among those many instances. Rafi gives full justification to the tunes through his rendition.
15. Tere Ghar Ke Samne from Tere Ghar Ke Samne (1963) (Lyricist: Hasrat Jaipuri)
The song is loved for its tune, rendition, lyrics as well as filming. Nutan appears in the beer glass as an illusion for drunken Dev Anand and also sings along with him in this song. It’s one of the best duets of Mohammed Rafi and Lata Mangeshkar composed by S. D. Burman.
16. Tere Mere Sapne from Guide (1965) (Lyricist: Shailendra)
This soulful melody is really touching and was filmed on Dev Anand and Waheeda Rehman. The movie also included Rafi solos – Kya Se Kya Ho Gaya and Din Dhal Jaaye, and interestingly all these three are sad ones. I included all the three songs in this list. While Rafi’s voice was used by S. D to sing sad and emotional songs, Kishore Kumar’s voice was used to record the single fun & happy filled romantic duet of the entire album, Gaata Rahe Mera Dil. Shailendra wrote all the 10 songs of the album.
17. Teri Bindiya Re from Abhimaan (1973) (Lyricist: Majrooh Sultanpuri)
During his early phase of career, voices of Rafi and Yesudas were frequently used for Amitabh Bachchan, and ‘Teri Bindiya Re’ featuring Bachchan and his wife Jaya Bhaduri is one of the finest songs of Rafi for the superstar. The movie was released soon after the marriage of celebrated star pair. Strange co-incidence, the situation of this particular song is exactly the same, when the pair sings for wedding reception soon after marriage. Interestingly Teri Bindiya Re is the single Rafi track in the entire album. S. D. Burman bagged Filmfare Award for Best Music Director for this movie.
18. Tu Kaha Yeh Bata from Tere Ghar Ke Samne (1963) (Lyricist: Hasrat Jaipuri)
Tere Ghar Ke Samne is one among the rare yet popular works of S. D. Burman for Dev Anand, where he extensively recorded all songs for the actor with Rafi’s voice. Tere Ghar Ke Samne is highly regarded as one among his best works ever. In the song, Dev Anand is in search of his lover and sings this song to find her.
19. Uparwale Jaankar Anjaan Hai from Kala Bazar (1960) (Lyricist: Shailendra)
The song was filmed on a train compartment where Dev Anand sits and sings in the lower compartment while Waheeda Rehman sleeps in the upper compartment. Though Dev flirts Waheeda with this comic number, he convinces everyone that he describes God in heaven (Uparwala) through the ‘philosophical’ lines. All the songs of the movie were penned by Shailendra.
20. Ye Duniya Agar Mil Bhi Jaye from Pyaasa (1957) (Lyricist: Sahil Ludhianvi)
This highly philosophical song telling world’s hypocrisy featured in the film climax in an auditorium had almost all actors of the movie, including Guru Dutt, Rehman, Waheeda Rehman and Mala Sinha. Guru Dutt renders this poem before the audience, who believe him to be a dead poet. The movie also included the iconic Rafi song – Sur Jo Tere Chakaraye, filmed on Johny Walker.
The list is not ending, and a few more
1. Hum Bekhudi Mein Tumko Pukare from Kalapani
2. Deewana Mastana Hua Dil Jaane from Bambai Ki Babu
3. Chupke Se Mile Pyase Pyase from Manzil
4. Jinhen Naaz Hai Hind Par from Pyaasa
5. Dekho Rootha Na Karo from Tere Ghar Ke Samne
6. Sunle Tu Dil Ki Sada from Tere Ghar Ke Samne
7. Dil Mein Ek Jaan E Tamanna Ne from Benazir
8. Akela Hoon Main Is Duniya Mein from Baat Ek Raat Ki
9. Sur Jo Tere Chakaraye from Pyaasa
10. Dekhi Zamane Ki Yari Bichhade Sabhi from Kaagaz Ke Phool
11. Sare Gama from Chupke Chupke
12. Pyar Ki Manzil Mast Safar from Ziddi
13. Janu Kya Mera Dil Ab Kaha Kho from Ziddi
14. Yeh Dil Diwana Hai from Ishq Par Zor Nahin
15. Chand Ka Mukda Kyon Sharmaaya from Insaan Jaag Uda
Conclusion: With the above list of songs it’s pretty clear that most of S. D. Burman’s male singer based songs were filmed on Dev Anand. While songs filled with fun mood were mostly recorded in Kishore Kumar’s voice, S. D. Burman recorded classical based songs in Mohammed Rafi’s voice. Yet we can’t make a clear distinction between both. Rafi has also sung fun filled songs for Dev such as ‘Uparwala Jaankar Anjaan Hai’ and ‘Dil Ka Bhawar’ and romantic songs like ‘Dil Pukare’ and ‘Mera Dil Pyaasa’. Burman da also made use of Rafi’s voice in many realistic films and movies based on social issues and themes. It can also be noticed that S. D. Burman – Dev Anand Jodi can be compared to his contemporary composers, Shankar-Jaikishen who recorded Raj Kapoor’s songs in Mukesh’s voice and Shammi Kapoor’s voice in Rafi’s voice.
Read a few more posts related to Rafi and his songs recorded with different artists and composers. Here is the page link. Click on the images to read.