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A Darker Truth

When anyone mentions Kishore Kumar today, one’s instant reaction is that he was a very famous comedian and then the second most popular reaction would be that he was a great singer. Must say, that is a lot to achieve in a single lifetime. But the truth is that is just the tip of the […]

When anyone mentions Kishore Kumar today, one’s instant reaction is that he was a very famous comedian and then the second most popular reaction would be that he was a great singer. Must say, that is a lot to achieve in a single lifetime. But the truth is that is just the tip of the iceberg. Kishore Kumar was a lot more than that.

Born in 1929 in a Brahmin family, no one had any idea that Kishore Kumar, born Abhas Kumar Ganguly, would ever become the mega star he grew to be. At the tender age of 19, he arrived in the city of dreams to try his luck. His brother Ashok was already an established film actor in Bombay. Naturally, Kishore Kumar too was nudged in the same direction. But what Kishore really wanted was to sing – he idolized Saigal Saab for his enchanting voice and tried to ape him. Though he had never received any training in singing, he went on to become one of the most famous singers the industry has ever seen.

Trying something new and excelling in it came naturally to Kishore. Due to his second wife -Madhubala’s heart condition, his acting career took a slump for 9 crucial years. But he saw this as an opportunity and created some really deep and meaningful movies in the time available.

As a film maker, Kishore’s style was vastly different from that of the jovial comedian that everyone saw. Being a realist to the core, his films were stark and naked – with a strong message and equally strong direction. Very to the point, it made quite a few people uncomfortable. He was labeled as an eccentric and his films were considered as not being commercially viable. But that’s exactly what they were not – he made those films not for main stream success, but for satisfaction.

One of his productions titled Door Gagan Ki Chaaon Mein features him in the title role. The story is that of a soldier, who is anxious to get home after a long and strenuous war only to see that his home has been torched to the ground and the only survivor of this catastrophe is his son who is so badly traumatized that he can’t speak. The movie is about the unspoken bond that the two develop between each other – one which starts of as slow and halting, but gradually becomes the epitome of love and devotion. The film also stars his son Amit and the duo has doe such a beautiful job – it is moving and brings tears to your eyes.

Then who can ever forget Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi – a light hearted comedy of errors which stars all the three brothers – Ashok, Kishore and Anup plus his second wife. In a hilarious and rib cracking comedy, Kishore has exhibited his versatility in direction – he showed everyone that he is not closed to anything.

It is really sad that of the 18 films that he made, only eight saw the light of day and even those were grossly under rated. When it came to expressing himself through films, Kishore Kumar let a deeper, intellectual side of him be seen. Unfortunately, not too many could see that part of him as they were too busy laughing at his antics in other films. If they would have made that effort, they would have seen another facet to this gem of a man.

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190 Responses to “A Darker Truth”

  1. 1
    Bandita Says:

    Kishore Kumar was a great film director.His film Door Gagan ki chaon mein did great business,was a super hit and it also won few awards,including an international one.

  2. 2
    Anuj Says:

    Kishore Kumar-the greatest of all.

  3. 3
    Monty Says:

    KK was a legend, but Rafiji was a legends legend.

  4. 4
    A Singh Says:

    Kishore Kumar is a perfect Leo, who are born fighters. Despite all the ups and downs KK excelled in all fields. The song “Ruk Jaana Nahi Tu Kabhi Haar Ke” portrays KK’s own struggle the best. LP give KK a master piece, which is remembered till date.

  5. 5
    Messi Says:

    Nice Article. One info, I think Kishore Saheb came to bombay at 18 and not 19.
    Am I right ?

    Yeah Monty, you are right. Both Rafi and Kishore were legends of Indian Cinema.

  6. 6
    Ramesh Says:

    A true genius and an allrounder as a film maker.
    For varitey of reasons he was always under estimated-appreciated.

  7. 7
    unknow1 Says:

    A singh I gree with u that LP gave master piece to KK and they gave to Mukesh,Lata and many other and best was with Mohd Rafi as I think…..

  8. 8
    Anuj Says:

    Kishoreda is the all time greatest-much much greater than Rafi,Lata,Asha and all.His popularity is phenomenon.His directed films were too good.

  9. 9
    Monty Says:

    This is not true, KK can’t be greater than Rafiji, Lataji or Ashaji. Agree, KK was a good singer, but not the best. Further more, movies he acted were boring and storyless.

  10. 10
    Tim Says:

    I love Kishore Kumar’s movies and like to listen to his songs. I like the films where Mohammed Rafi has sung and love to listen to his songs. Well, I would like to love Kishore Kumar’s songs. However, like others, I do not liken one to another, just like to listen to what I love and what I like. No one of their likes will ever be born. Hope you will like this.

  11. 11
    Anuj Says:

    Movies acted by Kishoreji were all time hits,you cowdunge Monty.Kishoreji is much much greater than Rafi,Lata,Asha.People of all generations like one singer only,that’s Kishoreji.Kishore Kumar’s populaity is so high,that no one can reach it or have reached it ever.Administrator,remove the above comment.

  12. 12
    Anuj Says:

    Undoubtedly Kishore Kumar is the all time greatest singer.

  13. 13
    binu nair Says:

    Dear Anuj…

    Above is your personal view which we do not agree to…

    Rafi & Lata will remain the “biggest and greatest singers”
    of the hindi playback scene… A huge majority accepts this..

    And, then comes Asha & Kishore……..

    Kishore Kumar we love as an actor, comedian, SINGER &
    some times putting in a few good lyrics and tunes…

    In short Jack of all trades….. and a very gifted and rare singer,
    I bet.

    binu nair….

  14. 14
    A Singh Says:

    Another master piece from LP for KK is the song from ‘Mr India’, ‘Zindagi Ki Yahi Reet Hai Haar Ke Baad Hee Jeet Hai’. The song was released just a months before his death, conveying a message to world the one should be disheartened in life due to failures because there is always success to follow after that. So one should always keep trying never give up in life.

  15. 15
    Manish Kumar Says:

    I disagree with the opening of the article. KK is MUCH MUCH MORE famous as singer than as actor. Also, KK >>> Asha. KK’s version of O Saathi Re, Zindagi Ek Safar, etc. Lata ~ Rafi > KK >>> Asha

  16. 16
    Anuj Says:

    Rafi,Lata,Asha were good singers,but Kishore Kumar is the greatest.You can check in any music shop,you will see Kishore’s cds and cassettes sell much much more that all Rafis and Latas collectively.A huge majority has accepted that Kishore Kumar is the best,Rafi’s and Lata’s popularity is in decline,while Kishoreji’s popularity remians intact and will remain intact forever.

  17. 17
    binu nair Says:


    Dear : Please wake up… U r in your dreammmmm..s

    mohd rafi and lata are the best in the business; KK is a
    late comer in to big time singing; and rafi – lata will rule
    music hearts till the last day long since we are all gone…

    binu nair

  18. 18
    Monty Says:

    Unbelievable that Kishore Kumar was greatest than Rafiji, Lataji and/or Ashaji, doesn’t exist at all.

  19. 19
    unknow1 Says:

    Dear Anuj,
    I don’t know which shop u r speaking about,I think u can get more Sonu cassettes than KK.Lata Ji got Bharat Ratna award and Mohd Rafi God award.(how)why u kk fan don’t want to KK has Bharat Ranta award!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Lata ji was a good singer where is she now?because that she had award from human but Mohd Rafi got award from the God because when u went from this world he was at top that is the God award to Mohd Rafi

  20. 20
    Manish Kumar Says:

    You guys lured me into making comparisons here when it shouldn’t be here. I’m at fault but only partially. Any way, I’ll stop comparisons now and try to remember.

    I think you’re right to say that KK is more popular among the youth. IMO, the mid mid 60s was a border between classics versus “modern songs”. “Modern” songs did not require TRADITIONAL background in classical music and this is the era that KK hit the waves.

    KK is still popular today because he was the first modern singer. I’m more familiar with 1980 Rafi than peak Rafi because 1980 Rafi like KK had become modern (he was so versatile). Additionally, the compositions of RDB were excellent and modern. Finally, KK was THE VOICE for a superstar still ACTIVELY KNOWN today by fans – Amitabh Bachchan. People still remember Bachchan and so immediately they must remember KK. Its’ funny that in so many Amitabh Bachchan movies the song itself gets at least a third of the trailer – some movies KK made famous, not AB. The two needed each other.

  21. 21
    Manish Kumar Says:

    One thing more I wanted to say is that the “modern” era is now dying, we’re really hitting the “western era” where we just copy the inferior music of America (mind you, I was born and raised in USA but my origins are from Banaras) and have random, trashy MTV music videos incoherently in the middle of a movie (was there ever a song in Sholay that didn’t fit with the story?).

    The modern ERA is over and it is a threat to KK amongst the next generation. Of course his everlasting voice will remain for over a 100 years, but it will not always get the same due appreciation it deserves.

    The last great modern singer was Udit Narayan (remember his career started 29 years ago). The modern era in my terms was from 1965-200?. That’s a long period. I’ll miss it. I hate today’s songs like “Dus Bahane.”

  22. 22
    Rajesh Says:

    Kishore Kumar is GOD,there is no doubt in it.I am his blind fan,like millions of others.He was,is and will remain the greatest singer,entertainer,live performer and comic hero of all times.

  23. 23
    binu nair Says:

    Anuj : Pl. dont use works like cowdunge to writers here; it shows
    your class and your lack of arguments…..
    Please prove by statistics without losing your cool…..

  24. 24
    Messi Says:

    Hehehe !!! it seems unknow1 prefers sonu over kishore. whatta choice.
    I can accept someone prefers rafi over kishore or mukesh over rafi
    but sonu over kishore ?

    whatta choice !!!

  25. 25
    Messi Says:

    Yes Manish,

    Udit is one of the bests in current generation. I like Kay Kay, Kailash
    Kher, Abhijeet and then the list goes on. But now a days songs are first
    then the singers. They don’t have capabilities to make a good song a
    great song but old singers had.

  26. 26
    Manish Kumar Says:

    “and then the list goes on…” I disagree. When I say that a modern singer today could be in the same league (but not as good) as past greats, I refer ONLY to Udit Narayan or Alka Yagnik. These two have been in the business since 1979 and have proven themselves time and time after again. As soon as you mention anyone else e.g. Abhijeet (love his personality and some songs but he is not as great as Udit or Alka Yagnik) then my statement even by me becomes rubbish.

    I do believe that Udit Narayan or Alka Yagnik can take an ordinary rendition and make it great with amazing voice and sheer magic. I loved Udit Narayan’s “Mai Yaha Hoon” from Veer Zaara or Alka Yagnik’s “Tu Shayar Hai” from Saajan. These guys aren’t as great as Rafi or Lata (who are like suns in just sheer output and dominance of career) but they are great nevertheless.

    India is very lucky to have a long rich tradition of amazing vocalists and I try to appreciate what we have. If I ever liked Mohd Rafi, it was never because of his legendary status but more because his voice was so amazing (among other things). It is inappropriate to compare or put a price on a legend because his niche is irreplaceable and thus you can’t put a price on it (no one could have replaced Mukesh but IMO he wasn’t a versatile singer).

    Yes, Asha Bhosle was a great singer highly trained, very versatile, legend. How many female singers had the guts to do a mirror qawali with Rafi in HKKN or do Kishore’s yodel in Sharabi? However, her intrinsic voice is not one of my favorites. That’s very important, however subjective it may be. I like Alka Yagnik’s voice better and feel that if Alka Yagnik had been around in the times of Asha’s MDs, she would have fared better too. That’s just me.

  27. 27
    Manish Kumar Says:

    Yet of course, just because I like Rafi more than KK, doesn’t mean I’d want to lose KK. I do love KK! Same with Asha Bhosle. Some of her duets with Rafi were inimitable.

  28. 28
    Bapan Says:

    Kishoreda is the greatest singer.The most funny thing is that,whenever I write that Kishoreda is the greatest in http://www.mohdrafi.com ,they don’t have the guts to publish the truth.But the administrator here is much lenient.They must be careful and should delete the posts of brats like unknown 1 and Hussein Shekh.

  29. 29
    Arindom Says:

    Just going through the comparison… It is totally unfair.. They are two legends of two different gharans..Neither you can Ignore KK & nor Rafi.. & Surprise to see that nobody has ever soughting for the lyricist these two Maestro had at those time.. it is still remembered & without these unforgettable Lyrics Probably these two could not be there where they are today even long after their journeyto the eternal world..

  30. 30
    binu nair Says:


    Many facts taken together make up the t r u t h………

    Mohd Rafi SAHEB leads all the way in – any genre of songs from
    1946 on wards.. up to 1980…… Pl. check the all the facts .. . I am
    talking of playback singing…

    And censorship will not work here as you have suggested… above…

    Please win the debate by points…. and not by vague single point
    lines or words….

    Look forward to a healthy debate ….

    binus 2000

  31. 31
    Bapan Says:

    Rafi is not even 1% of Kishore Kumar.Kishoreda is better than Rafi in each and every department.Kishoreda was the no 1 singer from 1969 to 1987,also he is the greatest comic hero,genius of all times.

  32. 32
    akmal jhangvi Says:

    dear bapan
    you are absolutely right.
    get out rafi from history and india will fall down in seconds.
    if u excell kishore, no damage will be done.
    in paksitan, there is only rafi and lata are best sellers according to votings.
    there is no comparison with kishore and rafi.
    rafi was father and others are baby

  33. 33
    myk Says:


    Talking about Modern singers, IMO Rafi was the first modern singer then the rest followed. You mentioned the mid 60’s as the cut off line, before that just an example, S-J created waves of modern music and they changed the trend along with Rafi. After that (into the mid sixties), more modern music emerged and Rafi was again right there. After this the RD-KK partnership came in and that brought another change, and Rafi was right there as well.

    Its amazing that Rafi changed with the times for four plus decades, 40’s, 50’s, 60’s 70’s right into the 80’s, now that for me is MODERN.

  34. 34
    binu nair Says:

    Bapan Jule 11 Post:
    Small children : age 5 years and below will believe your 1%
    story.. others will laugh.. and term you a real lunatic so do not
    repead this in an open forum…You may shout this in your bathroom
    it will not do you much harm…
    And know some facts about RAFI SAAB .. . he started singing
    from 1943 onwards up to 1980 that is 37 years…..
    your favourite singer of 99 percent was a comedian for the better
    part of this term….and he had a hoarse voice ….. hence had to
    wait for 27 years when Rafi saab shining like a meteor in the
    industry…. But your eyes are jaundiced and your views and
    ears prejudiced …. hence u will not accept these facts…..
    It is like playing a melodious tune before a buffaloe..
    binu nair

  35. 35
    Sanjay Says:

    hoarse is defintely not the right word to describe kishore kumar

  36. 36
    Monty Says:

    Rafiji’s voice is a pure gold, nothing can be changed.

  37. 37
    Vinod Says:

    i am not comparing any singers of the past. as for the present lot less said the better. Whether it is rafi or kishoreda, both have their own charm. As kishoreda is concerned, the versatility of the genius is unparalled. This is the truth. whether anyone likes it or not. Just listen to range of songs available. Be it emotional,comic,romantic,fun or any genre. The greatest aspect of all this is kishoreda was not a trained classical singer. And still this genius sang some of the most difficult ragas with complete ease. A fact that has been acknowledged by the great manna dey himself. Hope that settles the argument.

  38. 38
    Shoeb Says:


    Will you be able to add ghazals and qawwalis to this list to explain Kishore’s versatality and range? I don’t think so. So the argument is far from settled.

  39. 39
    Vinod Says:


    I don’t know if any one had approached kishore for singing qawwalis or ghazals. but why are we fighting for these great singers, when they never fought in their lifetime. in fact kishore had requested rafi to play back for him in some movies. when they had not egos why are we having one. they were both incredible singers with unforgetable numbers left behind. frankly I like both of them. and add mukesh,hemant kumar, and manna dey as well to that list.

  40. 40
    binu nair Says:

    Dear vinod

    Good one….u are right…. let mad fools see the light of the day and
    atleast dont compare singers…

    And what about Talat and Saighal ? great individuals and singers.
    hear them in a lonely room or at a hilly surrounding once and pls
    revert to me…

    binu nair binus2000@hotmail.com

  41. 41
    Vspi Says:

    Monty & Binu, You guys get your facts right- Kishoreda was, is and wud remain the greatest singer this universe has ever or will ever create. When Kishoreda came on the scene in late 60s the industry was ruled by Rafi, Mukesh etc. and after that there was no stopping him. What with the gems that Kishoreda produced for S D Burman, Salil Chowdhry, Hemant Kumar, Pancham, Rakesh Roshan, Kalyanji Anandji, Bappi Lahiri etc.
    He had completely dethroned rafi. Listen to the same song sung by both “tum bin jaaon kahan…” and u’ll understand the diff or for that matter the song by Kishoreda, Asha & Rafi (Doosra Aadmi) where such a lovely song sung by KK & Asha is completely spoilt by rafi’s part in the end.
    Kishoreda apart from K L Saigal has been the only singer who’s died at his peak, the singer who wud command and get the highest price per song, He was the voice of the superstars (Dev Anand, Rajesh Khanna, Amitabh Bachchan, Randhir Kapoor, Dharmendra, Rishi Kapoor, Sanjeev Kumar, Shashi Kapoor, Anil Kapoor et al) other singers wud’ve sung some of their songs, but their well known ones wud be only Kishoreda’s. Pancham the most loved, respected and remembered MD had majority of his songs sung by Kishoreda. Unlike others Kishoreda wud sing from his heart.

  42. 42
    A Singh Says:

    >>He had completely dethroned rafi. Listen to the same song sung by both “tum bin jaaon kahan…”

    Because the Sad version of “Tum Bin Jaaon Kahan” sung by Rafi is unreleased but appears in the film. Possibly things could have been different if the sad version sung by rafi was also released.

    >>Asha & Rafi (Doosra Aadmi) where such a lovely song sung by KK &
    Asha is completely spoilt by rafi’s part in the end.

    Possibly you are refering to the song “Kya Mausam Hai”. First of all improve your knowledge. It is Lata not Asha. Secondly using Rafi was the end part which is totally different from the rest of the song is the music composers Rajesh Roshan choice. Why? Because the scale at which Rafi operated in that song, it was impossible for KK or any other singer to deliver.

  43. 43
    Vinod Says:

    hello everybody,

    I am sad to see some of the posts on this website. stop comparing these great singers. they were divine souls. the fact of the matter is each singer had their individual brilliance and greatness. as for kishore’s voice being hoarse, the person who has written it does not how to diffrentiate a voice. kishore was unparalled in voice modulation. plus he always added his own bit to a song to make it sound better. just listen to the song tum bin jaon kahan sung by rafi and kishore. the song sung by kishore is more popular. kishore was multi talented person. in the initial stages of his career he was more of actor singer. it was only after aradhana that he became a full fledged singer. Plus it was he who created super stars like rahesh khanna and amitabh. without his voice they would have been duds. tell me one song whic one can easily remember from a rajesh or amitabh film. stop comparing these great singers. they were the pillars of the film and music industry.

  44. 44
    GM Ally Says:

    I find all the argument regarding the comparisons between Mohammad Rafi and Kishore Kumar. KK came to prominnece ONLY after the so called decline of MR. Before that very few people took KK seriuosly perhaps not even KK himself. If he did become popular it was because the likes of Talat Mahmood Mukesh etc. were not around. KK WAS popular but that does not make him Great. McDonald is very popular but that does not make it cordon blue. If comparisons were to be made the whole aspect of issues should be taken into consideration not just a few moments in time.
    How many bhajans, how many ghazals, how many qawals so on and so on have bothe singers sung? Lets compare the songs themselves and see if there can be any similarities. Any Tom Dick and Harry can sing a lot of the most popular songs those two sang but when it comes to the real stuff this is where the difference makes itself apparent.
    KK’s Dukhi man mere was a nice and beautiful song and there are a few other songs which would rate very high. Mere naseeb mein aye dost tera pyar is another example but als for KK there were few and very far apart.
    Someone mentioned that KK sang from the heart, that may be so but MR sang from the soul. He was not the FAVOURITE of ALL the musician for nothing. I could mention MR’s songs that are as great today as they were 60 odd years ago but I would only ask that we must know what we are talking about before we start making comparison especially between two very different charcters.
    I await your responses.


  45. 45
    eskayes Says:

    I am visiting this site after more than a year…And, what a pleasant surprise!!!..This place is rocking…

    I am an ardent Kishore fan and as such, I can find nothing wrong with his art and achievements….if what he could do and achieve were attainable by any lesser mortal…wishes would have been horses, as they say…

    Who is a better singer….Kishore or Rafi?

    I am not surprised at this debate at all….I have seen and even been part of several such discussions right from the days one started to appreciate hindi music…while the two were still around and panning out those memorable songs…I find nothing wrong with attempts to compare, they are bound to take place, it takes place in every walk of life…But to me, the fact is that this comparison is odious…both of them had their own realm of singing abilities…and so had some of the others like Manna Dey and Mukesh…anyway, this is not what I wanted to dwell on…

    What surprises me is the way some people have chosen to put down the other to accentuate their point…and there lies the crux of the issue…mark the words “accentuate their points”…it is only one’s limited horizons of mind and ability to synthesise a comprehension, that one would resort to something like this…that is to put down the other so that their point could be seen clear and loud…All I can say is if one unleashes the potential of one’s logic and expands the horizons of one’s mind, this discussion could be far meaningful and healthy…

  46. 46
    Mo Says:

    We should be glad we were lucky to hear Kishore, Rafi, Lata, Mukesh and Asha.

  47. 47
    Abhishek Says:

    Kishoreda is the greatest all-round genius ever born.

  48. 48
    BOND007 Says:

    One thing is for sure Popularity does not come without talent, there are no fools to make Kishore number ONE for 2 decades. He swept all good songs making Rafi to look his face in mirror twice before singing.

    Come on every actor/producer/director/music director wanted Kishore … WHY ? because had the talent and knew if kishore sings the song would be hit. And its true coz public demand. I am sure there might 10% of fools and not majority of Indians.

    Why Dev Anand /Rajesh Khanna/Amitabh/ and many young stars at that time wanted Kishore because he was good, I am sure they did not do a mistake by choosing kishore. They became Popular and to carry that image they wanted only Kishore to sing.

    Rafi supports I am sorry to say rafi was beaten from all ends by kishore, history cannot be redone, Kishore outclassed Rafi in all singing departments and that is why Kishore was number one for 2 decades till his death. I am sure after reading this you cannot deny the fact. If you guys still want to argue then I am really sorry its like ” What does Monkey know a smell of Jasime”. God has made few people whose brains cannot think or understand beyond its limit.

  49. 49
    Jane francis Says:

    I’m an American relatively new to Bollywood music but the automatic affinity was for something I liked Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi. I had never seen anything like it! So here I am on this site dedicated to KK’s birthday and I’ve learned so much reading these comments. I want to comment on a much earlier opinion about the “inferior western music” used in modern Indian films today. I agree. It’s often irrelevant and this “music” honestly so easy to create. I know because I’m a composer and have loads of modern gadgets for making music on a computer. I don’t mean Kuch Kuch Hota Hai etc, but now that violence has become popular, the music seems to sink to an equally mundane level. Hopefully this will just be a phase. I have turned to older Indian movies because I often can’t stomach the western “in your face” idea of entertainment. If anyone has any classic movie recommendations please feel free to send them to me!
    PS Cheers to ALL brilliant Bollywood playback singers/actors!

  50. 50
    Abhisek Says:

    Kishoreda is ofcourse the king of all trades,the boss.THE GREATEST SINGER,ACTOR AND VERSATILE GENIUS IN THE UNIVERSE.He could modulate his voice,the expressions he had are best of all times.He sang each and every type of song in all languages.His range is best.Also his heroism in voice.

  51. 51
    manju mukes hpandya Says:

    kishorji not was but is unmachable legend of the universe.this type of the person are never die.

  52. 52
    manju mukes hpandya Says:

    kishorji was not but is great allrounder KALAKAR

  53. 53
    Akshay Says:

    Kishore Kumar is better than Rafi any day!

  54. 54
    ztas77 Says:

    Somebody had quoted “God has made few people whose brains cannot think or understand beyond its limit” I would like to applaud this person’s intellectual statement! Shame this person doesn’t realize their talking about them self and of others like them.

    No doubt Kishore was a really a good singer as I am a Kishore fan myself, but if one really knows about the History of Bollywood music, it doesn’t really take alot of brain cells to conclude which male singer really stood out from the rest.

    Quote ” Kishore outclassed Rafi in ALL singing departments ”

    Was it April the 1st! – You are having a laugh! – If you list all the type of singing DEPARTMENTS as follows :-


    The FACT is that Rafi has had HITS in every one of these SINGING DEPARTMENTS over Kishore. Research for yourself if you don’t believe me.
    One example, why did Kishore’s prodijay RD Burman, had more QAWALI hits with Rafi than Kishore. Qawalli was not Kishore’s cup of tea!

    Another example in the film Haathi mere Saathi – LP had to resort to Rafi to sing “Nafarat Ki Duniya” as Kishore tried and was unable to capture the deep emotion to the song as the way Rafi did.

    Kishore’s “Pag ghunghroo baandh” from Namak Halal, Bapphi Lahari had to use someone else on “sa sa sa pa pa ……” as Kishore was unable to do this. On Rafi’s “Maduban Ki” from Khoinoor, Rafi could do this no problem!

    Quote” Kishore was number one for 2 decades ”

    Everyone SHOULD know that Rafi made a comeback in the early late seventies to revial with Kishore’s number one spot. In 1980 the year Rafi passed away, Rafi did have more hits than Kishore, it was even evident in the Filmfare awards for 1980 when Rafi had 3 nominations over Kishore’s 2. Despite Kishore had won it with “Hazaar raahen mudke dekheen”, a Cleary biased vote to a song that one hardly ever hears on the radio compared to Rafi nominated songs which are heard more frequently!
    Therefore when Rafi passed away that year that was opened ground to Kishore with no revial competition.

    Why did it take Kishore 20 years to take him to the top as compared to Rafi, which took him less than half.

    Rafi has worked with more music directors than Kishore.

    Rafi has playback for Kishore in a few films.

    Rafi has sung in more different languages than kishore.

    Rafi had the ability to hit from a high pitch to a low pitch (vice versa) better than any other singer to date!! Even Asha Boshle had acknowledged this!

    Its well known that Kishore’s main prodijay was RD. RD tunes had a major influence over the 70’s generation with his trendy catchy tunes which happened to have Kishore as his main singer, so naturally this puts Kishore further into the limelight. However RD’s rise to fame was with “Teersi Manzil” with Rafi as his main singer, where was Kishore singing talents at that time??

    Did Kishore have a filmfare award together with a National award with an RD number. Can somebody confirm this? Rafi did with “Kya huwa tera vaada”.

    Please be aware I am NOT having a go at Kishore da himself, its towards short minded people who do not nothing about the talents of other great singers. I prefer Lata’s voice over Asha’s but I have to admit Asha was more versatile than Lata.

    Its so obvious that the media over exposes RD Burman, no doubt a musical genius in his own right but there were other great musicians as well who hardly get mentioned for their great works. As for RD’s exposure, Kishore is also highlighted as RD was Kishore’s ground foundation to the limelight.
    Sonu Nigaam quoted, he was told at times to sing like Kishore and not Rafi. Why? Who are they trying to protect?

    Kishore himself as with Mukesh and many other singers of those days were admirers of Rafi to the extent when Kishore would often as a tribute sing a Rafi number at his live concerts. Now what does that does that tell you how Kishore respected Rafi!

  55. 55
    binu nair Says:

    Why do some writers write in one liners only? Do they lack
    content or are they really handicapped in writing good prose.
    I think they are youngsters wanting to pass some of their ‘free time’
    since they are not aware that Kishore da and rafi saab enjoyed the
    best of relations in real life… and many more facts of life and music.

    Binu Nair.

  56. 56
    Adnan Hussain Gakhar Says:

    No doubt I like Kishore G very much. He was a legend. He was a school within himself. He was the ideal singer of all song lovers. But isn’t it a bit unjust not to appreciate Muhammad Rafi??? Kishore was given a great prize that he deserved. . . . He deserved more than that. Once again let me say with the top of my lungs that Rafi also deserved some if not many. His song “O dunia k rakwalay sun dard bharay meray nalay. . . . . ” was considered the “sir mor” of hindi songs.

  57. 57
    farida Says:

    I think we should stop arguing about the best or the worst because the fact of the matter is ‘pasand apni apni and khyal apna apna’.Ask yourselves this question Who is still in the lime light after so many years? Who has the younger generation singing his songs and who has a tv show at peak times called K for Kishore.You be the judge.

  58. 58
    Dipak Says:

    Kishore Kumar had a voice which was unique and flexible than Rafi.Rafi did have a pure classically trained voice.Kishore Kumar song with a lot of energy and drive (feeling) and Rafi sang with with emotions.Two completely different singers and methods of singing .

  59. 59
    Dipak Says:

    I think we should thank god that both Kishore and Rafi left a unique mark on Indian Hindi music .Today whenever we get enough of today`s music we can go back to the huge library of music covering almost all human emotion espcially love ,sadness ,happy days and memory of days gone by.I must say Kishore had two advantage over Rafi he lived seven years more and more importantly the music\ singing sounds like the today`s music and unique sound created by R.D.Burman which people only realise now.

  60. 60
    Dipaki Says:

    In my humble opionion Rafi-Lata were well matched in singing style and pure sound created

  61. 61
    Dipak Says:

    In my humble opionion Rafi-Lata were very well matched especially if you listen to 1950-1960 music .Same goes with classical songs sang by this pair.However Kishore Kumar-Asha generated a lot of high energy sound which is has been around since the 1970`s.Even today`s dhol based Punjabi sounds of the past ten years could match upto to KK-Asha R.D Burham era .I was thinking tea as Rafi-Lata (music and sugar) and Coffee as Kishore Kumar with Asha (cream and sugar) both different yet enjoyed by millions around the world..no single monopoly.

  62. 62
    Dipak Says:

    I must say the people who were born during the 1940/1950 and 1960`s might remember more of Rafi sounds when his was the King.However people born after 1960s onwards would likely to have listen to Kishore a lot more .Kishore had a monoply due to high demand for his singing style from 1970 onwards.

  63. 63
    Dipak Says:

    I remember even in the single household like our (1960-1970) there great differences in musically taste my father and uncle liked Raj Kapoor films and so also favoured Mukesh no matter what song or hero he was singing for.My younger uncle and myself preferred Rafi and Kishore Kumar (Rajesh khanna had just started to get popular ).My younger uncle always said romatic songs and classical belong to Rafi and Kishore can have the nu-style or sad songs.

  64. 64
    Dipak Says:

    I remember Kishore did create a happy go lucky sounds especially when the 1960`s ended and Muskesh (not so much Rafi) stopped singing depressing sad songs that my father liked….New Kishore Kumar era was like the Beatle Sounds of the 1960`s upbeat…easy on the ear…..Punjabi sound had just ended and the Bengali sound had just been taken up by the masses…if you go by singers and music directors from 1940/1950/1960 to 1970`s.

  65. 65
    Dipak Says:

    I think we should not give too much attention to Kishore Kumar memorial.Kishore Kumar`s high energy upbeat singing wih Asha and R.D Burham will last as longer as there demand for good Hindi music.

  66. 66
    Dipak Says:

    One major difference in music today (available 24/7 via digital gadgets and yes sounds digital at times..and the late 1960`s when Radio,records and tape recorder were the only means of listening to your favorite songs often only one to a household and often shared with the company of friends or neighbours.The decline of good music with passing of Mukesh and Rafi began with the V.C.R …in the Homes (at the same time many song writers and Music Directors had past away or no longer created Film music…It was sad but true that Pankaj udhas and friends…took over since Kishore Kumar..(last of the three Great singer)finally said good bye…1987…

  67. 67
    Dipak Says:

    Yes finally the daar roti singing has been replaced by fast food..listen now and forget by the time you go home from the Cinema….

  68. 68
    Dipak Says:

    My only regret in life as far as music is concerned is not to see the last Kishore Kumar show in London…I did have a chance to see his son Amit but it was not the same…Amit was not the same as his father .In the second half of the show Kavita krisnamuthy come to sing as Amit had too must too drink..poor Faguni Patak had to come and sing with Amit forgetting his line and holding his song book upside down.

  69. 69
    Dipak Says:

    As Kishore Kumar fan I will never say than Rafi (greatest singer fan or no even KK commented )was in any way worse than KK.Rafi`s luck ran out in the 1970 as (S.D and R.D Burman) started creating sounds with Kishore….Rafi did shine even in the 1970`s and yes he could have some sang KK songs better…but we will never know..26,000 for Rafi Saab is a great deal of achievement by any means ….KK got it right when he sang Yeh jo Public hey yeh sab jante hey …..

  70. 70
    Dipak Says:

    Please any more comments from KK fans…I am feeling lonely…

  71. 71
    Dipak Says:

    I clearly remember wheather it was Rafi or Kishore Kumar in the early Rajesh Khanna times people really wanted to hear those songs again and again.sometime only went Cinema to hear those songs(college kids use to sing them to impress their girlfriends) especially man …..as a ten year old I can only comment that Rafi songs were easy to sing than Kishore Kumar who had a mid range nasal voice which was hard to keep for long….Rafi has a Pure Voice just like lata…..(ladies found hard to sing like Lata).

  72. 72
    Dipak Says:

    I must say that Rafi was excellent alway putting in that 100 per effort around the 1979/1980 he sounded tired..(maybe it was god`s way was saying his time had come).Rafi`s time from 1940`s to 1980 is a long time to keep up singing songs.Kishore Kumar often had some second rated songs..from 1985..on wards L-P were having problems with Lata and R.D Burman was producing slow sounding music (listen to Kumar Gaver films).This also the time T-Seriers began producing old music with Kumar Sanu and Sonu Nigam….It was not surprise that Kishore Kumar was tired of Bombay music scene since majority of his fellow singers (friendsboth Rafi and Mukesh)had died and therefore he wanted to go his home town…..

  73. 73
    Manish Kumar Says:

    Dipak: Mohd Rafi’s voice was more melodious & flexible than Kishore Kumar’s. Mohd Rafi did not sound tired in 1979 or 1980 when he left he left while #1.

  74. 74
    Mast Mast Says:

    # Manish Kumar Says:
    January 23rd, 2008 at 10:01 am

    Mohd Rafi’s voice was more melodious & flexible than Kishore Kumar’s. Mohd Rafi did not sound tired in 1979 or 1980 when he left he left while #1.

    After all the writeups you did, Manish bhai you did end up comparing the legends. Didn’t you? 😀

  75. 75
    Dipak Says:

    Rafi might have not sounded tired towards the end but listen to the songs from 1979/1980 I still say voice did not have the smooth quality from 1960`s.Rafi voice was more flexible but only in singing range from very low to high pitch.K.K had a limited mid range voice but alway manage to sing in tune wheather high or low notes were applied to songs.It is claerly the known fact that Kishore da ruled the music scene from 1970-1987…Rafi could not have been no1when he died.Just look at Kishore da`s output during this time Rafi had limited takers in the film Industry.

  76. 76
    Dipak Says:

    In my humble opionion Rafi`s songs did have deep feeling,pure clear voice with deep expression that so many 1950/60`s film heros suited(Punjabi).Kishore Kumar created a unique sound with limited voice range and without classical background still managed to to stay in tune….It is also a well know fact that Kishore alway completed a song faster and also alway in tune (Menna Dey).With Kishore Kumar a `fun`was created with R.D.Burman mixing Western Jazz,Spanish and sometimes Arabic music….only If we go by number of songs recorded alone than Rafi is no1 no doubt…..(I think both K.K and Menna Dey agreed that Rafi was the king)….I only recently read.

  77. 77
    Dipak Says:

    I have listen to songs by Rafi in the 1960`s such as `Neel Kamal` `Waqt` and `Junglee`that sounded pure ,clear and smooth..almost silky…compared with `Kranti` and `Sargam`from the 1970 and there a clear different in voice plus the fact even Rafi`s Live Concern recording show some of the tireness….I must say similar think can be said about Kishore when he must have been tired singing boring Disco numbers Bappi da kept bring out.

  78. 78
    Dipak Says:

    It is really ashame that during the 1970`s there more films made with multiple heros however the film makers only managed to record a few films with Rafi,Kishore and Mukesh (I must say being a Kishore fan that Rafi alway managed to sound some how better than Kishore if you take `Dostana`,`Kranti`and `Amar Arkbar Anthony`Kishore had to have tired harder to deliver the punch in his sur…..(producers were probably looking at junior singers to cut corners if Rafi or Kishore Kumar was already singing for the hero of the film.

  79. 79
    Dipak Says:

    I am alway surprised at what is popular espcially since re-mix and young ,mini skirted ladies started dancing to R.D.Burman tunes….I remember well that the the 1970-1980 belong mainly to S.D – R.D.Burman (who started getting interested in music with L-P in` Dosti`playing mouth organ) and L-P .However since Laxikant died Pulic have forgotten their contribution except for a number of songs often played in the Music Channel to represent a singer or Hero.

  80. 80
    Manish Kumar Says:

    yes mast mast ji – i did and i’m not entirely happy about it. but at least i (hope) i wasn’t disrespectful. to me it is like kishore was a tall mountain – mount kilamanjaro. but mohammed rafi to me was the mount everest of singing. both are very tall mountains! mohd rafi’s spectrum had no bounds.

  81. 81
    Dipak Says:

    People talk of Punjabi contribution (music directors ranging from Nausad to Madan Mohan) or Bengali contribution(S.D-R.D. Burman ).We aslo Gujrati contibution which produced the likes of Shanker Jaikrishan,Kalyalji Andandji and Lamxikant Pyaralal .L-P especially Laxmikant that the greatest music directors were Shanker Jaikrishan they were the most flexible (resposible for creating music for Raj ,Shammi,Shashi as well as Dilip kumar,Drahmendra,Jitendra and Rajendra Kumar)Ind kept up with the changing times between 1955-1970 period.However all the above music directors preferred Rafi to Kishore .

  82. 82
    Manish Kumar Says:

    Dipak: were you even alive in 1979? 16 out of the top 25 for binaca geet mala in May 1980 were Mohd Rafi’s! This is before rafi died – not after – so don’t think people started listening to him more out of death sympathy. That’s a fact and it directly contradicts your statement.

    Furthermore – I have seen tallies of song outputs from Rafi & Kishore 1977-1980 and Rafi was used the most (especially by 1980). limited takers? manmohan desai and nasir hussain still preferred rafi in 1977-1980s (as they always did). actors jeetendra, dharmendra, vinod khanna, shashi kapoor, and more were rafians! rishi kapoor’s trademark voice was mohd rafi who sang maximum songs for him until he died. rishi kapoor’s own 2 favorite songs are “pardah hai pardah hai” and “hum kisise kum nahin”. the most memorable songs picturized on vinod mehra and navin nischol – go to rafi. even amitabh bachchan (who kk fit the best imo) was syncing to rafi’s voice in 1981 !!! there were so many takers for rafi in 1980 he couldn’t meet all demands!

    dipak – when you say rafi’s singing range was only flexible from “low pitch to high pitch” – i suspect you’re just repeating what you’ve heard others say rather than you yourself analyzing it. lol. but maybe i’m wrong – in any case – these matters can be analyzed and rafi had the most melodious & modulated voice. kishore’s voice was very meldious – but rafi’s was the MOST melodious.

    but there are some points you mention that i agree with. take the song “chai pe bulaiya hai”. such a fun song. had rafi sang it- it wouldn’t have been as popular (even if musically just as good). why? because that song had the UNIQUE, INIMITABLE kishore kumar flavor & personality to it. i don’t know how to describe it but he put his playful, colorful personality into that song (ESPECIALLY the live version). when some people claim that kishore had the best voice quality – i sort of see where they are coming from (even if i don’t agree). kishore kumar had a very “cool” and fun voice – because his voice had his personality – which was very cool. that is why songs like zindagi ek safar hai suhana or chai pe bulaya were SUPER HITS. and for songs within his limits – his voice was excellent. musically and even for playback – rafi’s voice was the best ACCORDING TO ME because it was the most capable, the most meldious (this is somethign we could probably analze with computer) and it could fit SO MANY actors perfectly. kishore’s voice did not suit as many actors as rafi’s did. kishore had a specific barritone voice that appeared silly on pretty boys like jeetendra imo.

    i also think i know what you’re saying about rafi’s voice. are you referring to songs like “mere desh premiyo” or “mujhe mat roko” (hear the beginning for both -his throat sounds kind of dry). my explanations: (1) someone told me he deliberately sang like that for a genuine effect and wasn’t singing in falsetto – could be true because he was perfectly clean in rest of song (2) bad recording – there hae been instances where i’ve seen a flaw in the voice and then find out it was just the recording (3) he was singing those songs during the month when he was fasting. i do agree – 60s voice of rafi was my favorite.

    if you like kishore da – that’s cool. mohd rafi alone is not enough for me. often times i’ll listen to rafi for 3 days and then need a change so i shift to kishore kumar (recently was listening to a song of his in jugnu – type jugnu kishore at youtube). the two singers elevate each other.

  83. 83
    Dipak Says:

    I am alwaying reading that Rafi Saab was alway co-operative and supported Music Directors.Can anybody tell me how other(apart S.D-R.D.Burman) music directors managed to get co-operation from Kishore in order for him to complete singing for any number of films from 1970 onwards??

  84. 84
    Dipak Says:

    I am alwayed surprised at the way Amitabh who has never come forward to praise Kishore Kumar for his contribution to making his films popular…unlike Dev Andand and Rajesh Khanna who have publically said the importance of Kishore played in providing the playback…..come to think of it even Shashi Kapoor and Dramendra managed acknowledge kishore contribution to their films…anyone know why ?(yes apart from the mis understanding between Kishore-Amitabh in 1985, when Amitabh refused to guest appear in kishore`s film and therefore Kishore did not sing for Bib B for three films..however they did make up and Kishore sang for him before he died for Shaheensha).Lata-Rafi had disagreement that lasted from 1964 to 1972 ,however lata still managed to priase Rafi Saab…..

  85. 85
    Dipak Says:

    I just though of Rafi -Kishore comparison is similar way to Amercian Frank Sinatra vesus Elvis Presley which took place in the early 1960`s.Frank had been popular film hero / smooth/silky voice singer from the Big Band era from 1945 (just like Rafi Saab )suddenly from 1960 onwards came a new sound for`teenagers`and fresh expression of Elvis Presley (again some terrible films just like Kishore he would do anything to get of of Hollywood ,Elvis only loved singing and rocking),which was differnt yet and had mass media appeal(Kishore Kumar`s mass media appeal was connected to first superstar Rajesh Khanna) ,older people agreed at the time there no one to replace Sinatra….who carried on singing making the odd film and coming to Europe for concerts again similar to Rafi Saab in the 1970`s….Just like kishore, Elvis did not have a perfect voice (Deep American Southern almost gosple )however he managed to sing some really romantic,sad and songs full of vibrancy and energy,a bit like thunder from the sky or full strome compaired to sun shine singing from Frank..

  86. 86
    Dipak Says:

    The films from 1950`s to 1970`s Rafi era had a very close family like way of working where all the content of film from storyline ,type of scene and what the hero was doing…Actor ,director ,music director ,song writer and play backsingers for example Shammi Kapoor would ask Rafi Saab to include a type of Ya-hooooo or Ashaji would do a little jatka/matka for Helen`s dance number .Songs were part of the whole film not an excuse for birthday party for song…sometimes like Raj Kapoor or Manoj Kumar units using sad songs in the background…effectively to enhance the storyline.However as far I am I know this only lasted upto Rajesh Khanna time when Kishore da invited the new comer to his house for dinner in order to assess his express while Khanna talked and had a dinner .Rajesh could not believe that it was Kishore da singing for him in `Aradhana….when he first viewed the completed film….magic was created….by right sound and voice for the prince of Indian Cinema…(King is reserved for Amitabh)>The other important thing to note was two different hero had alway two different singers wheather Kishore/Rafi ,Mukesh/Menna De or Mahendra/Rafi …this tradition again faded away in the late 1970`s ,this is one of the reason that from `Boot Polish“Sangam`to Sholay and Kabhi kabhi still stay in our memmory .

  87. 87
    Dipak Says:

    In the 1970`s although Kishore was very popular with the film makers/Public ? Rafi was often choosen to sing a qawalies ,deeply sad song or romantic songs .It was acceptable for old Music Directors like Madan Mohan,Kalyanji Andanji or Shanker Jaikishane to use a Pure voice to enhence their music however time and again S.D.Burman…and even new comers like Laxmikant Pyaralal and R.D.Burman used Rafi Saab in order excel their songs..this is accepted and ackledged by Kishore rivals but well meaning friends …. Kishore listened to Siagal and Rafi…However I have always wondered who Rafi listen to???

  88. 88
    Dipak Says:

    Manish thank you for the dry voice singing explaination.I agree it better to listen to Rafi for 30 days and Kishore for two days in between Mukesh ,not to get bored .
    Manish do know who Rafi listened to??

  89. 89
    Manish Kumar Says:

    I believe KL Saigal was Rafi’s favorite singer (just like Kishore). He also remarked to journalists, “You listen to my songs, I listen to Mannade’s songs”. That may have been just a kind remark. As a young man or child he’d be listening to KL Saigal and others – but when he was a singer himself – he was probably very busy singing songs to be listening much lol!

    And Rafi for 30 days is too long for me! That must have been a typo. I prefer 3 days of Rafi and then a day or 2 of Kishore. Of course Lata comes along in the duets. The lions share of my listening go to Rafi & Kishore.

  90. 90
    Manish Kumar Says:

    And yeah – without Kishore Kumar – I wouldn’t appreciate Rafi as much. Because Rafi only is not enough for me. I’d get bored of listening to one voice for too long (lots of Rafi fans would bash me for this – but I’m a practical man). The same could be said for Kishore. They both make music so much better together!

  91. 91
    dipak Says:

    Yes I did mean to say 3 days..for Rafi and 2 for kishore Kumar .I must say I do listen to Mukesh ,I do not listen much to Menna De or Mahender Kapoor…..Lata by self is execellent and so is Asha .Bappi da could used Kumar Sanu after Kishore passed away and nobody used Anwar for Rafi songs much.

  92. 92
    Dipak Says:

    The magic created by Rafi ,Kishore or even Mukesh will no have lasted if they were still around.It was a case of team work as Ashaji recently said in an interview.India is heading towards a era of anything goes music…it very sad but true.Technically electronic music has taken over with little regard to melody or sur .I hope people with still listen to the old songs…often nowadays Rafi or Kishore is only discovered by Re-mix…

  93. 93
    Manish Kumar Says:


    Sadly I agree with you. What we are lacking today are not good singers but great music directors. The fall of music is directly correlated with the fall of music directors for me. Even “recently”, look at the success of Veer Zara (2004 – tunes from Madan Mohan) or 1942 A Love Story (1994). Those tunes came from legendary music directors and were excellent + big blockbusters. This also goes to show the importance of music directors.

  94. 94
    Manish Kumar Says:

    Don’t blame the listeners either. The impact of Veer Zaara & 1942 Love Story clearly shows that they are receptive to quality music and would embrace it but have no choice but to give in to those trashy MTV music video routines that we see in movies in Dhoom 2. Udit Narayan is not as good as Rafi or Kishore but he is still very good and an original singer. Not every song has to be in the voice of Rafi, Kishore, Lata, etc. We need variety ESPECIALLY when the variety is ORIGINAL AND decent (for example, I wouldn’t support Kumar Sanu over Kishore Kumar because KS isn’t AS original and he doesn’t sound very good in comparison to Rafi & Kishore). Asha is being a bit inconsistent to criticize music because for me she is symbolic of it. She is a legend of the past who embraces remixes (taking tunes from the legendary RDB) & Western trash. She’ll do anything to promote herself even when her voice is scratchy for 1995 Rangeela song. Oh well. But yeah – all these shows with singing contests – that is fine. But we need to promote music directors which I guess is less glamorous.

  95. 95
    Dipak Says:

    I surprise as how the Music Directors are coming across especially over minor disagreements.How can that promote .M.D. in good light no matter how good.The control of music is with big Music companies only…

  96. 96
    Vikram Says:

    Manish and Dipak,
    You guys are doing a great service by putting forth a healthy discussion. Some ignorant folks had taken this discussion to a very low level. I don’t understand how somebody could use such a language against somebody who did no harm to them. So disgusting. We are lucky to have had not only Rafi and Kishore, but also Mukesh, Manna Dey and M Kapoor. Their best work is equally good. Comparisons are good when done in right frame of mind. To say something is good just for the sake of it, is stupid. Keep up the good work.

  97. 97
    dipak Says:

    I did not realise at the time in the 1970 and 1980`s the actual range of Kishore kumar`s music .Only after seeing so many episodes of K for Kishore found out that not matter how good a singer it is very hard to copy the actual Sur / melody or even the feeling of the song,simply unique delivery;this even goes for his son Amit or Sudesh who both sang with him.In KK`s time in the 1970 and 1980 the singer had to be very careful to make sure the mood and singing style of the hero of the films .KK did very well to sing such a range of songs without techical knowledge or classical training ,he went for the feel of the song/held on to the sur.KK`s last concerned showed that even under considerable pressure in live concert he could sing with lataji very well.Bollywood has produced a range of good singers Rafi,Menna de,Mukesh or mahender kapoor but only complete entertainer in KK`s masti songs.I am still amazed that KK managed to sing songs in between films,production,direction ,music direction,marrying 4 times (nursing Madhubala for ten years)and suffering 4 heart attacks before god finally manage to take him… today`s generation still want to his songs show that the man had created magic…..I alway think that the impact KK had on playback singing…imagine `Sholay,Kabhi kabhi or even Laawaris` without KK songs?

  98. 98
    kkFan Says:

    I feel u guys are arguing about nothing and insulting these great singers by comparing these singers to each other.All the singers are great in there own right and they cannot be compared.Rafi was a great singer has sung songs that no other singer could have sung that well and similarly KK has his own share of masterpieces so please don’t rate these great singers don’t insult them,they themselves must have never done all this why are u doing this!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  99. 99
    Natraj Kranthi Says:

    Kishoreda was perhaps the most creative genius in the history of bollywood. We know Kidshoreda as the Jack of all trades and also the master of all of them. But all this was possible because of his creativity which perhaps was missed mentioning in all our discussions. He was spotaneous, unpredictably amazing in whatever he did. His live concert videos tell us all about his amazing antics on stage. He would keep the audience lively all the time. Though he lived for just 58 years, creative people like him will live longer than the stars, sun, moon and all the celatial bodies. He is with us all the time with his unmatchable voice and extraordinary comedy inspiring us to be creative like him.

  100. 100
    Niraj Kumar Says:

    i think rafisaab was always greater than any other singer. in my view the voice of rafisaab was the voice of the god. he was not a human being but the god having the enlightment of the voice. kishore kumar can never touch that level. after all kishore is also a great singer but rafisaab is always number one. kishre could never sing ” O Duniya ke rakhwale, man tadpat hari darshan ko aaj, dono ne kiya tha pyar magar, main nigahen tere chehre se hatao kaise, ba-hosh-o hawas mein deewana and many more song”. once upon a time the voice of rajesh khanna was the voice of kishore kumar but in the film Haathi Mere saathi the song ” Nafrat ki Duniya ko Chhodkar” was offered to kishore kumar as usual but he could not be able to sing as the music director wanted, lots of singer were tested except Rafisaab. at last the Music Director said we should check Rafisaab. and Rafisaab sang that song much better than the expectation of the music director. noone in the earth can touch the level of Rafisaab.

  101. 101
    Manish Kumar Says:

    Niraj Kumar wrote: “in the film Haathi Mere saathi the song ” Nafrat ki Duniya ko Chhodkar” was offered to kishore kumar as usual but he could not be able to sing as the music director wanted”

    I asked Mr KCP about this. KCP spoke to Pyarelal himself! I understand that the quoted story is entirely untrue. That song was composed with Rafi in mind right from the start. Kishore was never asked to sing it. I stand by this view unless you have some better source.

    Anil Biswas didn’t think much of Rafi. Now before you attack AB – think of his perspective. Anil Biswas cared only for Anil Biswas music. He didn’t care for rest of the spectrum (which Rafi excelled). So of course that woud be his opinion. Likewise, if someone doesn’t prefer songs like “O Duniya Ke Rakhwale” or “Hari Om” but rather prefer “Meri Bheeghi Bheeghi Se” from Anamika – so be it. On the overall spectrum I consider Rafi the best. On the “Kishore spectrum” I consider Kishore the best. If people care only for the Kishore spectrum – than that is fine.

  102. 102
    Vikram Says:

    No amount of discussion will ever prove that kishore Kumar was a better singer than Rafi.

  103. 103
    hindustani Says:

    Rafi Sahib was the better singer and Kishore Da was the better musician….

  104. 104
    amit Says:


  105. 105
    Anil Pedgaonkar Says:

    may be but the song is not gr8. yeh jeevan hai if lp offered to rafi then rafi would not have been able to sing. this song the song “kab tak andhere chalate rahenge”, “zindagi ka safr” were nevr rafi’s cup of tea. if lp’s choice was rafi why he did not offer rafi yeh jeevan hai. the movie was snall budget. the hero was not rajesh khanna or amtabh bacchan. please read my last comment on 1st may 2008. Kishore was number one singer. naturally some songs suited the voice of rafi more so they were offered to rafi. also comosers and people were more used to rafi’s voice for 25 years. His rendering was prefixed on their mind. kishore would have required another 2o years for that. This is simply but AN ADVANTAGE OF EARLY START. THERE ARE MMANY MASTERPIECES OF KISHORE WHICH ARE IMPOSSIBLE FOR RAFI/ YESUDAS/ SPB TO SING. RAFI LATA HAD UNPARALLELED RANGE comapred to asha /kishore but even asha/kishore had good range suitable for most of the songs. at high pitch also kishore’s voice did not lose depth ( teri duniya se hoke majbur chala, mere naina sawan bhado) while rafi’s voice at high pitch was hollow. ( refer o dunike rakhwale). the voice lacked lusture(maine pucha chandse very badly sung also darde dil badly sung) , rafi yesudas, spb all have more modulation than ksishore asha more modulation tahn lata. but if this is criterion then Bhimsen joshi sheerly beats rafi in every aspect. please go by the quality of inspiring voice of kishore in the songs above immortal

  106. 106
    Anil Pedgaonkar Says:

    pl listen to the impact of voice in rr song “kab tak andhere chalate rahenge” sung by KK, Yeh jeevan hai , zindagi ka safar. then u will realize the importance of gr8 voiceof KK it’s impact, softness and expressiveness.
    Rather than don or zumroo yodelling these KK songs the depth and softness combination can not be met by rafgi/YEsudas/SPB and not even by Kumar sanu/amitkumar. these songs are testimony to greatness of KK. ghazal is not a song for music it is basically more poetry again jagit sing excels here. Quwaali is rarely a classic music peace. it is group singing. kishore’s voice like anup jalota has graced bhajans.( muze prem ka rog laga). the life philosophy songs wwere his milestone. the song JeevAn se na har jeenawlae as repeatedly playe over radio in kargil war. Hawone pe likh do Hawaon ke is the best nature beauty praising song in bolly wood.
    please don not get carried away by range and modulation and clasical training. thee expression softness and depth in the voice are equally importanr qualities which were at their full extent with kishore. most of LPs music was a trash after 1975 including even hits with boring repetitive theka. look at rajesh roshan composition thoda hai thode, dil kya kare sung by kishore. such variety is not sung by rafi. no singer and md but KK and rd dared to get a light singer sing a version in tandem with classical singer. Kishore did it in light romantic bhavgeet version “hume tumse pyar kitana” against the mujra version By parveen sultana. if u do not get carried by classical music the light romantic version appeals more due to sftness and expression and pronounciation of words. the version when first heard in a cafe teria made a spellbound effect over a group of my friends who weere critics of kishore and continue to remain with exceptions like this song and chukar mere manko . both songs had a trmendous effect on every body.
    rdB came on a radio show and selected lata/amit version over amit version of the song “yaad aa rahi hai” and put the song on. next he put the second song on that was “hme tumse pyar kitana” by kishore.
    rafi and the gr8 songs he sang “khoya khoya chand”, and created imae which reminded composers to call him whenever similar situations and songs were composed. so the task ahead kishore was difficult. gradually over years kishore’s impressions were fromed . with his life songs in mind ” Rhidaynath” got him sung “zindagi aa raha hu mai” and “accha to hum chalate hai “reflected in the duet ” muze tum yad karna”. KKs sad image gave birth to many songs. a unique KK image is portrayed by rajesh roshan in ” koi roko na ” . It is interesting to note that rafi sang many memorable songs forrajesh khanna” due to yhis image formation” nafarat ki , yuhi tum muzse baat karte ho, gulabi aankhe, Ab aan milo sajana etc.
    but after kishore singing for many years then for amitabh bacchan it is not easy to recollect good and important songs sung by rafi for amitabh as by that time the kishore image as formed in the minds of composers. they could adapt and compose tunes with kishore in mind.
    there is third distinct variety of kishore songs apart from his unimitable singing of sad and soft songs that is songs like “are diwano muze pahachano”, which is alos not easy for
    Rafi and others.
    mere naina sawan bhado ( a lata type song) again would not have suited MR. SPB
    so much was the impact of kishore voice that Ramlaxman created a song ( serious song” with kishore in mind ” maine tuse kuch nahi manga ” for the film “Katha”

  107. 107
    Anil Cherian Says:

    Ref: Post 105:
    Agree with many of ur points, esp. with respect to Kishoreda’s early start (therefore the novelty factor) advantage. However ur observation on Kishoreda’s voice retaining its depth at higher notes is way off the mark simply bcoz he never ventured into those territories that Rafi sahab or Yesudas sir did. For ur information the last ‘Rakhwale…..’ of that song is a good 5 notes (ALMOST AN ENTIRE OCTAVE) above what Kishoreda has ever managed (ab sochoon nahi bhoole…., for instance in the song ‘mere naina’…). Infact Kishoreda’s highest notes were routine (mid-pitches) for Rafi sahab and if Rafi sahab ever sounded less-than-deep (which I don’t believe was the case) it was when he ventured into those unchartered territories (upper 3rd octave and lower 4th octave). Reg. ur observation on ‘maine poocha…’ I’d also say that Rafi sahab sounded a bit off-peak (not off-key in anyway) in it as well as in a lot of late ’70s songs. However I’d give him the benefit of doubt in the sense that perhaps it was a deliberate modulation on the part of the gentle giant to synchronise with those beautiful lyrics. But ‘dard-e-dil…’ was a beauty, the voice 2 me, was a sexy, killer voice in this song.

  108. 108
    Manish Kumar Says:

    Anil, for high pitch comparison – just see the Rafi-Kishore duet from Ram Balram. When Kishore sings in high scale “Na Bana Choooorrrrr” to match up to Rafi’s na miT sake nasiibo.n ke kalam kii – Kishore sounds muffled in comparison.

  109. 109
    Anil Cherian Says:

    And Manish bhai, there is the famous AAA song too, where Rafi sahab sails thru the patches were the other 2 (Pls. not there is absolutely no disrespect 2 them, they’re very good in their own way) struggle.

  110. 110
    ajv_bristol_uk Says:

    Kk fans,

    A nice song of kishore da-Asha duet

    Mere pyase man ki bahar

  111. 111
    ashish kapoor Says:

    hi every-body, i challenge all of u kishore’da fans and specially anil pedgaonkar sa’ab to come up with the facts about the no of patriotic and bhajans sung by kishore’da.you guys will not be able to match rafi sa’ab even in the wildest of your dreams.for every one song that u will come-up with, i will give two songs of rafi sa’ab. ashish kapoor,ashkpr@hotmail.com, tel-09810087414,09212587414

  112. 112
    Anil Pedgaonkar Says:

    in aakraman a good patrootic song by kishore discussed in this forum. also the song jeevan se na har jeenewale was played repetedly for jawans to give courage. muze prem ka rog laga is a good bhajan ( other songs in movie are by rafi). bhajan ssinger anup jalota s voice is of type of kishore and he had used kishore as an idol in college life. kishore’s voice is suited more to bhajans han ghzals or quwwalis. he himself planned to come with a private version of bhajans and mentioned kabir as his favorite in a n interview in 86.

  113. 113
    harsha Says:

    guys…well its not fair to compare, as both of them are genuises in their own way. But for me….kishore inspires, more emotive in this singing, more expressive, more mystic, more haunting…which cant be explained. Finally, I also feel sometimes, kishore da’s voice, pitch and all other technicalities of singing cannot be analysed, simply because it was unorthodox and mysterious. It is beyond any analysis…Just in case u have doubts, listen to the same song “tum bin jaa oon kahan” sung by both rafi and kishore and get ready to get carried away by the effect of kishore.

  114. 114
    Srini Says:

    Rafi, SPB and Kishore are IMHO the three best male playback singers india has produced till now.
    Each can be evaluated on his strengths and shown better than the other two but they are equals. The only thing separting them is the texture. On other grounds of playback singing these guys are blessed with traits that separate them from the rest.

    In bollywood we know a lot about Kishore/Rafi. SPB is known only by his “guest appearances” in hindi music which is not even the tip of the iceberg of this genius. Remember he too doesnt have any formal training and he doesnt know hindi – yet he has made an impact on hindi music inspite of the accent. I know of hindi singers trying it in south and except for the like of lata etc the rest go unnoticed or get noticed in a very wrong way.

    And some facts:

    1. SPB has won 6/7 NATIONAL awards in playback singing.
    (Rafi had one. Kishore i am not sure )
    Also, more filmfare and state awards than any other singer.

    2. SPB has sung more songs that lata. Features in Guiness records.

    3. Apart from Lata and Rafi, SPB is probably the only singer to be on great records of both pundits/normal listerners. The ease with which SPB can handle any kind of song is unparallaled and probably only matched by Lata , Asha and Janaki. Only Yesu has more complicated classical film playback songs than SPB. SPB brings more mannerisms than any other singer into his singing allowed by a perfect grammar and widest range.
    One of the few singers (apart from Lata, Susheela, Janaki,Chitra) whose songs get okayed in the first take immaterial of the complexity involved.

    4. Know ur scales: When measured on western scale of notes SPB is probably the only indian male singer to comfortably sail across the full range. ( If you thought why not indian scales : they are relative and cannot be used to compare across ).

    5. Tamil, Telugu, Kannada are distinct south indian industries. Like Sehgal in hindi, each of these industries had their own great legends prior to SPB. Because each of these languages had its own local flavour its impossible to think of one person ruling the roost of all three industries – Till SPB came. Like lata left behind everyone in hindi, SPB rocketed past everyone and ruled these industires with age as his only competetion.

    6. In south, SPB was the first choice for Ilayaraja ( for more than 2 decades) a music director who is treated on par with Mozart etc. Naushad once said that all other music doesnt add up to even half of what Ilayaraja brought in ( and this was on quality and not quantity). SPB not to mention is the first choice of all other south indian MDs since his arrival.


  115. 115
    Indian Says:

    Without any doubt, Rafi is the best and will remain there on the top forever. Leave Kishore alone, even Bharat Ratna Lata Mangeshkar is not of Rafi’s calibre. All the arguments are bullshits and directed towards falsification of facts and figures against the Legend of Legends Mohd Rafi.

  116. 116
    Srini Says:

    I both agree and disagree . Rafi is at the top but that top is shared with SPB and Kishore. Maybe in chronology Rafi ended up there first.
    You unfortunately have a “frog in a well” view and refuse to look beyond.(Not applying to Rafi : but the best shop in town might not be the best shop in country or world )

    Facts by nature cant be falsified, unless you want to live in ur beliefs!!
    Its difficult to discuss based on feelings that you put simply bcos the feelings that you have for rafi, someone has for kishore and someone has for spb ( and someone like me has for all the three)

    Stop taking a fact for some singer as a remark against Rafi.
    When i say SPB has 6 National awards and Rafi only one , It doesnt mean Rafi is not as good but it just means SPB consistently excels at things which are only dreams for most singers.

  117. 117
    Saswata Says:

    Rafi’s voice in high pitch may be better but what about Rafi’s voice in very low notes as compared to Kishore???

    Rafi’s voice is thin and sounds like crying…It has no depth in comparison to Kishore’s strong vocals.

    Put a thousands arguments dudes…I just can never agree Rafi’s voice was better than Kishore…NEVER.

  118. 118
    Arghya Says:

    Salil chowdhury was dissatisfied with rafi for not rendering “Taseveer teri Dil Mein”properly9failing at scale changes) and virtually stopped recording with him after 1965(don’t argue,it is a fact,rafians!!)..But he was highly satisfied with Kishore(even though it took Kishore 5 takes) for “Guzar Jaye Din” with so many scale changes..And to Salil, only kishore could have done it..salil chowdhury, to me, was the ultimate with the challenges he used to throw at singers. Manna succeeded, Lata succeeded, Kishore succeeded(Salil was into speechless mode after “Koi Hota Jisko Apna”), but rafi failed…So, people commenting about “Kishore’s spectrum” needs to go back to history..

    The only point otherwise great singing of rafi was his monotonous singing…He sounded the same for rajendra kumar as for dharmendra as for dev anand..whereas kishore used to mould his voices from situation to situation and hero to hero!!! In 70s, with so many superstars, that is what the people and MDs wanted..Even Anil Biswas had given a warning to rafi much prior to Aradhana to get rid of this monotonous voice..But rafi was perhaps too confident that time to take it by heart…

    R D Burman always felt Rafi was difficult to be moulded..Once Rafi had decided a song to be rendered in a particular way, no MD could change his view!!RD, a dominant musician, never liked it..And he liked Kishore because his ability to mould in a particular scenerio with the MDs coice!!

    Now if people ignore opinions by Salil, Anil Biswas and other maestros and still go with a stroghead with occassional comments from people like OP Nayyar who in an odd interview said Kishore would have done better in “Sabere ka Sooraj” need a brainwash!

  119. 119
    Arghya Says:

    For Mr. Ashish Kapoor,

    Dear sir I give you one song each from kishore and give me a better option sung by rafi in this genre as you had said:

    1. aake seedhi lagi dil pe jaise katariya( don’t give lame excuses like non-classical number.. You know by heart what it takes to render this, if you don’t, ask Sabita Chowdhury-as Salilda is unfortunately not with us)

    2. yeh jeevan hai is jeevan ka- even your favourite LP said after the recording of this song that “god was singing”.. So much of emotions, with a soft voice at such low notes, with all due respects to Rafisaab, his voice would have sounded too thin and like crying had he tried this song…On life’s philosophy, for that matter, give me any song of Rafi as against Kishore’s “Zindagi Ka Safar”,”Zindagi ke safar Mein”,”Badi sooni sooni hai zindagi”,”Yeh jeevan hai”,”Jeevan meetana hai deewanapan”,”Tune hume kya diya re zindagi”..only getting training in classical music and singing all songs with same voice irrespective of the actor, the situation might have been accepted in 60s, but 70s was different..You needed your soul in the song..Listen “Koi Hota jisko Apna” and after that ” Chhukar mere man ko”- see the changes in voice modulation done by kishore with changing mood of the song.. Rafi’s voice, my dear, sounded same in all songs!

  120. 120
    AMIT Says:


  121. 121
    ashish kapoor Says:

    refer post 119, dear arghya sahab,
    thanks for replying to my views after 8 months.it only shows the popularity of this web site.
    in my post i had written about patriotric songs and bhajans of rafi saa’b. and also i had said that i shall give you two of rafi saa’b,s for every one that you would of kishore da,s. sir my challenge still stands. any takers ? i challenge mr anil pedgaonkar and arghya and the others of their genre to take up my challenge of rafi saa’b,s non filmy songs and ghazals. for every one song or ghazal of kishore da i shall give u two of rafi saa’b .
    rdb,s first movie as a md was chhotae nawab and all the songs in the male voice were sung by rafi saa’b. gentlemen i have mentioned my tel no in my post and if you have the flair for music then please get in touch with me and i will show u with practical and physical proof as to what is change in modulation and mood of voice along with the diversity in range and how rafi saa’b could change the pitch from high to low and vice-versa so easily. i have never challenged kishore da,s singing capability but he is no match for rafi saa’b when it comes to sur, saaz, range, pitch, versatility and also the sweetness of voice.
    if you will hear the songs of rdb,s initial years as a md u will find that they were better in quality as compared to his later years. but “1942 a love story” was good.
    i have with me the song “man re tu kahe na dhir dhare” that was sung by kishore da in one of his live musical programmes after the death of rafi saa’b as a mark of homage to his(in kishore da’s words) elder brother. he had tremendous respect for rafi saa’b and rafi saa’b also had the same respect for him.
    ashish kapoor, ashkpr@hotmail.com , tel no- 09810087414, 09212587514

  122. 122
    Manish Kumar Says:

    Arghya: Sail regarded Rafi as the greatest male singer.

    – Manish

  123. 123
    Manish Kumar Says:

    sorry for the funny typo: SALIL regarded Rafi as the best male singer.

    “There is no doubt that Kishore possessed an exceptional voice. But voice alone is not everything. I have to say that if Kishore had
    classical training he would have been a different Kishore. Not only by popularity, but also by the yard stick of qualitative merit of singing
    Kishore could have reached the place occupied by Rafi. However, if I have to evaluate Kishore as a singer, it would probably be fair to say that Kishore brought in a new style of singing – something close to the pop style. In this style, there was no one close to him. I can say
    that with confidence.”


    on a separate note, about tasveer teri dil mein – i don’t agree with your conclusion. salil’s mention of that song isn’t so much a swipe at rafi as it is praise for lata. i corresponded with someone who hosted salil in the early 90s. salil told the story to his guests from the point of view that lata had a great range that even the great rafi could not match. the guest told me that listening to salil talk about the song, salil indicated that he had a lot of respect for rafi and this was the only instance where he perceived a chink in rafi’s armor. i think rafi & salil had an artistic difference in opinion and it’s a more trivial affair than made out to be.

    articles here and there are good but they don’t always tell the whole story. especially for something as complex as human emotions. you could bring out articles where mds don’t give enough credit to kishore but you know that those articles don’t give the true, complete picture.

    just enjoy the music!

  124. 124
    Arghya Says:

    Ashish Kapoor ji…

    I am not a regular visitor of any of these sites(which is my fault,of course)..So, I saw your comment late.. As far as popularity is concerned, let us talk less of it.. Perhaps the day I see “R for rafi” on screen(if at all that happens in my lifetime), we may talk on that issue better…

    Yes, Number of Bhajans or patriotic songs Kishore sang were handful and nothing compared to Rafi.. But really do they represent a genre of music? I mean to say, like Qawalii(where I say Rafisaab was the supreme) or Soulful songs( where Kishoreda inspired and still inspiring an entire generation), do they really require particular skills to render?? These are basically voice based songs, which sound good in a particular voice, and with all my respect to both the singers, Rafisaab sounded better in that.. Yes, I do agree, patriotic songs sounded better in Rafi’s voice although I heard a couple of patriotic songs of Kishore which were as usual, very soulfully sung like “15 August ki punya tithi” which Kishore sang in as early as 1948.. But, yes, numbers are too low to be compared..Just like in comedy songs, Rafisaab did great job, but it was always Kishore’s voice which suited the best… that is why I gave a couple of songs of Kishore to you also to counter, in my last post to you here, as i think these songs can’t be matched by Rafisaab also.. Not because he can’t sing them, but because he would not be able to generate the similar “Impact”..

    Another thing, which sometimes rafi fans fail to understand is again the X- factor in a song.. That day I was listening two songs, back to back, based on Raag Yaman- one by Rafisaab( Humko Tumhare Ishq ne kya kya bana diya) and the other by Kishoreda( Yun neend se woh jaane chaman).. Strikingly similar compositions, with Antaras of both are 99% similar.. But the way of rendering was different.. while listening to Rafisaab, you keep on getting astounded by the technicalities and harqats he brought into the song, and in the course of it you suddenly yell out “Wah Wah”!!! Which I did.. In kishore’s version, you get dumbstuck.. You don’t say anything, at the end of the song even you can’t explain why you liked it so much but you find tears in your eyes just with the soul which Kishore used to bring in a song.. Definitely, I am not saying you don’t cry at rafi’s songs, you really do, but the tears are different for both the singers.. rafisaab can be explained but kishore sometimes goes out of explanation!!

    So, I understand, when Rafifans find Kishore’s fan following to be more or Kishore’s fans not accepting rafi to be the best, what they go through.. They have points with them to prove why Rafi should be best but kishore fans don;t have any!!! That “X” factor with all its sublimity is just beyond explanations! I respect that as a music student also..

    Both were great and they still inspire many of us even today!! Three cheers to rafisaab and Kishoreda!!

  125. 125
    Arghya Says:

    Lastly, Ashishji, with all due respects to you, I find your comments to be a bit biased.. If you think RDB’s best performance was with Rafi, then it is biasedness only.. Let us come out of that.. It is equally ridiculous to sound like “Roshan’s best numbers came with kishore”!! sheerly because in initial years roshan used Kishore more than Rafi!( Sheesham, Maalkin and Mashooka)… Let us open heartedly admit a fact, that some MDs did deliver better for Kishore than rafi- as you call yourself a music lover.. If you ignore compositions like “O Majhi Re”, “Zindagi Ke Safar Me”, ” Main Shayar Badnaam”, “Kuchh to log kahenge”- which RD particularly handpicked for Kishore, you are ignoring the obvious.. RD never handpicked any song for Rafi, sorry, admit it.. But yes, he did give Rafi some very good numbers.. Similalrly, for Rajesh Roshan, although he gave beautiful numbers to Rafi like “Mujhe chhoo rahi hai teri garm saansein”, if you remove Kishore, RR is gone by 70% in the 70s… Let us not drag this issue of whether RD really preferred rafi over kishore or not.. it is useless.

    And most of you have not heard many early singing of kishore in 40s and 50s.. request, even as a rafi fan- listen to them.. Listen to Jagmag Jagmag Karta Nikla or woh Meri Taraf Yun Chale Aa Rahe Hai or Husn bhi Hai Udaas Udaas… I really don;t think Kishore could not enter Rafi’s sprectrum, at least technically… But, as I said, market is a strange object.. You can never explain why people discarded Husn bhi Hai Udaas by Kishore in 1953 whereas they accepted Yeh Jawani Hai Deewani from the same man in 1972!! Similalry, even Rafi fans can’t explain why market rejected a brilliant rendering of rafisaab “Koi phool na khilta yeh kali bhi na hoti agar tu na hoti” in 1974 but accpeted a mediocre composition like “Chakke pe chakka” in 1968!!

    We, remember those only which market takes us to.. Kishore is much bigger spectrum than many perceive him to be.. I know as i have heard almost 2100 songs of him( I still have not listened another 1000).. I have heard Rafisaab also well, and I admit whatever spectrum he had, he was well appreciated… But kishore, as a simpleton as he always was, after rendering “Chingari koi Bhadke”( better than any clasically trained singer- I bet) coming out and commenting in front of media “Mujhe yeh sab raag waag samajh me nahi aati.. Kya gana hai bata do, main ga deta hoon”.. only helped dirty people to stereotype his image or sometimes hurting his image also..

  126. 126
    Arghya Says:

    Some people also argued my point that Kishore could adjust his voice better accroding to the actor as compared to Rafi- in deed, it is nothing that rafi could not do it, but Kishore could do it better!! Now, Rafi fans never admit these points sportingly( they don’t admit any point suggesting someone else can be better than rafi in any segment), so, I won’t go on arguing like some mad people out here do.. Only with all great regards to both the great singers, i just want Rafi fans to listen some songs( not that they are great copositions) of Kishoreda to understand his “adjustment to a particular hero” better:

    1. Arre Yaar meri tum bhi ho ghazab: “Listen To The Last Line Carefully”!!! The last time Kishoreda utters “Arre Yaar Meri Tum bhi…” in the song.. I won;t say anything, but, even a person who does not know which film it belongs, can tell it was sung for dev anand!!
    2. Inteha Ho Gayi Intezaar ki: “Listen to the first antara Carefully!! “Baat jo hai usme baat hai nahi yahan kahi kisi me..haan”… That “Haan” my dear firends is the signature Amitabh Bachchan gesture which no other singer could replicate…
    3. Mummy O Mummy Tu kab Saas Banegi: A very mediocre composition by Rajesh Roshan in “Naram Garam”.. When i first listened to the song on video, I thought how come Deven Verma sing so melodiously?? But I was wrong, it was Kishore Kumar!! Enforcedly, a nasal twist in his voice only to suit the screen face of Deven Verma.. What a classy act!! Do listen this song, Rafi fans-no hard feeling, it is not a great song also, but just to prove my point you might like it(you would never admit it that I know before you listen:)

    rafisaab was a singer par excellence but kishoreda was a package!! Only talking about changing voice according to singer and scenerio- Kishore was the best!! And it is a fact! just like only talking about Qawalli Rafi saab should be the best!!

    Also..to end (to be taken with a grain of salt Rafi fans:).. just on humour, throughout Kishore fans maintains “rafisaab” to show their respect(one or two exceptions) whereas whenver I visit rafisaab’s forum, they call Kishore, Salil, Besoora Kishore(one or two exceptions again).. Why cant people be a more civilized??

  127. 127
    Arghya Says:

    Nice post.. I have those articles also… Nice one.. I always admire you to be one of the best rafi fans around…
    But Salilda ‘s comments actually meant “people consider rafi to be the best” kinda stuff and not ” I consider Rafi to be the best”.. you know…I hope you get the point..
    Salilda neither considered Kishore nor Rafi as his favourite.. Mannada was his most favourite and many a times he openly admitted tha.. But the reason why kishore fans love salilda more than madan mohan or o p nayyar( commonality is all these three MDs have given kishore 30 odd songs in the entire career), is because of the quality of output and the amount of confidence Salilda used to show on Kishore… Madan Mohan might have regarded Kishore as a high class singer, C Ramachandra might have considered Kishore to be the most taleneted and best voice of all cotemporaries, but the output of KK-MM or KK-CR never proved that!! At least to many fans! Whereas, KK-SC outputs were very high in quality, very challenging(Guzar Jaye din, Koi Hota Jisko, Man Kare Yaad) and highly productive…

    KK-SC not combining for more than 30 songs or Rafi-SC not combining more than 20 songs, has more to do with mutual ego problem than the respect… But, if the ego problem arised from “Tasveer teri dil mein”,(for the second example) is there any harm in admitting it??

  128. 128
    Manish Kumar Says:


    You wrote: //But Salilda ’s comments actually meant “people consider rafi to be the best” kinda stuff and not ” I consider Rafi to be the best”//

    Let’s just agree to disagree. It’s reasonable to assume that the words coming out of Salil’s mouth refer to what he believed rather than what other people believed. Yes, Salil’s favorite may have been Mukesh but this doesn’t mean he regarded Mukesh as the best singer. Salil’s favorite may not have been Rafi but that doesn’t discount the possibility that Salil held Rafi in very high regard. Again, corresponding with someone whose house guest was Salil Choudhury confirms Salil’s respect for Rafi and his subjective liking of Lata (like the way I subjectively love Rafi).

    More importantly, I must thank you for getting me to pay more attention to the Sail-Rafi combination lately. I believe that the ultimate primary source in music is music itself. Nevermind what people say in magazine articles, just listen to the music they produce! You sort of implied that yourself when mentioned MM or CR & Kishore.

    Recently I “discovered” for myself: Koi Sone Ke Dilwale, “Tumhi Dil Se Chaha Tumhi Dil Diya Hai Yeh Vaada Karo” a Rafi-Suman Kalyanpur duet, “Yaa Kehde Hum Insaan Nahi”, “Balkaati Sharmaati Aaja!” a Rafi-Lata duet, and of course I already knew Tasveer Teri Dil Mein. These are outstanding songs and I’m confident that in the following weeks I’ll discover even more! I choose to judge the Salil-Rafi relations on the quality these songs alone! I’m also confident that after excellent products like these, in contradiction to your beliefs, if Salil & Rafi did not work more often it was because of reasons other than music. What that they are I don’t know nor give much importance.

    I’m confused by what you mean “ego problem”. Can you clarify this for me? I agree that Rafi for all his qualities was human as a singer and a person. Sure he had his off days in both respects. But I will also say that he was as perfect of a human as one could be! Unanimously by all sources he is reputed to been a saintly human being. There are many stories you’d think exist only in fairy tales but exist and are true about Rafi Sahab and his generosity and humility as a human being. Rafi definitely had self respect as a person and that’s understandable. If he felt someone was treating him unfairly and stood up for it then I applaud the man.

    Remember, Arghya, the fact is that Salil composed “Tasveer Teri Dil Mein” as the Bengali original one year before the Hindi. This composition was tailor made for Lata. Additionally, I will suggest that the perfect execution of the composition was already imagined & defined in Salil’s head from Lata. Salil, like any human, had his biases. If he had a disagreement with Rafi on the recording of Tasveer Teri Dil Mein it isn’t so much because a shortcoming of Rafi as a singer (as you so unmistakably suggested) but because of Salil’s biases either in subjective opinion or design of the composition.

    I can say with 100% honesty that I didn’t see any problems in Rafi’s execution compared to Lata. For me, they were more or less equal in quality of execution. So I don’t see what musical shortcoming Salil is talking about. Now you may say that Salil is genius composer where I’m just a regular person and that it was Salil’s composition and all…but I have a right & weight to *my* opinion as a person and as a music lover just lke anyone else including Salil himself. So did the great Rafi who clearly didn’t agree with Salil’s opinion.

    I’m just as guilty for dragging this trivial issue but like I said we’re making too much of it (maybe it’s fun?). The story of Tasveer Teri Dil Mein is as trivial and misconstrued as CR saying Lata was no better than a tape recorder. These are human biases and not to be taken as the words of the Bible, Quran, Puranas, etc.

  129. 129
    Manish Kumar Says:

    correction: sorry again – I meant “Salil’s favorite may have been MANNADE but that doesn’t mean he regarded MANNDE as the best singer” (not Mukesh as I wrote). Although I’ll admit changing Mukesh to Mannade does change things. It’s hard to argue against Mannade’s virtuosity as a singer 🙂

  130. 130
    arghya Says:

    Let us put an end to this Salil-Rafi-Kishore-Lata saga in this community once and for all…I only made a remark against an individual who was abusing Anil Biswas in the Rafi forum saying” we should pay respect to the legends”.. The guy was calling anil biswas “moron”, “chamilion” and what not to which I said” Even Sailda was not happy with rafisaab, but that doest not make Salilda to be also ignorant of music”, right?

    But that controversy went too far ahead( even without my notice).. So, let us not talk too much of it.. My major problem in Rafi community was about “memebrs showing disrespect to other legend”, nothing to do with great souls of Rafisaab or sailda…

    Manish, hope you are getting the point..Or you may again please revisit the discussions in that forum right from post number 980..

  131. 131
    Arghya Says:

    Interview of Lataji July 2007.. Sorry I could not put the interview page as it is, it was in html format.. I just copying and pasting the article here:

    I can’t tell you about the hard work among today’s generation as I don’t work much, but I do feel something is missing”, said noted singer and artist, Lata Mangeshkar, in an interview with BBC Hindi.

    “People might say I’m old fashioned.. Naushad sahib used to think for days on end for one song… One song would take 15 days… The tune changed many times… There was Salil Chowdhury. Today, if Salilda was around, people would find it difficult to listen to his songs… these persons would get immersed in music. Shankar-Jaikishen and Lakshmikant Pyarelal were there. Until they got satisfied, they would be sitting. We do not find that these days… to what extent is this prevalent these days, I would not know…”, she further added in response to a question during an exclusive interview with Sanjeev Srivastava, Indian Editor BBC Hindi.

    Lataji, as she is lovingly addressed by one and all, when asked the one song that gave her the maximum pleasure as a playback singer promptly said, “Aayega Aayega, Aayega Aanewala from the movie, Mahal”.

    She went on to remember the days when the song was being recorded.” At the time when the songs of Mahal were being recorded, Khem Chandra Prakashji, who considered me like his daughter, said that the songs will be very popular. The film came and the songs became very popular. But Khem Chandra Prakashji expired. I was very sad. Kishore Kumar and I used to address him as Chacha. He did not live to see the song, Aayega Aanewala become so popular.”

    Another incident she remembered about the recording of the song “Aayega Aanewala”. The song was picturised on Madhubala in a happy mood on a swing and it was important it was sung in a manner that would create a feel good ambience in the shot. “Shooting that song was very interesting. Bombay Talkies is a big studio in Malad. It was empty. I started singing. But they said that the right effect was lacking, like the sound trailing from a far off distance… They made me stand in one corner and kept the mic in the centre…nearly 20 feet away. The initial lines of the song, Khamosh hai zamaana… I had to take one step at a time while singing the initial lines and by the time I reached the mic, the song would start. I have worked a lot on this song.”

    While speaking about other yesteryear artists, Lataji liked Kishore Kumar the best. While she feels that singers like Mohd. Rafi and Mukesh were good in most of their songs, Kishore Kumar was good in every song. Kishore Kumar’s sad songs have been her favourite.

  132. 132
    Arghya Says:

    Looking at the interview I think, Lata should have preferred Rafisaab more than Kishoreda..As Rafisaab was clasically trained like Lataji also.. But that sublime “X”- factor dear friends, Manishji, Ashishji- which I was talking of, played the vital role.. Kishore fans like Lataji, Ashaji and even Bhimsen Joshi saab actually could not explain why they liked Kishore’s songs more!!

    We should respect that feeling!

  133. 133
    Arghya Says:

    Just in case violent rafi fans like Ashish Kapoorji, P Haldaar saab, Sandeep Nadkarni ji etc. think I am “cooking up” this interview of Lataji, These were excerpts from Radio One 94.3 FM’s interview with Lata Mangeshkar which was aired on 12 noon on July 1st, 2007

  134. 134
    arghya Says:

    I also have articles where OP Nayyar discarded Kishore and Rafi to be the best.. But, I thought it would be better to show mirror to those violent Rafi fans who now (I know 100%, and I would enjoy that also), would start throwing mud at the Devi Saraswati herself!!!

    I would watch and laugh… Go one buddies..

  135. 135
    krishna Says:

    Hi Argya,

    Ref your post 126 about the song sung for Dev Anand. When I heard this for the first time, I thought it is kishore for kishore. Rafi Saab suited more to Devanand if you ask me. I love Kishore kumar but dont compare him to MOHAMMED RAFI.. Comparisons are not correct. If you are from Bangalore I would like to meet you once as a friend just for an argument sake. I can prove how easy it is to sing Kishoreda’s songs (this being the reason for his popularity) and how difficult it is to sing Rafi saab’s song. Lets take the challenge. Are you ready!!!! I consider myself a singer but with all respects to Kishoreda..

  136. 136
    arghya Says:

    I am not from Bangalore and neither am I arguing on anything..I am an analyst not a quarrel minded people like rafisaab;s fans! You have not read my articles properly and jumping on conclusions (like all Rafi fans do)… Have you gone through the article where I mentioned about “X” factors of Kishore Kumar?

    Lastly, if you consider yourself a singer, then go to Lata Mangeshkar and ague with her ( I hope you read the interview, or like all the Rafi fans, you also selectively read only those things which speak good of Rafisaab?) as to why did she rate Kishore better than Rafi…

    Also, I will not argue with you, as I know the response of Rafifans like you much before i had posted the articles..

  137. 137
    arghya Says:

    Kishore’s songs are “easy” to sing? As a singer, can you bring the same “impact”which Kishore used to bring in his singing?
    A story: When Satyajit Ray was asked as to why he chose commercial singer like Kishore Kumar to sing a Rabindra Sangeet( I hope you know the sanctity of rabindra sangeet? or you have never bothered to,because Rafi saab never sang a Rabindra Sangeet?) when there were so many trained singers in bengal that time to carry that “Charulata” song? Satyajit said: “All trained singers can sing it, but no one can bring the same impact on screen the way Kishore did”…

    Kishore songs are not popular because they are easy to hum( I also agree many difficult numbers of Kishore are not as popular as his peppy tracks, but then, even “Chahe koi mujhe junglee kahe” is also a more hit than “Kuhu Kuhu bole koyeliya” right?), they are popular because the impact on the audience which Kishore used to leave.. All can sing them but no one can carry that impact! Just don’t be like “We also love Kishore but rafi was the best” sort of statement to bring some feel good factor in the forum, listen to Kishore properly first..

  138. 138
    arghya Says:

    Well..lastly Krishna..
    You made fun of yourself when you said after listening to “Are Yaar Mere Tum Bhi Ho gazab” you thought it was Kishore for Kishore!! Because by saying that, you degraded the quality of your listening skills not the quality of Kishore Kumar’s voice!!

    Of course, I never deny that the quality of songs which Rafi sang for Dev were better than what Kishore sang for Dev!! Anyday, “Saathi Na Koi Manzil” would win over “Kaisa Hai Mera Dil Tu Khildai”.. But, friend, we were not talking about quality of songs!! These are the obvious points Rafi fans miss every time they come to quarrel!! We were talking about adaptability of a singer for a hero! And for that Kishore should win over Rafi just like how Rafi should win over kishore for Qawalli, Devotional and Patriotic songs!! Are you clear of my point, my dear friend? Or should I go for yet another teaching session?

  139. 139
    sid Says:

    @ arghya:

    why can’t we say that “we love kishore but we love rafi more and feel he’s the best” when we DO feel he’s the best?

    I love many kishore songs, but i love rafi songs a lot more as he appeals to me more.

  140. 140
    Arghya Says:

    Prince Rama Verma- the classical master of Kerala- is a die hard Kishore Kumar fan.. Ironical, isn’t it? Just like Bhimsen Joshi or Lata Mangeshkar?

    I give you a link where the prince pays his tribute to the greatest versatile artist of India:

  141. 141
    Arghya Says:

    Ya why not sid..very well u can say that.. you also might not have seen my posts in rafisaab’s community..I am an ardent fan of rafisaab myself!!!and respect a lot… my apprehension was on certain rafi fans who have not listened kishore kumar properly and rush on to conclude” kishore could not sing all types of songs” etc.. Yes, definitely, after listening to kishore properly, still if you think rafi wins by a wide margin, then, i or anyone for that matter should not have a problem!! both were legends!!

  142. 142
    Arghya Says:

    Talking about patriotic songs.. Can someone tell me how many patriotic songs Rafi,Manna de or MK sang during the period of 1969-1987????

    The period which kishore ruled was short of patriotism.. Movies like Shaheed, Haqeeqat, Kabuliwalah,Upkaar, Purab aur Paschim, Hum Hindustani, Son of India, Leader – were already made in 60s when the nation was going through a crisis!!

    still, whatever patriotic films were made in 70s like Aakraman- it was kishoreda who sang the patriotic songs.. Only in 1984, after a long wait, we could get a memorable patriotic song like ” Dil diya hai jaan bhi denge ae watan tere liye” which is of course, a non-kishore song!!

    I bet, if you start enlisting patriotic songs of other singers( this seems to be the basis of degrading KK), 90% would fall in 60s- where we had to face 2 wars which we almost had lost!! The level of patriotism in 60s can’t be compared with that of 70s.. Dada did not have enough scope to sing patriotic songs in 70s.. Thatz a socio-cultural gap, nothing to do with his singing abilities!!

  143. 143
    Prabhanjan Says:

    Arghya: You seem to have got it a little wrong about KK vis-a-vis patriotic song. The question is not how many patriotic songs were composed upto 70 or later. The querry has got to say “Why MD’s did not have much confidence in KK to sing them when they composed it?”
    In Himmatwala film, there is a very less popular song “Imtihan Imtihan”, which was sung by SPB though KK sung the rest of the songs. The trend did continued even during KK”s peak time.

    Further, I agree with you that its not a big deal even if KK did not sing as many patriotic song as others. So, yes, it does not go against KK if he did not sing many patriotic songs 🙂

  144. 144
    arghya Says:


    Sorry to revert late… I had stopped visiting all the sites and forums a couple of weeks back.. If you visit rafi’s forum( I m sure you do), you would know why.. I really don;t know what sort of mud throwing is going there at me.. I do get feedbacks from Satyansh and all, but have decided never to go back to that community… People who know me keep on insisiting me to go back there, as rafifans have taken me on a wrong spirit..People who know me personally, only know, how much I respect Rafisaab.. definitely, I “love” Kishore more.. Just like you “love” Rafi more… My apprehension was towards “degrading other legends”.. Honestly, I don;t care too much about anil biswas, but since he is a legend, he should be respected…same for salilda( whom I genuinely respect a lottt) and of course, Kishoreda.. As you also know members there have used words like “moron” and “chamelion” to AB, “rickshawpuller voice” and “besoora” to Kishore and “politically dirty mind” to Salilda…

    Whatever they were, I don;t know, but i always love to restrict discussion on professional basis not taking some legend on a personal basis… You would have never found me commenting badly about Naushad ( who in early fifties told about kishore that “yeh aadmi sangeet me kuchh bhi nahi kar sakta”) or O P Nayyar( he has too many comments against Kishore, which Rafi fans always enjoy!) or Roshan!! Whatever they were, whatever they did, are truely timeless… They might not have done great about my “loved one”, but that never gives me a license to talk ill of them…

    I, throughout(yes of course I sounded like favouring Kishore sometime, but that even you did when you visited this site, right? that is very much human), maintained my aghastness at the language only, nothing else… Sandeep nadkarni’s comments were not digested by me properly..This has nothing to do with Sandeepji, his experience, his contribution or his soul( I don;t know him personally, but he can be agreat human being) but with his “words”!! I know any Kishore fans also sound ” cheap”.. But they never comment cheap about Rafi or Naushad or Roshan, at least I have never heard.. And as far as commenting bad about a particular member is concerned( Sandeep Nadkarni in my case), I did not use any harsh language against him like what he had used against salil and kishore… I think he is not greater than these two legends at least?? Even in Rafi’s forum, the emotions people carry for other legends have to be respected…

    So.. I tell myself not to get carried away… As Rafisaab said” Woh nirmohi moh jaane, jinka moh kare”…

    Getting back to the topic…
    If you are genuinely interested, I can hand you over some good devotional and semi-classical numbers of Kishore (mostly in bengali)… Good for you, as I am sure, you must not have heard too many bengali songs and also it would be nice for rafi fans like you ( i am “rafi admirer”- so will never be in good books of you people) to explore more depths of Kishore- who, even I admit was “Gyaan Paapi”… How many times you see a person getting immediately cured form his first heart attack and singing “Log Kehte hai main sharabi hoon”??? with all the “alaaps” and “technical twists” in place…

  145. 145
    Prabhanjan Says:

    Thanks for the detailed reply. Yes, I am completely aware of all the developments at all the forums. Let me be honest. I have not gone word-by-word and post-by-post of all of them. But I have certainly noted that you have not used any abusive words. That I am sure off. And yes, I have certainly posted there one comment saying that the posts of one anonymous (who calls himself “Kishorefan”) were strikingly similar to yours in style. It really felt like yours and I registered the same there. My apologies if he and you are not same.

    Let me make one point clear. My most favorite singer is not Rafi, its S.P. Balasubramaniam. That may be because I know Kannada (my mother tongue) and also love listening to telugu songs. What I love the most about him is that I honestly believe that though the quality of music in 80s in all language was same, its his voice which put more life in that era of bad bad music. He dominated for a period of about 20 years in three languages, kannada, tamil and telugu and some very good songs in hindi too.

    Of course, you are also right that among KK and Rafi, I am more tilted in favor of Rafiji. However, I also admire KK a lot. TO prove my point I will rather quote a rare KK song, “Panchi hoon main us paat ka” from Door Ka Raahi. I am sure you will appreciate the fact even I love KK coz this song is not one which will list among the top songs of many ardent KK fans. This song is really a gem which I recommend for all KK fans. In fact I will go to the extent of saying that if you have not heard this song, you are not a KK fan after all. This song, though not popular, stands out and ranks among his top 5 for sure.

    If you go one of my posts on mohdrafi.com, you will see me asking why KKji did not win a National Award. You will see that I have also written that he should have won at least for a bengali song. The reason why I have written exactly these words is because I believed (though never heard any KKji bengali song) that KKji should definetly have some devotional or semi-classical song in bengali, which turns out to be correct by your reply. Please forgive me for also mentioning that the great RDB loved SPB a lot and went to extent of recording quite a few songs in his voice in bengali itself, a few of which i have listened. For example, in the hindi film “Shubkamna” there is a bengali song “paathsaala mein idor velo” by spb and music by rdb.

    Can you explain in detail why and how kkji missed out winning national award?

  146. 146
    arghya Says:


    1. The song is not “Panchi hoon main” but “Panthi hoon main”.. Panthi means “musafir”.. The song was composed by KK.. And it has definite influence of Rabindrasangeet on KK.. I don;t know, whether you are aware or not, Rabindrasangeet is considered to be next to devotional songs for Bengalis.. And on Rabindrasangeet, people do PhD also there.. It is like an ocean.. KK was always influenced by Rabindranath Tagore.. Satyajit Ray- another luminary and perhaps the best director India has ever produced- used to think KK had the best base of voice to carry a Rabindrasangeet.. In Ray’s movies, wherever there was a rabindrasangeet, KK used to sing them… Also, apart from Panthi Hoon Main, KK had composed and sung many beautiful Bengali songs based on tough Raagas as such as Raag Bhairavi( Aamaar deep nebhano Raat), Raag Yaman kalyan( Aamaar maner ei mayur mahale)… Unfortunately, he did not make any hindi version of them.. As I said, definitely, KK was a “gyan paapi”..

    2. I don’t know who is Kishorefan or who is Rafifan.. I always write my comments, whatever forum may be, in my parents’ given name.. rafifan, kishorefan, xxx- these sort of names are not required by me to express my views… All the people who know me, they also know how extrovert and clear in making my opinion I am..

    3. Although, I never take national wards or nay other award seriously… Even KK, when he enlisted his own top 10 favourites, did not mention any of the songs for which he had won awards.. But, I think his dispute with Congress from 1976 onwards, has a lot to do with his ultimately not getting any national award.. His career took a small setback between 1978-1982 also, due to this..when govt. banned him and freezed all his casstees and records in the market… in 1980, for the first time since 1970, Rafi recorded more songs than him in one calender year( 85 of Rafi as against 83 of KK), when his dispute with Indira Gandhi was at its peak.. You don;t expect government( which in KK’s time meant only Congress) to give national award to a hostile singer in their eyes, right?
    And, even I think, you should also not consider Rafi’s or SPB’s winning national awards so seriously.. At least I can give 150 songs of Rafi which should come better than “Kya Hua Tera Wada”…Isn’t it?

  147. 147
    arghya Says:

    Also, if you notice, whenever congress was not there at the centre, Indian government was generous enough to admit and apppreciate Kishore’s talent and contribution.. In 2002, Government of india released postal stamp in the honour of him and his contribution to Indian music.. But whenever party changes, activities related to him get undercovered…

    Also, Government of Madhya Pradesh and Government of West Bengal every year gives ” Kishore Kumar award” to legendary musicians which in fact is a great gesture for an artiste from a government…

    But the ultimate possession for a singer is the love and respect of mass and audience.. Rafi is respected not by the National Award but by the immense love and respect which he gathered from people.. That is the best “award” any singer can get…

  148. 148
    arghya Says:

    And lastly Prabhanjan, something personal…

    The reason I took the pain of again reverting back to you is beacuse you and a couple of more rafi fans( like I always mention, Manish Kumarji) are logical enough people to understand and critically acclaim good music… You will not find my binging upon some other rafifans who use unparliamantory words to not only Kishore Kumar, but also other legends.. They say, we “love” kishore but then “politically” leave a spicy controversial comments like what he did in recording studio with LP or what he did with madhubala( hope sudip is reading this) or how he could not sing “qawali” or what ashok kumar had said about him…. I always prefer to keep safe distance from them.. when binu nair found i was not retreating my comments, he started showing disrespect to me as well as kishore… he started bringing false anecdotes.. I pointed him out on a couple of occasions that it was not right what he was doing… But that made him use more falisified agenda against kishore and all in that forum were silently supporting him!! I mean, that propelled me to make a statement that “why we always remain rafi-fan and not become music-fan”… Admit it or not, as I keep on meeting some music lovers some time or another, most of them share the same feeling about rafi-fans as I did in my comment… There are fans like manish Kumar,definitely, but they prefer to keep silence more, and uncouth individuals like Haldar, Binu nair become more vocally louder and ultimately represent the “rafi communty” to the rest of the world.. well, world knows only those whom they see more visibly..

    all should feel privileaged to be a Rafi fan, yes, I do use this word “privileaged”,… But that should not mean “tactfully” twisting and turning things against other great legends, who have their own fan following too…

    Talking about Salilda, one person kuntal ghosh, mailed me that he was equally hurt with the comments Sandeep Nadkarni made about Salil Chowdhury and when he replied severely to Sandeep Nadkarni, his comments were not moderated.. Perhaps, the moderators already had got instructions from the fans there… I perosnally am a big admirer of salil chowdhury, whatsoever differences he had with rafisaab, should not make rafifans use words like “politically biased” or ” insaan bolne me sharm aati hai” etc. That way, O P Nayyar had lot more differences with Kishore, but whenever we talk about Nayyarsaab in our discusions we hold our ears.. we consider, nayyar saab as a two dimensional figure with Rafi and Asha, and should appreciate his works in those two dimensions only… A member in rafi community called Dipali, wrote about me that I was forcefully trying to prove Salil’s favourite voice was kishore… bizzarre!! I have heard Salil chowdhury more than many members out there and I replied here also in that manner in the post called” Did RD Burman really prefer KK over Rafi”..( well, if I was in a mood to quarrel, I would have started with the name of the topic itself at the first place, how ridiculous!)

    An image makeover is necessary, sadly it is not happening with Rafi fans!

  149. 149
    KLF Says:

    Kishore da was a fantastic versitile singer who happens to be a personal favourite of mine! But the fact one needs to honestly observe that it took approx 20yrs for Kishore da to reach the top spotlight as a singer with the big help of RD Burman! compared to Rafi which took less than half that time!

    When Kishore was around in the 50’s, he was not taken very seriously as a singer until RD came in the late 60’s, up till then RD used Rafi frequently, could not RD see the potential in kishore much earlier?
    Rafi has sung for more actors (older generation and then current generation(40’s,50’s,60’s,70’s,80’s)) than Kishore which was more for the 70’s/80’s. Rafi has worked with more music directors than Kishore!

    When Rafi made a grand comeback in the late 70’s to rival with Kishore, RD started to use Rafi more frequently! Rafi has sung in more langauges than Kishore. Rafi has had more hits singing in more different than Kishore (Bhajans,Ghazals,folk,Qawalis,sad,happy,Rock & Roll,Disco,Cabaret,philisophical,religious devotional(hindu&muslim),punjabi,bengali etc.. naturally Rafi having had classical training gave him the advantage.

    I have recently saw clips of Kishore & Rafi singing live in the later years (both in their mid fifties), Kishore’s voice sounded very coarse & deep compared to Rafi’s voice who sounded much clear in range.

    Both of them are fantastic singers who I’m big fans of, but I see a lot negative attitude towards Rafi’s achievements being hidden away!
    If your a TRUE honest bollywood music lover of all times and not just from 1969, one would have to recognise what heights Rafi saab had achieved in his time!

  150. 150
    Arghya Says:

    Yes, i agree Kishore’s voice became coarse a bit in his later years, mainly after his first heart attack in 1983… If you closely listen to songs of Agar Tum Na hote(1983) and then Sharabi(1984).. you will observe that sudden “change of voice” he had gone through.. In fact, immediately after his recovery from the attack, bappi made him sing” Log kehte Hai Main Sharabi Hoon”, which was indeed an accomplishment.

    Similarly, for Rafi, his voice after 1975, did not really impress me that much.. Even “Kya Hua Tera Wada”.. His last songs like “Bishan Chahcha” or ” Ladki Pasand ki” sounded almost similar to that of his clones.. In “Suhaag”, where he and his clone Anwar sang the songs, it became very difficult which song was sung by whom.. I think the song” Ek daal par do phhol khile” was sung by Anwar whereas ” Teri rab ne bana di jodi” was sung by Rafisaab… That time rafisaab was around 55( he was born in december 1924, almost 1925).. So 1980 Rafi was equal in age to 1984 Kishore- and both of them went into some downslope in voice quality due to their age and health problems..

    Also, it is really not big deal when Kishore came on top.. It is about a good nurturer which he lacked throughout his initial career.. Rafi found Naushadsaab pretty early… And Rafi proved himself also.. S D Burman, on the other side, at best can be considered as only “giving chance to Kishore to sing” and not more like “promoting him with challenging assignments”.. Yes “dukhi man mere” was obviously there as well as “mohabbat ka chhota sa ek ashiana” or “o bewafa”, but they were too few to be counted seriously.. My earnest opinion even as on date, as far as real admirer of early KK’s voice, is for Khemchandra Prakash.. Unfortunately to Kishore, he did not live long enough to put his career on track.. Fortunately for Lata, he lived just enough to see through “Mahal” and give “Ayega Aanewala”…

    RD was always an admirer of Rafi.. Even in one of his last interviews in a Bengali magazine in September 1993, RD declared Rafi’s version of “Tum Bin Jaoon Kaha” better than Kishore’s both versions in Hindi and Bengali.. Even from 1970-1975, he gave Rafi more chance to sing than his father, who was “considered” a Rafi loyalist in 60s.. It is mainly because, RD’s style of music( which is very distict from those of his predecessors) which made him use Kishore more.. You also might admit that RD’s style was very much different from that of LP, KA or even RR.. But Kishore adpated all these MD’s style nicely to sing maximum number of songs for all these MDs.. Even LP, promoted by rafians as Rafi fans, ultimately gave 387 songs to Kishore vis-a-vis 313 for Rafi.. Considering their collaboration with KK came drastically down after 1980( they got obsessed with those Rafi-clones) and never existed in full fledge before 1969- that is a great achievement.. Even Shankar Jaikishan, although ultimately they used Rafi most, after 1970, it was Kishore who was dominating their( or, rather his- Jaikishan died in 1971) baton..

    but, yes, as you rightly said ., Rafisaab was a leader in devotional, semi-classical and patriotic songs and Kishore is not any match for him in these segments… This fact is very well aprreciated by me.. But, Kishore also scores over Rafi in certain segments of singing, like soulful songs, comedy and fast beat romantic numbers… The fact remains, Rafisaab, could have very easily sung “mera jeevan kora kagaz”- there hould not be any doubt in that, but somehow everytime KK used to sing a song on life’s philospphy( with the word “zindagi” or “jeevan” in it), he used to bring some “divine” effect in it with the “X” factor in his voice… And yes, definitely, it is very difficult for Kishore fans to justify why Kishore should be greater than Rafi( like the way you have put objectively why rafi should be the best), because theories and technicalities sometimes cannot explain why a singer’s voice should connect with me more… We consider that singer to be the best who speaks of our heart more or perhaps connects to our hert more…
    Thank you so much.

  151. 151
    Arghya Says:

    Lastly, I really, from the bottom of my heart, appreciate the comments and posts Rafi fans give over here… This, according to me, only promotes healthy discussions and not “politics” as perceived by Rafi fans whenever in their community someone praises Manna or Kishore there…

    The comments, Mr. KLF, had put over here, with due regards to him and all Rafi fans, had he put such comments for Kishore in the Rafi’s community, I would have loved to see the reactions there from Rafi’s fans.. No bad intention, but they would have simply thrashed his mouth.. We, only try here to give logical explanation to questions…

    And, at last, no one is the “best” or “greatest”.. It is only whom we perceive or think.. Even I would not consider Lataji’s saying Kishore to be the best, as everyone has his own judgement to decide and his own right to chose who should be the best, irrespective of the fact that Lataji knows more music than him/her… So, let us get out of this fact and let us enjoy the divinity which all those legends created… Salil Chowdhury, as a contributor to music, is much bigger than any violinist who played under him, irrespective of the fact whether Salilda was Rafi-lover or not…

  152. 152
    Prabhanjan Says:

    @Arghyaji: Very few people have the guts to admit that their fav singers voice became coarser in their fifties, which is only too natural. One can’t just deny that, and its against evolution. Not just KK or Rafi, its true for one and all. Wether its SPb, Jagjit SIngh, Lata Mangeshkar, Bhimsen Joshi, its only correct that they won’t sound as nice in 50’s as in their pro-fifties. The same Rafi would have done much better with “Kya huwa tera wada” if he had sung at the time of “khoya khoya chand” and vice versa.

    Regarding national awards, I would just like to say that they are better than filmfare awards. and in that sense, I still rate them in a better way than most others. Post 76 there was no way KKji would have got National Award with Congress at the centre is only political, and anybody would have to agree here. Having said this I would honestly say that he should have got one before that, say for those Mili songs on Amitabh, or any of those Hrishikesh Mukherjee songs. Moreover, I was expecting some in Bengali. Thats what I always have in mind when I say about KKji not getting the award.

    Can you please mail me a few songs of KKji in Rabindra Sangeet to my ID statscholar@gmail.com

  153. 153
    Smitha Says:

    Every singers’ voice changes with age and once they cross 50, it’s usually for the worse.
    KK’s voice, from a puritan’s perspective got coarser and consequently worse as he advanced in years. But I, like most of the KK fans, think that the voice got better and better. The ‘coarseness’ is very much the part of package that KK was and for most of the fans, the coarser it is, the better.
    To say KK is less appealing for a coarser voice is like saying that Salman is less appealing for a bigger bicep.

  154. 154
    arghya Says:

    //@Arghyaji: Very few people have the guts to admit that their fav singers voice became coarser in their fifties, which is only too natural.//

    I am not sure what you intended to say here.. As far as I am concerned, I made it very clear that Kishore Kumar’s voice “did become coarse” after his heart attack.. That is a fact..

  155. 155
    arghya Says:

    As far as voice texture is concerned my humble observation for the two best playback singers are:

    KISHORE- Best in early 70s, next best in late 60s, third in early sixties, fourth late 70s, fifth in fifties and finally in mid 80s… I don’t say, he lacked aesthetics in voice in mid80s(after his heart attack)-many people love his voice most in that phase also as rightly put by Smitha, but I got a feeling, it became a bit streneous for him to pull those high notes… In the movie Zameen Aasman(1984), there is a Lata-Kishore duet(composed by RD)- “Maine dil diya dil diya ghabrake o sathiya”, where Lata starts it with low and Kishore takes it on one higher note.. Definitely, the extra effort he had to put was quite visible and not as effortless as his earlier high notes rendering were( Jab dard nahi tha, Ek haseena thi, Are bhai nikalke aa ghar se etc.)

    RAFI: Definitely the texture of 60s Rafi was the best.. I personally feel SD Burman utilized the soft and silky texture of Rafi’s voice best ..Also Naushad and OP Nayyar were there.. I don;t like Shankar Jaikishen the way they utilized Rafi, as I think owing to the comfort Rafi used to have in higher notes, they sometimes used to make him go “too loud”… Example is “Kisko pyaar karoo kaise pyar karoo”.. Somehow, Rafi was not sounding very spontaneous but something “enforced” to sound loud.. May be it was because of the hero for whom the song was picturized ( Shammi).. I don’t like that much of Rafi’s voice in late 70s, because I think, he deviated from his soft and silky texture of 60s to a sort of “masculinity” then… Perhaps, a bit more like Kishore…”Mujhe choo rahi hai teri garm saansein” would have been a timeless gem had it been sung by Rafisaab in 60s

  156. 156
    arghya Says:


    I have mailed you two Rabindrasangeets of KK.. Thank you so much..

  157. 157
    ali Says:

    Sir arghya ,
    If am not wrong from 155 post there should be 80% your.I agree with you that the awards not make the singer better as Lata Ji got Bharat Ranta award…
    I want to ask you sir arghya why you try to compare Mohd Rafi with KK!!!!I don’t know anything about music but what said by greatest name in music world about Mohd Rafi and Lata Ji never said for any singer in Bollywood or any place in world…..as you know media played big role in 1970’s to put Kk at the top as they played a big role to put Amithab Bachchan down in 1990’s.
    KK was a great singer and will be but no one can be compare with Mohd Rafi.
    Sir arghya If am not wrong ask any Pakistani do you have better singer than Mohd Rafi the answer will be no….
    I don’t know if you agree or not that RD Burman best film as music hit was when he used Mohd Rafi in all songs that was one of few films that one singer in all songs of film..
    If we speak about best 3 singers ever born in Bollywood if am not wrong KK fans will put Mohd Rafi within three name……….I hope you understand what I mean…….
    when said that Kk was at the top in 1970’s because sung more than Mohd Rafi I think your are wrong as you know singing more numbers of songs not make better singer as you said that in 1980 mohd Rafi sung more than KK as you know mohd Rafi in 1980 he sung only for 8 months I feel that was a message of God to us that we don’t need good people with us..

    The topic is not “A Darker Truth”but at KK site what ever the topic we try to compare KK with Mohd rafi,
    Sir arghya as you know many thing about KK please try to tell us that good things about KK and not to compare ,
    Jest listen Mohd Rafi song in film Johar in Kashmir

  158. 158
    dr jayanta Says:

    it has been come from a deep observation that kishore’s voice was best in 70swhich later lost its deep bass and rythmic feelings in 80s also the indian cinema was at loss of good music director at 80s.
    being a die hard kishore fan one can feel that kishore was lonely in 80s being void of competition after death of md rafi.
    however what kishore had done to indian music is really uncompareable and none other than kishore could do it.

  159. 159
    arghya Says:

    Ali saab…
    Bahut shukriya,,, Bahut hi achha laga jaanke ke pakistan ke sangeet premiyon ko bhi hindustan ke gayakon se utna hi pyar hai,,

    Aapne kuchh baatein achhi kahi: 1. yahan pe 80% posts mere hai( ekdum sahi)2. Kishore fans apne top 3 favourites pe rafisaab ko rakhte hai( jeeta jagta example main hoon aap ke liye) and 3. singing more songs don’t make a singer greater than others( isse sachhi baat to kisine bhi nahi kiya yahan par)

    Kuchh baatein “judgemental” hai aapke, uspe main comment nahi karoonga, kyunki us se dispute create hota hai aur dispute ka koi ant nahi hota( like, “KK was a great singer and will be but no one can be compared with Mohd Rafi.”)

    Aap ki jis baat se main agree nahi karta hoon woh bas bol deta hoon aur woh Kishore ya Rafi ke upar nahi hai, woh hai R D Burman ke upar… Jo apne kaha-“you agree or not that RD Burman best film as music hit was when he used Mohd Rafi in all songs that was one of few films that one singer in all songs of film..”..SORRY bhaiyya, complete disagreement here, if you mean that movie to be “Teesri Manzil”.. “Teesri Manzil” was a great musical, yes I repeat, a great musical, but RD has done better music than Teesri manzil than in Aandhi, Amar Prem, Masoom(no Kishore Kumar song here, boora mat maniyega) and Ijazat(Kishore Kumar to door, Ashaji ko chhodke koi singer hi nahi hai),,, Aap poochhnge, kyun? Let me answer…

    1. Teesri Manzil: Very catchy tunes,, Based on rock n roll( Aaja aaja main hoon and o haseena), based on raag pahadi tunes-like his father’s tunes(deewana mujhsa nahi) and a brilliant soulful sad song( tumne mujhe dekha)… But, the movie scores lacked “variety”, which means it cannot be used as a “showcase” to show RD’s versatility in classical, ghazal, folk tunes and deep soulful numbers… Now look at others:

    2. Amar Prem: This movie actually was a final sentence to Rajesh Khanna, Kishore Kumar and R D Burman’s superstardom,,, As you might call them “media game”, so, let us put that matter apart and discuss the topic “purely on music gambit”: Here RD had semi-classical( “Raina Beeti Jaaye” on Raag Yaman and “Kuchh To Log Kahenge” on Raag Kalavati), bengali folk tunes( “doli mein bithayeeke kahar”), deep soulful(“chingari koi bahdke”), sweet devotional,meera bhajan type( bada natkhat hai re) and a sad but peppy track( yeh kya hua)… The variety of Amar Prem- as a showcase to RD’s talent- is much bigger than Teesri Manzil, where RD was definitely great but not “comprehensive”- I hope you get what I mean,,,,

    3. Similalry, please listen the numbrs of the other films mentioned by me, you will find justification to my statement,,,, Feel free to share your feedback also,,, but don’t use the word “popularity” for Teesri Manzil… Rafi fanatics(not fans), use this word very politically, when Rafi is compared with Kisghore, they say , popularity is not a measure and it is all of media game but when the same Rafi is compared with Manna De, they say “who is more popular? Rafi or Manna”???? ” So,, please, sir, get out of that and stick to musicial discussions….

    Thank you so much!!

  160. 160
    Anil Says:

    Rds best music was amarprem. His best light music was not teesari manzil but “awanidiwani” where there were many experiments. his best composed song was “aanewala pal”.

    he did not like spb as he did not use him in “sanam teri kasam”.
    i would like to know about the interview where he said “rafi version was better than ishore” for tum bin u kahan. It is very clear that kishore version was appreciated and even rdb always said that kishore gave him extra dge.
    yes rdb was very careful. he never gave way to make impression that he discared rfi. he always periodically used rafi partly as he knew his competitiors lp peferd rafi, partly to avoid monotony, partly to get supprt from rafi fans.
    but a careful listening one come to conclusion that is favortie was “kishore” and like a clever fox he used ri or spb for a change and also to avoid the charges of being biasedness. he also knew what appened to mds who used only 1 singer “c. ramchandra, opn, naushad, and rdb wanted to play a long innings.

  161. 161
    satish sharma Says:

    Kishore Kumar is my absolute favourite and i sing his songs profesionally too. He was a rare talent —maybe the most talented singer ever born or will ever be born. I am extremely happy to find this website. I create music on advanced synthesizers/ keyboards and love singing Kishore songs even for myself. Apart from him i love singing Neil Diamond and Engelbert Humperdinck who are my English favourites. I wonder if there is a music club in Delhi with similar taste and interest for music.
    Satish Sharma
    011-26896578/ 26134842

  162. 162
    Anil Says:

    the man re tu kahe na dhir dhare rendition of kishore as a tribute to rafi in khanadawa is beautiful and has more depth and conveys the mood than the original. kishore also sang it in filmfare. does some body have a recorded version of it.
    i dont think kishore’s voice became coarser in mid eighties. it was that just tunes were not good. mds like bappi failed to control him. listen to “maine timse kuch nahi manga ” from katha and nowhere there is coarseness. similalry mr india (1987) has no shades of coarseness!

  163. 163
    PRAVEEN Says:


  164. 164
    rafibhakt Says:


    When did yesudas become SPB’s favourite singer, In your dreams perhaps ? I have seen in many interviews and heard from many people, only rafi in hindi and ghantasala in telugu are the favourite singers of spb. In fact, I have personally seen mentioning that SPB had quoted, his favourite singers are in line ghantasala, kishore, lata, rafi in order in one interview.

    Yesudas is a great singer from malayalam, but he cannot be placed anywhere near rafi in terms of melodious voice and expression range of mohd. rafi.

    Further, I have myself seen articles by Yesudas himself claiming mohd rafi as the king and similarly in the south, such reverence is only enjoyed by ghantasala of telugu, (even yesudas and illayaraja mention that) who continues to enjoy vast reverence even from rafi fans and fans of other singers as well even today i.e after nearly 4 decades of his passing away.

  165. 165
    ananth Says:

    Hi arghya,

    I read ur blog….was interesting….
    I am big fan of Kishore….but i must admit i also like Rafi, Mukesh, Lata, Asha, Hemant

  166. 166
    akk Says:

    There are two ways to judge a singer: one based on technical (classical) aspects and one on feelings. No doubt, rafisaab had a much stronger classical base, as reflected in the vast variety of classical, qawali’ and bhajans sang by him. But when it comes to expressions, feelings, voice modulation (according to mood of songs) give it to Kishoreda. This is the simple reason, whenever anyone sings a kishoreda song (even if its reasonably straightforward in terms of sur) he is never able to match the feelings, expressions and voice quality of kishoreda. Whereas, when singers sing rafi numbers, they are able to come close to rafisaab to a greater degree than kishore-clones.

    While, rafi was more versatile in terms of genre of songs he did (filmy, romantic, classical, qawali, bhajans), Kishore gains the edge when versatlity in terms of moods of songs (romantic, sad, fun & dance numbers etc) is considered.Kishoreda was able to catch the mood of the songs perfectly through unmatcheable expressions and voice quality, above all – the voice throw, unmatched by any singer. Even after having talked about throw, I would still consider Kishoreda’s sad songs to be his best take for eg Chingari koi bhadke, O saathi re, Hum bewafa…the list is endless. While, in fun songs it goes without saying, he was the champion. The seriousness (yet surety) in “Meri Bheegi Bheegi si”, the romance in “Sagar jaisi ankhon waali, the expressions in “Hamein aur jeene ki chahat na hoti”, The voice throw in “Dilbar mere”, “Ek hasina thi” are unmatcheable.

    Having said that, I am also an ardent fan of rafisaab, consider his voice as sweet and silky smooth and admire his great strength in classical music. We miss these 2 legends of the past.

  167. 167
    arwind paul Says:

    dear arghya i really apreciate your words from your earlier post in which you said about popularity of Kishoreda over rafi or rafi over manna dey sahab,and the stupid mentality of binu niar and monty etc rafi fans.K.K’s songs is immortal and who thought this about rafi songs are totally wrong because (rafi ko is time generation hi boring kehti hai to aage kya hoga).

  168. 168
    Kamal Says:

    If Kishore Daa is a complete garden of singing than Mohd. Rafi is simply an small flower of that garden.
    Mohd. Rafi voice looks good only in one occasion when he sings songs in gali or mohalla in an small Mehfil with Dhaplaa & Manjira.
    Whereas Kishore Daa was enriched with all the trades of singing and his voice was fit to all the legendary hero of different time but in other words because of his “Khanakti Aawaz Ka Jaadu” he made the Bollywood heros legend. The loss of Kishore Daa is the total loss of music world.

  169. 169
    anurag Says:

    Bandar kya jane adrak ka swad.
    You need to be kaansen to understand Rafi sahab. He is ahead of all in playback singing. Lata quoted” rafi could outclass any one including me….”
    How great she is, everyone knows. She herself is un-matchable, no one has come close to lata, yet she truly appreciates Rafi like this!!!

  170. 170
    gokuldas kumar.M Says:

    If I had heard the interview given by SPB correctly, he had placed Rafi above all singers. Please go through that interview(given to a lady interviewer). In which he says how desperate he was to see Rafi once in a studio, how he touched his feet but could not talk to him etc etc..! He says how Rafi marveled him with his magical voice, range etc.

  171. 171
    ajith Says:

    Pathetic rafi bhakt: U are saying that u have read so many things of Yesudas…he has quoted all others are best…Its called humility yaar…Nadal never said he is the best..did he?? Or did Sachin say he is the God?? Great people are made like that…And about SPB…SPB and KJ Yesudas shared stage together very recently..go watch that program to understand what KJ is for SPB…and nobody can comment on the class of KJ, if u have heard him atleast once…A person with max number of National Awards… His journey in Bollywood was given an end by dirty politics…this also everyone knows…Better go and ask Ravindra Jain…

  172. 172
    Amit Giri Says:

    kishore kumar fans mostly takl abt ”tum bin jaun kanha” song that he sang better than Rafi but they forget that both sang the song in tdo diff mood Rafi sir in romantic and kishore is in sad, rafi sir matchless and there is no comparision with anyone as far as rafi sir is concerned

  173. 173
    Krishi Says:

    Recently i came to know that the song ‘zindagi ek safar hai suhana’ from movie andaz was song by both the singers – kishore and other singer. in this case too Kishore’s version has excelled. Some people really have a problem to accept Kishoreda’s greatness. Well to Kishore fans it doesn’t make any difference because more these people dislike him….love for Kishore by kishore fans keeps increasing ….. Thanks

  174. 174
    Raj Says:

    Salaamat rahe dostana hamara and yaadon ki barat – kishore has excelled against rafi.

    In karz film, dar de dil vs. om shanti om (mere umar ke now jawano) – kishore’s voice was more attractive than rafi

    Many such instances can be cited for kishore’s supremacy in bollywood singing.

    Regarding national awards, they were started in late 60’s and gained prominence only in 70’s. So as somebody says here, it is not correct to say that yesudas and spb got more national awards than others. As spb, yesudas etc. were established singers in 70’s and 80’s it is natural they got it. If the national awards were there in the 50’s and 60’s rafi from hindi and ghantasala from the south would have bagged many national awards without any doubt, more than k j yesudas and spb.

    Regarding kishore getting awards, already someone explained it was mainly due to politics.

  175. 175
    Raja Says:

    Classically or perhaps range wise i would there was noone that could match Rafi sahaab.But then we must consider that Kishore before all his Singing Antics was an actor,producer,director,writer…That does not come easy to one Single individual.Agar Rafi Saheeb ki aawaz khuda ki awwaz thi to Kishore jaise kalaakar bhi lakhoone saal mein ek hi baar aayega

  176. 176
    our singers Says:

    everybody is good in their own ways. although so many criticise kumar sanu, dont forget some of the good melodies he rendered.

  177. 177
    Gokuldas Kumar.M Says:

    Dear Mr.Kamal.
    Please do some home work on the huge variety of songs that Rafi sahab had rendered from late 40s to middle 70s, before you would call him a ‘small flower’ in an ‘unknown garden of the best songs’ for you created in Hindi movies during this period!!
    Gokuldas Kumar.m

  178. 178
    yogi Says:

    Well guys, there hasenot been a voice greater than yesudas. You just have to stop being biased and listen to his hindi songs. you say Rafi , and i maintain that not even Great kl saigal can come close to yesudas , in voice, style , range , ability, singing octaves, pitch, and much more.
    This is coming from some one who doesnt even know tamil or malayalam , and all my life i have been thinking kl saigal was greatest singer india produced , well i was wrong.

  179. 179
    Soumi Says:

    The Rafi-Kishore comparisons have been burning for years but on pure technical terms of richness of voice (which is what cinema playback singing is all about), I give the verdict in favor of Kishore, just a notch higher than Rafi. While it is unfair to compare these two totally different style of legendary singing talents, my vote for Kishoreda is based purely on rarity. For example, when you value a diamond based on 4Cs, the pure colorless diamond is the most expensive. Not because it is of any great quality as compared to a colorful diamond but purely because of the fact that it is extremely rare! So is our Kishore Kumar. There could be a singer as good as Rafi in singing talent but the voice of Kishore Kumar is extremely rare. In fact purists have said that the greatest of imitators could match him on very few notes and the music directors have struggled to compose tunes on those very notes to make the imitator sound like Kishore! These comments were made by none other than Lataji. Ashaji said that there can never be a voice even remotely as close to Kishoreda’s. Even past his prime, Bappida summarized it as a Lion of a voice and made other contemporary singers of the time look very ordinary. If a past prime aged Kishore’s voice could engulf an extremely talented SPB’s voice in Saagar you can imagine the fate of singers with Kishore in prime. Such was the affect of his voice that after his death there was a huge void and people were longing to hear his voice and could not digest the voice of other singers. As the immensely talented Sonu Nigam has once said in an interview that the imitator bunch ruled the roost for nearly a decade and people of Kishore’s era were not willing to listen to other talents while he was imitating Rafi in his early singing years. And yes, Rafi was extremely great talent playback singing has ever seen but his voice was not missed for such a long time by the people as they did with Kishore’s.

  180. 180
    Marghoub Mudassar Says:

    I feel kishore kumar better than any other singer why I do not know . like me many lover like him without comparing any other singer

  181. 181
    ruds Says:

    kishore might have been a good comedian and actor or a good director but as far as singing is concerned, rafi sahaab is the greatest.

    where did yesudas come from he is not even that versatile. he is just a beast at classical music but thats it.
    kishore is better than yesudas and rafi sahaab is the greatest of the all!

  182. 182
    Banerjee Pranati Says:

    One can understand why the debate between these two singer continues. But with the passage of time, it is becoming increasingly clear (specially with the help of youtue), that Md Rafi is far ahead of kishoreji. simply because his timbre is more musical & heavenly than kishore kumer.

  183. 183
    Banerji Santanu Says:

    Recently in Hindusthan Times Lataji has commented Md Rafi should be regarded as he greatest male singing voice of India, no singer can reach the higher octave pitch like him. And how could Bappiji say that the lion-like voice of Kishoreji suppressed all other voices in the 70? Then how would we explain the reality when in the 50s and specially 60s,all male voices virtually became insignificant and outclassed beside Md Rafi sahab’s gargantuan presence in those days? Except C. Ramchandra and to some extent Salil chowdhury, no music director could think of playback singing without him? ( particularly, from 1957 to 1970).

  184. 184
    Santanu Banerji Says:

    Great singers like Lataji, Manna Dey, Mahendra kapoor and Mukesh hailed Md Rafi to be the greatest playback singer of India, ever I mentioned Mukeshji because, his son Neteen revealed in a Md Rafi programme recently that his father wanted Neten follow Md Rafai sahab and not him. The days Sanu Nigaam, Udit and Sreya Ghosal prefers Md Rafi over all male singers. Manna dey revered him along with Lata to be two singing institutions in India, which was published in ABP, WB recently. And lastly in the youtube era one can listen to both Kishore and Md Rafi back to back and easily decide who is great. Many musical experts do think that Md Rafi on umpteen no of occasions surpassed even divine Lataji in his timbre quality, which Lataji even conceded in an article last year. I would urge upon kishore fans to pause and ponder further before putting Kishore kumar ahead of Md Rafi! Some great classical sigers of bengal even hold Md Rafi far above Kishore kumar, who did have a tremendous voice, but in the final reckoning lacked the divine resplendence and awesome out of the world melody of Md Rafi, not to mention his classical single ability, which ruefully Kishore kumar lacked, but he too undoubtedly was a great singer too.

  185. 185
    yogi Says:

    Well if your idols had tried singing in any of the south languages then would have been a good comparison. Truth is yesudas voice is divine, and he has fans all around the world even in west who regard him as the best voice ever being heard. As far as rafi or kishore goes , kl saigal was wsy better comparatively. But ordinary north indians will never accept .reminds me of incident when kishore threatened yesudas for the same reason.
    On top of that yesu sang in almost all indian languages and also english, latin, arabic with perfect feel and rendetion. Did your IDOLS ever try that.. any singer could be better in certain aspect of singing but when it comes to perfection, and international recognition only one name pops up ..KJ YESUDAS

  186. 186
    rohit Says:

    Kishore has a voice that is distinct and became popular.. however yesudas is a singer who has made even the simplest of songs amazing with his grasp and depth of music… in music he has transgressed everything from classical to modern singing… its only idiots who would not rate him better than kishore… its the northern mentality… similar to americans who think pakis and indians are same and think that pakistan is more intellectual than india or more advanced… People who understand music know what it takes to have a range from low to high pitch… kishore was an amazing talent… but Yesudas is much bigger to music and so is mohammad rafi

  187. 187
    ali k Says:

    @arghya Totally wrong observation about the high note – mein ne dil liya song. He was meant to start at a higher note!!!

  188. 188
    shakeel Ahmeds Says:

    Rafi is undisputed king of singing world.No length of debate writing etc in favour of any other singer would lower the position of Rafi saheb .He was He is and He will remain the greatest singer of all times.

  189. 189
    SHAN AKBAR Says:

    TO rafibhakt ,
    LISTEN SHADJNE PAYA, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wEpWWp7tct4





  190. 190
    SHAN AKBAR Says:

    TO rafibhakt ,



    LISTEN SHADJNE PAYA, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wEpWWp7tct4









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