Kishore Vs Kishore
Still reluctant to sideline Rafi, they yet made Kishore Kumar sing for a hero unthinkable minus Rafi’s voice, Rajendra Kumar, in Tum ko bhi to aisa hi kuchh in Aap Aaye Bahaar Ayee – another Rafi-based score. For different intrinsic reasons, as well as due to the all-pervading neo-popularity of Kishore, all four numbers became […]
Still reluctant to sideline Rafi, they yet made Kishore Kumar sing for a hero unthinkable minus Rafi’s voice, Rajendra Kumar, in Tum ko bhi to aisa hi kuchh in Aap Aaye Bahaar Ayee – another Rafi-based score. For different intrinsic reasons, as well as due to the all-pervading neo-popularity of Kishore, all four numbers became huge hits and lead the other male songs on the charts.
LP’s confidence in Kishore Kumar increased – and shrewd composers that they were, they began to settle in the Kishore groove even as one ompositional foot was firmly anchored in Rafi-land. Thus it was in 1972 that Kishore Kumar’s two aces with LP – Sachaai chhup nahin sakti (Dushmun) and Yeh jeevan hai (Piya Ka Ghar) scored at the charts even against the might’n’merit of RD’s masterpieces like Chingari koi bhadke and Yeh kya hua (Amar Prem) and O mere dil ke chain (Mere Jeevan Saathi).
Never mind the fact that the RD songs proved to have more lasting value; market -standing always depends on initial popularity. And while the Dushmun hit had LP once again breaking fresh ground by giving Kishore-da a mujra-cum-qawwali, the Piya Ka Ghar number is still considered a front-ranker among the songs of Kishore, LP as well as Anand Bakshi by connoisseurs and music insiders.
In 1972, LP also yielded several other Kishore songs, many of them hits. Among those still cherished were Dil ki baatein (Roop Tera Mastana), Jani o jani (Raja Jani) and Pyar ko chahiye kya ek nazar(Ek Nazar). But the year was the peak of the RD-Kishore combo, and we had unlimited gems from them in films as varied as Hare Rama Hare Krishna, Amar Prem, Jawani Diwani (a trio of films which saw RD try out three aspects of Kishore Kumar’s range with spectacular success and incredible innovation), Parichay, Mere Jeevan Saathi, Seeta Aur Geeta, Samadhi, Do Chor, Raampur Ka Lakshman, Bombay To Goa and that exotic object d’art from Gomti Ke Kinare – Aao, aao jaan-e-jahaan. But LP were gearing up for their day with Kishore Kumar. In 1973, RD used Kishore extensively, but mediocrity and repetitiveness crept in with films like Raja Rani, Anamika, Do Phool, Shareef Badmaash, Joshila, Double Cross, Jheel Ke Us Paar and Bandhe Haath. And RD and Kishore Kumar could match their 1972 act only with Main shaayar badnaam (Namak Haram), Waada karo nahin chhodogi tum (Aa Gale Lag Jaa), Jaana hai hamein to jahan (Daulat Ke Dushmun) and the songs of Yaadon Ki Baaraat.
Since 1970, K-A too had begun to yield a hit parade with Kishore over a dozen films, and L-P now had two strong opponents. ‘They kept us on our toes,’ Laxmikant confessed to me once. L-P had luck and consistency always on their side and 1973 saw them use Kishore Kumar to devastating effect in original and – for Kishore – unusual winners like Mere dil mein aaj kya hai (along with the two chartbusting duets in Daag), Haal kya hai dilon ka (the Anokhi Ada qawwali), Jaipur ki choli (Gehri Chaal) and Qusoor teri nazaron ka hai(Nirdosh).
After 1974, LP had consolidated their multi-pronged use of Kishore Kumar. The pitch they made him sing at was way different from RD, SD, KA or anyone else. They dared give him more qawwalis like Hamein kya garaz log kya maante hain (Anari), Kahin janaab ko and Tu mere pyaale mein (Amir Garib), ghazals like Sarakti jaaye hain (Deedaar-E-Yaar) and even the devotional tenor-laden Prem ka rog lagaa (Do Premee). They got him to sing the semi-classical Aap ke anurodh pe (Anurodh), the esoteric Daakiya daak laaya (Palkon Ki Chhaon Mein), the Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi-esque Manubhai motor chali (Palkon Ki Chhaon Mein), the freaky Jhatpat ghunghat khol (Sindoor), the seductive Kaate nahin kat-te (Mr India), the disco numbers Om shanti om and Paisa yeh paisa (Karz) and even convoluted compositions like Hafte mahine saal (Avtaar), Na hansna mere gham pe (Anurodh) and Chal dariya mein doob jaaye (Prem Kahani).
In fact 1974 itself was a LP-Kishore songfest with lovelies like Shor mach gaya shor (Badla), Gadi bula rahi hai (Dost) and Ruk jaana nahin (Imtihan) and the multiple hits from Manchali, Badla, Amir Garib, Roti and Majboor. And Amir Garib and Prem Shastra’s diverse scores so impressed Dev Anand that LP stepped into Burman bastion Navketan with Jaaneman.
In 1974, RD had Kishore-based triumphs like Aap Ki Kasam, Ajanabee, Heera Panna and Manoranjan, but the repetitiveness had become a shade irritating. Not even the superb Dil se dil milne ka (Charitraheen) could compensate for the utterly lacklustre RD scores – all Kishore-based – like Humshakal, Trimurti, Ishq Ishq Ishq, Dil Diwana and Madhosh , which RD gave filmmakers for whom he had given exceptional musical just a film earlier. He fared better in 1975, with Aandhi, Khel Khel Mein, Sholay, Warrant and that once-in-several-blue-moons song O hansini (Zehreela Insaan), but the damage was done.
With the release of Dharam Karam, comparisons were inevitable with LP’s magnificent Bobby for the RK banner. And the first blow to the sensitive Pancham’s morale came with Dev Anand shifting loyalties to LP for Jaaneman after the dismal musical showing of Ishq Ishq Ishq. And as if this twin blow wasn’t enough, Rajesh Khanna had a temporary spat with RD – with whom he had always vibed personally even as he professionally kept LP on standby after the hits they were unceasingly giving him – and ‘defected’ to LP. And finally, Shakti Samanta, after RD’s array of hits for him like Aradhana, Kati Patang, Amar Prem, Ajanabee and Mehbooba, signed LP for Anurodh. Truly speaking, RD never recovered from these multiple injuries.