Monday, February 15, 2010

Combination of Rafi with Rishi Kapoor.

Combination of Rafi with Rishi Kapoor.

Mohammad Rafi virtually ruled bollywood music during the 50s and 60s. Therefore his contribution was unique in the career of all the leading stars of the golden age including Dilip Kumar, Rajender Kumar, Shammi Kapoor, Pradeep Kumar, Bharat Bhushan, Guru Dutt, Pradip Kumar, Joy Mukherjee, Biswajeet, Dharmender, Jeetender and others.

But in the 70s, Rafi did not get the same amount of songs from the upcoming composers if compared with his domination in the 60s. He made his existence felt in style with romantic combination in the films of Rishi Kapoor. Two factors went in his favour. Firstly Rishi Kapoor was the leading romantic actor of that age who balanced the action films of Big B, Vinod Khanna, Shatrughun Sinha and others with his romantic films. At the other hand Laxmikant Pyarellal, the composer who was loyal to Rafi till the last day of his life was the main contributor in Rishi Kapoor’s films.

In the film Badalte Rishtey, Rafi’s song for Rishi Kapoor “woh woh na rahen” reminded the viewers about the romantic andaz that he displayed for the previous 30 years. Besides the song “yeh duniya ke badalte rishte” was equally impressive. Madan Mohan and Jaidev combined together to compose the songs for Rishi Kapoor’s epic film Laila Majnu.

Laila Majnu flabbergasted the viewers with the flavor of music of middle-east, the area related to the subject matter of the film. Each song of Rafi had a class of its own including “ mai tere dar pe aya hoon”, “barbad muhobbat ki dua saah liye ja”, “is reshmi pazeeb ki jhankar ke sadpe” (sung by Lata and Rafi), “likhkar tera naam zamee par” (sung by Lata and Rafi).

Rafi and Rishi Kapoor continued the romantic combination in the film Sargam. All the songs in the film were backed by very loud melodious orchestration. Rafi’s songs with Lata became super hit including “ramjiki nikli sawari”, “dafliwale dafli baja”, “koel boli duniya doli”, to name a few. Rafi’s solo numbers in the film like “hum to chale pardes”, “kahan tera insaaf hai”, appealed to the masses. Rishi Kapoor’s excellent lips were complimented by Jaya Prada’s classical dance in the film. Rafi was brilliant as ever.

Rishi Kapoor and Rafi combination entertained the viewers and listeners in the film Amar Akbar Anthony as well. All the songs composed by LP for Rafi created sensation. The qawalli “parda hai parda” was considered to be the last conventional qawalli composed in the 70s which faded away in the 80s and 90s due to absence of Rafi and had been revived in recent times. The other songs “shirdi wali saibaba” required high pitch which Rafi provided in style. Rafi sang the song “humko tumse ho gaya hai pyar kya Karen” with Kishore and Mukesh in the same film.

The Rafi Rishi Kapoor combination continued in the film Karz. The song “darde-dil darde-jigar” had remained one of the leading songs that are played on Valentine’s day for years. LP’s strong insistence for Rafi with Rishi Kapoor also motivated RD Burman to use Rafi in films of Rishi Kapoor. The song “pucho na yaar kya hua” showed Rafi’s elegance in westernized songs where Rishi Kapoor gave brilliant lips. Also Rishi Kapoor gave able lips in the qawalli sung in the film Hum Kisi Se Kum Nahi in late 70s. Rafi was outstanding by every musical standard.

It was a huge tragedy that Rafi died in 1980, otherwise he could have sung many romantic songs for Rishi Kapoor who gave adequate expression in the songs sung by Rafi. Although Rafi’s songs for Rishi Kapoor did not have the class that was evident in the songs of the 60s as giants of giants like Naushad, Roshan, Ghulam Mohammad, Shankar Jaikishan, OP Nayyar, Madanmohan were at their zenith during that age, the combination of Rafi and Rishi Kapoor still has importance because it came at a time when action films eroded the requirement for soft romantic songs in films. For those reasons the songs and the films should be preserved.

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