INVINCIBLE Laxmikant-Pyarelal and EUPHONIC Mohammad Rafi
(Few Black and White “Romantic Songs”)
“Parasmani” marked the beginning of a long association between Mohammad Rafi Saab and Laxmikant-Pyarelal. When filmmaker Babubhai Mistry signed Laxmikant-Pyarelal to compose music for the low-budget costume drama Parasmani in 1963. Laxmikant-Pyarelal began thinking of which singers to choose. Laxmikant-Pyarelal’s natural choice was Mohommad Rafi. Two songs of Mohammad Rafi “Woh Jab Yaad Aye, bahut yaad aye” and “Roushan tumhi se duniya” brought fame for the musical duo.
Success was not easy for Laxmikant-Pyarelal, since they had no Godfathers to promote them. They both started with B grade films, which were never released. Their first breakthrough came via film Parasmani. Dosti established them as full flagged music composers.
The most unique aspect of these two films was that they had unknown actors for whom Laxmikant-Pyarelal and Rafi Saab gave A grade performance.
The song ‘Chahunga mein tujhe‘ for which Rafi Saab and lyricist Majrooh Saab won Filmfare awards was to be scrapped from the soundtrack. It was Rafi Saab who insisted Laxmikant-Pyarelal to retain the song and what a momentous decision that was from Dosti where there was no looking back.
Rafi was so impressed with the compositions of Laxmikant Pyarelal that he had taken just one rupee for singing the song because it was the custom of a singer to take something in return for a professional song. The film became a huge success.
Laxmikant-Pyarelal were the staunch Rafi loyalist throughout their life. Their greatness lies in their simplicity, commitment and the quality of unconquered versatility gave Laxmikant-Pyarelal a supreme staying power of 35 years in the Hindi Film Music.
Laxmikant-Pyarelal’s s association with Rafi Saab continued till his last day, 31st July, 1980. During Rafi Saab’s lean years in the early 70s apart from Madan Mohan it was Laxmikant-Pyarelal who stood by him. Both were instrumental in bringing Rafi Saab comeback in the year 1977.
Mohammad Rafi has sung as many as 379 numbers of the songs, including 183 solo, under Laxmikant-Pyarelal. This is the highest numbers of the songs sung by Mohammad Rafi under any music directors in Hindi Film Music.
It is very difficult to select the best of Mohammad Rafi with Laxmikant-Pyarelal. Here I have selected few “Black and White” era’s Romantic songs, from Rafi-LP combo. Most of these songs are of the period when Laxmikant-Pyarelal were relatively new. Just listen to it. They are just amazing in all respect.
1. Abhi Kamseen Ho Nadan Ho …”Aaya Toofan” 1964.
This song is a “landmark” for Rafi-LP combo, just before “Dosti”. Extremely ‘tender’ song, delicately rendered by Rafi in his own style. The way Rafi Saab takes off and renders “ABHI KAMASEEN HO”… is just a mesmerizer. Apart from western style orchestra arrangements using VIOLINS and ACCORDION in all the “interludes”, it has ear-pleasing “prelude” of MANDOLIN. Another beauty of this song is the “pauses” given in between. It is an addict song for all RAFI FANS. Asad Bhopali have written this lovely romantic words.
2. Tauba Ye Nazare …”Dillagi” 1966
“Prelude” of 44 seconds is very melodious, Rafi Saab’s humming, ACOUSTIC GUITAR and VIOLINS. Flawless ‘romantic’ rendering, beautiful BONGO DRUM fast rhythm. First and last ‘interludes’ are orchestrated with ACCORDION and GUITAR. Second “interlude” Rafi Saab have repeated the humming. The song is written by Majarooh Sultanpuri.
3. Mera Yaar Bada Sharmila ..”Milan Ki Raat” 1967
This song is effortlessly sung by Rafi saab on a “ROCK N ROLL” style, synchronizing his rendering with BONGO DRUMS ‘rhythm’. Another beauty of the song is that it is completely woven around the glimpses of GUITAR, in the ‘interludes’ and as ‘filler’ to create a romantic feel through the orchestra. This song is written by Anand Bakshi.
HIT song of 1967 at “right” moment…When late Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi Playing Test Cricket at Leeds (UK), “proposed” Sharmila Tagore, by scoring brilliant Century (148 runs).
4. Jab Jab Bahar Aayee ..”Taqdeer” 1968
One of the most lovable song from the combo of Rafi-LP. Entire song is orchestrated by using PIANO and solo VIOLIN (played by PYARELALji himself) with mellifluous DHOLAK/TABLA ‘rhythm’. This song has many versions, sung by various singers but solo sung by Rafi Saab is the best. This songs beautiful words are written by Anand Bakshi.
5. Aayee Baharon Ki Sham ..”Wapas” 1969
Western style composition with rhythm on ACOUSTIC GUITAR mesmerizes the musical ears. Beautiful song with sweet & soulful lyrics. Rafi sab is always at his best when he sings soft, soothing romantic songs.Here too he has succeeded to spread magic with his extremely melodious singing…..lovely composition. Majaroooh Sultanpuri has written the song.
ASTOUNDING FOURSOME Mohammad Rafi..Anand Bakshi.. Laxmikant-Pyarelal
Mohammad Rafi is considered no less than a genius when it comes to varied styles of music. This great singer had the perfect blend of melody, emotions and energy, which resulted into thousands of soulful songs.
Mohammad Rafi has recorded the maximum numbers of songs under the music directors Laxmikant-Pyarelal, precisely 379 songs, including 183 solo.
ASTOUNDING FOURSOME :: Mohammad Rafi, Anand Bakshi, Laxmikant-Pyarelal. Out of gigantic 379 songs composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal for Mohammad Rafi, monumental 270 songs are written by Anand Bakshi, ONLY.
We get incomparable variety of songs from these astounding FOURSOME of Mohammad Rafi/Anand Bakshi and Laxmikant-Pyarelal. Gazal, Western, Semi-Classical, Lori (lullaby), Folk, Qawwali, Mujra, Patriotic etc. Sad Songs, Romantic Songs, Devotional Songs etc, many more varieties can be found in this QUARTET.
This “TETRAD” of Mohammad Rafi, Anand Bakshi, Laxmikant-Pyarelal came together for the first time for the song, ‘Shokhiyan Nazar Mein Hai’ from “Aasra” in 1966. Followed by super musical from J. Om Prakash’s “Aaye Din Bahar Ke”. The association lasted till July, 1980 when Rafi Sahab recorded his last song ‘Tu Kahin Aas Paas Hai Dost’ for J. Om Prakash’s “Aas Paas”.
The ‘era’ has now begun with series of hits after hit songs from these ‘FOURSOME”
1966:- Biswajit’s “Aasra”, Dharmendra’s “Aaye Din Bahar Ke”
1967:- Bishwajeet’s “Night In London”, Jeetendra’s “Farz”, Rajshri Production’s “Taqdeer”, Sanjay Khan’s “Milan Ki Raat”.
— Amitabh Bachchan :: ‘John Jani Janardhan’ … “Naseeb” 1981
Many songs of the “FOURSOME” have aired in weekly Binaca Geetmala Programme. Interestingly 48 songs involving “QUARTET”, Mohammad Rafi/Anand Bakshi/Laxmikant-Pyarelal appeared in Binaca Geetmala Finals, with one song as number one in 1979, ‘Dafliwale Dafli Baja’ ( Rafi-Lata) from “Sargam”.
Filmfare Awards / Nominations:-
As many as SIX songs of the “TETRAD”, Mohammad Rafi/Anand Bakshi/Laxmikant-Pyarelal were nominated for filmfare awards. (Best Male Singer Category ).
1969 ‘Badi Mastani Hai Meri Mehbooba’ … “Jeene Ki Raah”
1970 ‘Khilona Jaan Kar Tum Mera Dil’ … “Khilona”
1977 ‘Parda Hai Parda’ … “Amar Akbar Anthony”
1978 ‘Aadmi Musafir Hai’ … “Apnapan” (with Lata Mangeshkar)
1980 ‘Mere Dost Kissa Ye Kya Ho Gaya’ … “Dostana”
1980 ‘Dard-E-Dil Dard-E-Jigar’ … “Karz”
However Laxmikant-Pyarelal did win the awards, involving these “FOURSOME” for
“Jeene Ki Raah” (1969)
“Amar Akbar Anthony” (1977)
Anand Bakshi too win the filmfare award for the song, created by the “FOURSOME”
‘Aadmi Musafir Hai’ (Rafi-Lata), “Apnapan” in 1978.
Unfortunately, NONE for Rafisaab, involving “QUARTET”.
Period after 1970-
Till 1970, Mohammad. Rafi was undisputed and demanded singer in Bollywood music industry. But after 1970, Kishore Kumar came into limelight and his popularity increases after he sang super hit songs for the movie Aradhana (1969).
During this ‘lean’ period of Mohammad Rafi it was ONLY Laxmikant-Pyarelal gave many hit songs for Mohammad Rafi to sing. To be precise Laxmikant-Pyarelal have recorded 264 numbers of songs (Out of total of 379 songs from Rafi-LP combo) of Mohammad Rafi in post “Aradhana” period.
Laxmikant-Pyarelal along with Anand Bakshi are instrumental in bringing back the Glory of Mohammad Rafi, in post “Aradhana” (1969) period. That too without damaging the giant popularity of Kishore Kumar. This “FOURSOME” have recorded as many as 192 songs (out of total of 270 songs) which includes many hits as well as memorable songs.
1979:- Rishi Kapoor’s “Sargam” (LAXMIKANT-PYARELAL have given all the SEVEN songs for MOHAMMAD RAFI to sing. This was very unusual phenomena during seventies.), “Karz” , “Do Premee” and also Jeetndra’s “Aasha” and Sanjeev Kumar’s “Ladies Tailor”. Rajesh Khanna’s and Dharmendra’s “Rajput” ++ Many more.
The above analysis confirms that both Anand Bakshi and Laxmikant-Pyarelal have given more melodious as well as hit songs for Mohammad Rafi in seventies (Post “Aradhana” period)
Let us review few of the BEST songs from these “FOURSOME”.
The orchestra arrangements in “PRELUDES” and “INTERLUDES” used to be the assets of the songs composed by Laxmikant-Pyarelal. It would be more proper to listen to the songs, listed below, after reading the write up, explaining peculiarities, for each of the songs you will enjoy it, more.
1 AAYE DIN BAHAR KE – 1966
— Mere Dushman Tu Meri Dosti Ko Tarse
Song Writer ANAND BAKSHI’s painful wordings, showing vexation. MOHAMMAD RAFI’s soulful and heart touching rendering and LAXMIKANT-PYARELAL ‘symphonic’ orchestra arrangements are justifying the frustration in this song. Also not to forget the expressions shown on screen by Dharmendra.
2 NIGHT IN LONDON – 1967
— Bahosh-O-Hawas Mein Deewana
ANAND BAKSHI’s fanciful wordings. LAXMIKANT-PYARELAL’s Wonderful Westernized Orchestra Arrangements In SYMPHONY Style. “PRELUDE” of 51 seconds is just mesmerizing. Use of VIOLINS and VIOLA for first 33 seconds and than again huge “pick” at 48 seconds as well as in the first “interlude” from 1.25 to 1.45 is just ear pleasing. Both the interludes have different tunes. There are some glimpses ‘pauses’. The “symphony style violins” vowing around MOHAMMAD RAFI’s voice that gives an additional mellifluousness and romantic feeling to this song. Each and every moment of this GEM of song makes you “thrill” and that is why it is one of my all time favorite song.
3 JEENE KI RAAH – 1969
— Aane Se Uske Aaye Bahar
ANAND BAKSHI comparing nature beauty and intermixing it in romantic mood. Mesmerizing “Prelude” of 40 seconds, with overlapping sound effects of VIOLINS, Twitting of
BIRDs, Mohammad Rafi’s “aalap” as well as ACOUSTIC GUITAR, gives the feeling of village
background. Both the mellifluous “Interludes” have different orchestra arrangements, decorated with FLUTE, VIOLIN and ACCORDION. This sweet and melodious song have ear-pleasing ‘DHOLAK’ rhythm. Jeetendra looks handsome.
4 DO RAASTE – 1969
— Ye Reshmi Julfe
Concordant romantic song, penned by ANAND BAKSHI, seductively performed by Rajesh Khanna. Glamorous inception by Rafi saab after 19 seconds ‘prelude’ of 19 seconds, VIOLINS overlapped with MANDOLIN. It has a ear-pleasing, melodic DHOLAK rhythm, with few ‘pause’ of 8 seconds at the end of each mukhada. The “rhythm” keeps listeners enchanted, throughout. Mumtaz looks beautiful. MOHAMMAD RAFI in supreme form.
5 UPHAAR – 1971
— Mein Ek Raja Hoon Tu Ek Rani Hai
Soft Romantic words by ANAND BAKSHI. “Prelude” of 27 seconds comprises of VINA and SANTOOR and Mohammad Rafi’s beautiful take off (main ek raja hoon) is just brilliant. Extremely Soft and Melodious ROMANTIC song composed in the “raag” ‘ BAIRAGI’. Use of the BONGO drum in “Toe Stepping Rhythm” intermixed with SANTOOR is ear-pleasing. Use of FLUTE , ACOUSTIC GUITAR, SANTOOR and SITAR and other string instruments are mellifluously executed in the song. In early seventies Mohammad Rafi was almost forgotten but it was only Laxmikant-Pyarelal gave some of the finest songs to Rafi. This is one of them. It was a “Binaca Geetmala Hit song”
6 KHILONA – 1971
— Khilona Jaankar Tum To Mera Dil Tod Jaate Ho
I have chosen the famous song, title song, heartbroken wordings by ANAND BAKSHI, rendered by MOHAMMAD RAFI with pain. No words to describe the elegance of Mohd Rafi. The song starts with the ‘aalap’. It has wonderful “DHOLAK” rhythm. “Interludes” are beautifully decorated with MANDOLIN, VIOLINS and SAROD. In the second “interlude” SYMPHONY orchestra is mellifluously overlapped with SHEHNAI. Sanjeev Kumar have acted wonderfully. In early 70s when most of the music directors had forgotten Mohammad Rafi, it was only Laxmikant-Pyarelal used to give some of the best songs to Rafi Sahab. This is one of them.
7 MEHBOOB KI MEHANDI – 1971
— Ye Jo Chilman Hai, Dushman Hai Hamari
Flawless composition, with ‘zero’ ‘prelude’, by using bare minimum instruments along with the rhythm of DHOLAK / TABLA. Radiant take off by Rafi Saab. All the ‘interludes’ are glitteringly orchestrated with SARANGI, SITAR, VIOLIN, SANTOOR and SAROD. The “pause” given at the end of each the ‘antara’ gives a soothing effect to this erotic song.
Rajesh Khanna simply awesome.
8 LOAFER – 1973
— Aaj Mousam Bada Beimaman Hai
Once again ANAND BAKSHI masters in writing romantic words, with difference. “Prelude” of SYMPHONY style VIOLINS, brilliantly synchronized with Rafi Sahab’s HUMMING sets the mood of this sensational and romantic composition. The first “interlude” is remarkably decorated with SITAR (played by Ustad Rais Khan). Second and third “interludes” have mellifluous effect of SYMPHONY style VIOLINS. Rafi Sahab’s rendering is simply outstanding. Dharmendra looks romantic.
9 AMAR AKBAR ANTHONY – 1977
— Parda Hai Parada
Superbly composed “Qawwali” . “Prelude” 67 seconds, full of RUBAB, MANDOLIN, SHEHNAI / NADASWARAM, GUITAR, HARMONIUM, synchronised with DHOLAK rhythm, mesmerizes you. Brilliant take off by Rafi Sahab. SHEHNAI / NADASWARAM are mellifluously used as ‘filler’ in ‘mukhda’. Wonderfully performed by Rishi Kapoor.
10 SARGAM – 1979
— Hum To Chale Pardes Hum Pardesi Ho Gaye
Mohammad Rafi sounds very different in all of the “Sargam” songs, perhaps at it’s best.
The song starts with beautiful ‘aalap’ from Rafi Sahab”. The DHOLAK rhythm hypnotizes. The song has a village background the music is justifying it too. The “interludes” of the song is just worth to listen to. Sounds of BULLOCK CART BELLS wonderfully synchronized with NADASWARAM and MANDOLIN as well as in second “interlude’ with FLUTE and SANTOOR.
11 KARZ – 1980
— Dard- E-Dil, Dard-E-Jigar
Enjoy fascinatingly instrumented solo VIOLIN in 52 seconds of “Prelude”. This is a western style GHAZAL composition orchestrated awesomely with GUITAR in the rhythm. All the “Interludes” are mellifluously synthesised with TRUMPETS, SYMPHONY style VIOLINS, GUITAR, percussion instruments.