These are seven of my favorite Rafi songs… Probably not my seven absolute favorites, though some of those are on this list. (It would take a really long time to figure out seven absolute favorites!) I am posting some of these songs because they’re personal favorites that I think are underappreciated as Rafi songs go. And others are songs I’ve posted many times which also should be among everybody’s favorites…but which I just can’t hear or see enough (and hopefully, some longtime readers here will feel the same way). Though I’ll admit I’ve gotten a little burnt out, for the moment, on the great Rafi songs from Baiju Bawra – so those are off the list. And I just posted the great Rafi-Dey duet from Kalpana, so I’ll leave that off here as well… Anyway, I think that these songs still cover a wide range, as did Rafi himself – another reason that I’m posting these particular songs together. (There isn’t a wide range of composers here – one song’s by O.P. Nayyar and the rest are evenly split between Naushad and Shankar Jaikishan. But those music directors had a pretty wide range themselves, didn’t they?)
I guess people also know that I’m posting these songs today because, morbid soul that I’ve become, I never miss a death anniversary. But as I say about other favorite singers too (and dancers and stars), it’s always fun to find an excuse to post great songs from Mohammed Rafi.
This first song is my earliest favorite Rafi song, from Anmol Ghadi. (My next-earliest favorite Rafi songs are from Jugnu – but you’ve seen/heard those plenty here in recent memory…) I just love the complete philosophical grimness of this number, and Rafi conveys it so well!
I don’t think this is most people’s favorite Rafi song from Seema (that’s another one). But it is mine! The music is beautiful. His singing is beautiful. Nutan is beautiful, and so is the message (too bad I couldn’t find a clip with subtitles this time). And Mumtaz Ali is a lot of fun to watch here. I love this song! (I guess I should point out also that it’s by Shankar Jaikishan – something that you might not realize right away if you’re not seeing Raj Kapoor’s face.)
This next one’s the only song out of the bunch from a film that I’m not at all familiar with (i.e., Dulari)… But I took to the clip right away because Rafi does this nice, sweet crooning (and it doesn’t hurt, either, that the music is by Naushad)… The scene is also gorgeous, especially at the beginning. And I like the character with the mandolin – he kind of reminds me of Noor Jehan’s hero in Dupatta (or, if you consider the chronology, it’s actually the other way around).
This next one is a masterpiece from a masterpiece that I just can’t post too often. There are several singers in this number and several reasons I love it, but among those singers, I think Rafi is really the star in this song. Also, it’s a sound mix that I hadn’t found before, and it sounds very nice.
Rafi’s done a number of rockers; this might be his rockingest (and naturally, it’s by O.P. Nayyar). And not only does he rock in it, but as a number of people point out, he even raps! It’s also an excellent performance by Raj Kapoor.
This one from Kohinoor has to be on everybody’s list. And if it’s not on your list, there’s something wrong with you. (Just kidding…)
Rafi also could swing, of course, and it’s nice hearing him swing with Shamshad Begum. (By the way, it was easy enough to identify the singers, but I couldn’t for the life of me remember at first who composed this soundtrack, and guess what, it turned out to be yet another one from Shankar Jaikishan!) Also, after seeing so many Rafi-on-Dilip numbers, there’s something special about seeing him do vocals for Gope.