25 December, 2006

Lata Mangeshkar v/s Asha Bhosale - is it fair to compare ?

At last I have mustered enough courage to post a topic close to my nheart albiet controversial. The topic is - Amongst the mangeshkar siblings, who's better, Lata Mangeshkar or Asha Bhosale ? I am more in favour of Asha Bhosale, although I will say that it is unfair to compare them thus. My twin criteria for arriving at the strange conclusion is VERSATILITY & RANGE OF VOICE. While Lata has a rather high pitched voice, very sweet and most difficult to attain of course, yet Asha scores over her elder sister because of her range and versatility. Asha has sung songs effortlessly in all the octaves, while Lata has restricted herself to the medium and high octaves. Can you imagine Lata singing "Dum maaro dum" or "Dil cheez kya hai" ? Same cannot be said about Asha. She has sung fair number of songs in the highest octave. Sample her "Yeh kya jagah hai doston", and "Sun le pukaar, aaee aansuon ki dhaar leke, aaj tere dwaar" just to name a few. I use the same criteria to rate Begum Parveen Sulatana much above Vidushi Kishori Amonkar. Coming to the topic, Asha has sung a greater varieties of songs including devotional, Ghazals, light classicals, Pop etc. Readers are invited to comment upon the topic ! The field is open to all. Any error of omission frommy side is regretted.

24 December, 2006

A tribut to Mohammed Rafi on his 82nd birthday

Yesterday 24th December was the legendary singer Md.Rafi's 82nd birthday. What else can I add more about this all time great singer than what has already been penned about him? To me he was THE most versatile singer of all times having sung in all the genres, be it Classical, Devotional, Light romantic, Soulful, Sad, chirpy yuppee, you name it he had it ! Only Kishore kumar to some extent came a distant second in versatility.

Rafisaab was the most humble and down to earth human being one could imagine in the otherwise big, bad world of Bollywood. He was such a simpleton that he NEVER took any royalty of any of his recorded songs. He only took an upfront payment and that was it ! Due to this, he had a tiff with Lata Mangeshkar and they did not sing together for a couple of years in the 1960's. Compare this with today's upstarts like Himesh Reshammiyas who claim that they are "Blessed" by Goddess Saraswathi and claim to "compose" in all genres !

Anyway, this post's about Rafisaab and his genius. He started his career with Shyam Sunder in the early 1940's and went on to sing under every leading Music Director like Ghulam Mohammed, Naushaad, Anil Biswas, Husnlal -Bhagatram, S-J, SD, Roshan, Madan Mohan, Chitragupta,C.Ramchandra, K-A, RD , L-P et al.

There's a marvellous post by Dr Narasinha Kamath posted in http://dr-narasinha-kamath.sulekha.com. All those interested in discussing about Old Film songs can visit his blog. He's also posted interesting tit bits about Rafisaab in http://dr-narasinha-kamath.sulekha.com/blog/post/2006/12/immortal-mohd-rafi.htm .

My personal Rafi Favourites include -
1. Koi saagr dil ko behlaata naheen - Dil diya dard liya.
2. Madhuban main raadhika - Kohenoor.
3. Naachey man mora - Meri saoorat teri aankhen.
4. Raadhike toone bansuri churaaee - Badi behen.
5. Nazar na lag jaaye - Night in london.
6. Na jaa kaheen ab na jaa -Mere humdum mere dost.
7. Teri aankhon ke siva - Chiraag.
8. Yeh chand sa roshan chehra - Kashmir ki kali.
9. Chahe koi mujhe jungalee kahe - Junglee.
10. Hum bekhudi main tumko pukaare - Hum Dono.
11. Pukaarta chalaa hoon main - Mere sanam.
12. Kar chale hum fida jaano tan saathiyon - Haqeeqat.
13. Man tarapat hari darasan ko aaj - Baiju baawra.
14. Maniey poochhaa chaand se ki dekha hai kaheen - Abdullah
15. Dard e dil - Karz.
The list is endless and I can fill pages but I got to stop here. In the end, Rafisaab was the last of the Moghuls who ruled the world of playback singing. After him we got to hear only clones !