Kishore VS Rafi

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smedhavi

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Hi,

In another thread thevortex made the following comments that prompetd me to start this thread:
"Rafi - while a brilliant and peerless practitioner of classical music - was quite limited in terms of the genres of music he could deliver"
Kishore Kumar - not classically trained he very well might be - could deliver on any type of song. The classical to the maudlin, the raunchy to the romantic, loving to the lonely. He was a singer for every mood. In a word he was far more versatile than any other singer of his age.

Which is why I rate Kishore higher than Rafi.

Somebody who did not know the fact that Kishore was not classically trained could hear 'Tum Bin Jaaoon Kahaan' or 'Mere Naina' and return back with the impression that they heard a fantastic classical singer in action.

Sir,

Kishore was a multi faceted personality, not a master of one art. I personally feel it is unfair to compare him with people who specialized in only singing, acting or composing. We should not be comparing apples with oranges, but if we are, here are the facts.

I have a feeling that you are going by the 'image' and are not consciously listening for Rafi's voice in all kinds of songs. If you do so, you would realize that Rafi was significantly more versatile than most of the other male singers, including Kishore. Here are some examples:
  • You have already accepted that Rafi was better at Hindustani classical
  • Rafi was better at Rock and Jazz - Listen to any of Shammi Kapoor songs, irrespective of who the composer was. I remember just two Kishore songs on Shammi ji, which are not mentionable in the same breath as the real Shammi songs.
  • Rafi was better than Kishore on qawwalis. Let us not talk about the real stuff like Rafi's "Yeh Ishq Ishq Hai". Just consider the fact that Rafi was called to sing all of Rishi Kapoor's qawwalis, even though Kishore sang his 'regular' songs. Try "Parda hai parda", "Ham kisi se kam nahin".
  • Rafi was better than Kishore on sad songs. Listen to songs from 'Pyasa', such as 'Tang a chuke hain kashmakashe zindagi se ham'
  • Rafi was better than Kishore even on fun songs. Listen to any of his gems for comedians like Johnny Walker and Mahmood. He always sang the way the actor spoke. It is quite difficult to believe that we have the same singer singing for Guru Dutt and Johnny Walker in 'Pyasa'.
Rafi even provided playback for Kishore on screen!

Kishore was a voice, better suited for the male lead characters of the 70's and 80s action movies, as the men got more macho, and would appear odd with all those details in their singing. Kishore was the voice of a normal (sometimes angry) man, not expected to sing in real life. What also worked well was his chemistry with the Burmans, but even they kept calling Rafi for the difficult numbers, even though age had started showing in Rafi's voice.

Both Kishore and Rafi sang 'Tum Bin Jaaoon Kahaan'. Rafi sang two versions of it. The records include Kishore's sad version and Rafi's fast version at a faster pace. Any guesses about who's version was finally used for the 'hero' :)

Finally, about 'Mere Naina'. I heard this conversation between RD Burman, Asha and Gulzar on radio every morning in 1988/89. They mentioned that Kishore was sure that he could not sing this song, and refused to do so. RD did not give up. He knew that Kishore was a great mimic, so they got Lata to sing that song and handed the tapes over to Kishore. He practiced and sang it well. I miss Kishore's singing the most when I hear his clones singing 30% of what he did. Kishore sang in a full throated real voice. This song is a good example.
 

SuhasG

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As we are discussing on Rafi and Kishor means we are going to use lots of Hindi words, sentences. Hindi in Roman script is pain to read. We can use 'Dev Nagari' scrpt द?व ना?र? लिप? on this forum,

'तुम बिन ?ा? ?हा?' is far easy on eyes than 'Tum Bin Jaaoon Kahaan' . I have used it here in this post as well as many recent post here. Please try to use Dev Nagari Script द?व ना?र? लिप? for Hindi text as far as possible.

Google it you will find it pretty easy. You need to construct using one application and then copy paste it here. very easy.

regards

SUhas
 

venkatcr

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Sharad and Suhas, should we be even discussing this here? My feeling is that this forum should focus on equipment. Liking and disliking music directors and singers are unfortunately very subjective and emotional, and should be kept out of the realm of this forum.

Cheers
 

SuhasG

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Sharad and Suhas, should we be even discussing this here? My feeling is that this forum should focus on equipment. Liking and disliking music directors and singers are unfortunately very subjective and emotional, and should be kept out of the realm of this forum.

Cheers


I ask why not? All this hardware: Speakers, Amps, CDP , Cables and power conditioners etc are meant to reproduce music and this is the very and only purpose of all this hardware. You can't take out music from it; if you do that what is left is a heap of metal and plastic.

For me and many of us here, music is far more important than the hardware and we (or at least me) listen to music than the electronics.

This forum is for music lovers so discussions on music, artists and performances are inevitable. Keep them coming. This forum is incomplete without any discussions on Music. Only request is don't enter into a fierce fight if your favorite artist is criticized . Don't take anything personal.


SUhas
 
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smedhavi

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Venkat,

These threads are located under "Source Material > Music", and it is perfectly fine to discuss music here.

Even audio equipment discussions are subjective. So that is not an issue, till the discussion is healthy. Till now it has been quite healthy and educational.
 

thevortex

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Venkat,

These threads are located under "Source Material > Music", and it is perfectly fine to discuss music here.

Even audio equipment discussions are subjective. So that is not an issue, till the discussion is healthy. Till now it has been quite healthy and educational.

I agree and I am quite enjoying this discussion.

Medhavi - I feel you are making a few generalizations in your earlier post. Cases in point are:

- Rafi was better at Rock and Jazz music

Now, Hindi film music - even for that period - was not what you would call Rock music. There were a few examples though. One of them is the unforgettable 'Mere Umar Ke Naujawanon' sung by Kishore. Now, that is a rock classic in the truest sense of the word - at least as far as Hindi filmdom goes. 'Pag Ghunghroo Baandh' can also be extrapolated into the 'Rock' genre if you are not too picky:).

I cannot seem to recall many popular Rock songs sung by Rafi. Jazz on the other hand, Rafi has sung and sung well. Now, whether he sang it better than Kishore - that is subjective, unless they both sang the same song.

And that, luckily for us, happened. As you rightly point out, 'Tum Bin Jaaoon Kahaan' was sung by both the legends. And there are no points for guessing whose version was better and whose version became popular. Yes, Kishore sung the song far far better than Rafi did. Lest this be a subjective opinion, I encourage members to listen to both versions and make their own decision.

Next up - Rafi was better than Kishore on sad songs

The pathos that Kishore could bring was not restricted to voice. It extended to its timbre, expression and pitch. Can you imagine somebody singing 'Yeh Laal Rang' with a smile on the lips? Yes, if you listen to the song, it is one sung with the utmost sadness of spirit but with a smiling mouth. That is genius. Or lets take 'Yeh Kya Hua'. Now, thats again such a distinctive sad song that it begs mention. It falls into a distinct genre actually. It had that maudlin quality. It was rueful, but gently rueful - not bursting into sobs. These are just two examples.

If you get into true pathos, songs such as 'Kiska Rasta Dekhe', 'Koi Hota Jisko', 'Koi Humdum Na Rahaa' etc. are true gems. I am also a die hard fan of the song 'Jin Raaton Ki Bhor Nahin'. I consider that a very high example of Kishore's emotive skills with the microphone. It was also an example of excellent composition. Which reminds me to mention that I am only talking about Kishore the singer all the time. If we bring in his other dimensions, very few people in the history of Indian cinema can stand the comparison:)

Next up - Rafi is better than Kishore in fun songs

Now, that really is something I dont comprehend. Like I said, Kishore and fun sort of went together. He could take an ordinary song and infuse life and an inimitable dance quality to it. Examples are too many to list here. In this more than anything else, the difference between Kishore and Rafi is much too apparent. And we need not even go to his yodelling skills to sort out the winner here. :)

What I will wholeheartedly agree with you on is that Rafi was the better Qawwali singer. And of course he was the better classical singer. But if its versatility as a singer that we are looking for - a man who could go high or low, skim on the surface or go deep, scream or whisper (Oh Meri Sharmilee) - then it is Kishore who comes on top.

Personally I love the sad songs sung by Mukesh and rate them at par with ones sung by Kishore. But if there is a comparison, it is again the versatility aspect that places Mukesh at second spot.

Consider this, if you will. If I come back from office all 7 days of a week in a different mood, there is every chance that I will be able to select and hear a song matching my mood perfectly sung by Kishore. And what is more, revel in it. Now, that is a very difficult thing to have done as a singer. And I appreciate it. I dont think I can say the same thing about too many of the Hindi singers at that time. But as they say, each to his own.
 

smedhavi

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OK. We have quite different tastes in music:)
I have failed to relate to 'Yeh Laal Rang' till date. Honestly, I just don't understand it at all.

We did have rock songs in Indian films. Not just Rafii, even Chuck Berry sang songs like "Bombshell baby of Bombay". I will list some tomorrow.
 

SuhasG

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Both rafi and Kishor are great artist no doubts about it but when it comes to selecting one out of these two, my vote goes to Rafi, no second thought about it.

This does not mean I don't like Kishor or I discard him. I can go on explaining why I prefer Rafi over Kishorand in fact I wanted too , but at present I am rather pre-occupied with somethng else but as soon as I find some time I will write in length with of examples. (Keep this thread alive till then!)

SUhas
 

Kamal

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Sharad wrote-
"Not just Rafii, even Chuck Berry sang songs like "Bombshell baby of Bombay"
Sharad, it was'nt by Chuck Berry, it was a sardarji one song wonder, forget his name.
BTW, I'm loving the discussion in this thread since I'm a long time fan of Old Hindi Film Songs.
Each song you guys quote in your discussions sparks off the jukebox in my memory !
 

thevortex

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I will look forward to your detailed post, Suhas. What part of 'Yeh Lal Rang' could not not relate to? The emotions or the music itself?
 

Anilwind

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I agree and I am quite enjoying this discussion.

Medhavi - I feel you are making a few generalizations in your earlier post. Cases in point are:

- Rafi was better at Rock and Jazz music

Now, Hindi film music - even for that period - was not what you would call Rock music. There were a few examples though. One of them is the unforgettable 'Mere Umar Ke Naujawanon' sung by Kishore. Now, that is a rock classic in the truest sense of the word - at least as far as Hindi filmdom goes. 'Pag Ghunghroo Baandh' can also be extrapolated into the 'Rock' genre if you are not too picky:).

I cannot seem to recall many popular Rock songs sung by Rafi. Jazz on the other hand, Rafi has sung and sung well. Now, whether he sang it better than Kishore - that is subjective, unless they both sang the same song.

And that, luckily for us, happened. As you rightly point out, 'Tum Bin Jaaoon Kahaan' was sung by both the legends. And there are no points for guessing whose version was better and whose version became popular. Yes, Kishore sung the song far far better than Rafi did. Lest this be a subjective opinion, I encourage members to listen to both versions and make their own decision.

Next up - Rafi was better than Kishore on sad songs

The pathos that Kishore could bring was not restricted to voice. It extended to its timbre, expression and pitch. Can you imagine somebody singing 'Yeh Laal Rang' with a smile on the lips? Yes, if you listen to the song, it is one sung with the utmost sadness of spirit but with a smiling mouth. That is genius. Or lets take 'Yeh Kya Hua'. Now, thats again such a distinctive sad song that it begs mention. It falls into a distinct genre actually. It had that maudlin quality. It was rueful, but gently rueful - not bursting into sobs. These are just two examples.

If you get into true pathos, songs such as 'Kiska Rasta Dekhe', 'Koi Hota Jisko', 'Koi Humdum Na Rahaa' etc. are true gems. I am also a die hard fan of the song 'Jin Raaton Ki Bhor Nahin'. I consider that a very high example of Kishore's emotive skills with the microphone. It was also an example of excellent composition. Which reminds me to mention that I am only talking about Kishore the singer all the time. If we bring in his other dimensions, very few people in the history of Indian cinema can stand the comparison:)

Next up - Rafi is better than Kishore in fun songs

Now, that really is something I dont comprehend. Like I said, Kishore and fun sort of went together. He could take an ordinary song and infuse life and an inimitable dance quality to it. Examples are too many to list here. In this more than anything else, the difference between Kishore and Rafi is much too apparent. And we need not even go to his yodelling skills to sort out the winner here. :)

What I will wholeheartedly agree with you on is that Rafi was the better Qawwali singer. And of course he was the better classical singer. But if its versatility as a singer that we are looking for - a man who could go high or low, skim on the surface or go deep, scream or whisper (Oh Meri Sharmilee) - then it is Kishore who comes on top.

Personally I love the sad songs sung by Mukesh and rate them at par with ones sung by Kishore. But if there is a comparison, it is again the versatility aspect that places Mukesh at second spot.

Consider this, if you will. If I come back from office all 7 days of a week in a different mood, there is every chance that I will be able to select and hear a song matching my mood perfectly sung by Kishore. And what is more, revel in it. Now, that is a very difficult thing to have done as a singer. And I appreciate it. I dont think I can say the same thing about too many of the Hindi singers at that time. But as they say, each to his own.

Certaily kishore is better than rafi in serious and sad sons. ki hota jisko apna is just not rafi's cup of tea! Alo "kab tak andhere chalate rahenge by kishore composer rajesh roshan ( fim bato batome 1980) is a tru memerizin voice when ther is no background music.
 

Anilwind

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Certaily kishore scores over rafi in sad songs. he depth f i hota jisko apna is just ot rafi's cup of tea. one listens to ishoe in "kab tak andher chalATE AHENGE" HE VOICE IS MEMERIZING (RAJESH ROSHAN BTO BATOME IN 1980!) THERE IS OT MUCH bckground msic.! the song stands on sheer voice of kishore
 

hifipal4all

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Dear Pals ... It is very unfortunate to notice that you guys are trying to prove who is better than the other between two great singers, Rafi Saab & Kishore Ji ... Please remember that both were great singers who have contributed their mesmerizing voices to field of Indian music, in particular. I am not sure whether they have sung any songs apart from Indian music.

Well I personally feel that it is not fair to compare this two genius singers ... End of the day both of them have gifted us with golden treasures in the form of songs with their golden voices IN THEIR OWN STYLE to all the music lovers across the globe.

Why dont you guys try to twist this thread the other way? ... i.e., instead of discussing & trying to prove which singer/song is better than the other why not you guys share all the treasures (songs) left by both of them and give the credit to both, Rafi Saab & Kishore Ji. That will be more interesting ... is it not? :)
 

thevortex

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I do agree with this sentiment, hifipal. I have the highest respect for Rafi even though I prefer Kishore. Just as with hifi equipment different people will have different preferences.
 

aghoribaba

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Dear Pals ... It is very unfortunate to notice that you guys are trying to prove who is better than the other between two great singers, Rafi Saab & Kishore Ji ... Please remember that both were great singers who have contributed their mesmerizing voices to field of Indian music, in particular. I am not sure whether they have sung any songs apart from Indian music.

Well I personally feel that it is not fair to compare this two genius singers ... End of the day both of them have gifted us with golden treasures in the form of songs with their golden voices IN THEIR OWN STYLE to all the music lovers across the globe.

Why dont you guys try to twist this thread the other way? ... i.e., instead of discussing & trying to prove which singer/song is better than the other why not you guys share all the treasures (songs) left by both of them and give the credit to both, Rafi Saab & Kishore Ji. That will be more interesting ... is it not? :)
hi all
very true i think both are god gift to our culture should respect both of them not fair compare...
 

hifipal4all

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I do agree with this sentiment, hifipal. I have the highest respect for Rafi even though I prefer Kishore.

Dear Friend ... Thanks for agreeing with my sentiment.

Just as with hifi equipment different people will have different preferences.

Again, Please don't compare MAN with MACHINE ... In case of equipments, difference in preferences can be discussed/debated in the open forum but certainly not about persons especially it is not fair debating about two genius persons who are not amidst us now. Even if we have differences of opinion or taste, let us keep it within ourselves and better not to discuss in the open forum which may bring disgrace to either of them.
 

thevortex

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Well, I do not believe that discussing our preferences will bring shame or dishonour on these great artists. I believe this is a nice discussion point and will only help bring the best points out.

And it is not a question of comparing man and machine. Please dont take it literally. The point was about subjectivity. In art, everything is subjective. And we would have it no other way.
 

SuhasG

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His Excellency Sir Himesh Reshmia !!! Great suggestion, let us dedicate a golden thread just for Sir Himesh-ji, our forum will be honored !!

I would also like to suggest one more great great artist of yesteryears : Sir Altaf Raja .
 
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What a stupid discussion going in here...Admins.... this is supposed to be a generative forum and we are spending time here discussing which of two Koh-e-noor is better... disgusting...
 
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