Friday, 7 December 2012

Ek hi mara par solid mara...

There have been many albums which were dominated by a single artist. Talk of Ijazat where none but Asha Bhosle was the only singer with a string of solos to her credit. You will also find albums like Teesri Manzil where you will find Mohd Rafi in each and every song, some solos and some duets with Asha Bhosle. There are some albums, where in spite of being various artists, one artist emerged out as the dominant voice- Lata Mangeshkar in Madhumati, Manna De in Basant Bahar, Mukesh in Anand or Kishore Kumar in Safar are just some of the examples.
However, there have been certain instances where a singer had only one song in a whole album but that song emerged out to be the winner out of all the other songs in that album. In Hindi, we term this as “Ek maara par solid maara”. Can you think of such instances in Hindi film music? Let me help you a bit in your thinking process:

Munimji(1955) and Kishore Kumar’s “Jeevan ke safar mein rahi”:
Munim ji was an excellent album studded with gems from Hemant Kumar, Geeta Dutt and Lata Mangeshkar. But, that one song from young Kishore Kumar overwhelmed all the other by a wide margin. Munim ji is remembered the best even today for that one solo “Jeevan ke safar mein rahi”, composed by S D Burman and penned by Sahir Ludhianvi. Kishore had no other song in that whole album, but that one song was good enough to come out as the winner.
Patthar Ke Sanam(1967) and Mohd Rafi’s Title Song:
Manoj Kumar had his clear cut choice for his playback voices- Mukesh or Mahendra Kapoor; and he was quite committed to that also. Barring some occasional instances like Shaheed, Sajan or Do Badan, Rafi did not have too many occasions to sing for this hero. PKS was also a Mukesh dominated album, where Rafi got this only one solo composed by Laxmikant Pyarelal. And today, indisputably, this is the most memorable song from that album. Although Mukesh had a couple of beautiful songs, this song stands out far too taller, in terms of poetry(again by the great Sahir), composition and singing brilliance.
Yahudi(1958) and Mukesh’s “Yeh mera deewanapan hai”:
The album had a major chunk of Lata solos, a Lata-Geeta duet, a Rafi solo and a Mukesh solo. You can safely conclude that Mukesh Mathur’s “Yeh mera deewanapan hai”- the only song of Mukesh in that movie filmed on Dilip Kumar- was a clear cut winner. Legends say, Shankar, the music director of the song, was reluctant to hand this over to Mukesh as his initial choices were either Rafi or Talat. But, Mukesh proved all wrong, and this magnificent rendition with deep pathos in his inimitable style overshadowed everything around.
Bhai Bhai(1956) and Geeta Dutt’s “Ae dil mujhe bata de”:
It could have been just like any other Madan Mohan album- dominance of Lata Mangeshkar everywhere; having all the serious songs to her credit. Never being a favourite of Glycerine dependant heroines, Geeta Dutt  was called for a peppy track by the “serious” Madan Mohan, just for the requirement of the movie. And, gee, this one from Geeta Dutt is almost what “Bhai Bhai” is remembered today, barring the fact that Ganguly brothers acted together and the elder brother slapped the younger one on his face in a melodramatic scene. Also, perhaps, this movie made Nirupa Roy the undisputed Glycerine queen of Hindi cinema. “Ae dil mujhe bata de” – a normal, flat, peppy composition blossomed like a lovely flower under the voice of great Geeta. It was like a full toss to Sachin Tendulkar, which went out of boundary with ease.
Hum Dono(1961) and Lata Mangeshkar's "Allah Tero Naam":

Strictly speaking, Lata had 2 songs in the album, viz, "Allah tero naam" and "Prabhu tero naam" which were quite convergant to each other and hence I take them as one. Hum Dono was a sublime album with each and every score being iconic; but Allah tero naam is more than iconic, perhaps a milestone song in the history of Indian cine music. Lata Mangeshkar takes you close to the divinity with her resonant voice composed by the great but underrated Jaidev and written by the genius Sahir; making it one of the best or perhaps "the best" devotional song in Hindi film music ever.

Meri soorat teri aankhein(1963) and Manna De’s “Poochho na kaise”:
Rafi did amazing job in “Nache man mora” and “ Tere bin sooni” , but then, there can be hardly any match to the only Manna De song in that album- Poochho na kaise maine- which S D Burman delicately chose him for. Inspired from Nazrul’s “Arunokanti kego” , Manna De not only sang it with technical perfection but also extracted maximum pathos out of it. A milestone song in the classical genre of film music, Poochho na kaise is one of its kind.

Hare Rama Hare Krishna(1971) and Asha Bhosle’s “Dum Maro Dum”:
This one song took the nation by storm. No one, but no one other than Asha Bhosle could have pulled off such a phenomenon. Only one song in a musical album, where her elder sister got all the softer, melodious numbers, Asha with this one bold, jazzy track eclipsed all the others. Snatching nothing away from the other beautiful songs rendered by Lata Mangeshkar and Kishore Kumar in the same album, “Dum maro dum” is one of its kinds and is, even today, unparalleled.

There have been some other albums also, where one single song from one singer simply overwhelmed all the other songs by other singers in that album- Manna De’s “Ae meri zohrajabeen” from Waqt(1965); Rafi’s “Nafrat ki duniya” from Hathi mere sathi(1971);Kishore’s “ Khizan ke phool” from Do Raaste(1969), "Zindagi ek safar hai suhana" from Andaz(1971) and “O Majhi re” from Khushboo(1974);,  Hemant Kumar’s “Hai apna dil to awara” from Solva Saal(1958)- the list goes on and on.
Now, before I end, an intriguing question to the reader of this article- “Why do you think this happened”? I mean, in one album, one singer gets only one song and scores a winner and in another album, the same singer gets majority of songs but some other singer gets one song and emerges out as a winner? I leave the answer to you to discuss and the comments section is all for you.


  1. Very interesting account of such occurrences. Another phrase to describe this is "bas ek hi kafi hain" (just one is enough). Perfect examples. Another very close example would be the title song for the film Aarpaar (1954). Even though Babuji dheere chalna is either equally or more popular, Shamshad proved her mantle in the title song.
    How about also adding Merra naam chin chin choo (filmed on dancing diva Helen) to the list where one Geeta Dutt song stole thunder from all the ooh and aah songs sung by Asha Bhonsle filmed on the beautiful Madhubala.

    1. I totally agree to " Mera naam chin chin choo". It is indeed "the song" for Howrah Bridge. Thanks, Parag!

  2. Great write-up,congrats! Other 'solid' which come to my mind are "ae bhai zara dekh ke chalo"--manna dey-mera naam joker,
    "aap jaisa koi"--qurbani--nazia hasan and "chitthi aayi hai"-- naam--pankaj udhas .
    I think this has got something to do with the 'novelty' factor.In a film a number of songs are by one singer. Since the music director is the same, the songs resemble each other in parts, except if they are of different genres(which normally does not happen).And then you hear a different voice and the novelty of that voice in that album ( though we may have heard it many times ) gives it repeat value. Of course, if the voice of the lone ranger is itself new( like nazia hasan), the effect is compounded!

    1. Nice example of Nazia Hasan sir!! Makes me remember another singer called Minmini, who had perhaps made the best ever "solid ek" from recent times in Roja(1993) rendering "Dil hai chhota sa". Never heard her again...

    2. Minmini sang a song with Sunanda in 'humse hai muqabala',a 1994 film ( remember mukkala mukkala?). However, since the song is sung by the singers in unison, her voice is not discerned clearly.This is the link to the song:

  3. Aisa Bahut hai mere yaar... example ..

    1. Yeh Mera Prem Patra padkar...Rafi Saab ..Sangam

    2. Baaghon mein Bahaar hai ...Aradhana

    3. Ramaiyya Vastavyaa- Shree 420

    Rafi saab was the clear winner in this title

    1. I agree with you that Rafi sahab had such examples quite a few. However, I don't agree with the examples you have given. Ramaiya vastavaiya was an ensembled number of Lata, Rafi and Mukesh and not Rafi's single show. Also, Baaghon mein bahar hai was not the only song RS had in Aradhana, he also had Gunguna rahe hai bhanwre; so it does not qualify for the given parameter of "Ek hi mara". Better examples from Rafi sahab's domain could be "Dard e dil" from Karz or "Zindabad zindabad" from Mughal e Azam. Sincere thanks and regards.

    2. Agree with Arghya on this.
      A few more examples:
      Rafi had 'aur kuchh der thehar' in aakhri khat,
      Mukesh had 'zubaan pe dard bhari daastaan chali aayi' in Maryada,
      Hemant kumar had 'jaane wo kaise log the jinke' in Pyasa,
      Manna dey had 'tere naina talash kar' in Talash,
      Kishore had 'dil dil se mila kar dekho' in Memsahib,
      Mahendra Kapoor had 'chand chhupa aur taare doobe' in Sohni Mahiwal and
      Talat had 'dekh li teri khudai' in Kinare Kinare !

  4. Some more examples Dada:
    Mere Deewanepan ki bhi (Kishore-Mehboob Ki Mehndi)
    Mere Paas Aao (Amitabh Bachchan-Mr. Natwarlal)
    Mere Angne Mein (AB-Laawaris)
    Sukh Ke Sab Saathi (Rafi-Gopi)
    Mere Sang Sang Aaya (Kishore-Rajput)
    Kisi Shayar Ki Ghazal (Kishore-Dream Girl)
    Gaadi Bula Rahi hai (Kishore-Dost)

  5. Ye Mera Prem Patra is an shining example, Waqt se Din aur Raat another.