When Rafi Saab sang for S.D. Burman, Magic happened!

If one has to talk about the finest music composer and the finest singer that Hindi cinema ever had, one has to talk about Sachin Dev Burman and Mohammad Rafi.

So, what else could be a more musical way to remember the two legends but recalling some of the best music that this duo created, melodious to the core, displaying a range of emotions that is mind boggling!


I personally feel that Rafi Saab is the greatest versatile genius that Hindi cinema ever had, and though there may be some who could disagree, I think S.D. Burman alone kind of proved that point giving that space to shine for Rafi Saab with some unparalleled solos! I am not even going to what Naushad, Roshan, O.P. Nayyar, Madan Mohan or Shankar Jaikishan added to that overall body of work and then the case only gets stronger! Also, I strongly feel that Md. Rafi was at his best with Senior Burman and vice-versa, whatever be the mood, feel or texture of the song; and again there are multiple schools of thought there..

Let us see for ourselves what this combination of Rafi & SDB gifted us across genres…


This may not be the best mood to start with, but this is the one that houses three of my ultimate favorites of the maestro with:

The quantum of pain felt through all these songs is inexplicable any time of the day you listen to them.. such were the emotions from Rafi saab and done full justice by the ultimate Guru Dutt! Its difficult not to tear up in these songs, every single time!


Continuing with the notion of pain, but a slightly different mood, the gems under this one are:

Yes enough of Kishore Kumar was used by SD Burman for Dev Anand in some very beautiful songs, but I think the best songs was still reserved for Rafi Saab, whether it was sorrow or romance, and these songs are proof enough of that!


Taking that cue from above, Rafi, SD and Dev Anand possibly went hand in hand to create the best of romantic melodies:

These are timeless numbers eternally fresh – love is bound to blossom in every heart whenever such vibrant melodies play even today!



What is the pleasure of romance without the pangs of longing so beautifully expressed in:

The one from Kala Bazaar is especially a masterclass on how emotions and wants can be emoted so much in sur so that every sigh can be deeply realized!


If we are talking about Rafi saab, how can we not talk about a few classical gems:

The first song is technically a duet along with Lata, but Rafi lends vocals to major part of it.. while the same movie had yet another classical gem of Manna Dey, this one is brilliant in its own right!

Ghazals / Shayari

The following have to stand out where Rafi Saab was just possibly reciting verses from outstanding poetry, but they took shape of beautiful ghazals

Sheer beauty this!

Also Read: The Best of the Versatile Genius – Rafi Saab

Happy / Happy Go Lucky

This may not be a much explored emotion with SD Burman and Rafi Saab, but they still gave quite a few real memorable songs even in this genre, such as:

Songs that can cheer up at any time of the day! What else is needed!

Comedy / Humor

Yes, I am not done yet and the range of emotions is not complete without a generous bout of laughter with:

It was also the death anniversary of Johnny Walker a couple of days back, and he has also become immortal with the first song here – wonderful happy go lucky number!

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And here is included my absolute favorites of some of the best duets of Rafi saab where he paired up with all the leading female vocalists to create sheer magic.. The list is pretty long and includes:

Phew! That is what defines the range of the ultimate versatile genius! There isn’t enough superlative language available to sum up the strength of his musical prowess; and all of that outstanding musical excellence stands a chance to fade away when we compare it to how magnanimous, humble and pure hearted he was as a human being! They don’t make saintly souls like Rafi Saab anymore! There will never be another one like this legend – ever!


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Copyright ©2019 Jayashree Chakravarti. This article cannot be reproduced in its entirety without permission. A link to this URL can be used instead.

3 thoughts on “When Rafi Saab sang for S.D. Burman, Magic happened!

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