It's difficult to tell a type of a 'Kishore Kumar song'. There's hardly a song you cannot imagine in his voice, he's sung everything. Serenading the ladies with love songs, songs of deep-introspection, songs of heartbreak, songs where he's singing both the male and female vocals - he's done it all. He was a mad genius without doubt, who constantly kept challenging himself with newer peaks to conquer in the world of playback singing.
Here are 32 songs by Kishore Kumar which perfectly encapsulate the incredible range of emotions he could inject into a song with subtle modulations.
1. Aanewala Pal (Gol Maal)
An RD Burman classic, this song in Hrishikesh Mukherjee's laugh-riot was uncharacterstically restrained and profound in its meaning of life and love. Kishore Kumar's voice reflected that wisdom.
2. Koi Hota Jisko Apna (Mere Apne)
Another classic Kishore Kumar song this time with Salil Chowdhury, the song is clearly one of his most famous sad songs where we discover dial things down from his usual yodeling self.
3. Mere Sapno Ki Rani (Aradhana)
A trademark Kishore Kumar song, which was immortalised with the way it was short and the RD Burman's sensational mouth-organ riff that opens the song.
4. O Saathi Re (Muqaddar Ka Sikandar)
Another famous sad song from Kishore Kumar, it was picturised on Amitabh Bachchan as he sang about lost love and the terrible fate he had endured all his life.
5. Chingari Koi Bhadke (Amar Prem)
An amazing song from what would be one of the seminal albums of the RD Burman-Kishore Kumar collaboration.
6. Kuch Toh Log Kahenge (Amar Prem)
Picturised on Rajesh Khanna and Sharmila Tagore, this song was fantastic because of its lyrics and the way Kishore Da sang it.
7. Yeh Kya Hua (Amar Prem)
Another very popular song from the album, and the interesting thing was again the lyrics how it was built up with a series of short questions.
8. Mere Mehboob Qayamat Hogi (Mr X in Bombay)
A beautifully moving love song, it was picturised on Kishore Kumar himself and starred Kumkum opposite the actor.
9. Pal Pal Dil Ke Paas (Blackmail)
One of the most loved songs, it was picturised on Dharmendra and Rakhi.
10. Ek Ladki Bheegi Bhaagi Si (Chalti Ka Naam Gaadi)
Picurised on Kishore Kumar himself and Madhubala, the song epitomised the Bollywood song situation of a 'love song in the rain'.
11. Aake Seedhi Lagi (Half Ticket)
The urban legend goes that Kishore Kumar got bored of waiting for Lata Mangeshkar to sing the female vocals of the song, and volunteered to sing both the male the female portions.
12. Humein Tumse Pyaar Kitna (Kudrat)
Not amongst the most popular songs of Kishore Da, the song was back 'in vogue' after son Amit Kumar's rendition of the same song in Sujoy Ghosh's Jhankaar Beats.
13. Gaata Rahe Mera Dil (Guide)
Amongst one of the most popular Dev Anand songs, the vocals of Kishore Kumar oozed romance. Especially in kahi beetein na yeh raatein, kahi beetein na yeh din.
14. Yeh Shaam Mastani (Kati Patang)
Another one of Kishore Kumar's really popular songs, the singer showcased his powerful lungs in this song from Shakti Samanta's superhit movie.
15. Roop Tera Mastana (Aradhana)
Inculcating influences of jazz, this song by RD Burman quickly became the gold standard for those situations with exploding hormones between lovers. Kishore Da's vocals perfectly capture the playful tension.
16. O Hansini (Zehreela Insaan)
Another cult favourite among die-hard Kishore Kumar fans, this song is almost like a psychedelic trip. Kishore Kumar's dreamy vocals make most imagine about our lover and the hills.
17. Rim Jhim Gire Sawan (Manzil)
Another song which found fame much later, this song was picturised on 'angry, young man' Amitabh Bachchan (at the height of his powers) and Mousumi Chatterjee.
18. Zindagi Ke Safar Mein (Aap Ki Kasam)
Just like his other song from Anand, this one again is sung with all of Kishore Kumar's worldly wisdom oozing through the words.
19. Jai Jai Shiv Shankar (Aap Ki Kasam)
One of the most fun love songs ever, Kishore Kumar brings his mad, infectious energy and even spills on to Lata Mangeshkar, who is known more for her milder songs.
20. Tere Mere Milan Ki (Abhimaan)
Displaying his effervescent versatility, he sings this lovely, quiet song in the same film where he also sings the retro, upbeat 'Meet na mila re mann ka'. Classic Kishore!
21. Zindagi Ek Safar Hai Suhana (Andaz)
Made famous by his happy yodeling, the song pushed both Rajesh Khanna and his voice from behind the scenes to super-stardom. Arguably Kishore Kumar's most famous song ever.
22. Meri Pyaari Bindu (Padosan)
Tripping with his most favourite collaborators, RD Burman brought out the genius of the singer with a lover low-key cajoling his beloved with sweet nothings.
23. Diye Jalte Hai (Namak Haraam)
Another song which reflects the heartfelt wisdom in Kishore Kumar's voice, the song was picturised on Amitabh Bachchan and Rajesh Khanna.
24. Ek Ajnabee Haseena Se (Ajnabee)
The voice of Rajesh Khanna in the late 60s till the mid 70s, this was a part of the long list of songs when Kishore Kumar aided the hero in serenading women.
25. Tere Jaisa Yaar Kahaan (Yaarana)
One of the finest movies to have been made on friendship, this song picturised on Amitabh Bachchan truly captured a friend's longing. Similar to O Saathi Re...
26. Apni Toh Jaise Taise (Laawaris)
One of the most fun songs to have been performed by Kishore Kumar, the song is picturised on Amitabh Bachchan celebrating life with a cabaret dancer.
27. Dil Kya Kare (Julie)
Composed by Rajesh Roshan, this song sung by Kishore Kumar always sounds like it has freshly been dowsed in romance, even 40 years after it came out.
28. Mere Saamne Wali Khidki Mein (Padosan)
Playing the voice of Sunil Dutt quite literally in this movie, Kishore Kumar served up this classic of a romantic song.
29. Ek Chatur Naari (Padosan)
Taking on the clinical perfection of Manna Dey in this duel of a song, Kishore Kumar made up for his lack of a classical training and compensated it with his mad energy. Manna Dey's minute-long sargams are retorted with gibberish which might not make much sense, but are hilarious to listen to.
30. Chala Jaata Hoon (Mere Jeevan Saathi)
A happy, upbeat song which leveraged into Kishore Kumar's antics to perfection.
31. Jaane Jaan Dhoondta Phir Raha (Jawaani Deewani)
One of RD Burman's classic songs, where he used Asha Bhosle's harmonies like an instrument to back Kishore Kumar's strong vocals.
32. Tere Bina Zindagi Se Koi Shikwa (Aandhi)
A part of Hrishikesh Mukherjee's rumoured biopic of the late Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, the song saw Kishore pair up with Lata Mangeshkar.
We know we've missed out on many gems, but that's just the only problem with Kishore Da - the prpblem of too many gems in one lifetime. So here's a medley of some his greatest hits from the creative folk at ScoopWhoop Cafe. Enjoy!