This thought came to me when I was listening to Darde dil, darde jigar, dil mai jagaya aapne a Rafi song from the film Karz that became a hit in the mid-70s. This song explains why Mohammad Rafis career had begun to recede while Kishore Kumar was still doing great. Rafi not at all sounds good in this song. Listen to the song:
He sounds bland especially in the lower notes (not to sound boastful I can sing this song better). Compared to that listen to this Kishore Kumar song from Mr. India:
Kishore Kumar must have sung Kaate nahi kat-te almost after 15 years Rafi sang Darde dil and still, he sounds sizzling, just like Roop tera mastana from Aradhna. Kishore Kumar knew how to adapt and still sound classy. Although Im a die-hard Rafi fan I think after a certain period his singing lost relevance and he was still trapped in the golden age of Man tarpat hari darshan ko aaj and Kuhu-kuhu bole koyaliya renditions that only Rafi could deliver, of course. Savor both the songs:
Rafi was no doubt the playback god of Indian cinema but his singing style couldnt adapt to the changing times. Kishore Kumar did this with great ease and was a successful singer till his last breath. He even sang exceptionally well for those cheap Jitendra flicks produced by south Indian producers.
This is exactly what Amitabh Bachchan does when all his contemporaries have vanished into the oblivion. In the 70s and 80s he hit the right cord and became a mega star. Even these days his roles are as contemporary as it gets. So whats common between Kishore Kumar and Amitabh Bachchan? The ability to adapt.
Adaptability can help you in any sphere of life. When you can easily and quickly adapt, you can survive under any condition.