This set of pages explores the work of Jagjit and Chitra Singh, focusing almost exclusively on the ghazals. They also sang a number of devotional songs but I haven’t focused on them. Since they were actively recording over four decades, the list of their work includes original albums, live recordings and compilations of various ghazals from earlier releases. I’ve commented on various ghazals and wherever possible, links to lyrics from the ITRANS songbook have been included.
NOTE: I’m transcribing as many ghazals as I can myself and putting them in ITRANS format, I’m also writing up short reviews for ghazals as I go along. In other words, these pages are in the works, but contain enough information to be useful right now. If anyone has reviews to contribute that would be great, I can put them up here. If you’re looking for a tour schedule or current information on Jagjit & Chitra Singh, visit the official site jagjitchitrasingh.com. Please note that there are no audio clips here since I don’t have permission to broadcast or distribute that material. If you’re interested in listening to Jagjit and Chitra, head down to your neighbourhood store and buy a couple of albums, and try not to get bootlegged copies please.
I’ve always thought of Jagjit and Chitra as not only remarkable singers, but also excellent editors who select from among the best iterature to present the finest songs and ghazals. I don’t entirely like the work Jagjit has been putting out recently though, especially the “socially relevant” songs in Cry for Cry and Mirage (which I thought was a disaster). I can understand what drives Jagjit to work with such material but I don’t think it can stand on its own feet when compared to the richness of the older ghazals.
Sometimes people say Chitra Singh’s voice and technique are not as refined as Jagjit’s and that her work is not as compelling as his is. At times I agree with that view. I certainly think Jagjit is a better ghazal singer than Chitra. To truly judge their work however, one must listen very carefully to the Punjabi songs they have recorded. For instance, I think Chitra’s Lori from the Punjabi movie Diva Bale Saree Raat is perfect. The range of emotion she puts on display in Lori is unmatched by anything I can find, even in Jagjit’s own work. Lori never fails to move me, and if for nothing else, Chitra is Jagjit’s equal.
Jagjit & Chitra’s oeuvre
A complete list of the tracks, useful if you are searching for one song.
Each of the links in the list below leads to a list of ghazals and in most cases, their authors. Entries with a next to them are albums that come highly recommended.
Take a look at Rajeev’s Jagjit and Chitra page for the mukhdas to the ghazals. I have some of the lyrics, but not as many as Rajeev has mukhdas to.
- Unforgettables (1977)
- Birha Da Sultan: Jagjit & Chitra Singh (1978, 1995)
- Jagjit Singh & Chitra Singh come alive in concert (1979)
- Live in Pakistan (1979)
- The Gold Disc (1979)
- Live in Concert at Wembley (1980)
- A Milestone (1980)
- Main aur Meri Tanhai (1981)
- The Latest (1982)
- Live at Royal Albert Hall, London (1983)
- Ae Mere Dil (1983)
- Ecstasies (1984)
- A Sound Affair (1985)
- Echoes (1986)
- Live in Concerts (1987)
- Passions [Black Magic] (1987)
- Beyond Time (1987)
- Mirza Ghalib (1988)
- Magic moments with Jagjit Singh & Chitra Singh (compilation)
- An Evening with Jagjit & Chitra Singh (compilation)
- Geets and Ghazals from films [Ghazals from Films] (1989)
- Mehfil: Jagjit & Chitra Singh (1990)
- Memorable Ghazals of Jagjit Singh & Chitra Singh (1990)
- Someone Somewhere (1990)
- Hope (1991)
- Kahkashan: Jagjit Singh (1991)
- Sajda: Jagjit Singh & Lata Mangeshkar (1991)
- Jagjit Singh Punjabi Hits (1991)
- Adaa: Lata Mangeshkar & Jagjit Singh (1992)
- In Search (1992)
- Rare Gems (compilation, 1992)
- Visions (1992)
- Chirag (1993)
- Your Choice (1993)
- Live with Jagjit Singh (1993)
- Face to Face: Jagjit Singh (1993)
- Desires (1994)
- Insight: Jagjit Singh (1994)
- Cry for Cry: Jagjit Singh (1995)
- Mirage: Jagjit Singh (1996)
- Unique: Jagjit Singh (1996)
- Selections from Films
- The Greatest Punjabi Hits of Jagjit Singh & Chitra Singh
- Solid Gold: Jagjit Singh (Compilation, 2001)
- Best of Jagjit Singh & Chitra Singh (2005)
- Unforgettable hits of Jagjit Singh & Chitra Singh (2005)
- The Wikipedia page on Ghazals is a good place to get some basic information on the form.
- The Wikipedia entry on Jagjit Singh
- The Wikipedia entry on Chitra Singh
- The Wikipedia entry on Ghalib
- Ghazal: a site by Rajeev that has mukhdas for various ghazals, and is generally a good read.
- Sa Re Ga Ma The Gramaphone Company of India’s web site