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Barking Spiders

Fave vocalists who aren't much cop at singing

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Ah, yes, J.J. Cale! I absolutely love his weak, mumbled vocals! In fact most things about what he did were pretty damn cool.

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38 minutes ago, Lozz196 said:

Mick Jagger

Def the right voice for The Rolling Stones, but wouldn’t say he was that good a singer.

I wouldn't call Rod Stewart a good singer either but what a great voice (especially with Jeff Beck and Python Lee Jackson).

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1 hour ago, Japhet said:

I wouldn't call Rod Stewart a good singer either but what a great voice (especially with Jeff Beck and Python Lee Jackson).

I actually think he is / was pretty good. Unusual voice and great phrasing, reminiscent of his heroes like Sam Cooke and Otis. Sure, his pitching has always been a bit hit and miss, and his American Songbook phase was (to me anyway) pretty dire, but will always remain one of my favourite singers. 

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52 minutes ago, casapete said:

I actually think he is / was pretty good. Unusual voice and great phrasing, reminiscent of his heroes like Sam Cooke and Otis. Sure, his pitching has always been a bit hit and miss, and his American Songbook phase was (to me anyway) pretty dire, but will always remain one of my favourite singers. 

I think his voice has gone, last couple of times I've heard him live he's sounded ropy, generally sticks to crooning these days 

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10 minutes ago, PaulWarning said:

I think his voice has gone, last couple of times I've heard him live he's sounded ropy, generally sticks to crooning these days 

He did seem to go through a period when his voice sounded like it was shot, but then appeared to improve again. Didn’t he have some throat surgery or something? 

 In my view his early work was when his voice sounded at it’s best (as is the case with most singers to be fair) but at 75 years of age he still can cut it. I think we believe singers should be able to maintain the same standard they achieved 40 or 50 years later, which is totally unrealistic really. Unless you’re Tom Jones of course.....😉

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52 minutes ago, casapete said:

He did seem to go through a period when his voice sounded like it was shot, but then appeared to improve again. Didn’t he have some throat surgery or something? 

 In my view his early work was when his voice sounded at it’s best (as is the case with most singers to be fair) but at 75 years of age he still can cut it. I think we believe singers should be able to maintain the same standard they achieved 40 or 50 years later, which is totally unrealistic really. Unless you’re Tom Jones of course.....😉

Mick Jagger's still got it, I'd like to hear Rod trying some of his early stuff before passing judgement, but it's true that some singer's voices go, Macca springs to mind, and others seem just the same as always.

Went to see a 60's show a few years ago and they wheeled Chris Farlowe out, he looked awful, overweight and with this massive Hawaiian shirt on, we feared the worse, but when he started singing Out of Time he sounded just the same,  a jaw dropping moment, after he'd done the compare said he'd be back when he's had some oxygen, I think he was only half joking

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Paul Buchanan of The Blue Nile is one of my favourite singers (and lyricists).

I don’t think he’d appear on many singer ‘best of...’ lists, but I love his voice.

The Blue Nile’s first album, A Walk Across the Rooftops is, to this day, one of my favourite ever albums. It’s one of the few albums I can listen to all the way through with no interruptions then put it on again straight away (maybe helps that it just under 40mins long?!).

If you’ve not heard it/them; definitely worth checking out.

It doesn’t do the album justice (in my opinion) to offer just one track as it really is a ‘whole’ album, but this is a track called Stay...

 

Edited by Old Man Riva
Add the ‘Stay’ track...

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On 07/11/2020 at 09:43, Barking Spiders said:

Seems to me a characterful but not technically great vocalist can get away with it in a rock band but not so in the Soul genre. Hard to imagine someone like Joe Strummer or Shane McGowan putting out an album like What's Going On?

Good point.

The music I mainly like usually benefit from a characterful non-singer, and would sound worse with a 'good' singer. But yes, when I do jump over for a bit of soul......... I go for good singers.

Yet there is a version of this concept even in the soul world. You have to clear quite a high bar to sing soul, but once over the bar it is the ones who can put the feeling in rather than the best technical performances which are best. Need I cite "I will always Love You" compared to say Uretha?

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51 minutes ago, Nail Soup said:

Good point.

The music I mainly like usually benefit from a characterful non-singer, and would sound worse with a 'good' singer. But yes, when I do jump over for a bit of soul......... I go for good singers.

Yet there is a version of this concept even in the soul world. You have to clear quite a high bar to sing soul, but once over the bar it is the ones who can put the feeling in rather than the best technical performances which are best. Need I cite "I will always Love You" compared to say Uretha?

Yup, I'd challenge anyone to come up with the name of a successful/notable Soul singer whose vocals you'd describe as a bit ..meh!. Often as much, a great Soul voice can make a so-so song very listenable. Unfortunately there've also been fine singers who've been encouraged to go a bit mad with the old vocal gymnastics which serves no purpose, shredding away with their larynxes like Y Malmsteen etc on the geetar.

 

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1 hour ago, Nail Soup said:

Yet there is a version of this concept even in the soul world. You have to clear quite a high bar to sing soul, but once over the bar it is the ones who can put the feeling in rather than the best technical performances which are best. Need I cite "I will always Love You" compared to say Uretha?

I know where you're coming from, but have to disagree on the Whitney / Aretha example. Ms Houston always seemed to get lumped in with all the other vocal technicians of the time, and whilst she may have had a few goes at being a bit OTT, in the main she was just an amazing singer, and (I think) one with a lot of 'soul' too. He first couple of albums are quite remarkable, and despite the slightly dated production still hold up today. Also Aretha ( Whitney's honorary Aunt) was quoted many times praising her, so very unlikely to have been of the opinion she was just a voice and nothing else. 

34 minutes ago, Barking Spiders said:

Yup, I'd challenge anyone to come up with the name of a successful/notable Soul singer whose vocals you'd describe as a bit ..meh!.

Now there's a challenge! Maybe a whole new topic waiting to be unleashed alongside this one. 😉

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55 minutes ago, Barking Spiders said:

Yup, I'd challenge anyone to come up with the name of a successful/notable Soul singer whose vocals you'd describe as a bit ..meh!.

The name that springs to mind is James Brown. But I suppose that proves your point really.... he moved away from soul to a funk/groove bandleader doing shouts and yelps etc.

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Ian Hunter of Mott The Hoople, my favourite songwriter, great front man but not a traditional rock singer like Paul Rodgers but Hunter gets his stuff over in his own vocal style :) 

 

John 😎 

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Mark Knopfler... He's quite open about his amazingly impressive vocal range though... 

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22 hours ago, Nail Soup said:

The name that springs to mind is James Brown. But I suppose that proves your point really.... he moved away from soul to a funk/groove bandleader doing shouts and yelps etc.

Yup, exactly that. By Soul I meant only that and no other related MOBO style like funk and Afrobeat. As funk is all about the groove, lyrics and vocals are definitely support acts to the bass, percussion and often the hornage. Many funk tunes only have chants so not much effort needed from the old larynx

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John Martyn was a bizarre singer who sometimes sounded like he was just taking the p*ss, all slurred and mumbling. But it suited the music perfectly.

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I can't make up my mind about Robert Wyatt. 

An unconventional voice certainly, but an achingly beautiful one. I just can't decide if he's technically good or not. 

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2 minutes ago, Maude said:

I can't make up my mind about Robert Wyatt. 

An unconventional voice certainly, but an achingly beautiful one. I just can't decide if he's technically good or not. 

He did spring to mind and I went through the same thoughts............., but I finally put him as a good singer with an unusual voice, and therefore not for this thread.

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