Over the years I've grown to love the voice of some great musicians and just go simply back to them for pure listening pleasure, and also to bring back a memory or two from my youth, teen years and even adulthood.
I'm going to look at two posts, that counts down my Top Ten male and female singers that have evoked such thougt, emotion and pure talent.
Here's my Top 10 Male Singers of According to SteveA:
10. Morrissey (The Smiths; solo)
The clear, unmistakable voice of melancholy, matches a face of sweetness, innocence and sincerity. When Morrissey sings, it makes the happiest song seen dark and gloomy.
9. Willie Nelson
Willie - oh boy....My mom is a huge fan. The way he sings can evoke emotion and also pure country attitude!
8. Jeff Buckley
The voice of an angel - Jeff Buckley died way too long at the ripe age of 30 when his career was just getting kicked off, but he did leave one of the most highly acclaimed albums in the last 30 years with the album "Grace".
Jeff is the youngest artist here and he is the only one not alive - RIP Jeff!
7. Ian Gillian (Deep Purple)
Listening to Ian belt out on "Sweet Child In Time" was enough for this 7 year old to get sold. Ian has an amazing voice that still gives me goose bumps.
6. Chris Cornell (Soundgarden, Solo)
When I heard the album "Louder than Love" in late 1989, I was deeply amazed by Chris' voice and the music Soundgarden played (welcome to 90's grunge). Henry Rollins said it best when he said "When Chris sings he can peel the paint off walls".... Chris has a classic rock feel to his voice which reminds me of the classic rock voices from the 70's.
5. Dave Gahan (Depeche Mode; Solo)
Dave's voice was one of the biggest and best voices of new wave in the 80's. I grew up admiring the clarity, and deep, dark emotion with which Dave sang...listening to Dave today I find he's not lost that lustre and he sounds good today as he did 30 years ago.
4. Paul Rodgers (Bad Company; Free; Queen)
Now this man can sing a love song with ease, comfort and energy, even if that rock song drives a rockin' beat like "Feel Like Makin' Love". Paul has got one of the sexiest voices in hard rock and he looks quite hot too!
3. Steve Perry (Journey; Solo)
That raspy voice has added fire and depth to some of rock's greatest and most memorable rock ballads...."Faithfully" is such a heart felt rock anthem about life on the road, and of course "Open Arms" can melt your lover's heart.
2. Robert Plant (Led Zepplin; The Honeydrippers; Solo)
Listening to Robert's voice today on Zeppelin, I realised how greatly influenced the band was by classic, old school American blues and even country music (see ***). When I was growing up, I wasn't yet into the blues and the impact it had on rock (see a post I did on Hard Rock and the Blues here), but now I really appreciate how great this band was.
Listening to Zep on their earliest of albums (Led Zeppelin I and II), from the late 60's, I am amazed as to how these songs still stand the test of time - they don't sound dated at all - and isn't that the essence of a great band and their music?
*** On Plant's latest solo effort he did a cover of a Townes Van Zandt track called "Harm's Swift Way". Townes is one of my fave country singers and I did a post on him as "One of the Great American Songwriters" - see link http://longhairedboy.blogspot.com/2011/02/townes-van-zandt-one-of-great-american.html.
You can buy this song on iTunes here.
1. Freddie Mercury (Queen; Solo)
Doesn't this picture say it all - VICTORY!
Listening to Bohemian Rhapsody was the song that made Freddie #1 on my list. Besides the song being one of the most creative, amazing rock songs of all time, it combines two opposing genres - opera with classic hard rock (something that only someone with Freddie's confidence can deliver).
You can feel the range of Freddie's voice as it moves between fields of opera, and rock - making Freddie the perfect narrator as the story unfolds!
When I look at the concert footage of Queen (live Wembley and Live Aid) I have to say that he was probably one of the most talented and greatest entertainers in rock - no artist I've seen live have come close to touching the magic Freddie has as a front man of Queen.
If there's one track that proves my point look at the video (# 10) for "Under Pressure" per a post called "Queen - Larry's Fantasy and Ex-Lover" (see link here).
Well folks - I hope you enjoyed. There were some other artists whom I would like to mention like Bob Dylan, George Michael, Ray Charles and Sam Cooke - these guys have great voices, but one of the primary criteria for my selection was really the impact they had on me, whilst I was growing up.
Peeps - chat later! and Look out for the Top 10 Female Greatest Singers in a later post!