Friday, June 18, 2010

Of The Voice


When I wrote about Joanna Newsom’s voice the other day a thought came to mind of how much we like to be entertained by people with voices that are untraditional. Some voices are down right bad like the deep voiced grunting of Satanic Metal groups. Some we kind of like. We must like them because many of them have been selling records for decades.

Billie Holiday had an unconventional voice that was full of passion. It wasn’t a great voice, but she could carry a tune.

Leonard Cohen basically talks his songs and if his voice gets any deeper he will only be heard by elephants.

Tiny Tim’s voice was grotesque, but somehow we kept listening.

Kim Carnes showed that a bad voice couldn’t hurt a good song, though she hasn’t done anything new in the last 20 years.

Joe Cocker, I’ve never figured out what the appeal was there.

Rod Stewart, may have been better as a folk singer. His version of Mother Ain’t Dead with Long John Baldry was outstanding, but I never liked anything else he did. Here's a Link to the song. There is a player at this sight so you don't have to download the file.

Janis Joplin, yes she had soul, but her voice reminds me of dragging a muffler under your car.

Ian Durry was OK with his Pop Punk thing. He was more funny than talented.

Bjork really needs to pursue acting more than song.

Joanna Newsom, is like Lisa Simpson inside a sack with fighting cats.

Both Joan Baez and Stevie Nicks singing reminds me goats at feeding time.

I almost forgot about Palo Conte and Tom Waits, my two favorite gravelly voiced performers who whave the ability to sing real pretty and real ugly.

I’m sure I’ve missed some, so feel free to share your list.

9 Comments:

Blogger darev2005 said...

I really dig Tom Waits but he makes me want to go sit in a dark dingy bar while I'm listening to him. Looking back through my collection it seems I do like the ones with odd voices. David Byrne, Elvis Costello, Frank Zappa, John Prine, Leon Redbone, Loudon Wainwright III... One of my all time faves from kidhood was Pete Seeger. His voice was raspy rough and squeaky like an old rusty sawblade but he sang with such enthusiasm that you just had to listen. On the other hand, I have heard people with beautiful singing voices who had no talent at all. A lot of them are now working theaters in Branson.

5:48 AM  
Blogger richpix said...

Bob Dylan. How could be left off such a list? And then there's Leon Redbone

12:17 PM  
Anonymous Auntie said...

I never realized how much I loved Tom Waits until these past 5 years. Now I can't get enough. Scoot over on that bar stool, Rev, and I will buy some rounds.

Ooooh, another talented musician, Bill Shatner.

12:17 PM  
Blogger mark said...

I'll second the motion on Bob Dylan. Great song-writer, capable guitar and harmonica player, but not the greatest vocalist. Another odd voice for your list is Tracy Chapman.

6:01 PM  
Anonymous g said...

Joe Cocker
Anthony Newly
Lemmy (Motorhead)
Ozzy
Billy Corgan (smashing pumpkins)
Brian Johnson (ac/dc)
Iggy Pop
David Bowie
Anthony Kiedis (redhot chilli peppers)
Sting
Mark Knopfler (dire straits)
Brad Roberts (crash test dummies)

7:03 PM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

Darev, yep, I get the same feeling.

Rich, I agree with both.

Auntie, Shatner, another talker. He by the way will play the Dad in the sit com Shit My Dad Says.

Mark, OK, I'd put her in the Joan Baez, Stevie Nicks category.

g, though I've never heard most of those on your list (you youngsters), but I wouldn't be so harsh with Bowie, but I do see where you're coming from.

6:34 AM  
Blogger g said...

I wasn't harshing Bowie at all. I'm a huge fan. I read the post as a "different" kind of voice. I a big fan of most of the people on my list!

Add Tom Petty.

11:11 AM  
Blogger dalia said...

shoreh aghdashloo is an actress (not a singer, sorry) but she has the best speaking voice... puts me in mind of kathleen turner's.

and i ask you to listen to this:

this

and tell me that bjork shouldn't be singing?

6:49 AM  
Blogger The Guy Who Writes This said...

OK, she should only be able to sing standards and leave indy to others with talent.

7:22 AM  

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