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post #1 of 82 (permalink) Old 04-01-2013, 04:45 PM Thread Starter
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GOAT rock vocalist/singer suggestions

I was planning on making a poll to determine what the greatest rock singer/vocalist of all time is and also (hopefully) to get some good discussion going. I figure I'll make this thread first to get some suggestions for the poll.

You may be wondering why I say vocalist AND singer. Well as I've discovered they are two separate entities.

I think Anark described it best:

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Originally Posted by Anark View Post

Cornell is technically better than any other singer that graced the grunge period.

But Staley and Vedder are both better to listen to in my opinion, they reach into your heart more, even though Cornell is technically a better singer than both of them.

I listen to Cornell and admire his voice, I listen to Staley and Vedder and get caught up in what they are singing about, what they are feeling.

I'm not laying down a law here, this is just an explanation according to what I said before, but a singer sings and does everything a singer should do, while a vocalist emotes and drags you into the song emotionally.

I know that doesn't actually make much sense and the words used (singer/vocalist) are a bit wrong, but hopefully you know what I'm getting at.
For my money, I think that Thom Yorke is the perfect example of a fantastic vocalist, who conveys his emotions perfectly through his music and really makes you feel what he is singing about, though compared to some may be lacking in the singing department. To the same token, Chris Cornell is truly a fucking talented singer but may be left wanting in the vocalist category. That's not to say they don't achieve greatness in both, but they certainly excel in one over the other IMO.

What do you think constitutes a great frontman/vocalist/singer? Who rates highly in your eyes?

All suggestions welcome.

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post #2 of 82 (permalink) Old 04-01-2013, 04:59 PM
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Re: GOAT rock Vocalist/ singer suggestions

I totally understand the difference. 'Vocalist' covers such a broad range of styles, while a singer just covers the spectrum of...well, singing. Carrying a tune.

For example, I think Dave Vincent from Morbid Angel is one of the all-time great metal vocalists, but he never sings. Well, except on 'God Of Emptiness'.

Anyway, best singers:

Robert Plant
Ronnie James Dio
Ian Gillian
Layne Staley
Chris Cornell
Paul Rodgers
Mike Patton
Bruce Dickinson
Rob Halford

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post #3 of 82 (permalink) Old 04-01-2013, 05:07 PM
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Re: GOAT rock Vocalist/ singer suggestions

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Originally Posted by THE MIGHTY KRANG View Post
I totally understand the difference. 'Vocalist' covers such a broad range of styles, while a singer just covers the spectrum of...well, singing. Carrying a tune.

For example, I think Dave Vincent from Morbid Angel is one of the all-time great metal vocalists, but he never sings. Well, except on 'God Of Emptiness'.

Anyway, best singers:

Robert Plant
Ronnie James Dio
Ian Gillian
Layne Staley
Chris Cornell
Paul Rodgers
Mike Patton
Bruce Dickinson
Rob Halford
.....and Freddie Mercury I also like Neil Young, Phil Lynott.


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post #4 of 82 (permalink) Old 04-01-2013, 05:08 PM
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Re: GOAT rock Vocalist/ singer suggestions

Well, in terms of GOAT, I got to say Freddy Mercury. No one could captivate and entertain a huge stadium-size crowd better than him especially during Queen's shows at Wembley Stadium.

Personally, for me, I believe Myles Kennedy of Alter Bridge and Slash is pretty darn amazing. Give him another decade in the rock music world and he should be able to compete amongst the GOATs.

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post #5 of 82 (permalink) Old 04-01-2013, 05:11 PM
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Re: GOAT rock Vocalist/ singer suggestions

I wouldn't necessarily call him a GOAT but just to add to the discussion of 'vocalist not singer', would people agree that Cobain would come under that bracket of being a great vocalist, but not a particularly great 'singer'? Similar to Anark's point about Layne and Ed Ved.



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post #6 of 82 (permalink) Old 04-01-2013, 05:12 PM
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Re: GOAT rock Vocalist/ singer suggestions

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Originally Posted by zep81 View Post
.....and Freddie Mercury I also like Neil Young, Phil Lynott.
D'oh! Holy shit I deserve to be waterboarded with tramp phlegm for that omission. I guess I forgot about him because I'm not a Queen fan, but Freddie is indeed one of the all time greats.

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post #7 of 82 (permalink) Old 04-01-2013, 05:14 PM
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Re: GOAT rock Vocalist/ singer suggestions

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Originally Posted by AlienBountyHunter View Post
I wouldn't necessarily call him a GOAT but just to add to the discussion of 'vocalist not singer', would people agree that Cobain would come under that bracket of being a great vocalist, but not a particularly great 'singer'? Similar to Anark's point about Layne and Ed Ved.
I think sometimes when we talk about vocalists, it veers more into personal taste than who we think is genuinely one of the best.

Cobain didn't have the best singing voice, but it was incredibly unique and showed just incredible raw power. The MTV Unplugged version of 'Where Did You Sleep Last Night' being a prime example. Yeah, I'd say he's a contender.

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post #8 of 82 (permalink) Old 04-01-2013, 05:30 PM
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Re: GOAT rock Vocalist/ singer suggestions

theres no one GOAT singer or band (or wrestler or actor or whatever), just a list of ones you love and the undeniable giants and who is the best of them just depends who Im in the mood for at that particular moment.

so uh, all the ones already mentioned plus
Glenn Danzig
Mark Lanegan
BRUCE MOTHERFUCKIN SPRINGSTEEN
PJ Harvey
King Diamond
Greg Dulli
Jim Morrison (highly underrated as a crooner imo)
Josh Homme (ditto^)
Messiah Marcolin
Iggy Pop (Stooges and first few solo albums)
Bon Scott

and a million others too, my favorite singer is probably Tom Waits but you couldnt really call him a 'rock' singer


Last edited by Hollywood Hanoi; 04-01-2013 at 05:34 PM.
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post #9 of 82 (permalink) Old 04-01-2013, 05:33 PM
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Re: GOAT rock Vocalist/ singer suggestions

Yeah, Danzig is a fucking good shout, same with Mike Patton.

Nick Cave is one of my personal favourites. Will put more thought into this.
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post #10 of 82 (permalink) Old 04-01-2013, 05:39 PM
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Re: GOAT rock Vocalist/ singer suggestions

Here's a list of my favorites.

Rob Halford
Glen Danzig
John Garcia
King Diamond
Freddy Mercury


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