Greatest Rock Vocalists

  • 1. Diamanda Galas (Panoptikon)

  • 2. Tim Buckley (Lorca)

  • 3. Meredith Monk (Biography)

  • 4. Nico (Janitor of Lunacy)

  • 5. Captain Beefheart (Moonlight On Vermont)

  • 6. David Thomas (Non-Alignment Pact)

  • 7. Mark Stewart (We Are Time)

  • 8. Janis Joplin (Ball & Chain)

  • 9. Grace Slick (White Rabbit)

  • 10. Jim Morrison (The End)

  • 11. Nick Cave (From Her To Eternity)

  • 12. Patti Smith (Birdland)

  • 13. Robert Wyatt (Alifib/Alife)

  • 14. Tom Waits (Train Song)

  • 15. Mary Margaret O' Hara (The Cry of Man)

  • 16. Mick Jagger (Let It Loose)

  • 17. Robert Plant (Whole Lotta Love)

  • 18. Axl Rose (Welcome To The Jungle)

  • 19. Van Morrison (Beside You)

  • 20. Joni Mitchell (Blue)

  • 21. Lisa Germano (My Secret Reason)

  • 22. Kat Bjelland (Bruise Violet)

  • 23. Hope Nichols (Briefcase)

  • 24. Jeff Mangum (Oh Comely)

  • 25. Bjork (Joga)

  • 26. Alan Vega (Frankie Teardrop)

Author Comments: 

Above are the artists I find to be the greatest "rock" vocalists ever. The choices are based solely on how emotionally powerful their vocal performances are. I don't care at all how talented or perfectly pitched their voices are. All that matters to me is how powerful, how much emotion they convey.

In parenthesis are given the song titles of their greatest vocal performances that I've heard by each artist. Obviously, I have not heard everything, or even close to it, but I think anyone would be hard pressed to find more emotionally powerful vocal performances than what are listed here.

I greatly appreciate any suggestions and especially links to any other performances that you feel should be mentioned. This list could use some expansion anyway.

Paul Rodgers (Free) - Be My Friend at the Isle of Wight Festival - 1970.
The vocal performance on a different version (BBC sessions) of this song is most extraordinary.

I agree with you. A great vocal performance. Thanks for the link!

Here are some more of my favourite vocal performances.

Joan Baez - I Shall Be Released - this never fails to move me. The power in her voice is operatic and the emotion of this song in context at Sing Sing prison is unique.

Peter Hammill - My Room - a mesmerising performance from the "Hendrix of the voice". Fantastic power and emotion.


I really enjoyed Baez. Her voice is a knockout.

I'm not much of a fan of Hammill. While technically gifted (very much so), to me he comes across as rather superficial emotionally, much like David Bowie.

I'll check out the Al Green one soon. Thanks again!

David Bowie and Peter Hammill superficial emotionally ?
I would geuess that you are from the USA.

Uhhh...yea...and I am also caucasian and male...and I have brown hair and blue eyes...

I know it's hard for you to believe, but I actually know people who fit all of these descriptions (even from the godforsaken USA!) who actually think Bowie's and Hammill's vocals are very emotional. Incredible, I know... They were probably lying...

Two British vocalists I think obliterate Hammill emotionally are Van Morrison (particularly Astral Weeks), and Robert Wyatt (particularly Rock Bottom). These are two of the most moving vocal performances on record. An example of a vocalist who is in another league technically and emotively would be Tim Buckley (and get this: he's a damn yankee).

No offence intended. It's just a matter of different tastes - Hammill has a large cult following all around Europe.
I like Van Morrison but I think that Mick Jagger has a better (but similar) voice and is more expressive than Van Morrison.
I've always liked Soft Machine and Robert Wyatt since their early days, and in some ways they can be compared to VDGG.

I do think VDGG are masterful compositionally, and I wouldn't necessarily disagree with you about Mick Jagger, who is only missing from this list because I haven't put him on yet--I haven't revisited the Rolling Stones' work in at least a year, but once I do I am pretty sure he'll make the top 15 and possibly ahead of Van Morrison as well.

Check out this video &nbsp I made of a Peter Hammill live performance from a favourite album of mine.

Great list. Have you heard anything by Mary Margaret O'Hara? She's probably my favorite female rock singer (here's something on youtube, but I wouldn't say it's her best performance). I'd also suggest Grace Slick during her early Jefferson Airplane days.
My favorite rock singer is probably Guy Picciotto of Fugazi, but that's an idiosyncratic choice and I wouldn't necessarily say he has the same skill as the singers on this list. Mike Patton of Faith No More, Mr. Bungle, etc. is also a great singer.
I see you don't have an exemplary song for Tom Waits. My favorite is probably "Train Song" off Frank's Wild Years, but there are many to choose from.

Wow, thanks for the suggestions. I added Slick and O'Hara. It had been a long time since I heard The Jefferson Airplane and her voice was a revelation this time. O'Hara was a first for me and I am very interested to check out the album Miss America now. Her voice is amazing. I haven't decided yet about Picciotto. He's certainly emotional. If I put him on here he'll be below Jim Morrison somewhere...

With Waits there is so much to choose from I just don't know which song to put up there. He's very consistent so it is difficult to pick the best. Could be "Train Song". I'll probably put one up there soon.

And I'll have to look into Mike Patton a little more before making a decision.


What about John Lennon? Not his whole career, but one performance that I always loved was Mother. And, what about singers like Sam Cooke, Sam Moore, Marvin Gaye, Wilson Pickett...? Would they not be considered "rock" vocalists?

They certainly fall under the definition of rock. While very talented and excellent vocalists (especially Cooke and Lennon), for me they're just not emotional enough to rank highly on this list.

For example, Lennon uses his primal screaming technique to great effect on Mother (one of his very best songs and among the supreme examples of his vocal talent), but I don't find it nearly as affecting as the astounding Mark Stewart on Pop Group's Y. In order to make the list they must really stand out emotionally as vocalists, far above their peers.

Are you serious Captain Beefhart and Nico over John Lennnon as a vocalist I don't mean to be nasty. Have you heard of songs like A Day in the Life or the primal vocals of Yer Blues.

Of course. I own both the White Album and Sgt Pepper. Lennon, while very good (easily the best Beatles vocalist), pales in comparison emotionally to both Beefheart and Nico, as well as the rest of the artists listed. Just my opinion though, and I do understand I am in the minority here, so it's no surprise at all that you disagree with me.

Remember, the vocalists are listed as to emotional power and impact they have on me, nothing else. As per my Author Comments section above:

"Above are the artists I find to be the greatest "rock" vocalists ever. The choices are based solely on how emotionally powerful their vocal performances are. I don't care at all how talented or perfectly pitched their voices are. All that matters to me is how powerful, how much emotion they convey."

Released in May 1971, Ram peaked at #2 on the Billboard Hot 200 and remained on the charts for 37 weeks. Paul and Linda shared equal billing in the production and the couple also designed the album cover.

Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey and the Ram Album

By Gary Eskow

Bach, Beethoven — those guys may edge a legendary musician or group out over the long haul, but will any musician ever have a more explosive short-term impact on the world than The Beatles did during their great run that ended with the release of Abbey Road in 1969? After the group splintered and each bandmember was left to his own devices, it came as no surprise that the prolific Paul McCartney, whose cherubic smile masked a flinty resolve, was first out of the gate. McCartney, released in 1970, yielded the hit “Maybe I'm Amazed” and remained on the charts for nearly a year. Not bad for an album recorded entirely at home. Always a workhorse, McCartney began writing material for his next album, Ram, while the first album was still sailing on the charts. Although some critics fault Ram, which was released on May 17, 1971, as the saccharine effort that began a slide into camp from which McCartney has never fully recovered, McCartney's hauntingly beautiful touch can be heard throughout the album and is particularly evident in “Back Seat of My Car” and “Ram On.” Ram also produced the smash single “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey,” which combines McCartney's knack for memorable melodies with some of that theatricality he was always prone to.

Rhythm tracks for “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” were cut in Studio B at CBS Studios on East 52nd Street in Manhattan, with CBS staff engineer Tim Geelan at the desk. Now semi-retired and living in a house that he built into the side of a mountain in Virginia, Geelan cut 22 songs with McCartney during a six-week period in 1971.

“Working on ‘Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey’ was one of the highlights of my career,” says Geelan, whose long list of credits includes engineering for Dave Brubeck, Wynton Marsalis, Billy Cobham, The Dictators, Blue Öyster Cult and many others. “Paul was a great producer: thorough, businesslike and loose at the same time. They were very comfortable sessions that followed a pattern. We'd start working at nine or 10 in the morning. Paul would show Denny Seiwell, the drummer [who would later become an original member of Wings], and David Spinozza and Hugh McCracken, the guitar players who split the date, the song we'd be tracking that day. After rehearsing for several hours, we'd cut a version of the tune and then have a lunch break. After lunch, we'd listen to what we had and then record another couple of takes if it was necessary.

“We had a 3M MM-1000 16-track recorder and a homemade console at CBS. Studio B was a big room, about 40 or 50 feet long and 50 feet wide with a 40-foot-high ceiling. We didn't worry about bleeding at all. The setup was real tight and everyone had headsets. Paul was absolutely the best. I was impressed with his musicianship and command of the studio.”

Dixon Van Winkle remembers the Ram sessions well. A young staff member at A&R Recording in New York City at the time, Van Winkle had been on the job for about six months when McCartney and his wife, Linda, showed up after scheduling conflicts forced them out of CBS. “I was a setup man in those days,” says Van Winkle. “Phil Ramone was the king of large orchestral recordings in New York at the time. He didn't have that many guys around who had gone to music school and could read scores, which I was able to do. So I had some value to Phil, who asked me to work with him on the Ram sessions.”

A&R had four studios in Manhattan; A1 was located in the penthouse at 799 7th Ave. “A1 was one of those magical New York rooms — arguably the best of them all,” Van Winkle says. “Originally a CBS studio, it was large enough to handle a full orchestra and it sounded great. We had a warm, fat vacuum tube Altec console that had been custom-built with handmade sidecars and four Altec 604E speakers across the front room, each powered by a 75-watt McIntosh tube amplifier.

“Paul came over to A&R to track the orchestra, vocals and some other overdubs with Phil. But Phil had a scheduling conflict one day and Paul asked me to take over. Things went well, and then Paul asked me if I'd finish the record with him.

“Security was tight, and each day Paul and Linda would come up the back elevator with their kids and a playpen, which we set up in the front of the control room. I was a part-time nanny since Mary would often be crawling around the console and sitting on my lap! The interplay between Paul and Linda was sweet, especially when they were on-mic. Linda actually came up with some parts on her own — the entire backing vocals on ‘Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey’ consists of the two of them — but when she needed a hand, Paul was great with her. We used a combination of U87s — if we were working on something smooth — and Shure SM57s for the rockier stuff throughout the album. Paul didn't care what mic you put on him, although he did like the U87. He's such a great singer. I know that the vocals they cut over at CBS are Paul singing live right off the floor with the rhythm section into an Electro-Voice RE20, which was a relatively new mic at the time. They recorded the telephone section [of the song] over at CBS, as well. That character voice was also Paul, with a simple highpass filter engaged to give the telephone effect.”

Although Van Winkle did not record the guitar parts that McCracken contributed to “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey,” he remembers the guitarist well. “Everybody wanted Hugh on their sessions. He wasn't the best reader in town, but the parts he came up with were fantastic. I've heard lots of great guitar players over the years, and I'd say Hugh was in the top five.” Still an active player who can be heard on the current Alicia Keys record and other tracks, McCracken has distinct memories of working with McCartney.

“My answering service got a call asking me if I'd like to audition for Ram, but I was in Florida working on an Aretha Franklin record and didn't pick up the message until I got back into town,” says McCracken. “I was disappointed but happy that David had gotten the job.” Spinozza, who has gone on to enjoy a long and successful career in the music production business and in Broadway pits, now plays in the Hairspray orchestra. After working on “3 Legs” and several other Ram songs, Spinozza and McCartney parted ways. As McCracken recalls, his phone rang one afternoon and Linda McCartney was on the line.

“Linda asked me to hang on while she put Paul on the phone. Paul simply asked me if I could be in the studio the following morning at nine o'clock. I canceled the sessions I had and made the date.” After recording several tracks under McCartney's direct supervision, it came time to lay down basics for “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey.” “This song represented a breakthrough in our musical relationship,” McCracken says. “Paul is a genius. He sees and hears everything he wants, and would give specific instructions to me and the drummer. But he didn't know what he wanted the guitar part to be like on this song. I asked him to trust me and he did. After I came up with the parts, he was very pleased. For the rest of the record, Paul let me try things out before making any suggestions.”

“Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey” stems from the British musical theater and has the feel of an overture, with multiple sections that are independent of one another. “That's right,” agrees Van Winkle, “and there were some issues we had to deal with as a result. For example, if you listen carefully, you'll hear Paul gurgling right before the telephone voice comes in. That sound was his imitation of a British telephone ring. He was supposed to give the engineer a cue when he wanted the lowpass filter dropped in for the Admiral Halsey character. The engineer made the switch too early and the filter came in on one of the gurgles! Paul didn't care, though. To him, it was all about the feel of the music.”

The chart, written by George Martin, also posed some engineering challenges. “Everybody knows that George Martin loved experimenting as much as any of The Beatles did,” Van Winkle notes. “If you listen carefully to the trumpet solo that leads into the ‘Hands across the water’ section — which Marvin Stamm, who's still an active player in town, played — you'll hear Paul whistling. Underneath, there's a sound effect written out by George Martin for four French horns; it's a flutter-tongue, fast-fingering atonal little thing in the horns' low range.

“Our usual way of recording horns at A&R was to put a pair of mics either in the front or distant rear of the players. That was traditional at the time, based on the fact that the French horn is a reflective instrument and you want to capture it with some space. But that's not what Paul was used to. He wanted us to stick mics right up in the bell. Although the U87 was the mic we used on horns back then, it would have been too big, so we probably used AKG C-60s instead. At any rate, none of us could figure out the purpose of the chart at that section, but when the mix was completed, it all worked perfectly.

“We did have a little problem mixing some of the horn pads in other sections of the song because they often sat directly in the vocal range. We pulled them down and processed them, as I remember, and you can hardly tell what they are at some points.”

Recording the rain and thunder effects that help glue the first two sections together would be easy today, but it was no small feat in 1971. “I remember Paul telling me that Armin Steiner went out to the edge of a cliff to record that storm, and that it was Paul's idea to add the effect at that point in the track.”

Very few artists in 1971 had the clout to release a single comprising 12 discrete sections, but McCartney's artistic vision was so solidly commercial that no record execs would cross him. Still, Van Winkle was unprepared for the success of “Uncle Albert/Admiral Halsey”: “Despite Paul's charm and ability to pull off anything, I was surprised when the record went so big.”

The first single from the Ram sessions, “Another Day,” never made it onto the album. It was Van Winkle who decided that “Another Day” should be the first release: “We were sitting in Studio A2 one day listening to the takes and Paul asked me to pick the single. I had definite feelings about the record and was in love with ‘Another Day.’ Paul said, ‘Okay. “Another Day” it is.’ I mixed the track and David Crawford cut about 100 copies of it in a back room at A&R for the radio stations. The next day when I heard it on the air, I realized it was a disaster! We got carried away with the bass part, and when it hit the radio station's compressor, it pumped like crazy! I learned that lesson real quick! But we never remixed the song, and Paul never said anything about it.”

Based on Ram's success and the relationship they developed, McCartney asked Van Winkle to work with him on Red Rose Speedway, which was also recorded at A&R.

McCracken eventually worked in the studio with all of the former Beatles, and considers himself fortunate to have had the experience, even though his work with John Lennon brought him face to face with tragedy: “I first worked with John on ‘And So This Is Christmas.’ Like Paul, he was extremely intelligent and aware of what he wanted in the studio. But you'd never find two more diametrically opposed personalities. I was working on Double Fantasy at the time of his death. How long did it take me to recover from that night? I still haven't recovered.”

Currently active as a freelance engineer, Van Winkle lives in New York City with his wife, Jan.

The Beatles won several grammy awards for vocal performances and thery are in The Song Writing and Vocal Hall of Fame too.

As The All Music Guide says in their excellent Beatles biography,"So much has been said and written about The Beatles and their story is so mythic in it's sweep that it's difficult to summarize their career without restating cliche's that have already been digested by tens of millions of rock fans.To state the obvious,they were the greatest and most influential act of the rock era,and introduced more innovations into popular music than any other rock band of the 20th century,moreover they were among the few artists of *any* discipline that were simultaneously the best at what they did,*and* the most popular at what they did Relentlessly imaginative, and expermintal The Beatles grabbed a hold of the international mass consciousness in 1964 and never let go for the next 6 years always staying ahead of the pack in terms of creativity but never losing their ability to communicate their increasingly sophisticated ideas to a mass audience.Their supremacy as rock icons remains unchallenged to this day decades after their breakup in 1970."

"Even when couching praise in specific terms, it's hard to convey the scope of The Beatles achievements in a mere paragraph or two. They synthesized all that was good about early rock &roll and changed it into something orginal and exciting. They established the prototype of the self-contained rock group that wrote and performed it's own material. As composers their craft and melodic inventiveness were second to none and key to the evolution of rock from it's blues R&B- based forms into a style that was far more eclectic but equally visceral. As vocalists John Lennon & Paul McCartney were both among the best and most expressive vocalists in rock;the groups harmonies were intricate and exhillarating."

"The Popularity Of The Beatles as a unit proved eternal. In part this is because the group's 1970 split effectively short-circuited the prospects of artistic decline;the body of work that was preserved was uniformly strong. However it's also because like any great works of art,The Beatles records carried an ageless magnificence that continues to captivate new generations of listeners. So it is that Beatles records continue to be heard on radio in heavy rotation,continue to sell in massive quanities and continue to be covered and quoted by rock and pop artists through the present day"

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The Beatles are the Most Creative Band of All Time

By Musician and Song Writer Peter Cross

BACKGROUND HISTORY: The first musical bands originated in New Orleans among black musicians who have traditionally been the innovators. The first jazz record ever recorded was by The Original Dixieland Jazz Band in 1917, and of course they were white because racism always rears its ugly head to hold black people back. But during the Roaring 20's, young white people couldn't resist the dance beat laid down by the black jazz bands. Fletcher Henderson, a black man, became the first band leader to achieve national fame possibly because he featured Louis Armstrong on trumpet. Duke Ellington, a classically trained musician, brought a level of style and sophistication to jazz that hadn't been seen before. But it wasn't until 1935 that jazz bands with a "swing beat" achieved national attention due to Benny Goodman who I think was the best clarinet player ever to blow air into that instrument. Benny also had the good sense and taste to bring the first great drummer, Gene Krupa, into his band.

When rock and roll exploded into human consciousness during the early 1950's, black musicians like Bo Diddley, Little Richard, Chuck Berry, and Smokey Robinson pioneered the way, but a white DJ named Alan Freed is believed to have coined the term "rock and roll". The first real rock and roll record was "Shake, Rattle and Roll", written by Jesse Stone who was black and recorded by Big Joe Turner who was also black but it wasn't a hit. The first big hit rock and roll record was "Rock Around the Clock" written by James Meyers and Max Freeman of obvious ancestry, and that one catapulted Bill Haley and his Caucasian Comets to stardom. During the 1950's and early 60's, there were countless "do wop" groups, rock groups, singers and songwriters but until The Beatles hit the charts, there had been very few bands which contained talented songwriters. The vast majority of jazz and rock bands recorded songs written by songwriters who were not performers, with occasional exceptions like Duke Ellington and Buddy Holly. As time goes on, it's increasingly clear that Lennon/McCartney songs are brilliant classics which will never be forgotten. Now here's why The Beatles are the most creative band of all time:


As I sit here writing this at the keyboard of my computer facing the unique and colorful Beatles poster in my bedroom, I'm aware that I have been directly and indirectly inspired by John Lennon's music as well as by the way he lived his life offstage. Squarely in front of me is a full color poster of all four Beatles standing in a heavenly-like flower garden at about the time of the Abbey Road album. Paul is angelic in his pink suit with a white laced shirt. John is enigmatic peering out from the background. George is charismatic staring directly into the camera from the lower right. Ringo is on the left with a stylish blue suit and his pink ruffled shirt. I always wished I could dress like those guys but obviously there's a bit of a problem with a money differential there. Surrounding this gorgeous poster which I have never seen elsewhere are my 45 speed original Beatles hit records, including I Want to Hold Your Hand, She Loves You, Please Please Me, Twist and Shout, Can't Buy Me Love, She's A Woman, Yesterday, and of course, Hey Jude. And surrounding all that is a chain of 1-1/2" long orange flicker flame lights which are the most beautiful and unique Christmas lights I've ever seen. I chose to decorate the wall directly in front of my work station this way because, as I've written elsewhere on this site several times, The Beatles were my major musical influence and having them on the wall in front of me inspires me to write web pages like this one. I was also among the millions of people who were inspired by how The Beatles were actually living their off stage lives. The Beatles' music creatively stimulated millions of people to change the way they were living, and The Beatles behavior encouraged people to have fun by trying new life style experiences. That's what I call a perfect example of FORM = CONTENT. In this case it means that the creatively and masterfully varied music The Beatles were producing (form) embodied the real life styles which each of the four Beatles were living (content), together as a band as well as separately as unique individuals.


This should be self-evident, but just because Paul McCartney has the title of the most popular songwriter in history doesn't necessarily make him the best songwriter in history. The qualities which do make both Paul and John the best songwriters in history go beyond writing the greatest number of catchy classic songs. "Catchy" means that their melodies and lyrics are instantly memorable. "Classic" means that they stand the test of time. But both Paul and John wrote very sophisticated melodies that moved beyond the simple groups of 2, 4 and 8 patterned phrases used by almost all other songwriters. John and Paul's melodies soared, floated, cascaded, dived and peaked with true dynamics, naturally following the syllabic lyric patterns - but not always. Sometimes the melodic and lyric patterns were independent of each other, almost counterpoint in nature, and as a songwriter, they never ceased to astonish me with their brilliance and originality. In the beginning, their lyrics were simple and their songs were simple love songs. But they soon began exploring new territory by writing about subjects that hadn't been covered before. Inspired by Bob Dylan, they wrote true poetry with feeling and depth, using evocative and unusual words. Rubber Soul marked the beginning of their evolution as mature songwriters, Revolver was a break-out album, and Sergeant Pepper was an historic landmark album in terms of new and innovative songwriting as well as production. Every song they wrote was significantly different from the last one even though each song had their unmistakable sound.

Most songwriters are only average players on their instruments, but John and Paul are both sophisticated guitarists who were able to integrate their playing into their songs and even into their song structure so that the "licks" they played became as catchy a part of their songs as the choruses and verses. Blackbird and Dear Prudence are only two examples of songs which couldn't possibly be written by any other songwriter because of the guitar playing which forms an integral part of the song structure. In similar fashion, Lady Madonna is the best example of a great song which derives from the unique and beautiful bass part which only Paul could possibly have created.

Average songwriters achieve the catchy quality by repeating a phrase endlessly or by beating a chorus to death. John and Paul found countless ways to be memorable without ever overly repeating something. The only time they repeated something over and over again for a long time was in Hey Jude, and what they chose to repeat is so gorgeous that one can only wish they had never ended the song. The Beatles were my biggest musical influence and I used to think, "If I could write just one song that's as good as John and Paul's worst song, I'd be happy." People tell me I accomplished that goal and they say one good example is John is Alive, which is my sincere tribute to Sir Lennon.


Even Ringo could sing when he got a little help from his friends who lived in the yellow submarine. But to say that Paul and John are two of the best singers in rock and roll is to state the obvious. Combining John, Paul and George created the best harmony vocals the world has ever experienced. Even their two part harmonies were unusual, catching us all by surprise on their first hit record with the fast harmony melisma in the chorus of I Want to Hold Your Hand. John had a knack of placing a unique low harmony line underneath Paul's high melody line so as to form a second melody which created unusual harmony effects. He did that right from the beginning in the verses of She Loves You. Both Paul and John could blast out screaming rock and roll (i.e. Long Tall Sally and Twist and Shout), and both could break our hearts with touching, deep feeling ballads (i.e. Yesterday and Julia). There seems to be no end to their emotional vocal range, and John even explored the heights of vocal psychedelia in songs like She Said (Revolver) and Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds.


Paul brought a new style of melodic playing to the bass guitar, reaching a new high of creativity on Sergeant Pepper with a level of sophistication never heard before. Many other musicians besides me recognize Paul as being one of the best bass guitar players ever. George is underrated as a lead guitarist by people with average or below average musical knowledge or ability, but most guitarists (including Eric Clapton) know better. George's strength is in melody, pure and simple. It would be difficult to find a George Harrison lead which is not melodic, and each of his leads has a strong beginning, a stronger middle and a well defined ending. In fact, that's Eric's definition of what makes a good guitar lead. George continually developed new guitar sounds for each Beatles song. John and Paul are also excellent guitarists and both recorded great leads as well as innovative rhythm tracks. All three of the Beatles guitarists may lack showy technical fireworks but they make that definition of guitar mastery irrelevant by overwhelming the senses with creativity, style, and pure melody. The exact same thing can be said about John and Paul's keyboard playing. Ringo may be underrated as a drummer by the public but he is not underrated by other professional drummers. Ringo mastered the art of drum sounds. No drummer has ever recorded so many different sounds on so many different sounding records. Ringo invented a new style of slow drum playing, epitomized on A Day in the Life and Strawberry Fields Forever. John said many times, "Ringo has the best back beat in the business" and the successful studio drummers understand why John was correct.


A good definition of charisma needs to include "an unusual ability to influence people and arouse devotion" and "a personal attractiveness which enables a person to influence others". No musical group prior to or after The Beatles features true charisma emanating strongly from the entire group as well as separately from each member. The Beatles stunned the world with their photogenic quality, their charm, their bubbling and lovable personalities, their cuteness and their unique style. Even before The Beatles achieved fame, people in Liverpool were imitating their haircuts, the way they dressed, the way they behaved, and the way they lived. Such a simple subliminal message about smoking marijuana got communicated to all the hippies who were waiting to happen without actual words ever being spoken. The Beatles had a lot to lose by being explicit on that subject, but they successfully avoided trouble by keeping it very subtle while at the same time clear enough so that we all got it. The Fab Four kept changing their styles rapidly, almost with each album cover, and soon the message became one of explicit spiritualism. After visiting India, The Beatles introduced eastern mysticism and meditation to the Western world for the first time through the mass media. John's long saga with internal angst, drugs, spiritualism, politics, personal battles, and ultimately his marriage to Yoko played out like a movie the whole world got to watch in fascination. Paul's happy life with Linda, George's great focus on meditation, and Ringo's equanimity throughout were all perfect examples of the power, the truth, and the effectiveness of true charisma.


Need I say it? Ask the millions of girls who were screaming and fainting at the very sight of them. "The Boys" didn't move like Elvis or dance like Mick, they just stood there shaking their "mop top" heads around, smiling, laughing, and looking gorgeous as they performed great music and that was it. On their first visit to America, some enterprising weirdo from New York City managed to cut up the hotel bed sheets The Beatles had slept on into 1" square pieces, and these things were actually sold to girls over the public airwaves by adult DJ's on the AM radio stations who should have known better. The Beatles phenomenon went way beyond the rock and roll sex star status that had been seen before. Teenage girls in uncountable numbers fell in love, their hearts to be trapped, their heart strings to be continually plucked, and ultimately, their hearts to be broken by the unobtainable object of their love. Worshiping a star from afar? Infatuation? Obsession? Not real love? For many of them, it was their first experience feeling love for a man/boy. Whatever it was, it was very real to all of them, and we all soon understood that The Beatles were The Real Thing.

That's why I call The Beatles the Most Creative Band of All Time. They were The Real Thing. The Creative Zenith. The high point on the bell curve of musical history.

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Web page design copyright 1996 © , text copyright 2005 © Peter Cross

Well, thanks for telling me all that and it seems like you put a lot of time and effort into it. I've heard the Beatles albums hundreds of times so I know what they sound like and I understand their appeal.

Washington, Apr 25 (ANI): American singer/songwriter/musician Bob Dylan though in awe of Sir Paul McCartney's singing career, wishes 'The Beatles' star would quit singing so that other singers stand a chance.

'The Blowin' In The Wind' singer admits that he is amazed by McCartney's talent in not only being able to pen great lyrics, but also play all kinds of instruments, as well as perform not only pop songs but also ballads with seeming ease.

"I'm in awe of McCartney. He can do it all and he's never let up. He's got the gift for melody, he's got the rhythm. He can play any instrument.

And he can sing the ballad as good as anybody," Contactmusic quoted Dylan, as saying.

65-year-old Dylon wittily commented that the 'Hello Goodbye' singer should take a break from his singing to give chance to other people to make a name.

"I mean, I just wish he'd quit!" he added. (ANI)

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Also if anyone with an open mind really wants to have this stupid myth that The Beatles are overrated debunked,than please get from your library,The Beatles Recording Sessions by Mark Lewisohn. It's an excellent very thorough detailed music diary of their amazing just 8 year recording career!

Many of their recording engineers and tape operators are interviewed in this book,and some of them were innovative as well. They all describe just how truly innovative,creative and prolific The Beatles really were in the recording studio especially John Lennon and Paul McCartney.

A 15 year old guy said on a message board that he read this book and he's been loving THe Beatles ever since! And in an online interview in Bass Player Magazine from February 2005,Wilco's Bass player John Stirratt was interviewed and he was asked which bass players have had the most impact on your playing. And the first thing he said is," Paul McCartney is one of the greatest bass players of all time,if you listen to what he was tracking live in the studio it's unbelievable." "With his tone and musicality he was a huge influence,he covered all of his harmonic responsibilities really well but his lines were absolutely melodic and inventive." Bass Player Magazine recently also voted Paul McCartney the # 5 Greatest Bass Player of All Time and # 2 creator of the best and creative inventive bass lines!

On they had the topic,Are The Beatles Overrated? going on from 2004-early 2007 and 75% of Yes fans voted the first option,NO Of Course Not How Dare You Question Their Greatness!Many Yes fans said that they couldn't even believe that this is a serious question and one said it's weird! Another Yes fan asked is Beethoven Overrated too then?

Infact one Yes fan said The Greatest Band Of All Time Overrated? Phuck No! Another Yes fan quoted him and said exactly what he just said! And one Yes fan had posted his own quotes from a year before saying he thought The Beatles are overrated,now he posted an emoticon holding a lame sign under his old quotes,and he said "Lame thats just what I was, how did I ever post that? I love The Beatles time changes everything I guess ."

Also there is an excellent online article by musician and song writer Peter Cross called,The Beatles Are The Most Creative Band Of All Time.And Bassist and music teacher Andrew Pouska lists Paul McCartney first on his website Houston Bass Lessons and he says,The impact The Beatles had on music history is stupendous,likewise the impact The Beatles bass player Paul McCartney had on rock bass was huge too,his basslines are very melodic and intelligent,one of the best.

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Your current location This Month Windy City Wingman Lays Roots With Wilco

John Stirratt

Windy City Wingman Lays Roots With Wilco

By Brian Fox February, 2005

In the family tree of alternative country-rock, John Stirratt’s roots go deep. When he got the call in 1993 to take over bass duties from singer/ songwriter Jeff Tweedy in alt-country supergroup Uncle Tupelo, he began a working relationship with Tweedy that led to Wilco, one of the genre’s greatest success stories. It

In the family tree of alternative country-rock, John Stirratt’s roots go deep. When he got the call in 1993 to take over bass duties from singer/ songwriter Jeff Tweedy in alt-country supergroup Uncle Tupelo, he began a working relationship with Tweedy that led to Wilco, one of the genre’s greatest success stories. It’s a tale marked by multiple personnel changes and high-drama record-label relations—the band was dropped from its label, Reprise, after delivering tapes for what would become 2002’s Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. The making of that watershed album is the subject of Sam Jones’s documentary film I Am Trying to Break Your Heart.

Amid the changes, Stirratt’s warm tone and dynamic fingerstyle and pickstyle attack have formed the foundation of Wilco’s seven albums (including two with singer Billy Bragg), which have ranged from raw and rootsy (1995’s A.M.) to richly textured and intricate (Yankee Hotel Foxtrot). The band’s latest, A Ghost Is Born, witnesses Stirratt at his best, especially on the loping bass-driven single “Handshake Drugs.” Stirratt’s thumpy pickstyle line—played on a flatwound-strung Hofner—forms a balanced countermelody to Tweedy’s throaty vocals. Elsewhere, Stirratt’s playing is more staid and supportive, especially on the driving “Spiders (Kidsmoke),” an homage to Krautrock duo Neu!. With Jeff Tweedy at the helm and Stirratt in the engine room, the Chicago-based six-piece is currently touring with guitarist Nels Cline, drummer Glenn Kotche, keyboard player Mikael Jorgensen, and multi-instrumentalist Pat Sansone. When he is not touring or recording with Wilco, John plays with the Autumn Defense—a band formed with longtime friend Sansone—and with his twin sister in their group, Laurie &John.

Credit: Zoran Orlic

John Stirratt plays half the time with his fingers, the other half with a heavy-gauge Planet Waves pick. When he’s playing fingerstyle, he keeps the pick tucked under his pinkie and ring fingers so it’s easy to access. “I play with my right hand pretty close to the neck,” Stirratt explains, “and when I’m picking, I mute the strings a lot with the heel of my hand. In the studio, I put sponges or Styrofoam near the bridge to mute the strings so there’s no sustain.”

You and Jeff are the only original members of Wilco. How has your playing changed with the various lineups?

We were a four-piece in our previous incarnation, so I felt naked at times. I love having all of the musical information to feed off in this bigger ensemble. With the bigger group, my playing has gotten a lot more melodic, because in a smaller setting, my role is to just hold it down. Now I’ve got more room to move around, and I don’t have to stay on the root as much, because chances are someone else is covering it.

Wilco has always been a band of multi-instrumentalists. Do you ever share bass duties?

On Yankee Hotel Foxtrot and the new album, we had Leroy Bach in the band, and he’s a fantastic bass player—he played on a few tracks, like the ones with bowed upright. In Wilco we’ve always been generous about passing instruments around—I’ve done a lot of the basic tracks on piano or guitar. Having a different voice in the low end from track to track is great. On arabella, my sister and I had a fantastic bass player from Nashville, Brad Jones, on upright and electric. He plays a Gibson EB-2 and a Gibson Les Paul Studio bass through a SansAmp; he’s got a fluid, growly style.

What is the greatest strength you bring to Wilco?

I think I can hear what songs need. In learning to be a songwriter and singer first and foremost, I’ve come to realize the bass’s responsibility. Also, Jeff and I have been singing together for so long, I bring a lot of harmony to the band. That’s a big part of it, for sure. Over the years, the harmonies were either written by me or by [former Wilco bandmate] Jay Bennett. He’s an inventive writer of harmony and countermelodies and I learned a lot from playing with him.

Which bass players have had the most impact on your playing?

Paul McCartney is one of the greatest bass players of all time. If you listen to what he was tracking live in the studio, it’s unbelievable. With his tone and musicality, he was a huge influence. He covered all his harmonic responsibilities really well, but his lines were absolutely melodic and inventive. Also, Rick Danko of The Band was a huge influence on me. I love the idea of a bassist providing the high vocal harmony.

What is your favorite song to play live?

“Hummingbird” has great changes, and it’s one of the most inventive pop arrangements we’ve done, so that’s fun to play as an ensemble. On the other hand, there’s “Spiders (Kidsmoke),” which basically has a one-note line for the whole ten minutes. But there’s a whole world of dynamics that I explore with that song. Every stage is different, and by playing with dynamics, you can turn the stage itself into an instrument. It’s fun to see how that song works in different spaces night-to-night. It really has a life of its own.

A Selected Discography

With Wilco: A Ghost Is Born, Nonesuch; Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, Nonesuch; Summerteeth, Reprise; Being There, Reprise; A.M., Reprise. With Billy Bragg &Wilco: (both on Elektra) Mermaid Avenue Volume 2; Mermaid Avenue. With the Minus 5: (both on Yep Roc) At the Organ; Down With Wilco. With Laurie &John: arabella, Broadmoor. With the Autumn Defense: (both on Broadmoor) Circles; The Green Hour. With Uncle Tupelo: Anodyne, Sire.


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Eric Clapton - In His Own Words

In the Yardbirds, Cream, Derek and the Dominos, and his own bands, guitarist extraordinaire Eric Clapton has continually redefined his own version of the blues. He discusses his epic career and how he coped with drug and alcohol problems to become one of the most revered guitarists and dependable hitmakers of the past thirty years.

At a certain point the Yardbirds started getting package tours, with the Ronettes, Billy J. Kramer, the Kinks, the Small Faces, lots of others, and we lost our following in the clubs. We decided to get suits, and I actually designed suits for us all. Then we did the Beatles' Christmas show, and at that point we really began to feel the lack of a hit. We'd be on for twenty minutes or half an hour, and either you were very entertaining or you did your hits. A lot of times the raveup bit got us through, and a lot of times it didn't. It became very clear that if the group was going to survive and make money, it would have to be on a popular basis. We couldn't go back to the clubs, because everyone had got that taste and seen what fun it would be to be famous.

So a lot of songs were bandied about, and we came up with a song by Otis Redding. I thought that would make a great single, because it was still R&B and soul, and we could do it really funky. Then Paul [Samwell-Smith, bassist] got the "For Your Love" demo, and so we went into the studio to do both songs, but we did "For Your Love" first. Everyone was so bowled over by the obvious commerciality of it that we didn't even get to do the Otis Redding song, and I was very disappointed, disillusioned by that. So my attitude within the group got really sour, and it was kind of hinted that it would be better for me to leave. 'Cause they'd already been to see Jeff Beck play, and at the time he was far more adaptable than I was. I was withdrawing into myself, becoming intolerable, really, dogmatic. So they kind of asked me to leave, and I left and felt a lot better.

Eric Clapton's Seventies
Billboard Top 40 Singles

"After Midnight" 11/70 #18
"I Shot The Sheriff" 8/74 #1
"Willie And The Hand Jive" 11/74 #26
"Hello Old Friend" 11/76 #24
"Lay Down Sally" 2/78 #3
"Wonderful Tonight" 6/78 #16
"Promises" 11/78 #9
"Watch Out For Lucy" 3/79 #40

All during Cream I was riding high on the "Clapton is God" myth that had been started up. I was flying high on an ego trip; I was sure I was the best thing happening that was popular. Then we got our first kind of bad review, which was in Rolling Stone. The magazine ran an interview with us in which we were really praising ourselves, and it was followed by a review that said how boring and repetitious our performance had been. And it was true! The ring of truth had just knocked me backward; I was in a restaurant, and I fainted. And after I woke up, I immediately decided that that was the end of the band.

There toward the end, we'd been flying with blinkers for so long, we weren't aware of the changes that were taking place musically. New people were coming up and growing, and we were repeating ourselves, living on a legend, a year or two years out of date.

We didn't really have a band with Cream. We rarely payed as an ensemble; we were three virtuosos, all of us soloing all the time. We did a lot of acid, took a lot of trips in our spare time. And we did play on acid a couple of times.

I met John Lennon and would see him a lot around the London clubs. I got the impression that he was very shy, slightly bitter but also a very sweet young man. There seemed to be a sort of game between John and George [Harrison], partly because John was a pretty good guitar player himself. When I was with Cream, George became interested in my playing, and I think he might have told John that he liked my work. So John assumed that if George liked me, I was probably better than George. So we got into the "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" sessions.

A few years later John called me one Saturday morning and said, "Do you want to go to Toronto?" I said, "Sure. When?" And he said, "In a couple of hours." I happened to have my equipment at home, so I met them at the airport, with [bassist] Klaus Voorman and [drummer] Alan White. We all got first-class seats on the plane and I learned the repertoire on the way.

"The idea of dying from drugs didn't bother me... But as I grow older, as I live more, death becomes more of a reality, something I don't choose to step toward too soon."

I got slightly disillusioned when we landed at the other end and John and Yoko were whisked off in a limousine and all the band was left standing in the rain. We didn't know how we were going to get to the gig or anything, but that wasn't their problem. Then before the gig, we did so much coke that I actually threw up and passed out. They had to take me out and lay me on the ground. And at the last minute we realized that we were going on between... I think it was Jerry Lee Lewis and Chuck Berry, and we were terrified. We were shaking. But it turned out to be a great experience.

There was a lack of direction in Blind Faith, or a reticence to actually declare among ourselves where we were going. Because it seemed to be enough just to be making the money, and that wasn't good; the record company and the management had taken over. I felt that it wasn't good; the record company and the management had taken over. I felt that it was too soon for Steve [Winwood]. He was feeling uncomfortable, and since it had originally been my idea, I was uncomfortable. I started looking for somewhere else to go, an alternative, and I found that Delaney and Bonnie [Bramlett] were a godsend. After the Blind Faith tour, I lived with Delaney for a while.

After the Dominos' Layla album, the band did a very big tour of America. We copped a lot of dope in Miami -- a lot of dope -- and that went with us.

Eric Clapton's Seventies
Billboard Top 10 Albums

History Of Eric Clapton 6/72 #9
461 Ocean Boulevard 8/74 #2
Slowhand 3/78 #2
Backless 1/79 #8

By the end of the tour, the band was getting very, very loaded, doing way too much. Then we went back to England, tried to make a second album, and it broke down halfway through because of the paranoia and the tension. And the band just dissolved. I remember to this day being in my house, feeling totally lost and hearing Bobby Whitlock pull up in the driveway and scream for me to come out. He sat in his car outside all day, and I hid. And that's when I went on my journey into smack. I basically stayed in the house with my girlfriend for about two and a half years, and although we weren't using any needles, we got very strung out. All that time, though, I was running a cassette machine and playing; I had that to hold on to. At the end of that period I found I had boxes full of playing, as if there was something struggling to survive.

I had no care for the consequences; the idea of dying didn't bother me. Dying from drugs didn't seem to be a terrible thing. When Jimi Hendrix died, I cried all day because he'd left me behind. But as I grow older, as I live more, death becomes more of a reality, something I don't choose to step toward too soon.

I did the Rainbow Concert in January 1973 very much against my will. I wasn't even really there. It was Pete Townshend's idea, and I didn't know what I'd done to earn it. It's simply that he's a great humanitarian and cannot stand to see people throw their lives away. It didn't matter to him if I was willing or unwilling; he was making the effort so that I would realize, someday, that somebody cared. I'm always indebted to him for that.

The thing that finally drew me out was when Carle Radle, the Dominos' bassist, sent me a tape of him playing with Dick Sims and Jamie Oldaker. I listened to it and played along with it, and it was great. So I sent him a telegram saying, "Maintain loose posture, stay in touch." And at some point after that I started to get straight.

Check out the
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section at
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Main Page Seventies Superstars The Classic 300 Seventies Almanac Search The RockSite/The Web

Ken Also Runs A Rolling Stones And A John Lennon Fan Site

Keno's Classic Rock n Roll Web Site


These lists are limited to classic rock artists. For my own lists, these are not necessary my favorite picks, but ones I feel are the best at what they do. Yes, there is a difference between the two. But please remember, they are still my personal lists and just because an artist that you love isn't listed don't mean that artist isn't great in their own right. No need to email me and tell me that, I already know it! Listed below is also your (the Classic rock fan's) input to this page, with the Classic Rock fan's picks (as voted on in our Weekly or On Going Classic Rock polls).

- New, on Page 2, the Top Ten lists of Favorite Songs by each Classic Rock Artist -

Keno's List (first complied, November, 1998)

As voted on by fans (Week of July 9, 2007)
1 Jimi Hendrix 1 Jimi Hendrix
2 Neil Young 2 Eric Clapton
3 Eric Clapton 3 Jimmy Page
4 Jimmy Page 4 Mick Taylor
5 Mick Taylor 5 Keith Richards
6 Peter Townshend 6 Eddie Van Halen
7 Jeff Beck 7 Duane Allman
8 Dave Davies 8 Jerry Garcia
9 Glen Buxton 9 Angus Young
10 Angus Young 10 Chuck Berry

Keno's List (first complied, May 2007)

As voted on by fans (Week of June 24, 2007)
1 Keith Richards 1 Keith Richards
2 John Lennon 2 Malcolm Young
3 Michael Bruce 3 Peter Townshend
4 Allen Collins 4 Jimi Hendrix (tie)
5 Danny Witten 4 John Lennon (tie)
6 Marc Bolan 4 Brian Jones (tie)
7 Brian Jones 7 Duane Allman
8 Ray Davies 8 Eric Clapton
9 Chrissie Hynde 9 Jimmy Page
10 Tom Petty 10 Bob Weir, Ray Davies (tie)

Keno's List (first complied, November 1998)

As voted on by fans (Week of June 18, 2007)
1 Brian Jones 1 Duane Allman
2 Duane Allman 2 Brian Jones
3 Mick Taylor 3 Mick Taylor
4 Eric Clapton 4 Ron Wood
5 Jimi Hendrix 5 Ry Cooder
6 Bonnie Raitt 6 David Gilmour
7 Jimmy Page 7 George Thorogood (tie)
8 Ron Wood 7 Jimi Hendrix (tie)
9 Joe Walsh 7 Jimmy Page (tie)
10 Jerry Garcia 10 Eric Clapton, George Harrison (tie)

Keno's List (first complied, November 1998)

As voted on by fans (Week of June 11, 2007)
1 John Entwistle 1 John Entwistle
2 Paul McCartney 2 Bill Wyman
3 Bill Wyman 3 Paul McCartney
4 Jack Bruce 4 John Paul Jones
5 Ronnie Lane 5 Jack Bruce
6 Dennis Dunnaway 6 Berry Oakley (tie)
7 Berry Oakley 6 Geddy Lee (tie)
8 James Jamerson 6 Rick Danko (tie)
9 Noel Redding 6 Roger Waters (tie)
10 Jack Casady 6 Ronnie Lane (tie)

Keno's List (first complied, November 1998)

As voted on by fans (Week of June 4, 2007)
1 John Bonham 1 Keith Moon
2 Charlie Watts 2 Charlie Watts
3 Keith Moon 3 John Bonham
4 Jim Gordon 4 Ginger Baker
5 Neal Smith 5 Neil Peart
6 Kenny Jones 6 Stewart Copeland
7 Alex Van Halen 7 Phil Collins
8 Jim Keltner 8 Ringo Starr
9 Dave Clark 9 Alan White, Cozy Powell (tie)
10 Mitch Mitchell 9 Alex Van Halen, Lars Ulrich (tie)

Keno's List (first complied, November 1998)

As voted on by fans (Week of May 21, 2007)
1 Ian "Stu" Stewart 1 Nicky Hopkins
2 Nicky Hopkins 2 Ian "Stu" Stewart
3 Billy Powell 3 Elton John
4 Elton John 4 Billy Preston
5 Jerry Lee Lewis 5 Billy Joel (tie)
6 Fats Domino 5 Jerry Lee Lewis (tie)
7 Ray Manzarek 7 Ray Manzarek
8 Little Richard 8 Johnnie Johnson (tie)
9 Stevie Wonder 8 Little Richard (tie)
10 Billy Joel 8 Stevie Wonder (tie)

Keno's List (first complied, November 1998)

As voted on by fans (Week of May 28, 2007)
1 Ray Manzarek (organ) 1 Billy Preston (organ)
2 Keith Emerson (synthesizer &organ) 2 Brian Jones (mellotron, harpsichord &organ)
3 Elton John (organ, synthesizer &mellotron) 3 Ray Manzarek (organ)
4 Stevie Wonder (organ &synthesizer) 4 Elton John (organ, synthesizer &mellotron)
5 Billy Preston (organ) 5 Garth Hudson (organ)
6 Steve Winwood (organ &synthesizer) 6 Stevie Wonder (organ &synthesizer)
7 Gregg Allman (organ) 7 Jon Lord (organ) (tie)
8 Brian Jones (mellotron, harpsichord &organ) 7 Steve Winwood (organ &synthesizer) (tie)
9 Richard Wright (organ &synthesizer) 9 Al Kooper (organ)
10 Rick Wakeman (organ &synthesizer) 10 Billy Joel (organ)

Keno's List (first complied, November 1998)

As voted on by fans (On Going Poll as of May 18, 2007)
1 Elvis Presley (tie) 1 John Lennon
1 John Lennon (tie) 2 Mick Jagger
3 Freddie Mercury 3 Robert Plant
4 Roy Orbison 4 Freddie Mercury
5 Jim Morrison 5 Jim Morrison
6 Paul McCartney 6 Elvis Presley
7 Mick Jagger 7 Paul McCartney
8 Bruce Springsteen 8 Bob Dylan
9 Elton John 9 Rodger Daltrey
10 David Bowie 10 David Bowie

Keno's List (first complied, November 1998)

As voted on by fans (On Going Poll as of May 18, 2007)
1 Janis Joplin 1 Janis Joplin
2 Aretha Franklin 2 Aretha Franklin
3 Diana Ross 3 Stevie Nicks
4 Tina Turner 4 Grace Slick
5 Joan Baez 5 Tina Turner
6 Carly Simon 6 Sheryl Crow
7 Cass Elliot 7 Madonna
8 Stevie Nicks 8 Joni Mitchell
9 Chrissie Hynde 9 Alanis Morisstte
10 Joni Mitchell 10 Chrissie Hynde

Keno's List (first complied, November 1998)

As voted on by fans (Week of May 7, 2007)

Bob Dylan 1 John Lennon / Paul McCartney

2 John Lennon / Paul McCartney 2 Mick Jagger / Keith Richards

3 Mick Jagger / Keith Richards 3 Bob Dylan

4 Carol King / Gerry Coffin 4 Chuck Berry (tie)

5 Elton John / Berine Taupin 4 Elton John / Berine Taupin (tie)

6 Peter Townshend 6 Bruce Springsteen

7 Brian Holland / Lamont Dozier / Eddie Holland 7 Peter Townshend (tie)

8 Paul Simon 7 Brian Holland / Lamont Dozier / Eddie Holland (tie)

9 Chuck Berry 9 Carol King / Gerry Coffin (tie)

10 Jerry Garcia / Robert Hunter 9 Ray Davies (tie)

Keno's List (first complied, November 1998)

As voted on by fans (Week of May 14, 2007)

1 Brian Jones

1 Brian Jones
2 Mick Jagger

2Mick Jagger
3 Neil Young

3 Bob Dylan
4 Stevie Wonder

4 Neil Young (tie)
5 Bob Dylan

4 Stevie Wonder (tie)
6 Magic Dick

6Magic Dick (tie)
7 Paul Butterfield

6Paul Butterfield (tie)
8 John Lennon

8John Lennon
9 John Sebastian

9 John Popper
10 Captain Beefheart

10 John Sebastian


Keno's List (first complied, November 1998) TOP TEN DYLAN COVERS
As voted on by fans (Week of January 21, 2007)

1 Mr Tambourine Man - The Byrds

1 All Along The Watchtower - Jimi Hendrix

2 All Along The Watchtower - Jimi Hendrix

2 Mr Tambourine Man - The Byrds

3 Blowin' In The Wind - Peter, Paul &Mary

3 Like A Rolling Stone - Rolling Stones

4 It Ain't Me Babe - The Turtles

4 Quinn The Eskimo (The Mighty Quinn) - Manfred Mann

5 It's All Over Now Baby Blue - The Animals

5 Knocking On Heavens Door - Guns N Roses

6 Quinn The Eskimo (The Mighty Quinn) - Manfred Mann

6 It's All Over Now Baby Blue - The Animals

7 Like A Rolling Stone - Rolling Stones

7 It Ain't Me Babe - The Turtles

8 Just Like A Woman - Joe Cocker

8 I Shall Be Released - The Band

9 Like A Rolling Stone - Jimi Hendrix

9 Blowin' In The Wind - Peter, Paul &Mary

10 Knocking On Heavens Door - Guns N Roses

10 Just Like A Woman - Joe Cocker

Keno's List (first complied, November 1998) TOP TEN LENNON/ McCARTNEY COVERS

As voted on by fans (Week of January 28, 2007)

1 With A Little Help From My Friends - Joe Cocker

1 With A Little Help From My Friends - Joe Cocker

2 I Wanna Be Your Man - Rolling Stones

2 I Wanna Be Your Man - Rolling Stones

3 She Came In Through The Bathroom Window - Joe Cocker

3 Yer Blues - Dirty Mac

4 Come Together - Aerosmith

4 Come Together - Aerosmith

5 World Without Love - Peter &Gordon

5 She Came In Through The Bathroom Window - Joe Cocker

6 Come And Get It - Badfinger

6 Come And Get It - Badfinger (tie)

7 Yer Blues - Dirty Mac

6 Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds - Elton John (tie)

8 Helter Skelter - Motley Crue

8 World Without Love - Peter &Gordon

9 Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds - Elton John

9 Come Together - Ike &Tina Turner

10 Eleanor Rigby - Aretha Franklin

10 Helter Skelter - Motley Crue

[newarrowgif.gif (1069 bytes)] CLASSIC ROCK T-SHIRTS &POSTERS


Rock Concert tickets now available at All of the biggest names in rock including Bob Seger, Rod Stewart, James Taylor, Eric Clapton, Def Leppard and Journey, Incubus tickets and more.

Rock Bass Players

By Bassist and Music Teacher Andrew Pouska

In our bass lessons we will probably start with learning several rock bass tunes. These are some of the players we will focus on in our lessons:

Paul McCartney

Bassist for The Beatles. The impact The Beatles had on music history is stupendous. Likewise, the impact The Beatles bass player, Paul McCartney , had on rock bass was huge, too. His basslines are very melodic and intelligent. One of the best.

Jack Bruce

The father of heavy rock bass playing. His work with Cream is his most famous. Check out the Live Cream recordings. Three guys with a huge sound together.

John Entwistle

Bassist for The Who. Fast flurries of notes and unrelenting rock power! Another highly influential early rock bass player. The song My Generation contains the first recorded rock bass solo.

John Paul Jones

Led Zeppelin bassist. Some of the best hard rock bass playing ever. Just buy the boxed set!

Geezer Butler

Bassist for Black Sabbath. Great, standard rock bass playing.

Geddy Lee

Extraordinary bass player in the band Rush. He not only plays the bass, but writes songs, plays keyboards, and sings! Consider getting the album Moving Pictures.


Sting's work with the Police showcases his use of sparse, but effective lines. Listen to The Police - Regatta DeBlanc or Ghost in the Machine. He is also a genius songwriter to top things off.

Tony Levin

Bassist with Peter Gabriel and King Crimson. A rock bass virtuoso. He always plays the right notes at the right time. Never one too many or too few.

Mick Karn

Perhaps the most interesting bass voice I've heard. Karn mixes exotic scales with unusual time signatures on his fretless bass. He takes you to a different planet I swear it.

Les Claypool

Bassist and singer for Primus. Les Claypool's style and sound is very unique.

home page:
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Andrew Pouska
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Lennon & McCartney

Cole Porter

Bernard Herrmann

Leonard Bernstein


Howard Goodall

Find out more

First transmitted in June 2004

In this illuminating four-part series, British composer, Howard Goodall, considers the work of five composers who left an indelible mark on the 20th century. From Lennon &McCartney to Bernard Herrmann (composer of the film scores for Psycho and Vertigo), Cole Porter and Leonard Bernstein, Goodall explains why they will be judged to be among the greatest and most influential composers of the last 100 years.

• Vote for your favourite composer

• Howard Goodall assesses 20th century music.




Howard Goodall

Who’s your favourite composer?

Do you believe that Lennon and McCartney are the best songwriters of the 20th century? Or are you still in love with the everlasting classics of Porter and Bernstein? By whittling the choice down to a handful of contestants, Howard Goodall has highlighted five 20th century composers who changed the face of popular music. But who gets your vote? Join our poll by clicking on the composer of your choice.

Who is your favourite composer?

Lennon & McCartney 38%

Cole Porter 27%

Bernard Herrmann 12%

Leonard Bernstein 23%

Press releases from

John Lennon’s Ivor Novello Award Will be Auctioned July 3 in Las Vegas

Las Vegas, NV, June 25, 2007 -( )--John Lennon's Ivor Novello award, the UK equivalent to the Grammy Award in the US, will be auctioned off in Las Vegas July 3rd including 400 lots of rare and authentic Beatles Memorabilia, Autographs, Photographs and Artwork by and Victorian Casino Antiques.

Since 1955, members of the “British Academy of Composers and Songwriters” have annually selected recipients of the prestigious Ivor Novello award honoring songwriting and composing excellence. The American award equivalent would be the Grammy category for “Song of the Year” and was presented to John in 1968.

Named in honor of the famous British composer, actor and playwright (1893-1951), winners truly appreciate the fact that their selection came from a cross-section of their peers. A wide array of categories, all spotlighting the songs and the songwriters, has contributed to making the annual Ivor's Award Ceremony a very intimate, integrity laden affair.

The engraved plaque reads: “JOHN LENNON - She’s Leaving Home 1967-68”. The circular base upon which the sculpted figure stands reads: “AN IVOR NOVELLO AWARD”.

The idea for the poignant ballad which appears on The Beatles landmark album, “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”, came to Paul McCartney after reading a February 27th, 1967 newspaper account of a missing upper class teenage girl. Incidentally, unbeknownst to McCartney at the time, The Beatles had actually met the girl, Melanie Coe, in October ‘63 when she was a dancer on “Ready Steady Go” (she can be seen with The Beatles in a photo that appears in Steve Turner’s “A Hard Day’s Write”).

“She’s Leaving Home” came to fruition very quickly as George Martin arranged and recorded the string and harp section on March 17th, then on March 20th McCartney’s lead vocal and John Lennon’s backing vocals were added. Neither Harrison nor Starr appears on the track. The Beatles were awarded three Ivor Novellos in March 1968: 1) Best British Song (musically &lyrically), “She’s Leaving Home” 2) Second Best-Selling Record Of The Year, “Hello Goodbye” and 3) Best Instrumental Theme Of The Year, “Love In The Open Air”, Paul McCartney’s theme for the film, “A Family Way”. The Beatles cumulatively won more than twenty Ivors between 1963 and 70; a remarkable achievement.

Ivor Novellos rarely come into the marketplace. The highly stylized sculpted female statuette made from solid brass is 11.25” high with a 7.75” diameter base and green felt bottom. EX.

We’ve added a photo of John Lennon with the Ivor Novello and an unidentified fan. The photo is not included with the lot and is shown here for illustration only.

The auction will focus on Original Memorabilia and Collectibles from the 1964-1969 era, authenticated Beatles group and individual’s Autographs and Handwritten Material, Original Artwork, Concert Posters, Photographs, Lithographs, Awards, Clothing, Personal Effects and Toys.

“One highlight is a previously unknown concert poster advertising The Beatles appearing at Busch Stadium in St. Louis in 1966 that is expected to bring over $50,000,” says president Marc Zakarin. “The woman that consigned it obtained it from the ticket agency that sold tickets at the time and kept it in her drawer for 41 years.” Auctions set the world record for the sale of a concert poster recently when a 1966 Beatles Shea Stadium poster sold at auction for $132,000.

A highlight of the Mirage auction will be items from original Beatles Bass Player Stuart Sutcliffe’s collection including original artwork, paintings, writings and drawings from his days as an original Beatles. Stuart was killed early in the Beatles history and his sister, Pauline Sutcliffe, will be’s special guest appearing at the auction.

The auction will feature fantastic authentic autographs and writings, including Paul McCartney handwritten lyrics to a Gene Vincent song, a Stuart Sutcliffe song list, Hotel registration cards signed by each Beatle, John Lennon's Signed registration for his Rolls Royce, The Animal’s guitarist Hilton Valentine’s Beatles and Animals signed “Thank Your Lucky Stars" television cue sheet, flight attendant Eva Van Enk’s "In His Own Write” book signed by all four Beatles along with her candid photographs from the trip. And a guitar signed by Ringo Starr &His All Starr Band from his 1992 tour.

The Photography section includes hundreds of vintage photos from photographer Sam Leach's archive, along with previously unseen and unpublished photos from Ian Wright and others. Rare toys and merchandise items include a Beatles Phonograph in the original box, a John Lennon Halloween costume in the box and a set of prototype Beatles Bobble Head Car Mascot Nodders in the sale of 300 lots of memorabilia.

Full color catalogs will be available prior to the auction by mail and at the event. The auction will also be live online for bidding at and eBay Live with Victorian Casino Antiques of Las Vegas.

Keno's Classic Rock n Roll Web Site



1962 - 1966

Released - 1973, on Apple Records. Produced by George Martin

John Lennon - Lead & Backing Vocals, Rhythm, Slide, Lead Guitars, Harmonica, Percussion, Keyboards
Paul McCartney - Lead & Backing Vocals, Bass, Acoustic Guitar on track 13, Keyboards, Percussion
George Harrison - Lead and Rhythm Guitars, Percussion, Backing Vocals
Ringo Starr - Drums, Percussion, Keyboards, Backing Vocals and Lead Vocal on track 25

Additional Personnel - Johnnie Scott - Flute on track 15; On track 25: Brian Jones - Percussion &Backing Vocals, Donovan, Pattie Harrison, Marianne Faithfull, Mal Evans, Neil Aspinall - Backing Vocals; Many others play on tracks 13 &24.

All songs written by John Lennon &Paul McCartney


Love Me Do 1962 10.0
Please Please Me 1963 10.0
From Me to You 1963 10.0
She Loves You 1963 10.0
I Want to Hold Your Hand 1963 10.0
All My Loving 1964 10.0
Can't Buy Me Love 1964 10.0
A Hard Day's Night 1964 10.0
And I Love Her 1964 10.0
Eight Days a Week 1964 10.0
I Feel Fine 1964 10.0
Ticket to Ride 1965 10.0
Yesterday 1965 10.0
Help! 1965 10.0
You've Got to Hide Your Love Away 1965 10.0
We Can Work It Out 1965 10.0
Day Tripper 1965 10.0
Drive My Car 1965 10.0
Norwegian Wood (This Bird Has Flown) 1965 10.0
Nowhere Man 1965 10.0
Michelle 1965 10.0
In My Life 1965 10.0
Girl 1965 10.0
Paperback Writer 1966 10.0
Eleanor Rigby 1966 10.0
Yellow Submarine 1966 10.0
Ave 10.0


This greatest hits double album was released along with the companion greatest hits double album 1967 - 1970 . Every single song found on here is a pure ten, and too think for the time period covered ('62-'66), they had other songs just as good that didn't make it into this package.

Michael Jackson can call himself the king of pop, but the real pop kings in the early '60s were the Beatles, as anybody who was around back then can tell ya. The first 16 songs on here are all pop, but by mid 1965 their music style would slowly start to change, and since the Beatles were the main trendsetters in music, all of rock music changed along with them.Whatever the Beatles did, everybody else would follow.

It is totally impossible to say for sure which song on here is the best one, but I will try. Let's see, the best pop song would be "She Loves You" - better sung and blended vocals are just not possible, best drug song would be "Day Tripper" - even if most fans didn't have a clue what the song was really about when it first was released, and the best of the newer sounding songs is "Girl", a song with a double meaning to it, something that they would get into again in the upcoming years.

I really don't have to say too much more about this greatest hits album, it speaks for itself and if you love the Beatles you more than likely already have it and love it. If you don't love or at least like the Beatles and their music, then you are not a true rock fan, and more than likely never will ever get it.

-Keno 2005

To listen to some soundclips from THE BEATLES 1962-1966 or to purchase it, click on: The Beatles '62 -'66

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Keno's Classic Rock n Roll Web Site



1967 - 1970

Released - 1973, on Apple Records. Produced by George Martin, except tracks 27 & 28, produced by Phil Spector

John Lennon - Lead & Backing Vocals, Rhythm, Lead, Slide Guitars, Bass on track 15, Percussion, Harp, Keyboards
Paul McCartney - Lead & Backing Vocals, Bass, Drums & Lead Guitar on track 15, Keyboards, Percussion
George Harrison - Lead and Rhythm Guitars, Backing and Lead Vocals
Ringo Starr - Drums, Percussion, Keyboards, Backing Vocals, and Lead Vocals on tracks 4 &25

Additional Personnel - Eric Clapton, Billy Preston, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Brian Jones, Keith Moon, Marianne Faithfull, Pattie Harrison, Jane Asher, Graham Nash, Mike Sammes Singers and several others.

All songs written by Lennon/McCartney except "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", "Old Brown Shoe", "Here Comes The Sun" and "Something", written by G. Harrison and "Octopus's Garden" written by R. Starkey.



Strawberry Fields Forever 1967 10.0
Penny Lane 1967 10.0
Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band 1967 10.0
With a Little Help from My Friends 1967 10.0
Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds 1967 10.0
A Day in the Life 1967 10.0
All You Need Is Love 1967 10.0
I Am the Walrus 1967 10.0
Hello Goodbye 1967 10.0
The Fool on the Hill 1967 10.0
Magical Mystery Tour 1967 10.0
Lady Madonna 1968 10.0
Hey Jude 1968 10.0
Revolution 1968 10.0
Back in the U.S.S.R. 1968 10.0
While My Guitar Gently Weeps 1968 10.0
Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da 1968 10.0
Get Back 1969 10.0
Don't Let Me Down 1969 9.6
The Ballad of John and Yoko 1969 10.0
Old Brown Shoe 1969 6.0
Here Comes the Sun 1969 10.0
Come Together 1969 10.0
Something 1969 10.0
Octopus's Garden 1969 8.4
Let It Be 1970 10.0
Across the Universe 1970 9.0
The Long and Winding Road 1970 10.0
Ave. 9.75


This is the companion greatest hits double album to 1962 - 1966 . You sure can see how much not only The Beatles appearance changed in just a few short years (just check out the two LPs covers, with photos taken at the same location of the Fabs just 6 years apart), but boy did their music change too!

No longer a pop group, they were now a pure rock band with songs that said a lot more than just I love you and I wanna hold your hand! Thanks to John Lennon, some of the most far-out lyrics written by anybody were now showing up on their records, and it seemed to rub off on Paul McCartney in some of his songs, too.

The best overall song on here was written by Paul for John's young son, "Hey Jude". It was at the time of its release the longest time running single ever released and was a smash hit, and most people were fooled into thinking the lyrics were about heroin addiction. The best written song in this greatest hits package has to be John's "I Am the Walrus", with "Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds" (another Lennon penned gem) a close second. One more song to make the "best" list would be "Revolution" with one of the first and best acid lead guitar parts ever played, courtesy of John.

The three greatest songs ever written by George Harrison show up on here, too, "While My Guitar Gently Weeps", "Here Comes The Sun" and "Something". But what in the world is his "Old Brown Shoe" doing on here? This one is a weak song, if not for the slide guitar and neat bass it would not even be an average song, but for sure it was not a Beatles greatest hit, nor a song that most Beatles fans cared for. Almost any other song from '67 -'70 would have fitted in better than this dull one!

I guess I could close out this review in the same matter that I closed out my review for 1962 - 1966, nothing more needs to be written about this album, yes, it too speaks for itself! Damn, the Beatles were one GREAT group!

- Keno 2005

To listen to some soundclips from THE BEATLES 1967-1970 or to purchase it, click on: The Beatles '67 - '70

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She's a Woman

The Beatles

Composed By

John Lennon/Paul McCartney All Performers that have performed this Title

Song Review by Richie Unterberger

"She's a Woman" was one of the hardest-rocking early Beatles originals, and although it was the B-side to "I Feel Fine," it was almost as big a hit in its own right, reaching number four on the American charts. Sung and primarily written by Paul McCartney, it's a belter that illustrates how the Beatles could be bluesy without writing conventional blues songs that stuck to normal blues progressions. Right from the start, the track has a brash, almost harsh edge, with choppy guitar chords that are more like barks than power chords. McCartney , too often unfairly pegged as a sweet balladeer, demonstrates that he was also one of the best white rock hard singers of all time with his shrill yet rich, even ballsy, vocal. Certainly his vocal style here betrays a strong trace of Little Richard, but it's unfair to accuse him of imitating or lifting wholesale from his idol. In its confidence and assertiveness, McCartney 's high-octane style is most assuredly his own. The basic, R&B-derived melody is effectively counterpointed with one of the briefer Beatle bridges on record, in which the Beatles detour into some non- blues chords and melodies for just a few bars before returning to the main thrust of the tune. McCartney , while devoting most of the words to celebration and praise of his woman, throws in a couple of phrases as evidence that he's starting to think in more sophisticated terms, particularly the line "turns me on when I get lonely" (a very, very early use of "turn me on" slang). There's also the declaration that his love doesn't buy him presents, even though she's no peasant. Peasant's an unusual word to use in a pop song no matter what the era, and McCartney's value of true love over money (as previously also stated in "Can't Buy Me Love") is eternally hip. George Harrison executes a crafty blues-rock solo with a touch of country influence that's, as was his wont, just right for the song at hand. The ending is uncommonly unimaginative for a Beatles track, with McCartney repeating the title phrase several times over a fade; a more basic alternate take exists (on bootleg) in which he extends this section by improvising on that title line for a few minutes. He'd have to wait until "Hey Jude," however, to take that approach to the multi-extended fade onto an official single. As a rabble-rousing rocker, "She's a Woman" was a natural for the Beatles' live shows; a 1965 version was recorded for their The Beatles at the Hollywood Bowl album, and it was still part of their set on their final world tour in 1966. The most famous, or notorious, cover of "She's a Woman" was done by Jeff Beck in the mid-'70s, employing a voicebox on his guitar to sing-play the lyrics. That version was an FM radio favorite for a while, and subsequently sometimes scorned (as were Peter Frampton's voicebox-heavy tracks) as an example of mid-'70s hard rock excess.

Appears On




1964 Beatles '65 2:57 Capitol

AMG Track Picks

No Reply, I'll Follow the Sun, I Feel Fine

196Z Beatles in Italy EMI

1977 Live at the Hollywood Bowl 2:47 Capitol

1984 The Complete Beatles [Video] MGM

1988 Past Masters, Vol. 1 3:03 Capitol
AMG Track Picks
She Loves You, I Want to Hold Your Hand, I Feel Fine, I'm Down

1988 The Beatles Box Set [1988] 3:03 Capitol

1988 Ultra Rare Trax, Vol. 1 The Swingin' Pig

1989 Documents, Vol. 2 6:31 Oh Boy

1989 Five Nights In A Judo Arena Swingin' Pig

1989 Hold Me Tight 6:34 Condor

1989 Ultra Rare Trax, Vol. 6 6:32 The Swingin' Pig

1989 Unsurpassed Masters, Vol. 2 (1964-1965) Yellow Dog

1991 British Rock: 1st Wave [video] RCA

1991 I Feel Fine/She's a Woman Capitol

1992 Ready Steady Go!, Vol. 3 [Video] Pioneer

1992 The Beatles Box Set [1992] Capitol

1993 Artifacts, 1958-1970 6:32 Big Music

1993 Compact Disc Singles Collection 3:01 Capitol

1994 Artifacts II 1960-1969 3:19 Big Music

1994 Complete BBC Sessions Great Dane

1994 Live at the BBC 3:14 Apple/Capitol

AMG Track Picks

I'll Be on My Way, Soldier of Love (Lay Down Your Arms)

1996 Anthology 2 2:54 Apple/Capitol

AMG Track Picks

Yes It Is, If You've Got Trouble, That Means a Lot, I'm Looking Through You, Strawberry Fields Forever

1996 Anthology Video, Vol. 5 Apple

1998 Live in Japan 2:52 Walrus

1999 CD Singles Collection 3:01 EMI

AMG Track Picks

We Can Work It Out, Paperback Writer, Strawberry Fields Forever, Don't Let Me Down, I Am the Walrus, I'm Down, Ticket to Ride, She's a Woman, Revolution, All You Need Is Love

1999 EP Boxset 3:05 EMI

2004 The Capitol Albums, Vol. 1 3:01 Capitol

AMG Track Picks

I Want to Hold Your Hand, It Won't Be Long, I Wanna Be Your Man, Roll Over Beethoven, You Can't Do That, She Loves You, I'll Cry Instead, Things We Said Today, And I Love Her, No Reply, I'm a Loser, She's a Woman, I Feel Fine

Budokan Concert VAP Inport

Concerts 1964-66 [DVD]

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How Did He Become An Icon? 1966 Post Beatles
Thanks Pre-1963

Five String Taste
Influential Bass Players of the '60s 1963

Driving Rain
Large Scale vs. Small Scale Basses 1964/1965

What Do Others Say?
contact the author Bibliography


George Martin

" There's no doubt that Lennon and McCartney were good musicians. They had good musical brains, and the brain is where music originates - it has nothing to do with your fingers. As it happened, they could also play their own instruments very well.

And since those early days they've all improved, especially Paul. He's an excellent musical all-rounder, probably the best bass-guitarist there is, a first-class drummer, brilliant guitarist and competent piano player."


" It's hard to separate McCartney's influence on my bass playing from his influence on everything else-singing, songwriting, even becoming a musician in the first place. As a child, I would play my Beatles albums at 45 RPM so I could hear the bass better. He's the Guvnor."

Will Lee

" Growing up in Texas in the early '60s I was so obsessed with the Beatles' music that I didn't feel like a fan, I felt like I was in the Beatles. About the same time I switched from drums to bass I became aware of who gave the band its charm and personality, from visual tunes like "Penny Lane" to the group's repartee with the press. It was the same fellow who was able to take a poor-quality instrument like the Hofner bass and create magic on it. I especially dug Paul's funky, Motown-influenced side, evident in the bass line from Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except Me and My Monkey," or even in the syncopated part from "A Day In The Life.

Paul's influence on bassists has been so widespread over numerous generations that there's no denying he's in everybody's playing at this point. We're all descendants. He played simple and solid when it was called for. But because he had so many different flavors to add to a song, he was able to take the instrument far beyond a supportive role. Paul taught the bass how to sing."

Stanley Clarke

"Paul definitely had an influence on my bass playing, not so much technically, but more with his philosophy of melodic bass lines - especially as I hit my teens and the Beatles' records became more adventurous. On tracks like "Come Together," the bass line WAS the song. I've always liked that. The only other person I knew of who was doing that was James Jamerson. That was one of the reasons I was inspired to write "School Days": so I could just play the bass lines and people would hear a whole song.

I had the honor of being contacted by Paul through George Martin to play on Tug of War, and I also appeared on Pipes of Peace [both on Capitol]. Paul was very nice. He asked me to show him how to slap. During Pipes we got a groove going in a studio jam, and it ended up making on the album as "Hey Hey." He graciously gave me a co-writing credit, and it's still a thrill to see my name next to his above the music in the song book."

Billy Sheehan

" The reason I got involved with music in the first place was because I saw the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show. I watched all the girls going crazy, and I figured this was the best business in the world to be in. Later on, when I got more deeply into music, Sgt. Pepper was a break-through record for me. I must have listened to it several hundred times. What intrigued me was how totally musical every aspect of it was, especially Paul's melodic, fluid bass lines. When my band Talas was starting in the mid '70s, [the Beatles' tribute show] Beatlemania was big, and we used to play entire gigs of just Beatles tunes. I've learned so much from Paul about playing, writing, and playing and singing at the same time that I should probably start sending him checks.

Most bassists get into the flashy players, but I think the reason Paul is often overlooked is that what he was doing wasn't really obvious. It was so brilliantly woven into the context of the songs. One of my favorites is the bass line from "Rain." I still use it to test the low end of an amp. That Paul happens to play bass is a great boon to all of us, because he made us realize that there are no limitations to being a bass player."

John Lennon

"Paul was one of the most innovative bass players ever. And half the stuff that is going on now is directly ripped off from his Beatles period."

And Afterhours if you want just a few of the countless great examples of real emotions in great singing,by The Beatles,Let It Be by Paul McCartney certainly is especially if you know what he's really singing about.

In his authorized 1997 biography Many Years From Now by Barry Miles Paul explains that 12 years after his wonderful mother Mary who was a loved nurse and midwife died of breast cancer when Paul was only 14,and his brother just 12, Paul had a vivid dream where he saw her alive again,and she told him in the dream to just accept things as they are. And he says that when he woke up he thought how wonderful it was to see her again,and thats what he wrote and sang the beautiful Let It Be About,When I Find Myself In Times Of Trouble Mother Mary Comes To Me,Speaking Words Of Wisdom Let It Be,And In My Hour Of Darkness She Is Standing Right In Front Of Me Speaking Words Of Wisdom Let It Be.

And John Lennon's beautiful song on the great Beatles White album,Julia also has great genuine expression of strong emotions because it's about and devoted to John's own mother Julia who was killed instantly after being hit by an off duty cop who was drunk when John was only 17! John had been raised by his aunt Mimi Julia's older sister since his mother gave him away to her when he was 5,and he was just starting to have a close relationship with her and he was waiting at his mother's and her boyfriend's house when Julia was hit by the car and killed right near John's house!

Don't Let Me Down is another emontional expression to Yoko. And Paul's songs,I'm Looking Through You,We Can Work It Out,You Won't See Me,and For No One were also genuine great sung expresions of the painful relationship Paul had with his first love beautiful British red haired movie and theatre star Jane Asher. He met her when she was just 17 and he was 21,and he lived with Jane and her father who was a resoected London doctor,her mother who was a music teacher, her younger sister,and her older brother Peter who was a musician in Peter and Gordon.

When Paul was 24 and Jane 20 they bought and moved into their own house and they lived together for 2 years and on Christmas day 1967 they became engaged to be married. But in June 1968 after a 5 year love affair,Jane came home unexpectedly early from touring with her theatre company and found Paul in bed with another woman and so she left him for good! Paul also wrote and sung the beautiful love songs for Jane,And I Love Her,Things We Said Today,and Here There And Everywhere and the great rocker,She's A Woman.

And John's In My Life is another great vocal with emotional expression so is A Day In The Life which John wrote mostly about the death in a car crash of their good friend the 21 year old Guiness Heir,Tara Browne. Paul met him first in a club and he was a very good friend of Paul's and Paul introduced him to John,George and Ringo and Mick Jagger,Keith Richards and Brian Jones also became friends with him through Paul. John wrote a lot of the words to this song after he read the coroner's report on Tara's death.

George Harrison's song Something is sung with great genuine emotion about his love of his then wife,the beautiful model Pattie Boyd.etc etc

Anyway there are many more examples too many to name.

I forgot to mention that Paul and his brother visited their mother in the hospital for the last time and Paul remebers she was bleeding on the sheets but nobody tod Paul and his brother that their mother had breast cancer and that she was bleeding from the operation and what she died from. And Paul and his brother weren't even allowed to go their mother's funeral.

And also that Paul and Jane constantly argued because Paul kept wrongfully asking her to give up her acting career and devote herself to him,and she kept refusing because she she loved acting and she was in her first film at age 5. Also Strawbery Fields Forever is another great John vocal with emotional expression,Strawberry Fields was a real place a Salvation Orphanage that John's aunt would take him to the annual picnic there and John played with friends a lot there as a child and he had good memories of it. Also John's entire brilliant Plastic Ono Band album is filled with songs with great vocals with with anger and sadness based on his recent scream therapy with psychologist Arthur Janov where John was dealing with his childhood traumas for the first time.

Bob Dylan Still Has Mad Love For The Beatles
By Brendan Butler: 2007-05-16 15:53:09

Bob Dylan recently discussed with Rolling Stone magazine, as subsequently relayed by the fine blokes at NME, of his continued admiration and friendships with Beatles members both alive and gone.

The legend candidly divulged that George Harrison, particularly, struggled with finding his voice within the revolutionary quartet. "George got stuck with being the Beatle that had to fight to get songs on records because of Lennon and McCartney. Well, who wouldn’t get stuck?".

Dylan didn’t hold back in praising the Beatle who was most serious from the beginning about being a musician: "If George had had his own group and was writing his own songs back then, he’d have been probably just as big as anybody."

That’s an interesting point Dylan brought up, given that each artist’s desire to broaden his work may have, ultimately, been the biggest factor in the Fab Four’s breakup.

Furthermore, Dylan scoffed at the perpetual rumors that he had competitive feelings toward McCartney and Lennon: "They were fantastic singers. Lennon, to this day, it’s hard to find a better singer than Lennon was, or than McCartney was and still is." Dylan concluded his praise of the “cute” Beatle: "I’m in awe of McCartney. He’s about the only one I’m in awe of. He can do it all. And he’s never let up…He’s just so damn effortless."

Jesus. I thought we were done with this spamming jackoff.

never will you coil the undulations of the fever, only in minimum can you file to thunder itm.

I wasn't spamming I posted great information that shows that ignoramouses like Piero Scaruffi are WRONG about The Beatles and one of the many many false things he says is that none of The Beatles musocal peers praised their music and couldn't understand why they were held in such high regard,and I showed that there are *many* well known respected music artists and musicians that do!

I agree that his statement is clearly a generalization and should be rectified, though I feel it is unlikely to happen anytime soon. I would bet that he is so busy he's not even aware of the mistake. Sometimes I think I may have viewed his site more than he has.

i doubt he would change it even if he took the time to do so. he feels very strong on the subject, as do i, but not nearly to his extent, and would keep it for nothing else but shock value if it were to be a bit exaggerated on his part.

no, it is spamming, or a derivation thereof. next time just give the websites of the information so you do not take up the entire page.

Thanks for all the info. You really oughtta start your own site on the Beatles, if you haven't already. I'm not much of a fan of their work. I like them, but there are hundreds of artists I prefer, so perhaps this isn't the correct forum to rave about their successes. You may have more luck posting in an arena with those who more closely agree with your sentiments. Again, thanks.


Thank you for at least appeciating my information at least somewhat. When you say you are not much of a fan of The Beatles( and a lot of that is because you have many misperceptions about them and have gotten a lot of that from a certain someone who writes what most people even people who said they are not much of a beatles fan,recognized as bullshit,and garbage and they said that Scaruffi's an idiot about them) and that I should post where people agree with my sentiments, it's not just my sentiments at all obviously most people feel this way about The Beatles but I demonstrated on here that many well known respected music artists and musicians including Bob Dylan,Eric Clapton,Stanley John Stirratt,and others I didn't post from on here like Brian Wilson who said on a 1995 Nightline Beatles tribute show that he feels Sgt.Pepper is the greatest album he has ever heard and that he feels that John Lennon and Paul McCartney were the two greatest song writers of the 29th century.

Brian Wilson also said that he was so impressed with The Beatles 1965 Rubber Soul album and he said all of the songs flowed together and it was pop music but folk rock at the same time and this is what he couldn't believe,and this inspired him to make the Pet Sounds album.

Elton John was asked on a CBS morning news show who he musically admires and he said you can talk about your Rogers and Hammerstein for the quanity of quality songs that Lennon and McCartney wrote in such a short period of time he said they were the greatest song writers of the 20th century.

Brilliant classical composer and conducter Leonard Bernstein said this about them also.Most music artists want to believe and want the public to believe that *they* are the greatest so when they say it about other artists it really means a lot!

There is also an online interview with Roger McGuinn of The Byrds from Sing Out The Folk Song Magazine from 2006 called,The Artful Roger:In The Folk Den With Roger McGuinn. And he says that he started to play a 12 string guitar after he saw George Harrison playing one in The Beatles movie A Hard Day's Night. And he says that The Beatles used folk rock chords in their early songs like She Loves You and I Want To Hold Your Hand and he said that folk rock chords in pop rock was never done before and he said THe Beatles invented folk rock music without even knowing it! He also played Beatles songs in the Troubadour Club in the early -mid 1960's and he hung out with THe Beatles and The Rolling Stones.

I meant to say Stanley Clarke also praised Paul McCartney as a bass player.

And Afterhours,

just consider reading some day from a library,The Beatles Recording Sessions by Mark Lewisohn,as I said it's a very thorough music diary of The Beatles amazing only 8 year recording career. And many of their recording engineers and tape operators are interviewed in this book such as Geoff Emerick,Norman Smith who was one of their early recording engineers and went on to produce Pink Floyd,Ken Scott who went on to work with David Bowie,and Alan Parsons who was a highly impressed Beatles fan and was one of their recording engineers on two of their last albums,Abbey Road and Let It Be, some of their recording engineers were innovative themselves.

And they all describe how truly innovative,creative and prolific they were in the recording studio especially John and Paul.George Martin has said in other interviews that even though he has produced many other recording artists,he still has never known or worked with anyone as brilliant as The Beatles.

A musician who reviewed this book on said that he finds Mark Lewisohn's portrayal of THe Beatles genuis(especially that of John Lennon and Paul McCartney to be completely thorough, and accurate as well as really insightful. So while you may still not become a huge fan of The Beatles music,you will have a whole new increased appreciation and respect for them.

Well, I understand your point of view and it seems to be some sort of a consensus from a portion of this site that Scaruffi has some kind of mind control on myself and some others, but it's simply not the case. My ideal music just happens to be music that is emotionally profound, and Scaruffi's choices offer this. Sure, they're experimental and highly challenging, but for me it's well worth the trip. For me, the Beatles are a fun band but not something I want to invest much effort or time into listening to, simply because the return is not what I personally look for in music.

Now, they're clearly what you look for, so you should continue down that road.

So while you may still not become a huge fan of The Beatles music,you will have a whole new increased appreciation and respect for them.

Believe it or not, I used to be a HUGE Beatles fan and have already thoroughly absorbed their albums (hundreds of times over), respected them, and fully understand their appeal, so I really don't find myself in need of re-dedicating myself to their catalogue, as if I missed something. And, just to keep things totally honest here, I am simply not interested in them enough to check out the book you're offering. I trust that it is a well written book, but I have little doubt that it is the sort of reading that would only satisfy someone who is significantly interested in The Beatles music, or wanting to learn about them for historical purposes. Thanks for the suggestions though.

afterhours, to be a great vocalist does an artist's whole career have to be spectacular or just singular performances. because if just singular performances i would have to suggest Dylan: sad eyed lady, johanna, one of us mus know, rolling stone, ballad of a thing man (live), and Percy Sledge: when a man loves a woman.

Dylan certainly deserves serious consideration, but I'll probably have some more to place here first before putting him on. He is absolutely worthy though, and you've mentioned some of his greatest performances.

A whole career of great performances would definitely help an artist place higher than one who is short lived, but still, what is most important is what they did at their peak.

Dylan is also a great example of a vocalist who is technically horrific yet sings with an often painful, efforting emotion that makes him much more compelling and affecting than most others.
Jeff Mangum (of Neutral Milk Hotel) is another great example.

Dylan is just a terrible singer no wonder why his albums never sold that well and other artists made superior versions of his songs. On the other hand Elvis never wrote his songs but was a great singer hence you have the two most overrated artists of all time, artists who were good at one thing.

Yea, Dylan definitely sucks. How dare he go off note. How dare he have the gall to express emotion ahead of fixation on the tone of the melody. How dare he even sing, that garrish bustle of sandpaper.

who would be in your top 5?

For some weird reason, I never even thought Dylan's (or Mangum's, for that matter) voice was technically horrific. I just loved it. I still remember the first time I listened to Like a Rolling Stone, it was like a revelation. And of course, he has made the one album that ever squeezed a 10/10 from me.

My second fave would be Beefheart.

BTW, I disagree a bit with you about Jim Morrison. I would place him a bit lower. He's a great singer, but he just rarely goes to.....err, THAT level where I would love his voice very much. And I prefer the vocal performances on Break on Through and Soul Kitchen (absolutely deliciously amazing, those :)) to The End's (good, but not brilliant).

Good call on Patti Smith. One of my fave vocalists too.

Thanks :)

You are...uhh, welcome? Haha....

BTW, I know this is a totally random question, but do you like any hip-hop albums?

Yea, Pauls Boutique, It Takes A Nation..., Eminem's 2 best, De La Soul, Streets, Outkast... just no 8's (maybe It Takes a Nation...)

I think you would like Enter The Wu-Tang (36 Chambers) by The Wu-Tang Clan, and Boy in da Corner by Dizzee Rascal. Raw, heavy and entertaining stuff. Plus, if you ever want a hip-hop album to listen to on headphones, check out The Chronic by Dr Dre. There are other great ones, but I will tell you about those later.

Then, of course, you might have heard all of these already, haha.

I've heard Enter the Wu-Tang I think and I've heard The Chronic several times. I've maybe her Dizzee Rascal but I'm not sure. Also, I forgot to mention Cloudead above.

What did you think of those two?

You might want to confirm about him XD

Strangely enough, I forgot to mention cLOUDDEAD too.

Its been years but I though both were great :)

They both ARE great. Wu-Tang being very slightly better than The Chronic ;)

36 Chambers is a masterpiece for sure. Clouddead's S/T as well - so amazing...perhaps the finest rap album ever. Nas' Illmatic is incredible, I'd highly recommend it to anyone. Paul's Boutique is really great, but I don't think it's in the same league as the former. Anything by Dalek is going to be impressive, game changing. Cannibal Ox has thrown out a gem or two. He rocks. IMO, MF DOOM is perhaps the greatest rapper eva, but I can't say that even his finest work, Operation Doomsday, is at the level of say...Illmatic. Nothing on DOOM cuz he runs it. It's just that works like Illmatic are special in ways I can't describe. Donuts by J Dilla has got to be in the running for greatest hip hop gem ever... Earl Sweatshirt's Kitchen Cutlery is above the standards of what's considered great...I feel like I could go on and on...absolutely love hip hop. Gang Starr runs shit...etc., etc., etc.

It Takes A Nation of Millions is no 8.

I'd say Brian McMahan of Slint is a worthy candidate. Listen to "Washer". His voice is very childlike and uncertain, especially around 4 minutes 40 seconds in, when he quivers a faint "promise me the sun will rise again", and you can almost hear the dessication of his vocal cords on record. One of the most emotional vocal performances I've heard.

Mark Kozelek of Red House Painters isn't bad either. His voice is just so smooth, always singing as if upon reflection. "Medicine Bottle".

Jennifer Herrema on "New York Avenue Bridge" is amazing. Everything is so slurred and somnolent. Her singing is akin to a painter who exclusively paints with very fat paintbrush; everything is legato, the consonants are enunciated very slowly, short vowels are made into long ones, the syllable nuclei are morphed and contorted, and she has a somnolent way of gliding notes together. I can't really describe it, but listen to how she sings "yesterday my jeeaaaans looked unnrreeeeal" and hear the micro-notes and quarter tones she inadvertently sings. This may all sound like technical jargon, but the emotive effect that she produces when she sings is significant. It's just so dark and paranoiac. It teeters on the edge of delirium. She sings as if trying to seduce each and every listener into her underworld of sleaze, drugs, estrangement from all reality and debauchery. I'm flattered by the invitation.

All 3 are superb vocalists but I don't think they're emotionally powerful enough to warrant inclusion at this point. Maybe when the list gets a bit more extended.

By the way, your detailed description of Herrema is completely spot on.

what about (Anywhere I Lay My Head) for the Tom Waits entry off of Rain Dogs? i like it better than Train Song for emotionally powerful vocals. just started Waits again.

Hmmmm, I'll have to hear it again. Give me a few days and I'll get back to you.

This is a very tough call. I simultaneously agree and disagree with you. I think that you're probably right in that Anywhere I Lay My Head probably has more emotion per second during the vocal performance, but I think Train Song is longer and more thorough and leaves me more emotionally stricken by its end due simply to being played over a longer running time, giving it more accumulative power to impinge. anyone reading this aside from the two of us, I will say that Anywhere I Lay My Head off Waits' album Rain Dogs is just as astonishing a vocal performance as Train Song, and is also worth a look (though please just get the whole album as it is superb, in my opinion an obvious step up from his great Swordfishtrombones).

i will accept that, and the album is definitely far superior to anything else i have heard by him, as a complete album. Freddie Mercury? Your list is worthless without listing Freddie first and, even worse, not at all.

Not even close to me. A very talented but utterly superficial vocalist in my opinion. Obviously, you feel otherwise which is understandable. Many would agree with you that he deserves a spot.

Not me!

Just throwing something up here...

What about Jimi Hendrix? I personally think that it's his singing, moreso then his guitar playing that makes the majority of the Experience's songs unique. Just take Little Miss Strange, when he didn't sing, it drastically lowered how good the song was, even when he still played guitar.

He certainly deserves consideration, though personally I wouldn't go so far as to say his singing is superior to his guitar playing.

It's hard to explain, but it sort of makes the songs more unique. Let's just say his songs would have been not as great without him singing.

I agree. I find his voice to be charasmatically bluesy, raw, real and occasionally explosive, and sometimes almost hypnotic.

I always thought that Jimi Hendrix and Jim Morrison had the same qualities in their voices. Neither were pitch perfect, but man did their voices fit their music.

Exactly. It's the same with Chuck Mosely from Faith No More, his voice is awful in every way, but it fits (most) of the music on Introduce Yourself, which is one reason I guess Scaruffi gave it an 8.0.

Dig your stuff After Hours. I'm a list guy myself.

To add:

One of the most powerfully emotive voices of rock was John Lennon and his (Beatles) "Twist and Shout" is perfect for your criteria. If not "Twist" then certainly "Yer Blues"

Also Roger Daltrey, take your pick. For the parameters of your list he's got to be top 5. "Won't Get Fooled Again" perhaps.

I agree with you that those are both powerfully emotive voices. I just don't think they are two of the very greatest. Forgive me as I am notoriously picky, and by most reasonable standards your choices would land a spot--just not here. Thanks for the suggestions.

I removed Grace Slick, though I suspect it's probably more because I haven't yet heard her very best vocal performances.

...nevermind, she's back now

No chance for Brian McMahan, even if only for the gutteral screaming of Good Morning Captain?

Not in this current batch. He'll have a better shot as I extend the list though.

His performance on Good Morning Captain is stunning.

This is a very good list, though I probably prefer Jungle Fire over Lorca. What's your opinion of Otis Redding, Dusty Springfield, and Marc Bolan?

Just my opinion, but I think Lorca is untouchable as the greatest rock vocal performance of all time. There's competition, especially among Buckley's own songs (Gypsy Woman perhaps) but none of it a serious threat. Diamanda Galas may have something to give him a run for his money. She is incredible. Same with Beefheart and Nico but the most serious competition probably ends there.

All 3 of those vocalists are superb, though I admit it's been a long time since I listened to them. I got rid of the albums I owned by them (including many other "classic" albums) in exchange for the ones I own now. Nice choices though. I especially love Otis. Especially his rendition of Satisfaction on Otis Blue.

Why is Axl Rose there....

Well he is an acquired taste, as are most of these. His vocals were extremely intense, a combination of Robert Plant and Mick Jagger.

But ahead of Brian McMahan?

This time you have gone too far. :)

I don't blame you. ( :

Would there ever be a spot for Gibby Haynes here?

Good recommendation.

Perhaps when I extend it a bit. I might need to hear some of his other work, outside of Psychic Powerless, to formulate a more accurate opinion.

Yeah, I too need to explore other Butthole Surfers albums.

Does Joanna Newsom stand a chance when you extend the list?

Yes. She is amazing. Quite possibly the artist of the decade so far. Here's hoping her follow up to Ys is even better (fat chance given how astonishing it is).

Mike Patton. Mike Patton. Mike Patton. Mike Patton.

Possibly. Which songs do you think contain his most key vocal performances?

Patton is definitely one where you have to hear the breadth and depth of his discography to understand what he is capable of.

However, if you're looking for a quick one-song primer on just about everything he can do with those pipes, I suggest digging up "When Good Dogs Do Bad Things" off the Irony Is a Dead Scene EP he did with The Dillinger Escape Plan.

And for extra oomph, follow that up with a spin of Faith No More's "Just a Man." Good stuff.

Thanks for the suggestions. I'll check those out and get back to both of you.

No! Wyatt moved down! His performances on Sea Song, Moon In June & Alifib/Alifie surely place him above Morrison (though I do really love Morrison's singing)?

They're separated by one position. You can consider them a virtual tie. ( :

It's difficult to directly compare them. Morrison affects me emotionally in a slightly more powerful way...though, completely different.

Ahhh, nice list (although your picks generally mirror your 'greatest albums' list so it's kind of predictable). My picks would be something like:

Karl Hyde (Underworld): I love his deep and expressive voice, and I think he's got a great range. Still I think it's more of what the group DOES with it that makes it work. AFAIK almost none of the electronic bands that cropped up in the 90's had a vocalist, and those that did were nowhere near this guy.

Terry Hall: He always struck me as a man who has gone through a hard life but he really can sing.

Peter Hammill: Over the top to the point of ridiculousness, his vocals make me laugh, but they're also quite powerful. If nothing else I get the impression that HE believes in what he's singing.

Gary Numan: A lot of the New Wave bands would try to make their voices seem without emotion to emulate sort of a 'robotic' sound. Numan didn't have to do this on purpose - his voice was naturally cold and metallic. Maybe the most unique voice of that era.

Mark Mothersbaugh (Devo): Very nervous and jumpy, but it was very distinct. Again there is no one who sounds like this guy.

Greg Lake: The ultimate prog vocalist as far as I'm concerned. Probably sings too much on-key for your tastes though.

Jello Biafra: I'm not even a DK fan, but I think this guy really made them who they were. Sarcastic and biting, Jello sounded more like a game show host than a punk singer. It really worked though.

Bjork: I know, shut up. I like her! Hard to think of many people (short of Tim Buckley) who are more expressive then she is, or even willing to try. Definietely someone with a big range who insists on using it all, sometimes during the same song.

Tim Smith (Cardiacs): He's a loony, but he really can sing, and he makes even the most ridiculous lyrics come to life. A great frontman for a great band.

Mike Doughty (Soul Coughing): Hard to name him as he doesn't even sing too much, but his beat poet-inspired delivery is unlike anyone else. It's a combination of the vocals and the lyrics that make this guy so effecting. Really wears his emotions on his sleeve.

Thanks for all the suggestions. These are just my opinions, that's all...

Karl Hyde (Underworld): he's a good vocalist but more of a fill-in than a truly transcendant voice.

Terry Hall: I guess I just don't get it. He does practically nothing for me. Like Paul McCartney.

Peter Hammill: though a supreme talent, he lacks the emotional depth needed to rank this high, but may make the list as it is extended past #50 or so.

Gary Numan: There's little in the way of conviction. I think that's the point, but he's not really a "vocalist". He's more like a computerized facsimile of a vocalist, which means the emotion is all but drained from his "performances".

Mark Mothersbaugh (Devo): Could learn a thing or two from David Byrne, who learned a thing or two from David Thomas.

Greg Lake: Talented, but does little to catch my attention. The lower the register the better he sounds. On key or not, it doesn't matter to me--they just have to have a high volume of emotional.

Jello Biafra: A superb choice. I've long considered him close to being worthy of this list. He will show up eventually.

Bjork: Another amazing vocalist. I've considered her many, many times. She hasn't quite made it on...yet, but will definitely be added in the near future as I extend it, or maybe even be added onto the current one soon.

Tim Smith (Cardiacs): A bit hit and miss. Sometimes he just runs through songs instead of embodying them. When he's good though, he's quite good.

Mike Doughty (Soul Coughing): He's interesting. A certain charisma, but his very modus operandi limits him from displaying enough emotion.

Karl Hyde: It depends what you're listening to. I don't think the genre particularly lends itself to vocals but he really makes it work. If you haven't heard it try "Dirty Epic", which is generally the UW song that the "real" fans point to as being one of their best. "Skyscraper" is another good one.

Gary Numan: Indeed that is the point. I see that as being pretty powerful. There aren't many people who naturally sound so cold. His later, more goth-like material DOES show emotion (notably anger) which suits him well.

Mark Mothersbaugh: What does he have to learn from Byrne? I think the music is similar but the messages are different. That does remind me I would add Byrne to my list.

Bjork: I'm surprised that I don't see her on any of the Scaruffi/st's lists. Indeed I think it's her raw emotion that comes through without much consideration towards particular tunefulness. I never quite know what she's on about but it IS very emotionally powerful, and there's always a certain unpredictability to her that's really intriguing. Regardless Scaruffi says some pretty harsh things...

Tim Smith: Just out of curiosity what have you heard from him? I ask because it would be honestly surprising to me if you heard of Cardiacs anywhere besides from me given they're pretty obscure (unfortunately!), and their albums are out of print - also you have said you don't like illegal file sharing, so I'm guessing you have watched some of their live performances on youtube? (Correct me if I'm wrong) I do see what you're saying, but I think he's just too far out to really understand sometimes. A few of his songs come across as really powerful though (try "Dirty Boy" if you can find a good recording).

Mike Doughty: I don't know, I've never gotten the sense that his emotions don't come through. I always thought he was a particularly great vocalist that did a great job at getting people involved with the songs. For example I have no doubt that "True Dreams of Wichita" really MEANS something. I think his delivery takes some getting used to though.

Karl Hyde: It depends what you're listening to. I don't think the genre particularly lends itself to vocals but he really makes it work. If you haven't heard it try "Dirty Epic", which is generally the UW song that the "real" fans point to as being one of their best. "Skyscraper" is another good one.

Can't remember the names of the ones I checked out, but I'll take a look at those two.

Gary Numan: Indeed that is the point. I see that as being pretty powerful. There aren't many people who naturally sound so cold. His later, more goth-like material DOES show emotion (notably anger) which suits him well.

I'll look into it. Hopefully he transforms into something Ian Curtis-ian. He might be able to make that work.

Mark Mothersbaugh: What does he have to learn from Byrne? I think the music is similar but the messages are different. That does remind me I would add Byrne to my list.

Byrne, to me has a bit more impact. Not sure why. More conviction? His delirium seems natural and real. Maybe he believes more in what he's saying.

Bjork: I'm surprised that I don't see her on any of the Scaruffi/st's lists. Indeed I think it's her raw emotion that comes through without much consideration towards particular tunefulness. I never quite know what she's on about but it IS very emotionally powerful, and there's always a certain unpredictability to her that's really intriguing. Regardless Scaruffi says some pretty harsh things...

One of the most talented vocalists of all time. Sometimes she comes across as mere exercise, for the sake of pyrotechnics or something like that. But when she puts herself into it she's pretty unbelievable.

Tim Smith: Just out of curiosity what have you heard from him? I ask because it would be honestly surprising to me if you heard of Cardiacs anywhere besides from me given they're pretty obscure (unfortunately!), and their albums are out of print - also you have said you don't like illegal file sharing, so I'm guessing you have watched some of their live performances on youtube? (Correct me if I'm wrong) I do see what you're saying, but I think he's just too far out to really understand sometimes. A few of his songs come across as really powerful though (try "Dirty Boy" if you can find a good recording).

I heard a slew of them off youtube. I'll check some more out and see what I think.

Mike Doughty: I don't know, I've never gotten the sense that his emotions don't come through. I always thought he was a particularly great vocalist that did a great job at getting people involved with the songs. For example I have no doubt that "True Dreams of Wichita" really MEANS something. I think his delivery takes some getting used to though.

His delivery was pretty easy to assimilate to me. I just didn't see anything special there.

I don't think Gary Numan needs to go to something more Ian my mind he's one of the most original vocalists in rock music, why should he try to emulate a different one? As for Mark - I see what you're saying, but I've always thought he was genuine as well. If you ever read an interview with members of Devo they come across exactly as you'd think they would from the albums.

Now I don't mean to say that Doughty's delivery was hard to understand, but it's definietely a sound that takes getting used to. I haven't really heard anyone like it (there are those who have a similar delivery, but I never really get any meaning behind it like I do with Soul Coughing)

I don't think Gary Numan needs to go to something more Ian my mind he's one of the most original vocalists in rock music, why should he try to emulate a different one?

If he did something along that line (Ian Curtis-ian), which it seems like he could, it would be an improvement.

As for Mark - I see what you're saying, but I've always thought he was genuine as well. If you ever read an interview with members of Devo they come across exactly as you'd think they would from the albums.


Now I don't mean to say that Doughty's delivery was hard to understand, but it's definietely a sound that takes getting used to. I haven't really heard anyone like it (there are those who have a similar delivery, but I never really get any meaning behind it like I do with Soul Coughing)

okay thanks. Thanks again for all the suggestions.

Bob Dylan?

Certainly among the most influential vocalists, but not quite on this level imo. Maybe when it's extended.

Agreed on Waits' high position, I'm discovering him now. He sounds almost Beefheartian, and I remember reading somewhere about him being influenced by him a lot.

He most definitely was.

Hey AfterHours, do you like most of Galas' music? I find that although she is a (mildly) good singer, her music is just avant-garde taken to unnecessary and extreme levels, having no positives. I quite literally struggled through the Litanies of Satan. Mind you, I had the same thing with Faust...

She is a challenge, a force to be reckoned with, that's for sure, but most of what I've heard I love (all quite random aside from Litanies of Satan). I just really wish I could find a legal copy of her self-titled debut (I've found and heard 1/2 of it which was astonishing). It's one of the few non-classical 9's I haven't heard. Unfortunately it hasn't been released on CD yet.

Have you watched and listened to her on the youtube address I provide up top on this page? It is friggin' incredible. Play it loud. Let it envelope you (Maybe not. That could prove dangerous). One of the most affectingly depressing vocals ever.

I love David Thomas and Captain Beefheart. How about Lou Reed ? (I'm not joking!)

He's somewhere, just not this high. His performance in Venus In Furs especially, is stunning.

Any chance of John Frusciante or David Byrne?

Possibly. A ways down though.

D Boon?

He's nearly made it on. Probably around #30 at this point. May move up.

I'm more with Scaruffi when it comes to Grace Slick, her and Nico to me are a fair distance from all other female rock vocalists though I'd switch them round and have Nico first. I haven't properly heard Galas though. It's hard to tell which he thinks is Slick's best vocal masterpiece though. He implies Somebody To Love, White Rabbit, Rejoyce, Two Heads, Bear Melt, Hey Frederick and Eskimo Blue Song are all masterpieces.

It's also interesting that David Thomas was once his number 1 male vocalist but now has dropped to second behind Tim Buckley. Personally I prefer Buckley.

I'm more with Scaruffi when it comes to Grace Slick, her and Nico to me are a fair distance from all other female rock vocalists though I'd switch them round and have Nico first. I haven't properly heard Galas though. It's hard to tell which he thinks is Slick's best vocal masterpiece though. He implies Somebody To Love, White Rabbit, Rejoyce, Two Heads, Bear Melt, Hey Frederick and Eskimo Blue Song are all masterpieces.

Yea, I go back and forth on Slick (how high to place her). Nico and Galas are both hauntingly powerful.

It's also interesting that David Thomas was once his number 1 male vocalist but now has dropped to second behind Tim Buckley. Personally I prefer Buckley.

Buckley is certainly #1 and probably always will be, though recently I'm considering moving Thomas up to #2 or #3 on this list.

Hey Afterhours,

Here are my two cents on rock vocalists. I commend you though on an excellent list.

Morrisey: I've never really liked the music of The Smiths, but I've always though Morrisey's lyrics and vocal delivery to be outstanding. There Is A Light That Never Goes Out is properly the best example I've heard of this.

John Martyn: Similar to Tim Buckley in technique, but John Martyn is more restrained and relaxed in my opinion. Have you heard any of his albums?

Iggy Pop: I've always thought his vocals on The Stooges s/t to be very impressive. Your views?

Ian Curtis: Very dark and depressing. Very good though

Morrisey: I enjoy him and a handful of their songs but like much of the more recent Thom Yorke/Radiohead albums, I think he often tries too hard to uphold his persona instead of exhibiting wholly true emotions.

John Martyn: I've heard some stuff from Inside Out, which I'll need to listen to some more, but it was quite good. Like you said, a bit more relaxed than Buckley (i.e. without the monstrous intensity)

Iggy Pop: I love his intensity. Not sure where I'd place him.

Ian Curtis: Agreed, though his strength (reservation) is also a little bit his pitfall. An example is Alan Vega, who often sounds reserved but also deeply disturbed, paranoid, etc. Tim Buckley can sound so reserved that he is pulling himself into some kind of cornered void. Curtis is a little too one dimensional to be truly transcendant for me. I think Suicide blows Joy Division away.

Nice call on the Bjelland!

thanks ( :

I completely agree with your inclusion of Joni Mitchell, although I wonder if All I Want (or even My Old Man) aren't considerably more powerful than Blue.

edit: Actually, I kind of understand your choice now. Although I'd pick one of the other 2 myself.

Whoops, didn't even notice this...

There's a handful of really close choices on Blue. Both All I Want or My Old Man are great choices.

Starts and ends with Freddie Mercury

Definitely among the most talented vocalists in rock history, no doubt about that

Just so you know, a lot of the links seem to not work anymore.

Listened to The Modern Dance yesterday, there is a chance it will get in my top 10 soon, I'm liking David Thomas' voice more and more as I listen. I especially loved Non-Alignment Pact.

Just thought you would like to know :)

Awesome :) INCREDIBLE album

I think Break on Through (to the Other Side) would be a better choice for Jim Morrison. I like The End, and his vocals are good there, but in front of the sheer POWER he displays on Break on Through, that intensity, it's really mind-blowing. So I'd suggest you consider Break on Through too.

Break on Through was once the choice here for me too. The End showcases Morrison inventing dramatic theatre in rock music with his vocals/narration + the dreamy surrealism, weariness, suspense and, eventually, volcanic eruption of his performance makes it pretty hard for me to pass up.