The most distinctive vocalists in Rock?

Which vocalists do you instantly recognise because they just sound like no-one else in the world? People who's voices give you that shivery feeling (you know the one) when you suddenly hear them on the radio. It's more noticeable if you're not expecting to hear them, rather than playing their CDs of your own accord.

I've come up with a few of my favourites singers, who I happen to think sound have a TOTALLY unique and original style...

1. Tom Waits (absolutely unmistakable)
2. Stevie Wonder (much-imitated but no one gets close - not even the guy from Jamiroquai)
3. John Lennon
4. Joni Mitchell (particularly late-period)
5. Bob Dylan
6. Elton John
7. Michael Stipe
8. Van Morrison
9. Barry Gibb
10. James Taylor (not changed much in 30 years)

Any other suggestions?
Original Post
quote:
posted by anselm
5. Bob Dylan
i love this man, for being one of the greatest songwriters to have ever graced the earth, but he has to have the worst voice Frowner ever!
it is sooo bad!

distinctive voices IMHO:
Smiler eddie vedder
Smiler nick drake
Smiler macy gray
Smiler joan armatrading (love that woman)
Smiler tanita tikaram
Smiler stina nordenstam

thats all i can think of @ the mo
quote:
quote:
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
posted by anselm
5. Bob Dylan
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i love this man, for being one of the greatest songwriters to have ever graced the earth, but he has to have the worst voice ever!
it is sooo bad!
Just a reminder: it's the most distinctive vocalists I'm focussing on, not the BEST. I'm not a particularly big fan of Dylan's but he definitely is very distinct, with a few stylish vocal tricks, twists and turns of phrase which no-one else possesses.

There's been some great suggestions posted here so far, some people I've forgotten about but would definitely cite as totally unique: Elvis Costello, Eddie Vedder (who I can't stand incidentally!), Stevie Nicks, Roddy Frame.

There's also been a few names suggested who I'd strongly disagree with, like Neil Tennant (sounds too much like Al Stewart), Jeff Lynne (spent most of his time trying to copy Beatles harmonies Mad )

Cinnamon : what an incredible name you mentioned that I totally missed Red Face - the late Nick Drake. A fabulous writer and guitarist, not to mention inimitable vocalist. I thought I was his only fan!! http://www.nickdrakeworld.com [Sorry for the shameless plug]

Lots of fascinating and controversial opinions so far....keep them coming Smiler
Fergal Sharkey (Undertones and solo fame in the late 70's early 80's)
Nils Lofgren
Tim Finn
Nik Kershaw
Elton John
John Lennon
Paul McCartney
Donald Fagen (Steely Dan)
Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin)
Bono
Bob Dylan
Bruce Springsteen
Paul Buchanan (The Blue Nile)
Paddy McAloon (Prefab Sprout)

have to disagree with however said Roddy Frame tho'; he sounds just like Midge Ure, Justin Currie and loads of other Glasgow area vocalists (and I like all three singers I've mentioned) I guess I get some flack from any Glasgow-based frenz!
Bob, I don't know Justin Currie, but I can't hear the similarity between Roddy and Midge. I wasn't huge on Ultravox, though.

Anselm, I don't think you can copy harmonies, they just exist as a fact of nature, but you could try to copy melodies. (My Sweet Lord/He's So Fine) I don't think Jeff Lynne was trying to copy the Beatles in that respect. He was (or perhaps still is) a musical genius in his own way, and a fan of the Beatles, or at the very least of George Martin, but as this discussion is about his voice, I have to say it gave me that "feeling" when I was an adolescent.
I'm not saying whether I like these voices - just that I find them distictive:

Anthony Kiedis
Thom Yorke
Stina Nordenstam
Elizabeth Fraser (Cocteau Twins)
Neil Tennant
David Byrne

Must say I find the guy in Stereophonics sounds something like Rod Stewart - so can't give Rod a distinctive vocals vote.
For me the most distinctive voices in rock (which I like and can listen too) are:

thom yorke
john lennon
paul mc cartney
bono
neil & tim finn (obviously)
david bowie
peter garrett
michael hutchence
jimmy barnes
elton john
mark seymour
eddie vedder (although he sounds like a sheep) very distinctive Wink

yeah that's it I think.

Kate Smiler
quote:
Originally posted by Bob Memery:
[qb]have to disagree with however said Roddy Frame tho'; he sounds just like Midge Ure, Justin Currie and loads of other Glasgow area vocalists (and I like all three singers I've mentioned) I guess I get some flack from any Glasgow-based frenz![/qb]
*gives you flak* Razzer

Umm...nice to see Stevie Nicks getting a mention, although she's not totally unique since I sound exactly like her Big Grin Then again I don't think I count, being not-famous and all that.

JON ANDERSON OF YES, PEOPLE! COME ON!

And um...Billie Joe Armstrong, you know it's him when he sings...Jonathan Donahue of Mercury Rev...ummm...Matt Bellamy of Muse...*stops before she goes too far down the obscure indie path*
quote:
Originally posted by marmotgirl:
[qb]JON ANDERSON OF YES, PEOPLE! COME ON[/qb]
The guy from Blind Melon sounded exactly like Jon Anderson. But I wonder if that counts, since a fair amount of their material was imitating Yes.

Somebody mentioned 'Gordon Summers.' Well, I don't know who that is, but i know that Gordon SumNER can't be matched... Smiler
I can't believe no one mentioned "The Boss", Bruce Springsteen! His voice is one that is really easily recognised.

My Top 10 (give or take)

1. Steve Perry (Journey)

2. Steven Tyler (Aerosmith)

3. Steve Winwood

4. Hmmmm, out of "Steves" now...so how about Paul McCartney. He has that rock & roll voice that always got me.

5. Lou Gramm (Foreigner)

6. Neil Young

7. Neil Finn (naturally--did you think I could leave him off??) Big Grin

8. What's that guy's name from Nickleback? Chad Kroeger? (I think). Even if you're not a fan, he does have that cool r&r voice

I just noticed that all of my choices are men, so I'll add:

Melissa Etheridge

Pat Benatar

I also notice that all of my idols are from like, 20 years ago. Or more. ((sigh)) It's hell to grow old! ((grins))

vch
quote:
Originally posted by Sue Diego:
[qb]What about the King?...

ELVIS PRESLEY??

And speaking of sheep-voices...wouldn't an Eddie Vedder/Stevie Nicks duet be too much???[/qb]
Sheep voice? *splutters, blusters*

Lou Gramm = Trevor Rabin, also of Yes. Same voice, SAMESAMESAME. But I don't, somehow, see you all rushing out to test the similarity.

And I repeat, NOBODY sounds quite like our Jon Razzer
I think that these would be my choice of distintive voices:-

Neil Young

Nils Lofgren

Bob Dylan

Paul Rodgers (Free/Bad Company) In my opinion the classic rock voice often copied but not bettered)

Kate Bush

Otis Redding

Ray Davies ( Classic English Voice and a Tim fave!)

Paul
quote:
I think that these would be my choice of distintive voices:-

Neil Young

Nils Lofgren

Bob Dylan

Paul Rodgers (Free/Bad Company) In my opinion the classic rock voice often copied but not bettered)

Kate Bush

Otis Redding

Ray Davies ( Classic English Voice and a Tim fave!)
Funnily enough, Neil Young's voice often gets confused with that of the lead singer of the band America ('Horse With No Name', 'Ventura Highway' etc). Have a listen and see what you think. Also, Kate Bush and Tori Amos' vocal styles often get confused with each other, not sure if either of them fall into the totally 'distinct' category.

Thinking back, maybe I should have titled this topic 'Most uniquely recognisable voice'. Then again, everyone's voice is unique...but the discussions are fun.

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