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Freddie Mercury and Robert Plant immediately come to mind.
Anyone. Anyplace. Anytime.
That was my answer the last time this topic came up.
The actual answer depends on whether you are measuring by tonal quality, range, etc (Mercury, McCartney, Orbison, Elvis, or to throw a curve, Anne Wilson). Or if you go by my favorite qualities which are pure energy & emotion. For that I'd put Springsteen, daltrey, strummer, vedder and even Tom Waits up there.
Yeah, much like best rock band, best vocalist is hugely subjective. You've listed some good ones.
I'm also a fan of Neil Young (yes, I know his voice is terrible from an objective standpoint, but it works so well with his music), and I think Lou Reed is someone who can be in the discussion (no one snarls like Lou).
Edit to add: There seem to be a lot of Queen fans here, but I am no fan of Freddie Mercury. Not that I question his talent, but his voice is mostly just grating to me. I'd rather listen to hours of Bob Dylan rather than listen to three Queen songs in a row. I'm sure that by almost any objective measure you could come up with, Mercury is about 100x more skilled vocally than Dylan, but it doesn't work for me. Again, my point is just that this type of discussion is inherently incredibly subjective.
This post was edited by voodoochile 22 months ago
I feel like technical skill matters less with voice. I think Lou Reed can't sing for shit but he sounds awesome in the Velvet Underground.
Peter Gabriel as he's gotten older. For an all out, couldn't possibly sing any other type of music and get away with it with his voice, so by default the greatest voice in rock, Perry Farrell.
No doubt winner.
Great work in 3 bands.
And yes I know he was in Elf, but I don't count that.
This post was edited by LooseGoose2012 22 months ago
My son and I were having a similar debate while driving just the other day - only it was 5 greatest rock vocalists which is at least slightly different than the greatest voice.
The only one we could agree on was Ronnie James Dio.
Agreed. Same with Billy Corgan. Terrible singer (and criminally underrated guitarist), but it works in the Smashing Pumpkins.
Brad Delp and Freddie Mercury in my opinion.
Editing because I'm surprised Delp doesn't even get a mention by anyone else :(.
This post was edited by Metal_Sparty 22 months ago
Has to be Freddie by objective measure. Subjectively, I like Liam Gallagher's voice. Supersonic and the verse on Acquiesce are probably the quintessential Liam moments.
A society grows great when old men plant trees whose shade they know they shall never sit in.
Wow, someone else as old as me who got it right.
Egotism is the anesthetic that dulls the pain of stupidity. - Frank Leahy.-- If you're going to be stupid, be smart about it. - Mike Milbury
I'm going a different route, he doesn't have the greatest rock voice but he has my favorite rock voice, Lou Gramm of Foreigner.
Lock the thread
Frankie Valli had a sick voice, one of a kind
There is only one answer.
ALL others pale when compared to The King.
Elvis Aaron Presley
This post was edited by San Juan Kid 22 months ago
My favorites would be Jeff Buckley and Justin Townes Earle. Both could sing any style and have great emotion.
Agree on Brad Delp.
You know why you don't ever hear a Boston cover?
Because it is impossible to even come close to the original song.
The King lives!
And for pure uniqueness, Geddy Lee.
Honestly, if you said anything other than Freddie Mercury, you do not understand this thread whatsoever.
Agree with Geoff Tate.
I'd add Dave Gahan into the mix.
Number 2 is debatable.Mercury,Orbison,Bowie have to all be up there.
Some great singers during the British Invasion as well.
Gary Puckett,tom Jones,the dude from the Hollies,Eric Carmen....
Female singers like Janis Joplin,Dusty Springfield, Stevie Nicks.
Pretty broad parameters here.
I guess it depends on your definition of "greatest voice" and "rock history".
I'd throw in a few votes for a couple of my favorites - Gregg Allman and Steve Mariott. Perhaps it is because I grew up in Flint, but I have always thought Mark Farner is under rated as a singer.
Freddie Mercury sang major league; everyone else was Triple-A. Very good, but you can't touch the best.
This. Freddie could do things no one else on this list could do.
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