06 October 2008

20 Greatest Male Vocalists (1-5)

In recent years, I've spent much times reading about music and its history. That's why now I come up with this list of 20 greatest male vocalists in the music recording era. Perhaps some people will argue with me over this list, especially since I made it in the form of charts, but I guess it will open doors of lots of new discussion. I, myself, am not a musician or singer of any sort, but truly I am a music lovers. I have set some criteria in judging who should be put into the list:
  • Vocal ability. A good singer is a singer with a technically good vocal. The greatest singers must be the singers with above average vocal ability.
  • Star quality. You cannot be a greatest singer if you are not a star by yourself. You must have the ability that will make people worship you.
  • Legacy. It's about influence, baby. You are measured by the influence you give to other singers.
  • Fame. Even if you have the greatest vocal of all, it would be useless if nobody knows you.
Without further ado, let's start the countdown:


05. John Lennon (1940-1980)
Genre: Rock / Pop
Most Memorable Recording: "Imagine"
Followers: Ernie Halter, Tobias Fröberg, The Rosewood Thieves, Soraya, Keith Varon, Chris Tsefalas, Nellie McKay, Elan, Damien Rice, Jim Bravo, Benjamin Biolay, Amaral, Fernando, Bol, Andre Luiz, The Strokes, Chris Opperman, Ashley Park, Blessed Light, Kathy Fleischmann, Virgineers, Trashmonk, We All Together, Mark Lind, Chamber Strings, Micah Gilbert, Mind Reels, José María Cano, The Moles, Anton Barbeau, Kenny Howes, The Apples in Stereo, Yum-Yum, Sean Lennon, Gary Frenay, Andrew Wood, Scott Weiland, Brian Stevens, Ben Shepherd, Hector Peñalosa, Chris Cornell, Kurt Cobain, T-Bone Burnett, Terry Scott Taylor, Robin Zander, John Kay, Dwight Twilley, Three Dog Night, Tears for Fears, Matthew Sweet, Al Stewart, The Replacements, Mother Love Bone, Freddie Mercury, Let's Active, Julian Lennon, Lenny Kravitz, Robyn Hitchcock, The Fall, The Dream Academy, Cheap Trick, Chris Bell
Without question, John Lennon gave us some of the most enduring music of the previous century, yet everything he wrote appears destined for perpetual scrutiny. He left behind a massive catalog of some of the finest songs the idiom has to offer -- the bulk of which are acutely personal in nature. For the first half of the 1970s, Lennon was the angry and, at times, self-righteous protestor of everything from the war in Vietnam to getting out of bed. Songs such as "Give Peace a Chance," "Power to the People" and "Working Class Hero" -- powerful slogans and scathing indictments in their day -- have lost much of their bite, primarily due to their disturbing and perverse use in ad campaigns, something that would surely make Lennon purple with rage. The remainder of his solo output has a tendency to be spotty, but there are certainly some unmatched heights, from his perennial rocker "Cold Turkey" and signature song "Instant Karma! (We All Shine On)" to the tonsil-shredding masterpiece "Mother" and his pure pop comeback "(Just Like) Starting Over." With his trademark reverb-heavy vocals, the unapologetic exposure of his beleaguered emotions, and a lifelong fascination with the Chuck Berry riffs that initially inspired him, John Lennon gladly offered the world ringside seats to the overhauling of his psyche and, for a time, acted as an outspoken, prickly conscience to us all. His unfathomable murder in 1980 remains one of the most mourned losses in the history of rock 'n' roll.
Mike McGuirk
04. Bob Dylan (Born 1941)
Genre: Folk / Rock / Pop
Most Memorable Recording: "Like A Rolling Stone"
Followers: Rebecca and the Sunnybrook Farmers, Stereobus, Blue Dust Drifters, McCarthy Trenching, 1997, Dear and the Headlights, Yesterday's Ring, The Nightwatchman, Garland Jeffreys & Grinder's Switch, Cold War Kids, Dirt Road Logic, The Rosewood Thieves, Jewels and Binoculars, John Ralston, Patrice, Hotel Lights, Struck Down, The Drones, The Chrysler, Snakebite Orphans, Nightmare of You, Viking Moses, Brett Dennen, Slackstring, The Silent Type, Tom Brosseau, Elvis Perkins, Jennifer O'Connor, In the Country, Akron/Family, Stephen Fretwell, Ken Will Morton, T.K. Webb, The Only Children, Coque Malla, Karsten Rasim, Dietrich Kammer, The Falling Leaves, Ron Franklin, Vietnam, Holly Williams, Two Gallants, Andre Ethier, Langhorne Slim, Nathaniel Street-West, The Redwalls, Matthew Friedberger, Terry White, The Snake the Cross the Crown, The Fiery Furnaces, Deadstring Brothers, Phosphorescent, Elan, Jan Carlo DeFan, Damien Rice, Jason Isbell, Entrance, Steel Train, Jackie Greene, Lizzie West, Grey DeLisle, Our Religion, Mike Boyd, Gor Mkhitarian, Dorman, Keren Ann, Grey Revell, Thea Gilmore, Sixto Rodriguez, Lars Winnerbäck, Ulf Lundell, Octobre, Hoola Bandoola Band, Panhandle Pete, Aaron Persinger, Tom Marshall, Mason Jennings, Al Jones, Ike Reilly, Ferroblues, Prosthetic Aesthetics, Arlo Leach, Charlie Pangoniak, A.C. Cotton, Jaime Anglada, Meic Stevens, Tom McRae, River City Blues Band, Alastair Moock, Minibar, The Watergypsies, The Four Storeys, José Ramón San Juan, Jim Ramirez, Vending Machine, Raphael, Kevin Devine, Michel Montecrossa, Dashboard Confessional, Pete Bernhard, Lenore, Vashti Bunyan, Peter Kern, Eef Barzelay, Stefanie Fix, The All Golden, The Waybacks, Todd Grant, Little Wings, Kathy Fleischmann, Josh Ritter, Will Hoppey, Smokin' Grass, The Slip, Manfred Mann, El Destroyo, Phil Lee, The Baptist Generals, Echoboy, John Oszajca, Adam Snyder, My Morning Jacket, Bree Sharp, For Stars, Mark Erelli, Shannon Wright, Mary Lee's Corvette, The Crust Brothers, Tyler Burkum, Josh Joplin, Bocephus King, Matt Suggs, Bill Madden, Carlos Cano, Jörn Elling-Vuttke, Tim Easton, Gary Jules, Asteroid No. 4, Kyp Harness, Mike Lawson, Birddog, Jim Roll, Marah, SONiA, The Bacon Brothers, Floyd Red Crow Westerman, Emily Sparks, Will Oldham, Connie Evingson, Micah Gilbert, Mojo Heroes, Bill Fox, Rivermen, Doug Hoekstra, Edoardo Bennato, Grace Braun, Gabriela, Kiko Veneno, Gianmaria Testa, John Bunzow, Damien Jurado, The Optic Nerve, Mary Lou Lord, Bill Callahan, Hayden, Sophie Zelmani, Mojave 3, Fred Eaglesmith, Deana Carter, Denzil, The United States of America, Mouse & the Traps, Teddy Morgan, Bobby Sichran, Austin DeLone, Warren Zevon, Chris Wilson, Eddie Vedder, John Vanderslice, Townes Van Zandt, George Usher, Derek Trucks, Travis, J.D. Souther, Sonny & Cher, Patti Smith, Mike Silver, Bob Seger, Mike Scott, Dave Schramm, Mark Sandman, Shawn Pittman, Gerry O'Beirne, Mott the Hoople, Van Morrison, John Mellencamp, Roger McGuinn, Mike McCready, J Mascis, Nick Lowe, Los Lobos, J.P. Jones, Shannon Hoon, Jimi Hendrix, Ben Harper, Steve Harley, David Gray, Stone Gossard, David Freeman, Pink Floyd, Mark Eitzel, Dr. Robert, Francesco De Gregori, Carmaig DeForest, Jackie DeShannon, David Crosby, Eric Clapton, T-Bone Burnett, Duncan Browne, Captain Beefheart, Raimundo Amador, Kirtana, Jeff Buckley, Paul Westerberg, Los Secretos, Grant Lee Buffalo, Peter Nardini, Gasolin, Carlos Varela, Dan Bern, Bobby Sutliff, (Smog), Chris Kowanko, Freedy Johnston, PJ Harvey, Sheryl Crow, Country Joe & the Fish, The Wallflowers, Eric Ambel, Blind Melon, Don Michael Sampson, Stealers Wheel, Martin Simpson, Rotary Connection, Craig Nuttycombe, Barry McGuire, Phil Lynott, The Leaves, Barry Goldberg, Felt, Bill Fay, Rick Danko, Pete Atkin, Alpha Band, Nikki Sudden, Stackabones, Chuck Prophet, Jim Morrison, Santana, Michael McDermott, Joe Henry, Vic Chesnutt, Area Code 615, Zero, The Youngbloods, Neil Young, Yo La Tengo, XTC, World Party, Winter Hours, Jesse Winchester, Bob Weir, Was (Not Was), Tom Waits, The Velvet Underground, Suzanne Vega, Uncle Tupelo, The Turtles, Timbuk 3, Richard Thompson, Thin Lizzy, Them, Texas Tornados, Television, James Taylor, T. Rex, Sting, Rod Stewart, Al Stewart, Cat Stevens, Steely Dan, Squeeze, Bruce Springsteen, Joe South, Paul Simon, Simon & Garfunkel, The Silos, Jules Shear, John Sebastian, Doug Sahm, Leon Russell, Robbie Robertson, The Replacements, Lou Reed, Bonnie Raitt, Rage to Live, Gerry Rafferty, Procol Harum, The Proclaimers, John Prine, The Pretenders, Robert Plant, Tom Petty, Michael Penn, Graham Parker, Laura Nyro, Willie Nile, Randy Newman, Elliott Murphy, Joni Mitchell, Melanie, James McMurtry, Maria McKee, McGuinn, Clark & Hillman, Mazzy Star, Manfred Mann, The Lovin' Spoonful, Lyle Lovett, The Long Ryders, Lone Justice, Little Feat, John Lennon, Al Kooper, Kevn Kinney, John Kilzer, Paul Kelly, Rob Jungklas, Jules & the Polar Bears, The Jesus and Mary Chain, Vinnie James, Ian Hunter, Robyn Hitchcock, Peter Himmelman, John Hiatt, Don Henley, John Wesley Harding, Gunbunnies, Grateful Dead, Mark Germino, Bob Geldof, Jerry Garcia, Freiheit, Steve Forbert, Dan Fogelberg, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Flo & Eddie, Fish Karma, fIREHOSE, The Feelies, Fairport Convention, Melissa Etheridge, Joe Ely, Steve Earle, Dream Syndicate, Donovan, Dire Straits, Died Pretty, The Del Lords, David & David, Crosby, Stills & Nash, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Crazy Horse, Elvis Costello, Lloyd Cole, Bruce Cockburn, The Clash, Gene Clark, Tracy Chapman, Eugene Chadbourne, Exene Cervenka, Nick Cave, Peter Case, The Call, The Byrds, Buffalo Springfield, Tim Buckley, Jackson Browne, David Bromberg, Billy Bragg, David Bowie, The Boomtown Rats, The Blues Project, Blue Rodeo, Chris Bell, The Beatles, Beat Farmers, The Animals, Phil Alvin, 10,000 Maniacs, Phranc, Leslie Phillips, P.F. Sloan, Phil Ochs, Geof Morgan, Mark Heard, Richie Havens, Arlo Guthrie, Leonard Cohen, David Blue, Joan Baez, Steve Young, Kris Kristofferson, Chris Hillman, Rosanne Cash
Bob Dylan's influence on popular music is incalculable. As a songwriter, he pioneered several different schools of pop songwriting, from confessional singer/songwriter to winding, hallucinatory, stream-of-conscious narratives. As a vocalist, he broke down the notions that in order to perform, a singer had to have a conventionally good voice, thereby redefining the role of vocalist in popular music. As a musician, he sparked several genres of pop music, including electrified folk-rock and country-rock. And that just touches on the tip of his achievements. Dylan's force was evident during his height of popularity in the '60s -- the Beatles' shift toward introspective songwriting in the mid-'60s never would have happened without him -- but his influence echoed throughout several subsequent generations. Many of his songs became popular standards, and his best albums were undisputed classics of the rock & roll canon. Dylan's influence throughout folk music was equally powerful, and he marks a pivotal turning point in its 20th century evolution, signifying when the genre moved away from traditional songs and toward personal songwriting. Even when his sales declined in the '80s and '90s, Dylan's presence was calculable.
Stephen Thomas Erlewine
03. Louis Armstrong (1901-1971)
Nickname: "Satchmo"
Genre: Jazz / Pop
Most Memorable Recording: "What A Wonderful World"
Followers: Thomas Heflin, E Rick Rinaldi, Nathan Eklund, Sophie Milman, Matt Collar, Bobby Henderson, Thomas Gray, Floyd Campbell, Sam Wooding & His Orchestra, Sean Jones, Roberta Gambarini, Kenny Baker, Joe Hayman, The New Orleans Feetwarmers, Duke Heitger, Spirits of Rhythm, Ruben Rada, Ish Kabibble, Jeremy Davenport, Wendell Brunious, Snooky Young, Bob Wills, Terell Stafford, Cynthia Sayer, Nicholas Payton, Hot Lips Page, Wynton Marsalis, Dusko Goykovich, Gil Evans, Tommy Dorsey, Fats Domino, Magic Dick, Doc Cheatham, Billie Holiday, Benny Carter, Bix Beiderbecke, Kermit Ruffins, Paul deLay, The Original Salty Dogs, Wild Bill Davison, Coleman Hawkins, Howard McGhee, Pamela Polland, Clifford Hayes, Phil Wilson, Wadada Leo Smith, Khan Jamal, Alvin Alcorn, Jabbo Smith, Cootie Williams, Jack Walrath, Ross Tompkins, Cecil Taylor, John Stevens, Muggsy Spanier, Bob Scobey, Django Reinhardt, Enrico Rava, Joe Newman, Roscoe Mitchell, Lee Konitz, Jonah Jones, Harry James, Art Hodes, Terumasa Hino, Earl Hines, Erskine Hawkins, Lionel Hampton, Bobby Hackett, Stéphane Grappelli, Don Goldie, Dizzy Gillespie, Art Farmer, Jon Faddis, Harry "Sweets" Edison, Miles Davis, Kenny Davern, Bill Coleman, Buck Clayton, Clifford Brown, Ruby Braff, Lester Bowie, Bill Berry, Bunny Berigan, Charlie Barnet, Henry "Red" Allen, Tom Waits, Hoagy Carmichael, Nina Simone, Louis Prima, Harry Connick, Jr., Lonnie Johnson
"The Reverend Satchelmouth is the beginning and the end of music in America." So said Bing Crosby and how right he was because Armstrong is the single most important figure in twentieth century popular music. If there's an artist who wasn't directly influenced by his astounding improvisations, and most importantly, his phrasing, then he was influenced by those who were. Armstrong did more with time, nuance, and personality than whole armies of musicians. But forget about influencing others -- if his music doesn't fill you with tingles of joy and delight then you just may be dead. And don't fret if you are six feet under; Pops will be serenading you in heaven. For how can there be a heaven without Louis?
Nick Dedina
02. Frank Sinatra (1915-1998)
Nickname: the single finest interpreter of American standards
Genre: Pop / Jazz
Most Memorable Recording: "My Way"
Followers: Ray Quinn, Jonathan Poretz, Erin Boheme, Patrizio Buanne, John Stevens, Matt Dusk, David Campbell, Jamie Cullum, Michael Bublé, Götz Alsmann, Nicky DePaola, Ryan Dehues, Nestor Salgado, Bobby Wade, The Blue Dahlia, Bombay Jim and the Swinging Sapphires, David Leshare Watson, Eddie Metcalfe, Beto Cuevas, Big Bad Voodoo Daddy, Karel Gott, Jody Sandhaus, Nicky D., Pat Cisarano, Squirrel Nut Zippers, Tony Alamo, Danny Aiello, Smoking Popes, Joe Lee Wilson, Lakshminarayana Shankar, Hanna Richardson, Johnny Hartman, Mike Douglas, Duo Dinamico, Frank D'Rone, Scott Walker, Vic Damone, Norma Winstone, Jon Lucien, Tony Bennett, Barry Manilow, Dan Hill, Bobby Darin, Harry Connick, Jr.
Frank Sinatra was arguably the most important popular music figure of the 20th century, his only real rivals for the title being Bing Crosby, Elvis Presley, and the Beatles. In a professional career that lasted 60 years, he demonstrated a remarkable ability to maintain his appeal and pursue his musical goals despite often countervailing trends. He came to the fore during the swing era of the 1930s and '40s, helped to define the "sing era" of the '40s and '50s, and continued to attract listeners during the rock era that began in the mid-'50s. He scored his first number one hit in 1940 and was still making million-selling recordings in 1994. This popularity was a mark of his success at singing and promoting the American popular song as it was written, particularly in the 1920s, '30s, and '40s. He was able to take the work of great theater composers of that period, such as Jerome Kern, Irving Berlin, George Gershwin, Cole Porter, and Richard Rodgers, and reinterpret their songs for later audiences in a way that led to their rediscovery and their permanent enshrinement as classics. On records and in live performances, on film, radio, and television, he consistently sang standards in a way that demonstrated their perennial appeal.
William Ruhlmann
01. Elvis Prestley (1935-1977)
Nickname: The King of Rock 'n Roll
Genre: Rock and Roll
Most Memorable Recording: "Hound Dog"
Followers: Johnny Lee, Conway Twitty, Ry Cooder, Dave Edmunds, John Fogerty, Ian Gillan, Roy Orbison, Stray Cats, Gene Vincent, Whirlwind, Eddy Mitchell, Brother, Howard Carpendale, Tony C. & the Truth, Nino de Angelo, Peter Kraus, Phil Gray, Kickstart
Elvis Presley may be the single most important figure in American 20th-century popular music. Not necessarily the best, and certainly not the most consistent. But no one could argue that he was not the musician most responsible for popularizing rock & roll on an international level. Viewed in cold sales figures, his impact was phenomenal. Dozens upon dozens of international smashes from the mid-'50s to the mid-'70s, as well as the steady sales of his catalog and reissues since his death in 1977, may make him the single highest-selling performer in history. More important from a music lover's perspective, however, are his remarkable artistic achievements. Presley was not the very first White man to sing rhythm and blues; Bill Haley predated him in that regard, and there may have been others as well. Elvis was certainly the first, however, to assertively fuse country and blues music into the style known as rockabilly. While rockabilly arrangements were the foundations of his first (and possibly best) recordings, Presley could not have become a mainstream superstar without a much more varied palette that also incorporated pop, gospel, and even some bits of bluegrass and operatic schmaltz here and there. His 1950s recordings established the basic language of rock and roll; his explosive and sexual stage presence set standards for the music's visual image; his vocals were incredibly powerful and versatile. Unfortunately, to much of the public, Elvis is more icon than artist. Innumerable bad Hollywood movies, increasingly caricatured records and mannerisms, and a personal life that became steadily more sheltered from real-world concerns (and steadily more bizarre) gave his story a somewhat mythic status. By the time of his death, he'd become more a symbol of gross Americana than of cultural innovation. The continued speculation about his incredible career has sustained interest in his life, and supported a large tourist/entertainment industry, that may last indefinitely, even if the fascination is fueled more by his celebrity than his music. ~ Richie Unterberger, All Music Guide
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2 comments:

asni said...

this is a great review!!
harusnya mungkin lo nulis di majalah musik mungkin??

ngkak said...

You just forget to mention one of the best vocalist, dude. KURT COBAIN...!!

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