Post by Fetty Mercury on Sept 6, 2017 19:10:58 GMT
As we all know there are many singers who were/are great in studio, but live could be very inconsistent (Freddie Mercury, Bruce Dickinson, Robert Plant) Who would you say are the ones who could cut it best on stage? Geddy Lee is a big one for me, during his peak years he consistently nailed the studio vocals live, though he could've had more off-nights given the small portion of bootlegs from Rush's 70s shows. However, from the shows we have from the time he sounds consistently excellent and has no trouble nailing demanding cuts like "Cygnus X-1", "Something For Nothing" or "Bastille Day". Unfortunately he weakened live after 1978 or so. Two others are Roger Daltrey and Jon Anderson, in their peaks they almost never had bad nights, and could easily sing demanding songs like "Baba O'Reily" (Daltrey) and "Heart Of The Sunrise" (Anderson), and even today in their '70s they still sound consistently good.
He's dead in the water vocally now, but Paul Stanley was absolutely unstoppable from 1988 to 2003. He could sing incredibly demanding passages (often a full step higher than the recorded versions on the 1970s' songs) and never once have I heard him struggling during that time.
Except for his post-retirement period, Sinatra was solid throughout his career up until age started creeping in. Then again, most crooners sound comfortable as their music doesn't really require them to push their range.
Prince, although he often dodged lower notes, had absolutely no trouble replicating his demanding falsetto and whistle notes in concert, and even turned in some of his best vocals ever just weeks before he died.
Sammy Hagar and Steven Tyler are both unstoppable as they approach 70. Great live singers who managed to keep their voices in tip-top shape.
Mick Jagger and Bruce Springsteen, while neither thought of as technically adept singers, have both managed to retain their classic tones and stamina well past their 'prime' eras, and are arguably better now than they were years ago.
I'd say calling Bruce inconsistent live is pretty harsh. There are a few notable examples of very poor performances, and a few general dips in quality at certain points (1987 was a rubbish year for him). But his general standard live has been solid if examining his career as a whole, and he's still doing himself justice even thesedays.
As far as other suggestions go, Little Richard has to be up there. It was only really in his seventies that he started to noticably decline. Even into his sixties, he was doing performances that were on par with studio recordings from his twenties. That "Good Golly Miss Molly" from Muhammad Ali's birthday was maybe even better than the studio version, and LR was 60 years old for that one.
1987-93 was a long stretch where I just don't think Bruce sounded that great. I can't listen to performances from that whole time period. (And yes, I am aware he was pulling out screams in the B5-D6 area back then, but his overall sound back then is unappealing to me).
Post by Fetty Mercury on Sept 6, 2017 19:42:02 GMT
Why I excluded Bruce is because even in the 1982-1985 period he rarely if ever nailed songs like "Flight Of Icarus", "The Trooper", or "Run To The Hills" live, and then on the 1986-1988 tours he sounded strained on pretty much everything.
Steven Tyler's definitely another name i'd consider as WizImp mentioned. King Diamond is another one, consistently able to replicate his classic falsetto live even today.
I'm going to have to say that Roger Daltrey is one of the best live singers because he does crazy belted high notes every time and absolutely kills it (at least in his earlier years). Pete Townshend is as good as Daltrey live he just doesn't do the same insane belts Daltrey was able to pull off in his prime years...
I can definitely agree with Jon Anderson, he's the most consistent singer I listen to. The worst I've ever heard him sound was a show in the early 70s where he's slightly raspy and trying to add weight to his voice, but he still sounded good.
Mickey Thomas is really good live, I've never heard him dodge the demanding E5s in 'Jane', and Jeff Buckley was pretty similar too. I think I've heard Adam Lambert's voice crack twice earlier on in his career too, and that's pretty much it.
Honourable mentions: Tom Jones, Eric Clapton, Mark King, Stevie Wonder, Neil Young, Stevie Winwood.