Discussion in 'Odds & Ends' started by AM28143, Jan 23, 2008.
Take a stab at it! Based on my avatar, you should be able to determine my pick.
Deleted. Carry on. . .
Bjork and Tom Yorke. Unorthodox delivery but very artistic.
Not familar with Bjork, but Tom Yorke is a great pick.
maybe mozart or vivaldi...if you're talking about fairly contemporary people, maybe coltrane or miles davis
Well if you were in an airport and you see this elfin looking woman and you try to take her picture and then you get attacked, that's her lol.
Mozart and vivaldi are composer's. They played well, but that wasn't how they made their legacies.
Based on stories and not recordings, I'd have to say Niccolo Paganini.
I'd say Jimi Hendrix is up there too.
Leaving academic musicians behind, and focusing on contempo artist, I have to say:
* Prince (he's GOD)
* Michael Jackson
* Jeff Buckley (amazing singer, guitar player and composer)
* Freddie Mercury (incredible singer, composer, arranger, piano player and frontman)
Not bad but take a guess who's the best?
I would have to say Bob Dylan was the most prolific writer of all time, but as a performer, jeez, half the time you don't know what song he is singing.
Live performers in the pop field would have to include Bruce Springsteen, The Stones and Elton John. Their library of music is so vast, everone gets to hum along to something.
dedan's penthouse (he's GOD)
I'm 'writin' down' yo' Mozart Midnight Mile
Who you calling GOD?!!.....I'm not God Sentinel....YOU'RE GOD!!!!
(speaking of God: a little self-deprecating humor)
Q: What's the difference between Dedans Penthouse and God?
A: God doesn't think he's Dedans Penthouse
on-topic: Wolfgang Amadeus would be my all-timer...with slicebhcompliment a close 2nd..
btw, here's a website that you music lovers might want to check out--it's a "vault" of concerts by your favorite artists (none of Mozart himself, unfortunately--think about it: wouldn't that have been cool to be able to see the real "Grand Masters--Bach, Beethoven, Mozart et al--"LIVE" LOL on DVD?). Anyway, check this out:
www.wolfgangsvault.com (click on the "Concert Vault" hotlink on the top toolbar--enjoy!)
Boston, so tom scholz and brad delp
OMG I CAN'T BELIEVE NOBODY HAS MENTION THE GREATEST OF ALL TIME!
Is Nadal now a musician? Did his loss against Tsonga force him into an early retirement?
Greatest what? He didn't even write his own songs... :?
He was a great entertainer, and an above-average singer, but no way he was the GMAOAT.
You know I'm right. I know you love Elvis, but credit to where its due. Elvis was an amazing frontman, a great entertainer, and good singer, and a poor musician.
Peter Gabriel, Freddie Mercury, Prince or MJ owns him everytime.
The Beatles, Prince, Kurt Cobain. Also, Michael Jackson and Stevie Wonder. Heck yeah Elvis is up there. I'm assuming this thread is about musical artists and not singer-songwriters.
As long as they accompany their lyrics with at least one musical instrument, singer-songwriters can be included. So names like Dylan, Guthrie, Ochs, Cash and Taylor are fine.
Love, MUSIC and food: the 3 univeral languages...
Partly what makes a great singer are those 'voices' who also know how to "phrase" a song and in doing so, take a musical piece to another level altogether--sometimes turning a "nice song" into an all-time classic. THOSE 'voices' (imho) are musicians of the first order. For example, Marah Carey? Technically, that crusty bed-bug has "the pipes" ..... yet at the same time, her over-the-top Mimi Ripperton-esque show off warbling especially at the end of many of her songs doesn't strike me as very "musician-ish" (imho). Put it this way: as 'voices' go, Mariah ain't no Joe "60 Minute Man" Williams; then again, few--imo--are in that "classy" class. (your "mileage" may vary regarding that opinion and I admit that there's no accounting for personal taste, etc..
Hey!....I can't believe nobody mentioned Joey Ramone! Now, THERE'S a singer~! Yes, like Elvis, he got by partly because of his *cough* GOOD LOOKS, but the guy -- give him credit -- could "phrase."
"Hey daddy-o!.....I dunwanna go....down to the base!"(ment)
"Now I wanna sniff some glue....now I wanna have somethin' to do!"
I love listening to (and playing) J.S. Bach's Tocatta & Fugue in D Minor, but I also love listening to "Mr. Smooth" himself; Joey Ramone as well.
Sometimes, we take things for granted. Take ears for example....think of all the beautiful 'gifts' they've exposed you to. So the next time you see an ear, say something nice to it...
Soulja Boy *
True. Like Sinatra, to me not a great voice, but a great singer because of his impeccable phrasing. And then there are people with great tonal quality, like Randy Newman or Ray Charles.
I don't mind Mariah that much. I actually think her singing has improved over the years. Anyway, incredible mic technique, and I think she's underrated because of her technique, there's something about that level of proficiency that makes the music seem insincere. Maybe Celine Dion and Steven Speilberg get hammered for the same reasons. Beyonce might be underrated, too. We all know she's gorgeous, but that girl does some interesting things with tone in her singing, very subtle, she goes off key and then reconciles within two measures perfectly. Another underrated singer, Natalie Maines of The Dixie Chicks. And so on.
Other Honorable mentions in the voice department include in no particular order: Freddie Mercury, Jay Black, P.J. Proby.
The problem I have with Celine Dion, Beyonce and others like them is that they don't write their own songs. In order to be considered a great musical artist, one should, IMHO, peform material they wrote. There are so many people who sing well, but so few great songwriters. There are hundreds of girls who, if given the chance, could sing just as well as Celine Dion or Beyonce. However, there are few individuals able to write songs as well as Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, Neil Young, James Taylor, John Lennon or Paul McCartney.
And, BTW, what's up with the new Avatar? Some fat and strange looking guy over Hemingway. What's up with that.
Johnny Cash is probably my vote off the top of my head.
But then you disqualify most classical artists. The "I write my own stuff therefore I am credible" ethos is really particular to rock culture, not pop music as a whole.
Both Whitney and Mariah's really damaged her voice through the years. Which is a shame because Mariah could do pretty clean runs and had perfect access to her whistle register. Mariah's lost a lot of range in her chest voice, so now she does that cooing/whispering stuff using more of her head voice. She used to have such a beautiful, warm tone too.
Among male rock singers and just raw singing ability, I like Jimmy Gnecco best, above say Thom Yorke and Matt Bellamy. I think he tops out at 4 octaves, whereas his friend Jeff Buckley was about 4.5 octaves, and his singing influences include Mercury, Bono, Morrissey, and even Sarah McLachlan. Gnecco loves to do Roy Orbison and Queen covers live.
If you're talking about greatest vocalists, I'm not sure Thom Yorke or Matt Bellamy would really be in the mix. I'm a rock/pop fan-other than instrumental jazz, it's my favorite form of music. But as a contemporary rock/pop fan, I have to give credit to an artist outside of the genre just for sheer talent and ability to find his way around a song: Frank Sinatra. If you're a fan of great singing and can appreciate a voice from another era, then listen to this guy. The phrasing, the arrangements, the timbre of his voice. He's absolutely sublime; the best vocalist ever.
It should be. Writing songs is the most difficult aspect of the musical process.
How can someone say Beyonce is more talented than say, Neil Young? There are 1,000s of girls who could do the same thing as Beyonce, but most probably aren't good looking enough. Neil Young, on the other hand, is unique and orginal because the words he sings are actually coming from HIS heart.
Yeah, I was just speaking from personal preferences.
if we're talking about all-time great vocalist, then you have to throw in Sinatra, Ella, Sarah, and especially Billie. If we're talking about great soul/non-gospel interpreters, Al Green is probably my favorite, over Arethra, Otis, Marvin, and Sam.
I also like Al Green a lot-would probably give him a slight edge over Marvin Gaye. Aretha is, IMO, the best female vocalist ever.
Michael Hedges (guitar)
I know a lot of rock fans feel that way, but I find that sentiment is myopic and in line with "rockist" (yeah, that's a word now) musos. By that token, that would make the songwriters from Steely Dan by far the best artists because they wrote complex melodies worthy of Bacharach and acidic lyrics worthy of Sondheim.
Even when citing Dylan, there are literally 1000s of English majors across the country who went through their TS Eliott/Plath phase can and have write Ginsberg and Rimbaud into their poems and tunes. For example, Lou Reed. Songwriting is only one facet of that artistry.
Also, if you figure in the effect of punk culture onto rock, there was a marked move away from complex song structure and melodics and stuff. Which I think contradicts the notion that artistry must be qualified against "how difficult it is to make it."
Not a big fan of Neil Young as a songwriter. (LOVE him as a guitarist) His lyrics sometimes too self consciously pandering to that which would be popular with critics or prevailing rock culture.
Similar thing with Springsteen, who wrote terrific narratives but when writing in his current coffessionary style, falls onto cliches and same Springsteen-ian images.
I respect your approach, and I understand where you're coming from. However, I don't understand your "complex song structure" argument. Just becasue something is more complex, doesn't make it better. Cormac McCarthy, IMO, is a much better writer than Dan Brown, even though Dan Brown constructs more complex storylines. Complexity doesn't always mean quality.
Agree with you about Springsteen, but disagree with you about Young. Just my opinion, though.
Right, and because some aspect of artistry is "harder" (i.e. more complex"), also doesn't make it better than other aspects. This is what I disagree with rock musos, who make a big stink about how other "lower" pop musics (like hip-hop or straight pop artists) don't make their own music, but then they get defensive from jazz and classical musos who complain about how everything is so "simple" and "uneducated" (i.e. lack of formal training) in rock music. They want it both ways because they want to assert the unique circumstances of rock music culture as more "important."
I'm actually a big Springteen fan, but I just feel he gets a EZ pass because he was so big and important for so long. Well, at least, in American circles. In British muso circles, they're much harder on him.
The ultimate artist, in my opinion, is Bob Dylan.
Other than that: Hendrix, Love (& Arthur Lee), Lou Reed (& the Velvet Underground), John Coltrane, Sonny Rollins.
I also give an honorary position to David Bowie.
Among some heavier & contemporary stuff: Opeth, Iron Maiden.
Couldn't argree with you more.
I think a case can be made for James Brown.
Even looking at pop stars today like Usher and Justin Timberlake, the way they turn out song and dance almost like a one man show, goes back to Brown. And of course, the moonwalk was HIS.
The truly radical notion that political and socially conscious music could/should also be sexy, party music was what the folkies at Newport Convention hated on Dylan, and continues on with MIA today.
His grooves have been appropriated for 40+ years by rock musicians, dance artists, and hip-hop artists. His emphasis on repetition, rhythm, and call+response catchphrases (i.e. funk) dominated popular music since WW2.
I don't agree with this. And I think you can be a great musical artist by composing alone without ever performing your own material. Likewise, I think you can be a great filmmaker simply by being a director, not even writing your own movies.
But it's not just about singing technique. To be a star you need star quality. Without it, nobody will even know about you enough to put you down. Even Robert Allen Zimmerman knew that image was important.
See, I really wouldn't know. I don't even like a few of these guys. So much about experiencing and evaluating music is intellectualizing a gut reaction.
Dylan's really special in that he was bigger than the genre itself. Meaning, he could have gone into soul, country, blues, or stayed as folk (by 65, he was already seen as Woodie Guthrie's heir), and in any of those genres elevated them within the popular imagination. He happened to choose rock music -- which was not looked well upon by the beatnik counterculture or folk bohemia -- and in return spurned the maturation of pop music as a whole.
Within rock music itself, in terms of influence and legacy, the only other rock songwriter that I put close to that level of Dylan and Macca/Lennon, is Morrissey. Over Pete Townsend's adolescent epics, Bowie's sci-fi lullabies, Weller's class warfare, Davies's empire elegies, and Roger Walters' metaphysical self-loathing. The reason is Morrissey did all that, and he deflated all that. He snarked at that; he preened at that; he developed a rock lyricism derived from distinctivly Brit traditions like Noel Coward and Oscar Wilde, blending the ironic connection between outrage and humor like few aside from Elvis Costello. He could be effeminate and narcissistic and a celibate glam ****, charming and very insufferable, but at the end of the day, write for the masses against the classes. Above all, he got more than 20 years of British artists to want to do the exact same thing, and in doing so, help force a cultural split between American rock and British rock. After 1985, America started looking away from the UK, and the UK started to assert its own rock tradition.
Paul McCartney: One of the all-time best songwriters ever, great singer, advanced the state of the art for electric bass, competent on guitar, piano and drums, and a decent record producer. And some females thought he was the cute one.
Good point. However, you must agree that writing and performing, or writing and directing is a greater accomplishment than just doing one of the two. Therefore, I think the "greatest" musical artist should be able to do both.
Dylan knew image was important, but evidently, he never cared. After gaining international fame as a topical folk singer, Dylan told everyone to "f**k off" and bought an electric guitar. Eventually, in some respects, the move allowed Dylan to become more popular, however, nobody including Dylan believed that would happen at the time. Dylan did that because he was sick of “himself and all of his creation” and wanted to do something different, to change his already popular image, despite the fact he knew he would lose some fans. Dylan was one the few artists to not sell out to popular demand. Unlike Beyonce or Mariah Carey, Dylan didn’t care what people thought about him and there is something to be said about that. Unlike so many today, he dared to be different.
And that’s what our argument stems from, different taste in music. Music tastes are as subjective, more so than taste in literature or movies, and everyone has a different approach to what makes great music. I guess we “feel the same, but we see it from a different point of view.”
Stevie Wonder (Genius)
Separate names with a comma.