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Thread: Underappreciated Vocalists

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    On Edge Piel's Avatar
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    Underappreciated Vocalists

    JonnyCoop got me thinking with the comments about Connie Francis in the What Song Are You Listening to Now thread. There are lots of singers who didn't get the recognition they deserved. Maybe they were lost in a group, bad management kept them from the record deal where they would shine, drugs got to them, or they refused to sleep with Berry Gordy or Phil Spector . Turn the rest of us on to the voices you love.

    My favorite singer of all times is the late David Ruffin of Temptations. This guy could sing the phone book and it would sound good. The Tempts didn't have a breakout hit until he hooked up with them in 1964. Success, ego, and drugs caused infighting and his departure from the group. Though still under contract to Motown, Berry Gordy held his work and released it on Motown's lessor labels. Ruffin had short lived reunions with The Tempts and toured with former Tempts Eddie Kendricks and Dennis Edwards until his death from a drug overdose in 1991.

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    MY TVC 1 5 SeaniBu's Avatar
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    I think these maybe aprechiated, but I don't often hear them when some one is saying, "these have a great voice."

    Chrissy Hine
    Shirley Manson
    Rob Halford
    Nina Persson
    Tori Amos

    Just some that come to mind as great voices that have popular music that don't get mentioned much. I am sure this list could get much longer. But all the rest that are coming to mind now, I hear getting credit quite a bit - Freddy Mercury, George Michael, Patsy Cline, Faith Hill, Shania Twain - oop now my mind is getting themed... Man I feel like a woman!

    Neat thread Patti!

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    In my heart, I'm actually Canadian....
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    Since SeaniBu mentioned her -- am I the only one who thinks Shirley Manson sounds like Debbie Harry? I swear she does, but every time I say that to someone (even with a Garbage song playing in the background), they just can't hear it.

    I'd like to use this thread as an opportunity to mention Matraca Berg. Who, you may ask, is Matraca Berg? Which is one reason I'd like to mention her. Ms. Berg is an extremely talented country singer/songwriter who should be better known; she had a minor hit about 15 years ago with "The Things You Left Undone" but that's about as far as it went; she to my knowledge doesn't even have a recording contract at the moment. Her voice is like a combination of Bonnie Raitt and Linda Ronstadt, and she writes terrific songs that really tell great stories in a very clever way; it's more traditional country as opposed to that "Nashville Pop" that has taken over the genre.

    Whatever happened to Crystal Gayle? Truly a marvelous voice, but you don't hear much about her anymore. Much like Connie Francis, she had her heyday, but her voice seems to have been forgotten.

    I think that Christina Amphlett, lead singer for the DiVinyls, has a terrific voice, but she is hardly ever mentioned when other terrific vocalists of the 80s (Annie Lennox, Debbie Harry, Martha Davis of the Motels, to name a few) are talked about. Regina Belle was a marvelous R & B singer whose career never really took off; she has kind of an Anita Baker thing going on, but IMO she's better than Anita Baker. And Chaka Khan is a true American original who never seems to get enough praise.

    On the male side, Andy Bell of Erasure has a fantastic, soaring voice that sends chills down my spine. And Chris Isaak, too, has a fantastic voice, but his songs are just a little too mopey even for my taste. After buying his 4th album, I said "I'll buy your next one if you promise to get on Prozac or something....." And I always thought that from a vocal point of view, Corey Hart was always underrated; he was rather dismissed as a teenybopper icon from the 80s but THE MAN CAN SING. Or at any rate could; I haven't heard him lately.

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    MY TVC 1 5 SeaniBu's Avatar
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    I have always thought Shirley Manson sounds like Debbie Harry and Chrissy Hine together. Shirley said that those were two of her biggest influences - Manly Chrissy I believe because of her style. And a number of times she uses Pretenders Lyrics and melodies in her singing. I also thought she was great with the Pixies but didn't have a chance to shine as much.

    Your other mentions of Bonnie Raitt, Linda Ronstadt, Martha Davis are so true. I think that Annie Lennox does get a lot of recognition already but I can't say I was ever fond of Crystal Gayle, but do think she had a great voice. Helen Ready is one we don't often hear much about anymore either.

    I also like Mazy Star, Feona Apple (even though I think she acts kinda gross) and Hazel Miller - and don't hear them mentioned much.

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    In my heart, I'm actually Canadian....
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    Oh, yeah, Helen Reddy, forgot all about her. Despite the fact that I have her "Greatest Hits" album. I think she set a record for recording the most songs ever about mentally disturbed women....

    "Forgot to mentions" from previous post: Siouxsee Sioux, of Siouxsee and the Banshees. She apparently is supposed to have one of the widest vocal ranges of all recording artists of the period. I'd love to hear her sing an album of standards or the like, as a departure. (I'd also like some innovative dance couple to discover Siouxsee and the Banshees; they have recorded a lot of stuff that would make for some truly innovative free dances.) Also Margo Timmons, lead singer for the Cowboy Junkies. Their cover of "Sweet Jane" is one of the best vocal performances ever, IMO.

    And what about Mary Wells? WOW!! Anyone ever hear "Bye Bye Baby"?? One of the greatest vocals of all time in the R & B genre.

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    MY TVC 1 5 SeaniBu's Avatar
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    That brings to mind Natalie Merchant, Dolores O'Riordan and Johnette Napolitano. Voices that make my heart quiver with delight!

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    On Edge Piel's Avatar
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    Mary Wells. Her "My Guy" was the first hit for Motown records and she was only 15 years old when she signed with them!

    Here is a link to Mary's website. Go to music to sample "Bye Bye Baby", an other hits by Mary Wells.

    [URL="www.cmgww.com/music/wells"]www.cmgww.com/music/wells[/URL]
    Last edited by Piel; 07-15-2006 at 04:22 PM.

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    In my heart, I'm actually Canadian....
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    Quote Originally Posted by SeaniBu
    That brings to mind Natalie Merchant, Dolores O'Riordan and Johnette Napolitano. Voices that make my heart quiver with delight!
    Natalie Merchant -- fabulous. Dolores O'Riordan -- great voice, but I can't get past my friend Dana referring to her as "Lead Singer With Tourette's" (ZOM-bie!!!! ZOM-bie!!!! ZOM-bie!!!!; it's that delivery sometimes.). Johnette Napolitano -- have heard the name, can't place the band....????

    TAYLOR DAYNE. She, however, like Whitney Houston is done in by the Great Voice Wasted On Crap Songs syndrome.....

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    MY TVC 1 5 SeaniBu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonnyCoop
    Johnette Napolitano -- have heard the name, can't place the band....????
    Concrete Blonde

    "Joey, .......baby, ........don't say...."
    Last edited by SeaniBu; 07-15-2006 at 10:34 PM.

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    On Edge Piel's Avatar
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    Sam Cooke (sigh)

    listen to "Bring It On Home to Me" d*** that man could sing!

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    Custom Title Joesitz's Avatar
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    Piel - I'm not a pop enthusiast but pop singers get mucho publicity. I kind of remember one of the Temptations as committting suicide. Is my memory correct?

    Joe

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    In my heart, I'm actually Canadian....
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    Quote Originally Posted by Piel
    Sam Cooke (sigh)

    listen to "Bring It On Home to Me" d*** that man could sing!
    Which reminds me of Solomon Burke, who was terrific too but is seldom heard of at all.

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    MY TVC 1 5 SeaniBu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JonnyCoop
    .....Tourette's" (ZOM-bie!!!! ZOM-bie!!!! ZOM-bie!!!!; it's that delivery sometimes.).
    The song Linger, often plays in my mind as "..Did you have to pull my finger"

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    On Edge Piel's Avatar
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    Paul Williams was found shot in the head with the gun in his nondominate hand. His death is listed as a suicide but family and friends deny that. He had developed a drinking problem was thought to be recovering and was back to recording and performing. Paul was the dancer and did a lot of the early choreography. Cholly Adlkins was the official one but most of the moves came from Paul.

    The Temptations miniseries that was on TV was based on the book by Otis Williams (no relation to Paul), the only living member of the original or "classic five". He along with Suzanne Depasse who was Gordy's right hand were executive producers IIRC. So what you got was Motown's....Berry Gordy and Otis' version of the truth. Lots of misrepresentations in the miniseries.

    Tempts fans are hoping that Dennis Edwards who replaced Ruffin in 1968 and is still living will write an autobiography and shed more light on the subject.

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    Da' Spellin' Homegirl Grgranny's Avatar
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    I had no idea Paul W. was no longer with us. What a shame. He was so talented.

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