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Old 01-13-2009, 08:15 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Ten Great Vocal Performances

Good Morning Heartache- Billie Holiday
Billie Holiday's signature tune that showcases her extraordinary command of both jazz and blues vocal techniques.

Let's Get Lost-Chet Baker
Chet Baker is probably on nobody's best vocalist list but there is a winsome melancholy quality to his voice that is hypnotic. Baker's vocals inspired Elvis Costello to write Almost Blue as a tribute to Chet's vocal talents.

Ball and Chain- Janis Joplin
Janis Joplin's "take no prisoners" approach to this Big Mama Thorton song at the 1967 Monterey Festival made her a star.

That's Life- Frank Sinatra
Frank Sinatra was never a sentimentalist and his rendition of That's Life the evidence of the authenticity as a vocal stylist.

Nice Girls Don't Stay for Breakfast-Julie London
Julie London was the original bad girl and there is an alluring eroticism in nearly all her vocals including this 1957 song.

Doctor Feelgood- Aretha Franklin
This song was originally the B-side of Respect but in Doctor Feelgood Aretha summons all her multiple powers as a gospel, blues and soul singer. Dr. Feelgood was the song that always brought down the house in her live shows.

Stormy Weather- Peggy Lee
When I was younger Peggy Lee was considered to be an unhip remnant of the big band era. I confess that her seductive minimalist arrangement of Fever caught my attention, but her rendition of Stormy Weather recorded in 1947 at the peak of her vocal powers was stunning.

Don't Let the Sun Catch You Crying- Ray Charles
It's surprises me that Ray Charles' heartfelt rendition of this song seldom makes it to so few of the numerous anthologies of his best performances.

Indoor Fireworks- Elvis Costello
This elegant little country flavored gem from Elvis' 1986 King of America album demostrates Costello's genius as a crossover vocalist.

Changes- Phil Ochs
Phil Ochs was the golden boy of folk music before the arrival of Robert Zimmerman. Phil's voice was so beautiful and expressive, yet it's hard to select a single song from his repetoire that shows the full range of his talents.

You can hear 8 of my 10 selections at on this page at Last FM:
GavinBane’s Library – Users at Last.fm

The ten songs listed are by no means a list of my favorite vocalists or even my favorite vocal performances, rather a quick list of ten performances that immediately came to mind when I thought about the topic.

Comments on my selections are welcome or list your own favorite vocal performances. But if you post your own vocal performance list, I'd appreciate any comments on why you think your selected songs are great vocal performances.
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Old 01-14-2009, 02:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Here are some of mine.

Jeff Buckley - Everybody Here Wants You
Even though the music was added to his vocal track after his death, it does'nt detract from a vocal performance that is both incredibly sexy and tinged with melancholia. Falsetto has never sounded so damn good.


Radiohead - Fake Plastic Trees
A cliched choice for sure and what exactly is he singing about? That does'nt really matter. The voice just does'nt fit with Thom's image and that makes me love it even more. you don't have to be beautiful to sing beautifully. Of course the famous 'If I Could Be..' lines are something we have all probably associated ourselves with at some time or another.


John Martyn - Bless The Weather
Fanboy time again! I did want to choose another track but there is'nt good enough YT footage but this is equally as good. He never put's on a performance. He just put's everything out there. Fantastic artist.


Lamb - Gabriel
Basically I could fall in love with Lou Rhodes because of this performance. Her voice and lyrics seem to reach in and pull my heart out with the tenderness and cadence of her voice.


Percy Sledge - When A Man Loves A Woman
Another cliched choice but so what? I believe every single word he sings and especially in these days of manufactured ballads, the sentiments seem refreshingly honest.


The Four Tops - Reach Out (I'll Be There)
You only need to hear this song and you have known it all your life. Levi Stubbs had such a great voice. He almost seemed restrained and I would have loved to have heard him let rip.


Cocteau Twins - Blue Bell Knoll
Rarely has a voice added so much to a band. Her voice is an instrument in itself. I don't have a clue what she is singing about but that does'nt matter. It's original and much imitated since.


Not quite ten...
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Old 01-14-2009, 03:17 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Im sure Right Track would have some right belters for this thread. Get posting 'em!
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Old 01-14-2009, 04:01 PM   #4 (permalink)
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*this will be in no order at all.... since I couldn't possibly choose an order*


Koda Kumi - Candle Light
Candle Light (Live tour 2007)

Absolutely amazingly wonderful song.... so emotional, you don't even have to understand what she saying to know how emotional the song is. Her voice has always been recognisable and during this song she has this really quite croaky, raspy effect which really succeeds in creating such a tear-jerking song. I chose that performance of it because it was the first time I'd ever heard her performing the song and it moved me to tears (a feat in itself really), plus you can hear the power in her voice as well.


Koda Kumi - Moon Crying
Moon Crying (Live tour 2008)

This choice was mainly for this single performance of it. Another one of her performance that moved me tears and the fact that she started crying as well and yet still carried on performing with all her heart. This song also shows of how easily she can change her pitch and again you can hear that same power. You can also see how much the song effects the audience.

Ayumi Hamasaki - Memorial Address
Memorial Address (Live 2004)

This is the song that really brought on my love for this woman's music. My word if you do not feel something stir within you whilst watching it then you are not human. It's a very very powerful song and it's probably one of her best vocal performances ever. You can hear how much the song means to her just by listening to it. I'd really watch the performance to understand what I mean.

John Barrowman - What About Us?
What About Us? (Live on Children In Need)

Well, words simply cannot describe how incredible this man's voice is. This song is what really made me pay attention to him. You can't deny how talented he, how powerful his voice and what an amazing stage presence he has. The power in his voice is very clearly shown during this song and he never misses a note. Absolutely wonderful!

OLIVIA - a little pain
a little pain (Live at Nana Premium 2007)

Another woman with a very recognisable voice. Another voice that I absolutely love. It's the type of voice that at first you don't think it's that special, then after you've finished listening to a song you instantly want to hear more of it. The type of voice that just draws you in. This was the first song I heard from her and it was an instant favourite.

KOTOKO - Re-Sublimity
Re-Sublimity (Live tour 2004)

Single-handedly the best anime opening in the history of anime openings. And can that woman hold a note or what. It may not seem so difficult at first but try it and you'll be rather surprised. Her voice is very unique and holds a certain mesmerising tone to it that seems to make it instantly likeable. Aside from also being an incredible live singer, being able to hold those sort of notes have to be difficult and yet she makes it look so effortless.

ayaka - I believe
I believe (Live tour "First Message")

Hers is one of those voices that you can't help but love. It's very throaty, not at all like your typical Japanese singer. Extremely powerful voice and this voice shwos both the power and range of her voice. You don't need a fancy stage, or elaborate costumes in order to enjoy this performance. All you need is her voice and it'll be fantastic.

Utada Hikaru - COLORS
COLORS (Live tour 2006)

I used to think her vibrato was annoying but you soon come to realise that it's just a part of her singing style and that her voice is really amazing. It has a certain relaxing quality, it can be quite breathy at times, which I think is what makes it so relaxing. You can tell when she sings this song that she really puts her whole soul into it.

Bjrk - Pagan Poetry
Pagan Poetry (Live at Riverside Church in New York)

Definately my favourite song from her and I'm always amazed by the quality of her voice. Everybody knows that her voice is like marmite. You either love it or hate it, I for one love it but I haven't met a single person I've shown this clip to who doesn't agree that the vocals are simply stunning. Absolutely raw passion.

Hitomi Shimatani - Destiny ~Taiyou no Hana~
Destiny ~Taiyou no Hana~ (Live)

She's not actually one of my favourite artists to be honest, some of her music is a bit bland for my taste, but this song is different in the most amazing way. And her voice sound absolutely stunning, especially during the high notes, how she changes from that low to that high so smoothly I'll never know, but it's incredible nonetheless.



I think that's ten...... but it's a list anyway.....
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Old 01-14-2009, 04:58 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Kotoko and Bjork Although 'Play Dead' is still my fave Bjork vocal.
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Old 01-14-2009, 05:53 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CaseNumber:825 View Post
Utada Hikaru - COLORS
COLORS (Live tour 2006)

I used to think her vibrato was annoying but you soon come to realise that it's just a part of her singing style and that her voice is really amazing. It has a certain relaxing quality, it can be quite breathy at times, which I think is what makes it so relaxing. You can tell when she sings this song that she really puts her whole soul into it.
I love the stuff she did for Kingdom Hearts.

My Own Selection:

Neutral Milk Hotel - Two Headed Boy Pt. 2
Yeah people call Mangum a terrible singer and say he has a grating voice, but there is no song that conveys this much vocal emotion.
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Old 01-14-2009, 06:43 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Neutral Milk Hotel - Two Headed Boy Pt. 2
Yeah people call Mangum a terrible singer and say he has a grating voice, but there is no song that conveys this much vocal emotion.
lolwut

Jeff Mangum makes Steve Malkmus sound like Jeff Buckley.
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Old 01-14-2009, 07:01 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Here are some of mine.

Percy Sledge - When A Man Loves A Woman
Another cliched choice but so what? I believe every single word he sings and especially in these days of manufactured ballads, the sentiments seem refreshingly honest.

Cliched or not, this is a great song. I'm not a big fan of his voice in general, but this song and "I've Been Loving You Too Long" are two of my faves.
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Old 01-14-2009, 11:13 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Joe ****er - With A Little Help From My Friends, Live At Woodstock would be one of the greatest vocal performances of all time.
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Old 01-15-2009, 09:04 AM   #10 (permalink)
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lolwut

Jeff Mangum makes Steve Malkmus sound like Jeff Buckley.
I disagree, I think his voice may be somewhat of an acquired taste. I can understand why people wouldn't like it. If you'd like a more traditional pick out of me:

Sigur Ros - Svefn-g-englar
There's absolutely nothing like it. It's a perfect falsetto. Way ahead of its time.
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