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Rolling Stone 100 Greatest Singers

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Posted by admin On November - 18 - 2008

-A.S. The Noverber 27, 2008 issue of Rolling Stone features the 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. I figured I would comment on their top-10, and then offer up one of my own.

1: Aretha Franklin: Anybody that knows me knows that I have a soft spot for all things soul music. Aretha is the Queen of Soul and deservedly so. There is also few things I love more than when song and dance break out spontaneously in a movie. One of my favorites is when Aretha busts out “Think” in Blues Brothers.

2. Ray Charles: In the morning, it takes a certain kind of music to get me going. Something to ease my brain into functioning. My go-to morning album is Ray Charles & The Count Basie Orchestra – Ray Sings, Basie Swings. That voice just soothes me. Add the fact that I regularly sing along to all of his greatest hits, and you will get no argument from me about Ray Charles being the second best singer of all time. Oh, and the best spontaneous song and dance scene from Blues Brothers features Ray Charles.

3. Elvis Presley: I cannot overstate the influence that Elvis had on singers and music in general. He took what was then considered black music, and brought it into the mainstream. He took the sexuality of Blues and R&B and infused it into pop music, influencing countless artists and many that fall in Rolling Stones top-100. I may not put him at 3 on my list, but he’s definitely in the top-10.

4. Sam Cooke: Along with Ray Charles and Jackie Wilson, Sam Cooke rounded out the Soul Pioneers unit of my first semester of History of Rock and Roll. I cannot deny the soul that oozes from his voice, but I prefer Wilson to Cooke. That may just be a personal preference, and I think it may have something to do with the more upbeat nature of Wilson’s songs.

5. John Lennon: I love the Beatles, and love that one is this high on the list. My only problem is that I would have picked Paul McCartney for this slot. John’s voice is sweet and displays emotion. They both have the range to go from ballad to rocker, and manage to pull off raw and polished. Some people are John guys and some are Paul guys. I guess I’m just a Paul guy.

6: Marvin Gaye: The soul in his voice was so versatile, it could be the vehicle for baby making music or inspire a revolution. His duets with Tammi Terrell are as good as it gets and some of the best material to come out of Motown.

7: Bob Dylan: Is that a joke? Yes, the man may have been the voice of a generation and is undeniably one of the greatest songwriters of all time. That does not make him one of the greatest singers of all time. A unique voice yes, but greatest singer? No. No questions asked. These people are idiots. Almost as dumb as saying that Simon & Garfunkel would be more fun to play as on Guitar Hero than Aerosmith.

8: Otis Redding: I think very higly of him. I wish Otis Redding could sing me to sleep every night. I would sleep like a baby. Not like it puts me to sleep, but that it fills me with calm. If you have never seen the DVDs of the Monteray Pop Festival, that is a traveshamockery. Otis Redding’s performace of “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long (To Stop Now)” with Booker T & the MGs is incredible.

9: Stevie Wonder: Out of the top-10, I have seen Stevie Wonder, Bob Dylan and James Brown. Stevie Wonder is the one that I am most glad to have seen. I don’t know if there is a voice more uplifting that his. I made it through an entire outdoor show in the freezing cold with mono, just by the sheer power of his voice.

10: James Brown: I may have seen James Brown too late in his career to ‘see the light,’ but I sure am glad I got the chance to see him. I wish I could have a spiritual experience so moving that it made me dance like that scene in the Blues Brothers. If you can’t tell by now, it’s one of my all time favorite movies.

100: Mary J. Blige: Vomit. The woman has an incredible voice, but she can’t sing. I have never heard somebody milk more notes than she does. It makes me cringe. Why everyone under the sun has agreed to collaborate with her is a mystery to me. I can think of four other current female vocalists I would put ahead of Mary J. Blige. Alicia Keys, Norah Jones, Joss Stone and Jill Scott all deserve to be on that list instead of her.

2 Responses

  1. Teibs Said,

    hahaha this list is great. did you just watch Blues Brothers, shorez? Still making simon and garfunkel guitar hero jokes? hahaha i can’t say they’re not warranted. I’m not disagreeing with you.

    Posted on November 19th, 2008 at 1:12 pm

  2. Shore Said,

    Can’t really remember when the last time I saw Blues Brothers was. Those are simply my favorite memories of those singers.

    Posted on November 19th, 2008 at 4:04 pm

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