Friday, January 16, 2009

Bunkhouse Top 100 Vocalist of All Time

In response to the collective opinion that Rolling Stone's rankings of top vocalists was pretty lame, we here at the Bunkhouse decided to put together our own top 100 list.

How we did it
: 12 people were asked to rank their 20 favorite/top vocalists of all time. The people selecting this list work in a wide range of professional fields: Historic home curating, English professors, youth ministers, family counselors, physicians, lawyers, accountants, stay at home dads, and football coaches.

The lists were compiled and rankings were averaged into this outstanding selection of top vocalists. I must say the absence of Bjork from our list makes the list better than RS by default.

Vocalists #79-60-- where the list goes to die.

When you have Jimi Hendrix, Elton John, and Paul Simon on the back end of the countdown, the big problem ahead is who and why other artists (most not as famous) ended up higher. The middle part of the countdown iS the soft underbelly, but if you look'll be able to see some real goodness at work with the selections.

79. Stevie Wonder- We all know Stevie, and love at least one of his songs. After a while, his voice is kind of white noise. He's a lot higher on other countdowns, but he was fortunate to make this list at all.

78. Chris Robinson-
The Black Crowes- In the mold of Lynyrd Skynyrd, as a nice Southern Rock band, their lead singer delivers a smooth note in harsh a Tennessee Sour Mash.

77. Roger Daltry- The Who-He's the front man on Baba O'Riley, My Generation, etc. You know him....just maybe not his name.

76. Bill Withers-
Same as #77. "Ain't No Sunshine" and a pretty outstanding, but not original version of "Lean on Me". You hear his stuff in almost any movie with romance or heart-break in it.

75. Jon Secada-
He's got a good voice, but his known music is few and far between; not to mention it's been a while since anyone has heard anything new from him.

74. Scott Weiland
- Stone Temple Pilots- His sound is unique. I'd wager most people would know who his voice from the first two or three notes of any song: Strong and painfully soulful.

73. Tori Amos
- I'm glad we can throw the feministas a bone every now and then....not that most of them like bones...Tori Amos is awesome though. Pigeon-holed....but awesome.

72. James Hetfield- Metallica- Fathered in and popularized heavy metal music and vocals that is still the archetype.

71. Luciano Pavarotti- Eat that, music establishment! An Italian Opera singer just blew some sorry American Rock MOFOs off the countdown....or he may have eaten them.

If you think about it, he should be on every list if genre is not a factor.

70. Adam Duritz- Counting Crows- Awesome band, original sound. Adam is an interesting dude. Check it out.

69. Eddie Vedder
- Pearl Jam- Again, a father of a kind of sound that is widely replicated, but never duplicated.

68. Dean Martin- Smoothness personified. The original lady's man. Only two "Rat Pack"ers on this count down. Weird.

67. Patty Griffin- The "Artistic Mother" of all kinds of major music stars today....Dixie Chicks, Martina McBride, Fiona Apple. She started a big folk/alternative country genre that is just really finding it's niche.

66. Axl Rose- Guns n' Roses- What would the countdown be without the man who brought us everything from "Welcome to The Jungle" to "November Rain"?

65. Jim Morrison- The Doors- Forerunner of tripped-out rock stars everywhere. His O.D. was the precursor to every "Celebrity Tragedy" we've seen. Good music, dark voice.

64. Michael Stipe- R.E.M.- There is something sadistic, yet insightful in his vocals. Can sing whatever rock genre song thrown at him, and helped link the rock movement to the metal movement in just one album.

63. Steven Page- Barenaked Ladies- Original music, original vocals, original lyrics. Funny guy, but his voice is serious. Can sound whiny at times, but has a huge range and is perfect for their brand of performance.

62. Billie Joe Armstrong- Green Day- His music comes off crazy, but it works, and his tone is better than you might think. See: "When September Ends" and "Boulevard of Broken Dreams."

61. Jimmy Buffett
- Drunks and potheads alike can combine their super powers into being a "Parrothead" while having an excuse to be that way in public when the next Jimmy concert comes to town.

60. Dave Matthews- The Dave Matthews Band- His voice is a total matter of preference, but you won't find many more relevant or all-encompassing bands around. They grooved out their own niche in music that was branded as "Hillbillies on Acid" by one Rolling Stone writer.

In response, Dave wrote "Tripping Billies" and never stopped touring, making his group the "Kings of Live."

That's our countdown to #60. The names only get bigger from here. Feel free to set us straight on a few selections.

Have a great Friday! We'll see you back here Monday Morning for 59-40.

1 comment:

Tiffany said...

Frankly, I'm happy to see that there are so many singers more recognzied by voice than name on this portion of the list. I think there is still a bit of a "Late Gen X" vibe to it, but it's a pretty inclusive list, all things considered.

(I can't believe Michael Stipe was this low on the list, though!)