Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Top 100 Vocalists (39-20)


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.

39-20
: En Vogue

At this point on any countdown there will be stark differences between where you or I think any of these artists should be (whether too high or too low). As we approach the pinnacle of our list, you will see certain timeless names and those who have not been around too long. The next 19 artists on the countdown will serve as the single biggest portion that will "date" The Bunkhouse Top 100. As you get toward the very top, you'll see a timeless theme start to develop.

It is probably best to start pointing to a singular song which best showcases the vocals of each artist. See if you agree.

39. Tim McGraw- He pumps out a lot of hits, but found himself type-cast as pure country when he ventured into pop for only a few songs. His voice is good, but his groove lives "Down on The Farm."

Showcase Song: Red Ragtop

38. Alanis Morrissette- No matter what you think of her, she can flat wail! Her songs are unique, and her most recent albums reflect some deep thought.

Showcase Song: Uninvited

37. Alison Krauss
- Timeless and crosses over to at least several genres.

Showcase Song: A Living Prayer

36. Karen Carpenter- The Carpenters- She either bores you to tears or brings out your inner pain. For me....snooze.

Showcase Song: Superstar

35. Garth Brooks- Was king of the country universe before the tonnage of Trisha Yearwood and Chris Gaines came crashing down on his head. Hit after hit after hit still tops his tarnished platinum crown.

Showcase Song: If Tomorrow Never Comes

34. Justin Timberlake
- Holla atcha boyzzzz! The kid from the "Dirty South" sung and danced his way from the mop-top N'Sync days to viral phenom with Andy Samberg, and now touring with some of the biggest names in the biz.

His showcase song is one of the most ruthless and objectively awesome tunes ever written. See why.

Showcase Song: Cry Me A River or D*** In A Box

33. Amy Lee- Evanesence- If you disagree with her very high spot on the countdown, go listen to her sing for a minute, then come back and talk.

This is a chick who has to do her own back up vocals because her voice is so strong and unique. Like a flood light in the darkest night.

Showcase Song: My Immortal

32. George Strait
- More sentimental and popular than a pure vocalist. He's good, but total genre made.

Showcase Song: Carrying Your Love With Me

31. Patsy Cline- The most famous and transcendent voice in the history of country music. LeAnn Rimes was a poor-man's Patsy, which is the only reason LR was popular for a while.

Showcase Song: Crazy

30. Christina Aguilera
- Her image totally overshadows her voice, but as voices go she may have the best one on this part of the countdown. Crosses into almost every genre. Great Timber, Pitch, and Volume to her sound. Awesome.

Showcase Song: Beautiful

29. Sting- Has kept up a top tier game going on 4 decades now. His famous tantric moments have slowed down almost all of his songs in the last 12 years or so.

Showcase Song: Fields of Gold

28. Bing Crosby
- His voice was the archetype for the term "Crooner". Smooth as silk.

Showcase Song: Dardanella

27. Ella Fitzgerald- She could sing a jingle for the phonebook and I'd listen to her. Classically timeless.

Showcase Song: Mack The Knife

26. Josh Groban- Pop meets Opera singer.

Showcase Song: Starry, Starry Night

25. Norah Jones
- She doesn't try to be all about public appearances, she let's her music speak for itself...and it does.

Showcase Song: Come Away With Me

24. Michael Jackson- Here he is, folks. Out of hiding to once again to sit on the throne as the "King of Pop". Too many hits, too much musical greatness to ignore.

Showcase Song: Billie Jean

23. Mariah Carey- Maybe out-Queened some other Mothers of Soul on this countdown, but her rank has more to do with still being on tour than timelessness.

Showcase Song: Hero

22. Ben Harper- I think if this countdown had been done in 1999 instead of now, Lenny Kravitz would have been at this exact spot.

Showcase Song: Waiting On An Angel

21. John Foggerty- Creedence Clearwater Revival- Another defining singer in an age that first started to see the factionalization of American Music. Personified Rock in the 60's and 70's, but transitioned into country music recently, as he found little room in other genres for story-telling music.

Showcase Song: Who'll Stop The Rain

20. Ronnie Van Zant
- Lynyrd Skynyrd- Versatile and smooth. Can be fun, can be soulful, and can blow the doors off any building.

Showcase Song: Tuesday's Gone
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We'll wrap up this music odyssey on Friday. It won't disappoint.

5 comments:

Nathan said...

Fields of Gold....excellent call.

Tiffany said...

Good choice with showcasing "Uninvited." On her latest album, "Not as We" almost challenges it as the most amazing display of her vocals, which I think bolsters her place on this list for any naysayers out there.

Your showcase choices for Justin Timberlake made me laugh so hard I almost cried. Good call.

I love me some Ella F., but more from her "Mac the Knife" performance. With no disrespect to such a hands-down-amazing vocalist, I have to say that I repfer the Etta James version of "At Last," though Ella's is nothing to sneeze at.

As far as #23 goes, I'll admit that she's got pipes but just liked the world so much better when she was a joke.

And finally, with John Foggerty, I think "Second Hand News" might challenge "Who'll Stop the Rain" in my book. But I think that's just testament to the man's incredible talent that he can even count both such amazing songs to his name.

J. Canterbury said...

The inclusion of Amy Lee is a homerun! She has a vocal strength unmatched by anyone born after 1975, yet is rivaled by Christina and Martina McBride.

Nice work, all.

Alan said...

Am I thinking of the same Alanis Morisette? Like, Jagged Little Pill Alanis Morisette? PPPPBBBBBBLLLLLLLTTTTTT!!!!!!

The best entertainment she ever did was getting slimed on "You Can't Do That on Television"

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