Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Here We Are Now Entertain Us

Did any of y'all see Adam Lambert's performance on the American Music Awards show the other night? Yeah. Boxer and I have been talking about how the performance wasn't shocking so much as it
was . . . kind of dumb. And most certainly poorly executed.

Adam may think he has license to operate in the shadow of Bowie and Bolan, Ferry and Mercury, Tyler and Plant, but what he doesn't understand is that those fellas weren't just about spectacle. That along with pushing the sexual envelope, they were also astounding musicians with the gift of great vocals. If Señor Lambert were smart, he'd concentrate on honing that voice of his instead of grappling with concepts that are at this point out of his reach. Because right now, he doesn't even have the ability to operate in Madonna's shadow.

Anyway, all this hoo-hah over Adam got me thinking about which men in rock and roll have delivered the most bang for our buck in terms of vocals. Here's my list. The top ten greatest rock and roll vocal performances, male:

10. Roger Daltrey, Who, "Who Are You?"
9. Lane Staley, Alice in Chains, "Man in the Box"
8. Paul Rodgers, Bad Company, "Bad Company"
7. Freddy Mercury, Queen, "Under Pressure"
6. Maynard James Keenan, Tool, "Sober"
5. Lou Reed, "Busload of Faith"
4. Eddie Vedder, Pearl Jam, "Jeremy"
3. Kurt Cobain, Nirvana, "You Know You're Right"
2. Chris Cornell, Soundgarden, "Outshined"

And the number one, all time greatest rock vocal performance:

Who would you put on your list?


VintagePurseGal said...

I don't have a list, but John Doe's voice always makes me... um... swoon.

Just wanted to say something about the Lambert thing. I didn't see it, but I heard about all the complaints. I'm wondering if it wasn't so much about the "sexually charged" performance, but the fact that he kissed a guy.

Pam said...

Oooooh, great list. Maybe not my kind of music for the most part, but I can play along!

First, let's talk Adam. Oh. My. God. Yes, I saw it. It was gawd-awful. I'm not easily offended but I found it offensive. Not the venue for it. Immediately noticed the similarities (is it the same song?) as the impressario sings in Cabaret? I swear, the Kymster and I saw this same act at a local theater a few years ago. How many mom's are gonna take their kids to see him in concert now? Of course, I always thought the Madonna kiss with Britney was a bit pedophilic (sp?) and totally creepy. Adam wasn't pushing any envelope that hasn't been done already. That was an MTV awards performance, not AMA. But again, my criticism of him all during AI was that he was too theater-like. Ugh. I hated it. I wish it had been censored before I saw it.

Meanwhile: My top ten male singing performances that rocked my world (in no particular order):

1. Steve Perry/Journey - Separate Ways and really anything from that time period. That man had it all.

2. Billy Idol (yeah, I know, but I loved this video) - White Wedding and Rebel Yell

3. Roger Daltrey /Who (dreamy) but I will go with "Wont Get Fooled Again", featuring one of the best screams in rock and roll.

4. Simon LeBon/Duran Duran (I can't help it) with Hungry Like the Wolf, Rio and Save a Prayer.

5. Justin Hayward /Moody Blues (Knights in White Satin; Isn't Life Strange)

6. Love watching David Gilmour/Pink Floyd in old concerts coming across the TV lately. He's understated but oh so in control.

7. Bruce Springsteen singing just about anything.

8. Bon Jovi in his Livin' on a Prayer era and hey, he's not bad now either.

9. Sorry, I know he's not everyone's cup of tea, but Bono/U2 captivate me and have since the beginning. I'll go With or Without You for sheer beauty.

10. Sting. 80's Sting, not harp-playing recent Sting. That stare he had in the video for "Every Breath you Take" ..??? *le sigh*

I left off McCartney and any other Beatle, just because it is too obvious for me!

h said...

I say fine ABC/DISNEY 3 million for showing that tripe. And an additional 5 million for lying about it. Fine Lambert for his whiny "discrimination" claim and complete self-absortion and lack-of-perspective.

I like most of yours and Pam's choices. If it was CAREER powerhouse vocals, I'd go with Paul Rodgers. "All Right Now" with Free was remarkable for a yute. While his current stuff is remarkable for an old war horse.

Jenny said...

You know how I feel. It was lewd, not hawt by any stretch of the imagination. Guess what arrived last night? Yup, my new Adam Lambert CD. I feel he was thumbing his nose at most of the people who pulled him out of crappy small joints in L.A. and gave him his chance Sunday night to be an idiot. Did you see the crowd stand when he came on stage? I bet they were sitting by the end.

As for your fabulous list, is there any room for Tom Jones on it?

*sigh* Now he's HAWT, never lewd.

Take a note Adam.

moi said...

Wendy: Which is the least of what bothered me. What bothered me was that in the long tradition of rock performers tweaking traditional notions of sexuality and gender in ways that are either funny or clever or truly disturbing, Lambert just did it kind of, clunkily. As for Doe: yes.

Pam: Great list. While I'm not much for Bon Jovi's music over all, I LOVE "Wanted Dead or Alive." Oh, and Jon should go ahead and feel free to return my phone calls any time now. Taps foot . . .

Troll: Isn't it interesting that Rodger's voice has hardly deteriorated in all these years? That he's sung with Queen is a pretty good indication of his mad vocal skillz.

Boxer: How much do I prize my original 1971 Parrot pressing of Tom Jones live at Caesars Palace? Heh: Cold. Dead. Hands.

Aunty Belle said...

Thar's a reason a horse-whip was invented.

Buzz Kill said...

I didn't see the "Lambert Incident" because I don't believe anything remotely good ever came from American Idol. This Lambert guy especially.
To add to your list of lead singers that can really sing, I would have to say (in no particular order and a couple are obscure):

1. Rob Halford/Judas Priest - Heading Out to the Highway

2. Graham Bonnet/Rainbow - All Night Long

3. Meatloaf - Bat Out of Hell

4. Steve Perry/Journey - Any Way You Want It

5. Bon Scott/ACDC - Shot Down In Flames

6. Tina Turner - Acid Queen

7. Freddie Mercury/Queen - Bohemian Rhapsody

8. Paul Rodgers/Bad Company - Good Lovin' Gone Bad

9. Dennis DeYoung/Styx - Come Sail Away

10. Christina Amphlett/Divinyls - Boys in Town

Heather Cherry said...

Sigh... Man in the Box... good memories. Didn't Staley die of a heroin overdose a few years back?

Adam Lambert's vocals sucked a big one. He didn't hit a single note correctly... especially when he tried to do the glam rock high screams. So. Lame. *yawn*

Jenny said...

bwahahahah to Aunty.

Aunty Belle said...

Happy Thanksgivin' Moi. Ya' can come to the table in them thigh high boots.

Milk River Madman said...

Happy T-Day Moi. Freddy's voice was magic! "Somebody to Love" is in my top ten of all time.

sparringK9 said...

mmmm paul rodgers...i love his voice on "silver blue and gold"

..."in the beginning, i believed every word that you said...."

and do you know kevin kinney from dryin' and cryin' for me, that southern sweetness is the voice of goodness and hope, though post obama i hate to use the word hope it has become trite and pat

and chris cornell is awesome.

now. on to adam lambert. the united states of america is the principal exporter of the most banal ugly egregious lackluster empty shite on planet earth. this is what we are about? youd think so since these are the people we pay to live fabulous lifestyles. the people we exalt put on the covers of magazines.

way back when i wrote on pams blog what i thought of adam lambert -ethel merman in a boy suit. only ethel merman was far sexier.

i didnt see the video i already knew what it would be.

i agree with TROLL id love to see ABC burned and real bad and id pay to see aunty horse whip this little eyeliner wearing punk. what a baby. hes about as sexy as my little pony sarah jessica parker.

moi said...

Aunty: Good one :o)

Buzz: Snicker at Tina and Christina, who is highly underrated, BTW. Great list, Buzz!

Heather: Yup; add him to the Rock and Roll RIP list, unfortunately.

Milk: Great song. It was difficult for me to pick just one of them, as all Freddie's performances are masterful.

K9: You called it, Dawg, that you did. For sure. Now, back to Chris Cornell. He doesn't return your phone calls either, I take it? Pouts.

h said...

Happy Thanksgiving!