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 Post subject: Re: Greatest R&B Male Vocalists
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 7:40 pm 
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Sampson, any chance to update or revise?


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest R&B Male Vocalists
PostPosted: Thu May 31, 2012 8:17 pm 
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Sampson wrote:
Nick,
Since I know you're a fan of Van Morrison and he wrote this, I wonder what you thought of it. I always thought Freddie Scott was very underrated overall.



I absolutely loved that.
I swear, 60's soul is the best. THE BEST!


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest R&B Male Vocalists
PostPosted: Fri Jun 01, 2012 11:57 am 
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This post is mainly for Sampson.
I gotta say, since this list places more emphasis on skill, and less on "importance", I think Tony Williams could move above Gaye, and probably Cooke too (Sam only beats him in influence and phrasing).
Hell, if it were up to me, I'd put him at #2 probably.

I say this not as a fanboy of Tony, but he totally KILLS in each of these criteria you've established. I'm not sure how well-versed you are in the technical aspects of singing, but Tony was one of a kind.
His dynamics are absolutely incredible, probably even on par with Jackie. Few singers of his era could transition from soft-to-loud (and loud-to-soft) like he could.
Phrasing. His melodies are to die for, especially the way he does those little soulful flourishes in some songs (like Cooke always did).
Power. Now THIS is where he really excels. Like Jackie, again, he had an immensely resonant, operatic belting style. And when he let loose, it's like you could almost feel the ground shake beneath your feet. Listen to his version of You'll Never Walk Alone if you doubt me.
Versatility. I haven't heard all of his discography yet, but so far he definitely seems more versatile than Gaye and Cooke (not Jackie though, as JW was the most versatile soul singer of them all).
Emotion. Obviously it's subjective, but this is his strongest asset as a singer. Again I mention his version of You'll Never Walk Alone. I've heard four other versions - Elvis, Jackie, Roy Hamilton, and the Righteous Brothers - and Tony's version stands head and shoulders above them all. It moved me to tears.
Range. Obviously, his range speaks for itself. He could belt up into the upper 4th like it was nothing (probably into the lower 5th octave too).
Influence. This would be the only area, imo, where Cooke and Gaye would beat him.

Anyway he is just the PERFECT r&b singer to me. Never a wasted note, every word is always sung with meaning and passion.
Plus being the lead singer for one of the 5 most legendary vocal groups ever is certainly a little bonus.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest R&B Male Vocalists
PostPosted: Sun Aug 25, 2013 7:50 am 
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Sampson,

I'm making a personal playlist of the best vocal performances of all time. I wonder if you could tell me 2 or 3 best vocal performances of the following singers:

Sam Cooke
Clyde McPhatter
Marvin Gaye
Otis Redding
Ray Charles
Little Richard
Al Green
Smokey Robinson
Tony Williams
Roy Hamilton
Solomon Burke
James Brown
Levi Stubbs
Eddie Kendricks
Wilson Pickett
Little Willie John

Thanks!


Last edited by Bruno on Mon Aug 26, 2013 9:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Greatest R&B Male Vocalists
PostPosted: Mon Aug 26, 2013 9:28 am 
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Add Little Willie John. ^


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest R&B Male Vocalists
PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2013 8:21 am 
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Bruce, if you can help me here too, I would be grateful.

What I have so far:

Sam Cooke
- A Change Is Gonna Come
- Cupid

Clyde McPhatter
- Just Hold My Hand
- You'll Be There
- When You're Sincere

Marvin Gaye
- Let's Get It On
- I Heard it Through the Grapevine

Otis Redding
- Try A Little Tenderness
- (Sittin' on) the Dock of the Bay

Ray Charles
- Crying Time
- I Got A Woman

Little Richard
- Long Tall Sally
- Tutti Frutti

Al Green
- Let's Stay Together
- Love and Happiness

Tony Williams
- Only You (And You Alone)

Roy Hamilton
- You'll Never Walk Alone

Levi Stubbs
- Ask The Lonely

Solomon Burke
- Cry To Me
- Everybody Needs Somebody To Love

Little Willie John
- Fever

Wilson Pickett
- Hey Jude

----
Still nothing:

Smokey Robinson
James Brown
Levi Stubbs
Eddie Kendricks


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest R&B Male Vocalists
PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2013 12:23 pm 
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Bruno wrote:
Bruce, if you can help me here too, I would be grateful.

What I have so far:

Sam Cooke
- A Change Is Gonna Come
- Cupid

Clyde McPhatter
- Just Hold My Hand
- You'll Be There
- When You're Sincere

Marvin Gaye
- Let's Get It On
- I Heard it Through the Grapevine

Otis Redding
- Try A Little Tenderness
- (Sittin' on) the Dock of the Bay

Ray Charles
- Crying Time
- I Got A Woman

Little Richard
- Long Tall Sally
- Tutti Frutti

Al Green
- Let's Stay Together
- Love and Happiness

Tony Williams
- Only You (And You Alone)

Roy Hamilton
- You'll Never Walk Alone

Levi Stubbs
- Ask The Lonely

Solomon Burke
- Cry To Me
- Everybody Needs Somebody To Love

Little Willie John
- Fever

Wilson Pickett
- Hey Jude

----
Still nothing:

Smokey Robinson
James Brown
Levi Stubbs
Eddie Kendricks


For Otis Redding, "You Don't Miss Your Water" (awesome volume control, tons of emotion).
For Clyde McPhatter, "Without Love" (not nearly as good as Elvis' version but still great)
For Tony Williams, "Moonlight Memories" and "You'll Never Walk Alone".
For Roy Hamilton, "You'll Never Walk Alone".
For Smokey Robinson, "Tracks Of My Tears" and "I Second That Emotion".
For James Brown, "Try Me".

Bruce and Sampson can help with the rest.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest R&B Male Vocalists
PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2013 12:46 pm 
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"Hurt" by Roy Hamilton is also really good.
"That's Where It's At" and "Bring It On Home to Me" would be for picks by Cooke, and I will think about the rest later.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest R&B Male Vocalists
PostPosted: Sun Sep 01, 2013 1:02 pm 
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Thanks, guys!


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest R&B Male Vocalists
PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 12:59 am 
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Bruno wrote:
Sampson,

I'm making a personal playlist of the best vocal performances of all time. I wonder if you could tell me 2 or 3 best vocal performances of the following singers:


Sam Cooke - The Night Beat album contains his best vocals, because the arrangements let his voice breathe. It's mandatory listening, especially "Lost And Looking". I'd say his absolute peak was him with the Soul Stirrers, especially the live 8 and a half minute "Nearer To Thee". My favorite though is "Somebody Ease My Troublin' Mind", which was released as a B-side posthumously. It should've been an A-side and a Top Ten hit, it's stunning.

Clyde McPhatter - With groups. The Dominoes "Have Mercy Baby" and The Drifters "Lucille". His solo take on "Without Love" kills Elvis's IMO (and Elvis's opinion). I always liked the opening and closing accapella refrains on "You Can't Stand Up Alone", though the bulk of the song is weighed down by sappy female choruses. For a great late career track get "Crying Won't Help You Now", which is mid-60's uptown soul at its finest.

Marvin Gaye - The National Anthem before the NBA All-Star Game in 1982 is riveting. "I Heard It Through The Grapevine" and "What's Goin' On" are his masterpieces, but a slightly overlooked gem from that same era is ""Too Busy Thinking About My Baby", he's so laid back at times in it, but when he bears down and hits the falsetto it gives you chills.

Otis Redding - For vocals I'd take "That's How Strong My Love Is" as his best, other than the Live from Monterey versions of "I"ve Been Loving You Too Long To Stop Now" and "Try A Little Tenderness". One of my favorites is the lesser known "Look At The Girl", he exudes sheer radiant joy with that.

Ray Charles - again, something live captures him best. "Drown In My Own Tears" from Ray Charles In Person in 1959. But my absolute favorite track of his is "I Don't Need No Doctor", as pure a funky workout as he ever gave off.

Little Richard - With Richard, his hits are SO well known and his exuberant style is almost a caricature by now, so I always lean towards different styles he did, slower stuff, more emotional, so in that regard my choices would always be "Send Me Some Lovin" and "I'm Just A Lonely Guy" from the 50's and maybe his most acclaimed lesser known track from the 60's "I Don't Know What You've Got, But It's Got Me".

Al Green - The Belle album. The whole thing. Trust me! But individual cuts, "Belle" and "Feels Like Summer" from that album are sublime. Al never really changed, all of his vocals are of such uniform high quality that you can pick anything, from any era, and it stands up to anything else. He was like a machine vocally. Another good choice is his take on "God Is Standing By".

Smokey Robinson - "Tears of A Clown" and "Ooo Baby Baby are perfect, but predictable choices. More leftfield selections might be "What's So Good About Goodbye" for a ballad and "Come Round Here I'm The One You Need" for something uptempo .

Tony Williams - "My Prayer" is his best, and "Smoke Gets In Your Eyes" not far behind.

Roy Hamilton - "Angelica", "You'll Never Walk Alone", or for pure rock "You Can Have Her". A rare cut that is fantastic is "Ain't It The Truth", an authentic soul side from the mid-60's that I wish he had delved into more at that point of his career.

Solomon Burke - "Cry To Me", the transition he makes on the line "In the night" is so smooth and perfect that you just keep waiting for it breathlessly each listen. Another that has that same effect is the slow burn he does towards the end of "Baby Come On Home". Brilliant. For uptempo I love "Home In Your Heart", but again, you gotta hear him live and the medley of "Take Me Just As I Am" and "I Can't Stop Loving You" from Soul Alive is amazing, though it really needs to be heard in the context of the entire album. His gospel sides are great too and the full five and a half minute "Peace In The Valley" from the album Take Me, Shake Me is incredible. The one found on Youtube is that same performance, but they cut the last part of it off for some reason, which is criminal and detracts from the overall experience too much to take.

James Brown - With James its never about vocals, he just wasn't a great singer, but the live "Lost Someone" from Live At The Apollo is his tour de force. "Try Me" for his best vocal on a studio cut. Also if you can find it (it's on Roots Of A Revolution) the undubbed "Oh Baby Don't You Weep" is him at his best, but they put in fake crowd noise for it when it came out as a single, which kills it. In his funk years, something like "Mother Popcorn" is really good, but by then his voice was shot and it was all about the rhythm.

Levi Stubbs - "Bernadette" and "Reach Out, I'll Be There" are his two most acclaimed vocals for good reason. Overplayed, but not overrated.

Eddie Kendricks - "Girl Why You Wanna Make Me Blue", "Just My Imagination", "Please Return Your Love To Me" (but you need Ruffin too in order to hear the Tempts at their best, so "My Girl", "Since I Lost My Baby", "Get Ready" and "(I Know) I'm Losing You" would be good choices for him).

Wilson Pickett - I'll pick a few unexpected cuts for Pickett. "Three Time Loser", "I'm In Love", a very tender "Cole, Cooke & Redding" and for the single best scream ever captured on a rock record, the fade of "I Found A True Love".

Little Willie John - "Suffering With The Blues" (turn it up too, his voice has a frightening natural echo to it on this). "Fever" is truly every bit as good as it's reputation. The way he inhabits that song is unreal. "Talk To Me, Talk To Me" will also floor you.


Last edited by Sampson on Mon Sep 02, 2013 9:46 am, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: Re: Greatest R&B Male Vocalists
PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 8:57 am 
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Sampson wrote:
His solo take on "Without Love" kills Elvis's IMO (and Elvis's opinion).


Presley's version is untouchable, and I say that not just because I'm a fanboy. The combination of his powerful voice and all those soaring female vocals just makes it...otherworldly. At times it almost sounds like a choir of angels.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest R&B Male Vocalists
PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 9:08 am 
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Thank you very much, Sampson, great performances. Really helped me to make this playlist. :tiphat:

Some of these songs I don't hear for a long time.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest R&B Male Vocalists
PostPosted: Mon Sep 02, 2013 9:23 am 
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By far the best version of this song I've heard. I thought Hamilton's version was amazing, but this is just...transcendent.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest R&B Male Vocalists
PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 12:45 am 
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"Nearer My God To Thee" and "Home in Your Heart" are insane.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest R&B Male Vocalists
PostPosted: Sun Sep 15, 2013 10:45 am 
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Bruno wrote:
"Nearer My God To Thee" and "Home in Your Heart" are insane.


By Cooke?


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