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 Post subject: Re: Greatest R&B Male Vocalists
PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 1:04 pm 
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Really great list!

One suggesion from me is that Edwin Starr could crack into the lower end of the list. His voice is really powerful, and he is still known for his huge hit "War". He was also one of the most important Motown-artists for all his hits songs, and popularity back then!

Info about Starr's early career and hits:

The song which began his career was "Agent Double'O'Soul" (1965), a reference to the James Bond films, which were popular at the time. Other early hits included "Headline News", "Back Street", a cover of The Miracles "Way Over There", and "S.O.S. (Stop Her On Sight)". He recorded more soul music for the next three years before having an international hit in "25 Miles" (1968), which peaked at #6 in the United States the following year.

The biggest hit of his career, which cemented his reputation, was the anti-Vietnam War protest song "War" (1969). Starr's intense vocals transformed a Temptations album track into a #1 chart success, which spent three weeks in that top position on the U.S. Billboard charts, an anthem for the antiwar movement and a cultural milestone that continues to resound a generation later in movie soundtracks and hip hop music samples. It sold over three million copies, and was awarded a gold disc. "War" appeared on both Starr's War and Peace album and its follow-up, Involved. Involved also featured another song of similar construction titled "Stop the War Now", which was a minor hit in its own right.

Moving to England in 1973, Starr continued to record music, most notably recording the song "Hell Up In Harlem" for the 1974 film, Hell Up in Harlem, which was the sequel to Black Caesar, an earlier hit with a soundtrack by James Brown. In 1979, Starr reappeared on the charts with a pair of disco hits, titled "Contact" and "H.A.P.P.Y. Radio". "(Eye-To-Eye) Contact" was the more successful of the two, peaking at #65 on the U.S. pop charts, #13 on the R&B chart, #1 on the dance chart, and #6 on the UK Singles Chart. By now he had joined the well-established disco boom, and had further singles out on the record label 20th Century Records. Over the years he released tracks on many labels including Avatar, Calibre, 10 Records, Motown (a return to his former label for a 1989 remix of "25 Miles"), Streetwave and Hippodrome.


I think he could definitely have a chance into the ending part of the list, he has influence/impact/reputation and his voice surely is good! :parrot:


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest R&B Male Vocalists
PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 1:09 pm 
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Yousha wrote:
I think it is....


I think it’s not. Take for example this guy that I recently found out about. That is pure feeling and I guess everyone will be touch by such a great performance.



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 Post subject: Re: Greatest R&B Male Vocalists
PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 3:56 pm 
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Echoes wrote:
Sampson wrote:
ability to convey emotion


Great criteria. I try to include this element on the Guitarists forum but I couldn’t convince them. They say it is too subjective. What do you think?


I agree. It's one of the most subjective criteria I ever use, which is why I don't like it. But any vocalist list has subjective factors because singing is something that appeals to different people for different non-objective reasons. The only way you could make a vocalist list entirely objective is to simply have every singer do scales basically and rate them for their ability. Obviously that's not going to happen. What I've tried to do with the subjective criteria is give greater weight to their reputations within music circles for those areas, rather than me or anyone here saying I think they do well in such and such an area.

On the whole when making lists you try your best to remove the subjective factors, so I would never be in favor of adding something more subjective when it is not needed. Here it is needed simply because of the nature of singing itself. But that doesn't mean I like trying to factor it in.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest R&B Male Vocalists
PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 3:59 pm 
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Timitzii wrote:
Really great list!

One suggesion from me is that Edwin Starr could crack into the lower end of the list. His voice is really powerful, and he is still known for his huge hit "War". He was also one of the most important Motown-artists for all his hits songs, and popularity back then!

I think he could definitely have a chance into the ending part of the list, he has influence/impact/reputation and his voice surely is good! :parrot:


I had him on the old list but removed him for some newer artists. Starr was very good, but my feeling was to try and keep the list confined to 100 rather than just keep adding names, that way it becomes a more objective argument one voice versus another. It's tough keeping some of those names off, but I think the list works better when it's tighter. So someone's gotta convince me using direct comparisons versus someone already here.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest R&B Male Vocalists
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 10:10 am 
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Yousha wrote:
Sampson , we at the vocal thread decided to give 50 % of the importance to influence/impact when making a 'greatest' list, do you agree with that ?? If so , then I would ask the placement of Stevie Wonder , cause I would assume him to be much higher than he is....


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest R&B Male Vocalists
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 11:43 am 
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Echoes, did this guy win x factor 2009? I could look this up, but feeling a bit lazy. That was impressive.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest R&B Male Vocalists
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 12:13 pm 
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cougar wrote:
Echoes, did this guy win x factor 2009? I could look this up, but feeling a bit lazy. That was impressive.


He lost in the semifinals. And I agree, it is an impressive performance!


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest R&B Male Vocalists
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 12:16 pm 
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Echoes wrote:
cougar wrote:
Echoes, did this guy win x factor 2009? I could look this up, but feeling a bit lazy. That was impressive.


He lost in the semifinals. And I agree, it is an impressive performance!


I agree, really soulful singing!


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest R&B Male Vocalists
PostPosted: Tue Nov 23, 2010 1:36 pm 
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Yousha wrote:
Sampson , we at the vocal thread decided to give 50 % of the importance to influence/impact when making a 'greatest' list, do you agree with that ?? If so , then I would ask the placement of Stevie Wonder , cause I would assume him to be much higher than he is....


Umm, he might jump three or maybe four spots on my list here if it was 50%, but he wouldn't get higher than that, the guys in the Top Ten all have him beat in those areas. If you actually do give half value for that, McPhatter knocks Jackie out of the top spot. Hands down the most influential vocalist in rock history, he basically set the standard for the way all singers approach rock songs. All of the improvising and personal flourishes that exist outside of what's written stemmed from him "taking liberties with the melody". That was bizarre in 1950 where vocalists followed what was written, but ever since then it's hard to think of a singers who wouldn't deviate from what's on the page and inject their own style on a song. He basically showed how to deconstruct a song and then rebuild it by your own design. Jackie himself was actually TAUGHT to do this by Clyde when both were in the Dominoes briefly before McPhatter left to form the Drifters and Jackie took his place.

So be sure when you are settling on the criteria you know what it will reflect. Influence in vocals is very hard to come by but there are a handful, McPhatter, Hamilton, Plant, who have SO much that it will elevate them enormously.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest R&B Male Vocalists
PostPosted: Thu Nov 25, 2010 11:16 am 
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This guy is a great singer!!!!!!!!!!!!!



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 Post subject: Re: Greatest R&B Male Vocalists
PostPosted: Sat Nov 27, 2010 12:33 pm 
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Finally got to hear Live At The Apollo in it's entirety.
James' voice totally embodies 'raw soul' more than anyone else, imo. Holy shit, the lack of technique and delicacy is almost made null-and-void by the soaring intensity in his vocals.
Gotta love the Elvis-imitation on "I Love You, Yes I Do" as well...


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest R&B Male Vocalists
PostPosted: Sun Dec 05, 2010 4:40 pm 
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7Xh9EFxCkpA

This is only minorly related, but has anyone ever heard Geechee Dan by the NYC subway? He's a homeless guy with a hell of a voice.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest R&B Male Vocalists
PostPosted: Sun Dec 19, 2010 3:39 pm 
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Looks like Sampson has already took another 'vacation' from the site.
Wtf? I don't get it.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest R&B Male Vocalists
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 5:09 am 
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Justin Bieber fo sho


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest R&B Male Vocalists
PostPosted: Sun Feb 20, 2011 2:30 pm 
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Great list, Sampson.

My only quibble might be that Prince seems a little low; I'd have thought he was worthy of the Top 20, in fact. He does quite well in the criteria, particularly: vocal range, dynamics, ability to convey emotion, versatility, and uniqueness. Songs like "Adore," "The Most Beautiful Girl in the World," "God," "Kiss," and "How Come U Don't Call Me Anymore" really demonstrate his vocal mastery.

Again, good job with the list.


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