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 Post subject: Re: Greatest R&B Male Vocalists
PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 1:05 am 
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No Isaac Hayes?


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest R&B Male Vocalists
PostPosted: Sun Jan 15, 2012 8:59 am 
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Hayes should definitely be on there. I wish Sampson would come back again...


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest R&B Male Vocalists
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 9:53 am 
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Location: http://thesportingview-kes.blogspot.com/


marvellous.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest R&B Male Vocalists
PostPosted: Mon Mar 19, 2012 11:22 am 
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That is just sublime.
Phenomenal voice.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest R&B Male Vocalists
PostPosted: Tue Apr 10, 2012 9:30 pm 
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So, Sampson, what do you make of this one?



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 Post subject: Re: Greatest R&B Male Vocalists
PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 7:53 pm 
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Negative Creep wrote:
So, Sampson, what do you make of this one?



They could make anything sound good, even elevator music with vanilla arrangements like that.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest R&B Male Vocalists
PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 8:04 pm 
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Nick-ola wrote:


marvellous.


Awhile back I put together a William Bell collection for some friends, since he's not really that well known in the mainstream. I tried making it a complete career overview and had stuff from when he was with the Del-Rios to start off his career, as well as live stuff and more obscure sides... anyway, everyone who heard it agreed that he was incredibly underrated and the one song that every single person said was their favorite was this one. It makes the hair on your arms stand on end. One girl I gave it to was singing it for weeks, almost nonstop. Even without Booker T. Jones stately piano, which adds a lot, the melody just carries the song along if you sing it acapella.

Interesting that there's no bridge in the song, which actually helps the tension builds even more by the final verses. I love that little "huh" he throws in early on too. James Carr did that on "Dark End Of The Street" and both songs wouldn't seem the same without it in there.

The definitive William Bell performance, without question, and he had some great ones.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest R&B Male Vocalists
PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 8:49 pm 
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Sampson wrote:
Negative Creep wrote:
So, Sampson, what do you make of this one?



They could make anything sound good, even elevator music with vanilla arrangements like that.


Is 'vanilla' your way of saying "white"? :lol:

On a different note, I have to raise an eyebrow at Otis down at #24. I know you're basing this list more on the technical aspect, but Redding is still considered by many to be THE soul vocalist of all time that simply defines/transcends his genre.
I'm really not even THAT big of a fan (I much prefer guys like Jackie and Sam), but Redding's status as a definitive soul vocalist is colossal.

I might also argue for James Brown to be raised, but that's a tough one. Maybe if originality and 'importance' were considered, I'd say he should be much higher.

And yeah that William Bell song was phenomenal. Spectacular voice.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest R&B Male Vocalists
PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 10:27 pm 
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Negative Creep wrote:
Is 'vanilla' your way of saying "white"? :lol:


Hah, no, it's just very by the book, standard arrangement - take away the vocal and it'll put you to sleep.

Negative Creep wrote:
On a different note, I have to raise an eyebrow at Otis down at #24. I know you're basing this list more on the technical aspect, but Redding is still considered by many to be THE soul vocalist of all time that simply defines/transcends his genre.
I'm really not even THAT big of a fan (I much prefer guys like Jackie and Sam), but Redding's status as a definitive soul vocalist is colossal.

I might also argue for James Brown to be raised, but that's a tough one. Maybe if originality and 'importance' were considered, I'd say he should be much higher.


I've always said the problem with ranking vocalists is there are two totally different definitions of greatness, one purely objective, which I leaned towards because taste doesn't enter into it, and Jackie Wilson, Roy Hamilton, Tony Williams, etc. do great in that. The other though is subjective, where we try and reach a consensus on things like conveying emotion and appraise their style. I agree Redding is widely believed to be the ultimate soul singer in that regard, but the problem with that is it's largely taste based, even if most people here share that taste.

A good rule of thumb to see the difference between the two forms of evaluating (objective/subjective) is to find a song done by the artist in question, maybe a remake of a popular song not quite suited for their style, and hear them do that if possible and then compare it to someone else who's considered to have a superior voice. For me that'd be something like "Tennessee Waltz" or "The Glory Of Love" by Redding. Both interesting performances, not without their quirky charm, but then listen to them by singers with better pure vocal skill, Sam Cooke on "Tennessee Waltz" and Rudy West of the Five Keys on "Glory Of Love", it's clear Otis wasn't able to match them objectively and he, more than anyone, KNEW that and you'll notice he pretty much poured on those tics and quirks, the overly long pauses repeating of syllables, throughout both songs to try and compensate.

Now that being said, the question most people would ask is, do you want a straightforward pure reading of a song with every note perfect, or do you want the singer to inject their personality into it, and most would pick the latter. However the problem with that in making an objective list is simple - the people who would pick the second option would also all have different singers they'd choose to bring their own unique style to those songs, and that means there can never be a consensus because it's reduced to the subjective tastes of each listener.

Otis gets credit for all of his quirks and his impact and influence, as far as it goes, but he was outclassed by a lot of singers in terms of just pure vocal ability, hitting notes strongly and clearly with good tone and resonance. That's what makes the vocalist rankings the hardest to get right on the site, because people LIKE certain voices and styles and nothing technical is going to change those tastes, but it's also never going to result in a consensus as to which of those voices and styles are the "greatest", so you gotta try and favor the objective standards if possible, even though it means a lot of legendary singers seem shortchanged by it.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest R&B Male Vocalists
PostPosted: Wed Apr 11, 2012 11:05 pm 
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Sampson wrote:
Jackie Wilson, Roy Hamilton, Tony Williams, etc.


Have you heard this Jackie Wilson gem?



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 Post subject: Re: Greatest R&B Male Vocalists
PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 11:11 am 
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From a purely vocal perspective, THIS is easily my favorite from Jackie...



his tone has never sounded better and more hypnotic.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest R&B Male Vocalists
PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:26 pm 
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Thanks for the comments on William Bell, Sampson. I'm enjoying quite a lot of OV Wright at the moment as well. Any particular thoughts on OV?


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest R&B Male Vocalists
PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:42 pm 
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Bruce wrote:
Sampson wrote:
Jackie Wilson, Roy Hamilton, Tony Williams, etc.


Have you heard this Jackie Wilson gem?



Yeah, the story on Baby Workout was when Jackie wrote it (one of the few songs he actually did write) he envisioned it much bluesier than the finished version turned out. He was talked into, or forced depending on your perspective, to accomodate that outdated swing band arrangement on it and got a huge hit out of it, so he wasn't complaining, but this version is definitely more in line with the way he supposedly wanted it to sound all along.

The question is, would it have been as big then, and would the song be thought of differently now had he gotten his way?

I say maybe to the former (probably more so with black audiences), though the overstuffed arrangement might've helped on the Pop Charts, and definitely yes to the latter.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest R&B Male Vocalists
PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 3:54 pm 
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Nick-ola wrote:
Thanks for the comments on William Bell, Sampson. I'm enjoying quite a lot of OV Wright at the moment as well. Any particular thoughts on OV?


I like O.V. Wright. His original version of the soul classic "That's How Strong My Love Is" is my favorite, which is saying a lot since Otis did a killer version too. That's one of my favorite records of that entire era in all of rock, and one of the best love songs in general. A perfect record really. He had some great sides, "Ace Of Spade" and "Nickle & A Nail" in particular. Wright had a slightly more bluesier style than most soul singers, which is a little surprising since he came directly from gospel. Could be that being on Don Robey's label had a little something to do with that.

Overall, Wright's a very underappreciated artist, not someone most casual fans of that time have even heard of, which is a shame.


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 Post subject: Re: Greatest R&B Male Vocalists
PostPosted: Thu Apr 12, 2012 4:10 pm 
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I'm enjoying his Willie Mitchell stuff - I can more or less listen to his productions forever, regardless of the quality of the material. In a slight digression I now adore his album with Solomon Burke.
Funnily enough, Sampson, I see O.V's name mentioned a lot by music journalists this side of the pond. Whether they're trying to be hip or what, it seems to pop up way more than his sales suggest it should.


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