What's the ultimate female vocalist setlist?

Discussion in 'Band Management [BG]' started by Bard2dbone, Feb 9, 2005.


  1. Bard2dbone

    Bard2dbone

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2002
    Location:
    Arlington TX
    We have a female lead singer. I do some lead vocals as well, maybe one song out of ten. And some of our tunes are duets that may or may not make sense: Sheryl Crow/Kid Rock - Pictures...makes sense. Big and Rich - Holy Water...makes less sense but it somehow works.

    But most of the covers I learned over the years have been male vocal stuff. (Um...duh?) What are some of the better female vocal or female possible vocal covers we should consider? For example: Respect is an obvious one. Midnight Train to Georgia is less obvious because I'm not the Pips. But I'll try it.

    I'm thinking of suggesting -

    Third Rate Romance - Amazing Rhythm Aces...we could alternate parts and duet it.
    Willie the Wimp - Stevie Ray Vaughan...sounds hilarious from a woman

    So think in those terms. What would be cool to suggest, would get a crowd response, maybe a bit surprising for a woman to sing, but possible?
  2. Rav

    Rav Supporting Member

    Joined:
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    Location:
    Saint Charles, MO
    One of the most startlingly strange songs I ever heard a female vocalist sing was The Police - Every Breath You Take. I must say as strange as it was it did sound cool.

    -Rav
  3. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2003
    Location:
    Burbank CA USA
    The ones that always seem to resonate with the crowds we play are "anything by Janis", like probably "Take Another Piece of My Heart" would probably be at the top of the list. And also the Alanis stuff seems to go over pretty well, people always respond to "You Oughta Know".

    But in terms of the more clever and creative stuff, there's a lot of possibilites. Lately we've been doing "Fever", and there's been a thousand takes on that, including a very off the wall but somewhat intriguing Latina version by Ann-Margret. When I'm playing with the jazz quartet, we usually do something closer to the Shirley Horn version, slow and sensual, and not at all agressive. Good dinner music, makes people look up from their steak and lobster. :D

    Also, there are "crossover" possibilites that seem to catch peoples' ear. You have to have a bold singer to do them though. Like some "guy tunes" that could probably be sung from the "chic viewpoint". Anything that glorifies women probably catches peoples' ears in that regard, and the guys seem to get very intrigued by that kind of thing.

    And there's always B-52's, if your singer can handle that kind of thing. Anything off the "Good Stuff" album invariably draws a huge cheer from the audience, as soon as they recognize the first few notes of the song. Lately we've been doing "Revolution Earth", it's a very difficult song (for a singer especially), but it seems to add lots of twenties to the tip jar. :D
  4. Rav

    Rav Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2004
    Location:
    Saint Charles, MO
    Other suggestions that might sound interesting with a female vocalist.

    Cheap Trick - I want you to want me.
    The Clash - Should I stay or Should I go.
    Don't let the sun go down on me - Elton John
    Santa Monica - Everclear
    Radar Love - Golden Earing
    Karma Police - Radiohead
    Rock this town - Stray Cats
    Wild Night - Van Morrison

    -Rav
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  6. Rav

    Rav Supporting Member

    Joined:
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    If you really want to crowd shock people do Foreigner "Cold as Ice"

    -Rav

    BTW Love this topic.
  7. mwm70

    mwm70

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2004
    Location:
    Baltimore
    We have a female singer and do alot of songs by male vocalists. She does a great job on:

    American Woman
    White Room
    Anyway you Want It
    Teen Spirit (Nirvana).

    Stuff at the bottom of her range the guitar player sings the proper octave and she replicates higher:

    Melt With You
    Sedated

    We are currently trying to stick with songs in her comfort zone but I think anything will go over if you do it well.
  8. the ombudsman

    the ombudsman

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    Eastern Townships, Québec
    Only a female singer can do Led Zep songs. We do a few of 'em.
  9. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Joined:
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    Burbank CA USA
    Agreed. No way could I get that high. Even with a pair of pliers between my legs. :D
  10. the ombudsman

    the ombudsman

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    Even Plant could barely reproduce his own songs live. I love Led Zep anyway. JPJ rules.
  11. buzzbass

    buzzbass Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Apr 23, 2003
    Location:
    NJ
    Although I'm not pictured on the website yet, check out the songlist from my new band. Our singer Amy does a real nice job with all of those song. Most of them aren't female fronted tunes and she still pulls it off great. Goodbieamy.com
  12. buzzbass

    buzzbass Supporting Member

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    NJ
    yeah, the folks who remember that tune will probably fall right out of their wheelchairs. LOL
  13. Finger Blister

    Finger Blister

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2003
    Location:
    Central Illinois
    This is a mix of set lists of Bands I've been in
    that had a Female Lead Singer.
    All sound excellent with a female voice.


    In The Midnight Hour - Wilson Pickett
    Respect/Chain of Fools (Medley) - Aretha Franklin
    Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around - Nicks & Petty
    Game Of Love - Santana/Branch
    Moondance - Van Morrison
    Gimme Some Lovin’ - Steve Winwood
    Black Velvet - Alannah Myles
    Where Would You Be - Martina McBride
    Fever - Peggy Lee (Smokey Jazz showcase for Bass & Vocals Only)
    Every Breath You Take - The Police
    Hold On, I'm Coming - Sam & Dave
    My Favorite Mistake - Sheryl Crow
    Proud Mary - (Any Version)
    Tell It Like It Is - Aaron Neville
    Knock On Wood - Otis Redding
    You're No Good - Linda Ronstadt
    Magic Man - Heart
    Kansas City - (Any Version)
    I Feel Good - James Brown
    Born to be Wild - Steppenwolf
    Knocking on Heavens Door - (Any Version)
    You Really Got Me - Kinks or VH
    Fleetwood Mac - You Make Loving Fun
    Edie Brickell and the New Bohemians - What I Am
    More Then This - (Roxie Music or 10,000 Manics version)
    Give Me One Reason - Tracy Chapman
    You Oughtta Know - Alanis Morrisette
    Roll With The Changes - Reo Speedwagon
  14. Aussiephoenix

    Aussiephoenix

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    Nov 9, 2004
    Location:
    Lisbon, Portugal
    Well, dunno if this is up your alley at all, but one of the female voices I like to hear the most is Skin formerly from Skunk Anansie.

    They have some wicked songs, and a GREAT female voice.
  15. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

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    I was thinking about stuff like "Some Kind of Wonderful". I've heard some interesting takes on that song. But the lyrics are definitely from a guy's perspective, at least the original ones are.

    "When she wraps her lovin' arms around me, it 'bout drives me out of my mind"... and etc

    I've heard some chic singers pull off that song, "in its native form". People who hear it, often think they're "crossing over" into a lesbian space or something. But the trick is, to present "just enough" of that so it's intriguing.

    For example, I've heard plenty of guys change the word "'arms" to "legs". And, that might go over okay, from a guy perspective.

    But a woman who does that, will probably cross the line into outright flagrancy, and in that case her "audience perception" will probably go right down the tubes, in much the same way that Sinead O'Connor's career did, when she crossed the line of outrageousness.

    "A little" outrageous is good. It's intriguing, and it catches the audience's ear. Cross the line, and your career might be over. :D
  16. Bard2dbone

    Bard2dbone

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    Arlington TX
    I can tell you that would be a non-starter. Joanna even vetoed 'Black Magic Woman' because she couldn't sing those lyrics and didn't want to be involved with the rest of us doing that song without her.
  17. Mike N

    Mike N Missing the old TB Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2001
    Location:
    New York
    May be a little to "pop" for what youre doing, but Avril's "Skater Boy" and The Donna's "Take it Off" worked well in a band I sat in with a few times.

    Other suggestions would be anything by Pat Benatar.
  18. The Nanny

    The Nanny

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2004
    Location:
    Ottawa, Canada
    Our female singer does a kick ass job of AC/DC's "Shook me all night long"...goes over HUGE, because it gets a whole "ooo is she straight or is she lesbian!" kinda buzz going on amoungst the men in the crowd. That song was built for a woman's voice.
  19. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

    Joined:
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    Burbank CA USA
    Heard, and understood. It was just a thought. :D

    What's your honest opinion of your singer's capabilities?

    Could she handle something like "Steve McQueen" by Sheryl Crow?

    Songs that people "know and love" are good. If you're looking at things from a chic perspective though, the "know and love" part might be a little different.

    The chic singer I'm working with now is amazing. The best part of it is, she doesn't even know it. :D

    She likes Pretenders (Watchin' the Clothes Go 'Round), Eurythmics (Missionary Man), stuff like that.

    Also she's way into the jazz thing. Her voice is perfectly tuned to that kind of thing too. :)
  20. Bard2dbone

    Bard2dbone

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    The stuff that matches her voice best is Fleetwood Mac/Stevie Nicks stuff, Early Sheryl Crow stuff, and the occasional Natalie Merchant stuff.
  21. nonsqtr

    nonsqtr The emperor has no clothes!

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    Excellent! All very good ideas. Anything off the "Rumours" album usually goes over real well, gets instant recognition. As long as it's done well (Stevie's a hard act to follow, in a way, at least she used to be). :)

    Some of the Sheryl Crow stuff has been a little overdone. My take on that would be, make something a little different out of it. Your singer can still zone in on Cheryl's vocals, even while you and your band are doing something a bit more imaginitive.

    Natalie Merchant is an amazing singer. I've heard her live many times, her studio stuff doesn't even come close to some of the stuff she can really do. It takes a good resonance to get her going, sometimes she can be a little reserved. :)

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