1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

Non singing musicians on vocals

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by powderfinger, Jan 4, 2013.

  1. powderfinger


    Feb 24, 2009
    So, this thread was propmted by a video I saw of Jeff Beck performing with Eric Clapton. Beck actually did lead vocals on the song they were playing (Hi Ho The Silver Lining, was the song). I never knew prior that Jeff Beck ever sang, but he really wasn't that bad. He kind of sounded like Keith Richards and Ron Wood when they sing, but with a bit more range and melody. So Beck falls into the "can sing, but doesnt sing" category.

    Conversley, Kenny G (Ive always wondered what he sang like), claims he cannot sing, and hence does not. He falls into the category of "can't sing, and doesn't sing". Plus, I suppose it's hard to play the alto sax and sing at the same time.

    Jimmy Page. He sings back up on Communication Breakdown and a couple of other songs. Nothing great. I guess he's in the category of "maybe can sing, would be interesting to see".

    So any other musicians you guys have wondered, "hmmm, I wonder if he can sing"? OR any non singing musicians you have seen try to sing, and maybe should not sing again (I would honestly lump Ron Wood in this category).
  2. FrednBass


    Feb 24, 2012
    Alex Lifeson
  3. StrangerDanger

    StrangerDanger Neo Maxie Zoom Dweebie Supporting Member

    Jan 3, 2010
    North DFW, TX
  4. powderfinger


    Feb 24, 2009
    Maybe I am mistaken, but I could have sworn I saw a video of him on YouTube singing once. Not at a Rush show, but at some sort of something in his hometown. Maybe I dreamed that.
  5. Ric5

    Ric5 SUSPENDED Supporting Member Commercial User

    Jan 29, 2008
    I convert 4 string Rickenbackers to 5 string basses.

    He is in the "really can't sing but still does" catagory ... they just turn him down in the mix.
  6. Casting Thunder

    Casting Thunder

    Oct 7, 2012
    Is that comparing him to Geddy or on his own?
  7. Lazylion

    Lazylion Goin ahead on wit my bad self!

    Jan 25, 2006
    Frederick MD USA
    Lou Reed and Ian Hunter, for the "can't sing, but has been singing for decades anyway" category.
  8. Phalex

    Phalex Semper Gumby Supporting Member

    Oct 3, 2006
    G.R. MI
    Phil Lesh falls into the "can't sing, but does sometimes anyway, but people really dig it because he's Phil Lesh."

    Broken Arrow is a great song, but I feel its a testament to its greatness is that Phil sings it, and it's still a great song..........
  9. Tanner5382

    Tanner5382 Supporting Member

    Sep 26, 2010
    Canton, GA
    Here's Jimmy Page on lead vocals, since you were interested:
  10. Joe Satriani received a bunch of criticism for singing in Flying in a Blue Dream, but I think he did a pretty good job.
  11. Yeah he does alright. On the same vein, I was surprised when I heard Steve Vai sing. His cover of the Kinks' "Celluloid Heroes" and his song "Love Blood" from The Elusive Light and Sound Vol. 1 are great songs.
  12. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    Lou Reed can't sing?

    Then why do I enjoy listening to him sing so much?

    He seems to have built a career around this supposed inability to sing.
  13. mellowinman

    mellowinman Free Man

    Oct 19, 2011
    Thanks for the clip of Jonesy. That was so great. I really dug that a whole lot.
  14. Steve Vai on "I know You're Here" was pretty good.
  15. I always suspected this too. At every Rush show I have been to, I see Alex walk up to the mic and appear to sing. However, his voice is rarely audible in the mix.
  16. Jeff Berlin is another bassist that can sing but rarely does. I was amazed when he sang all of the lead vocals on Bruford's "Gradually Going Tornado" because I had no idea he could sing up until that point.
  17. +1

    I saw Rush about a month ago in Philly, and for the first time ever I could clearly hear his backing vocals, and he has s pretty good voice. Would really love to see him do leads on a couple of Rush songs. WOuld make an epic band even more so.
  18. tomnomnom91


    Dec 23, 2012
    I don't know if you count backing singers taking over on lead for the odd song, but if so, Chris Wolstenholme of Muse (see Liquid State) and Mike Dirnt of Green Day (see Governator, Homecoming, American Eulogy and Sex, Drugs and Violence) are pretty damn good.
  19. powderfinger


    Feb 24, 2009
    Jimmy Page sorta sounds like Ray Davies (early Kinks) a bit. Interesting.

    JPJ isn't so bad either.
  20. powderfinger


    Feb 24, 2009
    I just thought of another non singing musician who sings (seldomly) but should serioulsy not. Now,. let me preface, this guy is one of the coolest bassists ever, but Tom Peterson from Cheap Trick. I've seen him live twice, sing "I Know What I Want", and it's indescribably bad. Its like bad karaoke level bad. It's like, how in the hell did he ever get Robin and Rick to let him sing?

    On the other hand, I saw REO Speedwagon a couple of years ago, and their bassist did a song on lead vocals, and wasnt bad at all. Cant remember the title of the song, just remember thinking, "wow, this guy can sing".