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Under-rated/over-rated vocalists

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by buldog5151bass, Jun 9, 2019.


  1. buldog5151bass

    buldog5151bass Kibble, milkbones, and P Basses. And redheads.

    Oct 22, 2003
    Connecticut
    Kind of a follow-up to my "musicians you appreciate but don't like" thread, who are some truly under-rated (and over-rated) vocalists?

    I nominate Ann Wilson of Heart as most under-rated. Early Heart is so powerful. As a runner up I nominate (as I prepare to duck the slings and arrows) Meatloaf. Yes, his music was overly bombastic, but the dude had a set of pipes.

    Most over-rated? Ozzy Osbourne. Heck of a front man, but not a talented vocalist at all. I remember reading an interview of Tommy Iommi, where he said there was a reason they didn't put out live albums with him as vocalist.
     
  2. Over- Axl Rose

    Under- Ian Gillian
     
  3. Under-rated? Over-rated? If someone likes them and they're making money, they're good enough by enough peoples' standards. I could list singers that I am personally perplexed that they actually make a living primarily as a vocalist, but that would just be my opinion.
     
  4. LBS-bass

    LBS-bass Supporting Member

    Nov 22, 2017
    California
    Overrated? For me it has to be Sade. Lots of long notes, no inflection, no vibrato or any other indication that there's any emotion being emoted there, and very limited range. But I know lots of people just love her.

    Underrated, it's hard to say. There are probably many. I think Pink has a fabulous voice but she's overlooked a lot because she's a pop star.
     
  5. jamro217

    jamro217 Supporting Member

    The problem with rating vocalists for their performances is what parameters you use. If the bar is set for overall vocal range, Minnie Ripperton would be hard to beat. If the gauge is set for authenticity, then Randall Bramblett or Fats Waller would be at the top of the list. Having great pipes and convincing an audience you mean what you're singing are two different things. I'd rather hear a limited range vocalist who the audience connected with than an opera singer who was obviously going through the motions. Burton Cummings is a good choice for all around great singer, as is Paul Rodgers. Underrated? Ian Lloyd, Colin Cooper, Solomon Burke, Ronnie Hammond, Ronald Isley, and Johnny Townsend come to mind.
     
    IamGroot and buldog5151bass like this.
  6. You have to take into account that their are vocalists (folks that are good at their own stuff and hardly anything else) and then there are singers (folks that can sing anything and sell it in spades).

    From the preceding responses, Ozzy or Sade do really good Ozzy or Sade. Nobody is waiting to hear the Ozz sing the National Anthem at the World Series or Sade do Carpenters covers. On the other hand, performers like Ann Wilson or say, Tom Jones, can step out of their 'usual gig' with not much effort.
     
  7. 2F/2F

    2F/2F

    May 26, 2009
    Los Angeles, CA
    Sorry, but Ann Wilson is not underrated. She is largely viewed as one of the top rock vocalists of all time, and perhaps among the very top handful of female ones. So much so, that I think she is overrated (not that I dislike her singing).

    As for underrated, I would say Ozzy Osbourne. He is generally viewed as a great frontman/personality who can't really sing. I, OTOH, think his voice was absolutely incredible early on...and got progressively worse, such that it was toast by Vol. 4, and never came back. But first album Ozzy...effing hell, man. He had some real pipes on a technical level, and knew how to do something new and interesting with them. Yet he gets practically no credit for actually being a "good" singer.

    Most overrated is, IMO, Ian Gillan. And a close second would be Bruce Dickinson. Both of these singers are actually quite horrible and unskilled on a technical level. And while some technically horrible singers have good musical style and taste in spades, and because of this, can sound great anyhow, both Gillan and Dickinson have neither good musical style nor good musical taste, and thus eventually musically tanked their respective bands when they joined, or soon after (I still dig In Rock and The Number of the Beast, and some other Gillan-era Deep Purple and Dickinson-era Maiden).
     
  8. dan1952

    dan1952 Commercial User

    Jun 27, 2012
    Anderson IN
    Artist Endorsement with Supro Huntington Basses / Owner, Dan's Music, Inc..
    Underrated? Ronnie Hammond.
    Overrated? Axl Rose
     
    jamro217 and buldog5151bass like this.
  9. Jason Harris

    Jason Harris

    Jan 17, 2017
    Gillan and Dickenson were easily the best singers in both their bands, and how did they tank them? Bruce Dickinson with no doubt made Iron Maiden better.
     


  10. Yes, I'm still trying to figure how Gillian tanked since he left the band on his own.
     
  11. 2F/2F

    2F/2F

    May 26, 2009
    Los Angeles, CA
    We'll have to agree to disagree, in this entirely opinion based thread. I am certainly not criticizing your opinions here. DiAnno Maiden and early D.P. for me. I can tolerate bad chops if I like the style. But I don't do bad chops and bad style. I do think that Dickinson and Gillan did not have good technical chops, nor did they have a style I like, and even so, I enjoy some of their respective bands' output with them (as long as we're talking studio recordings, where only the best vocal takes were used). Passable voices for those styles of music...but not exactly technically on point. The other members of their bands were quite technically on point IMO, especially D.P., which had some of the most technically skilled players ever to play in a "dumb rock band." Never liked any soloist in Maiden, but I dig the over all sound of the band for five albums (and especially the first two). And on a technical level, Dave Murray bends terribly flat pretty much every time, even on record...but to me it's easier to mentally "ignore" noodly guitar as background noise than it is a high pitched, strained human voice that can't really sing in tune and has a tone that I hate.

    When I say they musically tanked their bands, I'm talking about how the bands eventually became unlistenable to me, largely (but not entirely) due to the singer. I can't go past Powerslave with Maiden (it's just plain horrible to me), and I heavily cherry pick D.P. even in the Gillan era. By "musically tanked" I'm not talking about a fact. I'm talking about a personal judgment on listenability – my "cutoff," so to speak.
     
    Last edited: Jun 9, 2019
  12. mrb327

    mrb327

    Mar 6, 2013
    Colorado
    Nobody Knows
    Pretty Sure like 9 different Deep Purple line ups tanked because Ritchie Blackmore was not a great person

    On that note, my under rated would be Ronnie James Dio
     
    slapshot, dkelley, The Owl and 2 others like this.
  13. mrb327

    mrb327

    Mar 6, 2013
    Colorado
    Nobody Knows
    I will agree that Rod Evans was a great vocalist, even if he didn't fit the style or the MkII line up. Love those first 3 albums
     
  14. DrayMiles

    DrayMiles

    Feb 24, 2007
    East Coast
    Under-rated?

    Cyndi Lauper.
     
    Haroldo, Standalone, bass12 and 10 others like this.
  15. gebass6

    gebass6 We're not all trying to play the same music.

    May 3, 2009
    N.E Illinois
    Underrated - Stu Block.
    Formely of "Into Eternity"
    Saw them open for Dream Theater back in 2005.
    My God!His vocal range!
     
    buldog5151bass likes this.
  16. DrayMiles

    DrayMiles

    Feb 24, 2007
    East Coast
    Overrated?

    Mary J. Blige
     
    bigswifty1 and obimark like this.
  17. sedan_dad

    sedan_dad

    Feb 5, 2006
    Columbus,Ohio
    Raul Malo of The Mavericks. Incredible voice.
     
  18. MG Wolf

    MG Wolf

    Nov 29, 2014
    Due East
    Under-rated:
    George Harrison
    Micky Dolenz

    Over-rated:
    Steven Tyler
    Kurt Cobain
     
  19. Rumble Thunder

    Rumble Thunder

    Aug 5, 2016
    Kentucky
    Over-rated: I guess I am going to have to go with Roger Waters. Dude has trouble with singing. o_O

    Under-rated: Sam Cooke
    That cat was silky smooth.
     
    Robert B and mrb327 like this.
  20. FOR ONE, Todd Rundgren certainly deserves more attention and praise in terms of his vocals. Very few can honestly boast his musical depth and breadth. Lousy irritating singers are far too many to list.
     
    kwdhsk, 4dog, bearhart74 and 2 others like this.

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