Hearing Classic Rock’s Greatest Voices Like You’ve Never Heard Them Before
Rare Audio From 10 Great Rock Bands With The Vocals Isolated
Unlike the garbage pop music that is popular today, the vocalists of the great rock bands of the 60s and 70s did not have an array of modern gadgets to fix their voices. Either you could sing or you couldn’t. In the pre-digital era there was no autotune and multi-track studio trickery was limited to looping and a few other production tricks.
So it should come as no surprise that their were once were musical giants that walked the earth. Bands such as Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Heart, Queen, Boston and dozens of others where the vocalists could not only cut it live, but could go into a recording studio and leave pure magic on tape and vinyl.
Without having access to the master recording tapes, some enterprising music fans have made a hobby of isolating each individual part of a band’s recording to see how the song breaks down. The most interesting of these efforts are the vocal isolations.
If you ever had any doubt as to how much talent each of these musicians had, then prepare to be blown away by these performances.
First up, if Heart’s Ann Wilson doesn’t have the best pure voice in rock n’ roll then I don’t know who does. 40 plus years later Ann Wilson hasn’t lost much of her range. The singing on Barracuda is a careful balance between pyrotechnic raw emotion and incredible vocal control.
There are a handful of people who still dismiss Led Zeppelin and the vocal prowess of a young Robert Plant. For those who think that Robert Plant and Zeppelin were nothing special check out the unadulterated vocals with absolutely no effects from Ramble On off of Led Zeppelin II.
Probably the song with THE single greatest acrobatic vocal performance EVER in rock ‘n’ roll. Deep Purple’s Ian Gillan hits unimaginable heights on Child In Time from 1970. At 7:48 pay attention as Gillan chuckles to himself as he keeps reaching for higher and higher notes.
The late, great Brad Delp made singing Boston’s opuses sound effortless. Obviously it was not effortless, but the results were often hauntingly beautiful.
Journey’s Steve Perry had one of the purest voices in rock n’ roll. So even if the song is overplayed, you’ve never heard Don’t Stop Believin’ like this.
Arguably The Who’s most recognized rock song is We Don’t Get Fooled Again. Even if you are mentally ready for it, Roger Daltrey’s scream at 7:00 will still make you jump out of your seat.
While Foreigner has never been the darling of critics, lead singer Lou Gramm had a great voice during the 1970s as Foreigner racked up hit after hit.
While Don Kirshner may have been responsible for guiding Kansas to commercial popularity, he didn’t tell Steve Walsh how to sing. Walsh’s soaring vocals for Carry On Wayward Son are among the most memorable anthems of the 1970s.
Though Queen was known for going into the studio and multi-tracking their voices to sound like a full orchestral chorus rather than four rock singers, no one would ever deny that lead singer Freddie Mercury had one of the purest voices in all of rock. In Tie Your Mother Down, Mercury shows off his chops to full advantage.
When he was at his best and that was throughout the 70s , 80s and 90s there may have been no one with a more powerful voice than Ronnie James Dio. Being the lead singer for one popular band over your career is an accomplishment. Singing lead for three bands; Rainbow, Black Sabbath and Dio, well that is unheard of. Proof of Dio’s greatness? Here is Rainbow in the Dark.