Sunday, November 30, 2008, 3:05 PM // 1 comments

Top Five Records: Male Singers

Last week I posted my top 10 Female singers. Here's my follow up post - my top 10 Male singers in no particular order:

Ella FitzgeraldFreddie Mecury: Queen – Mustapha

Freddie Mercury the first name that came to my mind when I thought about this list.  His vocal range was amazing - from soft ballads to full out rockers.  Not only is he one of rock's greatest vocalists but he may be the best showman to grace the rock and roll stage. Check out Freddie's performance at Live Aid

Robert Plant: Led Zeppelin - The Lemon Song

In my opinion, if Led Zeppelin had only recorded Zep I and Zep II they'd still be considered one of the greatest rock and roll bands of all time. As much as I enjoy the songs, music, Jimmy Page's guitar, I believe what really made those albums was Robert Plant's vocals.  Talk about power, conviction, attitude, and sex appeal.  And dig this, he was only 21 years old when Led Zeppelin recorded those albums!  

Dave Grohl: Foo Fighters - The Pretender

What I love best about Dave Grohl was that he was able to crawl out of Nirvana's ashes into a great, respected rock band.  His tunes are full-out grab you by the balls rockers that represent every thing rock stands for - attitude, sex, and energy.  Grohl's vocals are the perfect compliment to his songs - raw and powerful.  Moreover, he may be the best screamer in rock since AC/DC's Bon Scott.

Eddie Vedder: Pearl Jam - Present Tense

Following in the footsteps of Roger Daltrey, Eddie Vedder sings in a way that grabs you by the throat and forces you to listen and feel the music in a way that will leave you breathless.  

Ray Davies: Kinks - Apeman

Ray Davies does not have a great voice but there is something about his vocal style that gives his music life, personality, and English class.  God bless The Kinks.

Jeff Tweedy: Wilco - Red-Eyed and Blue

Like Ray Davies, Jeff Tweedy is not a great singer.  Some may even find his voice weak. But I feel his voice adds a realism to his music that I completely identify with.  He and I are about the same age and what he sings about represents life experiences I can relate too.  I don't know if I'd feel the same way about his music if he belted out songs like some of the others on this list.

Paul Rogers: Bad Company - Silver, Blue and Gold

Interesting to note that Freddie Mercury was the first singer I considered for this list and Paul Rogers was my number two choice. Isn't it ironic that Paul Rogers is singing with Queen now?  Paul Rogers has that power and energy that every rock and roll singer should aspire to be.  Coinincidence?  I don't know.  Rogers, along with Mercury, Robert Plant, and Roger Daltrey are the Mount Rushmore of rock singers.

Roger Daltrey: THE WHO - Bargain (live)

Roger Daltrey defined the quintessential rock and roll signer - young, hung and full of cum.  But Daltrey was more than that. Through his singing he added a new dimension to Pete Townshend's lyrics. "I Can't Explain" worked because Daltrey conveys anger, frustration, and bewilderment. "Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere" worked because Daltrey expresses Mod arrogance that can resort to violence.

Van Morrison - Caravan

I first fell in love with Van Morrison's singing the first time I heard "Caravan." Even today, I still find myself singing along with this song in a way that always puts a smile on my face. For this reason and Morrison's blue-eyed soul approach to his music is why he's on my list.

Prince - How Come You Don't Call Me Anymore?Prince - How Come You Don't Call Me Anymore?

With his high falsettos to a dig-deep-down-low soul register - Prince is a great rock and roll singer.  With all his songs he sings with a arrogantly self-confident style that screams you better listen because this is important and I'm only going to tell you once.


Wednesday, November 26, 2008, 8:26 PM // 0 comments

Harpo Speaks

Leave it to YouTube to uncover and present Harpo Marx speaking! When I saw this a feeling overcame me similar to when I first saw KISS unmasked.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008, 9:10 PM // 0 comments

Beth Clock

Sammy Davis Jr. Beth Clock

Wednesday, November 19, 2008, 8:18 PM // 0 comments

Top Five Records: Female Singers

Recently Rolling Stone Magazine published the The 100 Greatest Singers list. Loven 'em or hate 'em the Rolling Stones lists will get you talking and, in my case, thinking about my favorite singers. Starting with the ladies - here's my top 10 list in no particular order:

Ella FitzgeraldElla Fitzgerald – Bewitched

With a vocal range spanning three octaves, Ella Fitzgerald was noted for her purity of tone, phrasing and intonation, and a "horn-like" improvisational ability, particularly in her scat singing. All that aside, her voice is so warm and gentle. When I hear her sing I want to wrap my body with her voice like a blanket.

Suzanne Vega - 99.9 F

I know this sounds cliche - but I would listen to Suzanne Vega read the phone book. Her voice is so convincing and she sings great stories. I fell in love with Vega's voice with her 1992 album 99.9F°. This album is definitely worth seeking out.

Sheryl Crow - Steve McQueen

Sheryl Crow is an amazing musician, singer, and songwriter. And she's hot too. There is a sexiness associated with her voice that, combined with attitude, draws you into to every song she sings like cheap romance novel.

Aretha Franklin - Save Me

Rolling Stone ranks Aretha Franklin as the Greatest Singer of All Time. I wouldn't go that far but I would say that her voice is the very definition of soul music.

Pretenders - Precious

I love Chrissy Hynde. She is my favorite rock and roll female singer of all time. I came to this conclusion the first time I heard "Precious" - trk one from the debut Pretenders album. I believe rock and roll is all about attitude. Chrissy Hynde's voice sweats attitude.

Madonna - Beautiful Stranger

It only been in the last ten years or so that I've come to appreciate and respect Madonna as a musician and not a whore. That's a little strong but, frankly, I just didn't get it. Then, in 1998, she released Ray of Light and I thought, "Wait a minute, there's a lot more to Madonna than a pretty smile and nice cans. This woman can sing."

Maria Callas - Printemps Qui Commence

Printemps qui commence from the opera Samsom et Dalila. In an attempt to seduce Samson away from his leadership of the Israelite uprising, Dalila and a group of girls dance for him and Dalila sings how spring is blossoming all around her. Yet, in her heart, she feels like it is still winter. As you listen to Maria Callas sing this song you'll feel the pain of the chill in her heart. Her voice is absolutely beautiful.

Liz Phair - Johnny Sunshine

Once you get past the sex songs and the shock value of her lyrics you'll relize that Liz Phair is a great song writer who, like Sheryl Crow, uses her voice to seduce you.

Linda Ronstadt - Blue Bayou

I never really thought much of Linda Ronstadt until one day I really listened to her version of "Blue Bayou." In the same way Aretha stole "Respect" from Otis Redding, Ronstadt made Roy Orbison's "Blue Bayou" her very own.

Bonnie Raitt - Blender BluesBonnie Raitt - Blender Blues

My love affair with the blues and Bonnie Raitt began the first time I ever heard her sing "Blender Blues." Bonnie is only 23 years old singing this song but somehow she conveys a maturity well beyond her age. This recording is from a 1972 WMMR live concert recording that should be officially released. Her performance, guitar playing, interaction with the audience, and her singing is amazing.

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Saturday, November 15, 2008, 11:13 PM // 0 comments

Ultimate 80s Music Playlist

687 songs, 2 days, 3.47 GB

About a year ago I heard that some friends we going have an 80s Party. I'd thought I'd help out and contribute a playlist of 80s music. Well little did I know this project would take me a year to compile and grow to 687 songs. Interesting to note, I've never been a fan of "80s music." In fact, I've gone on record that 1980s produced some of rock's worst songs.

All that aside, I believe my playlist kick ass - it's extensive and complete, yet, I feel I've missed a song or two. Please, download my 80s music playlist and take a look. Let me know if you see any blaring omissions.

Saturday, November 08, 2008, 10:57 AM // 1 comments

Chocolate City, y'all

george clinton's dream comes to life

In 1975 George Clinton and Parliament released Chocolate City. The song's largely spoken vocals (delivered by George Clinton) express pride in "Chocolate Cities", that is, cities with a majority black population. The singer playfully hypothesizes what it would be like if there was an African American in the White House, and assigns the following people to positions in government:

Uh, what's happening CC?
They still call it the White House
But that's a temporary condition, too.
Can you dig it, CC?

And when they come to march on ya
Tell 'em to make sure they got their James Brown pass
And don't be surprised if Ali is in the White House
Reverend Ike, Secretary of the Treasure
Richard Pryor, Minister of Education
Stevie Wonder, Secretary of FINE arts
And Miss Aretha Franklin, the First Lady
Are you out there, CC?
A chocolate city is no dream
It's my piece of the rock and I dig you, CC
God bless Chocolate City and its (gainin' on ya!) vanilla suburbs

Now that we have an African American in the White House I wonder how much George Clinton's vision will come to life. Time will tell. Can you dig it, CC?

Listen / Download: Chocolate City - Parliment


About Paul Altobelli

Paul Altobelli is a veteran Internet, marketing and technology professional with considerable expertise in search engine marketing, web site development, design, implementation and project management. [more]

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