Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Top 15 hard rock/metal vocalists

Everyone has singers they like and people's criteria for what makes a good singer may vary. I think a good singer in metal should have some talent of course, but energy, style and originality play a part as well. So here are my top 15 as I countdown from 15 all the way down to my favorite vocalist.

15-Eric Adams(Manowar)-They may be silly, but I think he can really belt out those songs about metal warriors and such.

14-David Lee Roth(Van Halen, solo)-Spirit, energy and style played a large part in Diamond's Dave success.

13-Joey Belladonna(Anthrax, solo)-A singer in speed metal who could really sing instead of growl or grunt.

12-King Diamond(Mercyful Fate, solo)Not everyone's cup of tea, but I have always found his unique vocals hold my attention.

11-Bobby "Blitz" Ellsworth(Overkill)- Kind of a screeching voice, but it works.

10-Lemmy(Motorhead) -Just a unique voice that fits with their music.

9-Geoff Tate(Queensryche)-Really good range and always seems to be on.

8-Ozzy(Black Sabbath, solo)-He can hardly talk now, but his nasal vocals really added to Sabbath's sound and worked great on his early solo albums.

7-John Bush(Armored Saint)-Perhaps the most underrated metal singer of all time. Great strength and energy with both of bands he has been with.

6-Ian Gillan(Deep Purple, solo)-Just a solid rock voice and he made all the difference when he came to Deep Purple.

5-Bon Scott(AC/DC) -Not the greatest range perhaps, but just very natural and one of a kind.

4-Robert Plant(Led Zeppelin, solo) -Hugely influential hard rock singer. Zeppelin did a lot of varying styles and he always sounded good.

3-Bruce Dickinson(Iron Maiden, Samson, solo) -Great range and all kinds of energy.

2-Ronnie James Dio(ELF, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, solo) -Guaranteed to always to be on and he has had a long career.

1-Rob Halford(Judas Priest, Fight, solo)-Incredible singer, just makes it look easy as well.


Blogger Mike said...

I thionk that Geoff Tate should be higher on the list. A few guys that deserve to be on that list in my opinion are:
Roger Daltrey (The Who)
Sebastian Bach (Skid Row, solo)
Jim Morrison (The Doors)
Chris Cornell (Temple of the Dog, Soundgarden, Audioslave).

8:23 AM  
Blogger Metal Mark said...

Mike-I like Queensryche, but I don't love them. Tate has a good range, but sometimes comes across as a bit cold. I consider Soundgarden, the Who and the Doors to be more just rock than hard rock. Sebastian Bach is decent, but not really a standout IMHO.

10:22 AM  
Blogger Bruce said...

I have to agree with Mike on Tate here, but then again I'm prejudiced, since I'm such a fan. I'm also a fan of Bach's, mainly because I Like guys who have great range. Brent Smith of Shinedown falls into this category, too.

11:12 AM  
Blogger Metal Mark said...

I think the Queensryche fans are trying to gang up on me here.

11:20 AM  
Blogger Sgt Fluffy said...

This is Metal Marks list, I'm sure everyone has their favorite vocalist, but at least everyone (even me) agrees Tate should be somewhere on this list.

12:16 PM  
Blogger Vicious Steve said...

That's a pretty good list. It all comes down to who you prefer, everyone's list will be different. Let me take the time to throw my list out there:

1. Rob Halford & Freddie Mercury (tie) - both are favorites, Halford IS Metal & Freddie can sing any style. 2 masters.

3. Ronnie James Dio - very close to the top. He hasn't lost his ability with age, he gets better.

4. Graham Bonnett (Alcatrazz, Rainbow, MSG) - Power and melody, can sing everything from doo-wop to Metal.

5. Paul Stanley - I'll take shit for this being a KISS freak but Paul's range was awesome from the late 70s to the end of the Reunion Tour. Voice is shot now.

The rest not in order:

6. Bruce Dickinson - the Air Raid siren adds the dramatic flair to the power and range.

7. Paul Rodgers (Free, Bad Company, Queen) - Has always been a favorite, bluesy and very smooth.

8. Brad Delp (Boston) - Another one I'd describe as smooth, makes it look easy to hit all those high notes. Great range.

9. Tony Martin (Black Sabbath) - Can sing Ozzy and RJD. The most versatile singer Sabbath ever had. Voice is shot now.

10. Klaus Meine - always liked the Scorpions' main man. He's a good singer with a heavy accent at times.

11. Phil Mogg (UFO) - Put him with Delp and Rodgers as "smooth". Gets better with age, very bluesy.

12. D.C. Cooper (Royal Hunt, Silent Force) - Total package, listen to Moving Target or his sol album.

13. Diamond Dave - THE frontman, not a great singer but has the charisma and stage prescence (sp?). Voice is shot now.

14. Lana Lane - if we are putting the women in here, she tops the list. Beautiful voice. Sings very progressive hard rock but her Ballad Collection shows her shining moments. I would rank her Top 10 easy.

15. Joe Lynn Turner - Gave Rainbow that Top 40 voice. Mr. Melodic Rock.

12:57 PM  
Blogger Strutter71 said...

Vicious, good call on Paul Stanley. One of the all-time greats. KISS always gets dumped on (and probably deservedly so) for not being the greatest musicians around, but Paul's voice has always been amazing.

Mark, Armored Saint was on the radio as I read your list. What are the odds? John Bush IS fantastic, though. And I've got to go along with all the other Queensryche fans; Geoff Tate is pretty amazing. Gotta go with Mike on Sebastian Bach and Chris Cornell, too.

One nobody else has mentioned: Axl Rose. Sure, he's a joke now, but in GNR's heyday, I thought his voice was phenomenal.

8:16 PM  
Blogger Metal Mark said...

Strutter-Axl should get some credit as a vocalist, but the last ten years do tend to taint some people's view on him. He had a unique voice for sure and in 1987 his voice was a welcome change.

8:45 PM  
Blogger David Amulet said...

Great lists and ideas from all. While the absolute rankings are always up for debate, we all can agree that little Ronnie James Dio wins the Best-Singer-by-the-pound award.

I've also always had a soft spot for Jeff Keith's voice in Tesla.

-- david

3:22 AM  
Blogger Metal Mark said...

Dave Coverdale, Jeff Scott Soto, Andi Deris and Mark Free are a few others I liked that didn't quite make my list.

5:32 AM  
Blogger Mike said...

Mark - David Coverdale did have a great voice. I was a big Whitesnake fan.

V&D - Paul Stanley could definately sing and perform. I'll give you that one. DLR will always be the voice of Van Halen to me, but I live in the NY metro area and since he's been doing morning radio, he bothers the shit out of me.

Strutter - Axl was a good frontman......when he would decide to actually perform.

David - I saw Tesla about 5 yeasr ago and Jeff Keith still sounded really good.

6:15 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This is the second blog of yours Mark, that I've come across that I found interesting.

I love your list but i feel that Sebastian Bach should be on here. That's ok though.

Black Lawless should have definetly been on this list though Mark. His range is amazing and is stage performance is flawless :D I had the privilege of seeing him in New York City a few months ago for their Crimson Idol Tour. Let me tell you, he is in his early 50's and still sounds like he did back in the day. The dude plays guitar while he sings, come on now. He is amazing.

I was wondering what your take was on these vocalists Mark. I feel that they are completely underrated. Tom Keifer, Ripper Owens, and Tony Martin. Tony had managed to do some amazing things with Black Sabbath. He shouldn't have left the band :( Headless Cross was an amazing CD!

5:09 PM  

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