Is it actually cooler to be a bad singer???

Cadillac_Mike

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I'm gonna be honest with you; as a pretty well regarded singer myself Celine Dion and Michael Bolton are two of the best singers I've ever heard in terms of raw talent yet they're the most made fun of? I feel the same way about Barry Manilow. Bolton used to be in the hard rock band Blackjack with Bruce Kulick and Satriania actualy auditioned for Metallica and got rejected for being "too good". Problem with Bolton is his voice was too clean for hard rock but I still think this rocks like a mofo; check it out!

 

Cadillac_Mike

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Bryan Adams is a way better singer than George Throrogood but can't admit you like any Bryan Adams songs. But "Bad to The Bone", heck yeah! Great song, he isn't an elite singer. It kinda makes you wonder how much our culture really appreciates talent when alot of the most gifted singers in pop music get thrown under the bus by society.... (Celine Dion, Michael Bolton, Barry Manilow, Richard Marx, Sammy Hagar, etc.)
 
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PennyroyalFrog

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It takes a lot of talent and skill to sing “well” but none of my favorite artists have voices that are spectacular. Can they sing in tune? For the most part, yes, and this was before auto tune. I never liked overly polished music, but that is just my opinion and taste. If you take Nirvana for a couple of the mentioned reasons, Kurt had a voice in which it sounded like a cat scratched his vocal chords. Nevermind to him also sounded too polished and I preferred the sound of Bleach and In Utero much more, and as did he.

Nirvana were/are not my favorite band by a long shot, but I’ve heard friends recommend me songs where the vocalist is at the top of his or her game in the industry and it doesn’t do anything for me. It reminds me of how when I first started playing guitar people asked me if I liked Steve Vai and Joe Satriani, which began to annoy me. While I appreciate their skill, their music never spoke to me.

I also think I’m one of the least coolest people on earth so make that as you will ;)

Oh, and give me Bob Dylan over 90% of popular music the past 60 years.
 

drmordo

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NoTeleBob

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People like interesting singers even if they are not pitch perfect or don't sing like every other generic singer. In fact especially if they don't sing like generic singers.

Neil Young, Joan Jett, Stevie Nicks, Rod Stewart, George Thurogood, John Lee Hooker, Tom Petty, Mick Jagger, Tom Waits, Ricky Lee Jones, Bob Dylan, the list is long.
 

Killing Floor

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For me it’s not that someone has a refined or smooth voice. It’s whether they’re authentic. Think Bob Dylan.
I value creativity more than I value dexterity. And what I said is 100% subjective because there’s no best music and no best singer. I get the shakes when I hear someone like Celine because she’s totally devoid of soul, but surely she is immensely skilled. Likewise I’m sure a lot of very refined musicians grind their teeth at the imperfections of Keith Richards or Ronnie Wood.
I think talent is the wrong word because conveying emotional content from your heart via your words or strings is not always the same as talent. It’s raw. It’s natural. Miles Davis wasn’t trying to show you how good he was, how many notes he could push. He didn’t care. It was never about whether you or I approved. That’s why he was a great musician. There are plenty who can play the notes and sing the words precisely.

People are flawed and complicated. And music is art.

Subjective and YMMV.
 

BatUtilityBelt

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In my opinion, a great vocalist and overproduction are an absolute disaster for the listener. If you're a great singer, the more garage your production is, the better. I'm serious here. Nobody's looking to hear perfect. They're listening for something they can relate to. So a one-take with mistakes from an otherwise great voice is a lot more impressive than something that can't be reproduced live.
 

JSMac

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Sorry, but I just don't hear any soul in most of the aforementioned "better" singers. Give me something that moves me and makes me believe.

I don't feel that with Bolton or Manilow or Dion. That's not raw talent. That's just people that were gifted great voices.
 
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Killing Floor

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I also am gonna step out with Bolton. He’s skilled, yes, but he is also humble. He is not a robot. Have you see him as the goofball musical host on the Dating Game rehash? Bolton is talented but self deprecating. He has soul. That’s why that clip is cool.

Another example of a golden voiced singer who’s also a tremendously skilled player is Jeff Buckley. His voice smooth. And he wasn’t faking it when he told his stories.
 

skunqesh

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Really solid stuff. I hear a bit of Paul Rodgers or Steve Perry in his styling.

My own predilections run kinda crude tho - A quote from Chuck Palaniuk's "Fight Club" kinda sums up how I appreciate rock vocalists

"...because the insomnia was on again, and I was in a mood to destroy something beautiful" :)
 

mr natural

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Wave by Patti Smith. First time I heard it I was blown away by her voice. Then again, there’s the precise enunciation of Dennis Deyoung of Styx or Ella singing scat or Jimi singing Castles Made of Sand. Or Mel Torme live at Marty’s. Or Bob Dylan singing A Hard Rains Gonna fall. Or Joni singing Songs to Aging Children Come. All kinds of voices. Sing the song how the song needs to be sung. Pavarotti singing Johnny B Goode makes no sense. But would actually be kinda fun.
 
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bottlenecker

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Bryan Adams is a way better singer than George Throrogood but can't admit you like any Bryan Adams songs. But "Bad to The Bone", heck yeah! Great song, he isn't an elite singer. It kinda makes you wonder how much our culture really appreciates talent when alot of the most gifted singers in pop music get thrown under the bus by society.... (Celine Dion, Michael Bolton, Barry Manilow, Richard Marx, Sammy Hagar, etc.)

You are praising the tools instead of the result. Why should I care how much ability someone has, if they use their ability to make music I don't like? I shouldn't, and I don't. Someone else can like it, but I don't like music just because someone scored a lot of points while they made it. It's not a sport.

People don't like celine dion or michael bolton because they don't like the music they made. They don't relate to the performers and their style culturally, and the music isn't enjoyable to them.

Sammy hagar is a great example. He makes cheeseball music. He's very skilled at sounding like a corny rock cliche. He sounds like a shaving cream commercial. Also, he just sucks. If society doesn't like him, good for them. I think they're right for once.

Although, record sales seem to indicate that lots of people like all the singers you mentioned. So what gives? That's not enough for you? You seem to have gotten the idea yourself that they're not cool, and you're trying to blame someone else that you believe it.
 

Linderflomann

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It kinda makes you wonder how much our culture really appreciates talent when alot of the most gifted singers in pop music get thrown under the bus by society.... (Celine Dion, Michael Bolton, Barry Manilow, Richard Marx, Sammy Hagar, etc.)
All the artists you listed are incredibly successful. What are you even on about?
 

oregomike

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I'm gonna be honest with you; as a pretty well regarded singer myself Celine Dion and Michael Bolton are two of the best singers I've ever heard in terms of raw talent yet they're the most made fun of? I feel the same way about Barry Manilow. Bolton used to be in the hard rock band Blackjack with Bruce Kulick and Satriania actualy auditioned for Metallica and got rejected for being "too good". Problem with Bolton is his voice was too clean for hard rock but I still think this rocks like a mofo; check it out!


Check out Brandi Carlile. Listen to her, then Bolton and Dion. I don't really see Dion or Bolton's music as timeless. Do they have a great voice? Sure, but the music sucked balls.
 

Nogoodnamesleft

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This might make the government take away my Canadian citizenship and deport me back to the other side of the Atlantic but…

I can’t stand Celine Dion’s singing. She can sing, yes there’s no doubt about that. Technically gifted. But how she sings - it hurts my ears and the brain between them. Give me Neil Young any day.
 

BrazHog

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I'm gonna be honest with you; as a pretty well regarded singer myself Celine Dion and Michael Bolton are two of the best singers I've ever heard in terms of raw talent yet they're the most made fun of? I feel the same way about Barry Manilow. Bolton used to be in the hard rock band Blackjack with Bruce Kulick and Satriania actualy auditioned for Metallica and got rejected for being "too good". Problem with Bolton is his voice was too clean for hard rock but I still think this rocks like a mofo; check it out!



Celine Dion and Michael Bolton move a lot more units than most "cool" singers. It's just that the self-appointed arbiters of cool are the ones that screech the loudest about how uncool they are.

And to be honest, it's 2022, who cares if they "rock" or not. If you like their music, knock yourself out.

Although I must say, my favorite version of "Titanic" has to be The Straitjackets. Too bad the boat sinks in the end...

 




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