This could be a long list if you want to include the entire history of rock. Some possible nominations might include:
Elvis Presley; Chuck Berry; Roy Orbison; Jerry Lee Lewis; Jim Morrison; David Clayton Thomas; John Fogerty (the lead singer for CCR); Janis Joplin; Mick Jagger; etc. Can you narrow your definition a bit?
Tiny Tim, Mrs. Miller, Edith Massey! :-)
Might catch some flack here but I always thought Freddy Mercury of Queen had amazing range and a unique style of his own.
no contest here- TWISTED SISTER!!!
ok, Robert Plant of led zeppelin.
female- janis of course.
Ian Hunter of Mott the Hoople, David Bowie too...........
Technically speaking, I think the young Elvis would have to be up there.
John Kaye from Steppenwolf
Chris Cornell (Soundgarden)
If we include doo-wop, R&B, the MoTown sound, the California surfer sound, etc., as part of rock history, we then need to include a lot of other candidates for "best voice". I propose that we revise the thread to better define the categories of rock, and then choose the "best voices" in each category. Here the link to the Rock 'n' Roll Hall of Fame that lists all of the inductees:
Any suggestions for categories?
In my opinion most "impressive" voice belongs to Billy Mackenzie.
I agree with Velo62, though I thought his voice sounded a bit grainy after he hit 30 and his balls dropped.
Janis Joplin and Roger Daltrey are my female and male favorites.
I'd add Jeff Buckley to the list.
I've always liked King Diamond of Merciful Fate and solo as King Diamond. Melisa...
definitely grace slick and then robert plant although I don't like more of their stuff. Slick doine White Rabbit was simply fantastic.
Also, when I caught a middle aged Slick with a reformed Jefferson Airplane at the Fillmore (ten years back??) she was simply outstanding doing "Somebody to Love".
Jerry Garcia had a fairly weak voice but his timing/phrasing was up there with the best on a good night (which happened regularly enough to keep me going to over 200 Dead and Garcia shows since 1979).
Kenny Loggins....remember him? Great voice.
Richard Butler (Psychedelic Furs)
I'd have to say....Paul Rodgers singing "All Right Now" while he was with Free may be the all time greatest recorded rock vocal, IMHO, of course.
My personal favorites are Bono, Bon Scott, John Mellencamp, Patty Smith, John Lennon, Bradley Nowell...
Lou Gramm of Foreignor- Great male vocalist
Jennifer Charles - Elysian Fields
John Lennon. Also dig Steve Marriott (Humble Pie).
For me, its a tie: Paul McCartney Jim Morrison, for the male singers.
Honorary mentions include: Eric Burden, Robert Plant & Roger Daltry
For the females singer, also a tie: Grace Slick & Janis Joplin
Honorary Mentions: Mama Cass, Jonatha Brooke
That guy that used to sing with Black Oak Arkansas. :-)
I third Paul Rodgers. Also, Ronnie Van Zant had a great Rock voice.
lets not forget Little Richard!!
Bryan Ferry, Freddie Mercury & David Bowie are obvious, how about Roland Gift of the FYC's and Steve Perry from Journey??? Any votes for Geddy Lee (Rush)? Jon Anderson of Yes? I kinda like Springsteen too.
Johnette Napolitano, Siouxsie Sioux, Joan Osborne, Joan Jett, courtney Love, Patti Smith, Shirley Manson, Sinead Oconner, Marianne Faithful, Linda Ronstadt, Bonnie Raitt, Janis Joplin, Lucinda Williams, Joan Armatrading, tina Turner, Laurie Anderson, Ani Defranco
peter gabriel ,peter hammil of the group van der graff generator.
Ian Gillan from Deep Purple and Freddy Mercury from Queen get my vote.
Bon Scott....unmistakable...he defined AC/DC!
Joe Cocker-John Fogerty-Rod Stewart-Ray Charles...Janis Joplin-Areatha Franklin
1st comes Jack Bruce(truely a rock voice king!)
2nd is Peter Hammil
3rd is Peter Gabriel
I agree with Paul Rodgers, Lou Gramm and Roger Daltrey, and I'll add Steven Tyler (maybe he's been mentioned, too?)
I agree with Peter Gabriel for his uniqueness. And under the "unique voice" label I'll add Brian Johnson for his performance on AC/DC's "Back in Black".
Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden
Roger Daltry/ Pete Townshend
Jeff Beck ( In know... he doesn't sing. But the sounds he gets out of his guitar .... ! Check out this CD : Jeff Beck's Guitar Shop, and you'll know whay I mean. )
Ronnie James Dio Rainbow Black Sabbath Dio
Bruce Dickinson Iron Maiden
Dfrigovt that was Jim Dandy Mangrum, though I'm not sure of the spelling of the last name. I saw them in concert in 1978 opening for Blue Oyster Cult.
I'm pleasantly surprised to see several mentions of Ronnie James Dio. He is definately the best singer in heavy metal, and possibly in Rock and Roll! There are many others that I like, but are not really great singers, but that's why there are so many different answers here. Although I have to wonder if the guy who suggested Bon Scott was serious or still under the influence???
I still like Ian Andersons voice. I like to listen to Bob Dylan, but I'm not sure that makes him a good singer!?!
Geoff Tate, lead singer for Queensryche.
Jon Anderson, Lead Singer for Yes.
Just to name a few.
Many of the names mentioned here are worthy, I'd like to add Chris Cornell and Jimmy Barnes. Barnes has amazing technique, he can sing with more strain than anyone, do it all day and not wind up hoarse.
Good call with Chris Cornell! Who does Jimmy Barnes sing for? (excuse my ignorance)
Dont apologise for that. I suspect most people here would not have heard of him. He's an Australian singer. In the late 70's at 16yrs he made his name in a band called cold chisel( which became one of the biggest bands in Austalian rock, period). He's now a solo artist that does more soul/rock material. He sings more agressive now than he did when he was younger. If you like that vocal style you will love this guy. I have seen one of the worlds leading throat specialists say that he would be one of only three people max that is capable of singing this way without fatigue or damage. If your interested I can get you the name of some of his better cd,s. Cold Chisel (if you like rock) is really worth having a listen to, they were truly brilliant.
Rockethouse, I just picked up "the Best of Cold Chisel" from Amazon. Looking forward to hearing it.
Tvad, Well done. These guys are great songwriters I'm sure you will enjoy it, keep me informed.
shelby lynne,Julie miller
I agree that Shelby Lynne has a great voice, but isn't she considered a country, not rock, artist?
As far as female rock singers, I'd have to go with Bonnie Raitt ("rock" is a marginal classification here, too), Grace Slick, Ann Wilson, and Janis Joplin. Honorable mentionn to Joan Jett.
John Lennon & Paul McCartney