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Localboy80 user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 22 Sep 06, 06:26 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Hi there, friends!

Now I personally think Freddie has the best voice of all time. I say that, because out of all the artists I listen to, including artists with wonderful, unique, extraordinary voices, such as Elvis, Roy Orbison etc... I still think Freddie has the most powerful, strong and varied voice/vocals I have ever heard.

The thing is, I am also realistic. My opinion is not based on my technical knowledge of singing or vocal range and power etc... It is just my personal opinion regarding what I have heard and can try and establish for myself.

Now my brother loves Freddie and Queen but he is a bigger Elvis fan. Elvis to him is like Queen to me. He has highlighted to me, that although Freddie's voice was excellent, it was also very 'dodgy' at times. A prime example he has given, is near the end of the song 'Time', where Freddie hits and holds the word 'Waits', just before the ' ...For nobody, nobody, nobody... For no-one'.

Now my brother feels that the way he sings that part is very strained and forced out. Now I can see where he is coming from but I am genuinely not in a position to agree or disagree. To me, I could be biased and just say that is the way Freddie wanted to sing that line/note, or I can be of the mind to say that it does sound strained.

So, over to the vocal/singing experts, what are you opinions?

Cheers!



"I'll Face It With A Grin, I'm Never Giving In. On With The Show... The Show Must Go On!!!"
Togg user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 22 Sep 06, 06:50 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I'm no singing expert but I have done a lot over the years and recorded a lot of others as well.

I think Freddie had an extensive range, to be honest I suspect it was considerably greater than Elvis's but yes towards the top end he would sound strained, he did like to push the envelope when singing a line and part of his vocal characteristics was to have a rasp at the top end. Elvis never sang in that way, he had a much deeper voice and rarely went for the top notes with the same aggression.

Both are great, You also have to remember in Elvis's day you didn't sing like Freddie it was not acceptable you had to hit the note true and accurately, by the late 70's it was much more acceptable to be allover the place. Look at Bob Dillon a fantastic voice but not pure like that of say Elvis.

Lou Reed is another, a great singer but does he ever hit the note??

I think they are just different styles, could Elvis sing a Queen song, sure, not in the same register though.


"It is better to sit in silence and have people think you're a fool, then to open your mouth and remove all doubt"
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Posted: 22 Sep 06, 08:26 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Technically Freddie wasn't a very good singer. He had range and a great sounding voice. But he wasn't a trained singer. And you can hear that very well, especially live.

The first few dates from a tour were great, but after the 7th or so show his voice would become worse and worse. He couldn't sing the high notes anymore, shouted more than real singing etc.


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violonbleu user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 22 Sep 06, 08:26 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

The best voice of all time? NO! The best voice of all time...if you don't include all the great CLASSICAL MUSIC singers. But the greatest popular voice that we remember, and can hear again, yes, probably.
That's my opinion :-)


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Posted: 22 Sep 06, 08:41 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I've always regarded Freddie as a studio singer. His best vocals were on the albums, especially when he did all of the backing choirs himself (e.g. You Take My Breath Away). Live he was a showman, in the studio he was a musician.

Elvis had a great voice indeed, and many tend to put him down because, allegedly, there wasn't much competition, but IMO that's false: there were very good singers in that era, and Elvis somehow made his way to the elite. He deserved the fame he'd got.


John hated HS. Fred's fave singer was not PR. Roger didn't compose 'Innuendo.' Witness testimonies are often inaccurate. Scotland's not in England. 'Bo Rhap' hasn't got 180 voices.
Fireplace user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 22 Sep 06, 09:04 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Localboy80 wrote:





Now my brother loves Freddie and Queen but he is a bigger Elvis fan. Elvis to him is like Queen to me. He has highlighted to me, that although Freddie's voice was excellent, it was also very 'dodgy' at times. A prime example he has given, is near the end of the song 'Time', where Freddie hits and holds the word 'Waits', just before the ' ...For nobody, nobody, nobody... For no-one'.

Now my brother feels that the way he sings that part is very strained and forced out. Now I can see where he is coming from but I am genuinely not in a position to agree or disagree. To me, I could be biased and just say that is the way Freddie wanted to sing that line/note, or I can be of the mind to say that it does sound strained.

So, over to the vocal/singing experts, what are you opinions?

Cheers!


I happen to agree with the part about Time (and also In My Defence). I find both songs sounding strained and somehow unpleasant vocally. That says very little about Freddie though, just listen to the middle part of Mother Love, sung just months before his death.

Time happens to be a bad example of his singing skills, that's all. He could do much, much better.


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Posted: 22 Sep 06, 10:37 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Fireplace wrote:

Localboy80 wrote:





Now my brother loves Freddie and Queen but he is a bigger Elvis fan. Elvis to him is like Queen to me. He has highlighted to me, that although Freddie's voice was excellent, it was also very 'dodgy' at times. A prime example he has given, is near the end of the song 'Time', where Freddie hits and holds the word 'Waits', just before the ' ...For nobody, nobody, nobody... For no-one'.

Now my brother feels that the way he sings that part is very strained and forced out. Now I can see where he is coming from but I am genuinely not in a position to agree or disagree. To me, I could be biased and just say that is the way Freddie wanted to sing that line/note, or I can be of the mind to say that it does sound strained.

So, over to the vocal/singing experts, what are you opinions?

Cheers!


I happen to agree with the part about Time (and also In My Defence). I find both songs sounding strained and somehow unpleasant vocally. That says very little about Freddie though, just listen to the middle part of Mother Love, sung just months before his death.

Time happens to be a bad example of his singing skills, that's all. He could do much, much better.
I agree , In My defence and Time are strained!! He could do better , even in that period. I think 'One year of love' sounds great!!


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Posted: 22 Sep 06, 11:25 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote


I may be alone in here but... "Time" and specially "In My Defence", have superb vocals. Mind you that In my defence was a One-Take vocal, if you don't count the ad-libs.

I think it's useless to point out the best voice of all time. Some people have great voices, but can't quite control it, others do not have that much of a voice, but do wonders with what they have (ex. Paul Simon).

Freddie had a magnificent voice and he knew what he was doing!! Of course he avoided the high notes live and sometimes missed a couple ones, but like sebastian said, live he was mostly a performer.

Finally, I ask you this: How about the vocal "performance"?? Deliverance, diversity, creativity, inteligence while singing, charisma?

Give me (not a good guitar), but a singer who totals all of the above and beats Freddie.


Being a Scolar when it comes to Queen...
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Posted: 22 Sep 06, 11:49 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Togg wrote:

Look at Bob Dillon a fantastic voice but not pure like that of say Elvis.


Bob Dillon? Fantastic voice? I thought you meant Bob Dylan, but the fantastic voice part has me confused...

Freddie pushed his voice hard, and he did it alot. Sometimes the result was sketchy, but other times it was remarkable. I think his vocals on Gimme the Prize is a good example. Not a great song, but his vocal performance is amazing.

As for the best voice, I think even Freddie would agree that it's hard to top Aretha Franklin.

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Posted: 22 Sep 06, 11:52 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I have had several years of vocal training (a work in progress) and I agree that Freddie's voice is THE best recorded voice I've ever encountered. His voice can fit any style of music and it fits. Some artists try different sytles and it just doesn't sound right. I agree that Freddie's voice in the late 80's sounded more strained but I personally think this is a smoking issue. Listen to My Fairy King and then listen to I Want It All. The smoking gave a "gravelly" sound to his voice but he kept, and maybe even, expanded his vocal range (excluding his falsetto). I personally think Freddie's tone was the best in the News of the World - The Game era.
If I were a producer I would have suggested to Freddie that he sing a different word or series of notes to the "Wait" line in Time that you mentioned. I am certainly no expert but because Freddie took no formal vocal training (I think. Please don't murder me if I'm wrong.) he was able to train his own voice and use it in ways no other vocalist has or even can.


"You Can Be Anything You Want To Be"
AspiringPhilosophe user not visiting Queenzone.com
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Posted: 22 Sep 06, 11:56 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

I have been trained as a vocalist since middle school, and indeed was a vocal music performance major for my first year at University, so I'm pretty familiar with the technical stuff reguarding the voice.
Freddie had an amazing voice for a few reasons: He had a vocal range that is very hard to beat. He also had amazing clarity and warmth of tone within that range. Anyone can expand their range, but to do it in a way that it sounds decent at both extremes is something you can't really train, and Freddie had that. Not to mention the emotion that he could put into his voice for songs. He was a natural singer. He was also able to change the timbre of his voice for different songs...for example he sounds alot different in "Seven Seas of Rhye" than he does in "Bohemian Rhapsody". He had a natural musical ear, and was a good judge of what would fit best with which pieces of music.
That being said, he wasn't the best vocalist in the world. He wasn't properly trained, which isn't neccessarily a bad thing, but you can tell when he sings live that he's forcing out the sounds due to improper breathing techniques and not lifting the soft palate. That explains why his voice was always crap at the end of the shows, he was forcing his vocal chords to work harder than they should have had to. That is also one of the major reasons he got vocal nodules...he was abusing his vocal chords. Some proper techniques of breathing and soft palate lifting would have helped, but it's possible it might have changed his sound as well, and that's probably the reason he never did it. He was also a smoker for a period of time, and you might as well hack your vocal chords with a knife if you are going to do that. However, once he quit smoking, his voice returned in a big way, and I think that a lot of his last stuff was the best vocally.
But his singing was still amazing, and he's one of my favorite singers to this day....the sound he could produce, while not vocally wonderful on a technical scale, was still extemely pleasant to listen to and fit in very well with Queen and the music they did.


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Posted: 22 Sep 06, 12:25 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Elvis was a thoroughly mediocre singer who had the luck of having a pretty voice. He didn't use more than 1 1/2 octaves of it, though.


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Posted: 22 Sep 06, 13:24 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

What Elvis had going for him is that no one was doing what he was doing at the time, not his vocal range.

Songs were carefully chosen for him based on how he could perform the song, because no one could do it like Elvis.

Freddie wrote his masterpieces. And they weren't written based on how he'd perform them live.

Tough to compare the two. Totally different context.

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Posted: 22 Sep 06, 13:30 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

That's an abosultely excellent analysis BowieQueen. Singers with a bigger range (Mariah Carey, Celine dion) lack the "wit, charisma and uniqueness" that Freddie had. Freddie knew how to deliver a song in all genres, which is not unique to the rock world, but pretty infrequent. Brian has called Love of my Life one of music's finest vocals, and it's a beautiful ballad. Flip things to the heavy end, and his work on It's Late is breathtaking. The power and control and hurt on his voice is amazing on It's Late. Such a shame that outside of the Queen world the song is virtually unknown.


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Posted: 22 Sep 06, 14:14 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Al TurHao wrote:


I may be alone in here but... "Time" and specially "In My Defence", have superb vocals. Mind you that In my defence was a One-Take vocal, if you don't count the ad-libs.



You´re not alone in here, and what i find interesting is the fact that people forgot that Freddie was singing "Time" for the musical. So, you hear Freddie singing the high notes the way he wanted you to hear!

When someone showed "Time" to Sir Laurence Olivier (if i´m not mistaken), he said something like: "this is a great actor". So if you read the lyrics of that song you´ll realise why he sings that way.

And all the theories of the trained voice to me means nothing!! What is a well trained vocalist?- someone who took lessons?- They all sound the same.

Freddie was natural!

Of course Freddie could save is voice for the tours. He could just stand still on stage and concentrate purelly on his voice!-got the point?

He gave it all, and what about the "TSMGO"?- The Barcelona album?

And what does Montserrat Caballe- she has worked with the best- says about Freddie´s voice?

Before you guys judge a performance, try to figure out the context of that performance.

On time he sounded like that, but in the same year on the song "It´s a hard life" he reaches the high note easilly!!(I did it for loooove...)- This is what Freddie´s all about.

He created different moods for different songs. That´s the diference between Freddie and the well trained singers- He never repeats himself, and that you can´t learn, you´re born with it!!

Take care

Localboy80 user not visiting Queenzone.com

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Posted: 22 Sep 06, 14:32 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Absolutely brilliant responses and replies, friends!

I entirely agree with most that has been said, especially about the way he delivered songs and how he sang them.

Out of pure curiosity, I think 'The Show Must Go On' is his best studio vocal and 'Somebody To Love' from Milton Keynes, 1982 was his best live vocal.

Don't get me wrong, there are so many studio songs and live performances to choose from but these two stand out for me.

I mean, 'My Fairy King', 'Spread Your Wings', 'Love Of My Life', 'It's Late', just to name a few more studio performances and all of Live Aid, 'Bohemian Rhapsody' at Newcastle and 'A Kind Of Magic' at Stockholm, 1986, to just name a few live performances!



"I'll Face It With A Grin, I'm Never Giving In. On With The Show... The Show Must Go On!!!"
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Posted: 22 Sep 06, 14:43 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Bobby_brown wrote:

Al TurHao wrote:


I may be alone in here but... "Time" and specially "In My Defence", have superb vocals. Mind you that In my defence was a One-Take vocal, if you don't count the ad-libs.



And all the theories of the trained voice to me means nothing!! What is a well trained vocalist?- someone who took lessons?- They all sound the same.

-------------snip-------------------------

Before you guys judge a performance, try to figure out the context of that performance.

-------------snip-------------------------


For someone who doesn't believe in training, you sure dish out some lessons! All trained vocalists sound the same? To a deaf person, perhaps.

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Posted: 22 Sep 06, 15:31 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

Fireplace wrote:

Bobby_brown wrote:

Al TurHao wrote:


I may be alone in here but... "Time" and specially "In My Defence", have superb vocals. Mind you that In my defence was a One-Take vocal, if you don't count the ad-libs.



And all the theories of the trained voice to me means nothing!! What is a well trained vocalist?- someone who took lessons?- They all sound the same.

Exactly. Not all trained vocalists sound the same, or we would only have 4 vocalists in the whole world, one for each range. But you can tell when someone singing has been trained or not.
Personally, I'm glad that Freddie never got training....he was so naturally gifted that he would have sounded much different. The emotion that he puts into his songs is something that is amazing. It's just a shame to listen to some of the end shows from the tours, because I know how much his throat had to be killing him at the end of the show, and then having the nodules that could have ended his singing career.
He's still an amazing singer though, and an even better stage performer. The world of music lost a great persona when we lost him.

-------------snip-------------------------

Before you guys judge a performance, try to figure out the context of that performance.

-------------snip-------------------------


For someone who doesn't believe in training, you sure dish out some lessons! All trained vocalists sound the same? To a deaf person, perhaps.



Formerly MHG
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Posted: 22 Sep 06, 16:02 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

1. Freddie smoked heavily, which toughens and damages the soft tissue of the vocal folds.

2. Freddie drank quite a bit, which dries the vocal folds - not a good thing, especially right before a performance.

3. Freddie did a lot of cocaine, which causes post-nasal drip into the throat and further damages the vocal folds when singing under the influence.

So, he pretty much, due to his lifestyle broke every rule in the singer's vocal care book, and it took it's toll over the years - he had a lot of issues with vocal nodes as well, a byproduct of self-abuse. Compare 1973 Freddie with 1986 Freddie, and you'll see the degradation. On the other end, compare his vocals in 1991, and you'll see that his quitting those bad habits helped his vocals rebound quite a bit, even though he was dying.

So, all said, if Freddie had taken care of his voice as, say, an opera singer would, he'd have never had that gravelly texture to his voice in the 80's.

But he was still the best, and that "strained" line could just as easily have been executed that way for dramatic effect. Listen to Barcelona and you'll see he could still smooth it out when he wanted to for the power notes.


Thank you, God bless you, sweet dreams you lot of tarts, Good-bye!
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Posted: 22 Sep 06, 16:11 Edit this post Reply to this post Reply with Quote

from what i've learnd freddie WAS a good singer


however



it seems he did everything possible to fuck up his larynx** (**also known as the voice box, the home of the vocal cords/folds)


first of all he was a smoker! all air (includeing smoke) has to go through the larynx to get to the lungs. When and if smoke goes through the larynx (or more spicificly the vocal cords they can dry out and then get cracks.

in order to relise the full extent of the damage this acculay causes you must first under stand how the vocal cords work

the vocal cords/folds work by vibrating together
i.e. for a lower note they vibrate slower as for a higher note well... the higher the note the more VPS (vibrations per second)

the problem these cracks (caused by smoking) present is if one of them works itself out to the side of the vocal cord then the two cords can't close properly and there's a hole in your sound production

wich is........bad



the second thing he did that is a litle less obviously dangerous


like you mentiond in the starting of the artical freddie had moments where he pushed sound out (using mainly the throught, instead of using the lungs and diaphram proplery to produce sound) this is not a smart thing to do becuse the final result can be vocal nodles (wich he had!)

what are nodles?

nodles are.... well.... to put it simplely as i can nodles are bumps that form on the vocal cords/folds and get in the way of the vibrations needed for sound production

well that's all i have to say

oh here's a picture of the vocal cords:

http://english.pravda.ru/img/idb/vocal-cords200.jpg