Sunday, June 13, 2010

Best Rock Male Vocalists – 1980’s

Happy Birthday to my daughter Olivia, who with this day is now a teenager. We will be celebrating by going bowling as a family, and anticipating the big day tomorrow. What you don't celebrate June 14th Flag Day like we do? Oh yes, it will be my 48th birthday on June 14th.

For today's post, I thought I would write about one of my favorite topics – 1980's Rock n' Roll. And this time I will try and order the best male vocalists of the 1980's. So let's get started!

  1. Robert Palmer;    I have placed my favorite crooner at number one, the late, great Mr. Palmer. His early work was much more focused on his great singing, and if you would like an example of his work during his early years seek out "Every Kinda People" – it's awesome. And of course, when he became popular his vocals really shone through during his rocking years with songs like 'Addicted to Love', 'Bad Case of Loving You (Doctor, Doctor)', and his work with the Super-Group Power Station. He's the best!
  2. George Michael;    George Michael was much more than the pretty face in Wham. His soulful voice owned the charts in 1986. I don't know why with such a great voice he wasn't able to have much more success, but such is the way of life. His almost-mystical voice in songs like 'Faith' shows that he deserves this spot;
  3. Michael Jackson    Now that Michael's estate has passed $1,000,000,000 in sales since his passing, we know that he still has something magical with his music. Although I don't consider him a super-great vocalist, his songs are so great that he has to be ranked near the top;
  4. Rod Stewart    This may surprise you that I think this highly of Mr. Stewart's vocals. But his cover of Robert Palmer's 'Some Guys Have All the Luck' is amazing. Robert Palmer's version is nothing like what Rod Stewart did with the song, and it showed by becoming a number 1 hit. His version of Van Morrison's 'Have I told You Lately' was less impressive, because it eliminated the spiritual aspect to the song, yet it still became number 1. He has an amazing gift for interpreting songs, which is why I placed him at Number 4;
  5. Bono;    OK, how can I put someone this high who made his performing name 'Bono Vox', is Latin for Good Voice? Well, I listen to the passion and emotion of songs like 'With or Without You' and 'Sunday, Bloody Sunday', and it's easy to see why he has to be considered alongside the best;
  6. Boy George;    The singing 'Boy looks like a Girl' shares a birthday with me (and Jeanne K.) has some great chops. When I first heard 'Do You Really Want to Hurt Me', I knew this was a great vocalist. His voice was pure and filled with an element of soul/blues. It's too bad that he wasn't able to keep his singing career going;
  7. Paul Carrack;    The journeyman rocker was the great sultry, smokey, bluesy voice of groups like Ace, Squeeze, and Mike & the Mechanics. He had a not-so impressive solo career did produce the stellar 'I Need You', but you probably know him better as the lead singer in songs like 'Tempted", 'Silent Running', and the ancient 'How Long'; Too bad he didn't stick it with Squeeze, just as they were starting to become "the" next big thing, he left them, and they were never the same without him. The Carrack Collection only has 8 songs, but it has all his best from wherever he put his considerable singing talents to work – check it out!
  8. Don Henley;    The voice of many great Eagles' songs, as well as a solid solo performer. He has that special 'it' when it comes to singing a song with emotion. 'The Last Worthless Evening' is one of my favorites from him;
  9. Stevie Wonder;    Over 4 decades of wonderful pop / Rhythm and Blues. His voice is made fun of by those who try and impersonate him, but you hear his great gift in songs like 'Chemical Love';
  10. Chris Isaac;    Love him! He has that bluesy kind of country voice, that rings pure. 'Wicked Game' and 'Don't Make Me Dream About You' off of his best work in 'Heart Shaped World' CD are wonderful. And his subtle fun personality helps make his songs in concert even better;
  11. Darryl Hall;    The greatest 'blue-eyed soul' performer, and the better half of Hall & Oates. Great voice. Great pop songs. I can listen to him all day. Good song that shows his talent: 'She's Gone'. And I always crank 'Sara Smile';
  12. Belois Some;    OK, I'm going off the board with this one. Belois is a synth / dance music maestro from the 1980's, with the music overshadowing his great pipes. His song 'Some People' is great. So here is a great voice that you've never heard of!


As you can probably see from this list, I have left off some of the most popular 1980's acts. But I do it without regret. I don't think Prince, Billie Joel, Michael Hutchens (INXS), David Lee Roth, Sammie Hagar, Mick Jaggar, Bob Seger, Simon LeBon (of Duran Duran), Peter Wolf (J. Geils), John Mellencamp, and the guys from Journey and Aerosmith should make the list, talented though they may be. And I only had two black singers on the list, but I'm sure I'm forgetting many more. Oh well, help me if you can.

So tell me who your favorite male singers from the 1980's is and why. And if you have some that were left off of my list, I would enjoy hearing from you. Have a wonderful week.


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