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Positive or negative - frontmen with really distinctive vocals


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Was reading the thread asking whether peeps were more interested in the new Nickelback or Styx offerings and spent a bit of time listening to various Nickelback songs as I love Chad Kroeger's voice but I was finding that because his voice is so distinctive a lot of the songs just reminded me of their famous hit How You Remind Me.

Or I'm guessing it's because his voice is so recognisable, I guess it could be other factors.

 

I guess there's plenty of positives to having a voice that's instantly recognisable and unique - not least from a marketing point of view - but I do find it makes listening to whole albums by one artist in one sitting even less interesting than I usually find.

 

Was just curious to see if anyone on here had an opinion on that or not?

​What would be the pluses and minuses of having distinctive v anonymous vocal sound in a band?

 

(Having said that, I'm gonna add their new album, Feed the Machine, to my collection as was pretty impressed by what I heard of it) :guitar:

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For me, it can be both, if a band has a singer with a distinctive voice it is major positive for them. Listeners are able to recognize the band/artist by simply hearing the vocals. If instead a band has a vocalist that sounds like other bands of the same genre it may result in fewer sales and over time they may get lost in the shuffle. However, one negative aspect is when a band loses that distinctive vocalist. Some bands have difficulty ever matching their prior success. For many fans, Styx without former vocalist Dennis Deyoung just isn't Styx. Some popular bands who lost their vocalist had far less success, even if the music was still good. There are exceptions of course, like AC/DC or more recently H.E.A.T., but for others like Journey, Quiet Riot, Motley Crue, and Skid Row I believe they lost fans due in part to the absence of the voice that had become synonymous with the band. For some people they became just another band. Even if success continued with the new singer, like Van Halen (w/ Hagar) or Black Sabbath (w/ Dio), it often split the fan-base.

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I can say that most of the time it is hard for me to get into bands new cd's after they change lead vocals.

Great White, Skid Row, Warrant, Bonfire, Asphalt Ballet

 

I was just getting into the music scene when Van Halen did the switch.

So I lean more towards Sammy.

 

With H.E.A.T. I started with the new vocalist.

 

Bands that did a switch that I still liked were: Savatage, Tangier, Britny Fox

But I would still choose the first singer over the second.

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I was just getting into the music scene when Van Halen did the switch.

So I lean more towards Sammy.

 

 

 

Well, that makes me feel old.

 

But come to think of it, there are certainly some bands that I don't mind their switch in vocalist like Van Halen and AC/DC. I was just listening to XYZ the other day and remembered that this guy singing is the new vocalist of Great White. That one, I don't mind either. I think Russell and Illous vocals are very close alike. But one band that I really approved of when they changed vocals was Black Sabbath. When Dio sang old Sabbath songs, it was revealed to the world how poor a vocalist Ozzy was/is. Motley, Skid and Quiet Riot, these I really do mind. I think they're a totally different band without their famous voices.

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Interesting topic. When i think about it, i guess just about every singer has a distinctive voice, for me anyway. There are a few though that remind me of other artists. To me, Steve Lee sounded like Coverdale and there were always heaps of Jon Bon Jovi clones. Paul Laine's early stuff comes to mind.

 

I guess there's a difference between distinctive and unique. As i said, i think most singers voices are distinctive, but then you have the artists with unique voices.

Artists such as Geoff Tate, Don Dokken, etc.

I Don't think it's a negative thing at all as it gives the respective bands their own identity, although it does become problematic when there's a split or death.

 

I know what you mean about Nickleback. I like them as well, but their stuff is very "samey"(if that's a word). They have a successful formula and they stick to it. Good on 'em.

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For many fans, Styx without former vocalist Dennis Deyoung just isn't Styx.

Good points!

Re Styx, from what I listened to I certainly preferred the earlier stuff and that must be in major part down to the different singer as in their more recent stuff it was the vocals that was putting me off listening Guess there are plenty of others that would like his style though, all down to personal taste, but I guess that would prove your argument re different vocals potentially splitting the fan base

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I have to say that Dennis DeYoung sang lead on about 2/3 of the songs.When Tommy Shaw joined the group he gave them a better balance and the band prospered because of it.Plus,James Young always had one song(Miss America,Snowblind) on each release that was usually a killer.

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You only have to look at a lot of bands who have tried to replace a distinctive singer to see what a vital part of the overall sound their voice is/was ...

 

John Corabi is a fine singer, but Crue isn't Crue without Vince.

 

Maiden came unstuck when they tried to replace Bruce; the same for Priest with 'Ripper' Owens.

 

Skid Row, for me, will ALWAYS be the Seb Bach-fronted version.

 

Sabbath managed it with Dio, but lost the plot when they tried to pull the same stunt with Ian Gillan.

 

Van Halen became a completely different band when Hagar replaced Roth (and then became a car crash when they brought in Gary Cherone.)

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