Friday, December 14, 2007

Beautiful Voice

Being an accomplished baritone in private, much like Mr. Tanner of Harry Chapin fame, I have always been a fan of great voices, from Luciano Pavarotti , Ella Fitzgerald, Billie Holiday to my personal favorite, the late Freddie Mercury of the rock band, Queen. Of Mercury's talents, I think this paragraph in Wiki sums it up nicely:

Regarded as one of the greatest singers in popular music, Freddie Mercury possessed a very distinctive voice, including a recorded range of four and a halfe octaves. Although his speaking voice naturally fell in the range, he delivered most songs in the tenor range. His highest notes are F6 in falsetto and C5 with his normal voice. He used a falsetto in many songs as well. Biographer David Bret described his voice as "escalating within a few bars from a deep, throaty rock-growl to tender, vibrant tenor, then on to a high-pitched, almost perfect coloratura pure and crystalline in the upper reaches." On the other hand, he would often lower the highest notes during live performances. Mercury also claimed never to have had any formal training and suffered from vocal nodules. Catalan soprano Montserrat Caballé, with whom Mercury recorded an album expressed her opinion that "the difference between Freddie and almost all the other rock stars was that he was selling the voice."
This version of "Who Wants To Live Forever" is a telling example of the soaring beauty of his voice.

7 Swings of the bat:

Billiam said...

We are in total agreement. His was a hell of a voice with great range. I also love this song very much, beyond my slavish devotion to Highlander...

Dad29 said...


There's a BIG difference between Mercury and (say) Fitzgerald or Sinatra, and the difference is in utilization of one's internally-given resonance. That resonance comes from using the whole body as the instrument, rather than just the vocal cords and nasal cavities.

In at least the first 60 seconds of the video, he utilized almost none of that 'total' resonance and power afforded by 'whole body' singing.

That's symptomatic of today's rock stars in general; the vocal projection is far too cramped, too 'forward'--thus, the "whole body" singing of Sinatra, Fitzgerald, Crosby, (and to a lesser extent, Holliday) is not present.

It's as though the voice is dis-embodied--exactly what one hears from Spears.

How you can compare Mercury to these, and Pavarotti, is curious.

Other Side said...

Well, you're certainly entitled to your opinion. Mercury was a far more accomplished singer than 99.9 of pop and rock stars. Professional singers agreed.

Both Pavarotti's voice and Mercury's were beautiful. Is that such a hard concept?

btw: I did not compare his voice, I merely stated that I was a fan of his and others. You don't need to be so contrary all the time.

JesusIsJustAlrightWithMe said...

Are you saying Frank Sinatra is a better singer than Freddy Mercury? Because that's fucking insane.

Dad29 said...

JIJ, only in YOUR world is Mercury better than The Chairman.

Someday, you might visit planet Earth. Nice place!

JesusIsJustAlrightWithMe said...

I love frank. The man has character and charisma more than just about everyone. But if we're talking quality of voice, Mercury wins hands down here on planet Earth. But I suppose believing Frank Sinatra has a better voice than Freddy Mercury is far from the most ridiculus thing you believe.

Anonymous said...

I will always love you Freddie Mercury.

Nobody compares!!!