GREAT vocal performances

John Miles again - long track, starts about a minute in! a song about a performer noticing the crowd don't react the same. I don't do lyrics, just tunes, but this one got through.
 
There are a lot of fantastic singers no one's ever heard of.

A sampler of a young lady I found on a karaoke site. No mega-dollar studio, just one-take performances singing into Walmart grade mics sitting in front of a computer.



Same girl harmonizing with herself on Hallelujah.



Her peer-age niece doing "I'm The Only One". Her vocal overwhelmed the mic and there were a lot of nasty EQ spikes, I separated her vocal from the track, EQ'd and balanced it with a volume envelope and re-mixed it with the track but didn't otherwise touch her performance.



Another karaoke "discovery" of mine doing a superb job on "Breathe 2AM".



Duet on "Say Something" by another pair of complete unknowns.

 
Glenn Kaiser of Resurrection Band back in 1979. He starts off with a sore throat and goes through the song with just enough edge to keep from becoming an over-the-top cliché. There are zillions of better vocal performances than this, but for some reason this one has stood out to me since I first heard it back in '87.


I love Vega's first 3 albums. One of the things I love about her songs on all three is the "ordinariness" of her singing, yet at the same time, she carries this mysterious quality about her through her singing. She had the kind of voice that made whatever she was singing about an interstellar mystery and her vocal performances were brilliant, in my opinion. She made it sound easy and that in itself was encouraging.

The singing on this song and of 4 of the other songs on the album from which it comes, define the art of communicating sarcasm in a vocal. It is hard to not laugh at Hugh's vocalizing, because he's just so funny. "BRING ME IVORY ! AND BRING GEOGRAPHY !"
I guess I just have a strange sense of humour, but I got it......these songs are all the more remarkable because Hugh Masekela was known as a trumpet player. He actually played on the Byrds' "So You Wanna be a Rock'n'Roll Star ?"
 
There are a lot of fantastic singers no one's ever heard of
My Mum wasn't one of them ! :-) Nor was my mate, Chandra. I never believed in the notion of tone deafness until I heard him sing.
But your statement is so true. There are also loads of fantastic singers that will never be heard of that have already performed on stuff, but the songs or albums sank without a trace or weren't promoted for whatever reason. I suspect we also personally know some really good singers.

By the way, what musical instruments do you play ? I've been meaning to ask you that for years !
 
My Mum wasn't one of them ! :-) Nor was my mate, Chandra. I never believed in the notion of tone deafness until I heard him sing.
But your statement is so true. There are also loads of fantastic singers that will never be heard of that have already performed on stuff, but the songs or albums sank without a trace or weren't promoted for whatever reason. I suspect we also personally know some really good singers.

By the way, what musical instruments do you play ? I've been meaning to ask you that for years !
I'd never heard Hugh Masekela sing before.

Hard to believe now but Shania Twain was on the road to obscurity until she connected with Mutt Lange. She had an amazing voice, was smokin' gorgeous but the right elements weren't aligning for wider fame. Ever heard the "Limelight Sessions" album? Tracks she did back when she was Eileen Edwards, pre-fame taking a bunch of songs that range from fair to bland and makes them sound as good as they possibly could. I'm not sure if they were demos she did as a session singer for others for rent money.

Now that I think of it, you're in the UK right? You might not know who Shania is, she was really huge here in the US a while back as a country/pop artist.

Rick Beato has a video about how the music industry can screw up the career of promising artists - look up his video "Almost Famous: The Cruelty of the Music Business".

I play kazoo and I'm a comb/wax paper prodigy. 8-)

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Trumpet is what I have the most skill on which by default means cornet and flugelhorn as well. I've been learning trombone of late. My sound is decent since it's such a close cousin to trumpet but I need to internalize the matrix of the structure of playing music on it, get facile reading bass clef.

I've been trying to elevate my piano skills beyond the hacker beginner level. Also making halting efforts toward learning violin - as a 5th grader when they gave us a choice of learning an instrument I was torn between trumpet and violin. I'd like to try my hand at making a violin someday - ever watched videos on the process of what's involved in making that family of string instruments? Amazing that the ancient masters came up with it centuries ago with no electricity or modern tools.

You're a bass guy? Probably also guitar?

Speaking of people who sing professionally but aren't famous, here's what I consider to be a superb rendition of "Get Here" by a young lady who performs in the Disney orbit. She turns everything she does to sonic gold in my opinion.

https://on.soundcloud.com/M8iaQz2McWLfV6eYA

A virtual collaboration with another karaoke discovery - yet another hobbyist "amateur" who's never done a public gig.

 
I’m going to post a couple from the rock/metal

I’m still so impressed with Axl Rose as a vocalist, and the song in general, but to be able to do scales so accurately in that ‘chainsaw voice’ mode impresses me.

 
Another from ‘80s era and thing this is a stellar vocal performance. His vocal idol is so blatantly obvious especially in this tune but I like the Plant-esque scream parts.
It’s like Since I’ve Been Loving You with ‘80s flair but they do it well.

 
Goodbye Yellow Brick Road as well (the song)…they way he sinuously bleeds real vox in and out of falsetto is amazing
 
I’m hitting some ‘80s and ‘90s era but this one I dig live. The way Layne and Cantrell would weave their vocals in and out of root/high harmony roles and switch off always impressed me. Better examples of that but I love this tune and that performance of it.

 
I'd never heard Hugh Masekela sing before
Funny thing there, although I'd heard his name, I didn't really take any notice. Then in '84, when I was listening to more and more jazzy stuff, I listened to this album and didn't really connect that he was the trumpet player. I thought he was a singer. It was only when I bought the LP and read the credits that I cottoned onto the fact he did both on the album. And it wasn't until the internet age {well, the internet age for me ! Post 2004} that read up on him and realised he was pretty well known. I knew about his first wife Miriam Makeba, and had heard her music, almost a decade before I knew about him.
Now that I think of it, you're in the UK right? You might not know who Shania is, she was really huge here in the US a while back as a country/pop artist
Actually, it's as a country-ish singer that she's mainly known here. The name Shania Twain just sounds like a country singer, even if she screamed death metal.
Where she was born has this wonderful Chinese restaurant that my family and I went to last year !
I play kazoo and I'm a comb/wax paper prodigy
I managed kazoo on a couple of songs and I think it turned out well both times. Then I had an op to have my thyroid removed and that severely limited my singing voice and range and basically put paid to my kazoo aspirations. I may not have been the Hendrix of the kazoo....and now I never will be !
Trumpet is what I have the most skill on which by default means cornet and flugelhorn as well. I've been learning trombone of late. My sound is decent since it's such a close cousin to trumpet
You know, it sounds silly, but this is something I found when I first discovered VSTis. Trumpet VSTis are pretty lame, whereas flugelhorn ones are good {I've not heard a cornet one, I don't think}. When I first started trying to put realistic brass sections together, I was somewhat surprised by how close the trombone and trumpet seemed in sound. I'd always sort of assumed that a trombone would be deeper and closer to a tuba.
Also making halting efforts toward learning violin
One my favourite 5 instruments. It's funny, as children, my younger sister learned the violin and that was torture for me when she started. I still shiver at the sound. But once I heard Robbie Steinhardt of Kansas, then later, John Mayer {he did some innovative Indo-jazz fusions with another innovator, Joe Harriott, in the '60s} and Jerry Goodman of the Mahavishnu Orchestra, plus much of my Dad's classical collection, I grew to love that violin sound. It features in many of my songs.
You're a bass guy? Probably also guitar?
Yeah, stubbornly self-taught on the bass. In a way, everything I turn my hand to as regards musical instrumentation flows from the way I approached bass in the beginning. When I first bought a bass, back at the end of '81, the first song I tried to play was "Rain" by Status Quo. But I didn't play along to a recording of the song. I sang the melody in my head and came up with what I assumed was the bass part. It included the riff and the chord changes....as I thought them to be. And so I just carried on playing bass that way. I wrote tons of songs on the bass, which is why I've always disagreed with Paul McCartney when he declared that one can't write songs on a bass. Anyway, about 7 years after I started playing, I was actually listening to the bass part on "Rain" and discovered that I'd been nowhere close to it ! I thought mine was way better to be honest. Alan Lancaster's bass part had 2 notes in it. It was around that time that I realised I had an approach to the bass guitar that wasn't orthodox. I'd never thought about it before that. I'd describe myself as a melodic bassist with a keen sense of rhythm but since I started actively recording, I've had to learn to be somewhat more muted when a song demands it.
I started playing guitar 8 years after I'd started the bass so much of my guitar thinking was/is influenced by my bass mind, rather than the other way around. For example, I'll string together sequences of chords and rhythms that I'd do on the bass, on the guitar. It sounds odd at first, but it works.
I got into double bass more for its sonic beauty. In a way, my approach to it is not dissimilar to my bass guitar approach, but I think I have more of an emphasis on its sound.
I also play a bit of mandolin and banjo although not very well. I enjoy various percussion and I've had to learn my way around sampled instruments although I'd rather use the real living players if they're willing and available.
Speaking of people who sing professionally but aren't famous, here's what I consider to be a superb rendition of "Get Here" by a young lady who performs in the Disney orbit. She turns everything she does to sonic gold in my opinion.

https://on.soundcloud.com/M8iaQz2McWLfV6eYA
That was gorgeous. I'm a sucker for songs with piano figures like that. I wish she was one of my neighbours. I'd be unblocking her drains and risking electric shocks on the ring mains for some vocal contributions !
 
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