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wonky
09-21-2004, 04:39 PM
In this thread about Macy Gray (http://boards.academicpursuits.us/sdmb/showthread.php?t=276751) there was some discussion about singers with unusual voices. I am a big fan of peculiar voices.

Anyone else really like strange voices? Who are your favorites?

Mockingbird
09-21-2004, 04:49 PM
I initially thought Nina Simone had a weird voice when I was introduced to her ten years ago. Now I adore her and can't imagine a world without her music.

jjimm
09-21-2004, 04:54 PM
Thom Yorke - bizarre high voice (recently copied almost exactly by the lead singer of Muse).

Nick Drake - one third of the powerful appeal of his music is his unique voice, IMO - the others being the ethereal tunes and breathtaking guitar work.

Jeff Buckley.

The lead singer of that one band as well. What's it called? Placebo.

David Bowie.

Kelis.

Larry Mudd
09-21-2004, 04:59 PM
Eartha Kitt has an unusual but compelling voice.

Edith Piaf did too, if you wanna go back a ways...

Annie Ross, maybe?

Larry Mudd
09-21-2004, 05:02 PM
Almost forgot... Mockingbird, I've always been confused when people frequently mistake Nina Simone's voice for a man's.

WTF? She sounds like pure sexy woman to me. I Want Some Sugar In My Bowl makes me faint.

fishbicycle
09-21-2004, 05:05 PM
Bon Scott of AC/DC had a most unusual voice, which fascinates me. I'm not a giant fan of the group, but it's plain that this guy had some kind of tortured gift.

I didn't like Kate Bush when I first heard her music, but she grew on me enormously over time.

Paul Young had an unusual voice in that he sang full on with his throat, instead of from the diaphragm. I have nothing to back this up with, but I wouldn't be surprised to learn that he doesn't sing like that anymore because he might have wrecked his voice singing that way.

Skywatcher
09-21-2004, 05:08 PM
In this thread about Macy Gray (http://boards.academicpursuits.us/sdmb/showthread.php?t=276751) there was some discussion about singers with unusual voices. I am a big fan of peculiar voices. If we're ever at the same Dopefest, ask me to sing. I tend to sound like a Cajun Elvis.

Hampshire
09-21-2004, 05:11 PM
How about Brad Roberts from The Test Crash Dummies ?

Known for the "Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm" song.

Ethilrist
09-21-2004, 05:14 PM
Tiny Tim.

wonky
09-21-2004, 05:25 PM
How about Brad Roberts from The Test Crash Dummies ?

Known for the "Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm Mmmm" song.

Oh yes. Him singing "Superman's Song" is just wonderful. Very strange, very neat voice.

This is the sort of thread where I find new people to go looking for. If anyone can suggest particular songs for their particular favorites, I'd be grateful.



Jeff Olsen, Cajun Elvis? By design?

twickster
09-21-2004, 05:31 PM
How strange? Will "not traditionally lovely" do? I love Louis Armstrong and Joe Cocker.

twickster
09-21-2004, 05:32 PM
And, for actually strange, there's Jimmy Sommerville, once of Bronski Beat.

wonky
09-21-2004, 05:34 PM
How strange? Will "not traditionally lovely" do? I love Louis Armstrong and Joe Cocker.

I guess all I mean is a voice that would have some people demanding to know if you think that person can actually sing.

For example, my husband is completely baffled by my love of Leon Redbone. He claims that Leon Redbone cannot sing at all.

But this is a man who loves Willie Nelson, who definitely doesn't have a "traditionally lovely" voice. :D

mack
09-21-2004, 05:34 PM
Captain Beefheart. It's like....oh never mind. You just have to hear it. There's a sample of a tune on this page (http://amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B000005JB4/ref=m_art_li_3/103-2386903-5603834?v=glance&s=music) if you scroll down.

Tom Waits.

Gwen Stefani has sort of a funny voivce but I think it's more affectation than actual funny voice.

presidebt
09-21-2004, 05:35 PM
Billie Holiday, of course. Also, the singer for that newer group Maroon 5 (or something along those lines). Catherine Irwin, of Freakwater, comes to mind.

Skywatcher
09-21-2004, 05:40 PM
Cajun Elvis? By design?Yeah, that's the way it comes out. Sometimes more Cajun than Elvis but the mix is always there. Check this out (http://boards.academicpursuits.us/sdmb/showthread.php?p=5147545#post5147545).

SolGrundy
09-21-2004, 05:43 PM
I just heard "Crying" for the first time in years the other night, and it reminded me that Roy Orbison has a really weird and actually kind of creepy voice, if you think about it.

Bippy the Beardless
09-21-2004, 05:46 PM
Bjork has a remarkable vocal range. The lead and backing vocals on Sweet's hits are quite remarkable as well.

ultrafilter
09-21-2004, 05:52 PM
Lazare (the vocalist for Solefald) has a somewhat odd voice. You can hear "Mont Blanc Providence Crow" from In Harmonia Universali here (http://mp3.centurymedia.com/Solefald_MontBlancProvidenceCrow_InHarmoniaUniversali.mp3).

vl_mungo
09-21-2004, 05:56 PM
J. Mascis was acutally the first I though of...

BUT, actually I have a two way tie for strangest...

Daniel Smith of The Danielson Famille (http://epitonic.com/artists/danielsonfamile.html)
and
YaSuKo O. of Melt-Banana (http://parkcity.ne.jp/~mltbanan/)

GorillaMan
09-21-2004, 05:57 PM
On the classical front, Peter Pears and Kathleen Ferrier had extraordinary-sounding voices. And Cathy Berberian, who I'm sure I mentioned yesterday in another thread, who had one of the most versatile voices on the planet.

stpauler
09-21-2004, 06:06 PM
I'll second Macy Gray and Tom Waits (and I'm going to hear the new TW album tonight! Woohoo!).

Ferron. (http://ferrononline.com/) I've always found it hard to describe her voice without giving up and playing a song. ("Ain't Life a Brook" subscription required I believe for sound clips.) (http://allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&token=ADFEAEE4781FD94CA57520D79A2A45C4BB61E629C742F281116E495AD1A9611BDF5E21B240ACC6CFB0E577B479ABB3 28AE5A0BD9C9EE469CA1&sql=10:iq2zef5k8gf1)

Kyla
09-21-2004, 06:29 PM
Bob Dylan

Joni Mitchell

bluecanary
09-21-2004, 07:34 PM
I despair of this act ever getting the recognition that they deserved, but:

If you enjoy listening to the singing of Thom Yorke and Matt Bellamy, get a hold of Geneva's first album, 'Further'. In particular I recommend the track 'Worry Beads'.

Jonathan Chance
09-21-2004, 08:01 PM
C'mon people. This discussion begins and ends with Geddy Lee.

Alex Lifeson: "When we started people didn't know what to make of us. We were just sort of known as this band that ripped off Zeppelin and had a singer with a crazy voice."

angelicate
09-21-2004, 08:22 PM
Jello Biafra (Dead Kennedys) has a pretty unique voice.

Bosda Di'Chi of Tricor
09-21-2004, 08:33 PM
Paul Robeson.

Can a human voice go any deeper?

PunditLisa
09-21-2004, 08:36 PM
Aimee Mann has an unusual voice. It's either very deep or very high.

Kate Bush was the other lady who comes to mind. Unlike fishbicycle her voice didn't grow on me. I still think she sounds like Minnie Mouse on helium.

JayElle
09-21-2004, 08:38 PM
Lucinda Williams.

While she doesn't a classically beautiful voice, I find her very compelling and soulful. Kinda like a female Willie Nelson.

devilsknew
09-21-2004, 11:03 PM
King Diamond (http://king-diamond.coven.vmh.net/) has a pretty unique operatic falsetto. His albums are pretty unique too, they tell spooky gothic horror stories as a whole. Makes for some Hoary Halloween Headbangin'-- The album Abigail was my favorite.

edwino
09-21-2004, 11:36 PM
Liz Phair has a bizarre voice. But it works.

I always thought Sinead O'Connor has a weird singing style (she has a beautiful voice). She hits her notes straight-on, without vibrato. I think that is pretty cool. Bjork and Laetitia Sadier (from Stereolab) also do this.

How could we go this far in the thread without mentioning Janis Joplin?

If you are interested in groaners, try Mahlathini and the Mahotella Queens. Mahlathini is a famous South African groaner, singing in front of the lovely soprano Mahotella Queens. Try the song "Thokozile", one of the happiest songs ever.

Green Bean
09-21-2004, 11:51 PM
Neil Young has one of those voices where you could credibly argue that he can't sing at all. I generally don't like his solo work, though I think he sounds good when singing with David Crosby, Stephen Stills, and Graham Nash.

Pete Townshend also has one of those voices. But I love to listen to him.

Purd Werfect
09-21-2004, 11:57 PM
Diamanda Galas. Her version of Amazing Grace is simultaneously painful and astounding to listen to.

Sam Stone
09-21-2004, 11:57 PM
John Prine

The lead singer for Sparks

I suppose Warren Zevon might qualify.

Askia
09-22-2004, 12:21 AM
Louis Armstrong, Tone Loc, Michael Jackson, the recent late great Barry White.

NDP
09-22-2004, 12:53 AM
I don't know if he should count because it's an affectation but Les Claypool (http://allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&token=ADFEAEE4781BDE4BAF7420E8B30869E89A26AB5BFE66C2AD37146F1BFF9A1C54942C5DF85EFB9D88FDF36AB67BB0FD 2EA45E43D2C8E452FED6653B2DFC93&sql=11:5jx7gjwrj6im) of Primus sounds like a cartoon hillbilly.

Victoria Williams' (http://allmusic.com/cg/amg.dll?p=amg&token=ADFEAEE4781BDE4BAF7420E8B30869E89A26AB5BFE66C2AD37146F1BFF9A1C54942C5DF85EFB9D88FDF36AB67BB0FD 2EA45E43D2C8E452FFD6673A2DFC93&sql=11:fmozefekhgf1) voice is thin, strained, and high.

Kate Bush was the other lady who comes to mind. Unlike fishbicycle her voice didn't grow on me. I still think she sounds like Minnie Mouse on helium.
Well, to be fair, her voice did get deeper as she got older.

edwino
09-22-2004, 01:13 AM
Shane MacGowan of the Pogues. If he isn't drunk, he's on the way there.

Hey, It's That Guy!
09-22-2004, 02:06 AM
I'll second Macy Gray and Tom Waits (and I'm going to hear the new TW album tonight! Woohoo!).

You lucky person! Please tell us all about it! Start a new thread! Tom Waits is my favorite musician. When is this new album coming out for the rest of us proles?

Bimble
09-22-2004, 06:34 AM
Trent Reznor - Nine Inch Nails. The man has an ear-bendingly nasal TWANG to his voice BUT what he DOES with that voice is what makes his vocal performance perfect for getting his lyrics across.

:)

Lars Aruns
09-22-2004, 07:00 AM
There's Jon Anderson of Yes. And it's his actual voice, it's not a falsetto thing. Quite enjoyable in the right setting.

paulberserker
09-22-2004, 07:26 AM
The lead singer for Sparks



Russell Mael.
No-one's mentioned Perry Farrell. I never heard anybody else sing like that.

The guy from The Music has a wierd high pitched voice that fits in nicely with the frankly rocking tunes they do.

Louise Rhodes from Lamb has an affectation to her voice that I know some find really annoying, but I really like

Roison Murphy from Moloko

Robot Arm
09-22-2004, 07:57 AM
On the natural side, Blossom Dearie. If you don't recognize the name, think Unpack Your Adjectives and Figure Eight from Schoolhouse Rock. She's a serious singer of jazz standards and such, but still in that same girlish voice.

And in a similar vein, Yeardley Smith (who does the voice of Lisa Simpson) has a pretty good set of pipes.

For a processed voice, listen to Laurie Anderson in some of her songs, especially O, Superman. She combines her natural voice with the processors to great effect.

RealityChuck
09-22-2004, 10:41 AM
Loudon Wainwright III

twickster
09-22-2004, 10:43 AM
Billie Holiday, of course.

One of my first thoughts was David Sedaris's piece on, as a kid, wanting to sing commercials in the style of Billie Holiday -- you have to hear it to believe it.

fruitbat
09-22-2004, 10:45 AM
Leonard Cohen was once described as "having a voice like a burlap bag", which I find to be a perfect description. I have noticed that as he has aged he has felt the need to add breathy backup singers to many of his songs. Completely ruins it for me. He was one person who could convey great emotion with his voice, and it doesn't need to be obscured by backup singers.

Kizarvexius
09-22-2004, 10:45 AM
Roland Gift, lead singer of the 80s band Fine Young Cannibals. I always thought he sounded as if he was singing with his tongue glued to the back of his lower front teeth.

gooti
09-22-2004, 11:24 AM
Leonard Cohen is probably my number one pick, followed closely by Tom Waits. I like Dwight Yoakam's voice, but it's strange because it's traditional, which isn't really popular in mainstream country music anymore.

As for the ladies, I guess Billie Holiday by default because I can't really think of anyone else at the moment

TellMeI'mNotCrazy
09-22-2004, 11:27 AM
Bruce Springsteen, whose voice I can't stand, and Carole King, whose voice I love.

scout1222
09-22-2004, 11:30 AM
One of my first thoughts was David Sedaris's piece on, as a kid, wanting to sing commercials in the style of Billie Holiday -- you have to hear it to believe it.

I'm humming the Oscar Meyer jingle as we speak!

Mr. Roboto
09-22-2004, 11:38 AM
Richard Harris
Biff Rose
Jimmy Webb

Without a doubt, the highest voice in Rockdom, does not belong to Getty Lee
With a Power Falsetto,hands down,David SurKamp of Pavlov's Dog.

fusoya
09-22-2004, 11:39 AM
I can't beleive this thread reached page 2 without mentioning the two craziest voices of 80's new wave - Talking Heads' David Byrne and Devo's Mark Mothersbaugh

koeeoaddi
09-22-2004, 12:17 PM
Check out the Incredible String Band, jsgoddess. Robin Williamson has a truly strange and wonderful voice (http://hurl.content.loudeye.com/scripts/hurl.exe?clipid=062154102010006900&cid=600005) (and for some inexplicable reason, whenever I crank up the volume, I wind up getting the whole house to myself).

the Lady
09-22-2004, 12:26 PM
I've always thought Nanci Griffith had a very odd voice.
Very, very nasal. Still love her though.

twickster
09-22-2004, 12:49 PM
[QUOTE=koeeoaddi]Check out the Incredible String Band, jsgoddess./QUOTE]

There are so few things in this world you can count on ... koeeoaddi taking an opportunity to plug the Incredible String Band is definitely one of them. :p

koeeoaddi
09-22-2004, 01:09 PM
There are so few things in this world you can count on ... koeeoaddi taking an opportunity to plug the Incredible String Band is definitely one of them. :p
Cool. Somebody noticed.

::tosses lava lamp, Indian bespread and hookah into knapsack::

My work here is done. :cool:

stpauler
09-22-2004, 01:32 PM
You lucky person! Please tell us all about it! Start a new thread! Tom Waits is my favorite musician. When is this new album coming out for the rest of us proles?
Done (http://boards.academicpursuits.us/sdmb/showthread.php?t=277101) The release date is Oct. 5th from what I've heard and read.

Roland Orzabal
09-22-2004, 02:18 PM
Another vote for Thom Yorke.

Roland Orzabal, my usernamesake, has a very distinctive voice as well, though I don't know if I'd call it strange.

foolsguinea
09-22-2004, 03:08 PM
Wait a minute! In what way does Leon Redbone "not sing"?
I love Joe Cocker.

I like Kate Bush except for her voice.
I like Cassandra Wilson, basso contralto & all.
And Macy Gray is cute.

Oh, & I'm that age, you know, where I had a big crush on Cyndi Lauper. Big.

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