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Thread: The Greatest Prog Rock Singers: A Top 30 Countdown

  1. #1

    The Greatest Prog Rock Singers: A Top 30 Countdown


  2. #2
    Nice try there, with a lot of fine names. I disagree about the order, though - and I'd replace a dozen of them with perhaps lesser overall known names within the "genre" but hailed by large audiences in places like Eastern and Southern Europe, Latin-America and so on. But then again, writeups like this one always emphasize popular renown over even genre-internal discourse, rendering them not only predictable but repetitive.

    And it somehow surprises me a bit that even a rather straight list like this omits singers like Annie Haslam, Dagmar Krause and Demetrio Stratos. Their achievements as vocalists - no matter the lack of apparent "commercial success" - stand extremely firm also with observers outside of the "genre".

    Solid singers, though. With a couple of possible exceptions.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by Scrotum Scissor View Post
    And it somehow surprises me a bit that even a rather straight list like this omits singers like Annie Haslam, Dagmar Krause and Demetrio Stratos. Their achievements as vocalists - no matter the lack of apparent "commercial success" - stand extremely firm also with observers outside of the "genre".

    Solid singers, though. With a couple of possible exceptions.
    Annie Haslam is #5 on the list.

  4. #4
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    Steven Wilson #20. Steve Walsh #27. Um, okay, sure.

    neil

  5. #5
    ^ I knew I had to be mistaken about her inclusion - albeit not about Dagmar's. Annie is more properly "Prog", of course. I simply missed Annie's inclusion and for that I now feel a bit foolish. They've got Kate Bush too, and she's obviously established as their "pop-versatility" alibi due to the Gilmour connection. Kate's great but sad to say she's still no Dagmar.

    It's not a bad list altogether.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  6. #6
    The eons are closing
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    As Señor Scissors said + I find the order more the issue than the singers listed.



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  7. #7
    Good list. And an undisputed number one.

  8. #8
    ^ I would say so. No single other singer explored the extremes of his/her voice's capabilities to anywhere near the same extent in progressive rock as Hammill has done.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

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    No doubt there is a conspicuous dearth of Italian vocalists represented in the list. Besides Demetrio Stratos mentioned above, don't Aldo Tagliapietra and Francesco Di Giacomo deserve at least an honorable mention here?

    The order of ranking is definitely a matter of preference in vocal style and approach. Personally, I would have gone with Anderson, Lake and Wetton at the top of the list (just my own tastes in vocals). And, agree wholeheartedly that Walsh should be much higher on the list.

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    Quote Originally Posted by SunRunner2 View Post
    And, agree wholeheartedly that Walsh should be much higher on the list.
    Whether you’re a Kansas fan or not I have to agree that Walsh had one of the most powerful voices in all of rock. That one for sure is wrong as far as I’m concerned, he should be way father up that list.

  11. #11
    All Things Must Pass spellbound's Avatar
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    No Steve Winwood?

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    Quote Originally Posted by spellbound View Post
    No Steve Winwood?
    Good point; Rolling Stone ranked Winwood number 33 in its 100 Greatest Singers of All Time. Also, he covered so much territory as a vocalist, as well as his multi-instrumentalist talents.

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by spellbound View Post
    No Steve Winwood?
    No Winwood, no Inga Rumpf, no Iva Bittova, no Chr. Decamps, no Francesco Di Giacomo, no Charly Garcia, no Rita Lee, no Taylor Swift.

    Robert Wyatt, though.
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

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    Member chalkpie's Avatar
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    Wyatt
    Sinclair
    Cousins
    Ian A
    Hammill
    Ike Willis

    Hmmmm...not a bad list, could be waaaay worse. Great choices on those cats.

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    Member moecurlythanu's Avatar
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    Having finally checked out this list, there's probably 5 or 6 that I would dispense with, but I agree with those who say it's a solid list. As has been said, the order would be very problematic for me. It's muchly down to personal taste.
    He did not know that the sword he'd hold, would turn his priceless empire into fool's gold...

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    Nice list. I like everyone on it. I never knew that was Sally Oldfield on Shadow of the Hierophant.

  17. #17
    Member Zeuhlmate's Avatar
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    Where is

    Jack Bruce
    Arthur Brown
    Demetrio Stratos
    Chris Farlowe
    Freddy Wadling
    Renate Knaup
    Nico
    Jim Morrisson
    Grace Slick
    Christian Vander (and assorted singers in Magma)
    Scott Walker
    Susanne Lewis
    John Kay
    etc.

    Usual problem - what is prog, and why just 30?

  18. #18
    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    I agree that's not a bad list, and it's a better read than most of those lists are (it's not clickbait!). It uses some of the less frequently-cited examples to make its case, and also includes some facts I didn't know (I didn't know the inspiration for Belew's lyric to "Indiscipline").

    I think boilk is right to question Wislon and Walsh's inclusion. Walsh is good, but I would have bumped him for someone, especially if you consider Queen to be prog. Although I'd include Gilmour on my personal list, I know a lot of prog fans wouldn't, especially considering a lot of prog fans don't consider Floyd to be prog.

    And yeah, why only 30? It forces them to leave out so many good, younger prog singers: Mathew Parmenter, Ray Weston, probably someone from a prog-metal band.

  19. #19
    Highly Evolved Orangutan JKL2000's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MudShark22 View Post
    As Señor Scissors said + I find the order more the issue than the singers listed.
    Actually, I'd say Why even bother to rank them, since it's so subjective to begin with?

    Another point: I'm surprised and impressed that they included Hammill, at #1 no less, since there seem to be so many people who really dislike him. But IMO he deserves the spot.

    Also, I don't think the task of replacing Jon Anderson was THAT unenviable, since it's clearly not that hard to find singers who sound a lot like him.

  20. #20
    Banned Dave (in MA)'s Avatar
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    I don't have any Family releases, but the Chapman example they chose seemed a lot more conventional-sounding than I recalled.

  21. #21
    I feel they should've included Dream Theater's James LaBrie on the list!

  22. #22
    Strong list.

    I'm sure we could all find a few favourites that aren't included but that's the nature of projects like this.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by starless and bible black View Post
    I feel they should've included Dream Theater's James LaBrie on the list!
    An absence of progmetal to be sure - james wouldn't be on the list

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    Quote Originally Posted by JKL2000 View Post
    I agree that's not a bad list, and it's a better read than most of those lists are (it's not clickbait!). It uses some of the less frequently-cited examples to make its case, and also includes some facts I didn't know (I didn't know the inspiration for Belew's lyric to "Indiscipline").

    I think boilk is right to question Wislon and Walsh's inclusion. Walsh is good, but I would have bumped him for someone, especially if you consider Queen to be prog.
    You know, I may have misread boilk's #4 post, as I interpreted it as bemoaning the fact that Wilson was placed above Walsh, as opposed to disagreeing with Walshs' inclusion (at all) on the list. Sorry if that was the case. However, I certainly wouldn't have cherry picked Walsh to "bump" off the listing when there are other vocalists included that don't rise to the level that Steve reached in the first 5 or so Kansas albums.

  25. #25
    All Things Must Pass spellbound's Avatar
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    Kate Bush is, of course, on the list.


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