It has certainly been a while everyone but I am back with a new post. In light of the recent passing of two very prominent singers in rock music, Chris Cornell and Chester Bennington, I thought I would do a little “Top 10” list of my Top 5 Lead singers. When I started thinking about this list, I wasn’t only thing about their skill in singing or how long or high they can hold a note. I was thinking of a mixture of just pure singing talent, stage presence, and stage chemistry with the band behind them. So here they are:
Runner up: Chester Bennington
No, this is not just one of those “I only care about him now that he is dead” types of things. I grew up with Bennington’s music and have always been a fan. Recently, I have been an on and off fan of Linkin Park but my middle school and earl high school years, I was really into them. I consider him one of the better singers of my generation, of the people who were young adults in the mid 2000s. He seemed like a small, skinny guy but he had an extremely powerful and strong voice. Within the last few years he fronted a band of his own called Dead by Sunrise, which I believe is some of his best singing and he also filled in with Stone Temple Pilots when the late Scott Weiland left the band for one of their tours and an EP. I was lucky enough to see not only Linkin Park live but also Stone Temple Pilots with him singing. He was incredible and really did the STP songs justice. He will be greatly missed. RIP.
5. Josh Krizska
You may not recognize this guy right now but believe me, you will in a few years! He is the lead singer of a great new band called Greta Van Fleet. It is very hard to describe his voice so please!, just go to iTunes or Youtube and look the band up. It is an incredible and very different voice. It was made for rock n roll. A lot of people are comparing his voice and the band to Robert Plant and Led Zeppelin and yes, there is clearly influence there but their music is completely their own and his voice is very unique! He has the Plant squeal but with incredible power. He also has the classic charisma that you want with any great Rock n Roll singer. Greta Van Fleet and Josh will be a force to be reckoned with in the future.
4. Jay Buchanan
There are no words! Jay Buchanan is the lead singer for one of my favorite bands, Rival Sons. His voice was the first thing that struck me when I first heard their music. He has a very smooth and powerful voice like a Robert Plant but with so much soul and blues like Janis Joplin. This guy is a powerhouse. I was lucky enough to see Rival Sons live and he has this very interesting stage presence where even though you can tell that he is in his own head when he is singing, the audience also really responds to him. He is one of my favorites because he is powerful, bluesy, soulful, and loud but also there is definitely a darkness within him whenever he sings which is very interesting and makes you listen closely. He will always be in my Top 5.
3. Scott Weiland
As my mom said, he was the voice chameleon. Scott Weiland was famously known for being the lead singer of the band, Stone Temple Pilots. I have known about Stone Temple Pilots for a long time and have been a fan for a long time as well but it wasn’t until I saw the live recording of the 2010 show in Chicago that Scott become one of my favorite singers. Even before we get into his voice, he has an awesome stage presence, if not the best. He has that rock n roll charisma but also the rock n roll front man masculinity. Just like Jimmy Page does when playing guitar, whenever Scott sings live, he puts his whole body into it, not just his vocal chords. Apart from having an awesome voice, he has this ability to have multiple voices at once and switch between them within a song. That is a great secret weapon to have. To put it all in a nutshell, he is the quintessential rock n roll front man. RIP.
2. James Brown
Mr. Brown may not be “Rock n Roll” technically speaking, but he was definitely a pioneer of what would be what we know today as Rock n Roll. He had it all: a raspy, powerful voice, dance moves like you have never seen, high energy, and soul for days. I may be 27 and James Brown was WAY before my time but he is always entertaining to watch. Being a front man for him wasn’t just about singing, it was dancing, entertainment, business, and giving the people what they want! Just like many of the greats, he was a perfectionist and drill sergeant to his back-up bands. James Brown was the whole package. RIP.
1. Robert Plant
The viking himself! It’s Robert Plant. I could just say that and end this excerpt now. In my opinion, he is all of the 5 previous singers on this list in one! He has the soulful and bluesy voice but also the thundering and powerful yell. He has the charisma of a true front man. He was like a different person when he was singing live. He also, at the same time, had a humble voice. It was completely raw and you could tell that he was putting all of his energy and strength into that voice even though he made it look really easy.