Thursday 10 December 2020

"Only a mother could love..." Or, how to spot a pop singer with a good voice

If you want a pop singer (or any kind of singer) with a very good voice - it may be that sacrifices must be made in terms of the... overall package. Sometimes the old phrase that "only a mother could love that face" (or whatever), springs to mind.

Of course there are some attractive singers who are very good singers (Debbie Harry from Blondie, for instance) - but good voices are rare enough that there is usually a trade-off between looks and voice. 

And this means that when the singer is less than gorgeous, it usually means that we are in for a vocal treat!

Typically, of course, pop singers are marketed on the basis of looks rather than vocal flair - and steps are taken during the recording process to cover-up the deficiencies. But when the vocalist is chosen by a musically-talented instrumentalists or composer; he is likely to choose a musically-talented singer. 

The gifted composer and synthesiser virtuoso Vince Clarke exemplifies this with his picks; about whom we can say they are all very good singers, and also that you could tell they were going-to be good, even before they opened their mouths:  


Note: Much the same applies in opera. My choice of probably the two greatest singers of the late 20th century would be Joan Sutherland and Luciano Pavarotti - and they certainly weren't picked on the basis of their looks:

1 comment:

Dr. Mabuse said...

Love the Sutherland/Pavarotti duo! Do you know the great anecdote about these two? Sutherland came to see Pavarotti, and was waiting backstage as he finished his performance. He finally came over to her, sweating profusely as he always did after the exertion of singing, and blotting himself with his trademark big handkerchief. Apologetically he said, "You know how it is, Joan, for us fat people!" She drew herself up with dignity and replied, "YOU are fat. *I* am large."