I received a request to list, in my opinion, the best rock and roll “screamers” of all time and here are my top ten.
10. James Brown– OK the list also includes R&B but how can this list not include James Brown? He has all the different grunts, screeches, screams in almost every song that he recorded. His passionate cries in “Please, Please, Please” has to count in this list. How about “It’s a Man’s, Man’s, Man’s World?” Talk about passion, whew!!! How about “I Got the Feeling?”
9. Brian Johnson– How can he be off of this list? Impossible, right? You can choose just about any song in their catalog. The first song that comes to mind is the title track to his first album with AC/DC- “Back in Black.” The immediate next song that comes to mind for me is “Honey What do you do for Money?” Like I said, the list could continue for days…
8. Rob Halford– He arguably could have the best metal vocals of all-time. Take a listen to “Painkiller” and tell me he is not in the top ten screamers of all-time? ‘Nuff said.
7. Janis Joplin-Hey this list is not limited to males and we all know Ms. Joplin knocks the cover off the ball on “Piece of My Heart” but what about “Try (Just a Little Harder)?” whew talk about passion again!!! Or how about “Cry Baby?” It is such a shame she left the music world so young and so sudden but her classic music lives on!!
6. Ian Gillian-“Space Truckin’” baby!!! Oh man how psyched do I get when I hear this song? And I want to scream out like Mr. Gillian!!! “Yeah Yeah Yeah!!!” Or how about the powerhouse “Highway Star?” This is rock and roll at it’s best folks!! Ian rocks, rolls and screams his way right on this list.
5. Chris Cornell-I know Nirvana gets all the accolades for bringing “grunge” to the forefront but for me, Mr. Cornell was also at the front of the class and his style is so distinctive that you know it as soon as you hear him. Take “Rusty Cage” for example, “I gonna breeeaaaaak!!!!” Or how about “Slaves and Bulldozers?” This could be his best screaming song!!! But I also love his screaming in “Superunknown” and “The Day I Tried to Live.” (you forgot about that one, right?)
4. Axl Rose– Ok even though the man drives me nuts, I have to give credit where credit is due. From his opening screams in “Welcome to the Jungle” to the blazing screams in “You Could be Mine” Axl puts himself at the top of the heap as one of the best screamers in rock history. For me, his best high note comes on “Out Ta Get Me.”
3. Little Richard-Don’t even try to think or say that he doesn’t belong here because hecamethisclose to being my number 1 screamer of all-time. Put on “Long Tall Sally” and tell me he didn’t invent the scream? This is so friggin’ good it makes me want to scream!!! Or how about “Ready Teddy?”- right now I’m screaming and dancing all around the room as I type this in. This is rock and roll at its best!!! How about “Lucille?” The list can go on and on, truly folks if you don’t own any of Little Richard in your music library, you are missing the boat.
2. Steven Tyler-What can you say about Steven Tyler that hasn’t already been said? This man is one of the greatest rock and roll singers ever and his soul is filled with the passion that is needed to make you feel the way you do when you listen to any of his songs. “Dream On”- no matter how many times I here this song, it gives me goose bumps!! His screeching of “Dream On” gets me all the time. To this day I still don’t know what he screams on “Draw the Line.” I defy you to tell me what he says (without looking at the recorded words). “Baby Please Don’t Go” from “Honkin’ on Bobo” will get you out of your seat and dance everywhere while wishing you could wail like him. This man is filled with all the ingredients to arguably be the best rock and roll singer ever!!
1. Roger Daltrey– “Love Reign O’er Me” is the best scream song ever recorded, period end of story!!! How friggin’ great is this song? And what can you say about Daltrey? He was just honored last night at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. (along with Pete). What a nice touch last night adding the NYC Police & Fire Departments to the stage, to sing along with Rob Thomas, as they saluted Roger with “Baba O’Riley.” “It’s only teenage wasteland!!!” “Won’t Get Fooled Again,” “Long Live Rock,” and “The Real Me” are just some of the classics that set the standard for great rock and roll…. And some screaming to along with it!!!
Speaking of the Kennedy Center awards, do you see it last night? The salute to The Who was spectacular. Jack Black was the perfect person to do the honoring of one of the greatest rock bands ever. He sounded genuine in his love for the Who and the performances were outstanding. The highlight was Bettye LaVette performing “Love Reign O’er Me.” She did her take on it, which made it seem like a “classical” song or a song performed at a night club “back in the day.” My wife said her version was better than the Who’s. How cool was Joss Stone performing “My Generation?” Chris Cornell was rock solid as usual performing “Won’t Get Fooled Again” and of course Mr. Dave Grohl was there (isn’t he everywhere?) doing his take on “My Generation.” As mentioned above, Rob Thomas sang “Baba O’Reilly” and then was joined by the NYC Fire & Police department members to help him sing along. Again it was a nice touch as those members were returning their gratitude to The Who for performing at MSG after the 9/11 attacks.
The honoring of Barbara Streisand was also awesome. Queen Latifah was very gracious in her admiration and respect for Barbara. The musical performances were top notch with the highlight for me being Ne-Yo performing “Lover Come Back to Me.” What I liked the best was the fact that Ne-Yo did it in the first place, most of his fans were probably shocked but he pulled it off and he was spot-on!! Beyonce’s rendition of “The Way We Were” was excellent, she captured the moment. (but we all know no one does it like Ms. Streisand). “Somewhere” was performed by Kelli O’Hara and Nathan Gunn and they were backed by a tremendous orchestra as well as many young people singing the background vocals. All in all, this was a super solid tribute to Barbara, who according to my wife is the greatest female vocalist of all time. She was my wife’s “idol” growing up.
VH1 is show casing the greatest “hard rock” songs of all time this week. (Top 100 of all time) Tonight is the third hour of the series and will highlight songs 60 – 41. If you need to catch up you can start watching at 7:00 p.m. for the first hour and then the second hour will be at 8:00 p.m. My guess is that come Friday night, you’ll probably be seeing something by AC/DC in the top 5, if not the number 1 slot. I’m thinking “For Those About to Rock” or “Back in Black.”
John Lennon has made a television commercial 28 years after his death. With approval from Yoko and through the use of digital technology, the former Beatle urges people across the United States to support a campaign by “One Laptop per Child” to deliver tough, solar-powered XO laptop computers to the world’s poorest children. You can go to you tube to view the commercial, it is very cool.
Bruce Springsteen is the next big name that will use Walmart only to sell his “greatest hits” which will be released Jan. 13.
Thoughts and prayers go out to the families and friends of two people who passed away during this past week. Guitarist Delaney Bramlett and Eartha Kitt. Mr. Bramlett played with Clapton and George Harrison and many others. Ms. Kitt was the best Cat woman!!
Back on this day in 1972, the first Dick Clark “Rockin’ New Years Eve” aired on ABC and the musical guests were Three Dog Night, Al Green and Blood, Sweat & Tears.
Sadly back on this day in 1985, Rick Nelson died in a plane crash near Dekalb, TX- he was only 45.
Back on this day in 1970, Paul McCartney filed suit to dissolve the Beatles partnership.
If you are celebrating a birthday today, you share the date with Donna Summer and the late John Denver.
HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!!