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Favorite/Best Female Rock Singing Voices


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I could have started a "Best Female Blues Singing Voice" thread, but screw it -- it's going here.  I'm not saying she's the best, but damn, she's good.  And that Bonamassa guy on guitar isn't too shab

Annie Lennox

I agree that Janis' voice can be a little annoying sometimes in the same way that Robert Plan's voice can be.  And I love both of them a lot.   However being the best doesn't have to mean they ha

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5 minutes ago, SloopJonB said:

Annie Lennox

Have you listened to her Christmas Album? It is My all time favorite, and I'll admit to being more than a little obsessed with Christmas music.

I also forgot one in my earlier post.

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I think Taylor Momsen and Lzzy Hale deserve mention.  They are out there doing hard rock right now whereas all these other great voices are now retired or working very part time.

Though I love her voice, it is hard to place Linda Rondstadt in the rock genre, except at the very fringe.  The others so far are all great!

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Susan Tedeschi - bitchin guitar, bluesy voice and likely more famous if not for the incredible Derek Trucks.  It's a long cut and mostly Derek. This was one of the top shows I ever saw live (not this recording) and luckily enough in a concert hall of a couple thousand fans.  Never mind, the Midnight in Harlem is awesome but decided to post the NPR Tiny Desk concert - if you make it past the 10:20 mark she just lays it all out. 

If you haven't done it the entire Tiny Desk series is amazing.

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Debbie Harry

Bonnie Tyler

Courtney Love

Imelda May

Dolores O'Riordan

Annie Lennox

Lindsey Buckingham

Stevie Nicks

Florence Welch

Shirley Manson

Gwen Stefani

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Patti Smith

Rickie Lee Jones

Marie Fredriksson

Sinéad O'Connor

Suzi Quatro

Tina Turner

 

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Current Favourite :

 

...........................

All Time Greats :

 

 

 

 

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3 hours ago, ziggy said:

Beat this

 

 

Personally, I like Sophie's stuff a little better but Brass against does a great job with all their covers.

 

 

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29 minutes ago, BeSafe said:

Excellent - thanks for sharing that.  I had never heard her.

Yeah. Seen her 3or 4 times in small local venues. Incredible voice and great banjo/guitar/fiddle player to boot. Comes around to smaller venues.

Just today heard some rediscovered old Joni Mitchell outtakes. Great voice and brilliant song writer as well. Also bold enough to follow her muse into jazz and other music forms.

 

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6 hours ago, Grande Mastere Dreade said:

Debbie Harry

Bonnie Tyler

Courtney Love

Imelda May

Dolores O'Riordan

Annie Lennox

Lindsey Buckingham

Stevie Nicks

Florence Welch

Shirley Manson

Gwen Stefani

Pat Benatar

Patti Smith

Rickie Lee Jones

Marie Fredriksson

Sinéad O'Connor

Suzi Quatro

Tina Turner

 

Lindsey Buckingham?

When did he switch sides?

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4 hours ago, billy backstay said:

Adele

Lady Gaga

many others that escape me at the moment..

Auto tune shouldn't count.

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Linda had a lot of oompff! and could sing sweet like a dove. But she was better at country than R&R.

Her cover of Waren Zevon's "Poor poor pitiful me" was great, but..... Her cover of Orbison's "Blue Bayou" was more her thing I think.

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Not really “rock” but since pop and other genres have already been mentioned I’ll throw this one out:

Taylor Dayne, especially on “I’ll Be Your Shelter”. No auto tune, she just belts it:

 

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too many to list ... 

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Merry Clayton.  Backing vocals on “Gimme Shelter”
 

Watch “20 feet from stardom”. A fantastic documentary on female backup singers.  Highly recommend. 
 

 

 

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Big difference between greatest of all time and personal favourites. The greatest doesn't even belong on the list because she's in a category of her own which nobody since has even come close to even getting into.

Janis Joplin. No contest not even close. I'll leave the great jazz singers out of the discussion, because apparently this is about rock'n'roll.

One day way back when...ust a kid...our across the street neighbour walked into our living room, as one would in the early 70's unannounced and with little to no agenda or plan, and my Dad encouraged him to sit down and check the music. It was the day after Janis died. Our neighbour happened to be a great documentary filmmaker...yeah that kind...the kind that had an Oscar under his belt already...seems like a throwback and a nearly extinct species...

He was so blown away he flew down to Texas within the next couple of days to track down Janis' mother. He secured the rights to all footage and proceeded to compile the definitive film on her, and as one would, enlisted his neighbour, my Dad, to help put the financing together.

We had a full size movie poster hanging around the basement, so I guess she became a character in my lexicon before I even knew her music. A few years later, as a teenager, I discovered what Jimi was all about and...

...yeah Janis Joplin. Whether with the Full Tilt Boogie Band, or with Big Brother and The Holding Company, she knew exactly what note, what phrasing, what beat, exactly where she was in terms of...well that thing called rock'n'roll.

As for these days...favourites...I've got a ton of them...but here's one of em.

 

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3 hours ago, Grande Mastere Dreade said:

like the original better

Well technically she wrote the song with Bruce Springsteen and he let her run with it.  As much as I love Bruce and he does a credible job when he does the song but Patti Smith's effort is the definitive one.

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Can't forget Melissa.

I saw her at a small club in Cleveland, OH just before she became famous in 1988.  I was standing about 3 feet away from her and I was singing along when she sang this song.  I didn't know at that time that she was a lesbian and I imagined that she was singing to me.  Just another dream shattered.

This is an incredible duet.

 

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After Janis and a couple of others, this young lady is right up there.

 

May people prefer Whitney Houston's bombastic cover but to me nobody can sing this song with the honesty, sincerity and purity that Dolly does.

 

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22 minutes ago, Shortforbob said:

Chrissy Amphlett RIP

I far prefer this Only the Lonely. 

Martha has one of the most underrated female voices in rock music in my opinion.

 

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Favorite/Best Female Rock Singing Voices ?

 

Linda Ronstadt - because she can sing anything

 

Pink - because of an incredible career championing social justice

 

 

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My criteria for 'best" include vocal range and the ability to sing rock anthems (e.g. Stairway to Heaven) and rock ballads with equal ease without screeching/breaking/rasping.  Ann Wilson gets my vote for the win.

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28 minutes ago, quod umbra said:

Janis Joplin

Grace Slick

Susan Tedeschi

Clare Torry

Bonnie Rait

and Ms. Joni Mitchell

I hesitate to nominate Joni Mitchell because she's so much more than rock'n roll. But she did sing rock'n roll, and was GREAT at it. She had a beautiful voice, capable of expressing a huge range in both pitch and emotion.

Janis- the greatest. Period

I'm learning a bit of new music from this thread, thanks everybody... I also want to toss in a nomination for Rachael Price of "Lake Street Dive" kinda surprised nobody has mentioned her yet

- DSK

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4 hours ago, Navig8tor said:

My top 10

Janis Joplin

Chrissie Hynde

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Tina Turner

Debbie Harry

Grace Slick

Annie Lennox

Suzi Quattro

Dolores O’Riordan

I have it on good authority that Debby Harry does not belong in this category.

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Cindy Lauper. Amazing range 3.5 octaves, great vibrato and can effortlessly belt it out. Totally under rated.

I like a female vocal with a bit of character.

 

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“Greatest” is subjective but “Greatest Rock” narrows the list down to a very, very few and after considering it the past few days it’s hard to not have Janis at the top of the list. Then there’s another dozen or so “great” ones, then the many really really good ones. All IMHO of course, and nice to see it drift a bit away from rock (props for the Merry Clayton mention, helluva singer and an acquaintance although I’ve only seen her once since her accident several years ago.) Thanks to everyone for posting some lesser-known artists, some really good stuff there. And how has everyone missed Amy Winehouse? Anyway, another favorite…Jonatha Brooke:

 

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16 minutes ago, WhoaTed said:

And how has everyone missed Amy Winehouse?

I don't know, know, know...

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1 hour ago, Cristoforo said:

It’s amazing who some posters think is a ‘rock’ singer.  Put me down for Barbara Streisand then. 

Nobody cares what you think Crisco.  

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And the Haim sisters, seeing them live in a small venue was an excellent show they rocked it out. Not sure what Este (bass) has going on (was pulling the same faces when I saw them perform), maybe the cray-cray is strong with that one or just part of her “stage presence” ha ha:

 

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9 minutes ago, Ed Lada said:

I don't know, know, know...

Then you need to go to rehab.

(well played, sir)

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9 minutes ago, WhoaTed said:

And the Haim sisters, seeing them live in a small venue was an excellent show they rocked it out. Not sure what Este (bass) has going on (was pulling the same faces when I saw them perform), maybe the cray-cray is strong with that one or just part of her “stage presence” ha ha:

The lead guitarist/lead singer has an interesting voice and delivery.  

Bassface Hain, well, I don't know what to think about her.  But you know, bass players...

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3 minutes ago, billy backstay said:

Whitney Houston in the Bodyguard soundtrack.....

Dolly did it way better, see my post upstream.

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Another favorite: Lucius. Roger Waters has used them for backing on tour the past few years and on his current studio work. Their “Live at KEXP” concert on YT is very good, this one is from the Ear Candy podcast (worth subscribing to):

 

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3 minutes ago, Ed Lada said:

Dolly did it way better, see my post upstream.

And Dolly wrote it back in the early 70’s when she was ending her professional relationship with Porter Wagoner. He’d helped her career a lot up to that point but she’d had enough. There’s an excellent documentary on her on Netflix or Hulu or one of those, I don’t remember which. Highly recommended.

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10 minutes ago, WhoaTed said:

And Dolly wrote it back in the early 70’s when she was ending her professional relationship with Porter Wagoner. He’d helped her career a lot up to that point but she’d had enough. There’s an excellent documentary on her on Netflix or Hulu or one of those, I don’t remember which. Highly recommended.

The story as Dolly relates it as she introduces the song in the post I made somewhere in this thread was that Porter knew she had become bigger than he could provide adequate management for so he let her out of her contract with him to seek more appropriate management which launched her to superstardom.  The song was her way of thanking him.  Dolly is a class act through and through and a very good business woman.  

I have received some mighty fine compliments from women for my efforts but none of them were singer/song writers unfortunately.

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