Songs that take pure talent to sing (talent that's taken for granted)

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    Songs that take pure talent to sing (talent that's taken for granted)

    I broke down and watched an episode of "The Voice", a voice competition led by four professional vocalists (Adam Levine, Blake Shelton (a country singer I am not familiar with, but you might be), Cee Lo Green and Christina Aguilera) on network tv.  Last night, a final round of singers performed for a spot in the final competition next week.  (note: not really an American Idol ripoff ...)

    The Pretenders' "I'll Stand By You" was chosen for two of the singers to cover.   When they sang, it was painful.   They were both off-pitch and flat, and tentative ... but more than that, I realized it's a difficult song to perform.  We take it for granted when Chrissie Hynde sings, and may dismiss the fact that she can sing that song because she's talented.  It's not a song *anyone* can sing.

    In another round, the song covered was Elton John's "Don't let the Sun Go Down on Me" -- and again, same reaction.  It's a difficult song.  One of the amateur singers totally blew the song out of the water with his rendition, however.   Made me notice what a beautiful song it was, even though I have heard it hundreds of times and thought I was sick of it.  My reaction was woah, that song is really difficult to sing. 

    No, it's not necessary for a song to be difficult to sing for it to be a great song.   And it's great to be able to sing songs that are easy, for those of us with average voices and pitch issues.  However ...

    In your estimation, what are some songs (some might be favorites) that take pure talent to sing?  What songs do you recognize as difficult to sing?  For example, can you think of a few outstanding songs that you would not be able to sing if your life depended on it?  The list could be endless for some of us, so be selective.  :D

    Note: if you are great singer, or have training, this will not apply to you.
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from MattyScornD. Show MattyScornD's posts

    Re: Songs that take pure talent to sing (talent that's taken for granted?)

    "Dream On" comes to mind...as do certain Led Zep and Queen songs...

    ...although I'm not sure they would qualify.  Rush also, though I haven't heard enough artists even attempt to duplicate Geddy Lee.


    I would lean toward more of the better R&B (Wonder, Gaye, Vandross) and jazz singers (Nina Simone) as tops in this category.
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from ZILLAGOD. Show ZILLAGOD's posts

    Re: Songs that take pure talent to sing (talent that's taken for granted?)

    I don't know because I am not a singer, but in my mind EVERY song takes talent, because this is a talent I do not have.

    I can draw almost anything ( not always well, but many people think I'm pretty good), but I cannot play an instrument or sing. Perhaps this is why I have such a great appreciation for music.

    I do enjoy singing "Gimme Three Steps" along with Ronnie Van Zandt ( on radio or tape of course...I am obviously a better singer than Ronnie is today), simply because this is one of those songs that I can actually remember ALL the words. Another would be "Light My Fire" and for some reason I can sing along with Grace Slick on "White Rabbit" and get almost the whole song right...I have many favorites that I listen to and I love the instrument parts so much  I really don't pay all that much attention to words.

    But, once again, I've wandered away from the original point....
     
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    Re: Songs that take pure talent to sing (talent that's taken for granted?)

    i just want to say that pitchy is an american idol-ism, you are either sharp or you are flat.  generally, the person receiving advice would prefer to know specifically which one. 

    i do understand that they have to dumb it down for the vast majority of the country, and if they sound a little off it's easier to just say pitchy so the audience will feel like they know what you're talking about.  i have no doubt that randy and steven understand better than most, but j-lo has no clue. singing live, she is an atrocity.

    it is completely different for each singer, for obvious reasons. songs by artists that we all know were either written by or for them specifically, so it's not as if they were trying to sing a song that is not tailored to them...i'd love to see chrissie and elton sing each other's songs.  i'm sure they would be quite "pitchy."

    i am always blown away by Brad Delp of Boston, specifically on "More than a Feeling."  it's one thing to hit the notes, but with that power, man, and SO clean. steven tyler couldn't sing that high note, especially without sounding scratchy as F*** like on dream on. it's a few notes higher.

    as for lesser known gems, this is definitely worth a watch.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aXokqiSKi9I

     
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    Re: Songs that take pure talent to sing (talent that's taken for granted?)

    Good call on Muse...def a guy who takes his vocals seriously.


    Add: Fleet Foxes - both lead and harmonies are exquisite and way beyond their years.
     
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    Re: Songs that take pure talent to sing (talent that's taken for granted?)

    Wow, thanks re: pitchy.  I have to admit to feeling a little dirty even saying it, but I was not aware it is an American Idol-ism, and that's enough to banish it from my vocabulary. I haven't watched the show in years, so the word has crept into the popular culture.  Ugh. 

    It must have become a way to address the "lowest common denominator" or maybe if a singer was off-pitch both sharp and flat.   For the most part, the screamers and yellers go sharp, so you're right, why not just say it correctly?

    The singers who sang the Pretenders' song were flat.  Very flat.  

    Will edit my OP right now. 

    BTW, I have to admit that Adam Levine is very appealing as a coach on The Voice.  He's very good, I was surprised. 
      Smile
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from leafswin27. Show leafswin27's posts

    Re: Songs that take pure talent to sing (talent that's taken for granted?)

    Asleep by the Smiths (sung by Morrisey)

    Uncertian Smile  by The The (sung by Matt Johnson)
     
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    Re: Songs that take pure talent to sing (talent that's taken for granted?)

    The Star Spangled Banner is extremely difficult to sing.
     
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  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from MattyScornD. Show MattyScornD's posts

    Re: Songs that take pure talent to sing (talent that's taken for granted)

    The high notes at the end of 'Sympathy For The Devil' are really tough to hit. 

    In his prime, Mick could do it all....

     
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    Re: Songs that take pure talent to sing (talent that's taken for granted)

    Almost anything by;
     
    Led Zepplin
    Queen
    Journey
    Boston
    Janis Joplin

    More specifically:

    Stayin Alive - Bee Gees
    Dreams - Van Halen
    I will Always Love You - Whitney Houston ( and others)
    Crazy On You - Heart (many others)
    Kiss - Prince

    Too many songs to even list, lots of unique voices very hard to replicate. This thread could go on for a while.  
     
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    Re: Songs that take pure talent to sing (talent that's taken for granted)

    A few random ones for me offhand are:

    "In the Palm of Your Hand" - Alison Krauss  (or any song by Alison)  sigh.

    "You Oughta Know" - Alanis Morrisette 
    (most of her songs are very difficult to carry off -- and from this standpoint, her talent may at times be under-rated)

    "Building a Mystery" - Sarah McLachlan  (and many others)

    (awesome list, Newman -- and agree on a young Whitney Houston's "I Will Always Love You" -- so many young vocalists are still under her influence, and very few can touch what she once had) 
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from AGUY1. Show AGUY1's posts

    Re: Songs that take pure talent to sing (talent that's taken for granted)


    I think most people have a particular key that's right for them and can actually sing even though they may not be a "singer".  Roger Daltry is a good singer but it seems he can't hit all the keys.  And yet the stuff he does sing can be really tough to imitate.  If fact, I remember reading that when John Entwistle wrote two songs for Tommy, he on purpose wrote one of his songs in a key Daltry would struggle with.  I'd be willing to bet that if you went through the Who catalog, listed what songs Townshend sung vs which ones Daltry sung you would probably see a pattern emerge.  I've noticed Townshend seems to take a lot of High E tunes.  Maybe that's one that's tough for Daltry.

    That all said, there's a lot to be said for Meatloaf who I think is often overlooked as a singer.  He can sing so fast and still get the words out so clearly.  It's a style I think a lot of pro singers would have a tough time with.
     

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