A unique quality of Paul's vocals | Paul McCartney | Fab forum

Please consider registering
Guest

Log In Register

Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search

— Forum Scope —

  
 

— Match —

   

— Forum Options —

   

Minimum search word length is 4 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters

A unique quality of Paul's vocals
1 January 2013
11.28pm
Funny Paper
America
Apple rooftop
Forum Posts: 2046
Member Since:
1 November 2012
Offline

There might be other singers out there who have this quality, but to my ear none of the other 3 Beatles have it like Paul does.

The quality I'm referring to is his ability to sound remarkably different, in different songs -- and of course, his choice is usually impeccable in fitting the song's style just right.

Obvious examples would be the contrast between, say, "Why Don't We Do It In The Road?" on the one hand, and "I Will" on the other.

But more subtly, there is the difference between two soft mellow songs like "I Will" and "Mother Nature's Son".

Also, considering his solo career, his voice in "Tomorrow" (on Wings Wild Life) is interesting, and I've never quite heard him sound like that.

To flesh out what I mean by some examples, just listen to the following and compare the tonality, enunciation and other stylistic differences:

"Tomorrow"

"Lady Madonna"

"Get Back"

"Junior's Farm"

"Monkberry Moon Delight"

"My Love"

Also, one can group his style, where he sort of employs the same style for certain songs -- example "Back in the U.S.S.R." and parts of "Oh Darling" and "Smile Away" -- which could be called his "Elvis" style.  Or his various "screaming" songs.  Or his various "soft folky" songs (think of "Teddy Boy" for example).  Or his "bouncy" pop songs (perhaps merging into his "music hall"/"granny" genre).

And even among these groupings, he manages to vary in subtle shades (his screaming in "Mumbo" is not quite the same as it is in "Why Don't We Do It In The Road?", for example). 

On the other hand, it really seems to me that, as I mentioned above, "Tomorrow" is unique for him and he's never quite sung that way anywhere else.  Another unique "sui generis" song I can think of is "Only One More Kiss", where no other song quite sounds like that in terms of his vocals.

**********

Of course, I'm not saying John or George were UTTERLY DEVOID of slight stylistic changes, but they don't come close to the variety Paul had, IMO.

Faded flowers, wait in a jar, till the evening is complete... complete... complete... complete...
1 January 2013
11.39pm
Ben Ramon
Candlestick Park
Forum Posts: 619
Member Since:
26 March 2012
Offline

All very true. I'd be hard pressed to think of a vocalist who can turn to so many genres as convincingly as McCartney. In the early years his style was pretty straightforward; whip out a Little Richard impression for the rockers, and everything else in a nice warm tone. But around the time of the White Album he started employing an eclectic range of singing styles. There are quite a few songs that I've played before to people who are already vaguely familiar to the Beatles, and often people are surprised to learn that "this awesome singing" is Paul.

SHUT UP - Paulie's talkin'
1 January 2013
11.43pm
tkj
The Cavern Club
Forum Posts: 82
Member Since:
8 August 2012
Offline

Very true. Paul was the best vocalist of The Beatles imo. 

1 January 2013
11.44pm
thewordislove94
Ed Sullivan Show
Forum Posts: 198
Member Since:
12 November 2012
Offline

I like how Paul tried to imitate Little Richard, but ending up creating his own singing style. I believe that's the reason why he wrote the song I'm Down.

"The world is a very serious and, at times, very sad place - but at other times it is all such a joke."-George Harrison
1 January 2013
11.49pm
Egroeg Evoli
Across the universe
Apple rooftop
Forum Posts: 1665
Member Since:
6 December 2012
Offline

Yes, it's quite amazing how he can change genre, especially because he sounds good every time. Although, according to John, Paul didn't sing Oh! Darling very well...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Oh!_Darling 

I disagree, though.

Do you want to know a secret? Read my username backwards. ~ ~ ~ - - - . . . - - - ~ ~ ~ Also known as Egg-Rock, Egg-Roll, E-George, Eggy...

☮ & <3

1 January 2013
11.53pm
thewordislove94
Ed Sullivan Show
Forum Posts: 198
Member Since:
12 November 2012
Offline

Paul did sing Oh! Darling very well. John was just mad that Paul wouldn't let him sing it. The song does sound more like a John song though, especially the "Don't ever leave me alone" part.

"The world is a very serious and, at times, very sad place - but at other times it is all such a joke."-George Harrison
2 January 2013
12.37am
Funny Paper
America
Apple rooftop
Forum Posts: 2046
Member Since:
1 November 2012
Offline

Though I'm a McCartney fan, I'm not irrational about it, and I can recognize deficiencies in him.  The main (and perhaps only) deficiency in Paul is that he doesn't have any soul.  Although to me, the singing in "Oh Darling" is impeccable stylstically, I don't for a second actually feel like he feels any pain or is evoking any pain that would be felt by someone if they really meant those lyrics about a woman.  John, like Dylan, on the other hand is quite good at touching and evoking that painful part of his soul and translating that into his singing.  Paul's sort of like a great stage actor who can emulate Laurence Olivier perfectly, but doesn't actually transmit any of the depth of the tragedy.  Or maybe a better analogy would be that Paul's singing is like DeNiro's acting, who is technically excellent, whereas John is more like Pacino, who actually bares his soul through his acting.

 

Faded flowers, wait in a jar, till the evening is complete... complete... complete... complete...
2 January 2013
1.06am
meanmistermustard
Moderator



Forum Posts: 10038
Member Since:
1 May 2011
Offline

I think thats a little harsh FP. Here Today from Tug of War is one song that has a very emotional Paul vocal and you know he is singing every part of his being but i can hear it in Yesterday and For No One as well.

At a very large push might cause me to say Paul was the best vocalist in the band but there are a lot of songs by John and to a lesser degree George that would have me tossing, turning and changing my mind. He certainly had the greater adaptabilty to be able to cover a very very large number of different genres.

He told us not to get overwhelmed by grief and whatever thoughts we have... to keep them happy, because any thoughts we have of him will travel to him wherever he is. (John Lennon - 27/8/67)
2 January 2013
1.14am
Ben Ramon
Candlestick Park
Forum Posts: 619
Member Since:
26 March 2012
Offline

I also feel obliged to bring this up:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....G3mHBlgOps

Although he's only messing around, his impersonation of an Italian operatic tenor throughout this is impressively convincing for a man not classically trained, and really is quite amazing at points. Mimicking that style of singing with skill and accuracy is very difficult.

 

SHUT UP - Paulie's talkin'
2 January 2013
2.44am
parlance
Slaggers
Apple rooftop
Forum Posts: 5324
Member Since:
8 November 2012
Offline
10

About a month ago, I was telling one of my classmates that when I first listened to the Beatles as a kid, it took me a while to figure out who was singing on some songs since Paul had such a diverse range of tonalities. "Who's singing this one? Oh, that's Paul." "The Night Before" sticks out as an early example.

parlance

Beware of sadness. It can hit you. It can hurt you. Make you sore and what is more, that is not what you are here for. - George

Check out my fan video for Paul's song "Appreciate" at YouTube and Vimeo.

2 January 2013
4.09am
Funny Paper
America
Apple rooftop
Forum Posts: 2046
Member Since:
1 November 2012
Offline
11

meanmistermustard said
I think thats a little harsh FP. Here Today from Tug of War is one song that has a very emotional Paul vocal and you know he is singing every part of his being but i can hear it in Yesterday and For No One as well.

At a very large push might cause me to say Paul was the best vocalist in the band but there are a lot of songs by John and to a lesser degree George that would have me tossing, turning and changing my mind. He certainly had the greater adaptabilty to be able to cover a very very large number of different genres.

I'd have to disagree about "Yesterday" -- his voice is perfectly appropriate for the lyrics and the mood required; but it only sounds like a forlorn or sad or resigned person -- it's like a perfect copy or simulation of that, but not the actual thing.  When one hears, by comparison, Ray Charles covering that same song, the difference is like day and night.

As for "For No One", on the other hand, I think that's a different case, because it requires an almost emotionally detached, yet bleak, mood -- perfect for Paul's emotionally detached approach anyway.

I'll have to give a listen to "Here Today" to refresh my memory.

Faded flowers, wait in a jar, till the evening is complete... complete... complete... complete...
2 January 2013
4.15am
Funny Paper
America
Apple rooftop
Forum Posts: 2046
Member Since:
1 November 2012
Offline
12

Ben Ramon, I too was struck by that session with Paul's operative vocals when I first saw it years ago.

 

Faded flowers, wait in a jar, till the evening is complete... complete... complete... complete...
2 January 2013
5.35am
Gerell
Philippines, the country which no Beatle would dare to perform again.
Candlestick Park
Forum Posts: 682
Member Since:
27 December 2012
Offline

Ben Ramon said
I also feel obliged to bring this up:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v.....G3mHBlgOps

Although he's only messing around, his impersonation of an Italian operatic tenor throughout this is impressively convincing for a man not classically trained, and really is quite amazing at points. Mimicking that style of singing with skill and accuracy is very difficult.

 

This is Paul singing like Pavarotti ftw!

Funny Paper said 
Though I'm a McCartney fan, I'm not irrational about it, and I can recognize deficiencies in him.  The main (and perhaps only) deficiency in Paul is that he doesn't have any soul.  Although to me, the singing in "Oh Darling" is impeccable stylstically, I don't for a second actually feel like he feels any pain or is evoking any pain that would be felt by someone if they really meant those lyrics about a woman.  John, like Dylan, on the other hand is quite good at touching and evoking that painful part of his soul and translating that into his singing.  Paul's sort of like a great stage actor who can emulate Laurence Olivier perfectly, but doesn't actually transmit any of the depth of the tragedy.  Or maybe a better analogy would be that Paul's singing is like DeNiro's acting, who is technically excellent, whereas John is more like Pacino, who actually bares his soul through his acting.

 

 

 

I am a Macca fan, and the only deficiency he has for me is that he (tends) to be a control freak, although technically this doesn't bother the music. His normal talking voice sounds low but he can and usually sing high especially his screams. Don't forget his Falsetto on "So Bad". Anyone heard the Anthology version of Why Don't We Do It Road? It sounds lacking and it seems that Paul can't control that kind of voice, it looks like that for me anyway.

"And in the End the Love you take is equal to the Love you make"
"When I was a robber *Piano Chord* in Boston Place"
"Let's hope this turns out pretty darn good huh"
"Pete may be the best, but Ringo is the star"
Paul:"Don't be nervous John"
John:"I 'm not"
2 January 2013
2.18pm
thewordislove94
Ed Sullivan Show
Forum Posts: 198
Member Since:
12 November 2012
Offline
14

It's not that he can't control that type of voice, it's just that he needed some pratice to make it perfect. In order to sing like that, anyone would have to step out of their comfort zone to make it perfect. Paul McCartney is a great perfectionist, and he's pretty close to perfect (since no one could be perfect). a-hard-days-night-paul-8

"The world is a very serious and, at times, very sad place - but at other times it is all such a joke."-George Harrison
2 January 2013
5.36pm
Ben Ramon
Candlestick Park
Forum Posts: 619
Member Since:
26 March 2012
Offline

Funny Paper said
Though I'm a McCartney fan, I'm not irrational about it, and I can recognize deficiencies in him.  The main (and perhaps only) deficiency in Paul is that he doesn't have any soul.  Although to me, the singing in "Oh Darling" is impeccable stylstically, I don't for a second actually feel like he feels any pain or is evoking any pain that would be felt by someone if they really meant those lyrics about a woman.  John, like Dylan, on the other hand is quite good at touching and evoking that painful part of his soul and translating that into his singing.  Paul's sort of like a great stage actor who can emulate Laurence Olivier perfectly, but doesn't actually transmit any of the depth of the tragedy.  Or maybe a better analogy would be that Paul's singing is like DeNiro's acting, who is technically excellent, whereas John is more like Pacino, who actually bares his soul through his acting.

Again, this is a very insightful discussion of their differences (where do you get these excellent metaphors?) but there are a few cases where I'd disagree. Imagine, for example, if somebody listened closely to some of his songs and their vocal performances without knowing who Paul McCartney was, anything about his life, or anything about his reputation as a "technically excellent, but emotionally lightweight" singer. I'd imagine their reactions would be quite different- they would be struck by the soul in his voice because the imitation of the soul is so potent. While nobody's going to argue that Macca's mindblowing singing on a nonsense lyric like Monkberry Moon Delight is soulful or meaningful in any way- it just contributes to the richness of the music- there are definitely songs where his stylistic perfection and the feelings in his heart cross over. 

Dear Friend? Paul sounds seriously wounded on this one, vulnerable and troubled (don't blame him). I'd nominate this as the one Paul performance where the "depths of the tragedy" are transmitted to their utmost extent. Maybe I'm Amazed? Seeing as it acts as the all-encapsulating message of euphoria and gratefulness to Linda for being in his life, I'd say his throat-shredding on this one is totally committed to the cause. Here Today and For No One have already been mentioned- in the latter, I would agree that it's his LACK of emotion and detached weariness which makes it work. The same applies to Riding to Vanity Fair, where his conversational phrasing really conveys condescension, bitterness and feeling of betrayal.

 

 

SHUT UP - Paulie's talkin'
2 January 2013
6.45pm
parlance
Slaggers
Apple rooftop
Forum Posts: 5324
Member Since:
8 November 2012
Offline

I would add Mr. Bellamy to the list of songs showcasing his impressive flexibility:

That growl, the falsetto flourish at the end...

parlance

Beware of sadness. It can hit you. It can hurt you. Make you sore and what is more, that is not what you are here for. - George

Check out my fan video for Paul's song "Appreciate" at YouTube and Vimeo.

2 January 2013
6.48pm
thewordislove94
Ed Sullivan Show
Forum Posts: 198
Member Since:
12 November 2012
Offline
17

Paul does sing with emotion, but not as often as John. John's best songs with emotion are In My Life and Julia. Once John started writing more personal songs, he didn't stop (except maybe in 1967). Paul wrote a variety of songs about characters and other things, so we see less emotional songs from him.

"The world is a very serious and, at times, very sad place - but at other times it is all such a joke."-George Harrison
2 January 2013
7.09pm
Into the Sky with Diamonds
New York
Apple rooftop
Forum Posts: 1306
Member Since:
10 August 2011
Offline
18

You could make a case for McCartney having the greatest vocal versatility of any popular music singer since the birth of rock'n'roll.

I think he's plenty soulful when he has to be  and just detached enough when called for by the lyrics.

I still can't believe myself, but when Lady Madonna came out I thought for sure the singer was ... Ringo.

I'd never heard McCartney take on that voice and to my ears it sounded closer to Ringo.

 

"Into the Sky with Diamonds" (the Beatles and the Race to the Moon – a history)
2 January 2013
7.16pm
Ben Ramon
Candlestick Park
Forum Posts: 619
Member Since:
26 March 2012
Offline
19

Into the Sky with Diamonds said
You could make a case for McCartney having the greatest vocal versatility of any popular music singer since the birth of rock'n'roll.

I think he's plenty soulful when he has to be  and just detached enough when called for by the lyrics.

I still can't believe myself, but when Lady Madonna came out I thought for sure the singer was ... Ringo.

I'd never heard McCartney take on that voice and to my ears it sounded closer to Ringo.

When I first heard You Never Give Me Your Money I thought the middle section ("out of college, money spent...") was Ringo.

 

SHUT UP - Paulie's talkin'
2 January 2013
8.30pm
Funny Paper
America
Apple rooftop
Forum Posts: 2046
Member Since:
1 November 2012
Offline
20

Ben Ramon (and others), you make some good cases for your view. I guess we're at that point where we have to agree to disagree.  Probably the best example I've heard so far is "Dear Friend"; but even that seems to be missing something.

As for "You Never Give Me Your Money" and that part about "out of college", I recognized Paul in that instantly.  There's another practically unknown singer who had that sound (though not nearly as good as Paul) -- the singer for the 70s blues rock band "Raven", especially in their song "Feelin' Good".  I found it long ago on YouTube but lost the link, can't find it anymore.

 

 

 

Faded flowers, wait in a jar, till the evening is complete... complete... complete... complete...
Forum Timezone: Europe/London

Most Users Ever Online: 597

Currently Online: joe2, Bulldog, StrawberryWalrus, georgiewood
49 Guest(s)

Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)

Top Posters:

meanmistermustard: 10038

mr. Sun king coming together: 6916

parlance: 5324

Ahhh Girl: 5303

mithveaen: 4651

Annadog40: 4447

Zig: 4278

Mr. Kite: 3947

Ron Nasty: 3144

fabfouremily: 2946

Member Stats:

Guest Posters: 88

Members: 2652

Moderators: 4

Admins: 2

Forum Stats:

Groups: 3

Forums: 34

Topics: 3152

Posts: 137493

Newest Members: BigSparklyEyes, nina555, mshearn3198, Phil74501, Thom Mc

Moderators: Ahhh Girl: 5303, meanmistermustard: 10038, Zig: 4278, Joe: 3480

Administrators: Joe: 3480, Ellie: 1

Members Birthdays
Today: None
Upcoming: davedrum