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What makes a great Paul vocal?
25 November 2011
9.24pm
The Walrus
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I think we'd all agree that Paul is (was) a great singer, but what makes a truly great McCartney vocal?

Is it Paul's "narrator" voice, as heard in Eleanor Rigby, For No One and Penny Lane?

Is it when he really lets go and rocks, as on Oh! Darling, I've Got A Feeling and especially Helter Skelter?

Or is it his "sweet" vocals, usually heard on stripped-down love songs like Yesterday and I Will?

What about his ability to harmonise?

Or even something else?

Discuss.

And I neeeeeeeeed her all the time
25 November 2011
9.52pm
meanmistermustard
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The fact he can do everything you said Walrus. That he could sing I'm Down, Ive Just Seen A Face and Yesterday in the same session is a testimony to his greatness as a singer. Many great singers are so called in only one type of song be it a ballad where they display the emotions or when they tell a story, but Paul can let go brilliantly and then in the next song capture the emotion in a song and draw you in.

Don’t make your love suffer insecurities, trade the baggage of self to set another one free. ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)
26 November 2011
11.03am
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I agree that Paul is extraordinarily all rounded singer. I think his ability to sing something like Helter Skelter but also Golden Slumbers or Here, there everywhere is something few singers are able to do, and he does it without any professional training(at least that I have heard of). However, I do like his "narrator"voice the best. He can sound distant and objective yet emphatetic at the same time. It's kind of funny that he can bring so much emotion into a song when he's singing about nonexisting people;"ahh(or is it"I",I'm not sure), look at all the lonely people" makes me always shiver. But when he's singing about personal matters... Of course, "Maybe I'm amazed" is deeply touching(and here today even more so), but Ohh Darling-I think he is straining his voice way too hard. "I nearly died", but it really doesn't sound like he did. Not to say he didn't do sn outstanding performance in the song anyway.

And one more superficial thing about his singing, I suppose, but his voice really doesn't seem to fit his "image". I mean, he now sounds pretty much the same he always has. Does that mean it's a "youthful" voice he got? No, it just means he has always sounded like a 60 year old man. Not in a way that he would sound croaky or anything, but his voice is so "low"(I know he's supposed to be a tenor), and the way he pronounces words makes it seem like he lived countless decades already, which I suppose stems from his good self esteem.

26 November 2011
3.42pm
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McCartney in my opinion had the best all around singing voice. It is amazing how he was able to sing the rockers as well as the ballads. 

I think Lennon had the most unique voice and Harrison had the most soulful emotional voice.

The further one travels, the less one knows
26 November 2011
4.41pm
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...and Ringo the funniest voice? I think his voice was perfect for comedies and children's songs

27 November 2011
12.46am
mithveaen
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My favorite Paul's vocals are without any question Paperback Writer. The way he sings…. specially the first lines ... the voice has this.. I dunno how to explain it. It's like velvet touching you.

 

My other favorite is All My Loving. You believe that he's telling you those words. heart

Here comes the sun….. Scoobie-doobie…… Something in the way she moves…..attracts me like a cauliflower… Bop. Bop, cat bop. Go, Johnny, Go. Beware of Darkness…  I believe in SH...
27 November 2011
3.04am
meanmistermustard
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In All My Loving i cant help but think that Paul is cheating on his girl, kissing someone else whilst wishing she was there instead "i'll pretend that im kissing the lips i am missing and hope that my dreams will come true". Maybe because Paul was like it like a rabbit, as someone put it in the choose between two things thread. Sorry that i cant remember who wrote that but it was a classic line.

Don’t make your love suffer insecurities, trade the baggage of self to set another one free. ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)
27 November 2011
6.26am
kedame
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Haha...meanmistermustard, that was me! He really was at it like a rabbit. I can totally see that being the correct interpretation of the song if I didn't suspect it was just another one of Paul's nice little short stories. It might be true, but Paul wouldn't have thought of it being autobiographical.

As for his voice...I love all permutations of Paul's voice. It has warmth. I love his screaming vocals. I love his cheesy, schmaltzy vocals, his sweet ones. I like the way he can imitate a lot of people, but can still sound like himself in another piece. He has a really distinct voice, I think. It's less out-there than John's, but he can still do a mean psychedelic vocal if he were so inclined. Mmmm...I just love Paul.

On another note, have any of you checked out his new website? It's really great! It's the start of the new HP cloud thingy. If you pay the premium price of $50, you get access to exclusive videos and pictures, plus advanced ticket sales. You also get a shirt, a choice of one of the new album releases, four buttons/pins, a plectrum, a lithograph, and a download of the Hyde Park performance. Not a bad deal, I'd say. It's totally worth it for the Good Evening Europe documentary alone. It shows a really great look at the behind-the-scenes process of getting ready for shows by Paul and the band, who look like tremendous fun. You also get to see little Bea and Stella greeting Paul after a show. It was so cute seeing Beatrice jump up and down saying, "Daddy! Daddy!" Brings home the humanity of the people we sometimes idolize. It was a great little moment after the craziness of the show, as was Stella's reminiscing over the fact that when she was little, she could never WATCH the show. She had to stay backstage, so this was the first time she had ever actually been in the audience watching. Anyway, sorry to get so off-topic, but I just had to share this!

"You can manicure a cat but can you caticure a man?" John Lennon- Skywriting by Word of Mouth
27 November 2011
11.40am
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"As for his voice…I love all permutations of Paul's voice. It has warmth. I love his screaming vocals. I love his cheesy, schmaltzy vocals, his sweet ones. I like the way he can imitate a lot of people, but can still sound like himself in another piece. He has a really distinct voice, I think. It's less out-there than John's, but he can still do a mean psychedelic vocal if he were so inclined. Mmmm…I just love Paul."

 

I agree with you that his voice is definitely more "unique"than John's. I mean, there a lot of people who naturally sound like John, and also those who can imitate him so well I really can't tell the difference.

Sounds interesting, perhaps I should give it a try.

27 November 2011
2.15pm
meanmistermustard
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Ok was there meant to be a quote in the last post or am i seeing things as apart from the last 2 lines that post is the exact same?

 

Thanks for the heads upon Pauls website. Will have a look.

Don’t make your love suffer insecurities, trade the baggage of self to set another one free. ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)
27 November 2011
5.38pm
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Edit: messed up

27 November 2011
5.51pm
mithveaen
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Mhh I'm listening to Michelle. Now I know what I like about Paul's song.

 

He makes it sound like if he's singing to you.  I love that song.. and my real name is not even Michelle. heart

Here comes the sun….. Scoobie-doobie…… Something in the way she moves…..attracts me like a cauliflower… Bop. Bop, cat bop. Go, Johnny, Go. Beware of Darkness…  I believe in SH...
27 November 2011
8.16pm
beatle ed
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Paul was very diversified,  He could sing a soft ballad as well as a rauncy rocker with the best of them.  In one of John's last interviews he said Paul should have let him sing 'Oh Darling' because it fit his style more but Macca's vocals were very intense on that song.a-hard-days-night-paul-1

"All You Need is LOVE"
28 November 2011
12.41am
mithveaen
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a-hard-days-night-ringo-8 I agree with you. I know John could sing with angst without a problem, but Paul sells the song very well. I love it. It's in fact, one of my favorite Paul's romantic songs. heart

Here comes the sun….. Scoobie-doobie…… Something in the way she moves…..attracts me like a cauliflower… Bop. Bop, cat bop. Go, Johnny, Go. Beware of Darkness…  I believe in SH...
28 November 2011
2.05am
meanmistermustard
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Not a big fan of Pauls vocal on Oh! Darling, always feel he was trying too hard. Whereas John could have nailed it in a few takes Paul had to go in early to Abbey Road for a few days to get his voice warmed up. In friendlier times of long ago it wouldnt have been a surprise if Paul had offered it to John but by this time ego's were up as were barriers. There is no way Paul would have even thought of doing so with Yoko in the studio.

Don’t make your love suffer insecurities, trade the baggage of self to set another one free. ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)
1 December 2011
11.07am
Jacob
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I like the songs that have narrative like the songs you listed. but my favorite is "She's Leaving Home". He sings it flawlessly, Imo.

1 December 2011
1.49pm
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Agreed. I like John's effor in it as well, though.

3 December 2011
11.01am
kedame
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Agreed about She's Leaving Home. Their voices blend so well together! I love the part in Emerick's book about John and Paul recording those vocals. It really does showcase what great vocalists both of them are, and it shows their unique chemistry.

Above when I was talking about Paul's voice compared to John's, I didn't mean to imply Paul's was more unique than John's. I actually couldn't say whose is more unique. John has that characteristic hoarseness and nasally tone that not a lot of people can pin down in a convincing manner (though sometimes I think George can do it, and obviously Paul can imitate him pretty well given all the arguments over which one sings which part...small though it may be...talking about the part in ADITL and AYNIL). Paul has a unique voice of his own, but he has so many voices it is hard to define what makes his vocal style unique to just him. I think the thing that makes Paul's overall vocal ability unique is the fact that he has so many voices. John doesn't have nearly as many, BUT his vocals are unique in that no one really sounds like him, which is also an excellent quality to have.

"You can manicure a cat but can you caticure a man?" John Lennon- Skywriting by Word of Mouth
3 December 2011
3.56pm
The Walrus
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kedame said:

 obviously Paul can imitate him pretty well given all the arguments over which one sings which part...small though it may be...talking about the part in ADITL and AYNIL

Have you heard Man We Was Lonely off of McCartney? In the chorus, it sounds like John is singing at first.

And I neeeeeeeeed her all the time
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