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Best screaming vocalist of all time
4 July 2015
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Silly Girl in another thread reminded me of Paul's song "Tomorrow" from the Wings Wild Life album; and while that song starts out relatively sedately, near the end Paul belts out some impressive screaming.  Not only is it impressive for sheer power, but also a certain quality subtly different from his more typically rocker screams from other songs.

Here's a Tube chop of the relevant portion (notice the 4th "let" that's kind of the spastic climax):

http://swf.tubechop.com/tubech.....id=6346907

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4 July 2015
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Pineapple Records said
Silly Girl in another thread reminded me of Paul's song "Tomorrow" from the Wings Wild Life album; and while that song starts out relatively sedately, near the end Paul belts out some impressive screaming.  Not only is it impressive for sheer power, but also a certain quality subtly different from his more typically rocker screams from other songs.

Here's a Tube chop of the relevant portion (notice the 4th "let" that's kind of the spastic climax):

http://swf.tubechop.com/tubech.....id=6346907

Absolutely love that song, one of my Macca favorites 🙂

 

I also love Paul's screaming. Whenever I want some rockin', I remember Paul's screamin' and put him on. Too bad John didn't do it as much as him (Well Well Well, on the other hand...)

5 July 2015
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Yes StrawberryWalrus, John had his own screaming style, and it's quite good -- whenever you want the rawer more heartfelt pain, John's your man.  Paul is the more accomplished stylist and seemed overall to have better pipes.

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9 January 2016
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I've been practising my own screaming-rocker-voice, and the more I do it, the better I get at it (not much better, admittedly, but we can't all be as awesome as Sir JPM), the more I admire Paul's controlled shouting. 

And really, even though when you think 'Paul's screaming-rocker-voice' you just think of it as one of his things, he actually has several shades of screaming-rocker-voice: there's his Little Richard shout (Long Tall Sally , I'm Down , Kansas City /Hey Hey Hey); the Oh! Darling roar (Oh! Darling , Maybe I'm Amazed ); and caterPauling (parts of Why Don't We Do It In The Road, Helter Skelter , Hey Jude outro, Maybe I'm Amazed : 'who could evah help me', Birthday , various instances in other songs). 

And that's just Beatles (with an honourary mention of Maybe I'm Amazed because I said so). 

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9 January 2016
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Elaborating on the above: one thing I notice is that even if he starts out in a more controlled kind of Little Richard style, he tends to veer toward the caterpauling in the outro. And of course, small caterpauls are inserted into various songs for emphasis. 

And here's my definitions of the various styles I name above: 

  • Little Richard Shout: high, but not too high, controlled, deliberate, very powerful. Comes across as a little bit macho (think 'We're all alone and there's nobody else/ You still moan 'keep your hands to yourself', I'm Down !') 
  • Oh! Darling Roar: A bit higher than the Little Richard shout, generally, more vulnerable, and wilder-- less controlled. Like he just gets out there and gives it everything he's got. 
  • Caterpauling: This is more of a half-falsetto thing, generally reserved for emphasis, e.g. before a guitar solo (think Can't Buy Me Love ). He tends to veer this way toward the ends of songs (Tomorrow being a textbook example). 

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It verges from the sublime to the ridiculote

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9 January 2016
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Silly Girl said
I've been practising my own screaming-rocker-voice, and the more I do it, the better I get at it (not much better, admittedly, but we can't all be as awesome as Sir JPM), the more I admire Paul's controlled shouting. 

And really, even though when you think 'Paul's screaming-rocker-voice' you just think of it as one of his things, he actually has several shades of screaming-rocker-voice: there's his Little Richard shout (Long Tall Sally , I'm Down , Kansas City /Hey Hey Hey); the Oh! Darling roar (Oh! Darling , Maybe I'm Amazed ); and caterPauling (parts of Why Don't We Do It In The Road, Helter Skelter , Hey Jude outro, Maybe I'm Amazed : 'who could evah help me', Birthday , various instances in other songs). 

And that's just Beatles (with an honourary mention of Maybe I'm Amazed because I said so). 

Another good example -- at 1:32 in this version of "Ballroom Dancing" from Paul's movie Give My Regards to Broadstreet, where he effortlessly hits the screamed part of singing the title words:

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9 January 2016
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Silly Girl said
Elaborating on the above: one thing I notice is that even if he starts out in a more controlled kind of Little Richard style, he tends to veer toward the caterpauling in the outro. And of course, small caterpauls are inserted into various songs for emphasis. 

And here's my definitions of the various styles I name above: 

    • Little Richard Shout: high, but not too high, controlled, deliberate, very powerful. Comes across as a little bit macho (think 'We're all alone and there's nobody esle/ You still moan 'keep your hands to yourself', I'm Down !') 
      • Oh! Darling Roar: A bit higher than the Little Richard shout, generally, more vulnerable, and wilder-- less controlled. Like he just gets out there and gives it everything he's got. 
        • Caterpauling: This is more of a half-falsetto thing, generally reserved for emphasis, e.g. before a guitar solo (think Can't Buy Me Love ). He tends to veer this way toward the ends of songs (Tomorrow being a textbook example). 

        Can you tell I love my new word?

        Yes, nice coinage there.  Wouldn't you say that the type of screaming he does in "Mumbo" is distinct from all the other types you've listed?

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        9 January 2016
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        ahdn_paul_06 No, I wouldn't say that a-hard-days-night-paul-11

        because I've never heard 'Mumbo'. a-hard-days-night-paul-10 I shall listen to it and report back. 

        It verges from the sublime to the ridiculote

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        9 January 2016
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        'Mumbo' is a great opener with a fantastic vocal. One of Paul's best. And who the heck knows what the Paul is screaming.

        "I told you everything I could about me, Told you everything I could" ('Before Believing' - Emmylou Harris) 

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        9 January 2016
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        Beatlebug
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        Oh blimey yer right, that's something else. I ain't never heard anything like it. I'd call it throat-wobbling. a-hard-days-night-ringo-13

        How did he ever get out with his larynx intact? 

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        9 January 2016
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        Wow Silly Girl, I'm amazed you never heard Mumbo before!  I was blown away when I first heard it -- and my appreciation trebled when I realized he was just scat-singing nonsense syllables throughout.  I do vaguely recall someone, maybe Paul himself, saying that at one point he worried about damaging his vocal chords from screaming.

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        10 January 2016
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        Well, I think it's safe to say he kind of has. You can hear the strain in his voice when he speaks, and he definitely doesn't have the reach he used to. Which is normal considering his age, of course, but it's clearly audible he has to use falsetto (and still strain) to reach notes he used to sing effortlessly in full voice. 

        He doesn't seem too bothered by it though, and of course we'll always have those many records with those incredible vocals... 

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        10 January 2016
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        Pineapple Records said
        Wow Silly Girl, I'm amazed you never heard Mumbo before! 

        a-hard-days-night-paul-11

        And maybe I'm not amazed a-hard-days-night-john-7

        I was blown away when I first heard it -- and my appreciation trebled when I realized he was just scat-singing nonsense syllables throughout.  I do vaguely recall someone, maybe Paul himself, saying that at one point he worried about damaging his vocal chords from screaming.

        Yeah, it does sound like he's absolutely shredding his larynx on it. His other scream-songs that I can think of, while fairly wild performances, are mostly more disciplined-- they don't have that crazedness, that wild abandon. And as JPM-Fangirl said, I think he has sort of damaged his voice-- what do you expect, after 50+ years of screaming, shouting, and belting, without any sort of vocal warm-ups that I know of. (George Martin recalled the Beatles getting into the studio and just launching into Kansas City / Hey Hey Hey without even warming up, they just picked up their guitars and went off.)  

        This may be a bit of a platitude, but it's difficult to believe that the same guy who sang And I Love Her and I Will sang 'Mumbo'. 

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        10 January 2016
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        The years of smoking will not have helped Paul's voice either. 

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        10 January 2016
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        There are a lot of good screaming vocalists, but the ones that stick out in my mind the most are Prince and Steven Tyler. Paul's good, but smoking depends on a lot of things (look at Steven Tyler). As Silly Girl said, a lot of it probably has to do with the lack of professional warm-ups. It's quite a feat when I see videos on Youtube of John Lennon and Elvis Presley drinking Coca-cola to hydrate their vocal cords. It also just wasn't the style at that time--plus, Paul wasn't trained and just extended his range to the point where there isn't even a head voice. Again, quite a feat. The amount of dedication as a musician can be more important than how good they technically are at something.

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        11 January 2016
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        Funny Paper said
        Among Paul's many talents (bass, acoustic and electric guitar, piano, drums, songwriting), one particular one is not often singled out for praise: his ability to scream well.  His screaming is effortlessly powerful even when rising into high registers, it punctuates the songs perfectly, it has high quality. 
         
          
        Examples:  
         
         Helter Skelter
         

        I've never heard anyone belt out Helter Skelter better than Paul, and there are a lot of versions out there. paul-mccartney

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        11 January 2016
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        One thing I've noticed is that Paul went through various stages in his screaming development: in the early days he focused exclusively on the Little Richard Shout, and only used caterpauls for emphasis; I don't recall him singing whole songs in a caterpaul-y way until Helter Skelter . Then around Let It Be time, he started to try out that more baritone-belt thing (think Lady Madonna ), and that included a different screaming style; thus, the Oh! Darling roar was born. Technically, he used it on I've Got A Feeling first, but Oh! Darling is the most famous/most classic example. 

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        11 January 2016
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        Paul can't have used his screaming that much before recording 'Oh! Darling ' as he felt he needed it to sound more raw and had to do it over days, a few takes a day. 

        From here, as spoken by Alan Parsons;

        Paul came in several days running to do the lead vocal on Oh! Darling . He'd come in, sing it and say, 'No, that's not it, I'll try it again tomorrow.' He only tried it once per day, I suppose he wanted to capture a certain rawness which could only be done once before the voice changed. I remember him saying, 'Five years ago I could have done this in a flash,' referring, I suppose, to the days of Long Tall Sally and Kansas City.

        Personally I think it shows on the record as I dont find it to be a great vocal. I agree with John when he said

        Oh! Darling was a great one of Paul's that he didn't sing too well. I always thought that I could've done it better - it was more my style than his. He wrote it, so what the hell, he's going to sing it. If he'd had any sense, he should have let me sing it. [Laughs.]

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        11 January 2016
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        This has been mentioned before but, obviously John would never be able to reach the notes (especially the last "I'll never DOOO YOU no harm")

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        11 January 2016
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        Funny Paper said
        I forgot to mention a major example of Paul's screaming forte:

         

        Get On the Right Thing (from Red Rose Speedway )

         

        That one song by itself blows Robert Plant and Roger Daltrey out of the water, IMHO.

        I just wanted to reiterate what my former self ^^^^^ said long ago.  The screaming really kicks in after the second half and into the end of that song.

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