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Paul McCartney is not a great singer.
26 February 2016
1.08am
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Well, I've been on hiatus, so I'm late to the party.  When I saw this provocative topic title, I had to see how the OP justified his claim, and how the discussion unfolded.  Whether someone is a "great singer" (or great guitarist, pianist, saxophonist, etc.) is subjective and relative, even though in a community of fandom the fans rally around to bolster up their perceptions.

Nevertheless, to me, Paul is the best singer of all time -- for reasons that many of the BBers above have listed, like his range.  I'd also add an indefinable quality he brings to most of his songs, some kind of vocalistic genius touch, sometimes only heard in passing, touches that come in many different flavors, all satisfying.

That said, there are plenty of other singers I like as well, and I confess to moments where I can feel like they satisfy me as well, if not better, than Paul (examples, Ray Charles or Neil Diamond or Phoebe Snow...).

Aside from range, there is his talent in screaming (we had a whole thread about that alone).  I frankly don't find anyone in the pop/rock galaxy as accomplished in screaming as Paul (the closest is Robert Plant, imo).

And also, "range" doesn't just mean ability to sing low and high (and everywhere in between) -- it also means a range of modulatory styles.  It's almost like Paul "puts on" a different voice to suit the ambiance of a particular song, and I don't know how many changes of clothes Paul's voice has (I haven't sat down to count).  I first became aware of this by the remarkably subtle transformation of his voice for the song "Tomorrow" -- a kind of plaintive, slight warble caught in the front of the throat sound (compare that with "Mumbo" just from the same album).

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5 March 2016
11.54am
Randie
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What a total ignorant,stupid,inaccurate thing to say even if  *wasn't* on a Beatles and or Paul McCartney fan site! Ironically this article,which I had read on another site years ago, was posted on this very site about the recording of Uncle Albert Admiral Halsey , and Tim Geelan  a studio engineer from Mix Magazine is quoted saying what a great singer Paul was and that he sang great live right off the floor into new mics at the time.

 

http://www.beatlesbible.com/pe.....al-halsey/

 

As The All Music Guide says in their excellent Beatles biography "That it's difficult to summarize their career without restating cliches that have already been digested by tens of millions of rock fans, to start with the obvious,they were the greatest and most influential act of the rock era and introduced more innovations into popular music than any other rock band of the 20th century."
 
 
"Moreover they were among the few artists of *any* discipline that were simultaneously the best at what they did *and* the most popular at what they did." They also say as singers John Lennon and Paul McCartney were among the best and most expressive in rock.
 
 
Also on an excellent site,The Evolution of Rock Bass Playing McCartney Style by Dennnis Alstrand,Stanley Clarke,Sting,Will Lee,Billy Sheehan,George Martin and John Lennon are quoted saying what a great,melodic and influential bass player Paul has always been.
 
 
 
 
 
 
And Wilco's John Stirratt was asked in Bass Player which bass players have had the most impact on his playing and the first thing he said was, Paul McCartney is one of the greatest bass players of all time,if you listen to what he was tracking live in the studio it's unbelievable." "With his tone and musicality he was a huge influence,he covered all of his harmonic responsibilities really well but his baselines were absolutely melodic and inventive."
 
 
 
In this 2010 interview the blogger says that John Stirratt has an affinity for good melodies so it's not surprising that Paul McCartney is one of his musical icons and then he quotes him saying that he's always absolutely in awe of his playing,including Paul's Beatles years.
 
 
 
 
And in an online 1977 Eric Clapton interview,Eric Clapton In His Own Words he says that there was always this game between John and George,and he said partly because John was a pretty good guitar player himself http://www.superseventies.com/.....apton.html .He played live with John as a member of John's 1969 Plastic Ono Band.
 
 
And there is a great online article by musician and song writer Peter Cross,The Beatles Are The Most Creative Band Of All Time and he says that many musicians besides him recognize Paul as one of the best bass guitar players ever.He too says that John and Paul are the greatest song composers and that to say that John and Paul are among 2 of the greatest singers in rock and roll is to state the obvious,and that John,Paul and George were all excellent guitarists and that George is underrated by people not educated about music but that Eric Clapton knew better,he also says that both John and Paul played great leads as well as innovative rhythm tracks.
 
 
John Lennon co-wrote,sang and played guitar on one of David Bowie's first hits Fame in 1975 and David invited John to play guitar on his version of John's beautiful Beatles song Across The Universe .Brain May,Ozzy Osbourne,and Liam Gallagher and many more call The Beatles The Greatest Band Ever.'
 
 
 
 
Also on MusicRadar Tom Petty,Joe Perry and Richie Sambora in What The Beatles Mean To Me all say how cool and great they thought The Beatles were when they first saw them on The Ed Sullivan Show in February 1964 when they were just teen boys,Richie was only 5.Tom Petty said he thought they were really really great.
 
 
Robin Zander of Cheap Trick said he's probably one of the biggest Beatles fans on the planet.Brad Whitford of Aerosmith said that a lot of that Beatles influence comes from Steven Tyler's collaborartion with Mark Hudson both whom are absolute Beatles freaks and he said I guess the goal is to try and emulate probably some of the best music of the last 50 years which has to be The Beatles.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

 

 
 
 
 
 
5 March 2016
12.07pm
Randie
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Also in Mark Lewisohn's excellent book which is a detailed music diary of their amazing only 8 year recording career,The Beatles Recording Sessions where many of their recording engineers and tape operators are interviewed along with George Martin and there is a great 1987 interview with Paul in the beginning of the book,Mark explains that Paul amazingly recorded three totally different types of songs and singing styles in the same day,Yesterday ,I've Just Seen A Face and his screaming rocker I'm Down and he basically said how it demonstrated how he impressively could do such different styles like that soon after the other.

 

Actually I just opened the book to exactly what Mark says in the 1965 chapter about the recordings on Monday June 14th,and Mark says,that it was a remarkable day's work,dominated by Paul McCartney and perfectly illustrating this young man's mastery of three different styles of musical composition and singing.He says what makes Paul's recording of Yesterday and he said the supreme melodic ballad all the more remarkable is that it directly followed the taping of I'm Down which Mark says is a quasi-soul/rock and roll song delivered by Paul in the most larynx-tearing,chord-shredding style imaginable.

 

 Paul used to have a great sounding love song voice,an in between love song and rock song voice,and a great rock and even hard rock voice and he many times sang all these styles in the same song great.John was also a great singer and he had an more unique beautiful voice even when he spoke.

 

Paul sang great into his 50's and still good into his 50's but he sadly barely has a voice left to talk,because he  kept singing rock songs live and in the studio into his 60's and now 70's.The Beatles are not only in the Song Writing Hall of Fame but the Vocal Hall of Fame too and for great valid reasons.It's really hard to believe and understand how anyone especially a genuine fan could say such nonsense.

5 March 2016
12.48pm
Randie
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NME News

 

Bob Dylan talks of Beatles friendship

 
Legend admits: 'I'm in awe of McCartney'
 
May 16, 2007
 
 
Bob Dylan has spoken in depth about his longstanding friendship with The Beatles and his particular bond with George Harrison.
 
Talking to Rolling Stone magazine, Dylan talked freely about Harrison’s struggle to find his voice within the songwriting collective of John Lennon and Paul McCartney.
 
"George got stuck with being the Beatle that had to fight to get songs on records because of Lennon and McCartney. Well, who wouldn’t get stuck?" he asked.
 
Dylan highlighted the writing talents of Harrison, saying: "If George had had his own group and was writing his own songs back then, he’d have been probably just as big as anybody."
 
Speaking against popular belief, the singer also denounced any rumours of competitiveness towards Lennon and McCartney, asserting, "They were fantastic singers. Lennon, to this day, it’s hard to find a better singer than Lennon was, or than McCartney was and still is."
 
Nodding his cap to McCartney in particular, Dylan concluded: "I’m in awe of McCartney. He’s about the only one that I am in awe of. He can do it all. And he’s never let up... He’s just so damn effortless.''
 
 

http://www.nme.com/news/bob-dylan/28350

5 March 2016
12.59pm
Randie
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Wings Over Australia full concert this speaks,or should I say sings for itself,well Paul definitely does and great!

 

5 March 2016
1.06pm
Randie
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Here is another amazing example of what a great singer (and song composer) Paul is,he's singing his great piano rock song 1985 from the Band On The Run album live in the studio.

 

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5 March 2016
1.37pm
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Here is their August 15,1965 Shea Stadium performance of I'm Down with Paul doing a great rocking singing and screaming voice.

5 March 2016
2.12pm
Randie
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Here is another of the countless examples of what a great singer Paul really was,here Paul and Wings are playing Paul's beautiful acoustic song Bluebird which is even a better version than on The Band On The Run album.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?.....6rTnPQDf_8

 

And here Paul's singing great in another style, his best song Arrow Through  Me on the last Wings 1979 album,

 

 

 

And  I  could go on and on,including with countless examples from Paul's early to later Beatles career too,even from their live performances with the very limited,primitive sound systems of only 30 watt amplifiers,and as George Harrison said in The Beatles Anthology video series that special 100 watt amplifiers were built for their August 1965 Shea Stadium concert. They also had no feedback monitors so they couldn't even hear themselves singing and playing but amazingly they still sang in sync with each other.But then they were so great they would have sounded good playing out of a cave.

 

Here is a very good live performance of Paul's very good rock song I'm Down from August 14,1965 at The Ed Sulivan Theatre one night before they performed it at their Shea Stadium concert.

 

https://vimeo.com/133531241

5 March 2016
3.25pm
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Mademoiselle Kitty >^..^<
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And of course, there's this little gem...

Paul's got 99 problems, but lyrics ain't one of them paul-mccartney (also known as: who the *bleep* needs lyrics when you got that voice?)

 

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5 March 2016
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It was unfair of me to single out Paul.  He's on par vocally with George and Lennon.

I wouldn't call any of the Beatles great singers.  Amazing songwriters, amazing lyricists, amazing composers.  Their singing, very good, but not amazing.

It's nothing against them.  They did the most they could with their voice.  God just didn't give them the same pipes he gave black singers.

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5 March 2016
8.29pm
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Ahhh Girl
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Still subjective. A little added "in my opinion" would go a long way in the above post. That's where I will leave my comments.

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O Boogie, Beatlebug
5 March 2016
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Ahhh Girl said
Still subjective. A little added "in my opinion" would go a long way in the above post. That's where I will leave my comments.

"In my opinion" would be redundant. It's already implied that it is his opinion because he is the one saying it. 

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5 March 2016
9.01pm
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But others have been giving thought-out, objective reasons when making their case. I suppose I would like the OP to do the same. So, with such strong, factual posts from others in this thread, an added "in my opinion" by the OP after a statement like that last sentence would be appreciated. That's all I'm saying. Just seems kind and civil.

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5 March 2016
9.41pm
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Forum rule #4. "Don't be a troll. If you think The Beatles suck, please don't bother letting us know."

5 March 2016
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Ahhh Girl said
Forum rule #4. "Don't be a troll. If you think The Beatles suck, please don't bother letting us know."

I don't think this is a troll topic.

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5 March 2016
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OK, AD40. Your opinion is noted. apple01 Post 70 just went too far in my opinion.

5 March 2016
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In my opinion is not needed. You are the one saying it so it's already implied that it is your opinion. It does not make it sound like you're being nicer nor does it change the statement from being objective to subjective. If it does anything at all, it weakens the statement it is paired with and makes the speaker sound unsure.

And I don't opine that Derek went too far in post seventy. He said that The Beatles are very good singers but that he doesn't think they are amazing singers (he never said they suck). That's a fair thing to say. I don't necessarily agree with it, but that does't make his opinion of less value. Are people only allowed to express their opinions on this forum when they are extolling The Beatles? 

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5 March 2016
10.31pm
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There always has to be a not-exactly-kind-but-not-exactly-negative thread to keep things at an even atmosphere. Too many "love posts" would be dead grotty. (I'd better put "in my opinion" on here so people don't get angry) *ahem* in my opinion at least.

I am you as you are you as you are you and you are all together. 

5 March 2016
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"Un-extolling views are fine occassionally. When the "un-extolling" and confrontationalness are noticed as *patterns* from a particular person by others and they comment on the behavior, I take notice. I'm a bit of an overprotective hen when it comes to the user experience on the forum.

LOL, @Evangeline. You're fine. You've proven yourself to me and to the group. You don't have any bad patterns that I've ever noticed or that anyone has ever brought to my attention.

5 March 2016
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unknown said

In my opinion is not needed. You are the one saying it so it's already implied that it is your opinion. It does not make it sound like you're being nicer nor does it change the statement from being objective to subjective. If it does anything at all, it weakens the statement it is paired with and makes the speaker sound unsure.

Interesting view, @Little Piggy Dragonguy. Maybe ...I've just let myself get too upset over all of this. I know when some people are stating an opinion. When I've had a chance to get to know them and see inner goodness in them, and know that they are on the forum for a good reason it is easy to get the jist/vibe of what they are saying and to go on with my life. This situation just feels different to me. Very different. That's why I am now going to remain silent on the matter. I emailed the three guys and told them I'm backing away from this whole situation.

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