28 March 2014
Gotta say Macca’s 2013 release of “Cut Me Some Slack” with Dave Grohl still sounds like he could almost still sing Helter Skelter !
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28 June 2013
The problem which Paul has nowadays is controlling his voice on the quieter songs. It’s nakedly apparent when Paul sings something like Blackbird – his voice wavers a lot and sounds very reedy. It doesn’t have the sweetness that it had which is understandable – he is almost 73 after all. It could be the years of smoking – he was a smoker from his early teens – and also the many years of doing his Little Richard impersonation. If you listen to him speaking now, he always sounds very ragged and ‘chesty’ and – worryingly – he seems slightly incoherent. I’m probably going to get criticised for this but compare his Anthology interviews with how he speaks now.
For me, his peak as a vocalist was 1963-65 – I think he was untouchable during those years (except by John).
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Somebody spoke and I went into a dream
27 March 2015
I don’t know about that last bit. Do you mean vocal ability or do you mean singing quality? Because the latter is debatable, and the former is untrue. Paul definitely had the wider range and the ability to change his voice to the point of not being recognisable as Paul anymore. As for who was the better singer, that’s a matter of taste. I prefer the warmth – or ’roundness’ as I sometimes describe it – of Paul’s voice over the sharpness of John’s. Then again, having different types of voices in the band did enable the Beatles to be the Beatles. Each voice suited different songs, so I wouldn’t want to change a thing there!
Paul does sound strained when he speaks, though not always as much. There are times when it’s barely noticeable. I’d disagree on the incoherence. Sure, he doesn’t always make perfect sense, but that’s nothing new, is it? You can hardly compare Anthology to the interviews he does now. Not only has a lot of time passed since then, Anthology is probably largely scripted and definitely heavily edited. It’s like comparing a well-rehearsed play to an improvisation. If you’re implying Paul is becoming senile, then I would most definitely disagree. He seems as sharp as ever, and as quirky as ever too.
Anyway, his age will definitely be one factor in the change of his voice. I don’t know about smoking; he quit smoking (nicotine) nearly 30 years ago so that shouldn’t be too much of a factor anymore. He definitely doesn’t have a smoker’s voice. All those screams, going as high and as low as he possibly could, being ‘the man of 1000 voices’, doing 3-hour concerts, spending the majority of his days singing… Now THAT is going to have an effect on ones vocal cords. Nobody will deny his chest range is nowhere near what it used to be. ‘Early Days ‘ springs to mind: he’s clearly using his head voice during the chorus even though it’s not that high. Then again, those high notes at the end are quite impressive for a guy his age and he may have wanted to sound “old” in that one, who knows? The man can still sing very well. And I for one will continue to love his work, regardless of how “old” he may sound, because that warmth I love so much is still there.
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Formerly Known As JPM-Fangirl -- 2016
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