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Best vocal performances?
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Ben Ramon
612 Posts
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16 May 2012 - 5.44pm

The Beatles were great singers- voices which blended extremely naturally to create a very powerful and bright harmonic sound, as well as versatility and strength in their individual voices. Which vocal performances do you consider to be the best? Solo songs apply too apple01

For harmonies I'd nominate Day Tripper- the middle section with the long crescendo of "aah"s is really incredible, my favourite moment in the song. Also songs like Baby's In Black and I'm A Loser- with John's spiteful, tough, dry voice and Paul's powerful, high, almost feminine voice, the moment in Baby's In Black where they go "oh how long will it take" and each reach to the top of their respective ranges sounds awesome. If I Needed Someone, There's A Place, If I Fell, obviously Because and Happiness Is A Warm Gun have great harmonies (love the doo-wop harmonies at the end of the latter).

For individual performances, Oh! Darling, I've Got A Feeling, Hey Jude, Call Me Back Again, Sgt Peppers' Lonely Hearts Club Band, I'm Down and Helter Skelter are obviously some of Paul's impressive screamer songs but I also love his singing on Wanderlust, Got To Get You Into My Life, Come And Get It, Let It Be and Blackbird. John's rough vocals are awesome too, Mr Moonlight, Mother, Cold Turkey, Instant Karma, Twist And Shout and I'm So Tired being some of his best, but the thing about John's voice I love is the angst and spite that he can inject into his voice, as well as being able to sound like a wise guru or a fragile lover. George I think also has a very wise and lovely voice, and sounds so sensitive and intelligent on "Something" and "Here Comes The Sun."

SHUT UP - Paulie's talkin'

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fabfouremily
Sitting in an English garden
2929 Posts
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16 May 2012 - 7.40pm

I love Paul's voice on Helter Skelter,everytime someone sugests that Paul only sang lovey-dovey,easy listening songs,I say to them:listen to Helter Skelter and then tell me that you still think that!
Because is a great example of how their voices fitted together,creating spine-chilling harmonies.
In one of their early covers,You Really Got A Hold On Me,Johns vocals are quite something.And as for the later ones,Across The Universe is a good one.
There are many more too in which the vocal contribuitions are pretty astonishing,too many to mention really.

Moving along in our God given ways, safety is sat by the fire/Sanctuary from these feverish smiles, left with a mark on the door.

(Passover - I. Curtis)

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meanmistermustard

19101 Posts
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16 May 2012 - 10.47pm

The harmonies on Here, There And Everywhere are possibly the best ive ever heard, can get easily lost in them and miss Pauls lead, which in itself is gloriously tender and suits the song perfectly.

Personally i think Ringo's vocal on What Goes On has that sorrowful, lost, questioning, hurt feel that suits the song down to the ground, possibly Ringos best vocal on a beatles track - not that many people like the song.

 

Solo songs: in Jealous Guy you believe John's regret totally, well i do, sung by another it could have felt forced or bland; Here Today Paul's emotion.

Cold Turkey & Mother (the agony and turmoil), Beautiful Boy (Johns delight and obvious enthusiam to see Sean grow up).

 

There will be many many others but none that come to mind at the moment.

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

"Don't make your love suffer insecurities; Trade the baggage of "self" to set another one free" ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)

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minime
511 Posts
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16 May 2012 - 11.36pm

I think the harmonies of Because are outstanding, and the anthology version without any instrumental backing is great, as well. The contrast between the "heavenly" performance and the slightly mischievousness lyrics is interesting

Rocky Raccoon isn't conversed much, but I like the talking kind of style Paul uses, and how he prolongates his voice

Ringo is perfect for Act Naturally, and I wonder if he realizes himself how pitiful he sounds in it

I don't think John sings another song quite as gently as he does Real Love, it's just beautiful, very simple

Paul is so sad in Little Lamb Dragonfly, it's heartwrenching, just as he is in Here Today, a song I can't quite bear to listen to, Paul had, has still, the ability to sound very melancholic, but he doesn't seem to use it too often, it's a pity, in a way, because personally I think his voice is at its most beautiful then.

And George, I don't think he is too stable in his performances, but While My Guitar blows me away when he does his "ahhh", and the way he sings "why", I often wonder how artists come up with whatever "phrases" they use, it's easy to cover it, but not quite that simple if you only have a basic tune and the lyrics. And My Sweet Lord, even of I'm totally unreligious person, really moves me, I really believe him when he says "I really wanna show you lord, that it won't take long". Of course, I simultaneously am forced to think about his death whenever I hear it, which is not so nicea-hard-days-night-john-4

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Elmore James
34 Posts
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5
17 May 2012 - 2.13am

Wild Honey Pie. Flawless harmonies. yoko-ono-01

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meanmistermustard

19101 Posts
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17 May 2012 - 3.19am

John's built up frustration at wanting Yoko so darn much in I Want You (She's So Heavy). When John believed and meant what he sang he got it across to leave the listener without any doubt be it in angst or tenderness (Julia).

Johns ripped to shreds vocal on Twist And Shout lift the song beyond what others can achieve. There are some excellent live performances (Sweden, RVP) where the adrenaline in all 4 soars and to achieve that level in the studio is one heck of a feat.

Have always loved how Paul sings You Wont See Me, especially verse 3 ("tho the days..."), he sounds hurt yet wont be waiting long before he's away chasing skirt.

Always list Long, Long, Long and Georges unrestricted and full out longing for, frustration at losing, and contentment at finding God.

And finally No Reply when John sings "that's a lie"  that delivery would put the fear of death in the girl and have her calling for police protection within seconds. There's no outspoken threat in the song, like in You Can't Do That or Run For Your Life, but you know fine well that you shouldnt mess him about. No Reply should be the song those tv dramas play when the guy is first seen to be unhinged.

The following people thank meanmistermustard for this post:

MrCleanMachine

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

"Don't make your love suffer insecurities; Trade the baggage of "self" to set another one free" ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)

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minime
511 Posts
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17 May 2012 - 11.48am

Elmore James said

Wild Honey Pie. Flawless harmonies. yoko-ono-01

a-hard-days-night-john-6 Ohh, Yoko

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Into the Sky with Diamonds
New York
1610 Posts
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8
17 May 2012 - 2.14pm

meanmistermustard said,

"And finally No Reply when John sings "that's a lie"  that delivery would put the fear of death in the girl and have her calling for police protection within seconds. There's no outspoken threat in the song, like in You Can't Do That or Run For Your Life, but you know fine well that you shouldnt mess him about. No Reply should be the song those tv dramas play when the guy is first seen to be unhinged."

 

Great insight.

"Into the Sky with Diamonds" (the Beatles and the Race to the Moon – a history)

Constance
39 Posts
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9
18 May 2012 - 9.23am

"that's a liiieeee" from "No Reply" has long been one of my favorite phrasings from a John vocal.

 

I actually love part of Paul's vocals in, of all things, "PS I Love You", his voice is very rich and mature for such an early song.

 

I like George's voice more than the song in "She's Got the Devil In Her Heart" especially his "no no this I can't believe...." Actually I like George's voice a lot and don't think he got enough credit for his vocal work in the group. He did a great job on "Young Blood" in the old, old days too.

 

I also love the different combos of George/Paul (All My Loving" comes to mind) and of course when John and Paul sang together on anything.

Ben Ramon
612 Posts
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10
18 May 2012 - 12.38pm

Constance said

I also love the different combos of George/Paul (All My Loving" comes to mind)

The harmony on All My Loving is Paul double-tracked, the other Beatles couldn't sing the high A flats. However I agree that the Paul/George combo should have been used more, "Don't Ever Change" has a beautiful two-part harmony from them and their voices blend nicely.

SHUT UP - Paulie's talkin'

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LennonCloset
90 Posts
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18 May 2012 - 4.55pm

Help! hasn't been mentioned! One of my favourite John vocals, but Across The Universe is by far my number one favourite vocal. I also like It's Only Love's vocals. I think the Help! album has some of their best harmonies, too.

Constance
39 Posts
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12
18 May 2012 - 7.26pm

Ben Ramon said

Constance said

I also love the different combos of George/Paul (All My Loving" comes to mind)

The harmony on All My Loving is Paul double-tracked, the other Beatles couldn't sing the high A flats. However I agree that the Paul/George combo should have been used more, "Don't Ever Change" has a beautiful two-part harmony from them and their voices blend nicely.

I was thinking of the Ed Sullivan version in the first show in 1964..where George comes in to join Paul for the second verse of All My Loving...love his voice on that...

Constance
39 Posts
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18 May 2012 - 7.27pm

LennonCloset said
Help! hasn't been mentioned! One of my favourite John vocals, but Across The Universe is by far my number one favourite vocal. I also like It's Only Love's vocals. I think the Help! album has some of their best harmonies, too.

I love "Help" both for John's voice as well as the backup by Paul and George...love the vocals in that whole song

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BornInThe80s
60 Posts
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14
19 May 2012 - 5.15am

Try to realize it's all within yourself, no one else can make you change....

Ben Ramon
612 Posts
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15
19 May 2012 - 2.07pm

paulsbass said

Ben Ramon said

However I agree that the Paul/George combo should have been used more, 

I Me Mine, You can't do that, Help, Money, You're gonna loose that girl, Savoy Truffle (?)

And While My Guitar Gently Weeps. But still, compared to all of the songs where John and Paul sing harmony as a duo that's quite a small number, and quite rarely was the Paul/George duo used in the limelight, more often to back up John's lead.

SHUT UP - Paulie's talkin'

Constance
39 Posts
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16
20 May 2012 - 6.16am

Also:

 

John-All I Gotta do (call on me)

Ringo-"A Little Help from my Friends (perfect vocals for this song)

George- "If I Needed Someone" and "For You Blue"

Paul- "I Will"

 

All among many others...just ones I am listening to todayheart

Rita Eleanor
Sitting in his nowhere land
103 Posts
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18 August 2014 - 1.07am

I will not even mention "Because", "She came through the bathroom window", "Carry the weight" and the exciting "She's leaving home" (just talking about this song, I remember the description of Geoff Emerick). For me, "Words of Love" and "I'll Follow the Sun" is one of the best performances. The voices seem to fit perfectly ... when I hear them, I prepare, locking the doors, put the headphones, close my eyes ... it's really amazing!

 
 

Nobody told me there'd be days like these!!

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meanmistermustard

19101 Posts
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18 August 2014 - 6.00pm

For years i thought 'I'll Follow The Sun' was just Paul on vocal, caused a lot of "is that John? Surely not. That's can't be John! It is, it's John!!!! No, it cant be" when my ears tuned in to John's harmony. Must have played it back five or six times.

The following people thank meanmistermustard for this post:

Rita Eleanor

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

"Don't make your love suffer insecurities; Trade the baggage of "self" to set another one free" ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)

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Bongo
Somewhere In Time
1316 Posts
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19 August 2014 - 2.30am

"Because" from the LOVE soundtrack has simply the best harmonies, bar none!http://i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk38/rickdelsie/175116-1.gif

Without a doubt Macca has the most versatile voice of the group a-hard-days-night-paul-7

http://i276.photobucket.com/albums/kk38/rickdelsie/The%20Beatles/parlunread_zps28270d9d.gif BEATLES Music gives me Eargasms!  apple01

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