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80s Singers

MattMatt Pro Posts: 197
How did some of the greatest singers from the 80s get their massive range and power? I've noticed there tends to be a consistency with tone too - it DOES sound like a lot of open throat is used but I'm not sure. I've just listened to songs like Stone in Love - Journey, Valerie - Steve Winwood, Lonely Boy - Andrew Gold etc obviously there's a lot more. Did these people really stumble upon the correct techniques? Or did they have coaches? It's interesting to see how popular vocal styles have changed over the last 20 / 30 years!


  • sspatricksspatrick Enrolled Posts: 1,278
    Great questions Matt.  I've wondered that myself.  I think most of them just stumbled upon their sound by experimenting and experience.  Unfortunately many of the greats have lost a lot of that range and power because they may have not know how to maintain it safely.  I wish I had KTVA training years ago when I was struggling to get the tone and power that a lot of my influences had.  Better late then never I guess!
  • MattMatt Pro Posts: 197
    I think they must have done! I know what you mean about losing it though. There's a video on YouTube of St. Elmo's Fire (Man in Motion) by John Parr, and granted he's a lot older now, he can't sing anywhere near as good as he could back then!

    Yeah I agree, it would have been great to find KTVA back at the beginning of the journey, but as you've said: Better late than never!
  • Eric_ConnEric_Conn Pro Posts: 6
    I've been in bands over the years that played many of those classic rock tunes from Journey, Boston, Foreigner, Led Zeppelin, etc. They are definitely a challenge for most singers and unfortunately many of the original singers in those popular bands can no longer sing their own tunes. I'm sure if they used better technique they might have held on longer but also their improper technique is what made their voices so unique and powerful. I guess it's a double-edged sword. Regardless, I still think that many of the vocalists in those days were special talents.
  • MattMatt Pro Posts: 197
    That's interesting to hear - thanks Eric.

    Oh I have no doubt that there were some special talents in terms of vocalists back then, but there must be some in this generation? Actually, thinking about it, the music popular today doesn't really call for super powerful voices so anybody "born with the potential" to sing like say Steve Perry could be cutting themselves short by focusing mostly on mix or falsetto...

    I like a lot of today's pop, but I would love to hear another male belter!
  • ragnarragnar Pro Posts: 410
    Matt said:

    I like a lot of today's pop, but I would love to hear another male belter!
    In pop? Adam Lambert. An argument could be made for Bruno Mars as well.

    Rock these days still has plenty of hugely powerful voices, too many to name really.
  • MattMatt Pro Posts: 197
    Adam Lambert for sure has an incredible voice. I also wanted to mention Bruno Mars as he does have a good voice, although I'd like to hear him live or performing a true acoustic set to get a better idea.

    Yeah, you're right. Maybe it's just the songs from the 80s!
  • ragnarragnar Pro Posts: 410
    edited June 2013
    Well that's hardly pop though is it. You could rather compare them to like the Bee Gees or something.

    Also if you don't think Lambert can even compare to the great singers you must be superbly prejudiced from having grown up with them as your heroes (which is natural enough I suppose).
  • ragnarragnar Pro Posts: 410


    Yeah I mentioned Lambert and Mars because Matt asked about pop, where they are sort of the best of the worst. I am very far fram of a fan of the whole lame lovey-dovey songwriting that still seers through 95% of pop unfortunately.

    It really makes it all the more frustrating for me that such obvious singing talents are wasting their time with generic music

    We could easily as well get into long-winded discussions about singers, since I for example tend to gravitate towards singers that often aren't all too technical. Jack White for one is extremely anarchistic in his vocals, but still remains one of my idols because of his songwriting and emotive singing.

  • MattMatt Pro Posts: 197
    @ragnar remind me not to send you any of my material haha! 

    I wonder how many members on this forum are successful or budding songwriters? It might be nice to have a section for songwriting and songwriter discussion...
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