by Rick Bretz
Interesting voices have always been pleasant to hear. The selections below from the music industry are based on these measures: Passion, Versatility, Outstanding Live Performances, and the best one, does it catch your ear and pull you in. A voice can be deep, gravelly, soprano, alto, clear, clean, distinctive, have range, and illicit an emotional response. This list of ten can be longer because there are many voices that please the ear while doing daily activities. These are just a few of the voices that make my list.
Maria McKee, Lead Singer for Lone Justice as well as a solo performer. Favorites: Shelter; Ways to be Wicked; Sweet. Sweet Baby, Show Me Heaven, Breathe, Wheels. She has an incredible stage presence and can sing a ballad or belt out a rock and roll tune that mesmerizes audiences.
Stevie Nicks, Member of Buckingham/Nicks, Fleetwood Mac as well as solo performer and back-up singer for many other artists. Favorites: Dreams, Standback, Stop Draggin my Heart Around, Silver Spring, Landslide, Nightbird. One of the most instantly recognizable voices in the music business and an equally impressive song writer.
Ann Wilson (Heart), Lead Singer for Heart. Favorites: Crazy on You, Barracuda, Straight On, Magic Man, Never, Dream Boat Annie. Her voice can send chills when she hits certain notes.
Bonnie Raitt, Pop and Blues singer and outstanding guitarist. Favorites: Nick of Time, Not the Only One, Thing Called Love, Angel From Montgomery. Her voice is clean and can handle a ballad or blue tune. She sets the mood with her voice no matter what genre she sings.
Janice Joplin, Member of Big Brother and the Holding Company, Solo Artist. Favorites: Piece of My Heart, Mercedes Benz, Ball and Chain. Me and Bobby McGee. Passion and memorable live performances define this legend’s reputation.
Linda Ronstadt, Member of The Stone Poneys and solo artist. Favorites: Poor, Poor Pitiful Me, Hurt So Bad, Blue Bayou, You’re No Good. She is the one performer who can take a classic hit from another performer and make it her own. She has been able to make her mark in many different musical tastes throughout her career.
Grace Slick, Member of The Great Society, Jefferson Airplane, Jefferson Starship, Starship. Favorites: White Rabbit, Somebody to Love, Wrecking Ball, Dreams, Seasons. Her voice on White Rabbit hypnotizes the listener while on Somebody to Love she shows off how she can do voice gymnastics when she needs it.
Adele, Solo Performer. Favorites: Rolling in the Deep, Someone Like You, Skyfall, When We Were Young. Just listening to Rolling in the Deep should give you an idea of why she is considered one of the best voices to come along in a while. The Jame Bond theme Skyfall is fine example of her vocal skill also.
Chrissie Hynde (Pretenders), Lead Singer for Pretenders. Favorites: Back on the Chain Gang, Brass In Pocket, Don’t Get Me Wrong, Talk of the Town. The Pretenders’ classic Back on the Chain gang features Hynde’s voice in all of its glory as she goes up and down the scale.
Aimee Mann (Til Tuesday), Favorites: Voices Carry, Coming Up Close, What About Love, Lucky, Love in a Vacuum. Mann’s voice cuts through the music on everything she sings, especially for Voices Carry and What About Love.
Other interesting voices
Rickie Lee Jones, Natalie Merchant, Sara McLaughlin, Melissa Etheridge, Tina Turner, Pat Benatar, Tracy Chapman, Joan Armatrading, Mama Cass, Johnette Napolitano (Concrete Blonde), Amy Winehouse, Christine McVie, Annie Lennox, Debbie Harry, Lady Gaga, Kate Bush, Christina Aguilera, Enya.