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Jack E Martling

The best singer/songwriter ever!

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Who is the best singer/songwriter ever?

 

I'm going to cast 3 votes right off the bat for Merle Haggard. He's written so many great songs, his singing can't be beat, his bands have been great and he plays some pretty good guitar himself.

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2 names for you to shoot me down with:

 

a. Mark Knopfler

b. Gordon Lightfoot

 

I would be interested in the responses of Rob Q and the other Canadian forumites as to the latter.

 

Russ T

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Originally posted by babybatter


3) Ben Harper

 

I don't recall anyone on the Vets Forum ever uttering the words "Ben Harper." All Vets should check him out, he writes great songs, sings them well and plays awe-inspiring slide guitar on early 1900-s Weissenborn guitars. Ben Harper gets three thumbs up from Jack E Martling!

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John Fogerty. If you x out "singer", I'd say

Ludvig Van. He would also win the "best deaf pianist" award. :D

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1. Paul Simon

 

 

 

 

 

 

2. Cat Stevens

3. Don McClean

4. Billy Joel

5. Bruce Springsteen

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Originally posted by Fred5

Ludvig Van. He would also win the "best deaf pianist" award.
:D

 

Ummm... While I feel strongly that the man possessed divine, godly, inhuman talent and has few peers, I'm not sure if he fits the singer/songwriter bill. After all, the man was not a lyricist. Secondly, his work for the human voice doesn't (for the most part) rank among his best. Furthermore, he only composed a single opera, which is of course beautiful, but flawed just the same. Perhaps Mozart, Verdi, or Wagner (who'd probably be the best candidate, given that he wrote his own librettos) would be better suited to the title. As to whether any of them could sing (except through their compositions), we'll never be able to judge with our own ears.

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Originally posted by Fred5

John Fogerty. If you x out "singer",

 

Awww come on, Fogerty's voice makes me want to keep on chooglin' for days on end. He's one of those kick-ass singer/songwriter/guitar players that just makes you want to throw your guitars, fountain pens, notebooks and vocal cords in the trash.

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Originally posted by babybatter

1) Neil

2) JT

3) Ben Harper

4) Sarah Mcglaughlin

I like the way you think :)

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Paul McCartney

Elton John

Jimi Hendrix

Billy Joel

Little Richard

Lindsay Buckingham

Sting

Chuck Berry

Melissa Etheridge

David Bowie

John Lennon

Robert Cray

Mark Knopfler

Christine McKvie

 

 

Well, that's enough talent for the next 400 years of MTV music awards.

 

:cool:

 

-wp

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Originally posted by ralphster007



Ummm... While I feel strongly that the man possessed divine, godly, inhuman talent and has few peers, I'm not sure if he fits the singer/songwriter bill. After all, the man was not a lyricist. Secondly, his work for the human voice doesn't (for the most part) rank among his best. Furthermore, he only composed a single opera, which is of course beautiful, but flawed just the same. Perhaps Mozart, Verdi, or Wagner (who'd probably be the best candidate, given that he wrote his own librettos) would be better suited to the title. As to whether any of them could sing (except through their compositions), we'll never be able to judge with our own ears.

 

Well, without ignorance divine

lack of knowledge such as mine

We wouldn't have much of a forum ;)

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Originally posted by Jack E Martling



Awww come on, Fogerty's voice makes me want to keep on chooglin' for days on end. He's one of those kick-ass singer/songwriter/guitar players that just makes you want to throw your guitars, fountain pens, notebooks and vocal cords in the trash.

I ment Ludvig didn't sing much (check with ralphster ;) ) When I saw John F like 4 years ago

with his new band... man... He just shined like a diamond.

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My favorite singer/songwriter is a guy named Tommy Flanders He only recorded one LP, called "The Moonstone" which was made in 1969, and never found an audience. But it is an exquisite album. The songs are all great, Flanders is (or was) a fantastic singer, and the guitar work by Bruce Langhorne and the late Dick Rosmini is some of the nices tuff I've ever heard.

 

The fact that this album flopped, and Flanders never received the recognition he deserved, is a real shame.

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Originally posted by Fred5


I ment Ludvig didn't sing much (check with ralphster
;)
) When I saw John F like 4 years ago

with his new band... man... He just shined like a diamond.

 

I saw him on that tour and he was great. The solo record he put out before that tour, Blue Moon Fever was a fantastic record. Supposedly he spent a good amount of time in Mississipi soaking up the atmosphere of the Deep South and woodshedding on the guitar before he made the record. Either way the shows were phenomenal, Rickenbackers, Telescasters, Les Pauls and Kustom & Vox amps out the old "yin-yang." Smokin' guitar tone, great vocals and killer songs to spare! You can't ask for much more than that.

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Chuck Berry/John Fogerty...Rock 'n Roll

 

Lennon and McCartney...Rock 'n Roll, Pop, you name it

 

I love Merle Haggard

 

How come nobody has mentioned Willie?

 

And I know they really aren't, but I get a kick out of Jerry Jeff,

John Prine, and Gary Nunn

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Originally posted by Wes_Powell


Elton John

Billy Joel

Lindsay Buckingham

Melissa Etheridge

David Bowie

Christine McKvie

 

I think we can now safely assume that Wes Powell is either a middle aged woman or an extremely sensitive man. Not that there is anything wrong with that. :)

 

Simple Exploding Man, knowing you like I do I think I would have flamed you if you didn't say Dave Grohl.

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"Singer-songwriter" is actually a fairly recent popular phenomenon. The idea is that the performer (who also sings) plays mostly or entirely their own material rather than covers.

 

With a few exceptions (Jimmie Rodgers, Carter Family, Bob Wills, etc.) this was a rare thing. Look at Elvis...the King of Covers.

 

When the folk movement of the very early sixties went pop (spelled D-Y-L-A-N) the impact of singer songwriters came to the fore, and then Lennon-McCartney got HUGE quickly. Myriad others who would have been mired in the obscurity of day jobs and night gigs in coffeehouses and bars instead became stars, icons.

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Originally posted by Jack E Martling



I think we can now safely assume that Wes Powell is either a middle aged woman or an extremely sensitive man. Not that there is anything wrong with that.
:)

Or just not a sloppy slob.

 

;)

 

We all fucked up and left Pete Townshend off the list.

 

We suck.

 

:(

 

-wp

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There is also the problem of defining "greatest singer songwriter". I think Neil Young wins if we are talking about sheer volume of great tunes written and recorded by a solo artist over the years.

 

And if we push it to great songwriting teams, then its almost certainly Lennon-McCartney followed by Jagger/Richards and EJ/Taupin.

 

Finally, if we consider who could pull it off live with just a voice and a guitar my vote would go to Cat Stevens or Croce.

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Originally posted by Doc Wilson


Finally, if we consider who could pull it off live with just a voice and a guitar my vote would go to Cat Stevens or Croce.

 

A fine diagnosis from the good Doctor.

 

In the early 70's when i first joined the Army, my room Corporal subjected us to a daily diet of 'Tea for the Tillerman' and 'Teaser and the Firecat', (despite this :p ) I love them to this day as I do Jim Croce's 'Photographs and memories'.

 

Wonderfully emotive stuff that has stood the test of time for the music alone beyond being merely a relic of nostalgia.

 

Russ T

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May I also cast a vote for the wonderful Joan Armatrading, who is still on national radio playlists despite her being painfully shy and incredibly free from what the public persona of her as a major artist should be and in a similar vein I believe Tracy Chapman is a very fine and individual artiste.

 

An honorable mention also goes to Chrissie Hynde, great voice and fine if not outstanding songwriting

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I tend to think of "the singer / songwriter" of someone seperate from a band. I don't lump Lennon/McCartney, Jagger/Richards, Roth/Van Halen in the same boat as say the Jim Croce's and Cat Stevens of the world :)

 

That said, my votes go to:

 

Neil Diamond # 3

Elton John # 2

Paul Simon # 1

 

 

In fact I got up early, had some coffee, got out a book and listened to "There Goes Rhymin' Simon" ...

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i don't think they have been mentioned yet:

 

steve earle

jackson browne

 

they don't get a front row seat when it comes to singer/songwriters, but i sure enjoy their work.

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#1 Glenn Kaiser ... no, wait ... they have to sing well too? hmmmm. That should cut out Neil Young too, though. Got to think on this one.

 

BRAIF!!! You can run, but you can't hide!!!

 

Call me, you punk! Don't make me threaten to leave you my children and their parrot in my will. And if you don't hurry, I'm leaving you the yorkshire terrorist too!:D

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Originally posted by Doc Wilson

There is also the problem of defining "greatest singer songwriter". I think Neil Young wins if we are talking about sheer volume of great tunes written and recorded by a solo artist over the years.

 

Although I'm a huge Neil Young fan I don't think either he or Dylan are anywhere near the top because they will never be mistaken for being able to sing. I'm talking about guys who not only write great songs but sing them without peer.

 

"I live the kind of life, that most men only dream of. I make my living writing songs, and singing them. After 40 years of pickin, I'm still alive and kicking down the walls. But, I hide my age and make the stage and walkaway without a curtain call."--Merle Haggard. That's what I'm talking about.

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Bob Dylan

Hank Williams

Steve Earle

Johnny Cash

Matthew Ryan

Bruce Springsteen

Neil Young *

Van Morrison

Lou Reed *

Peter Gabriel

Jay Farrar

Neil Finn

Paul Westerberg

 

 

* if singing ability isn't a factor

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I'll put in votes for John Hiatt, Steve Earle, Lennon, Springsteen, and Willie Nelson.

 

And what about Willie Dixon? Could be the most-covered songwriter of all time!!

 

Lightfoot has never been a fave of mine, even tho I'm canuck. But Robbie Robertson...!!! :cool:

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Originally posted by Jack E Martling



Although I'm a huge Neil Young fan I don't think either he or Dylan are anywhere near the top because they will never be mistaken for being able to sing. I'm talking about guys who not only write great songs but sing them without peer.

 

Hell, none of the top tier songwriters can sing worth a shit. That's why they are songwriters!

 

I think Neil's voice works well with his material. I can't imagine anyone else singing "Old Man" or "Helpless".

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Originally posted by Doc Wilson



Hell, none of the top tier songwriters can sing worth a shit. That's why they are songwriters!

 

Absolutely untrue. Paul Simon, James Taylor, and Joni Mitchell all sing exceptionally well and at various times in their careers they have all written some wonderful music. The same was true for Paul McCartney when he was much younger.

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McCartney ain't a singer-songwriter, Jim, though I'll agree he does both exceptionally well.

 

I don't put JT in the top tier. JMO.

 

JM is great, but I don't find her voice that pleasing in and of itself. She's actually the kind of person I was thinking of when I made the comment.

 

Paul Simon I'll give you, if only for his earlier work.

 

When I think Singer-Songwriter I think of guys like John Prine, Guy Clarke, Townes Van Zandt, Steve Earle, you know, those guys who can't sing for shit.

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