10 Greatest Vocal Performances In Rock Music History

Rock and Roll Opera.

steven tyler aerosmith

You don’t necessarily have to be the most gifted vocalist in the world to become the singer of a rock and roll band. Everyone from Bob Dylan to Lemmy weren’t looking to be the most amazing vocalists in the world by any stretch of the imagination, and they don’t really need to either. Attitude goes a long way in rock and roll, but there are those few vocalists that seem to reach that virtuoso level.

For all of the great songs that have come and gone in rock history, these are the songs that could be on the level of operatic some of the time, taking the words they’re being asked to sing and turning them into high art. Although not every one of these songs are the most beautiful songs in the world for some, what makes them go is just how much was put into getting the right take for every song, from vocalists either refusing to rest until they got it just right to capturing a little bit of magic when they stepped up to the microphone.

You might be able to hit the notes in the same way if you practiced, but this is about more than just getting everything melodically correct. When you listen back to each of these tracks, you can feel the singer living in the song, embodying that person until they’re able to project it out into the world. Countless singers have tried to play up their theatrics when they go onstage, but the real ones can blow you away through the sheer power of their voice.

10. Slide Away - Oasis

The evolution of Liam Gallagher as a singer has gone through its peaks and valleys more than a few times. For as snide as he may have sounded on the first few Oasis projects, you could tell that he wasn't taking proper care of his voice toward the end of the band's tenure, sounding more like a rottweiler on some of the live cuts they were doing prior to the band's breakup. While they were still green though, Liam was more than capable of living up to his John Lennon/Johnny Rotten expectations on Slide Away.

Sounding much more optimistic than anything else on Definitely Maybe, this is about as heartfelt a performance that you were going to get out of Liam, sounding like he's on the verge of breaking down in some moments, knowing that he's finally found his other half. While Noel Gallagher wrote the words to this song, having him take over vocal duties for his brother just wouldn't have worked here, with the song needing that extra power to bring it over the edge, which works perfectly playing off of Noel's backing vocals towards the end of the song.

As it turns out though, this is only a taste of what Liam was capable of, with this being the only take from the original sessions for Definitely Maybe that made it onto the final version of the record. If this is the only thing that survived, you can only imagine how Liam's voice in this state would have sounded playing songs like Supersonic and Rock N Roll Star.

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