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Author: Subject: Did John Lennon's singing voice seem to change after 1966?

Ultimate Peach





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  posted on 8/5/2010 at 02:45 PM
If you listen to certain vocalists' recordings over a period of decades, you can hear how their voice changed as they got older. Many vocalists you can hear the change from Gregg Allman, to Bob Dylan to Jerry Garica.

In the case of John Lennon, it seemed to change overnight. Listen to the Beatles early stuff (until 1966). Lennon's voice sounded pretty gruff for the most part. Somewhere around late '66/early '67 during the Strawberry Fields/Sgt Pepper era, Lennon's vocals started to sound a bit higher, sweeter, and a lot less gruff. Almost a "less threatening" sound. By 1968 onward, to the end of his life in 1980, it really sounded like his vocals had changed. He even looked different in the early years of the Beatles and the later years.

Anyone else hear the same thing I'm hearing? Any opinions?






[Edited on 8/5/2010 by BarrySmith]

[Edited on 8/5/2010 by BarrySmith]

 

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Extreme Peach



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  posted on 8/5/2010 at 02:48 PM
We need to get Chuck's take on this, no one knows Lennon better than him.

 

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  posted on 8/5/2010 at 02:49 PM
quote:
He even looked different in the early years and the later years.
Me too!

 

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  posted on 8/5/2010 at 03:34 PM
It may have changed but I don't know about being less gruff. Listen to Cold Turkey or Mother . He was such a fine singer. Good point. These are just my humble opinions.
 

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  posted on 8/5/2010 at 03:39 PM
Well, George Martin started doing stuff like altering the tape speeds (ips) and stuff like that - especially by the time of Sgt. Pepper. I'm sure his physical voice changed a little, too.

 

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  posted on 8/5/2010 at 05:44 PM
I agree that there was a change.

No coincidence that we notice a change after 66, beacuse thats when the constant touring finally stopped. Therefore, less pressure on his voice.
Also I think the George Martin theory plays in as well. Alot more studio tinkinering going on. I also think the change in the music they were playing had something to do with it. The "poppy" stuff was pretty much over with at that point and was getting more personal and soulful.
I also think one of the big things was that John seemed a little more "comforable" overall. He HATED touring, and I think when that was over he just let loose and the (real) John Lennon emerged.

Just ny opinion though.

 

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  posted on 8/5/2010 at 06:28 PM
when did he start echoing his voice?

He was always insecure about his singing voice(pretty strange considering he's one of the greatest ever!!) & used studio enhancements for years? Did that happen after '66?

did Rubber Soul &/or Revolver come out then?

i'd love to ask George Martin....& wish John was still around....

 

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  posted on 8/5/2010 at 08:45 PM
I saw an interview with George Martin, who said John did not like his own voice, and was always asking that George Martin do some electronic altering to it.

I guess that it is true, that there is no harsher critic than the artist himself. ( Brittney Spears and the like aside).

Mitch

[Edited on 8/6/2010 by Mitch]

 

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Extreme Peach



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  posted on 8/6/2010 at 11:01 AM
Yeah, it doesn't seem so much that his voice changed as much as how he went about recording his voice changed.
 
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Extreme Peach



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  posted on 8/6/2010 at 11:15 AM
my take on it...

Starting in 1966 a lot of studio trickery started being used extremely regularly especially on Lennon''s voice. Many of the songs you NEVER hear his natural voice. ("lucy in the sky" his voice is sped up, "strawberry fields", slowed down, half of "tomorrow never knows" he is singing through a leslie speaker, etc.)

But also keep in mind that most of these songs had his vocals overdubbed later and sessions specifically destined to capture a vocal and he was singing in deliberate ways to make sure he didn't sound like himself. (John hated the sound of his own voice, as several people have said over and over)

On earlier recordings (i.e. "Rock and Roll Music") vocals were recorded live and on each take. Songs were finished in a session, so you get the more rough sound because that is all he had left with Lennon's natural voice.

If you listen to the Lennon ANTHOLOGY version of something like say "Rip It Up/Ready Teddy" where he is singing rock'n'roll live in the studio take after take, his voice is very reminiscent to the songs of the early 60's. (That is from 1974).

No doubt there is some change, you can hear EVERY singers voice change every couple years, age alone changes the timbre of a voice. But also drinking, drugs, smoking all can have major effects on a voice. Also not touring or touring too much will change the way a voice sounds.

So there is no doubt that it changed, but it probably isn't as extreme of a change as it probably comes off.

 

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  posted on 8/6/2010 at 02:06 PM
maybe' they' finally dropped.

 

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