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Author: Subject: The Grateful Deads voices...

Extreme Peach





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  posted on 2/2/2007 at 07:08 AM
Hey! I Know this subject has been all over this forum a while ago..but i want your opinions once and for all about the Deads as vocalists and harmony singers..
i think the Dead was a very STRONG vocal band..They where off key some times..i Know that for sure..But most of the times they where really on..I said it a 1000 times,the blend of Jerry,Bon and Phil from 65-73 was magical..Jack Straw,i Know you rider etc..great 3-part harmonies..Then after 74 i Phil quit singing..why??anyone who knows why?if you listen to his harmonies in 74 they dont reach the height he had earlier..hmm..i dont know why he quit singing for many years..but i think Grateful dead on a good night was almost as good as Crosby,stills and nash when it comes to harmonies..

Donna,i dont care much more..decent harmony singer but she where off key so many times..nothing wrong with the sound of her voice but i got the feeling when i listen to Dead shows that she dont hear the other singers and i think that is probaly why she was off key so many times..but she had good moment to in 77-78..Brent was a strong harmony singer and brought so much to the Dead..
here is what i think of the Dead as singers..
JERRY GARCIA. great story telling voice..alot of feeling and hurt in his voice and great blues and folk voice.. great harmony singer..

Bob Weir. Good rock voice and and very personal voice..nobody sounds like Bob Weir..He
sings Dylan songs with great passion..alos great blues singer..i heard bob weir did the song KC Moan aucustic on a radio shows and his raspy voice was so strong..great harmony singer..

Phil Lesh.. from 66-73 he was belive it or not a strong singer..not many leads but a great harmony singer..as a lead singer he is ok i think..

Pigpen.. the greatest blues voice the history of rock..nuff said

Brent Mydland.. Great harmony singer and top notch lead singer..he could tear down the house with his voice..listen to Hey pocky way,far from me etc..and his ballads where quite good to..i will take you home and we can run was very comerical songs but they worked very well live!

Vince Welnick and Bruce Hornsby was aslo great singer for sure..

Hope to get some feedback now folks..yeah!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

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  posted on 2/2/2007 at 08:33 AM
Phil damaged his voice from years of singing with a poor technique. When faced with the prospect of throat surgery he stopped singing for 11 years. When he returned to vocal duty he had to sing in a lower register to not damage his vocal chords further.

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 2/2/2007 at 08:36 AM
well i'll take Jerry or Bobby anyday of the week.

i shudder when i hear Phil sing. Unbroken Chain has been known to make me physically ill. (good song of course, but ICK on the vocals)

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 2/2/2007 at 09:43 AM
In the studio, the Dead harmonized well. The stuff I have heard live does not impress me. Jerry had a fairly thin voice that in a studio setting could sound a little soulful but rarely translated well live. Bob is a better singer. I would say he is an above average rock singer, nothing special. Pigpen greatest blues singer enuff said? Is that some kind of joke on an Allman Brothers site? I think many here would say that mantle would go to Gregg Allman. I would also say Warren Haynes blows him away. Pigpen was the best of the singers but he is not in the upper echelon of blues-rock singers. There are probably 30 who were better just off the top of my head. No one will ever consider the Dead's greatness wrapped up in their vocalizations.

Doug

 

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  posted on 2/2/2007 at 10:09 AM
have you ever heard the Dead live???go listen to dick picks 28..the vocals and harmonies are top notch..the dead could sing live!!they really could..but its your opinion..

 

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  posted on 2/2/2007 at 10:17 AM
i thought Jerry and Donna harmonize pretty well together especially on the JGB stuff......case in point could be "Gommorah" when they go back and forth on the line "because she looked behind her"

but thats about as far as i would go with the vocal qualities and harmonizing with the Dead. they are no CSNY that way, for sure.

 

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  posted on 2/2/2007 at 10:25 AM
quote:
have you ever heard the Dead live???go listen to dick picks 28..the vocals and harmonies are top notch..the dead could sing live!!they really could..but its your opinion..


#1- I do appreciate your passion for the dead and the threads you start here
#2- We have all heard the dead live, for the most part
#3- Half the time they could not remember the lyrics, let alone harmonize, and that is a very endearing quality to the band
#4- Pigpen was great, but not the best blues singer.....He was ONE HELL OF A RAPPER!!
#5- I can think of countless better blues singers, but Warren and Greg are tops for me
#6- Bobby often did not sing....think "one more saturday night", a raucous bar romp
#7- I forgot what seven was.....
#8- Jerry's voice was fragile and beautiful......Peggy-O, Terrapin Station, Row Jimmy.You hear it in those songs and it can bring you to tears
#9- Please go buy beach boys "pet sounds" or "endless summer" as well as CSNY "deja vu" and then talk about vocal harmonies
#10- Remember I love the dead and your threads...this is not an attack

Peace out...........Phil

#11- Oh Donna Jean............My love/hate relationship with you varies per show

 

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  posted on 2/2/2007 at 10:58 AM
quote:
No one will ever consider the Dead's greatness wrapped up in their vocalizations.
Doug


That's for sure. LOL.

 

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  posted on 2/2/2007 at 11:13 AM
Jerrys voice was perfect for his tunes. Have to appreciate it for what it was.

Weir is a good singer but when he squeeled, example One More Saturday Night it got annoying fo sure

Pigpen, now I thought he was a great Blues singer. Great voice as far as my opinion goes.

Phil, horrible voice, but loved when the did unbroken Chain and Box of Rain anyways.

Donna: Think my opinion is and has been said, enough I am sure she is a lovely person.

Brent: Liked his voice

 

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  posted on 2/2/2007 at 11:24 AM
they are not singers or harmonizer's at the level of the BEATLES,THE BAND,CSNY,& lots of others---having said that,here are the nice things about the GD---jerry---his singing was emotional & beautiful--phil--great great awesome bass player & i liked the rare times he sings---brent---excellent singer & real fine keyboards--pigpen--alot of emotion,kept the GD in the blues--donna & bob sing too--not much more to say there that i haven't said before!

 

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  posted on 2/2/2007 at 12:42 PM
Is this like the 3rd thread you've started with this subject line? I know the Dead and ABB share some history, but PLEASE!! The Dead never had a great lead vocalist. I enjoy Jerry's voice on the early stuff, but cannot stand Bob or Phil. The harmonies are a mess, ESPECIALLY live. Pigpen had a solid voice, but "best blues singer in the history of rock"???This is an outrageous and just plain CRAZY statement. He doesn't make the top 100.
Sorry if this sounds like an attack, but WTF?? I guess I shouldn't read or respond to these threads, but I can't help myself.

 

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  posted on 2/2/2007 at 01:02 PM
Dead Marathon on Nugs.net radio all day Saturday for those interested

 

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  posted on 2/2/2007 at 01:08 PM
thats what you think mule!! i got my taste and i share it with millions of deadfans..the harmonies could be a real mess sometimes..but 70 % of the times they where rwally good..i quess you never heard much of LIVE DEAD!! if i could only give you a compilation of dead acoustic from 1970 and 1980 you can really hear tha thos cats could sing!!!ripple,brokedown palace,attics of my life,bird song etc..you cant say if you heard the stuff that they dont have a strong lead singer..jerry and bob and brent where very good singers..great passion and quite good techniuge and their own style..go listen and learn man!!you can have your opinion..but the dead can sing..even if they where of sometimes.they knew how to sing.. you can ask David Crosby!!he likes the dead voices alot!!

 

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Extreme Peach



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  posted on 2/2/2007 at 01:12 PM
Now David Crosby could/can sing
 

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  posted on 2/2/2007 at 01:15 PM
quote:
!!!ripple,brokedown palace, attics of my life,bird song etc..you cant say if you heard the stuff that they dont have a strong lead singer


i can say that i've heard Attics of my Life, and will say that while the lyrics are wondeful (some of the best i've ever heard) the vocals are hard to swallow.



 

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  posted on 2/2/2007 at 01:22 PM
My head hurts. I think I have banged it on this wall before.
 

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  posted on 2/2/2007 at 01:29 PM
quote:
In the studio, the Dead harmonized well. The stuff I have heard live does not impress me. Jerry had a fairly thin voice that in a studio setting could sound a little soulful but rarely translated well live. Bob is a better singer. I would say he is an above average rock singer, nothing special. Pigpen greatest blues singer enuff said? Is that some kind of joke on an Allman Brothers site? I think many here would say that mantle would go to Gregg Allman. I would also say Warren Haynes blows him away. Pigpen was the best of the singers but he is not in the upper echelon of blues-rock singers. There are probably 30 who were better just off the top of my head. No one will ever consider the Dead's greatness wrapped up in their vocalizations.

Doug


Iagree Doug. It depends on the show. At times their harmonies are like sticking needles in my ears and other times not so bad. But Pigpen was the best singer in that band but no way better than Gregg or Warren.

 

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  posted on 2/2/2007 at 01:39 PM
okok.. i love warren and greggs voice!!they are great blues singers for sure..but the sound of pigpens voice is more of my cup of tea..i know for sure there are plenty better singers,but in my book Pigpen and Paul butterfields are the best blues cats! as for dead harmonies..this is the last time im gonna talk about the dead as singers..i like the vocals alot and the harmonies too..there are proof that they where really good singers live..there are so many shows when the vocals just clicked..but im never gonna talk about it here anymore..hope some of you didint get to angry..cheers

 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 2/2/2007 at 01:47 PM
dude i'll talk about the dead all day and all night, no anger coming from me.


i just like it better when anyone but Phil sings this:

In the attics of my life
Full of cloudy dreams unreal
Full of tastes no tongue can know
And lights no eye can see
When there was no ear to hear
You sang to me

I have spent my life
Seeking all that's still unsung
Bent my ear to hear the tune
And closed my eyes to see
When there were no strings to play
You played to me


In the book of love's own dream
Where all the print is blood
Where all the pages are my days
And all my lights grow old
When I had no wings to fly
You flew to me


You
flew
to me


In the secret space of dreams
Where I dreaming lay amazed
When the secrets all are told
And the petals all unfold
When there was no dream of mine
You dreamed of me




 

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Zen Peach



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  posted on 2/2/2007 at 02:31 PM
quote:
okok.. i love warren and greggs voice!!they are great blues singers for sure..but the sound of pigpens voice is more of my cup of tea..i know for sure there are plenty better singers,but in my book Pigpen and Paul butterfields are the best blues cats! as for dead harmonies..this is the last time im gonna talk about the dead as singers..i like the vocals alot and the harmonies too..there are proof that they where really good singers live..there are so many shows when the vocals just clicked..but im never gonna talk about it here anymore..hope some of you didint get to angry..cheers


Your welcome to talk about what you wantbut you are on an Allman Brothers site. You seem surprised that fanatics of a band known for having a truly great vocalist would not agree that the GD's singing was on parr. You know my feelings. Listen to Warren with Phil and Friends or the Dead and hear how well he sings. Jerry's voice was right for his songs but few would argue that he is a great singer. Weir is serviceable and PigPen on a professional level. You want to hear great harmonization? Try listening to the Band.

Doug

 

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  posted on 2/2/2007 at 02:54 PM
for my brother in Sweden, if you have not seen them. Enjoyable, even with the dork Bob Goen!Idiot.

Part 1


Part 2

 

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  posted on 2/2/2007 at 02:55 PM
doug no offense but if all we talked about around here was the ABB i woulda been outta here in 2002.

 

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World Class Peach



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  posted on 2/2/2007 at 03:22 PM
mulehead13--thanks for the JERRY clips

 

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  posted on 2/2/2007 at 10:33 PM
quote:
doug no offense but if all we talked about around here was the ABB i woulda been outta here in 2002.


Who said all we should talk about is the ABB. I just said the dude shouldn't be surprised that most people here do not share his assesment that Pigpen is the best white blues rock singer ever,"nuff said".

Doug

 

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  posted on 2/2/2007 at 11:13 PM
Let's put it this way from first and foremost a Deadhead, I never once left one of my 27 shows remarking, "the harmonies were great tonight" or "Jerry's voice sounded great". Usually, I was just happy if Jerry could remember the words ("Damn Jerry, I know all the words and it's not my job!", that I said). But still, many amazing nights with the boys were had (and I'd trade all my tomorrows for one single yesterday).

 

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