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Author: Subject: Gregg and Clapton better with age...

A Peach Supreme





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  posted on 2/29/2008 at 10:15 AM
I'm working here and have my I-tunes playing and the Eat A Peach XM recreation came on and then Evening With - Second Set immediatly after. I'm struck by how much Gregg's voice sounds better in recent years than it did in the 90's. Way better in my opinion.

Last night I was listening to stuff off of Crossroads 2, live in 70's by Clapton ( a great 4 CD set ) and again, I was struck by how much better his guitar playing seems on recent stuff like the Crossroads festival DVD and the Cream reunion stuff I've heard. Quite amazing how some players just get better when logic would make one think their best years were 30 years ago.

I don't understand the Clapton critics. They guy has been consistantly wailing for 40 plus years. It's incredible. Even if he had just played in Cream or Blind Faith and called it quits he'd be a legend.

 
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Zen Peach



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  posted on 2/29/2008 at 10:45 AM
They are off the booze and drugs is probably part of the reason they r playing better now then ever.

 

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  posted on 2/29/2008 at 10:46 AM
In a way I agree. The Cream reunion, my first comment was, Glad he can still play the damn guitar.

That said, I think lately a lot of guitarists just hate his tone.
It's too sterile and synthetic at times.
Trying to get Les Paul sounds out of his signature strat.
Play one or the other.

 

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  posted on 2/29/2008 at 11:00 AM
quote:
I'm working here and have my I-tunes playing and the Eat A Peach XM recreation came on and then Evening With - Second Set immediatly after. I'm struck by how much Gregg's voice sounds better in recent years than it did in the 90's. Way better in my opinion.

Last night I was listening to stuff off of Crossroads 2, live in 70's by Clapton ( a great 4 CD set ) and again, I was struck by how much better his guitar playing seems on recent stuff like the Crossroads festival DVD and the Cream reunion stuff I've heard. Quite amazing how some players just get better when logic would make one think their best years were 30 years ago.

I don't understand the Clapton critics. They guy has been consistantly wailing for 40 plus years. It's incredible. Even if he had just played in Cream or Blind Faith and called it quits he'd be a legend.


I disagree about Gregg. While he still sounds great, especially when he opens up on those blues songs, I feel like his voice was a lot more full and had more control on the tenders songs 15 years ago while today, his voice can quiver a lot more. "Melissa" and "Dreams" on 1st Set had a much more full voice on it than they do today (and much more mature and bourbon-soaked than his younger 70s self), though he still sounds fantastic - always has, always will. That said, he is much more consistent today, where as 15 years ago when he was on, he was on, and when he was off, he was off.

Clapton still kind of bores me either way. He's never been able to top Cream.

[Edited on 2/29/2008 by porkchopbob]

 

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  posted on 2/29/2008 at 11:00 AM
quote:
I'm struck by how much Gregg's voice sounds better in recent years than it did in the 90's. Way better in my opinion.


THere is no question your opinion of GRegg's vocals is right on the money. Gregg's voice is superior in almost every way the past 7 or 8 years compared to how how he sounded in the early to mid 1990's. Gregg's cleaner life style and the fact he quit smoking - or at least cut down quite a bit is the biggest reason why. He sounded bit nasally and clogged up in the early 90's - now he's sounds clearer, stronger and even annunciates better.

I wanted to actually bring this up before so now is good time - If you take all the Rock singers who have been around 35 plus years and are say 55 years old or older like Gregg, Plant, Jagger, Dylan, Young, Gilmour, Crosby etc etc - Gregg might sound the best out of all of them. Maybe his vocal "range" may not be what it once was, but the songs that are in his range are still as strong as ever IMO.

 

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  posted on 2/29/2008 at 12:27 PM
ON GREGG: I agree, his voice sounds younger and healthier than ever. His vocals haven BLOWN me away for the last several years. I remember starting to notice a change in his voice aroun 98, but the next few years it just got better and better. However, I do think he has problems with control on certain types of things. But that is a very normal occurence with age. Plus, there is the issue of him singing WAY more songs than he used. They stuck to such similar setlists night after night from 89-00, that he didn't have nearly as many songs to remember and the whole night would become second nature on a tour. Now they sometimes throw things out of the blue at him. But I prefer his singing now to the 80s 90s. And even a lot of the 70s. While I think his voice was good in the 70's, he was clearly too messed up at times and his voice was "garbley" sounding, to me. If you listen to some of the records from 65-69, his voice was SO pure sounding.

ON CLAPTON: As a guitar player, I'm actually always struck by his tone in the last 20 years. I actually love it. (It isn't what I would use for everything). But his control, attack and sound are great to me. I actually like his voice better starting in the 80's as well. I think, for me, Clapton's only downside is some of his material. And I even like some of his cheesiest work. My personal opinion is that people like Clapton don't necessarily get critisized for one reason, but moreso that they are just SO popular that everyone has opinion about why they're not perfect...

 

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  posted on 2/29/2008 at 12:30 PM
Gonna have to disagree with you completely EddieP. I was just listening to 1st/2nd Sets last week and thought, WOW, despite his drug/alcohol abuse at the time, his voice sounds STRONG in these recordings. I think his best vocal work was in the Duane era. His voice has gradually declined in my opinion. Glad he's not passed out at the keyboard like I've witnessed in the early 90s, but sometimes I find his live vocals painful today, especially on Melissa and Old Before my Time. That being said, on occasion he can still belt it out, on the right night.

Its natural for rock voices to deteriorate over time. Its the rule rather than the exception. I think Gregg's voice still sounds pretty good for all he's been through, but it has sounded much better in the past, IMO.

As for him sounding better than the list that you mentioned, Gilmour and ESPECIALLY David Crosby still sing like birds. Winwood, McCartney, and David Crosby are 3 guys who have held their ground vocally over the last 40 years.



 

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  posted on 2/29/2008 at 01:12 PM
quote:
Gonna have to disagree with you completely EddieP. I was just listening to 1st/2nd Sets last week and thought, WOW, despite his drug/alcohol abuse at the time, his voice sounds STRONG in these recordings. I think his best vocal work was in the Duane era. His voice has gradually declined in my opinion. Glad he's not passed out at the keyboard like I've witnessed in the early 90s, but sometimes I find his live vocals painful today, especially on Melissa and Old Before my Time. That being said, on occasion he can still belt it out, on the right night.

Its natural for rock voices to deteriorate over time. Its the rule rather than the exception. I think Gregg's voice still sounds pretty good for all he's been through, but it has sounded much better in the past, IMO.

As for him sounding better than the list that you mentioned, Gilmour and ESPECIALLY David Crosby still sing like birds. Winwood, McCartney, and David Crosby are 3 guys who have held their ground vocally over the last 40 years.





Yeah, I think these posts always just prove that these things are a matter of opinion. While I agree that Gregg sounded stronger in a lot of ways back in the 90's, its the quality and tone of his voice back then that I don't really like. In fact I find that hard to listen to these days, sometimes. Even when he is sobre he sounds like a drunk.

I do own every 2003-2005 instant live. Almost all of 06 and a few 07's. I think Gregg has more "off" nights now, particularly on the softer songs like you said, "Melissa". But on the nights he's on, to me, he BLOWS away any of the 90's versions. The 8/22/04 version of "Old Before My Time" is every bit as good as the studio, if not better. Again, this is my opinion. I'm not sure I would want to hear 1992 Gregg sing that song. Although, I do see how some people could prefer one period more than the other.

And being a huge beatle & solo beatle fan. I am impressed that McCartney still sings all of his songs in the original keys and does it so well, but at the same time, but his voice has changed immensley. Again, these things happen with age. I would never critisize his voice, (especially his falsetto, which hasn't deteriorated at ALL!). But it's not the same and on any off night, he could be painful to listen to.

But I guess in this day and age of instant live recording, audience tapes, all widely available, it's easy to see that most singing is not that great live or consistant in rock/pop music. We listened to touched up live albums all through the 60's-90's (and still do), but when you get to reality of it, singers are just not great every night.

 

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  posted on 2/29/2008 at 01:15 PM
quote:
As for him sounding better than the list that you mentioned, Gilmour and ESPECIALLY David Crosby still sing like birds. Winwood, McCartney, and David Crosby are 3 guys who have held their ground vocally over the last 40 years.


I heard Crosby sing "Almost Cut My Hair" a few years ago in Milwaukee and it was the highlight of a great CSNY show, and that's not just because he was following Neil Young. Blew the roof off the place.

 

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  posted on 2/29/2008 at 03:27 PM
pork--Crosby is a beautiful & soulful singer--love that song

Gregg has had a variety of phases in his singing career & IMHO each has had it's own distinctive beauty...i loved his earlier singing(70-75) most because that's the sound i grew up to...& it still brings me back to alot of places--i.e.Oncoming Traffic on The GA Tour album...his current style is more mature & professional,but retains the angst & bluesy wail that i love------& i love all of his voice phases!!!

EC--his voice has gotten better with age & "problems" with his singing early on have improved with age...

Gregg & Crosby are great singers---EC,while a very fine singer is more of a guitarist for me....& one of my favorites

[Edited on 2/29/2008 by dadof2]

 

Zen Peach



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  posted on 2/29/2008 at 08:35 PM
I think Gregg was the greatest singer ever during the original band era. I mean nothing beats his performance on those first two albums and AFE. I like his studio vocals on EAP obviously and B & S but I notice on the live stuff from that era him getting a little sloppy. I like the way his voice matured in the 80's on I'm No ANgel. I loved his singing on the Epic albums. Nobody Knows is stunning. He is still great at belting out the uptempo stuff and the rockers but on the gentler and softer songs he has lost some of the subtlety that makes those tunes great. Listen to the original recording of Soulshine and listen to him sing it now. I still love Gregg though and he is one of the best singers in rock today.

Doug

 

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