John Lennon – Working Class Hero

This song was a favorite of mine of John Lennon when I was younger. He took some flak about this one and Imagine when it came to being a Working Class Hero and having all of his possessions. His answer was

“What would you suggest I do? Give everything away and walk the streets? The Buddhist says, “Get rid of the possessions of the mind.” Walking away from all the money would not accomplish that. It’s like the Beatles. I couldn’t walk away from the Beatles. That’s one possession that’s still tagging along, right?”

When I was 18 this song was a powerful one to listen to…It still is…For me, the song was about the differences between the social classes. How some could be exploited and how people use ideologies to justify manipulating people. The song was on John’s debut album John Lennon/Plastic Ono Band.

Boston’s WBCN banned the song for its use of the word “f_ _king”.In Australia, the album was released with the expletive removed from the song and the lyrics censored on the inner sleeve.

From Songfacts

This song caused a fair amount of controversy for John Lennon, as his detractors pointed out that he was raised in an upper-middle-class home by his aunt and had no right to call himself a working-class hero. In an interview with Rolling Stone just three days before his death, Lennon explained: “The thing about the ‘Working Class Hero’ song that nobody ever got right was that it was supposed to be sardonic – it had nothing to do with socialism, it had to do with ‘If you want to go through that trip, you’ll get up to where I am, and this is what you’ll be.’ Because I’ve been successful as an artist, and have been happy and unhappy, and I’ve been unknown in Liverpool or Hamburg and been happy and unhappy.”

The final take as it appears on the album is actually a composite of two different performances done at two different studios. If you listen carefully (it might require headphones) you can clearly hear the sound of the guitar and vocals change where the edit was made about halfway through the song. 

The word f–king appears twice in the lyrics. On the printed lyrics that came with the album, the word was obscured.

Why did Lennon curse in the song? Yoko Ono explained in a 1998 interview with Uncut: “He told me, ‘That’s part of being working class. It won’t be working class if what you say is all very clean and very proper.”

The line, “If you want to be like the folks on the hill” is a reference to the Beatles song “The Fool On The Hill.”

Green Day recorded this for the benefit album Instant Karma: The Amnesty International Campaign to Save Darfur, and they also performed the song on the 2007 season finale of American Idol. In their version, the last two lines are from the original John Lennon song – John sings them. 

Lennon told the January 1971 edition of Rolling Stone about this song: “I think its concept is revolutionary, and I hope it’s for workers and not for tarts and fags. I hope it’s what “Give Peace A Chance” was about, but I don’t know. On the other hand, it might just be ignored. I think it’s for the people like me who are working class – whatever, upper or lower – who are supposed to be processed into the middle classes, through the machinery, that’s all. It’s my experience, and I hope it’s just a warning to people. I’m saying it’s a revolutionary song; not the song itself but that it’s a song for the revolution.”

This song seemed to resist all Lennon’s efforts to record a satisfactory vocal. Tape op Andy Stephens recalled to Uncut magazine August 2010 that he watched the former Beatle obsess about it day after day, singing “an endless number of takes… well over 100.. Probably 120, 130.”

Stephens added that Lennon became more frustrated as each take passed. “If the mix in his headphones wasn’t exactly what he wanted, he would take them off and slam them into the wall,” he recalled. “he wouldn’t say, ‘Can I have a bit more guitar?’ He would literally rip the cans off his head and smash them into the wall, then walk out of the studio.”

Working Class Hero

As soon as you’re born they make you feel small
By giving you no time instead of it all
Till the pain is so big you feel nothing at all
A working class hero is something to be
A working class hero is something to be

They hurt you at home and they hit you at school
They hate you if you’re clever and they despise a fool
Till you’re so f_ _king crazy you can’t follow their rules
A working class hero is something to be
A working class hero is something to be

When they’ve tortured and scared you for twenty-odd years
Then they expect you to pick a career
When you can’t really function you’re so full of fear
A working class hero is something to be
A working class hero is something to be

Keep you doped with religion and sex and TV
And you think you’re so clever and classless and free
But you’re still f_ _king peasants as far as I can see
A working class hero is something to be
A working class hero is something to be

There’s room at the top they’re telling you still
But first you must learn how to smile as you kill
If you want to be like the folks on the hill

A working class hero is something to be
A working class hero is something to be
If you want to be a hero well just follow me
If you want to be a hero well just follow me

David Bowie – Young Americans ——— Songs that reference Richard Nixon

Do you remember, your President Nixon? Do you remember, the bills you have to pay
For even yesterday?

This song and album had to be a shock at the time. Bowie went from Glam Rock to more of a soul sound within a year. Young Americans peaked at #28 in the Billboard 100, #33 in Canada, #18 in the UK, and #7 in New Zealand. The album peaked at #5 in the Billboard Album Chart in 1975.

Young Americans was the first Bowie album that guitarist Carlos Alomar played on. Bowie first saw Alomar playing in the house band at the Apollo Theatre in Harlem, and convinced him to play on this album and join the tour. Alomar became a major contributor, playing on several of Bowie’s albums and coming up with guitar riffs for songs like “Fame” and “Golden Years.”

John Lennon appeared on the album on songs Across The Universe and Fame.

From Songfacts

Bowie never was a young American – he was born and raised in England. Bowie said that this was the result of cramming his “whole American experience” into one song.

This was recorded between tour dates at Philadelphia’s Sigma Sound Studios, which was the capital of black music in the area. The soul influence had a very obvious effect on Bowie’s style. He even completely redesigned the stage for the rest of his Diamond Dogs tour.

Over the course of about eight very creative days, Bowie recorded most of the songs for Young Americans at Sigma Studios. He usually recorded his vocals after midnight because he heard that’s when Frank Sinatra recorded most of his vocals, and because there weren’t so many people around.

Sigma had a staff of very talented producers and musicians (known as MFSB – the same folks who had a #1 hit with “TSOP (The Sound of Philadelphia)”), but Bowie used his own people – Tony Visconti produced this track.

The line near the end, “I heard the news today, oh boy,” is a reference to the Beatles song “A Day In The Life.” John Lennon worked with Bowie on “Fame” and also Bowie’s cover of “Across The Universe.” Both songs are on this album.

The lead instrument in this song the saxophone, which was played by the American jazz player David Sanborn. He was just starting to get noticed when Bowie brought him in to play on this.

Bowie hired Luther Vandross, who had yet to establish himself as a solo artist, to sing backup and create the vocal arrangements on the Young Americans album.

Near the end of the song, Bowie sings, “Black’s got respect and white’s got his soul train.” Soul Train is an American TV show targeted to a black audience that started in 1970. The show featured lots of very expressive dancing as well as a musical guest, and in November 1975, Bowie became one of the first white singers to perform on the show, something he was very proud of. The “Young Americans” single was released in February 1975, so Bowie performed “Fame” and “Golden Years,” which was his current single.

The album was going to be called “Dancin'” before Bowie decided to name it after this track.

At a performance at Giants Stadium, Bowie stopped after singing the line, “Ain’t there one damn song that can make me…”, and dropped to the stage, where he stayed for 10 minutes. The crowd went nuts, but got concerned after a while. Bowie did it to see what kind of reaction he would get.

The Cure did a version of this in appreciation of Bowie, their longtime friend. The lyrics “Do you remember President Nixon?” were changed to “…President Clinton?” The Cure’s version was originally released on a British radio demo CD only, but can now be found on various bootlegs.

Young Americans

They pulled in just behind the bridge
He lays her down, he frowns
Gee my life’s a funny thing, am I still too young?
He kissed her then and there
She took his ring, took his babies
It took him minutes, took her nowhere
Heaven knows, she’d have taken anything, but

All night
She wants the young American
Young American, young American, she wants the young American
All right
She wants the young American

Scanning life through the picture window
She finds the slinky vagabond
He coughs as he passes her Ford Mustang, but
Heaven forbid, she’ll take anything
But the freak, and his type, all for nothing
Misses a step and cuts his hand, but
Showing nothing, he swoops like a song
She cries where have all Papa’s heroes gone?

All night
She wants a young American
Young American, young American, she wants the young American
All right
She wants the young American

All the way from Washington
Her bread-winner begs off the bathroom floor
“We live for just these twenty years
Do we have to die for the fifty more?”

All night
He wants the young American
Young American, young American, he wants the young American
All right
He wants the young American

Do you remember, your President Nixon?
Do you remember, the bills you have to pay
For even yesterday?

Have you have been an un-American?
Just you and your idol singing falsetto ’bout
Leather, leather everywhere, and
Not a myth left from the ghetto
Well, well, well, would you carry a razor
In case, just in case of depression?
Sit on your hands on a bus of survivors
Blushing at all the afro-Sheilas
Ain’t that close to love?
Well, ain’t that poster love?
Well, it ain’t that Barbie doll
Her heart’s been broken just like you have

All night
All night was a young American
Young American, young American, you want the young American
All right
All right you want the young American

You ain’t a pimp and you ain’t a hustler
A pimp’s got a Cadi and a lady got a Chrysler
Black’s got respect, and white’s got his Soul Train
Mama’s got cramps, and look at your hands ache
(I heard the news today, oh boy)
I got a suite and you got defeat
Ain’t there a man you can say no more?
And, ain’t there a woman I can sock on the jaw?
And, ain’t there a child I can hold without judging?
Ain’t there a pen that will write before they die?
Ain’t you proud that you’ve still got faces?
Ain’t there one damn song that can make me
Break down and cry?

All night
I want the young American
Young American, young American, I want the young American
All right
I want the young American, young American whoa whoa

Young American, young American
I want what you want
I want what you want
You want more
I want you
You want I
I want you
I want what you want
But you want what you want
You want I
I want you
And all I want is a young American
Young American

John Lennon – Gimme Some Truth ——— Songs that reference Richard Nixon

Since I blog about the seventies a bunch I thought this reference in songs would fit the loose format I have here…songs that reference Mr. Richard Milhous Nixon. This should be fun. We will start with this John Lennon song “Gimme Some Truth.” In this case “tricky dicky” will work as a reference.

No short-haired, yellow-bellied, Son of tricky dicky’s, Gonna mother hubbard soft soap me, With just a pocket full of hopes, Money for dope, money for rope

Don’t hold back John…tell us how you really feel. John was working on this song during the Let It Be sessions. He would record it two years later and it would be on the Imagine album. Lennon’s contempt for politicians came through rather well on this song.

George Harrison played guitar on this song. Their old friend from Germany Klaus Voormann (Bass player and Graphic Artist) played bass and the great Nicky Hopkins, who was on practically everyone’s records played the piano. Alan White who later joined Yes played drums. It was recorded at Ascot Sound Studios, Lennon’s recording studio at his Tittenhurst Park home, in May 1971.

John Lennon 1968

“I think our society is run by insane people for insane objectives, and I think that’s what I sussed when I was 16 and 12, way down the line. But, I expressed it differently all through my life. It’s the same thing I’m expressing all the time, but now I can put it into that sentence that I think we’re being run by maniacs for maniacal ends. If anybody can put on paper what our government, and the American government and the Russian, Chinese, what they are actually trying to do and what they think they’re doing… I’d be very pleased to know what they think they’re doing, I think they’re all insane!”

From Songfacts

There is a book written by Jon Wiener of the same title revealing a compilation of FBI files on Lennon, who was investigated as a drug user and radical. The FBI feared Lennon would disrupt the Republican National Convention in 1972.

Lennon referred to President Richard Nixon in this song as “trick-dicky,” a nickname that became popular during the Watergate hearings. There are many lyrical references to politicians as deceiving, slick, and cowardly characters.

Cover-ups such as the My Lai massacre in Vietnam frustrated Lennon into writing this song, demanding simple truth.

Mother Hubbard in the lyrics refer to the poem, which is itself, a cover-up:
“Old Mother Hubbard
Went to the cupboard
To get her poor doggie a bone,
When she got there
The cupboard was bare
So the poor little doggie had none”
The Old Mother Hubbard referred to in this rhyme’s words allude to the famous Cardinal Wolsey. Cardinal Thomas Wolsey was the most important statesman and churchman of the Tudor history period in 16th century England. Cardinal Wolsey proved to be a faithful servant but displeased the King, Henry VIII, by failing to facilitate the King’s divorce from Queen Katherine of Aragon who had been his queen of many years. The reason for seeking the divorce and hence the creation of the Old Mother Hubbard poem was to enable him to marry Anne Boleyn with whom he was passionately in love. In the Old Mother Hubbard song King Henry was the “doggie” and the “bone” refers to the divorce (and not money as many believe) The cupboard relates to the Catholic Church although the subsequent divorce arranged by Thomas Cramner resulted in the break with Rome and the formation of the English Protestant church and the demise of Old Mother Hubbard – Cardinal Wolsey. Another rhyme reputedly relates to Cardinal Wolsey.

“Softsoap” is slang – It alludes to liquid soap, likening its slippery quality to insincere flattery. Its figurative use was first recorded in 1830. “Yellow-bellied” is slang for cowardly.

George Harrison played guitar on this.

Gimme Some Truth

I’m sick and tired of hearing things from
Uptight short sided narrow minded hypocritics
All I want is the truth, just give me some truth
I’ve had enough of reading things
By neurotic psychotic pigheaded politicians
All I want is the truth, just give me some truth

No short-haired, yellow-bellied
Son of tricky dicky’s
Gonna mother hubbard soft soap me
With just a pocket full of hopes
Money for dope, money for rope

No short-haired, yellow-bellied,
Son of tricky dicky’s
Gonna mother hubbard soft soap me
With just a pocket full of hopes
Money for dope, money for rope

I’m sick to death of seeing things from
Tight-lipped condescending mama’s little chauvinists
All I want is the truth, just give me some truth
I’ve had enough of watching scenes from
Schizophrenic egocentric paranoiac primadonnas
All I want is the truth just give me some truth

No short-haired, yellow-bellied,
Son of tricky dicky’s
Gonna mother hubbard soft soap me
With just a pocket full of hopes
It’s money for dope, money for rope

I’m sick to death of hearing things from
Uptight short sided narrow minded hypocritics
All I want is the truth, just give me some truth
I’ve had enough of reading things
By neurotic psychotic pigheaded politicians
All I want is the truth, just give me some truth
All I want is the truth, just give me some truth
All I want is the truth, just give me some truth

Elton John – Empty Garden (Hey Hey Johnny)

This song was one of my favorite Lennon tribute songs.

This song is a tribute to John Lennon, who was murdered in 1980. Elton John’s songwriting partner Bernie Taupin wrote the lyrics, but Elton certainly felt a connection to the song, as he was good friends with Lennon and is the Godfather of Lennon’s second son, Sean. Elton appeared onstage with John at his final concert in 1974.

Empty Garden peaked at #13 in the Billboard 100, #8 in Canada, #14 in New Zealand, and #51 in the UK in1982

Some of the other songs that are tributes to John are Queen – Life Is Real, George Harrison – All Those Years Ago, Paul McCartney – Here Today, Bob Dylan – Roll On John, and Paul Simon – The Late Great Johnny Ace.

From Songfacts

In the John/Taupin songwriting partnership, Bernie writes the lyrics first and Elton then puts them to music. When writing for the Jump Up album, Elton had some melodies handy and asked Taupin to write words to those, which he did. Taupin has described those songs as “awful” and said, “it’s a very messy album.” “Empty Garden (Hey Hey Johnny),” however, was written their traditional way with the lyrics first, and Taupin has said that it’s the only good song on the album.

When he performed this at a sold-out Madison Square Garden show in August 1982, Elton was joined onstage by Lennon’s wife Yoko Ono and Sean Lennon.

 

Empty Garden

What happened here
As the New York sunset disappeared
I found an empty garden among the flagstones there
Who lived here
He must have been a gardener that cared a lot
Who weeded out the tears and grew a good crop
And now it all looks strange
It’s funny how one insect can damage so much grain

And what’s it for
This little empty garden by the brownstone door
And in the cracks along the sidewalk nothing grows no more
Who lived here
He must have been a gardener that cared a lot
Who weeded out the tears and grew a good crop
And we are so amazed, we’re crippled and we’re dazed
A gardener like that one no one can replace

And I’ve been knocking but no one answers
And I’ve been knocking most of the day
Oh and I’ve been calling, oh hey hey Johnny
Can’t you come out to play

And through their tears
Some say he farmed his best in younger years
But he’d have said that roots grow stronger, if only he could hear
Who lived there
He must have been a gardener that cared a lot
Who weeded out the tears and grew a good crop
Now we pray for rain, and with every drop that falls
We hear, we hear your name

And I’ve been knocking but no one answers
And I’ve been knocking most of the day
Oh and I’ve been calling, oh hey hey Johnny
Can’t you come out to play

And I’ve been knocking but no one answers
And I’ve been knocking most all the day
Oh and I’ve been calling, oh hey hey Johnny
Can’t you come out, can you come out to play, Johnny
Can’t you come out to play in your empty garden, Johnny
Can’t you come out to play in your empty garden, Johnny
Can’t you come out to play in your empty garden, Johnny
Can’t you come out to play in your empty garden, Johnny
Can’t you come out to play in your empty garden, Johnny
Can’t you come out to play in your empty garden, Johnny

 

John Lennon – Jealous Guy

Lennon wrote this when he was in The Beatles. They recorded it as a demo called “Child of Nature,” which he’d written about their trip to India to study with Maharishi Mahesh Yogi. It didn’t make it onto any Beatles albums, so Lennon used it on his Imagine album with the lyrics changed to reflect his jealous nature. It was not released as a single in 1971.

The single reached #80 in the Billboard Hot 100 in1988, in conjunction with the release of the film Imagine John Lennon.

Joey Molland and Tom Evans of Badfinger both played acoustic guitar on this track. Badfinger was signed to the Beatles-run Apple label and George Harrison recommended to Lennon, “if you need some guitar players on Imagine, use the Badfinger guys.”

John Lennon said this about the song: My song, melody written in India. The lyrics explain themselves clearly: I was a very jealous, possessive guy. Toward everything. A very insecure male. A guy who wants to put his woman in a little box, lock her up, and just bring her out when he feels like playing with her. She’s not allowed to communicate with the outside world – outside of me – because it makes me feel insecure.

From Songfacts

John Lennon confronts the green-eyed monster in this song, where he sings about the fits of jealousy that controlled him. At the time, he was married to Yoko Ono, who believes the jealousy Lennon describes is not sexual, but more an unfounded feeling of inadequacy. “He was jealous about the fact that I had another language in my head, you know, Japanese, that he can’t share with me,” she told Uncut in 1998. “It was almost on a very conceptual, spiritual level. It wasn’t on a level of physical or anything ’cause I just would never give him a reason for that.”

Paul McCartney stated in the February 1985 issue of Playgirl: “He (John) used to say, ‘Everyone is on the McCartney bandwagon.’ He wrote ‘I’m Just a Jealous Guy,’ and he said that the song was about me. So I think it was just some kind of jealousy.” 

Speaking with Rolling Stone months after Lennon’s death, she said that he made her write out a list of all the men she slept with before they met. “He wrote a song, ‘Jealous Guy,’ that should have told people how jealous he was,” she said. “After we started living together, it was John who wanted me there all the time. He made me go into the men’s room with him. He was scared that if I stayed out in the studio with a lot of other men, I might run off with one of them.”

Klaus Voormann played bass on this track. He was an old friend of the Beatles and designed the cover of Revolver. Other musicians were Jim Keltner on drums, Alan White on vibes and John Barham on harmonium. 

In 1981 Roxy Music recorded this as a tribute to Lennon, who was murdered on December 8, 1980. Their version went to #1 in the UK. Many other groups have covered it as well, including The Faces and The Black Crowes.

Joey Molland recalled working with Lennon in an interview with Gibson.com, “It was great! He was just a plain-talking, regular guy. No b.s. at all. Now, of course, he was John Lennon, so he had that energy about him; he kind of lit up the room, you know? But he welcomed us, said he was thrilled to have us, and then he said, ‘The first song we’re going to do is something called ‘Jealous Guy.” It was pretty amazing, sitting there with your headphones on, hearing John Lennon singing this fantastic song. Totally remarkable.”

Yoko Ono contributed to the track’s lyrics. However, because of the public’s negative attitude towards her at the time, her role was downplayed. She told NME: “Well, if it was just John, [he] would have given me the right credit, but it was a difficult time. No famous songwriter would have thought of splitting the credit with his wife.”

Yoko added regarding her influence on the track: “I think it’s a good song from a women’s point of view as well. John was trying to create a fun song about going on a trip to Rishikesh. That might have been great too, but it ended up not being that.”

Jealous Guy

I was dreaming of the past
And my heart was beating fast
I began to lose control
I began to lose control
I didn’t mean to hurt you
I’m sorry that I made you cry
Oh my I didn’t want to hurt you
I’m just a jealous guy

I was feeling insecure
You might not love me anymore
I was shivering inside
I was shivering inside
Oh I didn’t mean to hurt you
I’m sorry that I made you cry
Oh my I didn’t want to hurt you
I’m just a jealous guy

I didn’t mean to hurt you
I’m sorry that I made you cry
Oh my I didn’t want to hurt you
I’m just a jealous guy

I was trying to catch your eyes
Thought that you was trying to hide
I was swallowing my pain
I was swallowing my pain
I didn’t mean to hurt you
I’m sorry that I made you cry
Oh no I didn’t want to hurt you
I’m just a jealous guy
Watch out baby I’m just a jealous guy
Look out baby I’m just a jealous guy

Beatles – I’m So Tired

Another gem from the White Album. John Lennon loved to sleep…he referenced it in another song on Revolver named “I’m Only Sleeping.” Paul would have a songwriting session planned with Lennon and would arrive at John’s house only to have to wake him up. I’ve always liked this song and fit perfectly with the diverse song styles of the album.

John wrote this at a transcendental meditation camp in India when he couldn’t sleep. He was meditating day and night, and after three weeks of meditation and lectures by the Maharishi, he thought of his future wife Yoko Ono while his current wife Cynthia was there with him.  and came up with the song. He even thought of inviting Yoko with him along with Cynthia… that would have added some spice to the trip. Bringing a date on a trip with your wife…probably a bad idea.

John mumbles something at the end of the song.

Mark Lewisohn’s book “The Beatles Recording Sessions” explains this final bit of Lennon mumbling as “Monsieur, monsieur, how about another one?“, insinuating that he was requesting another attempt at the backing vocals.  This final mumbling was the only one that made it onto the finished mix.

In 1969 when the “Paul is dead” rumor went around the world people insisted  when the mumbling at the end of this song was played backward, John was saying “Paul is dead, miss him, miss him, miss him!”  This made for yet another clue for the poor departed Paul …but of course was not true and Paul was and is very much alive… but it did ruin a lot of record player needles in the process of trying to find out.

John said this about the song: “One of my favorite tracks. I just like the sound of it, and I sing it well“.

From Songfacts

The voice at the end sounds like, “Paul is dead man, miss him,” when played backward. This helped fuel rumors that McCartney was dead and replaced by an actor that looked like him.

The line “When I hold you in my arms, and feel my finger on your trigger” from “Happiness Is A Warm Gun” appears in bootlegged, unreleased versions of this song as “When I hold you in your arms, when you show each one of your charms, I wonder should I get up and go to the funny farm.” 

The word “get” as used in this song is a well-known term as a quite mild insult that is still commonly used on Merseyside. Lennon is cursing Sir Walter Raleigh (who is credited with introducing tobacco to Britain from America in the 16th century) for indirectly getting him hooked on cigarettes.

At the bottom below the lyrics, I found a version of Paul singing the song and having a good time. It possibly is from the Let It Be sessions…I’m not sure.

I’m So Tired

I’m so tired, I haven’t slept a wink
I’m so tired, my mind is on the blink
I wonder should I get up and fix myself a drink
No, no, no.

I’m so tired, I don’t know what to do
I’m so tired, my mind is set on you
I wonder should I call you but I know what you would do

You’d say I’m putting you on
But it’s no joke, it’s doing me harm
You know I can’t sleep, I can’t stop my brain
You know it’s three weeks, I’m going insane
You know I’d give you everything I’ve got
For a little peace of mind.

I’m so tired, I’m feeling so upset
Although I’m so tired, I’ll have another cigarette
And curse Sir Walter Raleigh
He was such a stupid get.

You’d say I’m putting you on
But it’s no joke, it’s doing me harm
You know I can’t sleep, I can’t stop my brain
You know it’s three weeks, I’m going insane
You know I’d give you everything I’ve got
For a little peace of mind.

Give you everything I’ve got
For a little peace of mind.

I’d give you everything I’ve got
For a little peace of mind.

My Favorite Singers

There are so many singers that I cannot possibly list them all. I could make a top 30 and not get them all. This is my personal favorite top 10 plus some extra.

For the most part, I like singers with soul and meaning to their singing…not vocal gymnastics.

1…Aretha Franklin – Aretha could make any song better by singing it.

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2…Van Morrison, Them and Solo  – Probably my favorite male singer.

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3…John Lennon, Beatles – John hated his voice and always wanted an effect on it…It didn’t need it…one of his best performances was “A Day In The Life”

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4…Bob Dylan – Bob changed popular singing.  I would rather hear Bob sing than many of the great traditional singers.

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5…Elvis Presley – Hey he’s Elvis…

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6…Otis Redding – Just a fantastic singer and performer and just taking off before he was killed in a plane crash.

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7…Mick Jagger, Rolling Stones – Mick makes the most out of his voice.

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8…John Fogerty…CCR – If I could have the voice of anyone…it would be Fogerty. The power that John has is incredible…his voice is its own instrument.

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9…Janis Joplin – She put everything she had in each song. Her last producer Paul A. Rothchild was teaching Janis how to hold back and sing more traditional to save her voice for old age…which never came.

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10…Johnny Cash – Last but far from least.  Only one man can sound like Cash…and that is Cash

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Honorable Mention…any of these could have easily been on the list.

Steve Marriott, Paul McCartney, Levon Helm, Bessie Smith, Little Richard, Roger Daltrey, Pete Townshend, Elton John, Neil Young, Roy Orbison, Smokey Robinson, Sam Cooke, Joe Cocker, Billie Holiday, Freddie Mercury, Kate Bush, Ella Fitzgerald, Paul Rodgers, David Bowie.