Amazing Vocals | R.I.P. Edition

Michael Jackson portrait art by Luis Fernando ReisHearing the late, great King of Pop Michael Jackson sans instruments unveils his amazing knack for vocal rhythm and soulful delivery.  His voice not only delivers the melody with riveting conviction, it is also a percussion instrument, adding to the rhythm track like no other singer.  Jackson is certainly a seminal pop/r&b artist and you can hear his formidable contribution to rap as well on his tracks. Listen to these vocal-only examples of this one-of-a-kind artist who died in 2009 at age 50:

Michael Jackson | Man In The Mirror (vocals)

Michael Jackson | Smooth Criminal (vocals)

Michael Jackson | Billie Jean (vocals)

Bon Scott portrait street artworkA rare vocal-only track from late AC/DC vocalist Bon Scott shows clearly just how unique his voice and delivery was.  Scott was AC/DC’s original vocalist and a talented, mercurial frontman.  While his excesses ultimately led to his untimely death in 1980 at age 33, they also made him a riveting performer.  Hear him here:

AC/DC | Let There Be Rock (Bon Scott vocals)

Brad Delp photo by Carl LenderBoston’s lead singer Brad Delp had an amazing range combined with the ability to deliver blistering vocal performances on both tender ballads and uptempo rock anthems.  Did we mention he had an amazing range?   Delp sadly committed suicide at age 55 in 2007, but left behind a great body of work.  His soaring vocal talents brought to life (perhaps the term is “made possible”) the high harmony-laden songs of Boston mastermind Tom Scholz.  Hear some of Delp’s best known vocals isolated here:

Boston | More Than A Feeling (Brad Delp vocals)

Boston | Peace Of Mind (Brad Delp vocals)

Boston | Hitch A Ride (Brad Delp vocal, Tom Scholz guitars and organ only)

Freddie Mercury photo by Carl LenderRounding out these vocal thoughts, no discussion of late singers would be complete without talking about Queen‘s Freddie Mercury.  Dying of complications from AIDS in 1991 at age 45, his gift for dynamic and dramatic vocal delivery amazes everyone who has ever heard the group’s classic “Bohemian Rhapsody”.  There are many great Queen examples here, but for certain check out these gems in isolation (Mercury and Queen’s collaboration with David Bowie on “Under Pressure” is fantastic as well–listen to how well the two voices compliment each other):

Queen | Bohemian Rhapsody (vocals)

Queen | We Are The Champions (vocals)

Queen | Somebody To Love (vocals)

Queen | Killer Queen (vocals)

Queen with David Bowie | Under Pressure (vocal only)

These artists all left us to soon, but at least they left us gifts that will live on forever…


Image credits
Michael Jackson: Luis Fernado Reis/
Bon Scott: Nagarjun/
Brad Delp, Freddie Mercury: Carl Lender/

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