Sunday, November 25, 2007

Sunday Music:

Changes in rock singers' voices. Many rock singers' voices change (usually for the worse) as they age. There are many reasons for this, one of which is that all parts of our bodies deteriorate as we age. Rock singers also tend not to be trained vocalists (and consequently don't do the things that trained vocalists do to preserve the voice) and do a lot of screaming and shouting. Screaming and shouting -- and damaging one's vocal chords -- may actually yield a desired effect in rock if one values a raspy voice. The more screaming he does the better Brian Johnson sounds. However, such raspiness acquired with age is also usually accompanies by a loss of range. What brings this to mind is rumors that Robert Plant, for Led Zeppelin's up coming reunion, is demanding to have some of their classic tunes transposed to a lower key so he can hit all of the right notes in the melody.

Such change also happened to Steve Walsh's masterful voice, and the change was due to more than just age but drug and alcohol abuse, screaming and otherwise not taking care of his voice during the years he wasn't clean. Compare his voice in his prime:

To what it became in the early 90s.

For Walsh, now in his 50s, the glass is now half full half empty as he regained some of what he lost but his voice will never sound as it did in the 70s. He also projects a much better demeanor, shy and reserved behind his keyboard, than what he did when not clean.

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