Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Canon Review List-A-Mania, Top Five Male Vocalists

After doing my top five female vocalists, reader Maggie W. requested that I make a similar list with the top five male vocalists. Personally, I probably could have picked a top 20, but I was told to pick only five, so five I shall pick. Whereas in my last list I was pretty sure I left a few vocalists off, I know that I left a lot of very good vocalists off this time. Remember, this is only my opinion, so if you happen to disagree with the list, if you felt that your favorite male vocalist was left off, or even if you want to create a list of your own, than let me know. So, without further adeiu, here are The Canon Review's Top Five Male Vocalists.

5. Steve Perry

So I'm a Journey fan, big deal. The main reason I'm a Journey fan is because of its vocalist, Steve Perry. He became such an important part of Journey that now, even though Perry is no longer in the band, every lead man they have had since then has to sound like Perry in respect to the ability and influence Perry had, according to Journey bassist Ross Valory. Randy Jackson, the American Idol judge, has stated that other than Robert Plant, "there's no singer in rock that came even close to Steve Perry".  Whether it was an upbeat song like "Any Way You Want It", or a ballad like "Faithfully", Perry excelled and made the song his own.

4. Brad Delp

A surprising choice, I am sure, but Delp, the late lead singer from the band Boston, could really wail. I must say that I wasn't that big of a Boston fan until I started playing their songs on the video game Rock Band. Let me tell you, if you want a challenge, you should try singing Rock N' Roll Band and More Than a Feeling on Expert, as Delp is somehow able to change octives suddenly and hit these impossibly high notes that very few people have a chance of hitting, and furthermore, making it sound good like Brad Delp could. If I try to sing it, I end up sounding like a dying hyena, but I digress. Delp was a tremendously gifted vocalist who I feel doesn't get his just due.

3. Layne Staley

Layne was an immensely talented singer who had a lot of problems, and was able to express all of his problems to his audience through his music.  Despite his short career and untimely death, his vocals were so infulental that nearly every major rock vocalist over the past 10-15 years has been influenced by Staley's style, whether they admit it or not. Staley, the lead singer of Alice and Chains and Mad Season, had somewhat of an eerie sound and his voice, and he was able to make Alice in Chains's powerful lyrics in songs like "Rooster", "Down in a Hole", and "I Stay Away" all the more powerful with his vocal stylings.

2. Freddie Mercury

Unfortunately, Mercury's the third straight man on this list who is no longer with us. Often referred to as the greatest frontman in Rock N' Roll History, Queen's Freddie Mercury was a one-of-a-kind vocalist and performer. To me, there is no Queen without Freddie Mercury. Just the perfect singer to go along with that band and their unique style. Mercury could sing too, he could hit low notes, high notes, whatever notes were called for.

1. Chris Cornell

Since Soundgarden is my favorite band of all-time, it only makes sense that their lead singer, Cornell, would be the top vocalist on the list. A vocalist with immense range, Cornell has often been compared to legends such as Led Zepplin's Robert Plant. Cornell has also been the frontman of Temple of the Dog (along with Eddie Vedder) and Audioslave, which also are two bands I frequently find myself listening to. Cornell can sing any type of song, from a heavy hard-rock song to a soft ballad, and make it sound excellent. So for those reasons and more, Chris Cornell is The Canon Review's Top Male Vocalist.

Well, thanks for reading. Again, feel free to let me know your thoughts on this list, and if you have any future ideas for posts on The Canon Review, then let me know either by leaving a comment or by e-mail at


  1. I figured that Cornell would be your number one. :D

    Let's see...I'm just gonna tell you my five.
    5) Johnny Cash
    4) Maynard James Keenan
    3) Matthew Bellamy
    2) Gackt
    1) Aaron Lewis

  2. Wow. I typed up a whole shitload of stuff but it got erased....sigh. I'll try again.

  3. It won't let me embed videos...

    Top Six:

    6. Chris Cornell

    Soundgarden - Head Down

    5. Maynard James Keenan

    A Perfect Circle - Thomas

    4. Mark Lanegan

    Little known fact: Mark Lanegan recorded this song 3 years before Kurt Cobain's famous performance during the MTV Unplugged concert. Even though Lanegan didn't write this song, he sung and played it in a completely original way. Cobain basically stole this version without giving any credit to Lanegan. Which further proves that Cobain was only successful when using other people's songs.

    Mark Lanegan - Where Did You Sleep Last Night

    3. Jim Morrison

    The Doors - Hyacinth House

    2. Layne Staley

    Alice In Chains - Dirt

    1. Dax Riggs

    Dax Riggs to me is an absolute genius. To most people he probably seems disturbed or depressed. But I can see the beauty in his songs. He can sing any style of music from Blues to Death Metal to Alternative Rock to whatever. I've seen him in concert 4 times and each of these times was absolutely phenomenal.

    Not only do I consider the best vocalist of all-time, I would also say he is the best lyricist as well. No one can convey feelings in music the way Dax Riggs can.

    Here are a few samples of Dax Riggs' work:

    Agents of Oblivion - Phantom Green

    Deadboy & The Elephantmen - Otherworldly Dreamer

    Please listen to this:

    Dax Riggs - Waking Up Insane

    Acid Bath - Bleed Me an Ocean

    Wow, this site really didn't want me to post this comment. First it erased everything I typed, and then it wouldn't let me embed videos. Ugh.

    I probably could have name several other musicians, as I love so many bands, but for the time being I would say this is my top six.

  4. I must say that I am not surprised by your list at all Maggie, except I figured you might have Matt Bellamy or Gackt number one. As for Ben, all good choices, and if I had made a top 20, than both Morrison and Maynard would make it, and probably Lanegin too. Dax is pretty good as well, although I just can't get into his music as much for some reason, even though I like a couple of songs (Phantom Green being one of them, btw). Good feedback, keep it up.