AC/DC has had a long reign, with many great moments. But, at their very best, they had perhaps the most charismatic front man/lead singer ever: Mr. Bon Scott.
The great Jackie Wilson gives two electric performances of Higher and Higher, circa 1974. His mindboggling gifts are on full display throughout; it’s as if time/space were suspended.
Saxophonist John Coltrane’s impossible power as an improviser simply cannot be described. He provided one of the high water marks in music history with his ground-and-everything-else-breaking work in the 1960’s.
One of the greatest performers, ever. Period.
Featuring the remarkable voice of Marilyn McCoo.
Queen, featuring vocalist Freddie Mercury, and guitarist Brian May, with a live You’re My Best Friend, performed in December of 1979 at the Hammersmith Odeon. This shows Mercury in top form vocally; a true maestro at work.
Another shining exemplar of Queen’s formidable power is this iteration of the remarkable hit single Killer Queen. Recorded June 7, 1977 at Earl’s Court, this rendition is quite canonical. The synergy between Freddie Mercury and guitarist Brian May is really working, and both are in magnificent form. Speaking of Mercury, Roger Daltrey once stated that he was “the best virtuoso rock ‘n’ roll singer of all time”, and well known soprano Montserrat Caballé felt that “his technique was astonishing; he sang with an incisive sense of rhythm; he also had a great musicality, and he was able to find the right colouring or expressive nuance for each word”. An extraordinary, charismatic performer, Mr. Mercury was described by guitarist Brian May as being so magnetic “he could make the last person at the back of the furthest stand in a stadium feel that he was connected”. The British vocalist also was unafraid to rank 58th in a poll of 100 Greatest Britons, finishing just behind Alexander Graham Bell. And The Cliff Richard (??). George Harrison was bettered, however, and in the most controversial decision, legendary Welsh actor Richard Burton came-a-cropper, finishing behind—by a significant margin—the great vocalist. Observers reported the Welshman appeared visibly shaken, ashen-faced, and extremely bitter during the ceremony. Some claim he wiped away tears, as he abruptly stormed off to whereabouts unknown.
“Burton later claimed ill health, but those near him were positive the Welshman wept openly, clenched his fists in impotent rage, and frequently muttered uncomplimentary remarks whilst shaking with hysteria, losing his balance more than once.” -Thrustus Simmonds, noted author of “Titans of Britondom, and Such”.
Lastly, the rousing Keep Yourself Alive. Live, 1974, at The Rainbow. Truly uplifting, and the musicianship, as was typical from this band, occupied Upper-Echelon terrain. This band indeed changed lives.
Mr. Murphy is in top form still. He is in full command of his towering vocal abilities. A mesmerist is in the house. And, *you* let him in!!!!!!!!!!!!
The enigmatic and other-worldly Peter Murphy presents an imposing, daunting figure, one who seems unlacking in self-assurance. And, if anything, his *astonishing* vocal talents are fully—possibly more fully than ever—intact. Like unto a god. Or whatever he is.
Titans of music abound in this post. From the preternatural pipes of Mr. Yoakam, to the not-in-need-of-rocking-chairs legend George Jones, to the inimitable Hoyt Axton, to the Lanois-ing Willie Nelson…then the hugely underappreciated Dick Curless, the irresistible Lucinda Williams, to Dan Auerbach and his mesmerizing ways, Buck Owens in his prime with Don Rich, the great Merle Haggard, the Silver Fox…and we conclude with Dwight once more, with Eddy Shaver.
The great vocalist/pianist/composer performs both solo and with his group Raspberries.
These gents are titans of prog, rock, prog-rock…and then there’s the mind-boggling talents and idiosyncrasies of Mr. Ian Anderson.
Thaumaturge, wizard, vocalist/performer/showman supreme. Mr. Ian Anderson.
Note: Revised 7/31/2019.
And sneaking in at the last moment……..1977, Golders Green Hippodrome.