Top 100 rock vocalists : 12 Kelly Jones

12.  Kelly Jones

Do I really think Kelly Jones is that good?  Absolutely.  Am I biased because he is Welsh?  Possibly, but I don’t think so.  He probably has the most distinctive, instantly recognizable voice of the last 20 years.  His croaky, yet utterly mesmerizing vocals take you on a journey, no, on HIS journey, and you are with him all the way through each and every album.  Tracks to check out – I stopped to fill my car up, Just Looking, Since I told you it’s over and Dakota.


Top 100 rock vocalists : 13 Janis Joplin

13.  Janis Joplin

The top lady in the countdown is at #13 with the sensational Janis Joplin.  Quite simply, she has a breathtaking voice.  Have a listen to Mercedes Benz, Try (a little bit harder), Me and Bobby McGee and To Love Somebody and try to disagree.

Top 100 rock vocalists : 14 Paul McCartney

14.  Paul McCartney (The Beatles, Wings, Solo)

Watching McCartney in the Millenium Stadium with my dad reminded me of the word legend, and if you looked up the word legend in the dictionary there would be a picture of Paul McCartney there.  How many other performers can still sell out massive stadiums nearly 50 years after they first made an appearance?  Not many.  Paul McCartney certainly can, and has.

The former Beatle and Wing still blasts out classic hits such as Something, Jet, Let em in, The Long and winding road  to name a few without missing a note (vocally, on he guitar and piano) and the tributes to Lennon and Harrison brought more than a tear to the eye.

Top 100 rock vocalists : 15 Paul Weller

15 – Paul Weller (The Style Council, The Jam, solo)

The ‘Modfather’ has been around for nearly 40 years and still can cut it with the best of them.  From early pop rock The Style Council, mod-tastic The Jam and solo projects, Weller has been at the forefront of popular rock for a large majority of that time.  A true heavyweight in rock vocalists and a very respectable #15 for the man who brought you Going Underground, Shout to the Top, Wild Wood, That’s Entertainment and of course, A Town Called Malice.

Top 100 rock vocalists : 16 Glenn Hughes

16 – Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple, solo, Black Country Communion)

Another true great whom I have recently seen live and met in the process – what a top quality bloke (despite being a Wolves fan)!  A true gent and my oh my what a vocal range he has got.  Black Country Communion’s (Hughes’ new supergroup with Joe Bonamassa, Jason Bonham and Derek Sheehan) version of Deep Purple’s Burn was quite simply breathtaking, along with some stunning tracks from the self-titled first album from BCC.  BCC2 does not quite match it, but Hughes is back!!  That can only be good for rock music….

Top 100 rock vocalists : 18 Kurt Cobain

18 – Kurt Cobain (Nirvana)

You can’t deny that Nirvana had a massive influence on the music industry in the early 90’s, after bringing a new age of grunge to replace the hairspray rock of the 80’s.  Cobain’s rasping vocals did as much to change the face of rock as anything.  Cobain is probably the most famous export of Seattle, WA.

Top 100 rock vocalists : 19 Ronnie James Dio

19 – Ronnie James Dio  (Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Dio, Heaven and Hell)

Ronnie James Dio

It was a very sad day for me when Dio lost his battle with stomach cancer last year.  Dio has always been a hero of mine from his days with Elf, Rainbow, Black Sabbath, Heaven & Hell and Dio.  It is just a massive shame I never got to see him or any of his bands live.

Top 100 rock vocalists : 20 John Fogerty

20 – John Fogerty (Creedence Clearwater Revival, solo)

John Fogerty

Creedence Clearwater Revival are legends in their own right, but without Fogerty they wouldn’t have been the band they were as justified by the less than clever Mardi Gras album, and prompt split after he went solo.  A little known fact is that Fogerty wrote Rockin’ all over the World made famous by rock jokers Status Quo.  Check out John Fogerty’s self titled first album if you don’t believe me.

Top 100 rock vocalists : 30 – 21

  30.  Bruce Springsteen

He commands the stage, his presence and aura are second to none, and tracks like Thunder Road, Born to Run and Backstreets  just confirm this.

  29.  Stevie Nicks (Fleetwood Mac)

Whether she was performing with Fleetwood Mac or on her own, Nicks’ voice is captivating.  Edge of Seventeen is one of the greatest songs there is, and the number of Mac songs that she comes into her own on are just too many to mention.

  28.  Phil Lynott (Thin Lizzy)

Thin Lizzy are one of the best live bands of all time, and the reason has to be Phil Lynott.  Granted, Brian Robertson and co obviously played their part but Lynott’s mesmerizing performances (despite being off his head) turned Lizzy into a much coveted and well-respected rock band.

  27.  Steven Tyler (Aerosmith)

I once saw Tyler place a whole orange in his mouth on TGI Friday with Chris Evans.  If you can open your mouth that wide, you are sure to have a powerful voice yeah?  Love in an Elevator, Janie Got a Gun, Amazing, Pink, I don’t wanna miss a thing, Dream On, Walk this Way, Sweet Emotion, Crazy.  Need I go on?

  26.  Eddie Veder (Pearl Jam)

Illinois’ finest, ukulele-plying, head banging, grunge rocker Eddie Veder, born Edward Louis Stevenson III.  No wonder he changed his name.  Pearl Jam’s main man has just released an album with him and his ukulele – shows he doesn’t need anything else….

  25.  Brian Johnson (AC/DC)

Just because Back in Black was #1 in the rock album’s top 250, doesn’t mean Johnson would walk this countdown.  Far from it – I hugely respect the Geordie, and think he has a tremendous vocal range but he is most certainly the best vocalist.  Thank you for Wembley 2010 tho – what a gig!

Replacing Bon Scott in AC/DC must have been one of the hardest jobs ever in music, however, the former lead singer of Geordie instantly gelled with the Young brothers, and before you could scream “Hells Bells” the first album was out in 1980.  The rest, they say, is history…..

  24.  Jimi Hendrix

Not renowned for his vocals, but more than held his own.  Whether we were just mesmerized by his guitar playing and didn’t actually concentrate in his voice, I don not know.  Ah well….

  23.  Ronnie Van Sant (Lynryd Skynryd)

He sang Sweet Home Alabama……..I hear pennies drop everywhere.  Lead singer of southern American rockers Lynryd Skynryd.

  22.  Elton John

Not technically a rock vocalist, granted.  Some of his earlier tracks had a rock feel to them didin’t they?  No?  Just me then…

  21.  Ozzy Osbourne (Black Sabbath, solo)

How can there be a rock vocalist countdown without Ozzy?  There can’t – impossible.  Black Sabbath weren’t the same with any other lead singer (as much as I love Dio – sorry!), and his first two solo albums, Blizzard of Oz and Diary of a Madman were mighty fine.  And he was back to form with 2007’s Black Rain.  Ozzy and Randy Rhodes together were a superb partnership which was over far, far too soon.