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Author Topic: What's in a voice? Lennon vs McCartney  (Read 3995 times)

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Ovi

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What's in a voice? Lennon vs McCartney
« on: February 17, 2012, 12:50:11 PM »

I found this article on a blog called 'Where's that sound coming from?' and I thought it was quite interesting :

Its title was "What's in a Voice? A light pondering of timbre and its inequities."

"Lennon vs McCartney:
This pretty much sums up the basis of this thesis. There is the conventional, and very inaccurate, opinion that "Lennon is sincere, smart, witty.." and "McCartney is glib, insincere, all craft, song-and-dance and no emotion". Why? Timbre! Lennon was blessed with one of the coolest, if not the coolest singing voices in pop history. He could roar and yowl, make you feel his pain and send shivers down your spine ("Yer Blues", "Anna", Don't Let Me Down", "I Want You (She's So Heavy)"; he could command your full attention and control your emotions when in a thoughtful mood ("I Don't Want to Spoil the Party", "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away", "Norwegian Wood", "Julia"); and he could spike your drink with whatever he was taking that week ("Strawberry Fields", "I Am the Walrus", "Tomorrow Never Knows"). Listen to "Dear Prudence" and you just feel blessed afterward. You feel Lennon's presence.
On the other hand, Paul McCartney, when yowling ("I'm Down", "Helter Skelter", "Oh Darling") can sometimes make one cringe with discomfort. When singing a cute song ("When I'm 64", "Maxwell's Silver Hammer") Paul seems very at ease, which lends credence to the prejudice. Lastly, when singing a serious and emotional song ("For No One", "Elenore Rigby", "She's Leaving Home"), Paul seems distant and cold--he's reporting, not baring his soul.
So let's pretend Paul sang "Being For The Benefit of Mr. Kite". It'd be just another annoying, cute Paul song about the circus. But John's timbre makes it seem like a rather scary circus, even if he didn't want it to be. If John sang the beautiful "Mother Nature's Son", it'd be seen much more as a deep philosophical meditation than a pretty singalong. It's the Lennon/McCartney double standard that still seems to haunt Paul."

Source : http://wheresthatsoundcomingfrom.blogspot.com/2011/02/whats-in-voice-light-pondering-of.html
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Ovi

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Re: What's in a voice? Lennon vs McCartney
« Reply #1 on: February 17, 2012, 12:58:20 PM »

I really agree with it, especially with the John singing 'Mother Nature's Son' theory.
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Bobber

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Re: What's in a voice? Lennon vs McCartney
« Reply #2 on: February 17, 2012, 01:25:35 PM »

I don't agree with it at all. Yes, Lennon is a great singer, but so is McCartney. I don't feel distance and coldness in his emotional songs at all. Isn't this just another attempt of bashing Paul?
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Ovi

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Re: What's in a voice? Lennon vs McCartney
« Reply #3 on: February 17, 2012, 01:39:53 PM »

I don't agree with it at all. Yes, Lennon is a great singer, but so is McCartney. I don't feel distance and coldness in his emotional songs at all. Isn't this just another attempt of bashing Paul?

I don't think so. "There is the conventional, and very inaccurate, opinion that "Lennon is sincere, smart, witty.." and "McCartney is glib, insincere, all craft, song-and-dance and no emotion"." The author is just trying to explain why Lennon(well, one of the reasons) is viewed as a more sincere singer than McCartney. I think that he is as objective as you can be, without bashing neither McCartney or Lennon and/or their singing abilities.
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Mairi

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Re: What's in a voice? Lennon vs McCartney
« Reply #4 on: February 17, 2012, 01:54:40 PM »

That's interesting, but while I think John's voice is more "rock" Paul has a classic voice that has always been my favourite because it has a lot of warmth to it.
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Klang

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Re: What's in a voice? Lennon vs McCartney
« Reply #5 on: February 17, 2012, 04:02:50 PM »


I disagree with the assertion that the Paul songs that were mentioned as being cringe-worthy are that at all. He could convincingly rock out as well as he could croon. Both guys could.

John could possibly connect with audiences better on an emotional level.

It's the differences between them that made the blend so interesting. Who wants a band full of clones (other than Kraftwerk fans)?

George and Ringo each had their own distinct vocal styles as well. Again, this made the group all the more interesting.

So says I.

 :)

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Kangaroo Kev

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Re: What's in a voice? Lennon vs McCartney
« Reply #6 on: February 17, 2012, 11:57:11 PM »

IMO when J & P were together in the Beatles they complimented each other very very well as singers, there was also healthy competition with each other writing songs, I think they needed each other for greatness, none of them achieved greatness on their own. (as singers or songwriters)
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tkitna

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Re: What's in a voice? Lennon vs McCartney
« Reply #7 on: February 18, 2012, 12:45:57 AM »

I think that article is bullsh*t, but thats me. I dont feel those emotions with Pauls singing that he described. He basically just said that John can do anything better than Paul and thats nonsense.

Kangaroo Kev

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Re: What's in a voice? Lennon vs McCartney
« Reply #8 on: February 18, 2012, 01:21:15 AM »

I think that article is bullsh*t,

I dont think its bullsh*t, I think (Pauls better than John) fans would read that with Paul tinted glasses and say its bullsh*t, but I can see where the guys coming from, Johns voice was more expressive than pauls, listen to Jealous Guy or Oh My Love from Imagine, his voice is full of emotion, thats not knocking Paul, its just fact.

but they were both great singers who complimented each other......
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BeatlesAtTheirBest

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Re: What's in a voice? Lennon vs McCartney
« Reply #9 on: February 18, 2012, 03:50:10 PM »



Paul proved he could sing rock as good as John could 55 years ago when he was belting out blistering versions of Little Richard songs as a teenager.
Beatles - Long Tall Sally (Live at NME - 1964) [FULL HD]

Beatles - Long Tall Sally (Live, 1965) [Very Good(+) quality]



« Last Edit: February 18, 2012, 03:52:35 PM by BeatlesAtTheirBest »
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Jema

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Re: What's in a voice? Lennon vs McCartney
« Reply #10 on: February 18, 2012, 04:32:51 PM »

I personally really agree with that article.I love John's voice so much and I agree with how his voice had a lot of emotion.
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Normandie

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Re: What's in a voice? Lennon vs McCartney
« Reply #11 on: February 18, 2012, 06:21:01 PM »


I personally (key word there) prefer John's voice, and his songs, but Paul has an amazing voice, too. I never, ever thought I'd hear a cover of "Long Tall Sally" that could even come close to Little Richard's, and yet Paul does a staggeringly good job (again, IMO). And "Helter Skelter" gives me chills -- I always think, this is the guy who sang "I Will" and "And I Love Her" so sweetly? Paul's voice is incredible.
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Gary910

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Re: What's in a voice? Lennon vs McCartney
« Reply #12 on: February 18, 2012, 09:01:37 PM »

I think they each of their voices has a quality that I like.

There are moments with John though that are spine tingling. I love in 'This Boy' the part where John belts "til you he seen you cry....".
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Kangaroo Kev

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Re: What's in a voice? Lennon vs McCartney
« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2012, 12:07:06 AM »

I remember one of the 'sounds' that made me a big fan of John was when he sang 'Come'on' several times in the song Please Please Me, his voice was just sooooooo cool

The Beatles - Please Please Me


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DarkSweetLady

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Re: What's in a voice? Lennon vs McCartney
« Reply #14 on: February 19, 2012, 01:05:58 AM »

I don't know which one I prefer, but Paul has the better voice - in my opinion.
He can transition from singing so smoothly to so rough effortlessly. His range is incredible. He may seem more of a "textbook" singer than John, but I think his voice is very distinguishable and unique.

But on John's side...his voice in his "Be My Baby" cover is probably my one of my favorite John vocals.
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In My Life

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Re: What's in a voice? Lennon vs McCartney
« Reply #15 on: February 19, 2012, 06:16:09 AM »

And "Helter Skelter" gives me chills -- I always think, this is the guy who sang "I Will" and "And I Love Her" so sweetly? Paul's voice is incredible.

This is exactly why I love that "I Will" comes right after "Why Don't We Do it in the Road?" on The White Album (Other than the obvious word play) He's howling one minute and so soft the next. It is hard to believe it's the same guy. When it comes to choosing between John and Paul vocally, I can't. I used to think I prefered Paul's softer voice then I heard "Julia".
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Normandie

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Re: What's in a voice? Lennon vs McCartney
« Reply #16 on: February 19, 2012, 04:12:42 PM »

I remember one of the 'sounds' that made me a big fan of John was when he sang 'Come'on' several times in the song Please Please Me, his voice was just sooooooo cool

Yes! That's one of my favorite John vocals.
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Mairi

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Re: What's in a voice? Lennon vs McCartney
« Reply #17 on: February 19, 2012, 06:14:23 PM »

While I love John's more uptempo songs and I think his voice has a lot of vulnerability to it, I think Paul's voice has much more depth and warmth to it. I feel comforted by his voice.
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Kangaroo Kev

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Re: What's in a voice? Lennon vs McCartney
« Reply #18 on: February 19, 2012, 11:12:08 PM »

Pauls voice is absolutely fantastic here (and on the rooftop) , one of the great rock voices, I wish to god he'd have carried on writing songs like he wrote on Let It Be 

He did for a little while with McCartney 1, but then Wings happened and he went all poppy and silly  :(

But thats just my opinion.  ;sorry
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tkitna

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Re: What's in a voice? Lennon vs McCartney
« Reply #19 on: February 20, 2012, 01:44:11 AM »

His voice on 'Back To The Egg' is the best i've ever heard him in my opinion.
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