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Author Topic: Lady Madonna - Paul's vocal  (Read 3474 times)

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TomMo

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Lady Madonna - Paul's vocal
« on: June 06, 2012, 04:38:24 PM »

With sincere respect (I mean it) for Beatle fans younger than myself (dirty old man), your appreciation of the Lads is based on having their complete collection of tracks right in front of you. For someone like me who experienced the Beatles back in the day, we were always waiting for the "next chapter", as it were.

Paul has shown throughout his career that he has a wide variety of vocal styles he can pull out of his sleeve. There's a huge difference between "And I Love Her" and "Long Tall Sally", but he did both extremely well.

On "Lady Madonna", Paul rolled out a new voice. He gave hints of this voice on the BBC "That's Alright, Mama", but most of the world didn't have access to that track back in the 60's. Anyway, when I first heard "Lady Madonna", I was fooled. I thought it was Ringo singing. No, seriously. Granted, Ringo's natural singing voice is "tinny", but with a bit of EQ, it can be adjusted.

Paul would go on to use that voice again on later tracks, but "Lady Madonna" was the debut of THAT voice.

So I was thinking: What other singers have Paul's ability to sing with many voices and do them all convincingly? I'll name two and throw it out for other suggestions.

1. Billy Joel. I haven't read enough about Billy Joel, but I'd be willing to bet he modeled his singing after Macca intentionally.
2. Elvis Presley. Compare pre-Army Elvis to post-Army Elvis to Vegas Elvis. The big question is whether he could dust off pre-Army Elvis and sing that way again.
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Kangaroo Kev

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Re: Lady Madonna - Paul's vocal
« Reply #1 on: June 07, 2012, 12:10:22 AM »

John Lennon frequently changed his voice over the years, going more nasally on Imagine compared to tracks like Any Time At All, It Wont Be Long and Eight days A Week where he just belts its out au natural, his voice on #9 Dream is more whispered and his soft voice on Julia and Cry Baby Cry is different again

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Ovi

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Re: Lady Madonna - Paul's vocal
« Reply #2 on: June 07, 2012, 02:47:45 PM »

As a result of some first thoughts... I couldn't think of any other singer. Paul was just great when it comes to variety in his vocal style. Switching that easily from songs like 'Here, There and Everywhere' or 'For No One', to 'Helter Skelter', 'Lady Madonna', 'Oh! Darling', 'Back In The U.S.S.R' or 'I've Got A Feeling' was simply impressive.
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TomMo

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Re: Lady Madonna - Paul's vocal
« Reply #3 on: June 07, 2012, 03:05:15 PM »

As a result of some first thoughts... I couldn't think of any other singer. Paul was just great when it comes to variety in his vocal style. Switching that easily from songs like 'Here, There and Everywhere' or 'For No One', to 'Helter Skelter', 'Lady Madonna', 'Oh! Darling', 'Back In The U.S.S.R' or 'I've Got A Feeling' was simply impressive.

I agree, 5th Beatle. I had a chance to talk to a member of Macca's entourage a couple of years ago and learned that, while Paul does not have a doctor travel with him on tour, he carries with him every possible remedy for throat problems, from prescription meds, to OTC products, and a variety of homeopathic curatives. The length of his shows, plus the fact that he's not as proficient in his upper range as he once was, puts strain on his vocal cords. Paul is determined not to go through what George did on his '74 tour. And while he is sometimes challenged by a few high notes, he refuses to consider lowering the key of any song, not even by a half-step. Way to go, Macca!
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Ovi

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Re: Lady Madonna - Paul's vocal
« Reply #4 on: June 07, 2012, 03:13:12 PM »

I agree, 5th Beatle. I had a chance to talk to a member of Macca's entourage a couple of years ago and learned that, while Paul does not have a doctor travel with him on tour, he carries with him every possible remedy for throat problems, from prescription meds, to OTC products, and a variety of homeopathic curatives. The length of his shows, plus the fact that he's not as proficient in his upper range as he once was, puts strain on his vocal cords. Paul is determined not to go through what George did on his '74 tour. And while he is sometimes challenged by a few high notes, he refuses to consider lowering the key of any song, not even by a half-step. Way to go, Macca!

That's an interesting fact. Did he tell you any other ones?
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TomMo

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Re: Lady Madonna - Paul's vocal
« Reply #5 on: June 07, 2012, 06:25:38 PM »

That's an interesting fact. Did he tell you any other ones?

Actually, I was talking to his hairdresser (female) and one of his roadies, but she was the more talkative of the two. I did learn that she did the hair for the entire band (except for the drummer, of course). Paul prefers rinses to dyes on his hair, because he doesn't like to have the gray roots touched up; it's much easier to apply a rinse regularly. This was at his Miami concert on April 3, 2010. She did give me a head's up that right after the concert, he was going by helicopter up to Palm Beach to spend Easter at Trump's place. So while other people were gathering around the tour bus to wait for Paul to come out, I headed over to where the chopper was and saw Paul waving through the window. The coolest part was watching the helicopter take off. I was expecting Paul to open the door and throw out 8X10 glossies of the Beatles, ala the end of "A Hard Day's Night". That was my second Beatle wave; I saw George wave from a limo after one of his U.S. gigs in '74. Now all I need for the hat trick is Ringo.
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Ovi

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Re: Lady Madonna - Paul's vocal
« Reply #6 on: June 07, 2012, 08:10:05 PM »

Actually, I was talking to his hairdresser (female) and one of his roadies, but she was the more talkative of the two. I did learn that she did the hair for the entire band (except for the drummer, of course). Paul prefers rinses to dyes on his hair, because he doesn't like to have the gray roots touched up; it's much easier to apply a rinse regularly. This was at his Miami concert on April 3, 2010. She did give me a head's up that right after the concert, he was going by helicopter up to Palm Beach to spend Easter at Trump's place. So while other people were gathering around the tour bus to wait for Paul to come out, I headed over to where the chopper was and saw Paul waving through the window. The coolest part was watching the helicopter take off. I was expecting Paul to open the door and throw out 8X10 glossies of the Beatles, ala the end of "A Hard Day's Night". That was my second Beatle wave; I saw George wave from a limo after one of his U.S. gigs in '74. Now all I need for the hat trick is Ringo.

That was great, thanks for sharing. And good luck with Ringo! ;)
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tkitna

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Re: Lady Madonna - Paul's vocal
« Reply #7 on: June 07, 2012, 11:20:22 PM »

So I was thinking: What other singers have Paul's ability to sing with many voices and do them all convincingly?

I find fault with this statement. i dont think Paul does all of these voices convincingly. I think his Lady Madonna voice kind of sucks. I hate the song anyways, but whatever. A lot of his falsetto voices dont sit well with me like Calico skys for example and i hate his rough voice via Winter Rose and so forth. He's great and pulls a lot of things off, but the Lady madonna example isnt one of them.

I'm a bit perplexed at was it Ringo too. Really? Thats a no-brainer to me, but again,,,whatever.

Kangaroo Kev

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Re: Lady Madonna - Paul's vocal
« Reply #8 on: June 07, 2012, 11:53:09 PM »

I always thought the piano riff on LM was nicked from a Fats Domino song so I figured he was attempting a black R & B voice on there, obviously some of it will be done by the engineers too changing the eq and recording levels as well as Paul simply changing his voice.

Agree with Todd it kind of sucks and cant hear anything there that sounds remotely like Ringo
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TomMo

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Re: Lady Madonna - Paul's vocal
« Reply #9 on: June 08, 2012, 01:19:49 AM »

I always thought the piano riff on LM was nicked from a Fats Domino song so I figured he was attempting a black R & B voice on there, obviously some of it will be done by the engineers too changing the eq and recording levels as well as Paul simply changing his voice.

Agree with Todd it kind of sucks and cant hear anything there that sounds remotely like Ringo

I agree with the Fats Domino thing. Some critics at the time felt the same way. And yeah, I know. Ringo? But at the time, the vocal was so un-Paul, it took me several playings of the single to realize I was wrong. Hell, I was 15 at the time. I was probably distracted by the word "breast" in the song.
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Bobber

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Re: Lady Madonna - Paul's vocal
« Reply #10 on: June 08, 2012, 07:37:39 AM »

I always thought the piano riff on LM was nicked from a Fats Domino song


It was Bad Penny Blues.

Bad Penny Blues
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Bobber

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Re: Lady Madonna - Paul's vocal
« Reply #11 on: June 08, 2012, 08:17:32 AM »

And while he is sometimes challenged by a few high notes, he refuses to consider lowering the key of any song, not even by a half-step. Way to go, Macca!

I believe that the higher parts are sung by Abe Laboriel in the background.
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TomMo

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Re: Lady Madonna - Paul's vocal
« Reply #12 on: June 08, 2012, 01:57:08 PM »

It was Bad Penny Blues.

Bad Penny Blues


Good find, Bobber. Thanks for sharing.
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TomMo

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Re: Lady Madonna - Paul's vocal
« Reply #13 on: June 08, 2012, 02:41:16 PM »

That was great, thanks for sharing. And good luck with Ringo! ;)

Thanks, 5th. Ringo IS coming to my town next month, but having seen him at this venue before, I know security is very tight. If I get there early enough when the bus pulls in, maybe I'll have some luck. But I showed up at 1 p.m. last time, and the bus was already there. Ringo may have already gone inside or still have been on the bus or maybe was at a nearby hotel.

To be honest, as I've mentioned in another post, I managed to get into another venue during his sound check. I suppose I could have made my way backstage afterwards, but after what happened to John and George, I thought twice about my approaching him, not because of what his security might have done to me, but out of respect for him. The last thing he needed was a complete stranger to walk up to him. I'm sure that thought is always in the back of his mind.
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Toejam

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Re: Lady Madonna - Paul's vocal
« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2012, 08:41:57 PM »

John Lennon frequently changed his voice over the years, going more nasally on Imagine compared to tracks like Any Time At All, It Wont Be Long and Eight days A Week where he just belts its out au natural, his voice on #9 Dream is more whispered and his soft voice on Julia and Cry Baby Cry is different again

I think A day in the life is his most innovative zinging style. I always spell it that way 'cause that's what it sounds like Johns saying when he says it at the end of the YS segment the Beatles appeared in at the end of the film.
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Pete

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Re: Lady Madonna - Paul's vocal
« Reply #15 on: July 13, 2012, 11:34:58 AM »

I'm a huge Paul fan and have always been impressed by his vocal agility. His singing on Sgt Pepper is another good example of the 'Lady Madonna' voice – in fact I think he takes it to another level there.

Quote
What other singers have Paul's ability to sing with many voices and do them all convincingly?

To reply to the original question though, I would say that Harry Nilsson had an even more impressive vocal ability and a bigger range to boot. Compare 'Jump into the fire', 'Without you' and 'Coconut'* for example. *Not a favourite of mine! He's also the only serious recording artist I can think of that had 'vocal solos' in his songs.
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blmeanie

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Re: Lady Madonna - Paul's vocal
« Reply #16 on: July 13, 2012, 11:49:46 AM »

I think his Lady Madonna voice kind of sucks. I hate the song anyways, but whatever.

Tkitna - I've seen you mention your dislike for Lady Madonna a few times.  Have you done one of your great (serious) reviews of it?  If so, would somebody point me to it?

I like the song, like the energy, had my liking it reinforced by the version at Cirque in Vegas which added a visual element too for my memory.  I'd like to see your thoughts either in a like to a previous review or now if you don't mind.
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Ovi

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Re: Lady Madonna - Paul's vocal
« Reply #17 on: July 13, 2012, 12:01:47 PM »

Tkitna - I've seen you mention your dislike for Lady Madonna a few times.  Have you done one of your great (serious) reviews of it?  If so, would somebody point me to it?


It was discussed during the "Past Masters Vol.2-under a microscope" thread if that's what you're looking for.

http://www.dmbeatles.com/forums/index.php?topic=11868.0
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blmeanie

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Re: Lady Madonna - Paul's vocal
« Reply #18 on: July 13, 2012, 12:29:47 PM »

yes, thanks for finding it.
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Kangaroo Kev

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Re: Lady Madonna - Paul's vocal
« Reply #19 on: July 13, 2012, 01:12:26 PM »

Tkitna - I've seen you mention your dislike for Lady Madonna a few times.


Todds not keen on LM as Paul sounds a bit too much like John Lennon



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