(From the WTIT Blog Archives) The WTIT Tape Radio Blog brings you today our
feature A DJ’s Take on "Best of" lists. Last week we premiered this feature with the
Top 15 Female Rock Singers of all time. Today we will bring you the boys. Today, we
will share with you our picks for the Top 15 Male Rock Vocalists of the rock era. We
will do R&B singers in the future. We will give you the artist and our favorite song of
theirs. Let’s cue up today's A DJ's Take!
15. John Kaye. The lead singer in Steppenwolf has a great set of pipes. In his era,
there were not a lot of better male crooners. An interesting thing about this great rock
band of the late 60's and early 70's was how badly they performed live. Though I
never saw the band, anyone I knew who did regretted spending the cash. I do own
their double live album and it sucks. Kaye's voice was never the problem.
Our Favorite: "Monster"
14. David Clayton Thomas. Known as the driving force of all those Blood, Sweat and
Tears albums, David could sing. He was not in the original band, however. BS &; T's
first hit, "Sometimes in Winter" featured Al Cooper as their lead singer. But the band
did not explode until David took over and belted out "You Made Me So Very Happy".
Our Favorite: "And When I Die"
13. Meat Loaf. You either love him or hate him, but this dude can still sing. Jim
Steinman was Meat's partner. He wrote and arranged his two biggest albums, Bat Out
of Hell and Bat Out of Hell II: Back in Hell. While Jim started on this year's Bat Out of
Hell III: The Monster is Loose, his illness prevented Jim finishing the writing for this
album. Most of it was written by other writers and certainly was not as well received as
the first two.
Our Favorite: "Paradise by the Dashboard Light"
12. Darius Rucker. The lead singer from Hootie and the Blowfish has a smooth rich
bass tone that is hard to beat. The first Hootie album made our "Best 50 Albums of All
Time" list. The second one sucked. The current album Looking for Lucky is a very
Our Favorite: "Let Her Cry"
11. David Lee Roth. I am sure we would not have selected Mr. Roth if we based this
on his solo work. But with all due respect to Sammy Haggar (whom didn't make this
list, but was in our top 20), it is David's work with Van Halen that is the band's best. He
got a rather raw deal when he thought he was set to take over after Sammy Haggar
quit. He recorded a couple of new songs on their greatest hits album, only to be
dumped again ten years ago. In January of this year it was announced the David Lee
Roth would rejoin the band for this year's tour. As it should be.
Our Favorite: "Jump"
10. Elvis. This was a tough one for me. While I enjoy the King, I am not a huge fan.
However, to not place him as one of rock's all time male vocalists would be ignorant
on my part. He is a large part of why rock music took off in the first place. Why did he
do all those horrible films? Oh, right. It was for the money.
Our Favorite: "Don't Be Cruel"
9. Freddie Mercury. This is a change. If you read our comments, readers thought
Mercury deserved to make WTIT's Top 15 Male Rockers. He sang with a lot of bands
on the way up. But it was not until Queen that Mercury ruled. With Bohemian
Rhapsody and We Will Rock You and Killer Queen, A huge force who died too young
from a sickness that you could live with today. So readers, you are right. We ditched
the first #9. It's Freddie.
Our Favorite: "We Are the Champions."
8. Robert Plant. The range and depth of Plant's voice, along with Jimmy Page's slick
guitar work is why Led Zeppelin is one of the best rock bands ever. His solo career
has just emphasized further the incredible range of emotions and vocal styles that
makes Robert a premiere act.
Our Favorite: "Good Times, Bad Times"
7. Burton Cummings. Though never considered a "heavyweight" band by rock critics,
the Guess Who could rock with the best of them. Here is an example of a band that
had so many hit singles that they were considered "too commercial" by so many.
Randy Bachman (who would later start BTO) and Burton Cummings were magical
together. Cummings voice is unsurpassed by anyone on this list.
Our favorite: Tie. "Share the Land" and "No Time".
6. Jon Bon Jovi. There are not too many bands that could make it during the 80's "big
hair" or "glam rock" era and sucessfully remain relevant once alternative rock took off
in the 90's. Bon Jovi did as well as anyone except perhaps U2. Jon's solo album was a
dud about ten years ago, "Destination Anywhere" but I thought it was some of his best
Our Favorite: "Wanted Dead or Alive"
5. Joe Cocker. "We're going to do a song that brings it all into focus," Cocker said at
Woodstock, "It's called 'With a Little Help from Me Friends'. Remember it." We do. As
we remember all the fantastic music Joe has brought us over the years. Whether slow
as in "You Are So Beautiful" or rocking in "Cry Me a River", you can't beat Joe Cocker.
Remember when Belushi parodied him on "Saturday Night Live"? The time they did a
duet was classic television.
Our Favorite: "St. James Infirmary Blues"
4. Steven Tyler. The front man for Aerosmith rocks out. It is amazing that he is still
alive. The band had self destructed when they were given a second chance by re-
recording "Walk This Way" with a rap group. Here's a band that's had hits in the 70's,
80's and 90's. They still crank it out today.
Our Favorite: Tie: "Dude Looks Like a Lady" & "Jaded"
3. Rod Stewart. The best live act I ever saw except for perhaps McCartney. And
Jaggar wasn't bad either. It's 7 wives and 15 children later, but Rod still can sing.
Although I never understood the success of his "American Songbook" albums, as a
rock singer he is as agood as it gets. He started with The Jeff Beck Group in the 60's,
replaced Steve Marriott (Humble Pie) in Small Faces and renamed the Faces. His solo
career has been strong since the release of Maggie Mae in the early 70's.
Our Favorite: "Stay With Me".
2. Mick Jagger. I am finally ready for the Rolling Stones to call it a day. That routine
those old fuckers did at the Superbowl a couple of years ago was embarassing. But
every since "Satisfaction" the Stones had there way with us. At their best they are the
second best rock band there ever was, or perhaps will be. I saw the boys live back in
the 80's and man, what a show. I can't even guess how many of their albums I own.
Our Favorite: "Sympathy for the Devil"
1. Jim Morrison. This was an odd choice for me. While I loved The Doors they were in
my second tier of favs back in the day. Jim Morrison was just captivating. As a poet, a
writer and most importantly in this post, a singer he gave it all he had. What was it that
Billy Joel sang? Only the Good Die Young. RIP Jim. Your music is still with us all
these years later.
Our Favorite: "Touch Me"