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Old 01-10-2020, 09:34 AM
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Great Lead Singers Who Were Overshadowed?


Every example I can think of seems like its the lead singer who overshadows the others, so I'll ask the question here, because I know some of you will know of some examples. Even the great flamboyant guitarists I think of always had a singer with some kind of charisma, energy, or flamboyance.
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Old 01-10-2020, 09:52 AM
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Keith Relf of the Yardbirds. I’m always surprised by how few people recognize the name, especially since he lays claim to the most rock n roll death ever - electrocuted by an electric guitar.
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Old 01-10-2020, 09:56 AM
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Keith Relf of the Yardbirds. Iím always surprised by how few people recognize the name, especially since he lays claim to the most rock n roll death ever - electrocuted by an electric guitar.
That was sad, especially with his sister (Jane Relf, great singer) coming in to form Illusion, which I preferred over Renaissance.

I guess Greg Rollie could be one, but it must help if the band's name (Santana) is named after the guitarist, but even more, I think someone who is confined to the keyboards who can't move won't get all the adulation.
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Old 01-10-2020, 09:59 AM
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it must help if the band's name (Santana) is named after the guitarist
Not really sure he qualifies, but I was tempted to mention Peter Wolf of the J. Geils Band for this reason.
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Old 01-10-2020, 10:24 AM
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I guess Greg Rollie could be one, but it must help if the band's name (Santana) is named after the guitarist, but even more, I think someone who is confined to the keyboards who can't move won't get all the adulation.
And, then, Rolie moved to a new band, along with Santana guitarist Neil Schon: Journey. After their first few albums, they brought in Steve Perry to act as co-lead singer with Rolie, but Perry quickly became identified as *the* lead singer, and Rolie eventually left the band.
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Old 01-10-2020, 11:30 AM
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And, then, Rolie moved to a new band, along with Santana guitarist Neil Schon: Journey. After their first few albums, they brought in Steve Perry to act as co-lead singer with Rolie, but Perry quickly became identified as *the* lead singer, and Rolie eventually left the band.
I really liked those first couple of albums, the fusion stuff.
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Old 01-10-2020, 11:40 AM
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Not really sure he qualifies, but I was tempted to mention Peter Wolf of the J. Geils Band for this reason.
I was thinking of James Dewar (Robin Trower).
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Old 01-10-2020, 11:43 AM
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Not unknown (his name is part of the band's name) but definitely overshadowed: Greg Lake in ELP. A really underrated lead singer who was overshadowed by his bandmates' widely acknowledged (and worshiped) virtuosity.
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Old 01-10-2020, 11:43 AM
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How about Brian Johnson of AC/DC. He suffers in comparison to Bon Scott, so some might not feel he qualifies as a "great" singer. But he was the voice of some of their biggest hits, yet will always be overshadowed by Angus Young.
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Old 01-10-2020, 12:07 PM
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Mike Smith was the lead singer in The Dave Clark Five.
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Old 01-10-2020, 12:21 PM
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Paul Jones and Mike d'Abo were both overshadowed by the keyboard player in Manfred Mann (known in the States?).

I guess another obvious example of a singer being overshadowed would be Chic. The band was Nile Rodgers and Bernard Edwards. I couldn't tell you who the lead singer was - any offers? (No peeking). I guess that may take them out of the "Great" category - but they did their job: the band was pretty damn big.

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Old 01-10-2020, 12:55 PM
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Ray Collins was the lead singer for the Mothers first few albums, but no one remembers him.
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Old 01-10-2020, 12:56 PM
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Paul Stanley is arguably overshadowed by Gene Simmons in KISS.
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Old 01-10-2020, 02:48 PM
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I always thought Pete Townshend overshadowed Roger Daltry in The Who. Pete leaped about, armwhirled his chords, smashed guitars, and ang half the songs. Roger had...a tambourine. There's a reason that air-tambourining and tambourine-face never became rock tropes.
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Old 01-10-2020, 02:49 PM
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Old 01-10-2020, 02:50 PM
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I don't know about "great lead singer" but Derek St. Holmes was the lead singer of Ted Nugent's band for the vast majority of their songs, but Ted Nugent tended to be the lead singer on a lot of their singles and hits. Surely that was always completely a coincidence...
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Old 01-10-2020, 02:59 PM
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Ray Collins was the lead singer for the Mothers first few albums, but no one remembers him.
He was great in Perry Mason.
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Old 01-10-2020, 03:08 PM
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Eddie Van Halen with Sammy Hagar?

Thats probably wrong.
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Old 01-10-2020, 03:11 PM
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I'd say that was accurate, Wesley.
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Old 01-10-2020, 03:42 PM
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Marty Balin. That'll teach him to recruit a girl singer for his band.
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Old 01-10-2020, 04:17 PM
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I was thinking of James Dewar (Robin Trower).
And so was I, but you beat me to it. For the best Robin Trower albums he IS the voice of Robin Trower.

In my pre-internet days I loved Bridge of Sighs. I took awhile before I actually realized that Robin doesn't sing.
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Old 01-10-2020, 04:19 PM
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OK, got it. Gram Parsons - or, in band terms, the Grievous Angels. The lead singer, Gram, who I think was a great singer, was completely overshadowed by his backup singer, Emmylou Harris.

And, BTW, another claim to the most rock'n'roll death of all time, albeit largely because of the events following his actual death.

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Old 01-10-2020, 05:34 PM
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OK, got it. Gram Parsons - or, in band terms, the Grievous Angels. The lead singer, Gram, who I think was a great singer, was completely overshadowed by his backup singer, Emmylou Harris.
This is just so wrong.
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Old 01-10-2020, 09:12 PM
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Eddie Van Halen with Sammy Hagar?

Thats probably wrong.
Not to mention Eddie Van Halen with Gary Cherone for the three year Cherone was the "lead singer" for Van Halen.
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Old 01-11-2020, 09:51 AM
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Not to mention Eddie Van Halen with Gary Cherone for the three year Cherone was the "lead singer" for Van Halen.
Great example.
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Old 01-11-2020, 11:16 AM
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Not to mention Eddie Van Halen with Gary Cherone for the three year Cherone was the "lead singer" for Van Halen.
If we're going with established bands who temporarily replaced the singer, then I'd select Motley Crue when they picked John Corabi to replace Vince Neil for a few years.

But I'd consider those to be temporary singers rather than the bands real singer. Vince Neil was always the front face of Motley Crue.
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Last edited by Wesley Clark; 01-11-2020 at 11:16 AM.
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Old 01-11-2020, 11:36 AM
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Nobody puts on a Steely Dan album just to hear Donald Fagan's voice.
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Old 01-11-2020, 11:46 AM
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Gerry Rafferty comes to mind. Does anyone remember his vocal in Baker Street? Probably not nearly as many people as those who instantly recognize that saxophone solo.
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Old 01-11-2020, 12:02 PM
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Perhaps not completely overshadowed, but Johnny Marr and Noel Gallagher are often more credited for the success of their bands over their lead singing counterparts, Morrissey and Liam G.
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Old 01-11-2020, 12:15 PM
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I always thought Pete Townshend overshadowed Roger Daltry in The Who. Pete leaped about, armwhirled his chords, smashed guitars, and ang half the songs. Roger had...a tambourine.
So did Mike Love.

Based on videos I've seen of the Beach Boys performing, Mike Love doesn't quite know what to do with himself during songs that he doesn't sing, and he ends up just standing around awkwardly.

I'm not sure whether I'd call him The Lead Singer, but he is the frontman, bantering with the audience and introducing the songs during live performances.
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Old 01-11-2020, 12:41 PM
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So did Mike Love.

Based on videos I've seen of the Beach Boys performing, Mike Love doesn't quite know what to do with himself during songs that he doesn't sing, and he ends up just standing around awkwardly. .
But not looking nearly as much like dead wood as Davy Jones or Marc Volman.
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Old 01-11-2020, 12:47 PM
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I always thought Pete Townshend overshadowed Roger Daltry in The Who. Pete leaped about, armwhirled his chords, smashed guitars, and ang half the songs. Roger had...a tambourine. There's a reason that air-tambourining and tambourine-face never became rock tropes.
Yeah, he's the first name to come to mind when I think of the Who. But I may be sort of weird, as my next two names would be Moon and Entwistle before I got to Daltry. I don't know why, but he's always the one I most have trouble remembering. I mean, he was a great singer and certainly I should know his name immediately, but my brain has it on the bottom of the stack.
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Old 01-11-2020, 12:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GargoyleWB View Post
I always thought Pete Townshend overshadowed Roger Daltry in The Who. Pete leaped about, armwhirled his chords, smashed guitars, and ang half the songs. Roger had...a tambourine. There's a reason that air-tambourining and tambourine-face never became rock tropes.
However, Daltry was known for spinning his microphone around like a lariat.
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Old 01-11-2020, 01:31 PM
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However, Daltry was known for spinning his microphone around like a lariat.
I was expecting the cable to quit working in the middle of a song or the mic to fly off the connector and bean someone in the audience.
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Old 01-11-2020, 01:46 PM
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The Doobie Brother's first lead singer, co-founder Tom Johnston fell ill in the mid-70s, causing the band to find a replacement singer until Tom got better.

Tom got better, but never regained his position as lead singer as his replacement, Michael McDonald (then with Steely Dan) made the band far more popular, with Tom leaving the Doobies in 1976, 77.

Last edited by JohnT; 01-11-2020 at 01:50 PM.
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Old 01-11-2020, 01:57 PM
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I always thought Pete Townshend overshadowed Roger Daltry in The Who.
"As soon as Keith joined the band we became four people vying for the audience's attention. And I have to say that in the end Keith and I won over Roger and John. John just never bothered to join the fight, and Roger ... Roger just lost, really "-- Pete Townshend
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Old 01-16-2020, 04:45 PM
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Nobody puts on a Steely Dan album just to hear Donald Fagan's voice.
Wrong. I might be in the minority, but Steely Dan just wouldn't be worth listening to without Fagen.
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Old 01-16-2020, 06:14 PM
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Nobody puts on a Steely Dan album just to hear Donald Fagan's voice.
Wrong. I might be in the minority, but Steely Dan just wouldn't be worth listening to without Fagen.
I agree.. His vocals have attitude along with those great lyrics.
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Old 01-16-2020, 11:00 PM
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Grace Slick live with Jefferson Airplane. I thought I'd be able to her her wail on White Rabbit and Somebody to Love, but the jamming, especially between Jorma and Jack is overwhelming. Great guitarists, but not what I listen to Jefferson Airplane for. She manages to hold her on on Volunteers and Wooden Ships though.

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Old 01-16-2020, 11:10 PM
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But not looking nearly as much like dead wood as Davy Jones or Marc Volman.
? I saw The Turtles in 1967, and Flo & Eddie in 1974, and Mark was anything but dead wood. (Of course I don't know about the million and six other times he performed live with The Turtles and/or Howard Kaylan.) I agree that he looks lost on 60's miming TV appearances.
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Old 01-17-2020, 08:08 AM
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Only modern day example I can think of would be Slash (from GnR) and his current solo band, and the lead singer is Myles Kennedy, a fantastic singer who is best known as the lead singer of Alter Bridge.

But it's always Slash's name that is used for promotion.
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