1980s Metal - Anyone have better range than Randy Jackson?

Was just listening to Zebra’s (the 80s “metal”/hair band) song “tell me what you want” and always marvel at the range of Randy Jackson.

First question - any chance Randy’s vocals were digitally altered to get that high? Never heard Zebra live.

Second question - If indeed he has that range, can you think of any rock/metal vocalist that has that impressive of a vocal range?

I think Chris Cornell might be the best rock/metal vocalist ever, but even he does not reach that upper range (and I have seen him live, many times).

He’s no King Diamond.

This will quickly become a list thread for high metal vocalists.

Rob Halford of Judas Priest and Geoff Tate of Queensryche are always at the top of list. Both had/have amazing range and technique…

Excellent examples! How do they compare to the aforementioned Randy Jackson? I am not a huge Zebra fan, but in that one song in particular it is hope to believe that is a natural range.

I love Zebra! I’ve seen them many times live and yes, he hits those notes live.

They hold a dear place in my heart as they were the first ‘metal’ band I was into as a wee young lass on Long Island…

Seriously? It took 6 posts before anyone mentioned Bruce Dickinson?

Yes, Chris is good. Dio was better.


Michael Kiske from Helloween had a great range, although there weren’t that many songs where he got to use the lower end of it.

You will never get me to say a bad word about Ronnie James! Holy Diver might be the best Metal Album ever. I remember playing that cassette - and Rainbow in the Dark particularly - until the tape actually broke and the writing on the case was not longer legible.


You might enjoy perusing this website / forum, “The Range Place” :

Had the ol’ ipod on shuffle on the way to work and this came up… Randy on vocals.


Sorry, I can’t add a link because I’m at work.

Just watched that Zebra video and I don’t think his range is really all that impressive. he gets pretty scratchy at the higher end of his range and I didn’t really hear him hit any particularly high notes…not in the same realm as early Halford (like the Ripper) or Geoff Tate do/did.

Here’s a nice compilation of high notes from heavy metal singers. Dio’s “Mob Rules” opening note is pretty amazing live!

Man, that’s the top 5 right there…

Geoff Tate
Bruce “Air Raid Siren” Dickinson
King Diamond
Rob Halford
Ronnie James Dio

I’m not going to even bother to try to make any order rankings…They’re all in the top of the class.

All I’ve got to add is Ronnie Munroe from Metal Church. Maybe not as well-known, but I think they’re great.

y’know, I have every Mercyful Fate and King Diamond album I could find. He does good on the albums, but the few times I’ve seen him live (and any of the live albums he’s put out) he isn’t that great. Live, he can hit the high notes but when he has to handle the mids his voice falls apart. and that’s not a slam; I’m guessing if you want to sing like he does, the rigors of touring with a metal band aren’t conducive to putting on a sterling performance every night.

Bruce Dickinson doesn’t have that great a vocal range. He (and Rob Halford) kicked off the “operatic” style of metal vocalists, but if you pressed me I’d have to say Halford had a greater range, but (just like King Diamond) the music they played meant touring took an inevitable toll on their voices.

This opera singer might differ with you.

Note that Halford is her favorite, tho.

That was a great read; thanks.

Great article. Time to listen to Sad Wings Of Destiny I think.