B-52s fans: Can Fred Schneider sing?

I’m not a huge fan of the B-52s, but am familiar with their most popular hits (Love Shack, Rock Lobster, etc.). One thing that’s immediately striking about the music is Fred Schneider’s vocals. In contrast to the band’s two female vocal leads, Schneider’s vocals are much closer to speaking than singing. I suppose the technical term for this is sprechgesang.

I’m curious, does Schneider always perform his vocals this way, or are there some tracks of his (either with or without the B-52s) where he actually sings in a more conventional manner?

I only know the B-52s big songs and he does tend to use more of a speaking voice. In fact, looking at some of his more recent/independent stuff, he’s still sounds exactly like that.

On another note, Kate Pierson sings backup on REM’s Shiny Happy People. If you didn’t already know that, you’ll never not notice it again.

No, Fred Schneider cannot “sing”, at least not that I’ve heard. Whatever you call what he does, it absolutely works but singing it aint.

Its more like a marching chant or cheerleading than singing

And if anyone remembers “Candy” by Iggy Pop (I still hear it on the radio often enough), that’s clearly her doing the female lead vocal there, as well. She has such a distinctive voice.

Someone should start this thread: Lead vocalists who don’t “sing” in the traditional sense but are still good.

In addition to Fred Schneider, I would include Lou Reed in this group.

I have 18 songs by the B-52s. He sounds the same on all songs on the songs where he sings.

Yeah, I’ve noticed her on other songs as well (and then looked it up to make sure). I think she does a lot more back up work than we realize. Shiny Happy People was just the first one I knew about. I’m almost positive it was something I learned on Pop Up Video.

That’s how he always sings.

Or David Byrne of the Talking Heads.

She actually sang backup on four songs on that album. Frankly I much prefer Me in Honey.

Not true.

Yeah, listen to “Take Me To The River” and tell me that ain’t singing.

ETA: Fred, though, yeah Fred don’t sing. Doesn’t have to, he’s got singers to do the heavy lifting.

Whatever you call it, he does it a hell of a lot better than I ever could. I call him a singer.

He always reminded me of Danny Kaye, but not in a good way.

And a Kate Pierson muppet appears in the Sesame Street version of that (“Furry Happy Monsters”).