I’m stunned by this thread. In it, the following examples for bad rock singers are mentioned : Van Morrison, Mick Jagger, Roger Daltrey, Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, Janis Joplin and Neil Young (not all by the same poster, but still).
For me, these are all essential vocalists in the history of rock’n roll. The most criticism is about their technique, range and so on. Now, I don’t think that technique is very important in rock singing. The aforementioned singers sure have all their genuine techniques, but not a technique in a classical sense, but still can impress with their voice . And there are several interesting singers with a limited range. Take Lou Reed: he has no range at all, but still can nail a song with his voice (at least, IMO).
For me, in rock’n roll singing it is necessary to be able to express emotions. If I get the feelings of a song through a voice, I don’t give a shit about the singer’s technique. See the Whitneys and Mariahs: great voices, but singing like robots.
I don’t deny that a beautiful voice can interpret rock or soul songs (see Dusty Springfield, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Joni Mitchell etc.), but I also love my Joey Ramone , Otis Redding and Patti Smith.
So, what do you think makes a good rock (I’ll include classic soul) singer?
Just for the record: I have no idea of musical theory or vocal techniques and such, I’m just a fan of rock music.