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Pete vs. Roger on vocals
- Subject: Pete vs. Roger on vocals
- From: Rich Bogovich <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Date: Wed, 26 Nov 1997 22:07:02 -0600
Okay, I've got a trio of messages to reply to, so here goes:
>From: Cheryl <email@example.com>
>Subject: Pete's Voice
>> 1. On studio recordings, I like Roger's voice much better than I like
>> Pete's. And live, there is no question. Apart from his frequent
>> tendency to screw up or forget the lyrics he penned, Pete's vocals in
>> concert are at best a mixed bag. At his Chicago House Of Blues show
>> there were many, many instances when he hit bum notes vocally.
>All true! But, for me (very subjectively, I admit), although Roger's
>voice is consistently dynamic and expressive, Pete's is the voice that
>knocks me over every time. I read somewhere that he thought his own
>voice was too cynical for many of his songs. I find that Pete's voice
>is so plaintive and yearning that it moves me much more deeply than
>Roger's ever did, even live.
YOU DARE TO QUESTION THE GREAT AND POWERFUL OZ??!! Just warming up for my
role opposite Roger Thanksgiving night...
Pete probably CAN achieve "plaintive and yearning" more effectively than
Roger, but that's NOT what is primarily called for in many, many Who songs
(My Gen, I Can See For Miles, Pinball Wizard, Won't Get Fooled Again, The
Real Me, Who Are You, Cry If You Want, et al). Yes, Pete's demo for "Behind
Blue Eyes" is haunting. Roger's vocal is different, and gives such songs a
power and anger that Pete's voice generally can't. Geez, I hope I'm not
gonna have to quote rock critics to back me up on this...
>At his HoB show in June, Pete had me
>absolutely enthralled; I had to remind myself to breathe. I also find
>most of his demos to be incredible, illuminating later versions recorded
>and performed live by The Who.
I'll agree that they illuminate later versions. And even _I_ can get caught
up and swept away every once in awhile when listening to a SET of Pete's
demos for a particular album (kind of like being in an alternate
universe--you know, like on Sliders! <g>). But I just don't have much of an
interest in frequently listening to Scoop and Another Scoop because of their
randomness--whereas I'd listen to ANY random assortment of WHO tracks anytime!
For your penance, go listen to Rhino's "Martyrs And Madmen" CD twenty times
in a row. ; )
>From: "Frank S. Corotto" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Subject: Re: Pete with or without the Who
>Rich recently discussed the differences between Pete's and Roger's
>voice. It is true that Pete is more likely to miss notes but to me
>it sounds like Pete's voice records better. This is most obvious on
>Quad (original and reissued) where, apparently due to the transition
>from quadrophonic to stereophonic sound, Roger's voice wound up
>somehow out of phase with itself. (I think that is what Dougal's
>book says.) But even on other albums like WAY Roger's voice seems
>distant while Petes comes through clear. I love the reissued WAY but
>I wish I could turn up Roger's voice, or somehow make it thicker and
Frank, you raise an interesting issue--did Roger have ANY involvement with
the recent reissues? I seem to recall that he complained bitterly about how
his voice was presented on the original Quad, and I don't think he felt John
improved things when he remixed those tracks for the soundtrack LP.
>From: THRH79B@prodigy.com ( KELLY D GILES I)
>Subject: Re: Pete, solo and Who
>Ah Richie my dear, I hate to disagree with you, but I think you are
>selling Pete short!
And I, in turn, must disagree with you, luv! What I intended was to
confront a tendency to sell ROGER short. I've grown used to his other
contributions being downplayed, but couldn't remain silent in this
particular instance. And I also don't mean to sell Pete short. But at
least 50% of what The Who is all about, in contrast to many other bands, is
high quality live performances--and in this context, unreliable vocals don't
cut it. That's undoubtedly why John no longer provides backup vocals, as he
once did so regularly.
>When it comes to technical precision, range, and
>vocal power, then Roger is certainly one (or two, or three...) up on
>Pete. But Pete's voice has a certain charming je ne sais quoi (I
>can't believe I am using such a pretentious phrase, but Pete does
>that to me) which Roger's lacks. Pete made me believe that he really
>WAS sad about us, Roger did not.
I can concede this, and add that I can't imagine Roger singing a delightful
ditty like Blue, Red And Grey, but I (and many, many others) generally don't
want songs that are simply sad. I think The Who are fantastic because they
give us songs with sad undertones but which ulitimately declare, "I'm not
gonna weep again," which is the never-give-up attitude that Roger conveys so
well. And why Jimmy lets the bike go over the cliff without him (just to
bring up a very old thread that I know is a fave of yours! <g>).
>As long as Pete can pull that off,
>I will overlook the odd bum note or nasal whine.
Overall I can overlook those, too, but it'd be an even more fulfilling
experience if they weren't there in the first place.
- -Yellow "I know not what" Ledbetter
Thanks, I'll take a stab at completing that: "I know not what course others
may take; but as for me, give me Roger, or give me Megadeth!"