Greatest Rock Vocalists #2, The Beatles, Twist and Shout

There is no tonal quality more life affirming, more charging, and more powerful than the one found in John Lennon’s voice during his rendition of the Isley Brothers tune, “Twist and Shout.”  It’s the vocal performance that electrified the ears of the world; a singularity of rock and roll perfection, and simply among the greatest expressions of human joy ever performed.  There are just so many layers to the sound of John’s voice in this take; joy, beauty, pain, dominance, and thunder.  The superlatives I have for this performance are endless, and if this was the only song of the Beatles we ever had, it might have been enough.  Not only does the song present John’s best lead singing ever, it also showcases what the Beatles did best, group singing.  Paul and George’s backing vocals are authoritative and fun, and when all 3 boys come together for the “ahhhhh” bridge, it’s as if the Beatles were trying to crack the Hoover Dam with their exuberant power.  So now you’re asking what voice could possibly top the the greatest group of the recorded sound era?  Well, stay tuned tomorrow for the thrilling conclusion to the definitive list of rock’s greatest vocalists.

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