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

Posted in Greatest Rock Vocalists, The Beatles, Youtube Favs on October 6th, 2011 by Willie

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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Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Twist and Shout

Posted in Fun and Crazy, The Beatles, Youtube Favs on August 26th, 2011 by Willie

The greatest cover song the Beatles ever did was of The Isley Brothers 1962 hit, “Twist and Shout.”  Written by Bert Russell and Phil Medley, the original song was a tepid little dance song, but when John Lennon and the Beatles got their hands on it, they redefined rock and roll, and gave the genre one of its most iconic performances.  John Lennon’s throat shredding vocal is one of the greatest expressions of pure joy in the entire universe, and it’ll never ever get old.  When John Hughes had Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick) sing the song on a float in downtown Chicago, he only added to the universal authority of the song’s power.  It’s the best scene in a movie that helped put a big cultural stamp a whole generation of 80s and 90s kids.  I wonder what sort of impact, if any, this film has on current and future youthful generations. I have a feeling people will always like it, after all, who doesn’t like Ferraris, ditching school, hanging out with the coolest kid ever, and singing “Twist and Shout” in front of 10,000 people?  Also, Charlie Sheen sums up his entire life through a fictional character at the end.  Amazing.  (Insert daily CBS plug…) Remember  to vote me as CBS’s best local NYC blogger by clicking these words!  Thanks!

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