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PostPosted: Fri August 18th, 2017, 15:44 GMT 

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https://www.theguardian.com/news/2017/aug/10/adele-vocal-cord-surgery-why-stars-keep-losing-their-voices?CMP=fb_gu

Bob isn't mentioned, but I couldn't read this without thinking about him. A fascinating look at how improper singing technique destroys the vocal cords of everyone from Adele to opera singers. It goes on to talk about the prevalence of vocal surgery among singers. Maybe Bob did get surgery prior to his standards albums. It would help explain his apparent vocal rejuvenation


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PostPosted: Fri August 18th, 2017, 16:03 GMT 
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I think Bob's in a league of his own when it comes to vocal deterioration. But I think for the most part, he's made it work pretty well.

It's possible he got some surgery done before Shadows, but it could just be technique. I mean compare Soon After Midnight to the rest of Tempest. Or Little Drummer Boy to the rest of Christmas in the Heart. I think he's always had the ability to smooth out his modern voice if he wants to.

Tell Old Bill is another example. Compare the TTS version to Can't Escape From You. It's a night and day difference and they were recorded a only about a year apart.


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PostPosted: Fri August 18th, 2017, 16:20 GMT 

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What's fascinating about that article is just how prevalent vocal damage appears to be among singers. I think that what makes Bob different isn't the degree of deterioration, but his ability to just keep singing through it. No one would pay to hear Julie Andrews sing, although she probably would sound similar to Bob these days.

It's also fascinating that, although we attribute Bob's vocal deterioration to coke, cigarettes, and booze, it seems much more likely that the culprit is decades of poor singing style. The article even points put how damaging "shout" singing is which is all Bob did from 1975-1978 and 1988-1991


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PostPosted: Fri August 18th, 2017, 16:55 GMT 
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toilandblood546 wrote:
What's fascinating about that article is just how prevalent vocal damage appears to be among singers. I think that what makes Bob different isn't the degree of deterioration, but his ability to just keep singing through it. No one would pay to hear Julie Andrews sing, although she probably would sound similar to Bob these days.

It's also fascinating that, although we attribute Bob's vocal deterioration to coke, cigarettes, and booze, it seems much more likely that the culprit is decades of poor singing style. The article even points put how damaging "shout" singing is which is all Bob did from 1975-1978 and 1988-1991


He needed to shout a little louder when I saw him in Dublin in 1991-I could hardly hear him at all!


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PostPosted: Fri August 18th, 2017, 18:48 GMT 
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Bob's ever changing and ever degrading voice is one of the most fascinating things about him, yet it seems like a taboo subject. Has Bob ever spoken about it at length? Has anyone ever asked him?


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PostPosted: Fri August 18th, 2017, 19:34 GMT 
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Bob was asked by Rolling Stone recently about his voice.
The interviewer asked him why, if he could sing so well as he's done with
the latest three studio albums, why hasn't he done that all the time.
He answered by saying that certain songs had to be sung in a manner
that befits the material, maintaining that the crooning style had to be
adopted to fit the songs.

When you hear albums like Love & Theft, you'll notice Bob sang 'Po' Boy'
in almost the same mannered carefully delivered style that he's using for
the songs Sinatra made famous.

Look at 'Nashville Skyline', that was nothing to do with smoking,
Bob just chose to adjust his delivery to suit the songs.
I think he has much more control over his voice than many people think.
Obviously his voice is deeper, age does that, but i'm referring to how
smooth he chooses to have the singing sound, with 'Cry A While',
'Beyond Here Lies Nothing', 'Pay In Blood', those tracks sound good
with a gravely vocal and wouldn't work if he crooned them.

Even before his voice deepened he was always using different vocal
techniques, compare his singing on New Morning to Street Legal and
you'll hear a completely different style and sound, and very few singers
have that ability, i can't think off hand of any other writers and singers
of his stature that have changed so radically how they sing on different
albums, just another part of why he's a unique artist.


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PostPosted: Fri August 18th, 2017, 20:43 GMT 
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There are songs during the period where his voice changed where it is smooth. I also believe he can smooth it out if he wants to. Maybe it takes some warming up to get it there


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PostPosted: Sat August 19th, 2017, 13:42 GMT 

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The Howlin' Wolf mimickry was as artificial as any Dylan vocal effect. It's one of the things I dislike about Love & Theft.


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PostPosted: Sat August 19th, 2017, 14:18 GMT 
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LibraChild1980 wrote:
...
Even before his voice deepened he was always using different vocal
techniques, compare his singing on New Morning to Street Legal and
you'll hear a completely different style and sound, and very few singers
have that ability, i can't think off hand of any other writers and singers
of his stature that have changed so radically how they sing on different
albums, just another part of why he's a unique artist.


Dylan's changing voices is what made me a fan. I have much of the same ability with my voice, which always made singing Dylan songs fun. I can belt out pretty close '66, '69 and post Street Legal voices at will. It's just a matter of how I position my larynx. I always wondered if Bob could do that.

His throat is shot now, but I really, really wonder - if you were to sit Bob down in, say, 1985, would he have been able to belt out the LARS voice, the Nashville Skyline voice, Desire voice? One of my favorite things with Dylan is to find voices out of time. Songs where his voice sounds like it did before or after the time of the recording. The full Basement Tapes collection is great for that.


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PostPosted: Sat August 19th, 2017, 14:22 GMT 
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monklover wrote:
The Howlin' Wolf mimickry was as artificial as any Dylan vocal effect. It's one of the things I dislike about Love & Theft.


I don't hear him sounding very like Howlin' Wolf on L&T.


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PostPosted: Sun August 20th, 2017, 13:14 GMT 
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LibraChild1980 wrote:
i can't think off hand of any other writers and singers
of his stature that have changed so radically how they sing on different
albums, just another part of why he's a unique artist.

Mick Jagger's disco falsetto on Some Girls and Emotional Rescue?
:mrgreen:


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PostPosted: Sun August 20th, 2017, 13:16 GMT 

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Mickvet wrote:
monklover wrote:
The Howlin' Wolf mimickry was as artificial as any Dylan vocal effect. It's one of the things I dislike about Love & Theft.


I don't hear him sounding very like Howlin' Wolf on L&T.


It's not easily done. Another reason to not attempt it. The result is grating without any of Wolf's charm.


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PostPosted: Sun August 20th, 2017, 14:24 GMT 
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monklover wrote:
Mickvet wrote:

I don't hear him sounding very like Howlin' Wolf on L&T.


It's not easily done. Another reason to not attempt it. The result is grating without any of Wolf's charm.


Firstly, how do you know that Dylan was mimicking Howling Wolf?

Secondly, I, for one, like Dylan's voice on L&T.


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PostPosted: Sun August 20th, 2017, 14:54 GMT 
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LibraChild1980 wrote:
....i can't think off hand of any other writers and singers
of his stature that have changed so radically how they sing on different
albums


The only other artist I can think of is Elton John. His voice and singing style was different on each album up until the early 80's when it leveled off from album to album. In 87 he had throat polyps removed and the old voice was gone. After that his range got lower and the falsetto was gone for good. Compare him singing Tiny Dancer or Levon after around 1977 with the original 1971 versions. The singing technique, the drugs and the years took a big toll on Elton. But he gets up there and belts out those songs, with some help from backup singers. It sounds awful.


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PostPosted: Sun August 20th, 2017, 15:17 GMT 

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I too thought of Bob when I read that article.

And I agree that, while smoking is atrocious for the voice (and he is a heavy smoker), not to mention drug abuse, etc., the principal culprit is almost surely an incredibly damaging singing style. Bob has always had a highly mannered style of singing, right from his days as a Woodie Guthrie imitator. This means he's put his voice through the ringer non-stop since the late 1950s. By contrast, if you take a highly 'natural' singer like Nick Lowe - who really just sings in a plain, direct fashion, with no obvious mannerisms - his voice has stood up admirably over the years.

I'm not suggesting this is an iron correlation. Someone like Mick Jagger has an incredibly punishing vocal style and yet seems to sound ever better at age 60 than he did at 25. But by and large, the biggest degeneration will surely be among those who are continually forcing their vocal chords to do things they don't want to do - whether it be the bloated histrionics-venders like Adele, or the vocal stylists like Dylan.


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PostPosted: Sun August 20th, 2017, 16:43 GMT 
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Another voice that amazingly stood over time is David Bowie's. Listening to his voice on The Next Day is stunning.


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PostPosted: Mon August 21st, 2017, 00:44 GMT 

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JeffreyLeePierre wrote:
Another voice that amazingly stood over time is David Bowie's. Listening to his voice on The Next Day is stunning.


What I like about the vocals on that album is that he definitely sounds old, yet still sounds powerful and in full command. A nice combination.


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PostPosted: Mon August 21st, 2017, 03:41 GMT 

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Mickvet wrote:
monklover wrote:

It's not easily done. Another reason to not attempt it. The result is grating without any of Wolf's charm.


Firstly, how do you know that Dylan was mimicking Howling Wolf?

Secondly, I, for one, like Dylan's voice on L&T.


Well, he's attempting the famous gargling sound. I associate that with Wolf although there may be some other model. And you like it! For me, it's more "why am I listening to this gargling?" Wolf is far more convincing and his sad ole lonesome day is far finer than Dylan's.


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PostPosted: Mon August 21st, 2017, 17:46 GMT 
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monklover wrote:
monklover wrote:

It's not easily done. Another reason to not attempt it. The result is grating without any of Wolf's charm.



Well, he's attempting the famous gargling sound. I associate that with Wolf although there may be some other model. And you like it! For me, it's more "why am I listening to this gargling?" Wolf is far more convincing and his sad ole lonesome day is far finer than Dylan's.


I'd say he's gargling, not in imitation of a Howlin' Wolf 'model' or some other, but because his throat was full of phlegm at the time.

Personally, I can just enjoy both artists without considering them in competition with one another. There may be a few similarities, but both are generally completely different to one another. They are both quite unique.


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PostPosted: Mon August 21st, 2017, 18:33 GMT 
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This post reminded me of the Musicares speech, where Bob was at the Mayweather / Cotto fight. Marsha Ambrosias sang the National Anthem, and Bob said she sang every note, and then some that don't exist.

Bob was defending his singing in his speech, saying that critics from day one have said he sings like a frog, mangles melodies, but don't go after people like Tom Waits.

Here's the video:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OrGvy_EKA14

The comments are interesting.. Post Musicares speech & Pre.


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PostPosted: Tue September 12th, 2017, 20:29 GMT 
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I really liked the 'over croak' voice Dylan used for
'Things We Said Today'.
If you've not heard his cover of that here's a short
clip from the song;

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sLSDAZLvtwA

But i think his voice being damaged is interesting but
its happened in such a strange way. Firstly he got a kind
of deeper husk to his voice on 'Oh Mercy' and the first
Wilburys album, but by 1992/3 his voice had become high
in pitch, and he seemed to have trouble finding his range,
then comes 1994 and he delivered some of his most expressive
vocals ever. I think many of his voices are 'mannered' but also
smoking, drinking, long term, those will make a difference too.


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PostPosted: Tue September 12th, 2017, 22:42 GMT 
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LibraChild1980 wrote:
But i think his voice being damaged is interesting but
its happened in such a strange way. Firstly he got a kind
of deeper husk to his voice on 'Oh Mercy' and the first
Wilburys album, but by 1992/3 his voice had become high
in pitch, and he seemed to have trouble finding his range,
then comes 1994 and he delivered some of his most expressive
vocals ever. I think many of his voices are 'mannered' but also
smoking, drinking, long term, those will make a difference too.


His damage started way before that. He blew a gasket sometime before recording Street-Legal. The dropoff from Desire to SL is significant. (His voice would never again sound as good as it did on Desire). And then his voice gets thinner in the 80's, culminating in a dreadful thin helium voice that has no body to it.


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PostPosted: Tue September 12th, 2017, 23:30 GMT 
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yopietro wrote:
LibraChild1980 wrote:
But i think his voice being damaged is interesting but
its happened in such a strange way. Firstly he got a kind
of deeper husk to his voice on 'Oh Mercy' and the first
Wilburys album, but by 1992/3 his voice had become high
in pitch, and he seemed to have trouble finding his range,
then comes 1994 and he delivered some of his most expressive
vocals ever. I think many of his voices are 'mannered' but also
smoking, drinking, long term, those will make a difference too.


His damage started way before that. He blew a gasket sometime before recording Street-Legal. The dropoff from Desire to SL is significant. (His voice would never again sound as good as it did on Desire). And then his voice gets thinner in the 80's, culminating in a dreadful thin helium voice that has no body to it.


I disagree, i actually think on SL he 'found' his voice. He used a more
mannered delivery on SL than Desire. It is the album where what he sounds
like now started in style, but not sound. The husk in his recorded voice wasn't
anywhere near as pronounced on Silvio as it is on Tweeter And The Monkey Man
or Oh Mercy and everything from there onwards. He never regained that clear
tone again after 1988.


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PostPosted: Wed September 13th, 2017, 00:20 GMT 
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LibraChild1980 wrote:
I disagree, i actually think on SL he 'found' his voice. He used a more
mannered delivery on SL than Desire. It is the album where what he sounds
like now started in style, but not sound.


By "finding" his voice, you mean a rougher, more pinched voice, with less vocal control?


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PostPosted: Wed September 13th, 2017, 01:15 GMT 
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I mean he kind of tried to rid himself of the 'Dylan' voice,
his SL singing to my ears, is more controlled, and professional.
I'm not debating the fact that by the 80's his voice did become
more 'pinched' sounding, but if you listen to some of his best
singing from the 1978 world tour it puts what we hear on SL
to shame.


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