Following the shows with Neil Young in the UK and Ireland, there have been multiple articles in the British press calling on Dylan to stop touring, because his voice is shot, he’s become a caricature of himself, etc. I have to admit that I don’t get it. If he has a good time touring and people want to pay to see him, what’s the problem? But then I have to say that I don’t get the point of much that passes for journalism these days.
I agree with this. Both Bob Dylan & Neil Young were never very good vocalists at any point in their respective careers. They epitomize the singer/songwriter genre. They’ve been able to continue their careers well past their prime because their singing voices were never the main attraction to begin with. Their songs were the attraction. Tom Waits is another example of this. These guys are loved & respected for their great songwriting, not their singing.
I disagree with this completely. All three of them have some of the best voices on the planet. They all have incredible expression. Maybe not conventional singers but because of that I feel they are greater singers than someone like Roy Orbison (just an example) who, while incredible, sang almost everything the same. Listen to Dylan on Blood on the Tracks or any Neil like On the Beach. Tom Waits, everything. So much nuance. I’ve heard people say they all can’t sing for ages and I think if that really were the case, they wouldn’t be the legends they are.
Which reminds me of what Woody Guthrie is supposed to have said after he met Dylan: he has a great voice, but I’m not so sure about his writing.
Agree to disagree. They can emote & sing with conviction but that don’t make it sound pretty. I’ll just say their voices work well enough for their style of music. I love all three of these artist by the way. I have every single one of their albums. But, I have to be honest, great vocalists they are not. I suppose the PC way to say it is “their vocal stylings are unique”.
Beavis & Butthead said the same thing about Tom Waits’ while watching the video for “I Don’t Wanna Grow Up”.
I don’t know how anyone can listen to something like this and say Bob could never sing.
Beat me to it
New Dylan box, Nashville style!