Wednesday, November 17, 2010

"I Know I'm Not the Best Singer..."

The Look of Jaded.

"I Know I'm Not the Best Singer..."

So, my friend and I were having a discussion about Barbra Streisand, who incidentally, like Madonna, said on Oprah yesterday that she never intended to be a singer. When I told him this he replied with, "Barbra's voice commanded her to sing while Madonna's did not". He followed with, "even Madonna recognizes that." I couldn't disagree more. Since Madonna's inception, I've always preferred her live singing voice. While everyone was freaking out over the Who's That Girl Tour vocals in 1987 (which they now herald and want her to return to), I was stating how fabulous they were.

So, Listen Up fans, Madonna said that now legendary quote because that Horrid Heifer Harris was sitting on her bed, glaring at her all jaded-like and it was said so when Madonna left the room, that backstabbing crow couldn't let her have it. Oh, Donna girl, did you get a load of what she said? Grrrrl, you know I sing better, she be nails, why she up there and not me? Madonna axed that shyt out before it could ever be said.

Madonna leaves people with no place to go, so they end up jaded, like that awful Niki Harris - who doesn't know if she's talking to a gay or jazz magazine.

Here's Madonna doing what Niki Harris (or Barbra, for that matter) could never.

CATCH IT!!!

video

They arrested Bobby Brown for fucking on stage...They arrested Bobby Brown for fucking on stage...(repeat 8 times)

22 comments:

  1. I don't know if it's just my ears or what, but whenever I listen to performances from the WTG tour, BA, or TGS, I always hear Niki's voice much louder than Donna's. It's like they barely had Donna's microphone turned on that high.

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  2. Wow, quite a post. Is Nikki Harris really so bad? I had no idea. The definitely stayed on friendly terms for a while, although it all ended some time after the Drowned World Tour (Madonna apparently threw Nikki Harris a baby shower and that was the last she ever saw of her). Regardless, I always preferred Donna Delory and thought Nikki looked a bit 'chunky' on the Girlie Show.

    As for Madonna's live vocals, there have been great moments. Can't fault the Virgin Tour, Who's That Girl is a bit wonky (Live To Tell - ouch!), Blond Ambition pretty brilliant, Girlie Show too. Drowned World impressive in parts, Reinvention patchy... the last two haven't been great IMO. There was a funny echo used during Confessions which I don't like, and Sticky & Sweet were touched up for the DVD (because they weren't too good?)

    All that said, there's nothing I like better than listening to Blond Ambition on my headphones. The Japan show is great, and I think that's where this clip came from.

    Should I shut up now?

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  3. I agree that Madonna has had great vocal moments. However she has been incredibly inconsistent, and certainly does not have the vocal control that Barbra Streisand has, regardless of whether or not either one wanted to sing or feels compelled to sing. I honestly believe that Madonna views singing on tour as a chore at best these days. We have discussed her performances a million times before, but listen to EVERY recording of Sticky & Sweet and find me one that vocally is even passable. She is absolutely terrible vocally on almost every song, and when not terrible she is hardly the poster child for vocal strength, drowned out by vocal harmonies requiring Donna DeLory to do her best Madonna mimicry and any black chick but Niki "I'm A Jazz Singer" Haris doing, well, um, Niki Haris (No denying her voice was a BIG part of the WTG, BA, GS and DW sound). I mean, you think that her delivery of Borderline is good on that tour and so I don't think we can have the same hearing at all. I really hope I am wrong about this, but I think that her 52 year-old voice has lost much of its potency. It seems from S & S that her upper register is just shrill and ugly, and her lower register, which she gained control of through vocal training making her a far superior vocalist, was clearly neglected as it is a bellowing, masculine groan. Perhaps she will still be able to deliver some fine studio vocals, but live she is an absolute terror these days and needs to have Stuart Price-style live dj musical-directing the shit out of her every breath as far as I am concerned, or she needs to go back to the drawing board and find her comfort zone through a LOT of training and better musical arrangements that suit her voice and take into consideration her limitations. Even Barbra has to lower those notes these days....

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  4. alexander christ - you have said that the blond ambition is unbearable to listen to. yes? tell me the mirror has 12 noses could do the VOCAL performance i posted. DO IT!!!!

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  5. Ur posts are always interesting and catching, trying different angles and lookin for unusual Madonna stuff, a daily necessary click, a must.
    I agree Madonna's got a really nice voice, otherwise we wouldn't listen to her. People sometimes forget not all people love Mariah Carey voice. And what is more, Madonna is an icon, not just a singer, she is an artist (including performer, a voice full of opinions and messages, a visionary, a producer, a controller of a lifetime career full of hits). She has been her own boss and she has copied and reinterpreted lots of pieces of art in her music, image, video and so on. Keep on finding rare, special materials please.

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  6. @Blue: We are talking about Barbra Streisand, not Mariah Carey. I don't think there is any comparison. If you are talking about classically trained voices vs. the raw singer, Mariah is not a good example. Barbra Streisand never classically trained her voice. If you are talking about class, one is a blimp and the other is a legend. If it isn't clear which one is which, God help you.

    @Whackerjacker: No. Barbra couldn't perform like Madonna does. Madonna is the greatest performer of the XXth century through the present day in my opinion. But She certainly has a stronger and better vocal range than Madonna does. How that translates to song is entirely subjective. Ironically, when Barbra has attempted contemporary styled-songs throughout her career, much of the beauty of her voice is lost in my opinion, namely because of that Brooklyn Yenta persona that she can never entirely conceal in what she deems her street talk. She tends to whine more in contemporary song too. More classically structured songs suit her better. Madonna was great at untrained, raw vocal renditions in the studio, and occasionally live. Then she was taught how to preserve her voice and sing more traditionally. It seems now she has lost the over-enunciation of her Evita vocal training in recent times that everyone refers to as her British accent, and so I hope this translates to her singing too going forth as she cannot let it rip without letting go of that desire to control what comes out of her mouth as much as what comes out of her throat.

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  7. Technicalities are not what is most important when it comes to many things, including a person's singing voice.

    Technically, an opera singer's singing voice is "best", but a singing voice is like a fingerprint. Each one is uniquely different and let's face it, Madonna's voice, that is unique to her and sounds like no one else's, is the voice that happens to have captured the world's attention more than any other female singing voice in history.

    I love her voice and she is the only one in the world who has it. I wouldn't change a precious thing!

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  8. LOL ! Pud,you are great but when you become a blind fan you look stupid,saying that Madonna is vocally better (in that video) than Barbra Streisand make you look like a fool. Madonna is an entertainer and Barbra is a singer,and a better one than Madonna.

    This post was funny,very.

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  9. I love Madonna's voice and her vocals now are excellent live. I have seen her live 7 times and she was spot on most of the time. I would rather listen to her vocals live then most other female singers out there live any day. Her vocals on the re-invention tour were patchy? Really? Really?? Watch, 'mother and father' and tell me thats patchy. I think not. Anyways, I am glad I love her live voice post 1996. Works for me.

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  10. oh and in her prime, barbra was obviously a great singer, same with mariah carey and whitney houston, but the FACT of the matter is that madonna sings better live NOW then all 3 of those ladies. anyone catch babs on oprah yesterday singing? horrible.

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  11. so, basically, pud doesn't like niki? ;)

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  12. @Tony: yes, patchy. Meaning some were good and some were bad. Mother & Father, Lament - good. Frozen, Nothing Fails - bad. I love Madonna live but there are some performances where it's just not nice to listen.

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  13. Bordeline sticky and sweet tour anyone ? Makes me puke.

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  14. I love M's voice, it has a quality that is totally natural and hard to replicate. I sometimes hear her voice do things that other singers would never be able to do, it is more to do with the emotion than the actual sound.

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  15. Maybe we don't know the real recent M's voice. Yes, she is boss, she is in control, but she is an employee and she doesn't do what she wants but what she has to do (what her bosses say, or what market or sales are requiring). We can hear her natural voice on 1980-1982 demos. But now? On unreleased demos maybe, imho.

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  16. People's voices do change over time. I expect she just sings in the way that feels most comfortable.

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  17. i never liked voices that hit high notes. i understand that they are correct technically, but this kind of voices is not my taste.
    in the who's that girl tour madonna's voice is awesome!

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  18. yes, borderline on S&S was horrible, but the other performances were pretty darn good. 'you must love me' alone proved she can sing live well. great? no. better then average? yes.

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  19. Madonna vs. Barbara is a strange comparison. Sort of like comparing apples to oranges. Madonna' definitely the better performer and has good voice, but Babs could slay her vocally (And I'm not even a Streisand fan).

    Madonna's voice, like most singers, has probably gotten a little deeper as she's gotten older. For example, if you compare the Reinvention Tour/Sticky and Sweet performances of "Vogue" to BA (even though it was lip-synched) the key has been changed to make it easier for her to sing. It's also probably another reason that she skips over some song's in her catalogue--Open Your Heart, Dress You Up, Rescue Me--that require her to stretch to her higher range.

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  20. Niki Haris said that? Unless there's video proof I don't believe it. A lot of stuff has been made up about Niki since M and Niki fell out.

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  21. sorry, kevin. compare madonna's recent live performances of 'you must love me' to barbra singing 'the way we were' this week on oprah. she sounded terrible. madonna sings better then babs at this time. fact.

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