One of the greatest yet most realistic clich?s of the proverbial rock band would be the colourful and extroverted singer. Often the livewire of the band, the frontman screams and shouts, swinging his microphone as the struts on stage as the other members of the band stand motionless in the shadows behind him.
The band, the stage, the arena, the crowd – they all obey the frontman; this is his kingdom, and he calls the shots as he sees fit.
Frontmen also help establish the stage presence and overall aura of a band; and it would be disastrous for a band to have a talented vocalist who lacks the people skills required to lead the band into a rock show night in and night out. It?s their duty to not only carry out a shining vocal performance for the band?s songs, but to also be the middleman between the crowd and the band, bridging the gap between mortal men and rock superstars.
Let?s take a look at some of the greatest livewire singers rock music has ever seen.
1) Robert Plant
Fabulously fashionable with equally fabulous looks and vocal proficiency, Plant was probably rock?s greatest frontman. He made his fame and fortune with British rock legends Led Zeppelin, and played a vital role in helping the band sell their 300 million albums worldwide.
Robert Plant, alongside guitarist Jimmy Page, were the dynamic duo of the band; and with their flare jeans and chest-baring shirts they captured the hearts and minds of millions over the world. Their chemistry on stage, coupled with the raw energy from the rhythm section of John Paul Jones and John Bonham, cemented Led Zeppelin?s place in the annals of rock history.
Plant?s admirable vocal prowess allowed him to add another dimension of mystique and charm to the band?s emotionally-charged tunes, and his trademark stage presence and energy was unparalleled at the time. He can be heard doing what he does best on such Led Zeppelin hits like Stairway To Heaven, Whole Lotta Love and Black Dog.
The tragic death of their drummer John Bonham marked the heartbreaking end of their touring years but Plant will always be remembered as the voice and face of Led Zeppelin.
2) Axl Rose
With Axl Rose, it?s a love or hate affair. He was the original vocalist of Guns ?N Roses and only remaining original member left in the new lineup touring today.
Rose shot to fame (pun intended) during the illustrious years of the band in the early 90s – especially after the release of their landmark album Appetite For Destruction – and helped bring immense commercial success to the band with his soulful and energetic singing in songs like Welcome To The Jungle, Paradise City and Sweet Child O?Mine.
It was not all fine and dandy for Rose, though. His temperamental attitude got him and the rest of the band in hot soup in trouble several times, and was probably the reason why all the other members of the band started quitting Guns ?N Roses one by one.
Rose has landed the band in hot soup numerous times, but one infamous incident involving a fan who was videotaping a Guns show allowed the world to see Rose rear his ugliest head yet. He was also criticized by gay rights activists, who accused Rose of being disseminating anti-gay propaganda.
Fans of the band will never forgive Rose for not allowing the name of their beloved band to rest in peace after having ?created? a preposterous Guns ?N Roses alternate with a forgettable lineup. Not only that, Rose is entirely responsible for the band?s most expensive album never released, entitled Chinese Democracy – which has swallowed over $13 million in production costs over the course of several years, and with no release date in sight. To make matters worse, Rose has said many times previously that the album will be out soon – but with most of the fairly-forgettable material readily available on the internet it?s no surprise that the album will not revive the bands seemingly futile existence.
Even though Rose allowed his personal turbulences get the better of him, he will be remembered as one of the most unique rock ?n roll voices of the 90s.