Your Top Prog Voices!



Your Top Prog Voices!

Postby Roan's Lady » Wed Jan 07, 2009 3:22 am

And it can only be your top ten. I make the rules in this thread, so there. :p

I guess I'll go first - but make sure you go, too. I'm sure you've some different voices than I do, and I want to know what I'm missing. ;)

1. Jon Anderson
2. Freddie Mercury
3. Ian Anderson
4. Francesco di Giacomo (Banco del Mutuo Soccorso)
5. Patrik Lundström (Ritual)
6. Peter Gabriel
7. Neal Morse
8. Annie Haslam
9. Simon Åkesson (Moon Safari)
10. Brett Kull (echolyn)

Feel free to comment on my choices, as well. (You can even inform me that you think any of them are awful - with reasons why, of course. ;) )
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Re: Your Top Prog Voices!

Postby yesireebob » Wed Jan 07, 2009 4:17 am

I'll bite. Although Jon is definitely on top of my list with Bjork as number two, the rest are in no particular order.

Bjork, who has an amazing untrained voice that can give me chills, like Jon. My favorite disc is Medulla, where most of the music is the product of human voices, including a human beatbox and a throat-singer from Greenland. Ancestors is a very interesting combinatin of the throat singer and Bjork's voices. Check out Desired Constellation to appreciate the raw power of Bjork's voice. And Oceania. Given her elfin, offbeat tendencies, I see her as a female counterpart to Jon.

Freddy Mercury, oooh yeah. 'Nuff said.

Anneke van Giersbergen of the Gathering and most recently with Agua de Annique

Steve Hogarth of Marillion. His voice seems to be getting more ragged with age, but a beautiful voice nonetheless.

Heather Findlay of Mostly Autumn. Also appeared on Ayreon's Human Equation. Beautiful, warm voice. In exceptionally fine form on the latest MA disc, Glass Shadows.

Tarja Turunen, lamentably departed from Nightwish and now doing solo work. Gorgeous operatic voice, best heard on Nightwish, Once, especially Ghost Love Story and the lovely ballad sung in Finnish, the name is a long Finnish name.

Having said the above, I also really like Tarja's replacement in Nightwish, Annette Olsen.

James LaBrie of Dream Theater and numerous side projects. Yeah I know lots of people hate his voice but when he's on, he's amazing. He was also featured in Ayreon's Human Equation and did an outstanding job.

Serj Tankian of System of a Down. When he's singing, that is. Aerials and Toxicity in particular.

Brian Wilson. God only knows. Heavenly.

Mathew Bellamy of Muse, very Freddy like in his theatrical approach. Check out the title cut to Absolution.

Thom Yorke of Radiohead. Ethereal.

I'm sure I'll think of more, but there ya go.
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Re: Your Top Prog Voices!

Postby Tomfoolery » Wed Jan 07, 2009 5:02 am

top 10, eh? Hmm....

K... here goes, and in no particular order....

1. Jon Anderson
2. Freddie Mercury
3. Ian Anderson
4. David Bowie
5. Annie Haslam
6. Sharon Den Adel (Within Temptation)... ok, I know they're billed as a "gothic rock" and not a "prog" band, but oh, MAN does she have a voice... and of the music I've heard from them, they could easily fit the bill as a prog metal band...
7. Steve Wilson
8. Guy Garvey (Elbow)
9. Annie Lennox
10. Bryan Ferry (Roxy Music)
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Re: Your Top Prog Voices!

Postby yesireebob » Wed Jan 07, 2009 10:08 pm

I would certainly agree with Annie Lennox and Guy Garvey, and I would add Roger Hodgson of Supertramp.

I also agree with Steve Wilson, although he doesn't really have a GREAT voice. Just a voice that is great for what he does. No a lot of range or power, but rather fragile. Which is perfect for beautifully conveying sorrow, which is his forte. Tim Bowness shares this quality and perhaps does it a tad better, which is probably why he does all the vocals for No Man with Steve contributing musically.
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Re: Your Top Prog Voices!

Postby tardistraveler » Wed Jan 07, 2009 10:55 pm

GOOD topic here!

I concur with many that have already been mentioned here.

Of course, Jon would be at the TOP of my prog singer list . . . his voice is incomparable . . . :D

Linda, that long Finnish name is "Kuolema Tekee Taiteilijan" (English: "Death Makes an Artist"). And I concur heartily that Tarja has an amazing voice, and was a true asset to Nightwish . . . I love that Finnish song, and I have no clue what they're singing! But it's just SOOOO beautiful . . . :)

And I really like Anette too - when I was first introduced to Nightwish, it was with Dark Passion Play, and I was struck with similarities with Annie Haslam, who of course, would ALSO be on my top prog singer list . . . ;)

And while we're on female singers, I like Heather Findlay as well. I'm not usually big on female singers, in general, but the four I've just mentioned are amazing, and I'd listen to them any time!

Also concur with everyone who mentioned Freddie Mercury . . . a gorgeous, powerful voice that again, you can't really duplicate.

Agree with Dean about David Bowie - LOVE his voice . . . he can do the offbeat to the sublime with ease.

And I agree with Linda regarding Steve Hogarth . . . would I be too terrible if I said I preferred his voice over Fish? (ducks and runs). And I also love James LaBrie - such a powerful voice that's perfect for the metal edge of DT music.

And speaking of metal, and since we've mentioned Nightwish, I also like Marco Hietala who plays bass, and shares vocal duties with Tarja/Anette (depending on which album you're listening to). He has a rich voice that has that metal screamlike edge to it, without being growly like death metal. I really like his voice. (He's not bad looking either . . . ;) )

And Amy mentioned Ian Anderson and Peter Gabriel . . . my other two "prog holy trinity" artists of the 70's . . . no list would be complete without them.


A couple more no one else has mentioned . . .


I've always adored Greg Lake's voice . . . smooth and rich . . . his rendition of "Still, You Turn Me On", turns ME on . . . wow . . .

And I love Adrian Belew's vocals. Not only is he a guitarist extraordinnaire, but is a passionate singer who can make sense of the quirkiest lyrics . . . VERY cool . . .
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Re: Your Top Prog Voices!

Postby yesireebob » Wed Jan 07, 2009 11:28 pm

tardistraveler wrote:GOOD topic here!

And speaking of metal, and since we've mentioned Nightwish, I also like Marco Hietala who plays bass, and shares vocal duties with Tarja/Anette (depending on which album you're listening to). He has a rich voice that has that metal screamlike edge to it, without being growly like death metal. I really like his voice. (He's not bad looking either . . . ;) )



Marco is welcome on my list ANYTIME! Great metal voice and a hottie, too!

And I admit liking Steve Hogarth more than Fish, so guess we better batton down the foxhole ...
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Re: Your Top Prog Voices!

Postby N2yes » Thu Jan 08, 2009 5:51 am

1. Max Bacon----ex GTR
2. Jon Anderson
3. Ann Wilson---Heart
4. Ian Gillan---Deep Purple
5. Klauss Meine---Scorpions
6. Annie Lennox
7. Greg Lake
8. Jack Bruce---Cream
9. Annie Haslam
10.Timothy B. Schmit
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Re: Your Top Prog Voices!

Postby Tomfoolery » Thu Jan 08, 2009 7:04 am

Interesting that you mention Jack Bruce, N2... I was just listening to his 2007 collaboration with Robin Trower (entitled "Seven Moons") today. AMAZING album.... absolutely AMAZING....
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Re: Your Top Prog Voices!

Postby Tomfoolery » Thu Jan 08, 2009 7:07 am

tardistraveler wrote:...
I've always adored Greg Lake's voice . . . smooth and rich . . .


Oh, man... I didn't even think about Greg Lake... the quality of the vocals in "C'est La Vie".... man, that send chills up and down my spine every time I hear it. Not to mention his work with King Crimson - for a PRIME example, the entire "Court of the Crimson King" album... just phenomenal.....
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Re: Your Top Prog Voices!

Postby Roan's Lady » Thu Jan 08, 2009 1:18 pm

Tomfoolery wrote:Oh, man... I didn't even think about Greg Lake... the quality of the vocals in "C'est La Vie".... man, that send chills up and down my spine every time I hear it. Not to mention his work with King Crimson - for a PRIME example, the entire "Court of the Crimson King" album... just phenomenal.....


Greg Lake is the Barry White of prog voices.
When I hear "C'est La Vie" or "Still...You Turn Me On", I picture him wearing a smoking jacket, holding a snifter of brandy, and coming after me. Even when he sings "Karn Evil 9" or "Epitaph", it sounds like he's making a pass at someone. I like ELP a lot - and would love them if it wasn't for that voice. Now don't hurt me. ;)
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Re: Your Top Prog Voices!

Postby tardistraveler » Thu Jan 08, 2009 3:30 pm

Roan's Lady wrote:Greg Lake is the Barry White of prog voices.
When I hear "C'est La Vie" or "Still...You Turn Me On", I picture him wearing a smoking jacket, holding a snifter of brandy, and coming after me. Even when he sings "Karn Evil 9" or "Epitaph", it sounds like he's making a pass at someone. I like ELP a lot - and would love them if it wasn't for that voice. Now don't hurt me. ;)


Hey, Barry White had a cool voice, even if he wasn't prog!

Greg Lake has a sensual voice, but to me, that's a GOOD thing . . . guess I didn't perceive him as a sleaze though . . . ;)
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Re: Your Top Prog Voices!

Postby tardistraveler » Thu Jan 08, 2009 3:32 pm

Tomfoolery wrote:Interesting that you mention Jack Bruce, N2... I was just listening to his 2007 collaboration with Robin Trower (entitled "Seven Moons") today. AMAZING album.... absolutely AMAZING....


Oh, absolutely! Jack Bruce has a wonderful voice that was just perfect for Cream . . . love it!
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Re: Your Top Prog Voices!

Postby tardistraveler » Thu Jan 08, 2009 3:39 pm

N2yes wrote:1. Max Bacon----ex GTR
2. Jon Anderson
3. Ann Wilson---Heart
4. Ian Gillan---Deep Purple
5. Klauss Meine---Scorpions
6. Annie Lennox
7. Greg Lake
8. Jack Bruce---Cream
9. Annie Haslam
10.Timothy B. Schmit



I'd definitely add Ann Wilson to my list of female singers that I love! She has an amazing range, and can sing many styles . . . and she can duplicate that orgasm-channeling scream that Robert Plant does . . . ;)
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Re: Your Top Prog Voices!

Postby Chris2210 » Thu Jan 08, 2009 6:14 pm

You lot seem to have a well-weird idea of what prog is - so I'll take equal liberty with my own list - although I can't bring myself to imagine how Annie Lennox could fit the category in any way...

1. Freddy Mercury - a peerless voice in terms of sheer power and vocal range and he could be incredibly nuanced too.
2. Jon - has to come second because his voice is more of an equivocal (npi) thing. An acquired taste, but amazing range and clarity and the fact that his songs with Yes have moved me more than anything else.
3. Jeff Buckley - not a massive body of work by any means, but I'd say an awful lot more experimental and adventurous than many of those cited here and powerfully expressive. Many of the EMO bands probably think they're imitating his style. But they're not - most of that stuff sounds like irritating teenage angst to me.
4. Peter Gabriel - technically probably not even as good as Phil Collins [once he'd found his confidence] but compare the latter's 'character' singing to his Genesis predecessor and we're talking about someone in an entirely different league.
5. Annie Haslam - One of those pure English female vocals that just does something to me. Other than saying it's astonishingly beautiful I won't go too closely into what that might be...
6. Maddie Pryor - See above.
7. Kate Bush - Something different again. Incredibly quirky, she has a style all of her own - one that's been very influential on a generation of feamle vocalists.
8. Brian Wilson (& co) - I'm not sure this should be so low down the list - the harmonies hew wrote and performed with The Beach Boys and more latterly The Wondermints (that incredible realisation of Smile) are the most sublime in modern music.
9. David Bowie - one of my favourite artists. Not amongst the best of voices technically but chameleon-like [gosh - that term's never been used before for him, right?] in his range of expressiveness. He can do laconic, sinister, over-wrought... and again from starting off as an Anthony Newley imitator has become one of the most imitated vocals in rock.
10. Matt Bellamy - Have to have my contemporary band faves Muse in there. What an incredibly versatile musician Bellamy is - incredible axe-man, accomplished pianistic and vocal acrobat, whose swoops and dives are totally in service to the music.
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Re: Your Top Prog Voices!

Postby yesireebob » Thu Jan 08, 2009 10:09 pm

I also considered Kate Bush but hesitated because I wasn't sure the prog label fit. Same with Tori Amos, actually. But both have compelling, quirky voices and are quite experimental in their approach.

Jeff Buckely's Hallelujah is one of the most beautiful vocals recorded, ever.
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Re: Your Top Prog Voices!

Postby Roan's Lady » Thu Jan 08, 2009 10:17 pm

tardistraveler wrote:Hey, Barry White had a cool voice, even if he wasn't prog!

Greg Lake has a sensual voice, but to me, that's a GOOD thing . . . guess I didn't perceive him as a sleaze though . . . ;)



Nah, not a sleaze...just someone "looking for opportunity". ;) A lot of his work is too in yer face. I like it more subtle.

Barry White did have a cool voice, despite it doing nothing for my particular brand of libido. :D
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Re: Your Top Prog Voices!

Postby N2yes » Fri Jan 09, 2009 2:07 am

Tomfoolery wrote:Interesting that you mention Jack Bruce, N2... I was just listening to his 2007 collaboration with Robin Trower (entitled "Seven Moons") today. AMAZING album.... absolutely AMAZING....

The ol' Scot survived liver cancer and can still carry one helluva tune!
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Re: Your Top Prog Voices!

Postby Mr. Stout » Fri Jan 09, 2009 3:30 am

1. Freddie Mercury- Incredible range!!! Operatic at times, and possibly one of the best frontmen a band could ever have. He was truly the best!
2. Greg Lake- One of the most clear , distinguished and reasonat voices these ears have ever heard. ELp would have been a very good band with a mediocre singer`s vocalizing, but Lake`s vocals made it world class. It is true his voice changed in the `90`s, but he regained alot of his former vocal power later in the decade, although his voice had transformed into a baritone. Still awesome!!
3. Jon Anderson- I know he`s number three, but I preferred mercury and lake a lot more. But still and all, Yes was the band that got me interested in prog rock, and Anderson`s unusual, wordly vocals was a big part of that.
4. Phil Collins- As much as I may denigrate the man, if you are an ardent fan of Genesis like I am, he made it possible for genesis to survive after gabriel. if it was anyone else, the band would have folded right, then, and there. look what happened when Collins finally took leave in the `90`s and ray wilson stepped in. Although in the first few years with Genesis, collins vocie was softer and it beame more throaty and rough hewn as the years went on. perhaps as a result of screaming matches with his first wife during his divorce. Just speculation, but listen to A Trick of the tail and bootlegs from that tour.
5. Peter gabriel- I chose Collins over gabriel ,because Collins is technically a better singer. Even gabriel admitted that at one time. But the one department where gabriel would surpass Collins would be in the raw emotion department. Listen to live versions of Supper`s ready and you can tell the difference.
6. David Gilmour- the voice of Pink Floyd. Not a bad talent to have besides your superlative guitar work. Waters may have been a songwriting genius, but he had no singing voice to speak of. It was agood actor`s voice used well in counterpoint with Gilmour.. But it is no accident that Gilmour sings most of the lead on `Dark Side of the Moon.'
7. Peter Hamill- I`m not really a huge fan of Van der Graff generator, but I would be remiss not to include the man here. His range is something to behold. Vastly underrated .
8. Steve Hogarth- I`m not into Fish era Marillion. I definitely prefer Hogarth. His tone is casual, warm, and inviting. The better half, although not a prog fan at all, loves him and his work with marillion. my complaint with Hogarth is that he tends to mumble and murmur in his songs at times. The man has such an incredible voice that he doesn`t need to do that.
9. John wetton- Another distinguished, reasonant , authoritative tone.. The best lead singer Crimson has had, besides Greg lake. Killer bass player as well.
10. Chris Squire-he would have been great singing lead in his own right. `Fish out of water 'certainly proves that. A fanatstic solo album on par with anything Yes has done.
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Re: Your Top Prog Voices!

Postby sound_chaser » Fri Jan 09, 2009 5:57 pm

My top ten of prog:

David Gilmour
Jon Anderson
Peter Gabriel
Ian Anderson
Greg Lake
Roger Chapman
Sonja Kristina
Richard Sinclair
Justin Haywood
Richard Wright
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Re: Your Top Prog Voices!

Postby the greenman » Fri Jan 09, 2009 6:13 pm

I was gonna add Wetton, so I'm glad someone has! not sure about him as a person, tho I think he's mellowed latterly, but his voice..

& it turns up on so many things I like, together with that awesome bass of his.

Just to provide some balance I'll say John Payne too, Downes' erstwhile collaborator in Asia Mk 2 (or was it 3, 4, or 7?)

Phil Collins deserves a mention for his Hackett era Genesis stuff, tho I draw the line beyond '& then there were three.'

Gilmour, of course - has to be on the list..

I'll have to think about the other 5, because of course at No. 1, without question, in this unbiased poll of polls is 'our Jon'!!

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Re: Your Top Prog Voices!

Postby N2yes » Sat Jan 10, 2009 12:50 am

One might consider Jon as assuming the no. 1 pole position, but apparently he's second as much as 1st. There was a time, though...
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Re: Your Top Prog Voices!

Postby Wakemaniac » Thu Feb 05, 2009 3:06 am

1-Jon Anderson
2-David Crosby
3-Ian Anderson
4-Neil Young
5-Graham Nash
6-Stephen Stills
7-Art Garfunkel
8-Peter Gabriel
9-Phil Collins
10-Greg Lake
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Re: Your Top Prog Voices!

Postby Coffee_&_Cigarettes » Wed Feb 11, 2009 4:16 pm

1.Jon Anderson
2.Peter Gabriel
3.[color=white]Richard Sinclair(caravan)[/color]
4.David Gilmour
5.Annie Haslam
6.Kerry Minnear (Gentle Giant)
7.Greg Lake
8.John Wetton
9.[color=white]Thijs van Leer (weird voice but i like it for some reason)[/color]
10.Ian Anderson
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Re: Your Top Prog Voices!

Postby happytheman » Fri Feb 13, 2009 1:08 am

I'm glad someone threw in Richard Sinclair, I would also add Andy Latimer (Camel). Something about those "Canterbury" groups you just gotta love them.
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Re: Your Top Prog Voices!

Postby bundy » Fri Feb 20, 2009 2:13 pm

My top 10 prog vocalists in random order

Freddie Mercury
David Surkamp (Pavlov's Dog)
Geddy Lee (Rush)
Demis Rousoss (Aphrodite's Child)
Jon Anderson
Franceso Di Giacomo (Banco Del Mutuo Soccorso)
Mr. Dr. (Devil Doll)
Richard Sinclair (Camel / Caravan)
Sylvia Ericsen (White Willow)
Ian Anderson (Jethro Tull)
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Re: Your Top Prog Voices!

Postby thehallway » Fri Feb 20, 2009 5:49 pm

Surely Freddie Mercury isn't prog? Or does this thread include opera rock :icon_wink

David Gilmour and the late Rick Wright harmonised together very well in Pink Floyd, as of course, did Anderson and Squire (Not so much Howe though, his singing leaves alot to be desired). Ian Anderson has interesting vocal qualities as well.

I still think Robert Plant is best.
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Re: Your Top Prog Voices!

Postby the greenman » Fri Feb 20, 2009 6:04 pm

thehallway wrote:Surely Freddie Mercury isn't prog? Or does this thread include opera rock :icon_wink

David Gilmour and the late Rick Wright harmonised together very well in Pink Floyd, as of course, did Anderson and Squire (Not so much Howe though, his singing leaves alot to be desired). Ian Anderson has interesting vocal qualities as well.

I still think Robert Plant is best.


tend to agree there - is Freddie prog?Hmm early on they had those tendancies, up to the 3rd album, then they went more mainstream 'rock'.

But Plant, I'd say he's a 'blues' singer, more than prog too! blue grass of late of course!
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Re: Your Top Prog Voices!

Postby Coffee_&_Cigarettes » Tue Feb 24, 2009 4:58 am

Coffee_&_Cigarettes wrote:1.Jon Anderson
2.Peter Gabriel
3.[color=white]Richard Sinclair(caravan)[/color]
4.David Gilmour
5.Annie Haslam
6.Kerry Minnear (Gentle Giant)
7.Greg Lake
8.John Wetton
9.[color=white]Thijs van Leer (weird voice but i like it for some reason)[/color]
10.Ian Anderson


due to my recent rediscovery of Supertramp i will change my top ten:

1.Jon anderson
2.Roger hodgson
3.Peter Gabriel
4.Richard Sinclair
5.David Gilmour
6.Annie Haslam
7.Greg Lake
8.Geddy lee
9.John Wetton
10.Ian Anderson
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Re: Your Top Prog Voices!

Postby Chris2210 » Tue Feb 24, 2009 12:42 pm

Coffee_&_Cigarettes wrote:due to my recent rediscovery of Supertramp i will change my top ten:

1.Jon anderson
2.Roger hodgson
3.Peter Gabriel
4.Richard Sinclair
5.David Gilmour
6.Annie Haslam
7.Greg Lake
8.Geddy lee
9.John Wetton
10.Ian Anderson


So you've bumped Thijs out? And he wasn't even bottom of your pile! Van Leer was a serious omission on my part [probably because I think of Focus primarilly as an instrumental band]. But he deserves a place in the top ten of prog voices not just for the uniqueness of his phonetic vocals - his singing could also be absolutely beautiful. Check out the minimal but atmospheric lines from La Cathedral de Strasbourg or the cod-opera or sublime carol singing in Hamburger Concerto. His voice is just another of the astonishingly versatile range of instruments at his disposal. One of the prog giants in my book.
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Re: Your Top Prog Voices!

Postby Coffee_&_Cigarettes » Tue Feb 24, 2009 5:19 pm

Chris2210 wrote:So you've bumped Thijs out? And he wasn't even bottom of your pile! Van Leer was a serious omission on my part [probably because I think of Focus primarilly as an instrumental band]. But he deserves a place in the top ten of prog voices not just for the uniqueness of his phonetic vocals - his singing could also be absolutely beautiful. Check out the minimal but atmospheric lines from La Cathedral de Strasbourg or the cod-opera or sublime carol singing in Hamburger Concerto. His voice is just another of the astonishingly versatile range of instruments at his disposal. One of the prog giants in my book.


Don´t get me wrong i love Thijs vocals, but as you pointed out i also perceive Focus primarilly as a instrumental band.i like very much his Phonetic vocals on Focus III´s "Round Goes the Gossip", it´s very eearie an hypnotic.I also enjoy alot of his stuff on Hamburge Concerto.
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