Bands with a secondary lead vocalist that shows up on plenty of album cuts, but never the singles

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So I was thinking about the Goo Goo Dolls the other day and how their bassist, Robby Takac, would provide lead vocals for about a third of the songs on an album, but you might never know this if you've never listened to a full album of theirs. What are some other notable examples of this? I can think of some cases where it might be a one off appearance per album (like the guy from Chvrches), or cases where it took several albums for the other guy to show up on a single (like Dan Bejar in the New Pornographers).

MarkoP, Sunday, 5 September 2021 18:55 (one week ago) link

Madness vs Chas
well, other than his shout outs on One Step Beyond.

mark e, Sunday, 5 September 2021 18:58 (one week ago) link

chas sang on "michael caine"

visiting, Sunday, 5 September 2021 19:10 (one week ago) link

James Griffin of Bread, often had more lead vocals, and compositions, on albums than David Gates but was never once given an a-side.

How does Spock's brain come into this? (Tom D.), Sunday, 5 September 2021 19:13 (one week ago) link

... an Academy Award winner too!

How does Spock's brain come into this? (Tom D.), Sunday, 5 September 2021 19:15 (one week ago) link

i knew there would be caveats re chas.

mark e, Sunday, 5 September 2021 19:31 (one week ago) link

The Bangles?

visiting, Sunday, 5 September 2021 19:45 (one week ago) link

The Beautiful South, I wonder?

djh, Sunday, 5 September 2021 20:06 (one week ago) link

Spiral Stairs? (though that might be stretching "plenty")

goodoldneon, Sunday, 5 September 2021 20:09 (one week ago) link

xp thought about thst for a sec but i'm pretty sure Briana or Jacqui were on most of the hits

cheesons to be rearful (Noodle Vague), Sunday, 5 September 2021 20:11 (one week ago) link

Yeah, you will be right. It might work it we're talking "third lead vocalist"??

djh, Sunday, 5 September 2021 20:15 (one week ago) link

Interesting(?) counterexample is “So Fine” – I think the only GN’R song with Duff on lead vocal, was released as a promo single.

tumblin’ dice outro (morrisp), Sunday, 5 September 2021 20:30 (one week ago) link

Loads of Pulp tracks from mid-80s with Russell lead vocals, none after end of 80s though.

fc_TEFH28mo (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Sunday, 5 September 2021 20:40 (one week ago) link

Debbi sang on “Going Down to Liverpool” and “Be With You”

(This is if we’re talking third lead vocalists, where I guess Susanna and Vicki tie more or less throughout the albums, with SH clearly more lead vocals on the singles)

Buckfast in America (Master of Treacle), Sunday, 5 September 2021 22:00 (one week ago) link

Yeah I know they aren't a strict case here but I was surprised to see that, given that she sings almost everything on their Greatest Hits, Hoffs is lead on not even half of their album tracks.

visiting, Sunday, 5 September 2021 22:06 (one week ago) link

(I knew little about the Bangles until a recent revive here.)

visiting, Sunday, 5 September 2021 22:08 (one week ago) link

This fact is certainly one that the Petersons had an issue with by ‘89, although more with management/label than any issue with Hoffs

(Add the fact that Steele was also singing lead by A Different Light, and it’s clear how the Greatest Hits is only reflecting a fraction of the story)

Buckfast in America (Master of Treacle), Sunday, 5 September 2021 22:18 (one week ago) link

Keith Richards?

joni mitchell jarre (anagram), Sunday, 5 September 2021 22:19 (one week ago) link

Eagles, although Randy Meisner got lucky with "Take It To The Limit" and Tim B. Schmidt with "I Can't Tell You Why".

Precious, Grace, Hill & Beard LTD. (C. Grisso/McCain), Sunday, 5 September 2021 22:29 (one week ago) link

Their only two genuinely great songs were sung by someone who was not Don Henley or Glenn Frey. Probably a coincidence.

Montgomery Burns' Jazz (Tarfumes The Escape Goat), Sunday, 5 September 2021 22:41 (one week ago) link

Keith Richards?

“Happy” was Exile’s 2nd single

tumblin’ dice outro (morrisp), Monday, 6 September 2021 00:25 (one week ago) link

“Never the singles” is the killer here. John Oates got at least 2 or 3 lead vocal turns on most every H&O album, but I can think of at least one single (“Italian Girls”, which tanked.)

henry s, Monday, 6 September 2021 03:39 (one week ago) link

Steve Lambke in Constantines... he only sang-screamed one song on each album, but it was more in the live setting when he'd suddenly get up and thrillingly scream WE'RE PAPERLESS or I HATE THAT SOUND, his function in that band seemed to be to make Webb seem comparatively like a friendly, reasonable voice

"How Does It Feel To Be Back" was another Oates single.

Non-Eric Carmen members of the Raspberries sang about half the songs on their albums, but Carmen sang lead on all the singles...except their debut, "Don't Want to Say Goodbye", which he sings in harmony with Wally Bryson.

Halfway there but for you, Monday, 6 September 2021 04:11 (one week ago) link

How many Ramones singles did Dee Dee sing lead on? Any?

Ⓓⓡ. (Johnny Fever), Monday, 6 September 2021 04:34 (one week ago) link

"Endless Vacation" off Too Tough To Die

Precious, Grace, Hill & Beard LTD. (C. Grisso/McCain), Monday, 6 September 2021 04:37 (one week ago) link

David Crosby had to wait until 1988 to get a CSN(Y) a-side, "Night Time for the Generals".

Halfway there but for you, Monday, 6 September 2021 04:37 (one week ago) link

Graham Lewis sings some solo bits on Wir(e) singles, but no full leads as far as I can tell.

Halfway there but for you, Monday, 6 September 2021 04:44 (one week ago) link

- Richard Carpenter probably did enough backup vocals to make his voice vaguely familiar to the casual Carpenters listener. But I suspect it would be easy to remain oblivious to his lead vocals on quite a few deep cuts. Admittedly still a distinct minority.

- I've lost track of how actual singles stack up, but I know people to have been surprised that Lou Barlow was far from Sedadoh's 'lead singer' in any meaningful sense, across most of their LPs.

Nag! Nag! Nag!, Monday, 6 September 2021 05:39 (one week ago) link

Good point about Sebadoh, though a few Jason songs were released as singles (“Prince-S,” “It's All You”).

tumblin’ dice outro (morrisp), Monday, 6 September 2021 06:20 (one week ago) link

In Queen Roger Taylor and Brian May sang around a song an album each, but didn't turn up on many, if any, singles.

aphoristical, Monday, 6 September 2021 08:08 (one week ago) link

Roger Taylor "turned up" on the b-side of the original issue of "Bohemian Rhapsody", which "was nice"...

Mark G, Monday, 6 September 2021 08:49 (one week ago) link

The Police?

Josh in Chicago, Monday, 6 September 2021 13:13 (one week ago) link

Talking of Sebadoh, don't think any of Lou Barlow's tracks for Dinosaur Jr. have been released as singles (in either stint with the band).

Portsmouth Bubblejet, Monday, 6 September 2021 13:33 (one week ago) link

C.J. Ramone?

Mark G, Monday, 6 September 2021 13:47 (one week ago) link

I've been listening to way too much Bread today after the mention upthread. And I learned that the result of Elektra issuing 11 Gates A-sides in a row was... not wholly surprising:

At the beginning of 1973, Bread disbanded after a dispute between Gates and Griffin. Griffin claimed that, when the group was conceived, the pair agreed that the singles would be divided equally between the two songwriters.

Nag! Nag! Nag!, Monday, 6 September 2021 14:40 (one week ago) link

Gates did have a knack for writing commercial ear candy tbf, but Griffin wrote some good stuff too.

How does Spock's brain come into this? (Tom D.), Monday, 6 September 2021 14:43 (one week ago) link

I thought about The Police but Copeland only does lead on two songs right? Bombs Away and On Any Other Day

frogbs, Monday, 6 September 2021 15:02 (one week ago) link

still angry that the only example I could think of was covered in the OP

Duke Detain (Neanderthal), Monday, 6 September 2021 15:59 (one week ago) link

Blue Oyster Cult

Precious, Grace, Hill & Beard LTD. (C. Grisso/McCain), Monday, 6 September 2021 17:08 (one week ago) link

Crazy as it seems, I feel like Dusty Hill of ZZ Top might qualify for this. He sang on a ton of their songs (and arguably had a better voice than Billy Gibbons), but never had a lead vocal on a single.

but also fuck you (unperson), Monday, 6 September 2021 17:16 (one week ago) link

xp Allen Lanier is the only BOC member who never sang lead on a single. In fact, I think he had only one true lead vocal, on Agents of Fortune's "True Confessions."

henry s, Monday, 6 September 2021 17:26 (one week ago) link

Group not band, but Florence Ballard of The Supremes

Josefa, Monday, 6 September 2021 17:30 (one week ago) link

Copeland only does lead on two songs right? Bombs Away and On Any Other Day

Sting definitely sings "Bombs Away" but same as "Contact" it plays in my head as Copeland because his vocal melodies are so specific. He def sings the intro of "Does Everyone Stare" and Andy Summers talks/sings on 5 or 6 songs. The singles were all Sting.

billstevejim, Monday, 6 September 2021 17:43 (one week ago) link

re: ZZ Top, I never bothered checking but I assumed they switch off verse 1/2 on "Sharp Dressed Man."

billstevejim, Monday, 6 September 2021 17:44 (one week ago) link

I feel like Dusty Hill of ZZ Top might qualify for this. He sang on a ton of their songs (and arguably had a better voice than Billy Gibbons), but never had a lead vocal on a single.

He sang lead on "Tush", and later on had the big airplay tracks "Can't Stop Rockin'" and "Delirious". He also traded off w/Gibbons on "Heard It On The X" and "Beerdrinkers and Hellraiser" (also big airplay tracks).

Precious, Grace, Hill & Beard LTD. (C. Grisso/McCain), Monday, 6 September 2021 17:49 (one week ago) link

They also trade-off on "It's Only Love".

Precious, Grace, Hill & Beard LTD. (C. Grisso/McCain), Monday, 6 September 2021 17:59 (one week ago) link

He does a co-lead on their biggest single, so may be disqualified, but Gerald Casale with Devo?

Halfway there but for you, Monday, 6 September 2021 20:02 (one week ago) link

Teenage Fanclub's Raymond McGinley wrote and sang 1/3 of all their music but never got a single until fairly recently. One sort-of exception was his song Escher as a radio single in the States, but Norman Blake sang it

PaulTMA, Monday, 6 September 2021 20:23 (one week ago) link

Queen's Long Away (Brian vocal) was a US single but didn't do the business, which saw them never have a full song sung by anyone other than Freddie as a single again, although Brian especially had lots of lead vocal cameo parts on his later singles (Flash, Who Wants To Live Forever, I Want It All as his ego is massive, whereas Roger gets some sort-of lead moments on The Invisible Man and Under Pressure (the "this is our last dance is just Roger and Bowie, Freddie drops out completely after the "give love" sections

PaulTMA, Monday, 6 September 2021 20:28 (one week ago) link

It's Steve Kilbey's band 100% now, but most albums by The Church will also have a song by Marty Willson-Piper and Peter Koppes. The Marty-sung "Russian Autumn Heart" is the only non-Steve sung single I think? (there's also the Steve/Marty sung "Two Places At Once")

Elvis Telecom, Monday, 6 September 2021 21:51 (one week ago) link

He does a co-lead on their biggest single, so may be disqualified, but Gerald Casale with Devo?

He sang lead on Be Stiff and Beautiful World and they split with a few others like Jerkin Back and Forth, Coalmine, Thru Being Cool. They can sound very similar when Mark is holding back.

everything, Monday, 6 September 2021 22:04 (one week ago) link

Did Tobi Vail sing on any Bikini Kill A-sides? They're quite a good example of a group mostly known for its hugely charismatic lead singer that then... turns out to have two other vocalists.

Also thinking of the Clean but they didn't have tons of singles. Of the best known songs Hamish is on Point That Thing Somewhere Else but Bob Scott doesn't have any.

Dave Hemingway is on that Beautiful South #1 A Little Time. I found out he existed really late and it felt like a prank.

verhexen, Monday, 6 September 2021 22:16 (one week ago) link

Also thinking of Lee Ranaldo & James McNew but suspect I'm missing an obvious big single somewhere

verhexen, Monday, 6 September 2021 22:19 (one week ago) link

The Who (I guess John E. is a tertiary lead vocalist after Rog and Pete, had some single b-sides but I think only one a-side, "Trick of the Light")

Profiles in Liquid Courage (WmC), Monday, 6 September 2021 22:26 (one week ago) link

Orange Juice with James Kirk and then Zeke Manyika. It is kind of brilliant when Edwyn Collins sweeps in at the end of Wan Light and totally steals the song from Kirk.

everything, Monday, 6 September 2021 23:56 (one week ago) link

Lee Ranaldo & James McNew

I’m not a scholar of either band, especially YLT, but my sense is that these guys don’t quite meet the “plenty of album cuts” threshold? (at least when measured against each band’s total output)

tumblin’ dice outro (morrisp), Tuesday, 7 September 2021 00:52 (one week ago) link

Is this really every SY cut Ranaldo sings on? If so, it’s even less than I thought…

tumblin’ dice outro (morrisp), Tuesday, 7 September 2021 00:54 (one week ago) link

Did the Beatles ever release a George Harrison song as a single?

JRN, Tuesday, 7 September 2021 01:17 (one week ago) link

"Something".

Halfway there but for you, Tuesday, 7 September 2021 01:17 (one week ago) link

^Remembered that right after posting, of course.

JRN, Tuesday, 7 September 2021 01:18 (one week ago) link

I think that "Antenna" and "What We Know" are missing from that Ranaldo list, also "Genetic" (a B-side). Otherwise I think it's right.

Sequel to Sadness (Sund4r), Tuesday, 7 September 2021 04:06 (one week ago) link

Oh wait TM sings lead on "Antenna". LR does all the antenna box shit.

Sequel to Sadness (Sund4r), Tuesday, 7 September 2021 04:20 (one week ago) link

Casale sang lead on Be Stiff and Beautiful World and they split with a few others like Jerkin Back and Forth, Coalmine, Thru Being Cool.

He's the lead on "Mongoloid" too, I think? He does sound remarkably similar to Mothersbaugh.

Vast Halo, Tuesday, 7 September 2021 07:30 (one week ago) link

"Something".

and "Do You Want To Know A Secret" (but written by Lennon/McCartney).

AlXTC from Paris, Tuesday, 7 September 2021 09:19 (one week ago) link

Not a single, though.

Mark G, Tuesday, 7 September 2021 11:42 (one week ago) link

Also "Roll Over Beethoven."

henry s, Tuesday, 7 September 2021 11:46 (one week ago) link

"Something" is an odd one, the first Beatles single to be taken from an aleady-released LP, with quite a few more to follow through the 70s. They hadn't officially broken up when it was released, but had already played together for the last time. It counts as a canonical Beatles single, it just doesn't feel like it does.

fc_TEFH28mo (Camaraderie at Arms Length), Tuesday, 7 September 2021 11:53 (one week ago) link

One of those triv questions: "The last Beatles single to reach Number One in the UK"

Mark G, Tuesday, 7 September 2021 12:04 (one week ago) link

Not a single, though.


Apparently it was in the US !

AlXTC from Paris, Tuesday, 7 September 2021 12:16 (one week ago) link

Bikini Kill seems like a great pick. At a smaller scale I believe this is also true of Le Tigre, where Johanna Fateman (and I believe JD Samson?) had several prominent album tracks, but none of their singles or legacy songs.

I Am Fribbulus (Xax) (Doctor Casino), Tuesday, 7 September 2021 12:30 (one week ago) link

Ringo sings on every Beatles album (right?) but he wasn't on a UK single till '78.

I have no couch and I must stream (NotEnough), Tuesday, 7 September 2021 12:36 (one week ago) link

"Yellow Submarine" was earlier than that!

Mark G, Tuesday, 7 September 2021 12:40 (one week ago) link

ffs yellow submarine

I have no couch and I must stream (NotEnough), Tuesday, 7 September 2021 13:41 (one week ago) link

Yeah, I thought Ringo had had a single BEFORE George with "YS" which would have been pretty hard for George (until I found out about "DYWTKAS") !

AlXTC from Paris, Tuesday, 7 September 2021 14:40 (one week ago) link

UK albums Ringo doesn't sing on: A Hard Day's Night, Magical Mystery Tour and Let It Be.

Halfway there but for you, Tuesday, 7 September 2021 14:57 (one week ago) link

Although MMT wasn't really an album in the UK.

Halfway there but for you, Tuesday, 7 September 2021 14:57 (one week ago) link

Brian (May) especially had lots of lead vocal cameo parts on his later singles ... as his ego is massive

Is this actually a known thing? I always had the impression that by comparison to most of his peers, May is relatively unassuming.

Vast Halo, Tuesday, 7 September 2021 15:44 (one week ago) link

Jesus and Mary Chain?

mahb, Tuesday, 7 September 2021 16:08 (one week ago) link

Did William sing lead on "Darklands" and "Almost Gold"?

henry s, Tuesday, 7 September 2021 16:15 (one week ago) link

Yes

Mark G, Tuesday, 7 September 2021 16:24 (one week ago) link

Both were singles. Telling ya, the singles thing is a tough nut to crack!

henry s, Tuesday, 7 September 2021 16:25 (one week ago) link


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