they never had a chance - best underappreciated short-term replacement vocalist for band

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we've had the convo before, but this is a poll, and a little narrower a discussion!

while I was talking about Blaze Bayley, I started thinking about the poor vocalists who replaced fan-favorite vocalists in bands late in their career, and were ultimately disliked, rightfully so or not. which is the best? write-ins more than welcome. i excluded a few who are well-liked by the fanbase, they have to be mostly hated or just considered 'meh' - their quality doesn't matter, just the lukewarm way they were received. also preferably ones that didn't last long, due to fan backlash. also they have to have replaced someone that was well-liked/legendary.

they don't have to have recorded anything. also make arguments for why they're teh best. if you love them, fess up!

Poll Results

OptionVotes
Other (name them!) 5
Noel Burke (Echo and the Bunnymen) 4
Benoit David (Yes) 2
Blaze Bayley (Iron Maiden) 1
Paul Shortino (Quiet Riot) 1
Israel Joseph I (Bad Brains) 1
Jizzy Pearl (Ratt) 1
Brandon Cruz (Dead Kennedys) 1
Ripper Owens (Judas Priest) 1
Chris Van Dahl (L.A. Guns) 0
Johnny Edwards (Foreigner) 0
John Corabi (Motley Crue) 0
Whitfield Crane (Life of Agony) - live only 0
Genesis (Ray Wilson) - stretching here, I know 0
Gary Cherone (Van Halen) 0


stank viola (Neanderthal), Thursday, 27 October 2022 01:37 (one month ago) link

I am going to speak in defense of two here, Ripper Owens, and Gary Cherone.

Ripper's biggest sin was singing on two of JP's least inspired albums, a problem that he can hardly be blamed for and sounding "too much like Halford", though the latter is overstated. I haven't liked him in bands he's been in since, but he wasn't a half bad vocalist, and he kept the band afloat when it may have gone under. No comparison to Halford, but he was in an impossible position and acquitted himself fairly well on their live classics though he took some songs into a lower key.

Gary Cherone got so much vitriol, and yeah, VHIII is mega weird as an album, but I always liked his voice in Extreme, and though he doesn't sing AS WELL here as he did in that band, I thought he sounded fine. did sound a wee bit too much like he was aping Hagar here and there, but really he just was a bad fit for their current sound. he woulda fit better if they had gone back to their earlier party material, but Eddie wouldn't have that.

stank viola (Neanderthal), Thursday, 27 October 2022 01:41 (one month ago) link

Would Gordon Haskell and Boz Burrell of King Crimson count? If so, neither of them

frogbs, Thursday, 27 October 2022 01:41 (one month ago) link

LMAO.

I love Lizard unapologetically, but I tend to tune Gordon out completely. he sounds like a drunk Marlon Brandon trying to use an abacus

stank viola (Neanderthal), Thursday, 27 October 2022 01:42 (one month ago) link

I voted Jon Benoit. lived the dream of going from tribute band vocalist to vocalist of the ACTUAL band. and then got booted the instant his voice started to wane. truly the quintessential Yes experience

frogbs, Thursday, 27 October 2022 02:54 (one month ago) link

oh shit what about Robert Berry? dude was tabbed by Emerson and Palmer when Lake didn't wanna do the reunion. technically they called themselves "3" but they did a bunch of ELP instrumentals live. the band was really good but the record sucked. a few years later Lake decided he wanted in after all. thing is Berry was actually pretty good! definitely a better singer than Lake was at that point. they were also way more fun with him.

frogbs, Thursday, 27 October 2022 03:00 (one month ago) link

Adam Lambert in Queen, although most people are too respectful of the whole situation to actively dislike him.

Siegbran, Thursday, 27 October 2022 10:02 (one month ago) link

Maniac in Mayhem - lasted nine years & two albums, but certainly not as well-liked as his predecessors Dead and Attila Csihar. He got booted out (literally, down a flight of stairs) and Attila returned.

Siegbran, Thursday, 27 October 2022 10:20 (one month ago) link

I've never listened to either of the Ripper-era Judas Priest albums, and I'm not an Iced Earth fan, but he was on two Yngwie Malmsteen albums (2008's Perpetual Flame and 2010's Relentless), and he was perfect for that.

I wrote about Van Halen III a couple of years ago. It's bad. Cherone isn't the worst thing about it, but he's definitely a major contributing factor.

I might have to vote for Israel Joseph I, because he was the one who sounded closest to the guy he was replacing, at least to my ear, and the (non-reggae) songs his version of the band sang weren't terrible; they sort of sounded like Living Colour covering songs from I Against I.

but also fuck you (unperson), Thursday, 27 October 2022 11:52 (one month ago) link

cherone was a bad fit for vh, and like many of these other vocalists he was cursed with an album of bad material (produced by the law & order theme guy). i love him in extreme so much that i wish it were any other way

flamenco drop (BradNelson), Thursday, 27 October 2022 11:57 (one month ago) link

My god, was there really someone who voluntarily went by the name "Jizzy"?

Vast Halo, Thursday, 27 October 2022 12:07 (one month ago) link

Anyway, write in vote for Terence Trent D'Arby in INXS.

Vast Halo, Thursday, 27 October 2022 12:12 (one month ago) link

What about that Black Sabbath guy who everybody hates? Tony Martin? Not sure how long he was with them though. Also whoever replaced Hugh Cornwell in the Stranglers.

Fronted by a bearded Phil Collins (Tom D.), Thursday, 27 October 2022 12:16 (one month ago) link

Ray Gillen (RIP) and Tony "The Cat" Martin in Sabbath were also cursed with poor material. I know some people rate Born Again but even they must admit Ian Gillan was not the right man to be singing the classics, and Sabbath were not the band to be covering Smoke on the Water.

Israel Joseph I seconded, he did a decent enough job for BB - unlike Chuck Mosely.

xpost!

zeuhl's forgotten man (Matt #2), Thursday, 27 October 2022 12:20 (one month ago) link

oh i actually love every black sabbath replacement singer lol

flamenco drop (BradNelson), Thursday, 27 October 2022 12:28 (one month ago) link

I guess the Stranglers guy can't be too bad, one of my old workmates went to see them a few years back and didn't even notice Hugh Cornwell wasn't in the band. in fact he insisted it was him when I told him he'd left years ago.

even the birds in the trees seemed to whisper "get fucked" (bovarism), Thursday, 27 October 2022 12:29 (one month ago) link

headless cross (with tony martin) is such a dope record

flamenco drop (BradNelson), Thursday, 27 October 2022 12:31 (one month ago) link

speaking of singing the classics, despite vhiii not working at all i seem to remember cherone had the reputation for singing the dlr stuff well?

flamenco drop (BradNelson), Thursday, 27 October 2022 12:32 (one month ago) link

Yeah he was good live. He was doomed from the jump though.

I took love him in Extreme. His personality oozes out whereas he sounds like someone told him "the fans hate you" minutes before he recorded VH3.

"Tragic Comic" I've always wanted to perform with an acoustic trio

stank viola (Neanderthal), Thursday, 27 October 2022 12:46 (one month ago) link

*too

stank viola (Neanderthal), Thursday, 27 October 2022 12:47 (one month ago) link

The Paul Rodgers era of Queen was interesting. He didn't try to be a replacement, he was just himself in hideous trousers.

Ray Wilson Genesis, gah. There was really no reason for that lineup to exist.

How do people rate Jason Scheff? He was there far longer than Cetera but I suspect there are people who can't tell the difference between them (and also don't care).

blissfully unawarewolf (Ye Mad Puffin), Thursday, 27 October 2022 13:10 (one month ago) link

(FWIW I can barely tell the difference and I definitely don't care. I have very little use for Chicago in general.)

blissfully unawarewolf (Ye Mad Puffin), Thursday, 27 October 2022 13:14 (one month ago) link

I legit mistook Scheff for Cetera on the albums a few times as a kid. And I saw them live in 1989 and he was good.

I just suspect he wasn't regarded highly by the diehards because they already hated the genetic pop direction Chicago went, but he was with the group almost as long as Cetera (but he took left a few years ago).

stank viola (Neanderthal), Thursday, 27 October 2022 13:19 (one month ago) link

*generic

stank viola (Neanderthal), Thursday, 27 October 2022 13:19 (one month ago) link

Joe Strummer, the Pogues

immodesty blaise (jimbeaux), Thursday, 27 October 2022 13:56 (one month ago) link

! Joe Strummer is the best possible answer to this question, thanks jimbeaux.

Neanderthal, I agree that people who loved Terry Kath-era Chicago were disappointed by Peter Cetera and the synthy, non-horny direction that David Foster took them in. It led to their greatest successes on the pop charts but longtime fans felt like it was a betrayal. Which probably means that they were even more disappointed by the Scheff era.

FWIW, the Cetera Era was 1967 to 1985. Scheff was there 1985 to 2016, so rather longer (as if anyone fucking cares who was in Chicago in 2016).

Diehard Chicago fans probably have Opinions. But I think for most normal people - like you and I - Cetera vs. Scheff is not even an interesting difference.

blissfully unawarewolf (Ye Mad Puffin), Thursday, 27 October 2022 14:31 (one month ago) link

Is Trevor Horn's tenure as lead singer of Yes no longer under-appreciated?

On the topic of renamed bands with new lead singers, neither Talk Show (with Dave Coutts) and the Explorers (with James Wraith) are going to make people forget Stone Temple Pilots and Roxy Music, but the records they made deserved better than total obscurity.

Halfway there but for you, Thursday, 27 October 2022 14:47 (one month ago) link

The live show with Strummer on the Pogues 30 box is pretty fucking great.

immodesty blaise (jimbeaux), Thursday, 27 October 2022 15:01 (one month ago) link

Would rather hear Shane MacGowan sing Clash songs, honestly.

but also fuck you (unperson), Thursday, 27 October 2022 15:08 (one month ago) link

Shane was apparently in the crowd that night. Pity he didn't come up on stage.

immodesty blaise (jimbeaux), Thursday, 27 October 2022 15:17 (one month ago) link

Jean Michael Byron in Toto

lets hear some blues on those synths (brimstead), Thursday, 27 October 2022 15:43 (one month ago) link

Diehard Chicago fans probably have Opinions. But I think for most normal people - like you and I - Cetera vs. Scheff is not even an interesting difference.

ditto Steve Perry vs. That Other Guy in Journey

henry s, Thursday, 27 October 2022 15:44 (one month ago) link

That one guy John Allen who was singer of the Divine Comedy on the Europop EP. Hannon needn't have been insecure about his own vox.

Anyway he isn't my answer let me think of someone else

you can see me from westbury white horse, Thursday, 27 October 2022 16:57 (one month ago) link

I think Ray Wilson was really good, and Genesis at least allowed him to escape being solely known as the singer of a band created by a jingle writer (albeit a very good jingle writer - among other things, Peter Lawlor was responsible for BBC One's Rhythm and Movements ident music, so he's a big part of my childhood). It's a shame then that Mike and Tony didn't bother writing any songs (although I do like a few tracks - especially Congo, which sounds like Savage Garden doing worldbeat!)

you can see me from westbury white horse, Thursday, 27 October 2022 17:01 (one month ago) link

I tend to tune Gordon out completely. he sounds like a drunk Marlon Brandon trying to use an abacus

Might be the audible result of him hating everything he was being asked to sing

you can see me from westbury white horse, Thursday, 27 October 2022 17:08 (one month ago) link

Another Toto option: Fergie Frederiksen. Though I'm sad to realize he doesn't sing lead on "Stranger In Town," which would otherwise be a perfect name for this phenomenon. Maybe David Paich was expressing his dissatisfaction with this one-album interloper.

Doctor Casino, Thursday, 27 October 2022 17:10 (one month ago) link

I remember hearing "Stranger in Town" on the radio in late 1984 when all I knew about Toto was that they were credited with the music on the as-yet-unreleased Dune movie. I was sitting there listening, wondering "who's the stranger in town? Paul Atreides? How does that fit?"

Halfway there but for you, Thursday, 27 October 2022 17:13 (one month ago) link

Probably obscure but Wolfstone added this singer Ross Hamilton for their album Terra Firma, possibly because they were nostalgic for Ivan Drever and wanted some similar gravelly and world-weary voice in their music again (the well fey Stuart Eaglesham, who once did half the vocals, did almost all of them after Ivan left). Anyway he wasn't a great fit and didn't write very good songs and almost turned the band into a Celtic Incubus or something - and then he left the band almost immediately and they've never recorded an album again. But the record has some of their best production!

you can see me from westbury white horse, Thursday, 27 October 2022 17:14 (one month ago) link

I was sitting there listening, wondering "who's the stranger in town? Paul Atreides? How does that fit?"

a common misconception for radio listeners! the video clarifies that the stranger is in fact Piter de Vries.

Doctor Casino, Thursday, 27 October 2022 17:23 (one month ago) link

Not sure of the dates (2000s some time?) but Jethro Tull did one tour with a replacement singer for Ian Anderson, who I suppose twirled a flute around and acted as more of an MC. Since his voice has been absolutely shot for decades this would certainly have sounded far better, but the fans were not amused and the experiment remained a one-off.

zeuhl's forgotten man (Matt #2), Thursday, 27 October 2022 17:31 (one month ago) link

You can see me etc.:

Genesis at least allowed him to escape being solely known as the singer of a band created by a jingle writer

I agree that Ray Wilson is a perfectly rock vocalist. But was replacing a replacement singer in a globally famous, fabulously successful band truly the only career move available to him?

Like, I can think of a lot of other ways to be a successful musician. If Genesis or the Who or Queen or Journey or whomsoever called me up tomorrow and asked me if I could fill in on some tour dates, I would probably say yes. But it strikes me as a little strange to think that Mr. Wilson's choices were Genesis or obscurity.

blissfully unawarewolf (Ye Mad Puffin), Thursday, 27 October 2022 17:58 (one month ago) link

* perfectly good

blissfully unawarewolf (Ye Mad Puffin), Thursday, 27 October 2022 17:58 (one month ago) link

Who else was going to call him up? As the singer of a rather unloved one hit wonder, I'd say it was Genesis or obscurity for him, yeah. In the sense that had Genesis not phoned him up he wouldn't have done anything else of consequence again. He tours a lot in the continent these days mixing Stiltskin and Genesis - the latter I'd say is why any sort of interest in him sustained, with the former being a nice thing to go with it.

you can see me from westbury white horse, Thursday, 27 October 2022 18:31 (one month ago) link

Wow it must be awful

poor him, only got to be globally famous and decently rich for six years

my heart bleeds for the pathos of being Ray Wilson

blissfully unawarewolf (Ye Mad Puffin), Thursday, 27 October 2022 19:13 (one month ago) link

Mary Ramsey with 10,000 Maniacs. A weak carbon copy of Natalie Merchant and had the temerity to sing lyrics Merchant had written.

lord of the rongs (anagram), Thursday, 27 October 2022 19:16 (one month ago) link

Slim Dunlap.

Capital Radio Sweetheart (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 27 October 2022 19:21 (one month ago) link

Sorry, wrong thread.

Capital Radio Sweetheart (James Redd and the Blecchs), Thursday, 27 October 2022 19:21 (one month ago) link

I totally did not know that about Mary Ramsey!

They should have updated the precise number of maniacs

blissfully unawarewolf (Ye Mad Puffin), Thursday, 27 October 2022 19:32 (one month ago) link

Ramsey has been the group’s lead vocalist for something like 23 cumulative years… hardly a short-term replacement!

Reese's Pisces Iscariot (morrisp), Thursday, 27 October 2022 19:52 (one month ago) link

poor him, only got to be globally famous and decently rich for six years

my heart bleeds for the pathos of being Ray Wilson

Tell your heart to stop cus I'd say that was a pretty good deal myself

you can see me from westbury white horse, Thursday, 27 October 2022 19:56 (one month ago) link

Joe Lynn Turner's one-album sojourn in Deep Purple appears not to have been a resounding success, unless you're asking him.

Following its release, Slaves and Masters was met with mixed reception from critics. AllMusic's Alex Henderson gave the album a negative review, saying that "the songwriting is weak and pedestrian, and most of the time, the once-mighty Purple (who were at least 16 years past their prime) sound like a generic Foreigner wannabe".[6] The same concept was expressed in the reviews by journalists Martin Popoff and Joel McIver, who described Slaves and Masters "a bit like a latter-day Rainbow album" and an "extravagant piece of AOR-ness ... incredibly lightweight", respectively.[7][8] However, they salvaged a few songs, such as "King of Dreams", "Love Conquers All" and "Fire in the Basement", which "make at least a reasonable effort to match Purple’s catalogue".[8]

Jon Lord himself, more than his mates Glover and Paice, never recognized this record as a Deep Purple album.[9] On the other hand, Turner openly praised Slaves and Masters by saying it was "probably (the) last great Purple album there was (...) It's a great album, (it) stands up to these days, one of the best recorded, best written (...) I can name every title and just go...who can beat that?".[10]

zeuhl's forgotten man (Matt #2), Thursday, 27 October 2022 19:57 (one month ago) link

I really can't imagine Ray Wilson made that much money

frogbs, Thursday, 27 October 2022 20:02 (one month ago) link

Mary Ramsey with 10,000 Maniacs. A weak carbon copy of Natalie Merchant and had the temerity to sing lyrics Merchant had written.

― lord of the rongs (anagram),

it was fun for a while

Malevolent Arugula (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Thursday, 27 October 2022 20:05 (one month ago) link

Jizzy Pearl is a top tier rock name

ciderpress, Thursday, 27 October 2022 20:10 (one month ago) link

Somehow I doubt Ray Wilson is working as a barista or as a Tesco cashier rn

blissfully unawarewolf (Ye Mad Puffin), Thursday, 27 October 2022 20:14 (one month ago) link

Ray Wilson, wet cleanup in Aisle Five

immodesty blaise (jimbeaux), Thursday, 27 October 2022 20:20 (one month ago) link

In 2014, the first Ray Wilson biography, Gypsy, by journalist Mario Giammetti, was published in Italy (Edizioni Segno).

Kim Kimberly, Friday, 28 October 2022 00:28 (one month ago) link

Dave Mason and Bekka Bramlett on that one Fleetwood Mac album.

Mr. Snrub, Sunday, 30 October 2022 10:27 (one month ago) link

There wiil be many Echo & the Bunnymen purists who will say that Reverberation (the album with Noel Burke) is not a true Bunnymen album, but there are lots of fans to be found who love that record. Myself included. Wonderful music and Noel does have nice distinguished vocals. It feels a bit of a slight towards Ian McCulloch that they didn't simply change their name at that time, but on the other hand there are as many original members in the band since 1999 (Ian and Will) as there were on Reverberation (Will and Les).

Valentijn, Sunday, 30 October 2022 11:11 (one month ago) link

I really love Morcheeba's 'The Antidote', their one release with Daisy Martey on vocals.

Valentijn, Sunday, 30 October 2022 11:14 (one month ago) link

Stranglers (mentioned upthread) don't count here I think. Both post-Cornwell singers had lenghty runs. Baz (excellent present singer) has now been in the band for longer than Hugh was.

Valentijn, Sunday, 30 October 2022 11:16 (one month ago) link

i voted for Jizzy Pearl, because they are called Jizzy Pearl

saigo no ice cream (Noodle Vague), Sunday, 30 October 2022 11:19 (one month ago) link

Yes super fun idea for a poll. I logged on to vote for Strummer with ye Pogues.

three of the doctor's valuable bats are now dead (broom air), Sunday, 30 October 2022 22:36 (one month ago) link

Temporary write in vote for Axl Rose and AC/DC

Elvis Telecom, Monday, 31 October 2022 00:57 (one month ago) link

I am thinking it thorugh and I agree that Strummer was a good sport to be in the Pogues.

But - devils advocating for a second - isn't "underappreciated" a bit of a stretch for the pretty much universally admired and quasi-sainted Mr. Strummer?

I am a decently ardent Pogues fanboy. But given what I know of Shane (a beloved genius but also an utter wreck much of the time] I cannot possibly begrudge the band employing a nobly pedigreed substitute during the times when McGowan could not quite bring it on stage.

blissfully unawarewolf (Ye Mad Puffin), Monday, 31 October 2022 01:02 (one month ago) link

Fair enow. Strummer's not underappreciated.

three of the doctor's valuable bats are now dead (broom air), Tuesday, 1 November 2022 17:46 (one month ago) link

Possible write-in's: The Staehely bros. taking over for Jay Ferguson and Randy California for Spirit's Feedback album.

xp I was thinking about the duration of his stint with the band, which was regrettably short. While I agree that Joe in general is not underappreciated, I do think that his post-Clash work sometimes gets short shrift.

immodesty blaise (jimbeaux), Tuesday, 1 November 2022 19:04 (one month ago) link

While I agree that Joe in general is not underappreciated, I do think that his post-Clash work sometimes gets short shrift.

Have you tried listening to those Mescaleros albums recently? I was sent a download of a box set a few months ago and whoof...

but also fuck you (unperson), Tuesday, 1 November 2022 19:12 (one month ago) link

Not sure how to interpret "whoof" LOL

I love his work with the Mescaleros. I think I listened to the first one within the last six months or so.

immodesty blaise (jimbeaux), Tuesday, 1 November 2022 19:13 (one month ago) link

I just saw cheap tickets for Tommy DeCarlo, billed as "the singer of the legendary rock band Boston." I mean, sure, he's technically the singer of the legendary rock band Boston, and has been for a while, but come on. Also, come on some more, if I wanted to see Boston with a Delp replacement I would ... see Boston.

Josh in Chicago, Thursday, 10 November 2022 19:18 (three weeks ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Monday, 14 November 2022 00:01 (two weeks ago) link

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Tuesday, 15 November 2022 00:01 (two weeks ago) link

Noel Burke, come on down!

Mark G, Tuesday, 15 November 2022 06:43 (two weeks ago) link

Has it been mentioned on this thread that I guess Rolling Stone has had a running column on this very subject? Here's a fascinating recent one about the guy that sang in Creedence Clearwater Revisited.

https://www.rollingstone.com/music/music-features/john-tristao-creedence-clearwater-revisited-1234592101/amp/

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 20 November 2022 17:28 (one week ago) link

Pixies replaced the wrong singer with Kim Shattuck

Philip Nunez, Sunday, 20 November 2022 17:34 (one week ago) link

I never realized that Mary Ramsey actually performed in the Merchant/“true” version of the band in a back-up vocalist/violinist capacity

beamish13, Sunday, 20 November 2022 21:11 (one week ago) link


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