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The "Axl's Voice" Thread - Please Keep All Discussion Here

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4 minutes ago, prez said:

I was at MSG Night 2 and while I enjoyed the show I thought there was plenty of falsetto (or "Mickey" as you guys like to call it).

I'm not reading this whole thread but has anyone noticed that sometime in 2017 he started singing the "Now I know you better, you know I know better" lines in a very strange projected voice that almost sounds like he's trying to belt it out Meat Loaf-style? It's very different from how he sang it on CD (or in any live performances prior to 2017) and it's kinda cool.

I first noticed it on the Apollo soundboard. I had stopped following the fan recorded videos of the shows by that point.

I don't mind that voice. It took a minute to get used to though.

It's the weak verses that ruin the performances of Better.

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I went back to 06 to find a nasally performance from Axl because I felt like that was the most nasally his vocals ever were and the first video I go to is Patience being sung like it’s 80’s Axl. It sounds like the AMA performance from 89 with the tempo and his voice is clear with most of the nasal vocals gone. Probably the best version I’ve found come across since the 90’s. 

I know Patience doesn’t have a lot of difficulties and most sound the same, but this one stands out to me for its clarity. Sometimes I feel like Axl sang it in a joking way. This one feels like he just got done writing the song with Izzy and is trying it out. 

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Good find IC!

A lot of the time Patience suffers live, either because of the joking style it's sang, or the weak 'mickey' ending. This is very cool!

Edited by F*ck Fear

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My take on Axl's voice in different eras:

- 86-89 probably the best we'll ever listen too - a voice full, amazing range & no weak spots. The rasp was also raw and perfect.

- 90-93 some great vocals too, almost as good as before, but the rasp usually sounded a bit more harsh (kind of "metallic" sounding if you know what I mean)

- 01-02 strong lower register but rasp was almost completely gone, instead replaced by a very strong falsetto 

- 06-07 strong vocals all around and probably the best "modern" era vocals imo. Although there was some inconsistency at some shows and somehow on higher pitch he sang clean (without rasp) which was and is (later on) unusual

- 09-10 strong vocals all around and a HELL FUCK YEAH of a rasp! The rasp if anything was a bit too present for my liking in some songs - like he couldn't control it very well

-11-14 good vocal range but way too less rasp than usual. It seemed that Axl was really having some strain in singing in higher register. Still some odd great performances like '12 amazing Philly show and the later Vegas residency shows 

- 16-17 good vocals overall and great voice range and control - a very balanced era overall, especially considering Axl's age

- 18 still good vocals overall but the rasp was weaker and even a bit distorted at higher pitch

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36 minutes ago, trqster said:

My take on Axl's voice in different eras:

- 86-89 probably the best we'll ever listen too - a voice full, amazing range & no weak spots. The rasp was also raw and perfect.

- 90-93 some great vocals too, almost as good as before, but the rasp usually sounded a bit more harsh (kind of "metallic" sounding if you know what I mean)

- 01-02 strong lower register but rasp was almost completely gone, instead replaced by a very strong falsetto 

- 06-07 strong vocals all around and probably the best "modern" era vocals imo. Although there was some inconsistency at some shows and somehow on higher pitch he sang clean (without rasp) which was and is (later on) unusual

- 09-10 strong vocals all around and a HELL FUCK YEAH of a rasp! The rasp if anything was a bit too present for my liking in some songs - like he couldn't control it very well

-11-14 good vocal range but way too less rasp than usual. It seemed that Axl was really having some strain in singing in higher register. Still some odd great performances like '12 amazing Philly show and the later Vegas residency shows 

- 16-17 good vocals overall and great voice range and control - a very balanced era overall, especially considering Axl's age

- 18 still good vocals overall but the rasp was weaker and even a bit distorted at higher pitch

You can’t even group together his vocals from the years 86-94. In every single year, his voice was noticeably different. 

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I cannot stop thinking what the hell happened in 2011...

man, those leaked emails and problems with the record company doesnt explain the big difference of his voice just 10 months after Abu Dhabi.

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I always thought you could only have a certain number of sugeries on the throat...

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On 19.01.2019 at 8:03 PM, trqster said:

- 16-17 good vocals overall and great voice range and control - a very balanced era overall, especially considering Axl's age

- 18 still good vocals overall but the rasp was weaker and even a bit distorted at higher pitch

Well I would group it more like 2016 and 2017-2018.. His singing was much worse in 2017 than in 2016. And 2018.. well this year was weird. He sounded worse than ever in Berlin but later on European tour he was really good, propably better than in 2017. But then in Mexico he sounded as bad as in Berlin. He improved and some shows like in Taipei were good but his voice sounded really strained and tired. If he won't prepare for next tours he will kill his voice. 

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I don't know how anyone can say his vocals are good overall these days.. He has his moments but for the most part even his good moments are only good because they aren't terrible.. 2016 the best of the last few years but for every song he was goo don there was two that he wasn't. 

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15 minutes ago, Tom-Ass said:

I don't know how anyone can say his vocals are good overall these days.. He has his moments but for the most part even his good moments are only good because they aren't terrible.. 2016 the best of the last few years but for every song he was goo don there was two that he wasn't. 

I think that the crazy, over the top rasp that he was performing with in 1991-1992 changed his voice forever.  Honestly, I thought he used too much rasp in that era a lot of the time.  The RQ in St. Louis before the dive into the crowd is a perfect example.  It doesn't sound like the AFD recording.  It's like his voice was hoarse.  The recording sounds like singing notes with a subtle rasp on top.  The performance was just over the top rasp for rasp's sake.  Doing that over the course of the UYI tour had to take a toll on his vocal chords.

I still think it is more of an endurance issue than a capability issue.  I'm sure he can't quite hit all the notes with rasp anymore due to age (or hit some of the high notes period) but I still believe that in a studio he could sound very close to UYI.  When recording he can sing one line at a time so his voice doesn't "go away" through the song.

This isn't just an Axl phenomenon.  Not all that many singers sound nearly as good live in their 50's as they did in their 20's and some are absolutely horrible (exhibit A: Jon Bon Jovi).  Even Freddie Mercury didn't hit all the notes in "We are the Champions" in the Live Aid performance (despite the dramatization in Bohemian Rhapsodsy he didn't start having AIDS symptoms for 2 more years).  However, he was able to sound very good in the studio even practically on his death bed.  Queen didn't perform live after 1986 and he only did that one solo performance with the opera lady.

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1991: extremely raspy, almost painfully so at times, thin and very smokey (see Indiana 1991 for most extreme example of this)

1992: Much more control over voice, very full throated rasp. Wembley 92 and Tokyo 92 are examples.

1993: voice starts off the year strong and at a peak (March '93, SIDHY is recorded), ends with scratchy, thin, worn out vocals but with power and control; rasp is starting to thin out (see YCBM for example at Argentina '93 or You Ain't the First on latter half of 93 touring) 

1994: Voice begins to become a bit higher pitched while still being raspy; vocals still close to UYI sound (see Dead Flowers on Gilby's solo record and Sympathy). Rasp is there but Axl is using tricks and techniques to cover up weak spots.

1996: Voice is even more higher pitched but still raspy, but lacking the power of before (Anxious Disease - listen to how high pitched, weak yet raspy his scream is in particular)

1998/1999 - high pitched falsetto rasp, very "punky" in sound, close to his early 84-86 Hollywood Rose/very early GNR voice (listen to the Hollywood Rose version of Anything Goes and Reckless Life on Lies, and then '99 SCOM and Live Era re-recorded vocals, and you'll hear how close they sound)

 

Edited by Fashionista

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I wonder if Axl, much like he did with Only Women Bleed, if he'd do more SCOM intros? I loved The One, One by U2, Shangra - la etc.

 

Edited by UsedYourIllusion

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On 17.02.2019 at 4:52 PM, Tom-Ass said:

I don't know how anyone can say his vocals are good overall these days.. He has his moments but for the most part even his good moments are only good because they aren't terrible.. 2016 the best of the last few years but for every song he was goo don there was two that he wasn't. 

He had plenty of awful moments in 2018, 2017 too.  He is very inconsistent. I'd say he has some bad moments per show like YCBM, Rocket Queen and SCOM but on Shadow Of Your Love, Slither, Madagascar, Nightrain and more he sounds good or very good. I think there are more tracks where he sounds decent/good/great than where he sounds terrible

Edited by sl4yer

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Look at it this way: considering the drive in 2016, meaning mainly AC/DC, we might actually be glad he was still able to do any shows at all in 2017–18.

 

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20 hours ago, sl4yer said:

He had plenty of awful moments in 2018, 2017 too.  He is very inconsistent. I'd say he has some bad moments per show like YCBM, Rocket Queen and SCOM but on Shadow Of Your Love, Slither, Madagascar, Nightrain and more he sounds good or very good. I think there are more tracks where he sounds decent/good/great than where he sounds terrible

He sings about a verse and a line of Madagascar like the nearly 20-year-old record but then the Big Mouse comes out to play. 

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2 minutes ago, Jordan Rose said:

He sings about a verse and a line of Madagascar like the nearly 20-year-old record but then the Big Mouse comes out to play. 

 

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1 minute ago, Jordan Rose said:

Lol ok then just a verse XD

Oh well..

1st verse - very strong low voice then mickey

From 1:40 he uses I think as much low voice as possible, in higher parts mickey

In 2:30 he came out strong and with rasp

Overally I think it sounded really good and this song was a highlight of 2018 EU leg

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22 hours ago, sl4yer said:

Oh well..

1st verse - very strong low voice then mickey

From 1:40 he uses I think as much low voice as possible, in higher parts mickey

In 2:30 he came out strong and with rasp

Overally I think it sounded really good and this song was a highlight of 2018 EU leg

A highlight? Dude.

There isn't one single Madagascar from 09-10 that doesn't blow this away (and probably 06-07 too). 

It was admittedly really cool they even did it and how into it Slash was but as far as listening pleasure goes even the 100% clean voice 2002 versions are better. 

Edited by Jordan Rose
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39 minutes ago, Jordan Rose said:

A highlight? Dude.

There isn't one single Madagascar from 09-10 that doesn't blow this away (and probably 06-02 too). 

It was admittedly really cool they even did it and how into it Slash was but as far as listening pleasure goes even the 100% clean voice 2002 versions are better. 

Funny because actually 2002 versions are propably my favorite. We all know that in 06 -10 he had voice that is unreachable for him right now. But if you'll compare to version from 2011, 2018 wins for me

 

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56 minutes ago, F*ck Fear said:

The Blues & Madagascar never sounded better than they did in 2002.

 

I agree. I don't like how The Blues sounded in 2006 and 2010. Also only in 2001-2002 he was able to sing the line "Is only memories" like in the studio version. I enjoy every version of Masagascar but IMO the strong clean vocals fit this song the most.

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1 hour ago, F*ck Fear said:

The Blues & Madagascar never sounded better than they did in 2002.

 

I was at one of the few shows (Detroit, 2002) where Axl hit the high note in the last verse of The Blues. It was awesome. 

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