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


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14 minutes ago, Gordon Comstock said:

I don't think his voice was overrated in 2016 - he sounded weak as usual on certain songs like SCOM, Nov Rain, YCBM, or Better, but he also improved on certain songs compared to 2012-14. Songs like OTGM, This I Love, My Michelle, Jungle, LALD, there were noticeable improvements. There were some shows where Rocket Queen or Civil War were kinda weak, and some shows where they were really good, but generally, his voice in 2016 was better than 2012-14.

Also, why do people keep saying AC/DC songs are "way easier" for him to sing? That's 100% a fan-made myth, to try and justify the fact that he actually gave a fuck about performing AC/DC songs. Axl admitted that Hell's Bells was the hardest song he's ever sang. Do you seriously think Thunderstruck and Back In Black were easy for him? He sounded great on those songs because he worked hard with a vocal coach, and he's sounded weak with GNR since 2017 because he stopped having that level of commitment (and the Brian Johnson songs probably fucked up his vocal chords to some extent).

First of all saying that he improved on certain songs compared to 2012-2014 doesn't really say much. Sure he improved if we compare his voice to his early 2014 voice. He sucked then. But then he was great again in the last Vegas shows of 2014. 2012-2014 is a long time frame. So how exactly was This I Love better in 2016 compared to 2012? What are these noticeable improvements that you're talking about? You'd think that if they're so noticeable I wouldn't even have to ask. If we're talking about rasp, the Appetite for Democracy performance of TIL sounds at least as raspy to me as the 2016 performances. The House of Blues version from 2012 just might be raspier than any version from 2016. And the scream in LALD seems to be longer and stronger in the House of Blues version than in any version from 2016. So how exactly is LALD better in 2016? WTTJ was mostly raspy both in 2012 and in 2016, so what is the noticeable difference? It's difficult to find videos of My Michelle and Out Ta Get Me from 2012-2014, but I found one from 2012. Axl sounds just as strong there as he did in 2016. In other words full of rasp and power. You can't just say that there's noticeable improvements if you don't give any examples of what these noticeable improvements are. 

You know what is a 100% fan made myth? The idea that the only reason why Axl sounded better with AC/DC is cause he gave a fuck. No we've had this discussion before. Brian Johnson songs go straight from Axl's lower mid-range to screaming. That's why those songs are in general easier for him. He's always raspy when he screams and it's much easier for him to sing in his lower mid-range voice compared to his higher mid-range. Most GNR songs are full of higher-mid range singing. That's why he sounds like Mickey.

Sure, AC/DC songs have some moments that are difficult for Axl, if he tries to sing them perfectly. Especially Hell's Bells has those super high notes. That's why Axl said that it's the hardest song he's sung. They have some difficult notes here and there, but in general they're way easier for him. That's my point. You say that he stopped caring after 2016. Still 2016 had some very bad GNR performances. You gotta admit that it's not because Axl wouldn't care, but because he just can't do it. He can't sing certain songs with rasp. It's not possible for him. Most AC/DC songs are in this sense easier for him. They go from lower mid range straight to screaming which is ideal for Axl's voice.

So yeah, Axl's voice doesn't seem to be drastically better in 2016 compared to 2012 and AC/DC songs are in general easier for him to sing than GNR songs.

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Haha ok, so the video I posted is already gone. So if every video in this forum is getting blocked...    

I think denial/sugarcoating is at an all time high right now.  Jungle has been fantastic throughout 2016 and even bits of 2017, and it sucks now. For the first time in his career since recording

I find it a bit crazy that people have created this image of him being lazy when it comes to his voice and doing absolutely nothing. The dude had dozens of different voices throughout his career, and

1 hour ago, sl4yer said:

So straight facts are that, all 2012 shows were more or less about his mickey voice and in 2016 he delivered really great, impressive performances.

That couldn't be farther from a fact. I just watched a bunch of performances from 2012. They're raspy as hell. I seriously can't say which ones are raspier 2012 performances or 2016 performances.

1 hour ago, sl4yer said:

And with all that you are missing one important thing. He was a lot more energetic, into it during 2016 shows. 

That's just a straight up lie! I just watched a lot of videos from 2012 and was really surprised about how energetic he was back then. You can see that he's younger and making the kind of moves that probably would have broke his bones 2016. The way he leaned back back then when he screamed. It's almost like he was defying gravity. He was dancing, jumping and running around much more than in 2016. He even did the kick in It's So Easy back then. I mean this is not even a contest. In 2012 he was more energetic.

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16 minutes ago, Lies They Tell said:

First of all saying that he improved on certain songs compared to 2012-2014 doesn't really say much. Sure he improved if we compare his voice to his early 2014 voice. He sucked then. But then he was great again in the last Vegas shows of 2014. 2012-2014 is a long time frame. So how exactly was This I Love better in 2016 compared to 2012? What are these noticeable improvements that you're talking about? You'd think that if they're so noticeable I wouldn't even have to ask. If we're talking about rasp, the Appetite for Democracy performance of TIL sounds at least as raspy to me as the 2016 performances. The House of Blues version from 2012 just might be raspier than any version from 2016.

Of course there were some good performances between 2012-14. I was at the last Vegas 2014 shows and he sounded really good, but those shows were above the standard for that era. As far as This I Love, he still used rasp on the chorus in 2012 most of the time, but it was clearly getting harder for him by 2014 (I think Golden Gods was the first time he didn't even attempt parts of the 2nd verse?). In 2016 his voice on the chorus was almost as good as 2010, and the verses were generally pretty strong. I haven't watched the HOB 2012 show since it happened, and I remember it being all over the place vocally (pretty sure he actually did have a cold or something at that show... KOHD especially stood out to me, and not in a good way). But, look up the performance from Seattle 2016, that's honestly my favourite performance of the song from NITL. He sounded strong throughout the whole song at plenty of performances in 2016.

 

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And the scream in LALD seems to be longer and stronger in the House of Blues version than in any version from 2016. So how exactly is LALD better in 2016? WTTJ was mostly raspy both in 2012 and in 2016, so what is the noticeable difference? It's difficult to find videos of My Michelle and Out Ta Get Me from 2012-2014, but I found one from 2012. Axl sounds just as strong there as he did in 2016. In other words full of rasp and power. You can't just say that there's noticeable improvements if you don't give any examples of what these noticeable improvements are.

I'd love to post videos, but y'know.... Wanker's a fucking loser who sits around waiting to take videos down.

The LALD screams were stronger in 2012? I don't remember that. Vegas 2016 had the best LALD screams in a loooooong time and the NA run had consistently great, powerful screams on that song. He used to hold the notes longer in 2012 but they certainly weren't as powerful. Jungle was consistently strong in 2012-14 but there was just a different attitude to that song in 2016, I'm not sure how to properly explain it. It's not just about the rasp, there's a sharpness and attitude in his voice that comes out when he's 'on', if you know what I mean.

Which video of My Michelle from 2012 did you see? I'd like to hear it.

 

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You know what is a 100% fan made myth? The idea that the only reason why Axl sounded better with AC/DC is cause he gave a fuck. No we've had this discussion before. Brian Johnson songs go straight from Axl's lower mid-range to screaming. That's why those songs are in general easier for him. He's always raspy when he screams and it's much easier for him to sing in his lower mid-range voice compared to his higher mid-range. Most GNR songs are full of higher-mid range singing. That's why he sounds like Mickey.

Sure, AC/DC songs have some moments that are difficult for Axl, if he tries to sing them perfectly. Especially Hell's Bells has those super high notes. That's why Axl said that it's the hardest song he's sung. They have some difficult notes here and there, but in general they're way easier for him. That's my point. You say that he stopped caring after 2016. Still 2016 had some very bad GNR performances. You gotta admit that it's not because Axl wouldn't care, but because he just can't do it. He can't sing certain songs with rasp. It's not possible for him. Most AC/DC songs are in this sense easier for him. They go from lower mid range straight to screaming which is ideal for Axl's voice.

So yeah, Axl's voice doesn't seem to be drastically better in 2016 compared to 2012 and AC/DC songs are in general easier for him to sing than GNR songs.

 

He did sound better because he gave a fuck, though. That's what rehearsing and working with a vocal coach means. He wanted to prove something, there was an incentive for him to do well, and he worked hard and fucking nailed it. He *could* sound great for a full GNR set if he really worked on it, but that doesn't seem to be what he wants to do. Mickey is his comfort-zone.

I acknowledged that he had bad moments in 2016. The South American tour was weaker than the North American tour. Certain songs were weak at every show. But I don't think it's as simple as 'screaming = rasp', if we use Houston 2016 as an example (I know that show is one of the best, but just for arguments sake) he used rasp on Better, Coma, Rocket Queen, and he wasn't screaming his way through those songs. I'm sure you could find great performances from 2012-14, but he was more consistently good in 2016.

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22 minutes ago, Gordon Comstock said:

Of course there were some good performances between 2012-14. I was at the last Vegas 2014 shows and he sounded really good, but those shows were above the standard for that era. As far as This I Love, he still used rasp on the chorus in 2012 most of the time, but it was clearly getting harder for him by 2014 (I think Golden Gods was the first time he didn't even attempt parts of the 2nd verse?). In 2016 his voice on the chorus was almost as good as 2010, and the verses were generally pretty strong. I haven't watched the HOB 2012 show since it happened, and I remember it being all over the place vocally (pretty sure he actually did have a cold or something at that show... KOHD especially stood out to me, and not in a good way). But, look up the performance from Seattle 2016, that's honestly my favourite performance of the song from NITL. He sounded strong throughout the whole song at plenty of performances in 2016.

 

I'd love to post videos, but y'know.... Wanker's a fucking loser who sits around waiting to take videos down.

The LALD screams were stronger in 2012? I don't remember that. Vegas 2016 had the best LALD screams in a loooooong time and the NA run had consistently great, powerful screams on that song. He used to hold the notes longer in 2012 but they certainly weren't as powerful. Jungle was consistently strong in 2012-14 but there was just a different attitude to that song in 2016, I'm not sure how to properly explain it. It's not just about the rasp, there's a sharpness and attitude in his voice that comes out when he's 'on', if you know what I mean.

Which video of My Michelle from 2012 did you see? I'd like to hear it.

 

 

He did sound better because he gave a fuck, though. That's what rehearsing and working with a vocal coach means. He wanted to prove something, there was an incentive for him to do well, and he worked hard and fucking nailed it. He *could* sound great for a full GNR set if he really worked on it, but that doesn't seem to be what he wants to do. Mickey is his comfort-zone.

I acknowledged that he had bad moments in 2016. The South American tour was weaker than the North American tour. Certain songs were weak at every show. But I don't think it's as simple as 'screaming = rasp', if we use Houston 2016 as an example (I know that show is one of the best, but just for arguments sake) he used rasp on Better, Coma, Rocket Queen, and he wasn't screaming his way through those songs. I'm sure you could find great performances from 2012-14, but he was more consistently good in 2016.

I also think, on the AC/DC point, it's a point of pride for him to be playing with his idols. Doesn't want to fuck it up. And, plus AC/DC fans probably wouldn't take any bullshit. They're such a massive band, you can't half-ass something like that. It also does help that the songs don't require his head voice all that much, or his upper mid range that songs like SCOM use.

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At this point I don't think it has anything to do with him caring. It's absolutely clear to me that the Axl/DC thing did some serious damage to his upper range. I remember the voice cracks appearing here and there on the American leg of the Rock or Bust tour, and then starting to appear more and more as he went back to GNR. It deteriorated to the point where he is no longer able to even sing TIL. The Better bridge, the ending of TWAT. Those were moments where he would still shine even in the 2011-2014 era. It's not that they sound bad right now, it's more a matter of him being unable to to them. I don't think rehearsals would change that. His tools are deteriorating through use and age.

I don't know where this whole "Axl is lazy" things really comes from. He doesn't strike me as a lazy person, particularly when it comes to performing. There is no way somebody in his 50's performs at the intensity he does, for the time that he does without some serious actual preparation. You could see the pride he had whenever he sang the TIL chorus. I doubt he would be ok with simply having to scrap the song from the setlist due to lazyness.

Singing is a young man's game, and Axl is getting old. His style is crazy demanding, singing way above his natural register with tremendous distortion for years and years. Lesser singers have lost their voices at younger ages. TBH Axl has probably lasted longer at a decent level than a lot of singers with similar styles do. I would bet that he is fully aware of the deterioration of his voice, and that it could even have a relation with his reluctance to release music.

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1 hour ago, Gordon Comstock said:

Of course there were some good performances between 2012-14. I was at the last Vegas 2014 shows and he sounded really good, but those shows were above the standard for that era. 

What era though? Calling 2012-2014 an era of Axl's voice is like calling 2016-2020 an era of Axl's voice. No, Axl sounded pretty good in 2016 compared to now. Likewise Axl sounded pretty good in 2012 compared to 2014. Well in 2014 he sucked until his voice was great again in those Vegas shows. It seems like people remember 2012 as being much worse than it actually was. Probably cause people were still expecting him to sound like he did in 2010. Now they remember that the whole 2012-2014 era sounded mostly like early 2014, which couldn't be farther from the truth. Similarly people remember 2016 as being better than it actually was cause they compare that era to early 2014 and now. In reality Axl's voice was pretty similar in 2012 and 2016.

1 hour ago, Gordon Comstock said:

I haven't watched the HOB 2012 show since it happened, and I remember it being all over the place vocally

I don't remember what people thought of that HOB 2012 show back in the day. I wouldn't be surprised if it was considered bad cause people still compared everything to 2010. But looking back at it now. Oh Boy, there's some really great performances there. The scream on LALD for example is longer than in Vegas 2016 and I wouldn't say that it's any less powerful either. So if that's what Axl sounded like when he had a cold back then, how good were the average shows then?

1 hour ago, Gordon Comstock said:

Jungle was consistently strong in 2012-14 but there was just a different attitude to that song in 2016, I'm not sure how to properly explain it. It's not just about the rasp, there's a sharpness and attitude in his voice that comes out when he's 'on', if you know what I mean.

Slash's playing certainly gives the song a different kind of attitude. I give you that. Other than that I don't really know if I get what you're saying. Like I said in another post, it's clear that Axl was more energetic back in 2012 cause he was younger. It's something that you can objectively measure. He was dancing, moving, running and jumping more back then. So it's perfectly understandable if someone would say that he had more attitude back then because he was more energetic. At the same time he seems perhaps a bit happier in 2016, so he definitely has a different kind of attitude in 2016. Which one is a better attitude kinda feels like a matter of taste. At the end of the day when we're talking about these kind of things then we're really grasping at straws. My point was that Axl's voice wasn't drastically better in 2016 compared to 2012. If he had slightly more attitude or not doesn't really make his voice drastically better anyway.

1 hour ago, Gordon Comstock said:

Which video of My Michelle from 2012 did you see? I'd like to hear it.

I watched the only videos I found when I wrote My Michelle 2012 on Youtube. At least Milano 2012 and HOB 2012 seem to be on Youtube. They're not perfect examples of his voice cause Sebastian Bach is also singing there. But on the parts that Axl sings, he sounds pretty much the same as in 2016. 

1 hour ago, Gordon Comstock said:

He did sound better because he gave a fuck, though. That's what rehearsing and working with a vocal coach means. He wanted to prove something, there was an incentive for him to do well, and he worked hard and fucking nailed it. He *could* sound great for a full GNR set if he really worked on it, but that doesn't seem to be what he wants to do. Mickey is his comfort-zone.

I mean you're not wrong in the sense that of course he wanted to prove something and because of that he gave it his all for AC/DC. He would have sounded worse if he didn't give a fuck. BUT, that doesn't change the fact that those songs are also much easier for him to sing in general and there's 0% of chance that Axl could sound great for a full GNR set if he really worked on it, as long as they play songs like SCOM, NR, Better, RQ etc... His higher mid-range hasn't been good enough for that since 2010 and his voice seems to be going worse all the time. So how on earth do you think he could do it? That's like saying that YOU could sing a full GNR set with rasp if you really worked on it. No you can't cause you don't have the voice for it and neither does Axl.

1 hour ago, Gordon Comstock said:

I acknowledged that he had bad moments in 2016. The South American tour was weaker than the North American tour. Certain songs were weak at every show. But I don't think it's as simple as 'screaming = rasp', if we use Houston 2016 as an example (I know that show is one of the best, but just for arguments sake) he used rasp on Better, Coma, Rocket Queen, and he wasn't screaming his way through those songs. I'm sure you could find great performances from 2012-14, but he was more consistently good in 2016.

It's not as simple as screaming=rasp. His lower voice is also still good. He can still sing with rasp when he's using his lower mid range. Madagascar is one example of this. Better on the other hand is a song that's mostly right between his lower mid-range and higher mid-range. So often it's a weird mess of rasp and Mickey. When his voice was better in 2016, the range of his raspy singing voice was also bigger. Rocket Queen is another song that jumps between the lower mid-range and higher mid-range a lot. So it's usually a mix of raspy and clean vocals. So yeah, if Axl would start to get his voice back, you could hear it in these songs that are between his lower mid-range and higher mid-range. But I have 0% hope that Axl could ever sing a song like SCOM that's mostly higher pitched mid-range with a fully raspy voice again. 2010 is never coming back. At best we could have vocals similar to 2012 and 2016, but that may never happen again either.

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To answer why 2016 is so highly praised compared to 2012. 
1. Recency bias

2. Reunion 

3. Axl/DC and Axls reputation to the general public completely changing. 
 

and by the way, AC/DC songs, particularly Brian songs, are not easier to sing than guns songs. 30% of the GNR setlist is Axl using his lower register. There is absolutely none of that with Brian songs. They’re 100% rasp the entire time, 70% high rasp and 30% mid range rasp. Half of those AxlDC performances were pride And motivation from Axl. He’s been autopilot with GNR for the most part since 2011. At that same time, if he was as motivated with GNR in 2016, he could’ve properly rehearsed and trained to be raspy through the setlist as he did in 2010. Axl is a master of his voice; and he knows damn well he could sing GNR raspy if he wanted to. He subconsciously goes Mickey to preserve his voice. He loves performing and wants to keep doing it as long as possible. 

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8 hours ago, Underhardy said:

Axl is a master of his voice; and he knows damn well he could sing GNR raspy if he wanted to. He subconsciously goes Mickey to preserve his voice. He loves performing and wants to keep doing it as long as possible. 

it's very possible.

ps. I loveeeeee his low voice. Ginger version of Barry White  :D

 

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11 hours ago, Lies They Tell said:

But I have 0% hope that Axl could ever sing a song like SCOM that's mostly higher pitched mid-range with a fully raspy voice again. 2010 is never coming back. At best we could have vocals similar to 2012 and 2016, but that may never happen again either.

It's really interesting that in 2001/2002 he very consciously made the decision to use zero distortion live, even on the new songs like SoD and Madagascar that had shitloads of distortion on the studio versions. Those Jungle and LALD screams sounded absolutely insane even without distortion as they sounded so powerful. I wonder what shape his voice would be in now if he'd never deviated from that style.

In 2006 he very consciously went back to using a lot of distortion but with an incredibly well controlled blend of his 2002 clean voice. He really could just turn the rasp on and off and he maintained it through 2007 arguably getting more distortion heavy later on.

In 2009 he started similarly to '06 and then as we know by Europe he was 100% distortion. I make the assumption that despite the label /album release clusterfuck, it was finally having the thing out that basically made him want to bring it like it was 1992. His voice and general stage presence/performance, energy, demeanor etc were as close as he could physically get to his younger self. I doubt he could have sung like that for so long had he toured consistently from 1993-2010. He had a lot left in the bank for his age from the off/clean voice years.

What i'd like to ask you, though, is how he made singing like that in 2010 sound so effortless. If you watch any video of e.g. TIL it's not like he's straining to hit the notes or concentrating on singing: he's totally into the performance and the voice is just there. Listen to the Sorry pre-chorus (Nobody owes you..) which sounds SO lame in Mickey falsetto and in 2010 it's just effortless, menacing rasp. All the upper mid-range songs that he's struggled increasingly with since and especially now have full distortion all the way through. There are so many 2010 shows I have listened to all the way through countless times where he is just 100% flawless. Never less than A and some like Arnhem and Bucharest that are just A++++.

I understand that distortion/rasp, no matter how properly applied and used, is going to do damage when used consistently over time. I just don't understand how he seems to have lost so much. When he does use it now you can see it takes effort and strain. Back then it just seemed so natural.

 

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19 hours ago, Lies They Tell said:

What era though? Calling 2012-2014 an era of Axl's voice is like calling 2016-2020 an era of Axl's voice. No, Axl sounded pretty good in 2016 compared to now. Likewise Axl sounded pretty good in 2012 compared to 2014. Well in 2014 he sucked until his voice was great again in those Vegas shows. It seems like people remember 2012 as being much worse than it actually was. Probably cause people were still expecting him to sound like he did in 2010. Now they remember that the whole 2012-2014 era sounded mostly like early 2014, which couldn't be farther from the truth. Similarly people remember 2016 as being better than it actually was cause they compare that era to early 2014 and now. In reality Axl's voice was pretty similar in 2012 and 2016.

I don't remember what people thought of that HOB 2012 show back in the day. I wouldn't be surprised if it was considered bad cause people still compared everything to 2010. But looking back at it now. Oh Boy, there's some really great performances there. The scream on LALD for example is longer than in Vegas 2016 and I wouldn't say that it's any less powerful either. So if that's what Axl sounded like when he had a cold back then, how good were the average shows then?

Slash's playing certainly gives the song a different kind of attitude. I give you that. Other than that I don't really know if I get what you're saying. Like I said in another post, it's clear that Axl was more energetic back in 2012 cause he was younger. It's something that you can objectively measure. He was dancing, moving, running and jumping more back then. So it's perfectly understandable if someone would say that he had more attitude back then because he was more energetic. At the same time he seems perhaps a bit happier in 2016, so he definitely has a different kind of attitude in 2016. Which one is a better attitude kinda feels like a matter of taste. At the end of the day when we're talking about these kind of things then we're really grasping at straws. My point was that Axl's voice wasn't drastically better in 2016 compared to 2012. If he had slightly more attitude or not doesn't really make his voice drastically better anyway.

I watched the only videos I found when I wrote My Michelle 2012 on Youtube. At least Milano 2012 and HOB 2012 seem to be on Youtube. They're not perfect examples of his voice cause Sebastian Bach is also singing there. But on the parts that Axl sings, he sounds pretty much the same as in 2016.

 

That little run in 2012 (up close and personal) was probably the most consistent spell Axl had in the entire 2011-2014 spell. Quite often he sounded at least good, and yes on some nights such as the Philly show, Atlantic city and the final HoB show, he sounded damn good. However I'd probably put the NA tour above that from 2016.

The BIG difference is commitment from Axl. Too often it felt like he was kind of coasting and doing the bare minimum in songs. Ironically at places like Philly 2012, you can tell he has that same effort that he had in the NA leg in 2016. That effort sometimes makes a HUGE difference, especially with how he sounds. Philly 2016 probably isn't the greatest voice he had in the tour, but when he went for the higher notes they often sounded fierce. The same often could not be said, especially for most of 2012-2014 period outside of maybe UCAP 2012 NA leg and perhaps the final few Vegas shows. (and I've seen most of the performances at one point or another) Maybe 10 shows in 2 years that had the same level of dedication he had in every NITL show in the NA leg of the tour....not even including the other worldly display he had in the ACDC tour, that was a level above anything Axl has produced in terms of commitment (ever...what he managed to get out of his voice for those legs was outrageous).

An example of the commitment from Axl would be the opening note of Welcome to the Jungle. Compare say London 2012 show, to any number of 2016 shows and you will hear a big difference in how hard he sings (Uses a fuller sounding voice), and how high he goes before coming down. Interestingly, he does a similar thing in Philly 2012 as he does in most 2016 shows. 

The very best opening screams in 2016 really have nothing in 2011-2014 that can compare in terms of sheer power, length and height of the notes

Also nothing IMO beats out ta get me from Houston 2016 recently, his voice could easily  be from Bucharest 2010 on that, indeed I think it was probably the best performance since 2010 IMO (as is the show, for both his commitement, effort and general raspy strength he had that show).

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19 hours ago, Lies They Tell said:

What era though? Calling 2012-2014 an era of Axl's voice is like calling 2016-2020 an era of Axl's voice. No, Axl sounded pretty good in 2016 compared to now. Likewise Axl sounded pretty good in 2012 compared to 2014. Well in 2014 he sucked until his voice was great again in those Vegas shows. It seems like people remember 2012 as being much worse than it actually was. Probably cause people were still expecting him to sound like he did in 2010. Now they remember that the whole 2012-2014 era sounded mostly like early 2014, which couldn't be farther from the truth. Similarly people remember 2016 as being better than it actually was cause they compare that era to early 2014 and now. In reality Axl's voice was pretty similar in 2012 and 2016.

If we're gonna break it down like this, I'd say 2009-10 is a distinct era, 2011-early 2012 is it's own era, and mid-2012 through 2014 is another era, each one worse than the previous. He had some great shows in 2011 and the UCAP 2012 shows, and also had some bad ones. His 2016 voice is more comparable to a good performance the 2011-early 2012 shows.

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I don't remember what people thought of that HOB 2012 show back in the day. I wouldn't be surprised if it was considered bad cause people still compared everything to 2010. But looking back at it now. Oh Boy, there's some really great performances there. The scream on LALD for example is longer than in Vegas 2016 and I wouldn't say that it's any less powerful either. So if that's what Axl sounded like when he had a cold back then, how good were the average shows then?

It was 'bad' even when compared to the other UCAP 2012 shows, or the late 2011 pro-shots. Nothing to do with 2010. I'll have to go back and watch the LALD from HOB, though.

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Slash's playing certainly gives the song a different kind of attitude. I give you that. Other than that I don't really know if I get what you're saying. Like I said in another post, it's clear that Axl was more energetic back in 2012 cause he was younger. It's something that you can objectively measure. He was dancing, moving, running and jumping more back then. So it's perfectly understandable if someone would say that he had more attitude back then because he was more energetic. At the same time he seems perhaps a bit happier in 2016, so he definitely has a different kind of attitude in 2016. Which one is a better attitude kinda feels like a matter of taste. At the end of the day when we're talking about these kind of things then we're really grasping at straws. My point was that Axl's voice wasn't drastically better in 2016 compared to 2012. If he had slightly more attitude or not doesn't really make his voice drastically better anyway.

His voice may not have been 'drastically' better but there was a special energy in those performances, he was commanding the attention of a full stadium and you could tell the band was feeding off that energy. Maybe it was all to do with Slash's guitar playing, maybe it was just being at a big stadium rock show, but (at least from my personal experience) he performed that song with an attitude that had been sorely missing during the last few years of NuGNR.

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I mean you're not wrong in the sense that of course he wanted to prove something and because of that he gave it his all for AC/DC. He would have sounded worse if he didn't give a fuck. BUT, that doesn't change the fact that those songs are also much easier for him to sing in general and there's 0% of chance that Axl could sound great for a full GNR set if he really worked on it, as long as they play songs like SCOM, NR, Better, RQ etc... His higher mid-range hasn't been good enough for that since 2010 and his voice seems to be going worse all the time. So how on earth do you think he could do it? That's like saying that YOU could sing a full GNR set with rasp if you really worked on it. No you can't cause you don't have the voice for it and neither does Axl.

It's not as simple as screaming=rasp. His lower voice is also still good. He can still sing with rasp when he's using his lower mid range. Madagascar is one example of this. Better on the other hand is a song that's mostly right between his lower mid-range and higher mid-range. So often it's a weird mess of rasp and Mickey. When his voice was better in 2016, the range of his raspy singing voice was also bigger. Rocket Queen is another song that jumps between the lower mid-range and higher mid-range a lot. So it's usually a mix of raspy and clean vocals. So yeah, if Axl would start to get his voice back, you could hear it in these songs that are between his lower mid-range and higher mid-range. But I have 0% hope that Axl could ever sing a song like SCOM that's mostly higher pitched mid-range with a fully raspy voice again. 2010 is never coming back. At best we could have vocals similar to 2012 and 2016, but that may never happen again either.

I don't mean to say that he could sound like vintage Axl, but he could definitely adapt. Tune down, re-arrange the songs, or whatever. He doesn't have to use the chainsaw rasp to sound great, his best song in recent years was actually Wichita Lineman which was entirely a clean, natural voice. I don't expect him to sing SCOM in that style but he is (or was) versatile enough that he could've made it work without going the Mickey Mouse route. If you look up Rocket Queen from Houston 2016 there's a great balance of clean and raspy singing. He probably could've maintained that level of performance for a while if he'd kept working with his vocal coach. Nowadays though, it's a song I wish they'd drop from the set.

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3 minutes ago, Gordon Comstock said:

 

His voice may not have been 'drastically' better but there was a special energy in those performances, he was commanding the attention of a full stadium and you could tell the band was feeding off that energy. Maybe it was all to do with Slash's guitar playing, maybe it was just being at a big stadium rock show, but (at least from my personal experience) he performed that song with an attitude that had been sorely missing during the last few years of NuGNR.

 

If anything his voice in terms of pure ability may have been a little worse than say 2011-2012, but he was using absolutely all of it alot of the time and it really showed, even on the GnR shows (the Axl DC shows were probably some of the greatest live singing he will ever or has ever done, IMO alongside say 1988, parts of 1993 and maybe 2010) He did sing some songs in a less taxing way, but when he turned it on, it really was both strong and raspy. In 2011-2014 the rasp was often fairly thin sounding, it didn't have the chest connection that he often had in 2016. Maybe he is paying for that now though?

 

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1 hour ago, sl4yer said:

To people saying that he had 0 rasp in 2002: check out the bridge of YCBM in albany show. It may be not easy to find but it is on youtube. He sounds great there.

For sure, some of the live and let die screams are unreal, so strong and banshee like. 100 by choice he sang like that. Some of the early 16 screams are also pretty damn epic. There is one scream in particular from LALD in 2002 that I feel is his best scream ever

PS, I love Denver 2011, because he does astraight scream 1st, a very 90s sounding scream (woawao type sounds) and he goes into hyperdrive on the 3rd going into banshee mode. 

For anyone who enjoys Axl, Denver 2011 is very under rated!)

Edited by koldweather
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I never thought that saying Axl's 2016 voice is overrated would stir so much conversation. I'll try to respond quickly to these. This might be my last message here cause I don't have enough time.

16 minutes ago, Gordon Comstock said:

It was 'bad' even when compared to the other UCAP 2012 shows, or the late 2011 pro-shots. Nothing to do with 2010. I'll have to go back and watch the LALD from HOB, though.

My point is that it may have been a bad show compared to other shows of it's time, but looking back at it now it had some really great performances in it. People remember 2012 in a much worse light than it actually was. Axl's voice was about as good in 2012 as it was in 2016.

20 minutes ago, Gordon Comstock said:

His voice may not have been 'drastically' better

That's my point!

20 minutes ago, Gordon Comstock said:

but there was a special energy in those performances, he was commanding the attention of a full stadium and you could tell the band was feeding off that energy. Maybe it was all to do with Slash's guitar playing, maybe it was just being at a big stadium rock show, but (at least from my personal experience) he performed that song with an attitude that had been sorely missing during the last few years of NuGNR.

That's besides the point. Or you know, I wasn't personally talking about anything else but his voice. Like I said, he was clearly running, dancing, jumping and in general moving around much more in 2012, so you could make an argument that he had more attitude back then. But in the end the whole attitude thing is just a matter of opinion and I'm more interested about facts. Plus I was talking about his voice.

28 minutes ago, Gordon Comstock said:

I don't mean to say that he could sound like vintage Axl, but he could definitely adapt. Tune down, re-arrange the songs, or whatever. He doesn't have to use the chainsaw rasp to sound great, his best song in recent years was actually Wichita Lineman which was entirely a clean, natural voice. I don't expect him to sing SCOM in that style but he is (or was) versatile enough that he could've made it work without going the Mickey Mouse route. If you look up Rocket Queen from Houston 2016 there's a great balance of clean and raspy singing. He probably could've maintained that level of performance for a while if he'd kept working with his vocal coach. Nowadays though, it's a song I wish they'd drop from the set.

Changing the way you sing these iconic songs is more difficult than one might think. Would SCOM sound better with his natural voice? Maybe, but he would have to sing it in a lower key then. Would fans be happy if he'd sing it in lower key? I don't know. But I do agree that they should do something to make the setlist fit Axl's voice better. In my opinion the best solution would be to release a new GNR album full of songs that are easy for Axl to sing. Then they could fill the setlist with those songs.

1 hour ago, koldbeer2 said:

An example of the commitment from Axl would be the opening note of Welcome to the Jungle. Compare say London 2012 show, to any number of 2016 shows and you will hear a big difference in how hard he sings (Uses a fuller sounding voice), and how high he goes before coming down. Interestingly, he does a similar thing in Philly 2012 as he does in most 2016 shows. 

The very best opening screams in 2016 really have nothing in 2011-2014 that can compare in terms of sheer power, length and height of the notes

I've been asking for some concrete examples of how his voice was better in 2016 compared to 2012, so this got me interested. I actually used a stopwatch to see which Jungle screams were longer. The ones from 2012 or the ones from 2016. The longest Jungle scream that I found from 2012 was 13,5 seconds (Appetite for Democracy). Pretty much every other Jungle scream that I found from 2012 was 11,5 seconds long. The longest Jungle scream that I found from 2016 was 21 seconds (Las Vegas) But half of the Jungle screams in 2016 were about 6 seconds long. So you're right, the longest screams in 2016 are longer, but then again 2016 also had plenty of super short screams that didn't exist in 2012. I think this is because the 2016 shows were more improvised. In 2012 they had a certain way of playing it at every show so the scream was almost every time 11,5 seconds long. Slash's way of playing is more improvised and because of this Axl also improvised more and the length of the scream was very inconsistent. 

So I don't think that there was a difference between Axl's vocal capabilities in 2012 and 2016. Technically he was equally good both years, but it's really a matter of taste which one you prefer.

9 hours ago, Jordan Rose said:

What i'd like to ask you, though, is how he made singing like that in 2010 sound so effortless.

I really don't have the answer to that. I agree that his raspy singing seemed super effortless in 2010 and I guess his voice was just in great condition back then. But something happened to his voice. Is it just a symptom of aging or was it something more concrete than that? I wonder if even Axl knows what happened?

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As others have said before, I think he needs another break of at least one year.. 

He is always strong when he had a year off or so, see 2006, 2010, 2016

He also needs to work hard with his vocal coach again but idk to which degree this is gonna help, I'm sure a big part of his voice is gone forever.. I don't think we'll ever see a raspy YCBM or RQ again 

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22 hours ago, Underhardy said:

To answer why 2016 is so highly praised compared to 2012. 
1. Recency bias

2. Reunion 

3. Axl/DC and Axls reputation to the general public completely changing. 

I agree!

22 hours ago, Underhardy said:

and by the way, AC/DC songs, particularly Brian songs, are not easier to sing than guns songs. 

I didn't say that. For Axl they are in general easier though.

22 hours ago, Underhardy said:

30% of the GNR setlist is Axl using his lower register. There is absolutely none of that with Brian songs. 

Depends how you define lower register. No, AC/DC doesn't have It's So Easy type songs, but Brian songs are full of, what I'd call lower mid range parts. 

Axl's lower mid-range is pretty raspy still. Madagascar is a good example of that. But when he has to sing in a higher register than that, he has to scream in order to sound raspy. Brian Johnson songs go straight from that lower mid range chest voice to screaming. That's why those songs are perfect for Axl. Rock the Rock is similar.

But a big part of GNR songs like for example SCOM require higher pitched singing. There's absolutely none of that in Brian songs. All the higher pitched vocals in Brian songs are pure screaming. Axl can't use the screaming voice in SCOM cause it's a ballad. Besides the melodies are a bit too complicated for screaming. But lyrics like "Back in black/ I hit the sack" are like made for screaming. They're short bursts of screaming. So that's why Axl sounds good on AC/DC songs but in many GNR songs he sounds like Mickey.

22 hours ago, Underhardy said:

At that same time, if he was as motivated with GNR in 2016, he could’ve properly rehearsed and trained to be raspy through the setlist as he did in 2010. Axl is a master of his voice; and he knows damn well he could sing GNR raspy if he wanted to. He subconsciously goes Mickey to preserve his voice. He loves performing and wants to keep doing it as long as possible. 

If the only reason why Axl doesn't sound like in 2010 is because he's trying to preserve his voice, then how come he's constantly trying to sing with rasp. Every time in GNR concerts when his voice goes to lower mid range, Axl's trying to sing with rasp. He's forcing rasp out of his mouth every chance he gets. Why would he do that, if he's not motivated? You'd think that he would just sing everything clean if it was a choice. No, he uses rasp when he's able to. But he can't sing with rasp in high register anymore unless he screams.

Edited by Lies They Tell
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9 minutes ago, Lies They Tell said:

If the only reason why Axl doesn't sound like in 2010 is because he's trying to preserve his voice, then how come he's constantly trying to sing with rasp. Every time in GNR concerts when his voice goes to lower mid range, Axl's trying to sing with rasp. He's forcing rasp out of his mouth every chance he gets. Why would he do that, if he's not motivated? You'd think that he would just sing everything clean if it was a choice. No, he uses rasp when he's able to. But he can't sing with rasp in high register anymore unless he screams.

EXACTLY! Madagascar is the perfect example as he sings the first lines not a million miles away from 2010 and as soon as it shifts up he goes straight to the weak upper middle then falsetto gimmick. 

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The shittiest thing imo is all those amazing unreleased songs as good as Twat with the Chinese lineup and we'll never hear Axl sing them live. Or, if we do, they'll be as fun as listening him try to 'sing' Twat live today. 

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If you can't hear the difference of Axl's voice between 2016 & 2017 I don't know what to say.

Listen to the first Vegas shows & Coachella then compare to Los Angeles 2017. Drastic changes in my ears.

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I'm still not convinced Axl uses falsetto. I just think it's a weaker sounding upper register.

I also, as stated somewhere in this thread, think that 2016 is one of Axl's best ever years vocally and maintain the difference is night and day to what we had from 2011-14.

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I 've just finished watching all show from Germany from 2006.. f*** me. I know... Im aware of everything was said about his current voice- why it is as it is...but the voice he had OMG!l Makes me wanna cry :cry: I would loose my shit, if he sang THAT way....again .

Im feeling sad now, like something great can't happen again

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