Greatest Rock Vocalists

Published on 21 August 2020

Here's a question for you. What makes a Rock vocalist a great Rock vocalist?

Is it vocal ability? Passion and energy? Stage presence? 

Today we're diving in and taking a look at who we consider being the greatest Rock vocalists to have blessed our ears (and eyes too). We're talking powerhouse vocals, theatrical performances, electrifying energy, and pure star quality. 

Let's go... 

Chris Cornell - Soundgarden 

Of course, we had to start with the late great Chris Cornell. Chris embodies all things that a Rock vocalist should have: intensity, grit with the incredible tone, and limitless range... four octaves might we add! Seriously, this man is a God tier vocalist. It was once described that Chris "sang as if he were bearing the weight of the world" and we do feel that. It was his incredible instrument that led him to be an iconic frontman, up there amongst the greats. Chris, we salute you!

Steven Tyler - Aerosmith 

Steven Tyler's voice is instantly recognisable. It's like the sound of a rocket ship taking off, roaring with fire and passion. His vocal ability has certainly stood the test of time, sounding just as good as he did back in the 70s, it sure is remarkable how consistently he has sung throughout his career. Taking his vocals to soaring heights, it seems like Steven's vocal talents are limitless. One word: phenomenal.

Brad Delp - Boston

 In his prime, Brad Delp was the ultimate high vocal rock ballad singer. Whether you are a Boston fan or not, you've got to agree that Brad's vocals are unbelievably brilliant... and we aren't ashamed that we try to replicate them whilst singing in the shower. Don't lie, we know you do it too! We encourage you to listen to his isolated vocals in the video below. Look out for that iconic Delp vocal range from 2:00 onwards. Utterly out of this world. We have CHILLS. 

Mick Jagger - The Rolling Stones

We couldn't write a blog about our favourite rock vocalists and not mention Jagger! Would we even have rockstars without Mick? Being one of Rock and Roll's most iconic singers isn't always about whether you've got a four-octave range like Cornell. Sure, while that is immensely impressive, it's all about star quality. Something Mick was born with. While he may not have vocal gymnastic abilities, it's the iconic Jagger Swagger that makes him one of the most outstanding singers and performers in the game. Even after many years of living the rock star life, Mick's stamina on stage is still remarkable. What he lacks in technical terms, he sure makes up for it with his incredible stage presence. Keep on rockin' Mick!

Alanis Morissette

Raw vocals and candid lyrics. Ironically, we think that Alanis Morisette never gets enough credit. Her vocals are simply sublime, and her tone is unique and instantly recognisable. Her ability to change the texture of notes, from dark and thick to a more husky sound with a rocky edge, is just outstanding.

Robert Plant - Led Zeppelin 

For us, Robert Plant could appear on stage and sing the contents of the phonebook, and it would still sound awesome. In his prime, it seems like Robert could do anything with his instrument; his vocals had so much power, passion, anger and energy. And every emotion in between. Robert has delivered some of the most iconic performances in Rock history with unsettling ease - there's no doubt about that. However naturally, over time, Robert's vocals have changed and have certainly had its ups and downs throughout his career. Nonetheless, he always tries to give 100% to every performance.

Freddie Mercury - Queen 

One of the most recognisable voices of all time, it's the one and only Freddie Mercury. Flamboyant performances, skyscraper vocals, high energy, and captivating stage presence, Freddie did really have it all. But you don't need us to tell you that. Ever wondered how Freddie's voice sounds isolated from the rest of the band? Check out the video below. Three minutes of pure, gorgeous tone.

Janis Joplin

Armed with a distinctive gravelly rasp and raw, soulful vocal style, Janis Joplin's voice just hits differently. Passing away at only 27 years old in 1970, we can only imagine the outstanding material she could have produced well into her 30s, 40s, 50s, and beyond. Alas, despite her early passing, we are indeed grateful and fortunate that we can still enjoy that classic Joplin tone today - one that has inspired and influenced many generations after her passing.


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