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Ten Best: Grunge Vocalists
Grunge is a music genre that fuses heavy metal, hardcore punk, alternative rock and acoustic music all into one melting pot. Grunge is usually associated with Seattle, as that is where it became famous in the late 80s under labels such as Sup Pop records. Different styles of grunge music however have emerged from all around the world since the early 80s. Grunge vocalists have a unique vocal style which usually includes snarls, groaning, screaming and softer harmonies. This hub is dedicated to voices that mastered the grunge style.
10. Tex Perkins
Tex was the lead singer/song writer for the Australian alternative rock band Beasts of Bourbon, who formed in 1983, before the grunge movement started in Seattle. The Beasts of Bourbon were responsible for producing loud, punk like alternative rock that paved the way as a foundation for grunge bands to come. Tex had the vocal style that has been sense mimicked by various alternative vocalists in America.
Mark is American vocalist and songwriter who is well known for his work with the grunge band, Screaming Trees, who gained popularity in the Seattle scene in the early 90s. Marks vocal style is more psychedelic and poetic than that of other grunge vocalists. Mark has also preformed and collaborated with the artists; Queens of the Stone Age, Gutter Twins and Mad Season.
8. Ron Nine
Ron was the American vocalist/guitarist for the early Seattle grunge bands Room 9 and Love Battery. Ron formed room 9 in the early 80s. Although the band never found commercial success, Room 9 proved themselves influential to their successors in the later Seattle movement. After Room 9 disbanded in the late 80s, Ron formed Love battery, and unusual psychedelic-pop sounding grunge band that i feel had some of his best vocals.
7. Mark Arm
Mark was the vocalist/guitarist for the grunge bands Green River and Mud Honey. Mark had the vocal style of a hardcore-punk vocalist, hyped up by his pulsating guitar and grungy lyrics. With song titles as "Touch Me I'm Sick", "In 'n' Out of Grace" and "Hate the Police", what teenager growing up as a part of Generation X wouldn't be intrigued.
6. Andrew Wood
Andrew Wood was an American vocalist best known for his work in the grunge bands Malfunkshun and Mother Love Bone. His vocals were one of the greatest early influences to the grunge bands of Seattle. Sadly, Andrew died of an apparent heroin overdose on March 19, 19990. In tribute to the musician that gave them such a strong influence, Wood's former band mates along with Sound Garden's Chris Cornell and Pearl Jams Eddie Vedder and Mike Mccready, formed the grunge band Temple of the Dog. Fellow grunge band Alice in Chains dedicated their Facelift album to Andrew along with their single "Would" which was written in Wood's honor.
5. Jerry Cantrell
Jerry is the lead guitarist and co-vocalist for the Seattle grunge band Alice in Chains. His amazing, harmonizing, dual-vocal style with Layne Staley is one of the most unique that I've ever heard. Jerry's guitar playing was similar to that of a heavy metal artist, setting them aside from other grunge bands. However his vocal style ranges from a hard rock sound to blues and country styles.
4. Eddie Vedder
Eddie is an American songwriter and singer for the Seattle bands Pearl Jam and Temple of the Dog. Eddie has one of the most heavily mimicked voices in the history of rock and roll. With his heavy hitting Jim Morrison like growls and sensitive harmonic verses, Eddie uses a voice that stuck. Although his most famous work came from Pearl Jam, I tend to prefer his work with Temple of the Dog, where he harmonizes with the brilliant voice of Chris Cornell. Vedder has been an influence to countless musicians and songwriters alike and deserves recognition for doing so.
3. Chris Cornell
Cornell has been known for his vocals in the bands Sound Garden, Audioslave and Temple of the Dog. His powerful, belting, voice blows that of many musicians out of the water. His work with Sound Garden and Temple of the Dog is by far my favorite, but Audioslave and some of his solo work is also great to listen to.
2. Kurt Cobain
Kurt was one of the most influential grunge-pop stars. His most notorious work was as the vocalist/lead guitarist of the grunge band Nirvana. Kurt's voice spoke directly to his generation, this could be the explanation for his great popularity amongst teenagers. His vocal style had similarities to that of other grunge singers blended with the classic sound of rock and roll. I believe this is due to Kurt's inspiration from the Beatles and John Lennon, who most grunge musicians weren't fond of. Cobain died on April 5, 1994 due to a supposed suicide. Friends and fans globally morned the death of the voice of their generation, he was truly an idol that countless could relate to.
1. Layne Staley
In my opinion the most talented grunge singer was Layne Staley. Layne was the vocalist for grunge band Mad Season as well as the co-vocalist for the band Alice in chains. Layne's harmonies with fellow AIC vocalist Jerry Cantrell are absolutely breathtaking. Staley's raspy, groaning voice captures the difficult and painful lyrics that his songs usually contained. The most admirable trait of Layne's musicianship was the integrity that came along with it. His music is very strait forward and heart felt. The emotion in his voice really allows you to capture what he was feeling. Layne left us on April 5, 2002 having suffered a severe drug overdose.