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grateful zed

favorite music front man

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To me, a front man is a singer who really doesn't play an instrument - yea, maybe they pick up a guitar or sit at a piano once or twice, but in general, their presence is their instrument. If you're also a major part of the band in an instrument sense (like Geddy Lee, James Hetfield, Dave Grohl, etc) you're out. 

Mick has to be the all-time champ here. 

David Lee Roth

Freddy

Robert Plant

Steven Tyler

Jim Morrison

Ozzy

Bruce Dickinson

Daltry

The girls - Stevie, Janis, Grace, Debbie Harry

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7 hours ago, Jagov said:

Ronald Scott

Almost missed this was Bon, good call.

also, Robert John Arthur Halford.

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6 hours ago, Dr. Octopus said:

Dave Grohl is an awesome talent but he’s not really a “front man”. He’s been a drummer and a singer/guitarist. Maybe it’s too much of a semantics argument but generally a front man is a lead singer who is out in front of the band.

Having seen Foo Fighters in concert there is no doubt in my mind that Grohl is a front man.

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Bruce Springsteen is right up there with the top tier guys. I know he is a bit polarizing but he's got everything you want in a rock front man. 

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7 hours ago, grateful zed said:

sonny?

Had he fronted a band, he'd be in contention....

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Posted (edited)

Robert Plant
Stevie Ray Vaughan
Jimi Hendrix
Scott Weiland
Kurt Cobain
Bruce Dickinson
Bon Scott
Jeff Healey
Geddy Lee
Axl Rose
Diamond Dave
Sammy Hagar
Lemmy
Sting
Rob Halford
Klaus Meine

Edited by Sullie
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8 hours ago, Ron Swanson said:

How is Bowie not on this list yet?

He's a solo artist.

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21 hours ago, Bracie Smathers said:

Early 1990s.  It was late on the CU (University of Colorado) campus.  It was a hot evening with the sun going down a deserted main drag when I saw a white 1970s convertible with the top down with Robert Plant driving with his long hair billowing in the wind and a hot blonde sidled-up with him.

I was the only one on the street and he took no-notice of me or anyone.  He was just being Plant.

It was like I was watching a cliche promo for a movie about a rock star and it was AWESOME!

I think its against some sort of natural law to make anyone else my favorite rock-and-roll front man.

 My first week working at Atlantic Records, I was working in the Royalties department when I heard a voice in a British accent say, "thank you for all the work you do". I look up and it's Robert Plant with his hand outstretched. I shook his hand in almost shock.

I talked to him on several occasions and to this day I believe that he was the nicest musician I ever met. He would ask you how your day was or chit chat about the weather. You would have thought that he would have some enormous ego, but he was always polite and friendly. Now Jimmy Page on the other hand. Later on I got a job working for the executives and from time to time I would run some errands for Page like picking up a guitar or a phone. I can't remember him even acknowledging me.

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Rock - Plant (Zep),  Mercury (Queen)

Avant Garde Rock - Lou Reed (Velvet Underground)

Hard Rock - Maynard (Tool)

Alternative - Robert Smith (The Cure) and Thom Yorke (Radiohead)

Shoegaze Front (Wo)man - Victoria Legrand (Beach House)

Punk - Stiv Bators (Dead Boys)

Post-Punk: Ian Curtis (Joy Division)

Metal - Rob Halford (Judas Priest)

Death Metal -  John Tardy (Obituary)

Hardcore - John Joseph (Cro Mags)

Pop Front (Wo)man- Karen Carpenter (The Carpenters)

Doo Wop - Tony Williams (The Platters)

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Posted (edited)
40 minutes ago, NYRAGE said:

Rock - Plant (Zep),  Mercury (Queen)

Avant Garde Rock - Lou Reed (Velvet Underground)

Hard Rock - Maynard (Tool)

Alternative - Robert Smith (The Cure) and Thom Yorke (Radiohead)

Shoegaze Front (Wo)man - Victoria Legrand (Beach House)

Punk - Stiv Bators (Dead Boys)

Post-Punk: Ian Curtis (Joy Division)

Metal - Rob Halford (Judas Priest)

Death Metal -  John Tardy (Obituary)

Hardcore - John Joseph (Cro Mags)

Pop Front (Wo)man- Karen Carpenter (The Carpenters)

Doo Wop - Tony Williams (The Platters)

This is quite good. I came to post Michael Hutchence, but now I'm leaving in shame. 

Edit to add: I saw John Joseph (Cro Mags} last year. They were awesome! 

Edited by Patrick Bateman
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Michael Hutchence. The best live performance I’ve ever experienced was 1986 Santa Barbara Bowl show. Hutchence was the epitome of showman.

RIP
 

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Posted (edited)

Ray Davies

Steve Marriott

Jeff Tweedy

Arthur Lee

Edited by landrys hat

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In no particular order.  

Plant

Halford.   Incredible stage presence   

david lee.   Lack of voice is made up by the performance   

Hagar (wouldn’t have said this until after I saw him truly front VH)

Hetfield.  He plays guitar but is the front man.  

Dickenson.   Steve Harris runs the band but Bruce runs the show in concert.  

Springsteen.  Not his biggest fan but there is no denying that he is leading a great show.  

Mercury.  Probably the best.  

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1 hour ago, landrys hat said:

Ray Davies

Steve Marriott

Jeff Tweedy

Arthur Lee

Marriott was a damn good front man (he got showmanship from being a child star), but what made him awesome is that his voice was too big for records. Almost every lead singer backs off his studio notes somewhat in concert, but Stevie was like a pentecostal preacher out there - the more in the spirit he got, the louder/longer/higher he went. And he was soooo small that, unlike most tiny British bands, you could tell how tiny he was from the crowd and that gave his presence a daemonic quality. And the line between the sacred and the profane is where the best rock&roll lives...

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I wish No Doubt had stayed together longer, because Gwen Stefani understood fronting a rock band better than any female i know. I saw them on a date and i generally dont like concerts because they used to be my work and i rarely feel the venue is intimate enough to be enjoyable, But Stefani understood how to be the focus and how to share the focus playing for a large crowd. Quite dynamic.

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18 hours ago, Dr. Octopus said:

 

On 5/15/2020 at 8:11 AM, Ron Swanson said:

How is Bowie not on this list yet?

He's a solo artist.

 

As far as I know, Bowie has always fronted a band on tour. It’s hard to imagine a “best rock frontman” list that wouldn’t have him at or near the top.  For me, he’s like Jagger —  the few times I saw them perform live, it’s hard to take your eyes off them.  Bowie in a yellow suit on the Serious Moonlight tour in the early 80s is a show I’ll never forget, and I disliked the Let’s Dance record that tour highlighted. He’s a rare performer, dominant frontman. 

 

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Posted (edited)
7 hours ago, CletiusMaximus said:

As far as I know, Bowie has always fronted a band on tour. It’s hard to imagine a “best rock frontman” list that wouldn’t have him at or near the top.  For me, he’s like Jagger —  the few times I saw them perform live, it’s hard to take your eyes off them.  Bowie in a yellow suit on the Serious Moonlight tour in the early 80s is a show I’ll never forget, and I disliked the Let’s Dance record that tour highlighted. He’s a rare performer, dominant frontman. 

 

I love Bowie and a he’s a great showman. I’ve seen him. I guess I usually associate a band with a front man. I know he has a backing band.

Edited by Dr. Octopus

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Posted (edited)
23 hours ago, Dark Matter said:

Michael Hutchence. The best live performance I’ve ever experienced was 1986 Santa Barbara Bowl show. Hutchence was the epitome of showman.

RIP
 

INXS has kind of become a forgotten band, but I caught an INXS concert on cable a while back from the early 90's and Hutchene was fantastic as a frontman. 

Edited by Ghost Rider
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7 minutes ago, NYRAGE said:

 Rest In Peace Ian Curtis. 40 years gone today, but not forgotten. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gA4BY3FDEME

Peter Hook and the Light performed every Joy Division song back in 2015 at a concert in Ian’s childhood church and it’s streaming on YT if you’re interested. 

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11 minutes ago, Osaurus said:

Peter Hook and the Light performed every Joy Division song back in 2015 at a concert in Ian’s childhood church and it’s streaming on YT if you’re interested. 

Thanks. I caught some of it earlier. I've been watching videos of Joy Division live throughout the day, too.

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Bret Michaels has played locally at some 3rd tier festivals and shows.  I'm not a Poison fan, but that guy knows how to make any show feel like it is the place to be for 60 minutes. 

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Jimmy from The Wonders.

 

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On 5/15/2020 at 10:56 AM, simsarge said:

Elton? 

Seriously? No love for the Rocket Man? :bs:

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Lot of great ones, including who I think are in Top 5. So won't retread ground.

I didn't notice Springsteen mentioned yet?

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12 hours ago, simsarge said:

Seriously? No love for the Rocket Man? :bs:

I don't consider Elton John a front man so much as the whole act. Acts like Elton, Billy Joel, Madonna, etc. Ofcourse they have backing bands but the parts change album to album, tour to tour. It's all about the individual. 

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Frontman...front a band...lead singer...to say a frontman cannot play an instrument or only occassionally is wrong to me. I skimmed this list and have always enjoyed Robert Palmer. When he had Little Feat backing him it was a great match. Sneaking Sally through the Alley...which he is backed by Lowell George and the Meters and other guests like Steve Winwood and Simon Philips and opens with 3 great songs is a great debut album.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rk3XrD7hGRw&list=PL8a8cutYP7fora0MCrQvpo_RMNVrYyAYN&index=2

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On 5/18/2020 at 5:30 PM, Brony said:

Bret Michaels has played locally at some 3rd tier festivals and shows.  I'm not a Poison fan, but that guy knows how to make any show feel like it is the place to be for 60 minutes. 

Pocock @ Hey Nonny a close 2nd 😉

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8 hours ago, Bluesbomber said:

Frontman...front a band...lead singer...to say a frontman cannot play an instrument or only occassionally is wrong to me. I skimmed this list and have always enjoyed Robert Palmer. When he had Little Feat backing him it was a great match. Sneaking Sally through the Alley...which he is backed by Lowell George and the Meters and other guests like Steve Winwood and Simon Philips and opens with 3 great songs is a great debut album.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rk3XrD7hGRw&list=PL8a8cutYP7fora0MCrQvpo_RMNVrYyAYN&index=2

That is not Sneaking Sally... weird the title is wrong in YouTube. 

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21 hours ago, Ilov80s said:

I don't consider Elton John a front man so much as the whole act. Acts like Elton, Billy Joel, Madonna, etc. Ofcourse they have backing bands but the parts change album to album, tour to tour. It's all about the individual. 

Actually John's core members (Johnstone, Olsen, Murray and Cooper) have been with him for a quite a while. Although although like many "groups" there's been changes, but for the most successful true (non geezer) Elton John albums, these guys were the band. Difference between a lot of the guys and gals listed here, is that they are part of an act not named after the "Front Man". :2cents:

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49 minutes ago, simsarge said:

Actually John's core members (Johnstone, Olsen, Murray and Cooper) have been with him for a quite a while. Although although like many "groups" there's been changes, but for the most successful true (non geezer) Elton John albums, these guys were the band. Difference between a lot of the guys and gals listed here, is that they are part of an act not named after the "Front Man". :2cents:

Good info. I still think I lean with my original thought. Like if Elton was on tour and people found out that Cooper guy wasn’t touring with them, would people really care? Where as if the Stones toured without Keith Richards, it would be a big deal. The Who were never the same after losing Bonham. But I also am open to just being flat out wrong on this. 

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On 5/15/2020 at 7:09 AM, jwb said:

To me, a front man is a singer who really doesn't play an instrument - yea, maybe they pick up a guitar or sit at a piano once or twice, but in general, their presence is their instrument. If you're also a major part of the band in an instrument sense (like Geddy Lee, James Hetfield, Dave Grohl, etc) you're out. 

:goodposting:

I've always maintained there was a difference between a lead singer and a frontman. And like you said, their presence is what makes them a "Frontman".

Scott Weiland was a great one.  Don't think I saw STP in concert but I did see him with Velvet Revolver and he put on a show.  

Freddie Mercury is probably the top one IMO.  Wish I could have seen Queen in concert.

Of those I've seen, Dave Gahan and Bono are good choices.  Jim Morrison, Mick as well although I can't speak from experiencing them in concert. 

Saw someone mention Trent Reznor.  I love NIN and he IS NIN, but for me he is something different.  Seen them in concert several times over the years.  They come out, rock for 2 hours then leave. No encores, not much talking although maybe a quick intro of the band members or a thank you.  More lead singer then front man.

 

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1 hour ago, Ilov80s said:

Good info. I still think I lean with my original thought. Like if Elton was on tour and people found out that Cooper guy wasn’t touring with them, would people really care? Where as if the Stones toured without Keith Richards, it would be a big deal. The Who were never the same after losing Bonham. But I also am open to just being flat out wrong on this. 

Agree. When they traded him to LZ, and drafted that Moon guy, they just weren't the same anymore 

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On 5/14/2020 at 6:47 PM, Quint said:

Freddie Mercury

Not even a fan of the music but this was the guy that popped into my head.  

I get the Jagger calls, but Keith was so huge they were like twin towers.  

I don't know any other members of Queen.  

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1 hour ago, psychobillies said:

Lemmy.

Great example. Part of a band, but still the focal point.

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Sully Erna from Godsmack is by far the most entertaining front man I've seen live. The man is a ball of energy and keeps the crowd going the whole time

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On 5/19/2020 at 6:33 PM, Rhythmdoctor said:

That is not Sneaking Sally... weird the title is wrong in YouTube. 

Hey Julia then Sneaking Sally...working 6 days a week and 10 12 hour shifts so not too  sharp these days especially on my web diversions...

 

 

Quote

 

 

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One of my favorite frontman I got to see last year with one of my fave guitar players in a great show...Paul Rodgers.

 

 

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Peter Gabriel with Early Genesis. Was famous for wearing outrageous costumes. If you haven't seen it, youtube it. Great vocalist as well. 

Some of this is colored by the fact that I am really into early Genesis right now.

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