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Frontmen: Everybody agrees that Mick is #1. Everybody SHOULD agree that #2 is...

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Are you fucking kidding me?

Steven Tyler couldn’t mop up Bon Scott’s death puke

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I have seen The Who live, I have not seen The Stones live. 

 

Also, as far as mixing with and manipulating the crowd, Bono does a better job than Mick. 

Mick prances better, Bono puts on a better theatrical show. 

Speaking of theatrics, the one Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers show I went to was theatrically amazing!

 I’m thinking that I haven’t seen The Stones for a reason, but I would have chosen Queen over The Stones now that I think about it. 

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Posted (edited)
1 hour ago, qwertyu1234 said:

One vote for Robert Plant 

I was thinking that he would be above Mick as well in many people’s eyes. 

There was never a Stones Decade. 

‘60s- Beatles, though they didn’t tour, Beach Boys, The Byrd’s, and The Who

’70s- Zeppelin, Bee Gees, Elton John, Fleetwood Macor KISS depending on tastes

’80s- Madonna, Michael Jackson, Van Halen, [Hair Bands], U2, Bruce Springsteen, REM... probably, but there were several contenders 

‘90s- [choose your Seattle Band]...

Bruce Springsteen > Mick Jagger... Bruce’s concerts are like no other. 3 hours of pure music. 

Edited by Napoleon

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Is Mick number one? I’d go with Freddie if I had first pick in the front man draft.

Yep and Adam Lambert is probably a better frontman than Tyler.

Aerosmith does not get a pass for a few decent early albums and then releasing their 90s schmaltz.

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Posted (edited)

Tom fucking Petty over Mick , but it's close. Steven Tyler ?  Yeah no fucking way.  Freddie beats him by a country mile.

I saw Aerosmith during their drug addled days . To this day, absolute worst show I ever saw, and I was 13 at the time.

Edited by Onboard 2.0

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Steven Tyler has great pipes, but that is a fraction of what being a great front man entails.

Plus, the majority of Aerosmith’s output is garbage. I love their early stuff, but it’s been straight crap for 4 decades.

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It’s Mick. Petty? Bono? L-O-FUCKING-L!!!!

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Yeah, one thing this board usually gets right is good music.  Not always, but with much greater frequency than we get other shit right on other threads.  

But some of these nominations are absolutely fucking baffling.  

If you just want some show clown up there prancing around, okay.  If you need a serious singer-songwriter with beautiful pipes, okay.  There are people who are a mind-boggling combination of the two.  And there are also frontmen who don't look the part, and though they excel in musicianship and fan fervor, their ratings suffer because of this.  Finally, you have to compare/contrast the different eras not because of the music, but because of the technology.  The frontmen of the 50's-70's?  It was all about how you sounded on the radio/record, a far second was how you rocked it in person, and a complete afterthought was how you looked on TV because you would maybe make a handful of TV appearances over the course of an entire career.  Then music videos, MTV, arena tours, VHS/DVD specials that accompanied an album, and then the internet.  That changed the concept of a frontman completely, maybe for worse.

It should be judged on vocals first, songwriting/musicianship second, stage presence third, tv/video/whatever fourth.  

Ali was great at showmanship and promotion, but the first thing he did was knock people the fuck out.  

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Posted (edited)

Freddie Mercury, obviously. 

But there's a case to be made for Rod Stewart. 

 

Edited by Bozo_Casanova

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3 hours ago, qwertyu1234 said:

One vote for Robert Plant 

Yeah, make that two votes.

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28 minutes ago, Deej said:

It’s Mick. Petty? Bono? L-O-FUCKING-L!!!!

Mick back in the day, as in pre 80's. Petty is hands down the best front man I've seen, and I've seen a shit load of acts over the years.

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21 minutes ago, Lobo said:

It should be judged on vocals first, songwriting/musicianship second, stage presence third, tv/video/whatever fourth.  

Ali was great at showmanship and promotion, but the first thing he did was knock people the fuck out.  

I think that Stage Presence is slightly more important than Pipes. Songwriting & Musicianship are meaningless. 

Robert Plants musicianship was... ummm... non-existent. Doesn’t matter, he was a Golden God. Songwriting... how much was him? How much was Page? (I have no idea.)

FRONT man is absolutely PRESENCE #1. You are THE FRONT! The first impression. The last memory. If wailing pipes make for an unforgettable presence, then that’s enough. But as long as you can sing on key, charisma will get your band much farther than pipes. And that’s been true from the first days of rock. Again, if you have both, then even better. No musicianship or songwriting skills are even necessary if you have others doing it for you. None. Period. 

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Robert Plant's musicianship and songwriting were non-existent?  I agree with some of your post but that part is fucking insane.  

He wrote several dozen Led Zeppelin songs.  Not a token few like Roger Daltrey, but in the high double-digits, and they were not throw-away tracks, they were huge fucking hits (from Good Times Bad Times to All of my Love and 50 songs in between).  The true definition of "musicianship" is not just instrument proficiency, but control of the voice as instrument, and control of the music itself---whether it's on paper or on tape or on stage.  You can be a little strutting rooster on stage and grab the crowd, but if the music isn't great, who gives a shit?  

Jim Morrison had great stage presence but most of his songs were crap.  Same for Steve Tyler.  Same for Anthony Keidis.  Those three guys brought incredible mystique and energy to the stage, but their songs suck so who cares?  Carrot Top brings incredible energy to his performances and still commands a room, but his material isn't funny so why does it matter?  

But yeah, you bring up another aspect of my fourth indicator---what does frontman presence mean anymore?  Is it looking cool in music videos?  Do people even watch those?  Is it just having a cool internet web presence?  Does it mean captivating audiences once every three years when the band is bothered enough to go back out on tour?  A lot of the guys we're talking about on here toured almost every single year.  Now, most of our favorite bands maybe come through town 3x per decade, if we're lucky.  Or does it still mean grabbing you through the speakers and roping you into the rock?  

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1 hour ago, Napoleon said:

Robert Plants musicianship was... ummm... non-existent.

What the ever-loving fuck?  

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Presence & charisma:  Mick Jagger, Robert Plant, Freddie Mercury, Rod Stewart, David Lee Roth

Great voice:  Robert Plant, Freddie Mercury, (Rod Stewart depending on who you ask)

 

Winners:  Freddie Mercury then Robert Plant

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. . . and I should point out that Prince and Michael Jackson probably win the "presence and charisma" sweepstakes, but they didn't really front bands (although Jackson did early).

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41 minutes ago, jimmyjazz said:

What the ever-loving fuck?  

Yeah, that’s baffling. Robert was a weird case in that he was this beautiful man with a voice as powerful as any in rock history, but shared the stage with his band mates. The show seemed to highlight Page and Bonzo. Plant always seemed awkward up there. 

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I don't think he seemed awkward.  One of the big takeaways I had after getting the boxed video set of early concernts, especially Earl's Court, is that Plant might have been the most gifted musician out of the four, and Page the least.  That certainly wasn't what I thought going in.  (Honestly, I'd still put Bonzo at the top, but Page might actually be at the "bottom", which is kind of mind-blowing.)

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2 minutes ago, noharleyyet said:

James Brown

Ones I've enjoyed the most live...Donald Fagen and Todd Mohr

 

Good answer....  JB...

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1 minute ago, noharleyyet said:

James Brown

Ones I've enjoyed the most live...Donald Fagen and Todd Mohr

 

Fagan is great live.   Saw Elvis Costello open for Steely Dan at the Hollywood Bowl a few years ago.  Elvis is pretty damned good too.

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Just now, Sbbruin said:

Fagan is great live.   Saw Elvis Costello open for Steely Dan at the Hollywood Bowl a few years ago.  Elvis is pretty damned good too.

Seen Elvis a couple times he's good, but not pantheon great IMO.

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Just now, Onboard 2.0 said:

Seen Elvis a couple times he's good, but not pantheon great IMO.

No, wouldn’t put him there either.  But it was pretty epic having him be the OPENING act.

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Posted (edited)
2 minutes ago, Sbbruin said:

No, wouldn’t put him there either.  But it was pretty epic having him be the OPENING act.

Oh fuck yeah, Elvis was my man in the late 70's early 80's.  The man is seriously talented and gifted.  

Saw him in Charlottesville, Va., back in the Fall.  He played a song the man from riddle (Arkansas), a complete reference to Andy Griffith in the Face in The Crowd.  I didn't put it together for a minute then it hit me.  Any musician who references that movie is in my good book.

Edited by Onboard 2.0

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1 hour ago, noharleyyet said:

James Brown

Ones I've enjoyed the most live...Donald Fagen and Todd Mohr

 

Are you really a frontman if you’re the bad motherfucker everyone came to see? No one was paying for the JB’s just like no one paid to see the Revolution. Queen was a band. Led Zeppelin was a band. James Brown hired musicians to back his ass up, although they were obscenely great musicians who became household names. 
 

 

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19 minutes ago, Kermit said:

Are you really a frontman if you’re the bad motherfucker everyone came to see? No one was paying for the JB’s just like no one paid to see the Revolution.

Yeah, that was my point about Prince & Michael Jackson.  A "front man" implies he's fronting a band, at least in my mind, and not a pure solo act.

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James Brown is the single greatest performer of the last 100 years.   

He's not a frontman. 

The Beatles are the greatest band ever assembled.  They didn't have a frontman. 

 

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Posted (edited)

I've dropped numerous stools over the years that would make a better frontman than Tyler. 

 

N-u-m-e-r-o-u-s.

Edited by Steel Shank

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7 minutes ago, Steel Shank said:

I've dropped numerous stools over the years that would make a better frontman than Tyler. 

 

N-u-m-e-r-o-u-s.

What was the SNL Phil Hartman quote about chunks in his stool?  

James Brown was the feature act.  I took this thread to mean the best frontman of a band.  

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Posted (edited)
12 hours ago, Sbbruin said:

Yeah, make that two votes.

Make it another. Mick Jagger and Steven Tyler can get in line to lick Plant's nuts.

Edited by Blotto
apostrophe's are tricky

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11 minutes ago, Blotto said:

Make it another. Mick Jagger and Steven Tyler can get in line to lick Plan'ts nuts.

Those nuts have been licked so much, I’d be surprised if there was anything left.

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I don’t know how many of you ever got to see the Tragically Hip in a nightclub, but Gord Downie was a phenomenal front man.  

Maybe the most visually engaging and charismatic singer I’ve seen (and I’ve seen almost everyone on this thread).  

Granted, I saw Jagger and Plant 20 years past their respective primes.  
 

 

 


 

 

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The thing about Plant is that he has constantly reinvented himself.   Even his modern interpretations of Zep classics are brilliant.  He's a voracious consumer of world music and it completely informs what he does at any given point in time.

Jagger?  Jagger's an economist.  (Literally, by education.)  I'm a giant Rolling Stones fan, but Mick hasn't brought anything new to the table for 25 years, and that's being charitable.

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1 hour ago, Paul Wesley said:

I don’t know how many of you ever got to see the Tragically Hip in a nightclub, but Gord Downie was a phenomenal front man.  

It might just be the look, but your reference to Gord Downie reminded me of Peter Garrett (Midnight Oil).  He had a similarly captivating stage presence.

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If we're just naming names, Joe Strummer deserves a mention even if he's not exactly polished or had a good singing voice. 

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1 hour ago, Buzzrock said:

DLR not getting enough love. 

Hey, I named him.  He's probably the best I've seen live, better than Jagger.

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Hey, I named him.  He's probably the best I've seen live, better than Jagger.

For what,5 years?

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1 minute ago, Gil Bang said:


For what,5 years?

I didn't realize this was a longevity contest.  I saw VH in late April, 1979 on their first headlining tour, pushing VH II.  He was phenomenal.  I have a hard time believing he wasn't in that same league between the release of their debut (one year earlier in 1978) or through 1984, so that's at least 6 years of standard-setting on his part. 

He's definitely the best I've seen.

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7 hours ago, jimmyjazz said:

It might just be the look, but your reference to Gord Downie reminded me of Peter Garrett (Midnight Oil).  He had a similarly captivating stage presence.

Peter Garrett sure isn’t a Very good boat driver though

 

E4E95CF0-9501-4089-9202-EAF07170C12C.gif

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7 hours ago, jimmyjazz said:

Hey, I named him.  He's probably the best I've seen live, better than Jagger.

I'd put early 80's DLR above early 80's Mick (but for his age Mick was damned strong).

DLR definitely put the crowd in the palm of his hand during a show like few others I've seen.

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53 minutes ago, Onboard 2.0 said:

I'd put early 80's DLR above early 80's Mick (but for his age Mick was damned strong).

DLR definitely put the crowd in the palm of his hand during a show like few others I've seen.

giphy.gif

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