Friday, February 26, 2010

Losing Your Voice

Sometimes it is inevitable that people will get a bit burnt out doing the same thing over and over and over. Such is certainly the case with musicians. When this happens with a lead singer, it seems that most bands just break up. Some, however, seek out a new member. They are the rare ones; it is often too difficult a task to try to replace a lead singer, especially if the band is well-know. This was the task that was presented to the Newsboys, and more famously, Journey.

The Newsboys have had a few singers over the years; John James at the beginning, Peter Furler as his replacement, and guitarist Phil Joel would occasionally lend his vocals on songs like "Entertaining Angels". Peter Furler became the sound of the Newsboys, but he, too became burnt out from so much time in the studio and touring all over the world. In their song "RSL 1984" you can hear his gentle goodbye and his yearning to return home to Australia. Furler's replacement came in the form of Michael Tait, former member of DC Talk. While I loved DC Talk (they all attended my college, p.s.), the Newsboys are Australian and New Zealander. Michael Tait is American, and his voice is nothing like what the Newsboys are known for. Below are the original and Tait versions of the Newsboys hit "Something Beautiful":

Original with Peter Furler

Michael Tait version

Journey had a similar dilemma when Steve Perry left quite a while ago. Rather than turning to an established singer, they decided to check youtube. They ran across a Filipino singer named Arnel Pineda, and they were hooked. It was quite fortunate for them that there happen to be two people in the world with identical voices. Compare them for yourself with these versions of "Don't Stop Believing":

Original with Steve Perry

Arnel Pineda version

Sometimes differences are not for the best, and sometimes they save a truly epic band.

Rock On!


1 comment:

  1. I always feel like replacing singers in a band is just weird. Sometimes it makes me feel like they should just create a new band with a new name. :/

    About the suds...I blame it on cheesy teen flicks from the 90s. Didn't it seem like every one of them had a party scene with people sliding through bubbles??! :)