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Published on May 20th, 2014 | by Alan Cross

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And the Greatest Singer of ALL TIME Is…

…Axl Rose?  Really?

That’s the conclusion to be drawn from the metrics that went into this chart which details vocal range.  No one has a greater range (low to high notes) than Axl.  In his prime, he could reach down to a B-flat-6 and scream up to a F1.

Before going any further, let’s ponder this with a listen to “Welcome to the Jungle” paying attention to Axl’s vocal calisthenics. At his peak his range was greater than that of Mariah f**king Carey.

Take some time to study this chart.  It’s instructive to note the singers that finished near the bottom. And who knew that Tom Waits had that kind of range?

vocalrangechart




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About the Author

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 30+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.


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14 Responses to And the Greatest Singer of ALL TIME Is…

  1. Kyle says:

    I’d agree…if it were an issue of Metal Edge magazine from 1990

  2. Davidr says:

    I don’t see Chris Cornell..

  3. Josh says:

    Range isn’t the only thing that makes someone the greatest of all time! What about timbre, timing, breath and pitch control?

    The top of my “greatest list” is very different.

  4. mykesworld says:

    I present to you Devin Townsend – A2 to F#7…

  5. Rob says:

    Eminem is higher (on the list, that is…) than Whitney Houston.
    Not a fan of Whitney, but…umm….what the hell!!

  6. Dan Hill says:

    Stevie Nicks, Otis Redding and Smokey Robinson are 7, 8 and 9 worst on this list. That says everything you need to know about the importance of vocal range.

  7. sandy says:

    Who made this list? Apparently people who think Miley Cyrus can sing.
    There is a difference between screaming and singing. And Axl rose is not the greatest of anything.

  8. Peter says:

    can you please fix your basic music theory error that conflicts with your info-graphic. F1 is the bottom of Axl’s range… and he can reach UP to a Bflat-6. and two seconds of editing time would be appreciated by all.

  9. Sara Connor says:

    What about Ann Wilson ???

  10. This test is invalid it doesn’t include Ian Gillian.

  11. Mark Dellabarba says:

    There is a singer that would blow everyone of these away by far.. one of the greatest voices I ever heard and a wide range.. lead singer from Steel Heart ..Miljenko Matijevic… Listen to this whole song and I am sure most would agree.. That voice almost gives me chills.. .https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ICJs1CxCRt0
    Steelheart, Lead vocalist. close second would be Sebastian Bach..

  12. james says:

    i think you need 2 put Maynard James on there

  13. Dave says:

    also a believer that range is not the end all be all…. that said – i’d like to see dylan on here (for humor?) and didn’t the dude from Queensryche have like a 9 octave range?

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