VH1 has been listing a “Top 100 (Musical) Artists of All Time” and I love to think in terms of epic work so I’d like to look at this list and perhaps over time expand from there in one direction or another. To start with however let’s just take a look at the lists of artists little by little.
Number 100 is Alicia Keys.
Of course when you think about all of the thousands and thousands of musical artists there have been over the years it is ridiculous with very rare exception that you are going to find the “Top 100” artists. Perhaps we are better off looking at what makes them unique or what makes them standout.
Alicia Keys is considered a music prodigy having started piano lessons at age seven and written her first song at age 14. She graduated from Professional Performing Arts School of Manhattan at age 16 as Valedictorian.
Keys’ music is beautiful and original and she has a great voice. What makes her special?
Certainly her brain allows her to do things others can’t.
I would like to share a couple things with you. Listen to Keys sing with Jack White of White Stripes. Pay special attention to her imitate his guitar. This starts at about the 2:47 point of the music “Another Way to Die.” It will blow you away and I offer another voice that “played” that way, Cyndi Lauper although Lauper is not as dramatic or strong.
Alicia Keys’ voice is definitely unique; it has “character” along with the usual qualities of a pretty, strong voice.
Number 99 is Hall & Oates.
Daryl Hall and John Oates came out of Philadelphia. They both were lovers of soul music but you would call it “Blue-eyed Soul” simply because it as a rule did not have the edge of pure Soul Music.
Perhaps my favorite song by this group was “Sarah Smile,” soulful yes.
Hall & Oates started in the early-to-mid-seventies but actually developed into the late seventies and early eighties. Further they benefitted as did many groups from the development of MTV. I linked to an early attempt at a music video.
This same song is reflected as an “unplugged” number. Also I included “Rich Girl” as a little more of an up-tempo song.
I would like to say at this point I certainly have even more respect for John Oates; he carried more vocal duties than I thought he did. However the big question we face as we do with all of these 100 artists is “Why are they unique?
The music of Hall & Oates is melodic and rhythmic. The lyrics are not shallow and their stage presentation good but these aspects alone do not really set them apart. I would ask you to consider “the fullness of two voices.” There are many duos that are dynamic such as the Righteous Brothers and Simon and Garfunkel and the inclusion of Hall & Oates does not rule either of these two duos out. I am saying however that Hall & Oates have a “blend” that makes it difficult to follow who was singing which part.
Let us say that they found a way to interchange their voices for the advantage of the listener.
You Tube Website, “Alicia Keys and Jack White-Another Way To Die (Official Video)”
You Tube Website, “Cyndi Lauper-True Colors”
You Tube Website, “Alicia Keys-No One”
IMDB Website, “Biography For Alicia Keys”
You Tube Website, “Hall & Oates-Sarah Smile”
Starpulse Website, “Hall & Oates Biography”
You Tube Website,”Hall & Oates-She’s Gone Video”
You Tube Website, “Hall & Oates “She’s Gone” (unplugged)”
You Tube Website, “Rich Girl-Hall & Oates”