Why should guitarists have all the fun?
Today, GuitarWorld.com is launching a new poll in partnership with Samson — the Greatest Rock Singers of All Time!
We're certain that, even though our core readership is mainly made up of guitarists from different genres, locations and age groups, you — like us — have strong opinions about the skills (or lack thereof) of some of rock's most legendary singers.
And although we had hundreds of rock singers to choose from, we decided to narrow things down to a mere 16 names, all of which were carefully chosen by Guitar World's editorial staff. We took great care in choosing what's essentially a Sweet 16 starting point. Rock singers from every decade, starting with the 1960s, are represented, as are several rock sub-genres.
Here are our 16 rock singers in alphabetical order:
Phil Anselmo, Randy Blythe, Kurt Cobain, Chris Cornell, Bruce Dickinson, Ronnie James Dio, Rob Halford, James Hetfield, Mick Jagger, Maynard James Keenan, Freddie Mercury, Jim Morrison, Ozzy Osbourne, Robert Plant, Axl Rose and Bon Scott.
From there, we drew singers' names out of a hat (It was, in fact, a Black Sabbath baseball cap) to help us create our opening 16-singer bracket, which is available for your viewing pleasure below. Obviously, none of these of singers are ranked or coming from a previously compiled list, so we chose purely random matchups to have as little impact as possible on the final outcome. We're actually pretty pleased with the way the bracket turned out, because, let's face it, our inaugural matchup is a good one.
Remember that, as with any poll, sub-genre might occasionally clash against sub-genre, so you'll just need to decide which singer has or had the most to offer within his genre and time period, which one has or had more natural talent or technical skill, which one had the biggest influence on other singers or rock in general — maybe which one was the strongest frontman.
Let's get started! As always, you can vote only once per matchup (once per device, that is), and we'll post two matchups per week, starting with today's shootout, Bruce Dickinson of Iron Maiden against "the rock god," Rob Halford of Judas Priest.
Today's Samson Greatest Rock Singers Round 1 Matchup (1 of 8)
Bruce Dickinson Vs. Rob Halford
Born: August 7, 1958, Nottinghamshire, England
Associated Acts: Iron Maiden, Samson, Tribe of Gypsies, Ayreon
Quote: "I got into trouble for saying we're better than Metallica … and it's true! They might be bigger than us and they might sell more tickets than us and they might get more gold-plated middle-class bourgeoisie turning up to their shows but they're not Maiden. I did say it's a bit of a wind-up. I thought, if I'm going to turn into an asshole, I might as well, you know, go for it!"
Born: August 25, 1951, Sutton Coldfield, England
Associated Acts: Judas Priest, Fight, 2wo, Halford, Bullring Brummies
Quote: "Even now, we've always got our eyes and ears out to what's going on around us in the music scene. You're a fool if you ignore all the great things that are happening in your world. But having said all that, I suppose in the chemistry of what makes a great writing team, we just bumped into each other in life and that magic started happening. And it still does even to this day."
Winner: Bruce Dickinson (59.14 percent)
Loser: Rob Halford (40.86 percent)
The BracketCheck out the latest version of the 16-singer bracket below. We'll update it after each Samson Greatest Rock Singer of All Time matchup.GW Samson Singers 2013 (opens in new tab)