Why should guitarists have all the fun?
GuitarWorld.com recently launched a new readers poll in partnership with Samson: the Greatest Rock Singers of All Time Readers Poll.
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.
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 simply the stronger 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, continuing with today's shootout, Mick Jagger of the Rolling Stones (and let's not forget his solo albums) against Axl Rose of Guns N' Roses.
Winner: Ozzy Osbourne (80.84 percent)
Loser: Kurt Cobain (19.16 percent)
Today's Samson Greatest Rock Singers Round 1 Matchup (5 of 8)
Mick Jagger Vs. Axl Rose
Born: July 26, 1943, Dartford, England
Associated Acts: The Rolling Stones, SuperHeavy
Quote: "People have this obsession. They want you to be like you were in 1969. They want you to, because otherwise their youth goes with you. It's very selfish, but it's understandable."
Born: February 6, 1962, Lafayette, Indiana
Associated Acts: Guns N' Roses, Hollywood Rose, L.A. Guns, Rapidfire
Quote: "I could beat my mike stand into the stage, but I was still in pain. Maybe fans liked it, but sometimes people forget you're a person and they're more into the entertainment value. It's taken a long time to turn that around and give a strong show without it being a kamikaze show."