Best pure vocal performances was a topic that came up for discussion somewhere, so here's my list:
- The Marvin Gaye version of the Star Spangled Banner
- The Ray Charles version of "America the Beautiful
- Aretha Franklin "Call Me" - I love the vocal control, and the dynamics are incredible. My favourite, but any number of Aretha performances could be right up there...
- I still think Ronnie's performance on the Ronettes' "Be My Baby" is a thing of beauty - no vocal gymnastics, but her voice sounds to be like the voice of a woman whose heart is close to bursting with love.
- Al Green's version of "How Can You Mend a Broken Heart?" - good Lord. "Funny How Time Slips Away" also kills me everytime.
- Ray Charles' version of "You Don't Know Me" - one song that I think gets covered really well, with many differing nuances... Ray Charles singing country - what a marriage...
- Donny Hathaway "Someday We'll All Be Free" and "The Ghetto"
- Solomon Burke "Just Out of Reach (Of My Two Open Arms)" and "I Really Don't Want To Know"
- Gladys Knight and the Pips "Midnight Train to Georgia"
- Elliott Smith "Miss Misery"
- Barry White "Just the Way You Are"
- Alison Krauss "Baby Now That I Found You"
Your list was a good guide. I downloaded Allison Krauss after seeing it and it was beautiful.
You don't listen to any mandarin/asian music do you?
Damnit, I'm in Barcelona right now, and have no access to Al and Aretha and Ray... and now you've got me thinking about them.