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 or three matchups per week, continuing with today's shootout, James Hetfield of Metallica against Maynard James Keenan of Tool, A Perfect Circle and Puscifer.
Winner: Mick Jagger (60.16 percent)
Loser: Axl Rose (39.84 percent)
Today's Samson Greatest Rock Singers Round 1 Matchup (6 of 8)
James Hetfield Vs. Maynard James Keenan
Born: August 3, 1963, Downey, California
Associated Acts: Metallica
Quote: "I'd much rather talk about guitar playing. I hate it when people ask me about my lyrics. I always feel like telling them to just go and read them."
MAYNARD JAMES KEENAN
Born: April 17, 1964, Ravenna, Ohio
Associated Acts: Tool, A Perfect Circle, Puscifer, Green Jellÿ
Quote: "I just hope that our fans are people who are inspired by music, and just use our music as a background or inspiration for whatever it is they do."
Check out the latest version of the 16-singer bracket below. We'll update it after each Samson Greatest Rock Singer of All Time matchup.