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, Chris Cornell of Soundgarden and Audioslave against Randy Blythe of Lamb of God.
Winner: James Hetfield (66.27 percent)
Loser: Maynard James Keenan (33.73 percent)
Today's Samson Greatest Rock Singers Round 1 Matchup (7 of 8)
Chris Cornell Vs. Randy Blythe
Born: July 20, 1964, Seattle, Washington
Associated Acts: Soundgarden, Audioslave, Temple of the Dog
Quote: "To me, music shouldn't be ego-driven. When you go out on stage and play songs, it is. But when you're sitting in a room, writing songs, it's a completely different process. It's a completely different place. It's a creative place, a musical place. It has nothing to do with who likes what."
Born: February 21, 1971, Richmond, Virginia
Associated Acts: Lamb of God
Quote: “Folks think that everyone in a professional band sleeps on mattresses made out of hundred-dollar bills and just sits back chilling when they aren’t on tour, spending all their free time screwing models and cashing massive royalty checks. I got bad news for the kids who want to try and do this thing for a living — it ain’t that way."
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.