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Some bloke named Jim Farber wrote an amusing piece on replacement singers and their fate. Well amusing until one gets to the following pile of excrement.

DEEP PURPLE: A host of singers have fronted this long-running metal touchstone. But Ian Gillan remains the great one – by divine right (he played the son of God in the original “Jesus Christ Superstar”). When he left in 1974, they hired the thoroughly awful David Coverdale to mimic him. Coverdale later impersonated Robert Plant in the atrocious Whitesnake, inspiring the Led Zeppelin singer to dub him “David Cover Version,” a term that may offer the last word on singer substitutes.

First of all he is inaccurate about Coverdale’s arrival in the DP ranks. He shared lead vocals with Glenn Hughes; a pairing which produced the fan favourtie ‘Burn’. This is still a firm favourite of many and a song that has been covered widely. While you can debate if Coverdale/Hughes were the right choices for the band; but to call Coverdale truly awful is simply idiotic. I would also like to point out that Coverdale has been by far the most successful in his post-DP career of all the other singers. And if Page rates the guy; that is good enough for me. The album the pair produced is far better than a mere copy of classic Led Zep. I have to admit that I rather admire Coverdale and his pipes; considering him one of my fave singers of all time (with Plant, Gillan, Dickinson, Moore and Rodgers). And Coverdale produced my all time favourtie song ‘Here I Go Again’.

Via: Classic Rock News

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About Marty Dodge

  • http://www.kalyr.com/weblog Tim Hall

    “Mimicing Gillan” WTF??? I bet that idiot has never even listened to ‘Burn’.

    What are your opinions on the various post-Ozzy Sabbath singers?

  • http://www.andrewiandodge.com Andrew Ian Dodge

    I rather like Tony “The Cat” Martin; especially on the Headless Cross album (like Tyr as well) and, of course, there is the mighty short man, Dio. Some of the stuff he did with Sabbath was as good as Ozzy’s; he went on to form Dio, a band which release some pretty impressive stuff, at least at first. The album with Glenn Hughes was not bad; just should not have been called Sabbath. It had a couple of great tracks on it.

  • http://www.iamcorrect.com Lono

    hmmm, replacement singers. That is fertile ground for good discussion. Certainly Sammy Hagar did well with Van Halen. Had I the choice to see either incarnation I would choose Van Hagar.

    Look at Scott Weiland. STP replaced him after drug bust number two million with DAve Coonts (sp?)… the band was Talk Show. Didn’t work. So, after Scott left the band he now heads Guns & Roses, replacing lead psycho Axl Rose. They are doing well. However, I just got an email this afternoon offering two for one tickets for the Denver show from House of Blues. this tells me they haven’t moved tickets very well.

  • http://www.andrewiandodge.com Andrew Ian Dodge

    Velvet Revolver is pretty damn impressive; they are going down a storm here in the UK. What makes me laugh is that I didn’t really enjoy Weiland’s ole’ gig. Sammy is a far better musician than DLR and as good a front-man if not better (esp now).

  • Vern Halen

    I remembered how I looked forward to Born Again, the Sabbath album with Gillan as lead singer. What a let down.

    Dio replacing Ozzy? Dio can sing, but unfortunately, after a while, to me it sounded like every other bands’ singers were doing Ronnie James Dio impersonations. Sort of set a standard for generic metal vocalizing, if you get my drift.

    And let’s not forget – Gillan replaced Rod Evans, the original DP singer, who, while not having the sae set of golden pipes, was a competent if unspectacular vocalist that would’ve sounded fine in many other bands.

    Coverdale/Hughes – replacing one singer with two was a brilliant idea, even if it did sound like Hughes was trying to upstage Coverdale every chance he got. I never heard Hughes’ band, Trapeze – would be interesting to hear him fronting on his own.

    Some of Dio”s replacements on Rainbow albums were good, too. Joe Turner – wasn’t he on an album or two?

  • http://www.markiscranky.org Mark Saleski

    looked forward to Born Again, the Sabbath album with Gillan as lead singer. What a let down.

    can’t remember what the whole album was like, but the one tune “Disturbing The Priest” was pretty good.

  • JR

    Not only did Joe Lynn Turner make three albums with Rainbow, he also replaced Ian Gillan in Deep Purple for an album.

    Of Deep Purple’s singers, Coverdale stands as my favorite and Gillan my least favorite. I certainly appreciate Gillan’s range and technical proficiency, I just never cared much for his voice and I don’t think he comes up with the best melodies or lyrics.

    Glenn Hughes auditioned to replace Gillan as lead singer for Deep Purple, but Blackmore said he “couldn’t sing”. Now, Blackmore was on a bit of a Free kick at the time, and he had hoped to get Paul Rodgers in the band, but someone was going to pull his arms off if he quit Free. So, enter complete unknown David Coverdale, who subsequently spent more of his career sounding like Paul Rodgers than like Robert Plant. And in fairness to Blackmore, listening to live Deep Purple albums from that era Hughes does often sound a bit wild in his intonation, whereas Coverdale is renowned for his ability to hit the notes he’s aiming for.

  • http://www.andrewiandodge.com Andrew Ian Dodge

    I like JLT era-Rainbow…well to be honest I like all Rainbow; his CD with DP was not bad either, ditto his tenure with Malmsteen. Coverdale is one of my most fave singers of all time; with Bruce. Always thought Hughes tends to over cook things at times and takes things a bit ott (without the self-depricating element of Coverdale’s vibe).

  • http://www.kalyr.com/weblog Tim Hall

    >Always thought Hughes tends to over cook things at times and takes things a bit ott

    Exhibit A: The 1976 DP live album “On the Wings of a Russian Foxbat”. All that ‘Whoop Whoop’ stuff is …. worse than any of the overlong instrumental solos, even the drum solo. But he was off his head on drugs around that time.

    I thought Sabbath’s “Born Again” is a great Gillan album, but a poor Sabbath one; he was completely wrong for the band – saw them live on that tour (complete with fibreglass Stonehenge!), and he looked and sounded totally out of place.

    JLT’s album with Malmsteen was probably Malmsteen’s best. The widdlymeister hasn’t done anything worthwhile since.