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Songs so difficult that they should only be done once

  1. Jan 10, 2010 #1

    Ivan Seeking

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    This thread is not intended for your favorite songs, or the best songs, rather it is intended for those songs that are so difficult to sing that most performers should not attempt them. While I'm sure that many classical works can be cited, it is often true that simple but beautiful songs are very diificult to perform; best avoided by most performers. Here is one of my favorite examples:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Go9aks4aujM
     
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  3. Jan 10, 2010 #2

    Danger

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    Your national anthem comes immediately to mind.
    This isn't one of my typical pokes at Yanks; it's a seriously difficult song to master.
     
  4. Jan 10, 2010 #3

    Ivan Seeking

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    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1FhndWwWt8I
     
  5. Jan 10, 2010 #4

    Borek

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    You mean

    7MIr-S6mwFk[/youtube] but that's version sung by Canuc.
     
  6. Jan 10, 2010 #5

    Danger

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    And even better in that show was his complementing Her Majesty for having a nice beaver...
     
  7. Jan 10, 2010 #6
    Yes, I agree about the Roberta Flack song. I've tried to sing it and can't pull it off at all, even though it's generally in what I would consider my territory.

    Another song that has given me trouble was Unchained Melody. I only tried it once (at Karaoke) and more or less butchered it.

    I also remember having trouble pulling off "Que Sera Sera" but that might have been because I stumbled on the line "When I was just a little girl..."
     
  8. Jan 10, 2010 #7
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jnXNt4fJqj4
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ekpfBF3CVuo
    I liked Roberta one.
     
  9. Jan 10, 2010 #8
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=<object width="445" height="364"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/irp8CNj9qBI&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0&border=1"></param><param [Broken] name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/irp8CNj9qBI&hl=en_US&fs=1&rel=0&border=1" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="445" height="364"></embed></object>

    They did 120 vocal tracks all layered together for the harmonys and what not.

    If I'm not mistaken I think when it came time to play this song in concert they would just play the video.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  10. Jan 10, 2010 #9
    Try "I Enjoy Being a Girl" by Rogers and Hammerstein.
     
  11. Jan 10, 2010 #10
    Those are both great renditions, rootx.

    And yes, Stratosphere, I think that everyone ought to just leave Bohemian Rhapsody alone.
     
  12. Jan 10, 2010 #11
    I think "difficult" in the context of singing songs needs to be clarified by splitting it into two different issues.

    Some songs are extremely difficult for technical reasons, for example because of the vocal range they require, so that only someone totally comfortable in that range should sing them. This allows for many different (more than once) performances, but greatly restricts who ought to undertake the challenge.

    Other songs, which are not necessarily difficult technically, have become popular via such sensitive, energetic, vervy, inspired, or otherwise remarkable performances that no one else should really "be allowed" to sing them because they just can't equal or top the personality and "soul" individual to the performer that made the song popular.

    The performer that made them famous has seriously raised the bar on people's perception of how deep and rich a performance constitutes a proper one despite the fact a large percentage of singers might be able to give a performance that would be perceived as very successful in the absence of the famous version. It's not difficult to sing the song, it's difficult to top the performance that made the song famous.
     
  13. Jan 10, 2010 #12

    Chi Meson

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    I think I understand what you mean. Here's a song that should never be done again:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  14. Jan 10, 2010 #13
    Yes, you are quite right; although I thought the point was made well by Ivan Seeking in his original post. He's not looking for songs that are technically difficult like Bohemian Rhapsody, and he definitely struck a chord with me by way of his Roberta Flack example.

    I find some of the Stevie Wonder repertoire to be difficult in the second way: Ma Cherie Amor and Sunshine of my Life come to mind. On another note, Kenny Rogers had a great repertoire, full of songs that are eminently singable: but to be safe, everyone else should just step back and leave Coward of the County to Kenny alone.
     
  15. Jan 10, 2010 #14
    I'm not a Rogers fan, but I almost mentioned Stevie Wonder's collected output as something no one else should ever try to sing.
     
  16. Jan 10, 2010 #15

    Robert John- Sad Eyes.
    embed fail, plzhlpthx
    its my ring back tone XD lol
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  17. Jan 10, 2010 #16
    It's fun to try and think of songs in this category. Gilbert O'sullivan probably said it once and for all when he recorded "Alone Again Naturally". "A Child was Born Just the Other Day" is another one that was done right the very first time and probably not again. Finally,
    the world probably does not need a cover version of Pink Floyd's "Teacher, Leave them kids alone!"
     
  18. Jan 11, 2010 #17
    "Wonderful world". Nobody comes even close to Armstrong.
     
  19. Jan 11, 2010 #18
    It's a few years in the future, but you're kids are gonna love this one, particular after about 4:15:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=<object width="425" height="344"><param name="movie" value="http://www.youtube.com/v/4MR6D7tL38U&hl=en_US&fs=1&"></param><param [Broken] name="allowFullScreen" value="true"></param><param name="allowscriptaccess" value="always"></param><embed src="http://www.youtube.com/v/4MR6D7tL38U&hl=en_US&fs=1&" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowscriptaccess="always" allowfullscreen="true" width="425" height="344"></embed></object>

    Yes, obviously a voice synth.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2017
  20. Jan 11, 2010 #19

    Ivan Seeking

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    Not quite what I had in mind. That is difficult to hear, not difficult to perform. :biggrin:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  21. Jan 11, 2010 #20

    Ivan Seeking

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    Not to exclude songs that are technically difficult, but there are also plenty of relatively simple songs [technically] that are amazingly difficult. With The First Time, I tend to think the ability to carry a single note is part of the challenge. Performers learn techniques that mask the limits of their abilities. Those techniques can also detract from the richness, depth, and beauty of a song. When Roberta sings First Time, there are no technical compromises made to mask her limits. Very few performers can do this and get away with it.
     
  22. Jan 11, 2010 #21

    Borek

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    I wonder what you think.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  23. Jan 11, 2010 #22

    Ivan Seeking

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    It is often interesting and disappointing to hear aging performers do the songs that made them famous. One tough song that is seriously compromised even by the original peformer, is Benny and the Jets. Elton hasn't been able to hit those high notes for decades now.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j0WCQadt864
     
  24. Jan 11, 2010 #23

    Ivan Seeking

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    He definitely hits some high notes in there. I wouldn't even try to sing that one the shower!

    I wish I understood the words. Wasn't that guy with The Doors? :biggrin:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 25, 2014
  25. Jan 11, 2010 #24

    Borek

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    :smile:

    It goes something like

    strange is this world
    for many years
    people despise people
    but there are more people of good will
    and I strongly believe
    this world will not fall down thanks to them

    This is a cult song here, and http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Czesław_Niemen - while disliked by many (and nicknamed howler) - was for sure an interesting and difficult to classify artist. Few of my favorites: fzaCOFlcErw, HPHfbZcNl6U, i-7NVnLLeRw and ePNUSmH3dMI.

    Edit: googled this version of lyrics:

    Strange is this world
    where still there is so much evil
    and it is strange that for so many years
    man has had so much contempt for one another
    Strange is this world of human affairs
    sometimes one is ashamed to admit it
    but it happens often that somebody
    with a bad word kills like with a knife
    But there are more people with good intentions
    and I strongly believe in that this world
    won't perish thanks to them
    it is the highest time
    we destroy hatred in ourselves

    Could be that's the version he recorded in English.
     
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2010
  26. Jan 11, 2010 #25

    sylas

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    Dunno how people will react to this... but many of the Abba songs are difficult. To give an example... "I have a Dream". It may not be up with most difficult, but for most underestimated Abba have some good contenders.
     
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