Friday 5 passes the mic!

**Today on my Y-Rock show, I featured songs that are sung by someone in the band other than the lead singer…here are elaborations on five of them!…”New Order – “Dreams Never End” from Movement

After the death of Ian Curtis, the band that would soon become New Order hadn’t yet settled on a lead singer…during the recording sessions for their first album, they traded vocals on songs like they did in their live performances until everything sounded right…though Bernard Sumner’s tenor eventually became the group’s distinctive voice, a few songs (like this one) sung by bassist Peter Hook hint at what could have been…

Pixies – “La La Love You” from Doolittle

Sure, Kim Deal sang more than a few Pixies tunes, but this song is unique in that it is sung by drummer David Lovering…I would say that it’s a very un-Pixies like song, but just like most of their songs, it was written by main man Black Francis…it’s neat when one songwriter can come up with everything from “Here Comes Your Man” to “Crackity Jones”, and on the same album no less!…

The Clash – “Ivan Meets G.I. Joe” from Sandinista!

Yet another drummer-sung song, this is the only song in The Clash’s catalogue that Topper Headon sings…of course, Sandinista! is notorious for its missteps, but this rather dance-y number showcases a little-heard voice…it’s hard to imagine The Clash’s music being led by anything but the voices of Joe, Mick or Paul, but there are a few other tunes that feature vocals from another (and most of them are also on Sandinista!)…

Squeeze – “Love Circles” from Frank.

“Love Circles” was the only other A-side released by Squeeze that featured lead vocals by Chris Difford (the other being the classic “Cool For Cats”)…keyboardist Jools Holland took the mic a few times here and there as well, and it’s almost ironic that the band’s biggest hit wasn’t even sung by their own lead singer…then again, Paul Carrack had a history of joining bands, scoring a big hit, then leaving (see: The Pretenders, Roxy Music)…

The White Stripes – “In The Cold, Cold Night” from Elephant

When there’s only two people in a band, you would expect there to be a lot of trading off of vocals, but such is not the case with the most famous duo in music today…Meg White sings a few (very short) songs on a couple of Stripes albums, like “Passive Manipulation” from Get Behind Me Satan and Icky Thump’s short interlude “St. Andrew (This Battle Is In The Air)”…Meg did get her moment in the spotlight back in 2003 with this song which is quite similar to the Moe Tucker-led “After Hours” from The Velvet Underground…do all girl drummers have to sing with the same voice?…


~ by E. on August 2, 2008.

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