This ‘Rolling Stone’ Ranking Of The 100 Best Singers Of All Time Has Pissed Everyone Off Again
Bob Dylan over Patti Smith? Little Richard over Elton John?
Taste is subjective. That’s far from news, but it’s probably worth bearing in mind when considering the outrage that has broken out over the recirculation of a Rolling Stone ‘100 Greatest Singers’ list from 2010.
I mean, what does ‘great’ even mean? If art was simply about technical skill, then it’d be a finite exercise; right now, someone on earth is ‘the most skilled’ piano player. One person. But it’s not. Still, it doesn’t make something like an itemised list of great singers any less infuriating. If you need proof, just look at the fire that is music Twitter right now.
The Rolling Stone list has laid dormant for nine years, but that doesn’t mean that people aren’t extremely pissed after ‘Classic Rock In Pics’ re-posted the list online.
— Classic Rock In Pics (@crockpics) October 20, 2019
Bob Dylan fans might be the most irate of them all. They’re unhappy that the man cashed in at the relatively low number seven, pipped at the post by Elvis Presley and John Lennon.
a non-political hot take: Bob Dylan has range, pitch control, breath control and is in a class of his own when it comes to phrasing. he is one hell of a singer. you may not like the sound of his voice but there can be no dispute that he is an excellent vocalist. don't @ me
— Jeff Tiedrich (@itsJeffTiedrich) October 21, 2019
Proving that this is all just chaos, the Dylan haters also came out in full, pointing out that the man can’t really hold a tune.
Only in the universe of off-key, one-note, and monotone would Bob Dylan be a better singer than Whitney Houston, Stevie Wonder, Al Green, and Patti Labelle. This list was obviously compiled by Dakota-Josh and Meghan-Kate. 😒 https://t.co/OpeNVIeFcK
— Son of Baldwin (@SonofBaldwin) October 21, 2019
Other people can’t believe that Elvis has ranked quite so high. After all, Presley doesn’t exactly inspire the same devotion anymore that he did even 30 years ago, and Whitney Houston stans in particular reckon that an injustice has been done.
Whitney Houston and Michael Jackson are where they are and Elvis is #3? This list deserves to be burned at the stakes and fast. pic.twitter.com/Oi8BDYJQ7Y
— Regina&Roger (@RogerStan123) October 21, 2019
Whitney Houston is the greatest singer of all time and @RollingStone put her at #34. This list is bullshit.
— Ryan Knight 🗽 (@ProudResister) October 21, 2019
Then there’s the list of omissions, which Twitter reckons is glaring.
— Irene Cusano (@irenec80) October 20, 2019
Olivia Newton-John @olivianj — Her career started professionally in 1966 and she’s recording at 71 years old. She stopped touring just last year. She’s been at it for more than 50 years and it’s all because she knew how to put a song over.
Linda Ronstadt belongs on the list.
— What’s a Millennial without a Beard? (@IShantBelieveIt) October 21, 2019
No kd lang? No Emmylou Harris? No Linda Ronstadt? And why is Freddie Mercury down at #18?
— Cathy McCallum (@therealmommcc) October 21, 2019
Basically, the whole thing has quickly turned into utter chaos, the likes of which breaks out on Twitter once every few months. There are also a lot of men on here, and a lot of white men, too: where the fuck are Etta James, Nina Simone and Mariah Carey, for starters? Thankfully, contemporary lists like Pitchfork‘s best-of the decade are much more diverse. It might be time for a re-up, Rolling Stone.