I was playing Transformer by Lou Reed the other day. Grethe walked in, and demanded to know, in that forthright Scandinavian way, why I was listening to this man who cannot sing. After a moment’s thought, I replied that there are many great songs by bands or artists who can’t, you know, sing. At least, not very well.
Thinking about it some more, this seems to be particularly true of some of the greatest musicians of the 1960s and 1970s. Here is my top five list of great singers who can’t actually sing:
- Bob Dylan
- Lou Reed
- Paul Simon
- Van Morrison
- Mark Knopfler
Other nominations gratefully received.