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  #1  
Old 12-31-2018, 05:41 PM
secret love secret love is offline
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Default The mezzo-soprano becomes the contralto

Let's reflect on this:

Until 1998, according to the almighty Google, Stevie Nicks was a mezzo-soprano singer. From 1998 to now, she has lowered her range to a contralto, the lowest of all female voices, of a similar pitch to the likes of Cher.

Christine is... an alto? I think she is, anyway. Which would mean Stevie used to sing higher on harmonies than Christine did on lead, on songs like Over My Head, although I can't find a YouTube video to demonstrate this - help please.

But here are two videos to demonstrate the dramatic shift in pitch of her still beautiful voice:








My own range is F2 - F4.
It is an unpopular opinion, but I prefer the current "contralto" voice to the "mezzo-soprano". What do you guys prefer?

Last edited by secret love : 12-31-2018 at 05:58 PM.
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Old 12-31-2018, 06:41 PM
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It is an unpopular opinion, but I prefer the current "contralto" voice to the "mezzo-soprano". What do you guys prefer?
She has a nice, rich dry-sherry warmth to her lower register these days, which I really like. In her 20s, she had more of a head voice and therefore a thinner, reedier quality, even in those early stage shows. I think the year of solid, tough touring in 1977 really pushed her singing into her chest (compare a World Turning from the European stint in April with the Japanese leg in December). By the time she recorded Sara, she had lost that thrushlike warble of her 20s. What she lost in range, maybe she gained in character and warmth.

The resonance of Stevie's voice has always depended on 1) the health of her sinus cavity (she used to sound awful in Southern California concerts when there was a dry, dusty Santa Ana condition) and 2) the musical character of the band supporting her. She almost always sounded better either with Fleetwood Mac in the olden days or with more recent solo bands that left her plenty of space in the mix. But now that Fleetwood Mac and her solo bands usually create wall-to-wall noise, it's hard for her to "rise above." In fact, Landslide is usually her best-sounding vocal all nightóbecause she's not doing battle against drums, bass, synths, and electric guitars.

(The worst bands ever for her to sing against were her 1986 road band and then her 1991 band. Neither of those macho groups were sensitive to what they were forcing her to do with a weakened instrument. They seemed to think they were supporting Sammy Hagar or Rob Halford.)
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Old 12-31-2018, 09:29 PM
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When she toured with Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers in 2006, instead of just guesting on a few songs it would have been great if she had also opened the show with the Heartbreakers backing her. Same goes for 1981 and early 1986.

They are a great band for her.

Last edited by cbBen : 12-31-2018 at 09:32 PM.
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Old 12-31-2018, 09:45 PM
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Macfan4life Macfan4life is offline
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When she toured with Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers in 2006, instead of just guesting on a few songs it would have been great if she had also opened the show with the Heartbreakers backing her. Same goes for 1981 and early 1986.

They are a great band for her.
LOL so the Hearbreakers would do 2 sets each night for the same price as doing 1?

Yeah ok

I think they would have told her to get her own band.
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Old 12-31-2018, 10:40 PM
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LOL so the Hearbreakers would do 2 sets each night for the same price as doing 1?

Yeah ok

I think they would have told her to get her own band.
In 1987 they did three sets a night: backed Mcguinn, did their own set with Petty, and backed Dylan.
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Old 01-01-2019, 04:43 PM
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Originally Posted by cbBen View Post
When she toured with Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers in 2006, instead of just guesting on a few songs it would have been great if she had also opened the show with the Heartbreakers backing her. Same goes for 1981 and early 1986.

They were a great band for her.
They had the "right" kind of sound for Stevie onstage. On those occasions I saw her sing with them in the eighties, she was almost invariably more at ease vocally (and more adventurous) than she was with her own bands. She did a pretty good trio of songs with the Heartbreakers in summer 1985 in Arizona, and I saw her sing with them in LA for some benefits a few months after that. You could definitely hear her better than with her own blowhard band the next year. Listen to her tackle Talk to Me with a knowing band in Bodega Bay in 1985. As a lead guitarist, Les is giving her so much more space than Waddy ever did. (But he undid all his great work as her lead guitarist in 1991, when he was really atrocious.) They also did Johnny B. Goode that day.

Bands that leave musical space (like the Heartbreakers with Stan Lynch, like Fleetwood Mac circa 1980) give vocalists a chance to expand their dynamic range; they don't have to shout-sing through every number. Listen to The Chain from Wembley in June or Mobile in August, and you get to hear the three vocalists sing some of the verses in a suspenseful hushed way, building momentum so that the whole thing can explode like a powder keg on the choruses (or pre-choruses, if you prefer to call them).
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Old 01-02-2019, 10:34 AM
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(The worst bands ever for her to sing against were her 1986 road band and then her 1991 band. Neither of those macho groups were sensitive to what they were forcing her to do with a weakened instrument. They seemed to think they were supporting Sammy Hagar or Rob Halford.)
I guess that's why her vocals were frantic barks and yodels, desperately trying to roar over the band and also keep up. But I do love a frantic bark and bellow from her, 1986 style. Did she blow as many lyrics and starts on the 1983 tour, David?
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