Here is a completely subjective, personal and utterly unscientific list of the greatest front men and best rock singers of all time. Whittling the list down to a mere 8 involved a herculean effort and a great deal of soul searching. But, as they say, someone has got to do it.
A truly great rock front man needs to have a rare blend of talent, charisma and cock-sureness. As conflict breeds heroism, the true greats are all bedraggled by a plethora of highly visible and gaping flaws, if not utterly consumed by some incomprehensibly dark and fucked up issue. To that end, it probably helps their cause if they are no longer living as a direct result. In fact, let’s make a list of these attributes so we can keep score.
The 5 attributes that breed greatness:
a) Wildly talented
b) Alcohol/drug abuser
c) Outrageously egotistical
d) Certifiably insane
e) Ability to perform shirtless
f) Dead as a result of all of the above.
Without further delay, to the list…
8. Dave Mustaine, Megadeth
The loveable loser to so many for his expulsion from Metallica and the red-headed-step-child-level hostility that exists as a result. Regardless, one of metal’s greatest guitarists and a can’t-miss spectacle when he rolls into your town. Extra credit given for being front man and lead guitarist.
Verdit: A, B, C, E
7. Lemmy, Motorhead
Who would win a wrestling match, Lemmy or God?
Verdict: B, D
6. Mick Jagger, Rolling Stones
Admittedly, had a very long career while never really turning anyone off (OK, maybe the lead singer from The Verve would disagree) or entirely losing his dignity. But he does come across as Tori Amos crazy.
Verdict: B, C, D, E