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Ian Anderson's voice

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humor4u1959 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Quote humor4u1959 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: Ian Anderson's voice
    Posted: April 17 2013 at 18:06
What the heck happened to his voice? Did he have nodes at one time? It makes me sad to hear him now. He even has a guy doing most of the singing live now.

His vocal parts never required range or power and he never screamed as some rockers have. So, I'm puzzled.

Gary Brooker of Procol Harum is older than Anderson and still sounds great! He even sings all the really old material in the original key. Then again, he had a much better voice than Anderson in the first place.

I'm a Tull fan, so I hope someone can explain his lack of voice to me. And please don't say it's age or just from using it so long. That would not cause it. I mean, he virtually has no voice left. So sad.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote PabstRibbon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 17 2013 at 22:11
Anderson got a throat surgery some years ago that's the main reason.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote HackettFan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 17 2013 at 22:18
His voice had been going for quite some time, but, if I remember right, it's not his first throat surgery. Not sure where I read that.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote humor4u1959 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 18 2013 at 01:53
Originally posted by PabstRibbon

Anderson got a throat surgery some years ago that's the main reason.


First of all, I love your avatar! I saw Gabes with Genesis in 1974.

Thanks so much to you both for replying. I figured it was something like that. Many singers develop nodules, i.e., "nodes", on their vocal cords. And they require surgery or can possibly turn into throat cancer. I was married many years to a very good singer (female). So, I know a bit about singing.

Julie Andrews had surgery for nodes in the 90's and never sang again, to this day. She sued her doctor, but I never heard how that turned out.

I suppose we should all be grateful that we have Ian's voice in fine form on record to listen to anytime we wish, eh? He was great!
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Post Options Post Options   Quote octopus-4 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 18 2013 at 07:35

I've been at the TAAB2 tour and he has a "clone", a boy who sings half of the songs on his behalf with his same voice, unbelievable. If you don't look you can think it's Ian singing. But for the parts he sings he's great as usual, only he can't probably sing too much.

Curiosity killed a cat, Schroedinger only half.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote ExittheLemming Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 18 2013 at 07:41
I'm genuinely sorry if Anderson has been afflicted with some sort of physical malady that affects his singing BUT:

Notwithstanding the excellent musical materials prepared by himself and his fellow minstrels in merriment, I find all his vocal quirks, tics, affectations and techniques grievously irritating to the extent  that I can never accede to Tull being a 1st generation prog pioneer (which they are dammit)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Lizzy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 18 2013 at 07:48
I know he had a throat surgery around the Crest of a Knave era, but he might have had another one around Heavy Horses, because he did have serious throat issues back then as well.

I would blame a lot of his voice changes (he's the only singer I can think of at the moment who sounds different on every single album he's on) on the fact that he was a chain smoker, and his vocal chords possibly being more sensitive than others'. But these are mere speculations, of course.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote PabstRibbon Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 18 2013 at 09:05
Originally posted by humor4u1959

First of all, I love your avatar! I saw Gabes with Genesis in 1974.

you lucky man! 
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Blacksword Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 18 2013 at 09:10
I saw Tull a few years back and his voice was quite bad. Still plays a mean flute though.. It was a great show otherwise.

His voice was showing some strain in the 80's. They supported Marillion at a big open air show at Milton Keynes (1985/86?) I remember recording Tulls set off the radio and thinking that his voice was pretty bad back then, on some of the songs.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Barbu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 18 2013 at 10:12
Saw Tull live five or six times (mid'90-mid'00) and I really can't complain about it (is it the same guy who sang on Aqualung?). He gave its best each and everytime I saw them.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote chopper Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 18 2013 at 10:15
I suspect old age may have something to do with it as well, the same as Dylan, McCartney etc.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote twseel Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 18 2013 at 10:37
Might be a good reason for him to start making instrumental music Tongue
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Post Options Post Options   Quote progbethyname Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 18 2013 at 10:43
Has their been some degeneration in awesomeness in Mr. Anderson's voice?? I've not heard him of late, so let me know dear prog brothers and sisters. :)
I Had A Sheer Heart Attack when I listen to Freddy Mercury vocal blasts on Sheer Heart Attack. That guy can really bring down the hammer and the anvil on that one. Sheesh. ;)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Metalmarsh89 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 18 2013 at 14:39
A good diet and healthy living habits really help keep a singing voice intact for many, many years. Some people are blessed with an amazing voice that not only sounds amazing, but continues to do so for decades. Unfortunately, not all singers are this lucky, so if they pursue the life of heavy drinking and/or smoking, there are great risks down the road. I remember reading an article/interview with James LaBrie of Dream Theater on this topic, and him explaining what he does to keep his voice in top shape.

As for what is going on with Ian Anderson's voice, I haven't a clue. I haven't listened to anything he's sung after the early 90's studio stuff. If he is/was a heavy chain smoker as some have stated here, than I don't find it at all surprising that lifestyle has come back to bite him.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote rogerthat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 18 2013 at 19:57
Originally posted by Lizzy

I know he had a throat surgery around the Crest of a Knave era, but he might have had another one around Heavy Horses, because he did have serious throat issues back then as well.

I would blame a lot of his voice changes (he's the only singer I can think of at the moment who sounds different on every single album he's on) on the fact that he was a chain smoker, and his vocal chords possibly being more sensitive than others'. But these are mere speculations, of course.


Quite possible, because that's the first album on which his voice sounded sort of hoarse/croaky to me.  If he was a chain smoker, it was probably inevitable.  
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Post Options Post Options   Quote infocat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 18 2013 at 23:06
John Wetton's voice seems to be better than ever.
(Can't say the same for his songwriting, though.)
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Post Options Post Options   Quote verslibre Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 19 2013 at 13:33
I remember Ian's voice was fairly coarse (not hoarse) sounding on the Rock Island tour.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Evolver Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 19 2013 at 14:30
I saw Tull many times, from the mid seventies to the J-Tull Dot Com tour.  While his voice was deteriorating noticably through the years, it wasn't until the Roots To Branches tour that his straining to hit high notes became painful to watch.
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Post Options Post Options   Quote icmrocha Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 19 2013 at 15:35
I've always thought that Ian's voice, from 87 until recently, suffered, more because of his breathing than his actual singing (not sure if I made myself clear here...)

Listen to Locomotive Breath Live, for instance (on recent tours); It looks like he's having troubles catching his breath..
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Post Options Post Options   Quote Dellinger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 19 2013 at 18:06
Even though his voice hasn't been the same, I can't say it bothers me much on his latest live albums either. I got the Live at Montreux and Living with the past (or don't remember exactly the name, but it's the 90's 00's live album with songs from shows from this two decades). As a matter of fact, I like many of the songs on this albums much better than the 70's versions... mainly because flute and guitar are so much cooler, and perhaps in some cases even the drums sounding kind of harder and louder helps a bit too (though surely there are many fans of the 70's drummers on Tull that wouldn't agree with me).
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