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Considering tone only as a singer, which do you prefer: Billie Holiday or Karen Carpenter

  • Billie Holiday

    Votes: 21 44.7%
  • Karen Carpenter

    Votes: 26 55.3%
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Just the tone and tone alone as a singer.

No other issues. (so don't consider whether either one composed any songs, who is more respected as a musician, or the quality of songs they chose to perform).
 

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Billie holliday every time- but then again I love Captain Beefheart and Tom Waits, I don't really go for 'pretty' sounding music!
 

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First let me dig out my version of Billie Holiday singing Top of the World, then I'll let you know.
Hey, I don't have that particular recording in my collection! Was it done with or without the Prez?

Kenneth
 

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Hey, I don't have that particular recording in my collection! Was it done with or without the Prez?
No Prez was not available on that session, he was doing a tour with The Archies at that time.
 

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Just the tone and tone alone as a singer.

No other issues. (so don't consider whether either one composed any songs, who is more respected as a musician, or the quality of songs they chose to perform).
t!!

Both have great tone.If both were still with us,and i had the chance to see one only--Billie it would be,no contest!!
 

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As Bill Clinton might ask, it all depends on your definition of "tone". At the moment, I'm listening to Miles playing on his "Sketches of Spain" recording on AccuJazz. Did Miles have a good tone? Who had the best tone, Miles or Bud Herseth? One thing about tone. By the second note of the tune, I knew without a doubt that it was Miles. I could almost say the same regarding tone of both Karen and Lady Day. Who had the "purest" sound? Karen, without a doubt. Was Lady Day's sound evocative of her life and the character of a song and her interpretation of it? You bet. Would I want to hear Karen sing "Strange Fruit"? Don't believe so. So I refer back to Bad Bill's paraphrased comment in the first sentence above.
 

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:dazed: I am still scratchin' my head over how the heck anyone even came up with ...& what sorta context would have ever inspired... a comparison of these two particular singers.....:scratch:
 

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:dazed: I am still scratchin' my head over how the heck anyone even came up with ...& what sorta context would have ever inspired... a comparison of these two particular singers.....:scratch:
Makes sense considering how many posts the "who's got a better soprano sound, Kenny G or Coltrane" got. :mrgreen:
 

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Karen Carpenter, and not just for tone. She had unique timing and phasing that no other singer I know of has ever replicated.
 

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If only Billie had access to Burt Bacharach's tunes.

Thanks to Hammond, Billie got recorded well (just like Dylan). Thanks to Richard, Karen got recorded well.

She was a terrible drummer--the recordings were Hal Blaine.

Unlike Billie, Karen could not make a mediocre song sound great.

Neither had great tone, but they were great stylists.

Sorry, can't do tone only...:)
 

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Yeah, this takes apples and oranges to a whole other level!

Billie was unique in her time in a way that Karen was not: she really opened up many ears to a new kind of music, especially white ears.

Karen has one of the most amazing voices ever, no doubt. BTW, check out Michael Jackson's copying her voice in an early recording called: "One Day in Your Life". Unbelievable: close your eyes, and it's Karen. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=44_qWFAdjqQ
 

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Each told different kinds of stories. It's like comparing apples to oranges or like trying to compare Trane's tone and Getz's (whom's tone Trane revered).
 

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If only Billie had access to Burt Bacharach's tunes.

Thanks to Hammond, Billie got recorded well (just like Dylan). Thanks to Richard, Karen got recorded well.

She was a terrible drummer--the recordings were Hal Blaine.

Unlike Billie, Karen could not make a mediocre song sound great.

Neither had great tone, but they were great stylists.

Sorry, can't do tone only...:)
KC was an accomplished enough drummer to play live on tv and in front of huge crowds at their shows. Here is a sample, hardly terrible. She starts to play about 90 seconds in. In fact she had the respect of Hal Blaine and many pro's.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F9IagAg7u5M
 

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Well this one's easy for me. I love Billie Holiday's tone and would take it over KC or any other pop singer I can think of. And gary's right; it depends on your definition of great tone. Billie fits 'great tone' in a singer for me.
 

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I didn't watch the video of Karen's drumming mentioned in this thread but I've seen another one and she is good. She had a lot of musical talent actually. I hate these comparisons between people, Billie Holiday probably had more jazz and soul happening and Karen is pop. Different styles call for different sounds I think. Best tone? I can't answer that really.
 

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Billie Holiday and Karrin Allison would be a better poll.

But tone is a nebulous concept. We can't agree on who has the best tenor tone, same applies to singers.
 
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