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Any Major Falsetto Vol. 1

August 13th, 2020 Leave a comment Go to comments


The heyday of the falsetto was the in 1970s, when every vocal soul group worth its name had at least one guy who’d hit the high register, much a relic of doo wop. For some groups, such as The Stylistics or Blue Magic, it was a selling point. Giants in falsetto singing like Eddie Kendrick or Philip Bailey raised the already mighty output of their respective groups — The Temptations and Earth, Wind & Fire — with their falsetto.

Erotic though the growls of Barry White might have been, the sex was on when Bailey would hit the high notes on Reasons or I Write A Song For You. According to a recent podcast by insider.com, we are “hardwired to have a strong response to falsetto in music because of the way our brains process pitch and because of the unique relationship between falsetto and emotion”. It is, apparently, in our DNA.

“According to the music cognitive psychologist David Huron, when you hear high-pitched, loud singing your brain releases excitatory hormones that increase your arousal state and make you more attentive. So falsetto gets your attention. But that’s not the only way it affects you. It also ignites your emotion.”

So with this mix, get those excitatory hormones ready for some arousal — and hopefully you are with the one you love when those emotions get ignited.

On the mix, I included the studio version of EWF’s Reasons, for purposes of keeping the mix down to CD-R length. But also hear the live version from the Gratitude album. Being blessed with a pretty good vocal range, I can sing the studio version alright, but the live one in some parts shreds my vocal chords.

Philip Bailey recently appeared on the Grammy Tribute to Prince, where he sang the late singer’s Adore. It was as marvellous performance. I was thinking of including Adore here, but went for The Most Beautiful Girl In The World instead, on strength of Prince suddenly dropping down to the lowest baritone (or is it bass by then?). A superb vocal performance.

I have tried to be purist in this collection and include only songs that feature falsetto, rather than head voice. Experts in the field of singing may confirm that I succeeded in my endeavour, or point out where I didn’t (I think the Buckley track might feature head voice). Here’s a teaching opportunity for y’all vocal coaches.

But that doesn’t really matter. Just enjoy the music and, if you are blessed with a decent falsetto, happy crooning along!

As mentioned, CD-R length. Home-eunuched covers (featuring renowened 1980s soul singer Prince Rahotep). PW in comments.

1. The Four Seasons – Sherry (1962)
2. Eddie Holman – Hey There Lonely Girl (1970)
3. The Dells – Oh What A Night (1969)
4. The Chi-Lites – Stoned Out Of My Mind (1973)
5. Eddie Kendricks – Keep On Truckin’ (Part 1) (1973)
6. Marvin Gaye – Got To Give It Up (Part 1) (1977)
7. The Bee Gees – Love You Inside And Out (1979)
8. Earth, Wind & Fire – Reasons (1975)
9. Heatwave – Always And Forever (1977)
10. Prince – The Most Beautiful Girl In The World (1994)
11. Lenny Kravitz – It Ain’t Over Till It’s Over (1991)
12. Jeff Buckley – Everybody Here Wants You (1998)
13. The Rolling Stones – Fool To Cry (1976)
14. Darondo – True (c.1973)
15. Curtis Mayfield – No Thing On Me (1972)
16. Jimmy Helms – Gonna Make You An Offer You Can’t Refuse (1972)
17. The Delfonics – Think It Over (1973)
18. Blue Magic – Sideshow (1974)
19. The Stylistics – I’m Stone In Love With You (1972)


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  1. halfhearteddude
    August 13th, 2020 at 14:29 | #1

    PW = amdwhah

  2. August 13th, 2020 at 20:22 | #2

    WHAT? No Richard Manuel??!!??

  3. halfhearteddude
    August 13th, 2020 at 21:21 | #3

    I have “Whispering Pines” in my shortlist for a second volume.

  4. Tom Lane
    August 15th, 2020 at 17:59 | #4

    Good list. Hope Smokey Robinson leads off Vol. 2. And early Beach Boys Brian Wilson.

  5. halfhearteddude
    August 15th, 2020 at 18:10 | #5

    Ah, Smokey got omitted because I think his is head voice, not falsetto. I had “Ooo Baby Baby” down. Beach Boys I also have for Vol. 2. There I just couldn’t decide which song. I didn’t want to be obvious, but it really has to be “God Only Knows”.

  6. dramref
    August 16th, 2020 at 13:30 | #6

    Sugar baby love – Rubettes?

  7. halfhearteddude
    August 18th, 2020 at 15:44 | #7

    Oh, good shou… scream. Interesting backstory to that falsetto as well.

  8. David C Hughes
    September 5th, 2020 at 16:27 | #8

    enjoying listening to this at the moment, and clearly suggestions coming in for #2.
    Can I suggest McAlmont and Butler – “Yes” being a fine example of David McAlmonts voie –

  9. Wineguy
    September 8th, 2020 at 19:47 | #9

    A small mistake…Quarterflash’s “Harden My Heart” was the first single off their first album…the band’s contribution to the soundtrack to the movie “Nightshift” was the title track.

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