Author Topic: Bono vs. Freddie Mercury  (Read 11052 times)

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Offline taddeorospus

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Bono vs. Freddie Mercury
« on: January 06, 2014, 03:14:12 AM »
On every U2's forum I've visited, before or then comes the time for a topic called "Bono vs. Freddie."
There are many U2 fans who prefer Freddie's singing, but there are a really few Queen fans which prefer Bono.

I have to say that I love both bands, maybe U2 a little more (but in my teens I used to hate them and really love Queen instead).
To compare two singers like Bono and Freddie is hard, primary because their voice hasn't been the same all over the years.
Bono voice has at least six different periods. I mean from his vocal timber point of view.

1) Boy-October era; 2) War-Unforgettable fire; 3) Band aid - Rattle and Hum 4) Achtung Baby - Million dollar hotel OST; 5) All that can't leave behid - How do dismantle an atomic bomb; 6) No line on the horizon -  nowdays

Freddie Mercury had 5 different vocal shapes:

1) Queen I - A day at the races; 2) 1978 - 1980; 3) 1980 - 1986; 4) The Miracle - Barcelona; 5) Innuendo album and out takes for Made in heaven

About Bono, I prefer Bono's singing in Band-Aid Rattle and Hum era, Achtung baby era, and nowdays era. Nowdays he has even learnt to sing properly (I mean his technical skill is good).
About Freddie, I prefer Freddie's singing in 1980-1986 era, Barcelona album (but not the Miracle), and just a couple of songs on Innuendo (for example The show must go on... but on that album his voice got generally "thin", I guess for the desease). People use to think that Freddie was a real technical singer, but he wasn't. He was just pure instinct like Bono was until he begun taking lessons when his voice seemed to be gone. They say Freddie never took vocal lessons (as Bono in his prime... though I think sometimes singers tend to hyde the truth, I don't know why), so you cannot say his singing was techical. Talking about himself, Freddie spoke about his envy for singers like Rod Stewart who had a better technic and took lessons.

About Bono vs Freddie, here's what I think.
Though Freddie's voice had a better range than Bono's, maybe even more power (but Bono's singing in his prime was really powerful), just by little I prefer Bono's timber and interpretation.
They are my two favourite singers of all time. It's hard to say who I prefer. Maybe Bono wins just by a little (50,1% vs 49,9%). I don't mind about range or technic, I'm talking about vocal-timber and interpretation.

(sorry for my English, guys)
« Last Edit: January 06, 2014, 03:19:04 AM by taddeorospus »



Offline Tumbling Dice

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Re: Bono vs. Freddie Mercury
« Reply #1 on: January 06, 2014, 12:08:25 PM »
Bono's a better songwriter than Freddie was.


Offline Nico

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Re: Bono vs. Freddie Mercury
« Reply #2 on: January 06, 2014, 12:58:57 PM »
Freddie had more power than bono and was comparable to robert plant. Plant and bono's voice burnt out after 15 years but bono adapted well and even has maintained a good level to this day. Freddie could belt it out throughout his 20 year career which is amazing. However the beautiful tone and "dusty Springfield esque" voice of plant and especially bono makes bono the best in my opinion.

Offline MASTER YODA

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Re: Bono vs. Freddie Mercury
« Reply #3 on: January 06, 2014, 01:02:44 PM »
Bono.
More about preference. Bono has soul.

Offline Tumbling Dice

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Re: Bono vs. Freddie Mercury
« Reply #4 on: January 06, 2014, 01:43:06 PM »
Freddie's voice suited Queen's operatic style.


Offline Doc_Holiday

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Re: Bono vs. Freddie Mercury
« Reply #5 on: January 06, 2014, 03:32:03 PM »
I always thought Freddie was a technical singer... Interesting to know that he wasn't. His voice was truly something. Listening to some of his pieces still is breathtaking.

I won't compare them, the styles are too different

Offline ZooClothes

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Re: Bono vs. Freddie Mercury
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2014, 10:10:45 PM »
I still get chills listening to the album "Made in Heaven"......esp. "It's a Beautiful Day"  8)

Offline taddeorospus

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Re: Bono vs. Freddie Mercury
« Reply #7 on: January 07, 2014, 03:39:12 AM »
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Bono's a better songwriter than Freddie was.

Well, I don't know. I guess they're equal. U2's songs take their shape in studio, with all the band playing. You can hear that on Achtung Baby Kindergarten. Bono doesn't arrive in studio with songs already written. And he knows more or less 6 chords.
Queen were more like a band in which all his members came from home with written songs. Their demos, in terms of melodies and chords, were almost the same as the album songs. Freddie was able to write the score for an operatic orchestra. You can hear that on Barcelona album, where he wrote the music for all instruments and played them on synthetizers.
U2 take a couple of years to record their recent albums, while Queen registered them in a couple of months. I mean that in two years you have more time to write many songs and then choose the very best.

What is certain is that Bono is a better lyricist than Freddie was.

Offline xy

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Re: Bono vs. Freddie Mercury
« Reply #8 on: January 07, 2014, 11:30:20 AM »
On a personal level I prefer Bono.

But there's no denying Freddie was one of the all-time best singers in rock.

Offline EnduringChill

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Re: Bono vs. Freddie Mercury
« Reply #9 on: January 07, 2014, 04:36:57 PM »
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On a personal level I prefer Bono.

But there's no denying Freddie was one of the all-time best singers in rock.
Yeahh, that's how I feel. It's hard for me to compare. I think it would be harder to compare their performance skills, though.

Offline Shesgonnadreamoutloud

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Re: Bono vs. Freddie Mercury
« Reply #10 on: January 07, 2014, 06:30:14 PM »
Ooh this is so hard....

I feel like Bono has the edge (no pun intended) of having a more soulful voice and really reaching out to you there while Freddie has pure power and just natural talent behind his voice...he makes it look so effortless

Offline Rodney T-M

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Re: Bono vs. Freddie Mercury
« Reply #11 on: January 07, 2014, 09:10:42 PM »
Bono had a much heavier voice from the JT tour thru the Lovetown tour than Mercury ever had. I think Freddie M. is significantly overrated online; he was a great singer, but he was also a very affected and mannered singer and interpreter who could be irritating or shallow in his singing, and very often very campy. He was in no way an opera singer or anywhere near that quality; you listen to him sing "Barcelona" with a real opera singer and he has to yell a lot of it and sing from the throat. The thing about him too is that I've never seen him sing as well live as in studio; he almost always ducks the thrilling high notes. I still enjoy his singing, and he has an especially beautiful husky half-voice that he uses on stuff like "Melancholy Blues" which is very nice, and of course the belty anthems are great too, but he's not the be-all and end all of rock singers-I'd rank a lot of people over him for pure voice and interpretive qualities.
Bono in his best years was my favorite rock singer ever (1982-1994 or so, and his voice is most interesting live during the Lovetown and ZOOTV tours for me, since he uses so much timbral variation). He just had a gorgeous voice which I think was both extremely beautiful and which became very powerful. One could attack him for being over-angsty in his singing from Boy thru R&H, but it's not too big an issue since the songs he sang were appropriate for it. He didn't have as flexible a voice as Freddie because it was bigger and not so light, Bono sang very technically badly for a long time, and he just never had a reason to try to practice figurations and stuff. The thing that always astounds me is the fact that Bono went from an abysmal singer in 79-80 to a fine one by the recording of Boy, and that he just got better and better when he was so awful earlier. They got lucky that he had learned to sing before Boy and not after; it might not have been so big with the damnable caterwauling of young Bono on it.
I think Bono is the greater singer, because he had the most beautiful and riproaring timbre of anyone in rock in his heyday, while Mercury's voice, though great, was less beautiful and more campy than people commonly acknowledge.

Offline taddeorospus

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Re: Bono vs. Freddie Mercury
« Reply #12 on: January 10, 2014, 02:34:19 AM »
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I think Bono is the greater singer, because he had the most beautiful and riproaring timbre of anyone in rock in his heyday, while Mercury's voice, though great, was less beautiful and more campy than people commonly acknowledge.

Like I said, there are more "periods" in Freddie's and Bono's vocal history. So you can say that Freddie's singing is campy until 1978 or so, but it's not campy in the next years. And it's in these years that is voice shone and became more beautiful (I'm talking, for example, about his voice in Under Pressure (ISOLATED VOCALS TRACK You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login ).

In Barcelona he didn't want to sound like an opera singer (like Bono don't want to seem an opera singer when he sings Pavarotti in Miss Sarajevo). So what an opera singer thinks about his operatic singing is not important, because he was singing like a rock singer is supposed to do. Here's Barcelona isolated vocals: You are not allowed to view links. Register or Login

Last, I think the paragon between their voices fits good, because their voices are not so different. Both are tenors, both have this beautiful crystal clear timbre a little bit rough. Both had a powerful voice in their best days. Both have a beautiful low register, high register and falsetto.
« Last Edit: January 10, 2014, 02:46:40 AM by taddeorospus »

Offline Nico

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Re: Bono vs. Freddie Mercury
« Reply #13 on: January 10, 2014, 02:51:39 AM »
Both untouchable at their best

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Re: Bono vs. Freddie Mercury
« Reply #14 on: January 10, 2014, 11:24:00 PM »
I always thought of Freddie Mercury as a better entertainer than Bono. Bono on the other hand connects more with the audience emotion-wise. That being said, Freddie passed away when he was still in his prime so he will always be remembered as a brilliant singer and front man. Bono's voice has deteriorated to some extent over the past ten years, so people will somewhat take that into account and only mildly acknowledge his worth as a great vocalist.