Posted by gerbs
I would like to see/hear that. Coldplay is an interesting choice. I'd like to see them try to do Billie Jean acappella. When I look at acappella as a whole and the "vocalese" style popularized by Manhattan Transfer (which is also the name of their most commercially successful record, earning 12 grammy nods, second only to Thriller for most nominations) it has more or less always felt to me that this style of music was practically invented to play existing music. This is the definition of the vocalese style. I don't think they did much, if any original material, although John Hendricks, who wrote all the lyrics for that album, has written a lot of original stuff, and is one of the masters who has been around a long time. I think it was this record that drew my attention to this music, around 1985. Manhattan Transfer were absolutley brilliant live when the played the Saratoga Jazz festivals.
How much of acappella as a whole is in this style I really have no idea. It's hard for me to name too much original stuff other than "Don't Worry, Be Happy" and Hendricks' work, but I'm sure it's out there. It does seem that it's popularity is growing faster than ever, (how many tv shows can we have?) there are now dozens of acappella groups with insane talent who all want to be on the Sing Off. Since I know I can't sing but have an intense love of playing and listening to music, acappella has a special place for me. This is from someone who's collection is probably 65% instrumental music. It's almost a jealousy. Playing an instrument is one thing. Singing without the accompaniment of instruments is a whole other universe. There is almost nothing cooler than being in public somewhere and at random having a bunch of people who can really sing just bust into song from out of nowhere like they're on a stage or live tv. Gives me goosebumps if they can really belt it out spontaneously. That takes cajones. But, and this is a HUGE but, if you don't already know the song they are singing, do you care? It doesn't resonate, you don't know where it's going, what it means, it's got no context. This is why, IMHO, there isn't much original acapella music that makes the charts or gets any real exposure. Then again, you could say that about any original music at some level.
I never sang in public, anywhere, and for good reason, but I keep trying in the privacy of my own home, and only if no one else is within earshot. I'll have to see if I can find Street Corner Symphony. And maybe I'll have to give sing off another chance. . Maybe I'm crazy, but I think "No Such Thing" by John Mayer would be an excellent choice for the sing off. This is the best live solo version of that song that I know of (it's not acappella) but it's very good. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rAS4YnWewG8
What song would you most like to see/hear done acappella (new thread anyone?)