Axl Rose knows a thing or two about what it takes to front a band, but as far as the Guns N’ Roses singer is concerned, he pales in comparison when placed next to Queen legend Freddie Mercury.
As lead singers go, Axl definitely resides in the upper pantheon of rock gods who define the bands they front. Like The Doors without Jim Morrison, the Rolling Stones without Mick Jagger, or Queen without Freddie Mercury, Guns N’ Roses without Axl Rose would be like alcohol-free whiskey, in other words, as dull as ditch water.
Axl has long been renowned for the intensity, the aloofness, the showmanship, the danger, the paranoia, the vulnerability, the complexity, and the “screw you” air about their person all the best frontmen bring to the table.
In many ways, he’s cut from a different cloth than Freddie Mercury, but both men were blessed with the common touch when it comes to commanding a crowd and going straight for the jugular.
Speaking to Atlas Etihad ahead of a Guns N’ Roses show on the weekend, Axl was asked his opinion on who deserved the greatest frontman of all time accolade, to which the singer responded, “For me it’s easy. Queen is the greatest band and Freddie Mercury is the greatest frontman of all time.”
“The band are the greatest because they embraced so many different styles.”
It also helps that Mercury is by and large considered the best vocalist of all time as well. Not only could the man put on a show he, but could also sing the house down for good measure.
The Queen icon had perfect style, stance, and a hugely charismatic personality, but it was his voice which drove the point home again and again, that here was something special, a true force of nature.
It’s safe to say in Queen, Freddie Mercury elevated good old rock ‘n’ roll music to the dizzy heights of opera.
Scientific studies, quoted by Open Culture, came to the conclusion that the method of singing Mercury employed was similar to that of Tuvan throat singers.
Apparently, he was capable of several more layers of harmonics and a faster vibrato than anyone else. If that wasn’t impressive enough, Mercury, who was naturally a baritone but primarily sang as a tenor, was also able to effortlessly slide from register to another. Just check out his soprano parts on Queen songs for proof.
The case is closed, the jury has reached their verdict, and the judge has decreed that Mercury was a superhuman performer and a superhuman singer. Be honest, who else could Axl or any other frontman pick in the late, great Queen frontman’s place?