list season December rolls around, it’ll be hard to beat Lorde, St Vincent, Joan Jett and Kim Gordon fronting Nirvana at the Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall Of Fame for greatest musical moment of the year. Each artist took one of Nirvana’s songs to pay tribute to the late Kurt Cobain and it was badass and perfect in every way. Picking someone to front a much-loved band isn’t an easy task. Adam Lambert’s had his fair share of insults for fronting Queen; proof that sometimes it’s better if the show just doesn’t go on. But what if it were an ideal world? Who would you pick to front your favourite bands that are out of action, or to replace your favourite musicians? Here’s five suggestions to kick things off. Add your picks in the comments below or with the hashtag #newsingeroldband.
Annie Clark fronting Talking Heads
It’s unlikely Talking Heads will reform anytime soon. Since the split in 1991 the band played live once in 2002 when they were inducted into the Rock ‘N’ Roll Hall Of Fame. It did nothing to staunch the considerable animosity between David Byrne and the group after he sought legal action against them using the name Talking Heads. Tina Weymouth described Byrne as “a man incapable of returning friendship” and Byrne said one reason a reunion wouldn’t happen is because “musically we’re just miles apart.” I saw David Byrne and Annie Clark (St. Vincent) play a set that included Talking Heads covers a couple of years and she’s surely one of the only artists that could do justice to Byrne’s voice, brio and dancing (though he probably wouldn’t be thrilled).
Prince with The Jimi Hendrix Experience
My first thought was Slash, but then he can’t really sing. Prince, though, would be extra special. Apparently the cover of ‘Villanova Junction’ he occasionally plays is incredible and his cover of ‘Red House’ (listen below) ain’t half bad. He’s got the guitar skills, the voice, the blues sensibility and electric stage presence to take Jimi Hendrix’s place. Can you imagine Prince covering ‘Little Wing’? What a dream.
Courtney Barnett fronting The La’s
Although Lee Mavers reformed the La’s a few years ago after playing live as the impossibly named “Lee Rude & The Velcro Underpants”, it doesn’t look as though a proper La’s reunion is on the table. To give younger fans the chance to watch the band’s one and only album live, Courtney Barnett should take Lee Mavers’s place. Her thoughtful handle on lyrics and haunting vocals would match the music and can you imagine ‘There She Goes’? It could be even better than her recent Lemonheads cover.
La Roux fronting The Clash
La Roux is back! ‘Let Me Down Gently’, the first single from her upcoming album, is a throbbing burst of disco soul and suggests great things are to come. Since Joe Strummer’s death in 2002, The Clash reformed once for a BBC session but a reformation hasn’t really been on the cards, though they do remain friends. If they ever play again, La Roux would bring some vibrancy. Mica Levi would be pretty great, too.
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Beyoncé fronting Led Zeppelin
In 2008 Jimmy Page and John Paul Jones started looking for a vocalist to replace Robert Plant on a reunion tour. They contemplated Steven Tyler and Myles Kennedy from Alter Bridge to which I say: meh. You’d need someone with an impressive vocal range so I nominate Beyoncé who can almost span four octaves. And if anyone’s a ‘rock star’ in 2014, it’s Queen B. Björk played an April Fool on her website in 2009 saying she was going to front the band and that would’ve been pretty cool too.
Who’d you put in front of your favourite bands? Thom Yorke fronting REM? Slash filling in for Jimi Hendrix? Enya standing in for Liam? Pete Doherty in Eurovision? Have your say.