Who Has Worse Voice, Dylan or Leonard Cohen?

Please help to resolve this debate. Participants agree to accept verdict of MOL. 


I like them both actually...

Do you mean grittiest or roughest voice perhaps?


Leonard, but when a voice works like this, who’s complaining?


Who’s Dylan Cohen?


I like them both. 


I think Cohen's voice meshes better with his music.  Cohen covers inevitably fall flat.  Dylan songs are often better performed by other artists.


That said, I much prefer the Dylan's voice as an old man to his voice as a youth.


How is this even a question?


Dylan's voice style was copied from Ramblin' Jack Elliot.


Jeff Buckley's cover of Hallelujah is one of my favorite covers of all time. I prefer Cohen to Dylan. 


jfinnegan said:

Jeff Buckley's cover of Hallelujah is one of my favorite covers of all time. I prefer Cohen to Dylan. 

It's kind of hip these days to criticize Buckley's cover, but the truth is that he transformed the song into something really great. Maybe the best cover ever (now there's a thread idea!).

And yeah, Cohen over Dylan - not even close.


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iInuc_P4GhM

Cantor Azi Schwartz steps down from the bima and sings Hallelujah at the Park Ave. Synagogue during the High Holidays. 


First time I heard Dylan was when I saw him on TV. I wondered how they let the guy on.


As a singer, Leonard Cohen is the Tom Waits of Bob Dylans.

[Edited to add] Dylan for worse voice, as he's grown older.

And the Christmas album? No.


This is from 2009: 

Bob Dylan was detained by police in Long Branch, N.J. last month, when a young officer failed to recognize him, police said. The officer proceeded to go to earnest lengths to ensure the hooded, disheveled, rain-soaked music legend was, in fact, who he said he was.

https://abcnews.go.com/GMA/jersey-homeowner-calls-cops-bob-dylan/story?id=8331830


Dylan wouldn't be Dylan if his voice didn't suck.


My variation on this question has always been, whose voice is worse, Bob Dylan or Neil Young? But I love Cohen - he had life in his voice


cramer said:

This is from 2009: 

Bob Dylan was detained by police in Long Branch, N.J. last month, when a young officer failed to recognize him, police said. The officer proceeded to go to earnest lengths to ensure the hooded, disheveled, rain-soaked music legend was, in fact, who he said he was.

https://abcnews.go.com/GMA/jersey-homeowner-calls-cops-bob-dylan/story?id=8331830

 I don't blame the officer.  That area of the Jersey Shore has a long history of disheveled Dylan wannabes.  


The 23 story Leonard Cohen mural in downtown Montreal.  

We saw it this past summer as well as the other nine-story mural off St. Laurent. They loved him and he loved Montreal.


ml1 said:

Tom Waits

 John Lydon.


cramer said:

The 23 story Leonard Cohen mural in downtown Montreal.  

We saw it this past summer as well as the other nine-story mural off St. Laurent. They loved him and he loved Montreal.

 I saw it, too. It made me sad for what we lost. His last album was, "Thanks For The Dance." It is excellent.


Never placed them in a “singer” category at all. Poets.


Personally, its not Dylan's voice as much as his harmonica playing that makes his early stuff hard to listen to. I take it he either learned how to play or hired a pro in his later years?


ridski said:

 John Lydon.

 really?
John's a great singer. Totally unique. And funny 


annielou said:

Never placed them in a “singer” category at all. Poets.

Agree to this. Of the two, I like Cohen a lot and dislike Dylan (though some of his songs covered by others are OK) but I think they both have terrible voices. Same with Neil Young mentioned above - love him despite his voice. (which I've always wondered if maybe it is a stylistic choice?)

As I've mulled this over, over a few days, one thing occurs to me though. Are there any female poet/singers with terrible voices who get away with the bad voice thing? I can't think of any. I don't think that means that there has never been a woman who could plausibly be in that category - just that they don't get airtime. Or maybe I just can't think of any.

I'm open to being convinced I'm wrong.


HatsOff said:

annielou said:

Never placed them in a “singer” category at all. Poets.

Agree to this. Of the two, I like Cohen a lot and dislike Dylan (though some of his songs covered by others are OK) but I think they both have terrible voices. Same with Neil Young mentioned above - love him despite his voice. (which I've always wondered if maybe it is a stylistic choice?)

As I've mulled this over, over a few days, one thing occurs to me though. Are there any female poet/singers with terrible voices who get away with the bad voice thing? I can't think of any. I don't think that means that there has never been a woman who could plausibly be in that category - just that they don't get airtime. Or maybe I just can't think of any.

I'm open to being convinced I'm wrong.

Yoko Ono.  Not the same level of success as Cohen or Dylan but..... horrendous singer.


ml1 said:

ridski said:

 John Lydon.

 really?
John's a great singer. Totally unique. And funny 

 He's rotten.



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