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Old 04-10-2008, 11:24 PM   #1
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So What Is The Deal W/ Bono's Voice?

It sounds so much "fuller" on that last leg of Vertigo, and I'm not sure if it's all because of the long pause in between the legs. It certainly sounds like his voice is much clearer and stronger, and certainly much better than what was recorded on the last album.

POP, yes his voice was definitely not as strong, but it actually didn't sound all that bad. His voice complimented the songs. It still had its backbone.

Elevation tour, his voice seemed very weak, and the worst I've heard it. It sounded shot a large percentage of the time.

Vertigo was definitely an improvement, but in the middle of it, his voice suffered. It wasn't until the last leg that it really seemed to make a comeback, and Union Chapel back it up a year after Vertigo ended.

So what is up with his voice? Has the improvement been from better caretaking, or just a pause from touring is the reason?

I know I can certainly tell you "Mysterious Ways" has never sounded closer to its origins since the ZooTV era and NO I'm not talking about the falsetto. I hope this lasts, Bono.
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Old 04-11-2008, 12:16 AM   #2
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Old 04-11-2008, 12:20 AM   #3
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Others here are so much more qualified than me to answer your question, so I hope they post, but my thoughts follow:

I agree, last leg vertigo saw some of the best performances of Streets,Pride, NYD, Bad, SBS, MW, WOWY since at least the Zoo TV days. Not only was mysterious ways very close to the Zoo TV era, so were all of those other songs. New Years Day and particularly the verses of streets could have been mistaken for Zoo performances. Chorus of Streets on the last leg actually resembled more of a JT era structure, albeit w/o the deep voice. One Tree Hill and Miss Sarajevo were out of this world. Union Chapel combined the technical control and last leg Vertigo power with the rawness that we saw in the Rattle and Hum days.

This is important because Bono has either had a very powerful, screaming raw voice that made vocal cord specialists cringe (JT, R&H, even Zoo TV to some extent, he hit all the notes by beating the hell out of his voice) or he has had a technically amazing voice with alot of control and no power or rawness and less hitting of the notes.(Elevation, some of Vertigo) Last leg Vertigo and Union Chapel especially was the first time in his career that he has combined power with incredible technique and control. This is why I believe his voice will continue to be this good- he has worked with vocal specialists on mastering technique while getting his strength back after throat surgery pre-elevation tour.

Having both means he will be able to sing well without blowing out his voice like happened often during JT/Lovetown- he sounded spectacular during that era, but he often had blowouts and they had to cancel whole shows.(Netherlands 1989, a few on JT) Performances varied widely based on whether he was 'on' or not. The technique he has now will allow Bono to be consistently 'on.'

As far as the reasons for this: As you noted, we started to notice some loss in power during Pop, doctors and Bono became concerned post Pop, and he had throat surgery before the Elevation tour then took lessons to master technique. Throat surgery takes a long time to come back from(Steve Tyler of Aerosmith had it in 2005 and has not sounded good in 06 and 07) and regain full vocal strength, so we can see Elevation as the early stages of his recovery with things getting better as time passed. The long touring had less to do with his 2005 performances than did the still recovering voice. The recovery hit a turning point in 2006, so last leg Vertigo voice got better even with shows almost every night. Overall, his voice is getting better and this is why:
1.Continued recovery from throat surgery has allowed some of the power and rawness to come back from the Zoo and R&H days.
2.His newly found technique, when combined with this, ensures sustainability because he is doing it right.
3.Bono lost some weight between early 06 and last leg Vertigo, started boxing again, etc, is in overall better shape and is rumored to have stopped smoking. If true, this can only help his voice in the future.

As impossible as it sounds to be saying this about someone in his upper 40s who has JT/R&H and Zoo vocals behind him, the best is possibly ahead for Bono's voice!
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Old 04-11-2008, 12:59 AM   #4
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Old 04-11-2008, 03:42 AM   #5
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I think if they took more rest days between gigs it would make his life a whole lot easier (voice-wise)
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Old 04-11-2008, 07:34 AM   #6
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Re: So What Is The Deal W/ Bono's Voice?

Quote:
Originally posted by Moser


Vertigo was definitely an improvement, but in the middle of it, his voice suffered. It wasn't until the last leg that it really seemed to make a comeback, and Union Chapel back it up a year after Vertigo ended.

So what is up with his voice? Has the improvement been from better caretaking, or just a pause from touring is the reason?

I think the comeback started with the recording of Electrical Storm/Hands that built America in 2002.
His voice was less shot than Elevation tour, sounded fuller and more comfortable in the big notes. (there were hints before, like Kite for example)

It continued with the album and the tour, although I think after Popmart he is overall less consistent throughout 100 or so shows. Rest during Vertigo tour helped, and more taking care and proper use of the voice, and whatever therapy he's doing for it (remember the Vocal Aid pills in the last One video?).

It's interesting he, most of the time, sounds weak during one-off non-tour performances (Grammys BD come to mind), but he was impressive at Union Chapel.

I just hope age will be kind to his vocal chords...
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Old 04-11-2008, 08:57 AM   #7
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Old 04-11-2008, 09:42 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2387

3.Bono lost some weight between early 06 and last leg Vertigo...and is rumored to have stopped smoking.
I don't really think that's factual, to be honest.

IMO, the biggest thing has been the opera training. It strengthens the voice. It's a simple as that, there's no magical secret, he's just being smart now with his voice. The other biggest thing is IEMs. They didn't have IEMs back in the 80s and if I'm not mistaken I don't think even up to Popmart (someone can correct me with a photo, I'm too lazy lol). Having IEMs makes a world of difference in how you sing, a WORLD of difference, and it only gets compounded when you're talking about 120+ shows over a year and a half. Sure, he had them on Elevation, but if he was recoup'ing from surgery then he'd still have been affected by that. Seems to me he got 2-3 solid years of rest and training between Elevation and Vertigo and it paid off, along with what are likely the best IEMs money can buy...well that's my thought anyway.
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Old 04-11-2008, 10:05 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally posted by gvox


I don't really think that's factual, to be honest.

IMO, the biggest thing has been the opera training. It strengthens the voice. It's a simple as that, there's no magical secret, he's just being smart now with his voice. The other biggest thing is IEMs. They didn't have IEMs back in the 80s and if I'm not mistaken I don't think even up to Popmart (someone can correct me with a photo, I'm too lazy lol). Having IEMs makes a world of difference in how you sing, a WORLD of difference, and it only gets compounded when you're talking about 120+ shows over a year and a half. Sure, he had them on Elevation, but if he was recoup'ing from surgery then he'd still have been affected by that. Seems to me he got 2-3 solid years of rest and training between Elevation and Vertigo and it paid off, along with what are likely the best IEMs money can buy...well that's my thought anyway.
I understand the IEMs and the recovery from surgery. Of course the opera training has been tremendous as well- sometimes, miss sarajevo. All points well taken, I agree with them all. However, it is factual that Bono lost weight, that was obvious from looking at him on last leg Vertigo, there is even an article about it in an Australian newspaper I will try and find. Bono had also had back problems he had been recovering from and felt good enough to resume working out/boxing in 2006.(Put some back on in 07, but the point is he is trying to take care of himself He has also cut back the smoking/been rumored to have stopped. Feel free to prove me wrong, If I am wrong, let me know.
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Old 04-11-2008, 10:20 AM   #10
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Old 04-11-2008, 10:25 AM   #11
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Bono has lost and gained weight over the years, I don't know if it really has an effect on the voice, unless you become so fat that it's getting difficult to breath. He has obviously gained weight in recent years and his voice has continued to become better. Gaining weight can also mean having better nerves and being able to endure more - unless it's too much and unhealthy, of course. I guess it's not the worst thing for a singer to have some flesh on his bones.

Apart from that, he's taken training and I believe is taking better care of himself. Let's hope he continues to do so and his voice stays in good shape. He sounds the best when he's rested, also his emotional state of mind is important, I guess that's why Elevation and also PopMart were difficult for him. The voice is not just an instrument you play, it's all about emotions.
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Old 04-11-2008, 10:29 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2387


I understand the IEMs and the recovery from surgery. Of course the opera training has been tremendous as well- sometimes, miss sarajevo. All points well taken, I agree with them all. However, it is factual that Bono lost weight, that was obvious from looking at him on last leg Vertigo, there is even an article about it in an Australian newspaper I will try and find. Bono had also had back problems he had been recovering from and felt good enough to resume working out/boxing in 2006.(Put some back on in 07, but the point is he is trying to take care of himself He has also cut back the smoking/been rumored to have stopped. Feel free to prove me wrong, If I am wrong, let me know.
Just to clarify... weight and singing really don't have any relation, for there are many great overweight singers, but lungs and all the muscles used in singing make a difference.
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Old 04-11-2008, 10:47 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally posted by U2387


Feel free to prove me wrong, If I am wrong, let me know.
Here we go with this 'prove' thing again. I like your insights, but alot of times people say things about Bono's personal life that they have no clue about or they base it off one or two newspaper clippings written by numbskulls who also don't have a clue what they're yapping about. I think that's what grates on peoples nerves the most when they see threads like this one. The point is, neither you nor I have any real idea what Bono does on a daily basis, and frankly, I don't really care. What I *hear* when I stand in the ellipse and listen to him sing, is a. proper vocal training and b. a singer wearing IEMs and singing alot smarter than he used to. That's it for me.

Stick to the facts: Bono's weight has always fluctuated, he has always exercised to one extent or another, he drinks, and he still smokes. So what?
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Old 04-11-2008, 10:48 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally posted by BonoVoxSupastar


Just to clarify... weight and singing really don't have any relation, for there are many great overweight singers, but lungs and all the muscles used in singing make a difference.
right you are BVS which is likely why you see him jogging more frequently before he goes on tour...it's not so much to lose weight per se imo but to strenghten the lungs and stamina.
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Old 04-11-2008, 11:08 AM   #15
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Old 04-11-2008, 11:10 AM   #16
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Quote:
Originally posted by gvox


Here we go with this 'prove' thing again. I like your insights, but alot of times people say things about Bono's personal life that they have no clue about or they base it off one or two newspaper clippings written by numbskulls who also don't have a clue what they're yapping about. I think that's what grates on peoples nerves the most when they see threads like this one. The point is, neither you nor I have any real idea what Bono does on a daily basis, and frankly, I don't really care. What I *hear* when I stand in the ellipse and listen to him sing, is a. proper vocal training and b. a singer wearing IEMs and singing alot smarter than he used to. That's it for me.

Stick to the facts: Bono's weight has always fluctuated, he has always exercised to one extent or another, he drinks, and he still smokes. So what?

amen! couldn't agree more!


I also say.... so the fuck what! re: threads like this...
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Old 04-11-2008, 01:45 PM   #17
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Can someone tell me what IEMs are? Sorry
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Old 04-11-2008, 02:38 PM   #18
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Those little ear "headphones" the band uses when they play. It's a mentronome clicking for the tempo,
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Old 04-11-2008, 02:53 PM   #19
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That's a very limited explanation, especially when talking about Bono's use of them...

IEM - In Ear Monitor

The musician gets a feed from the monitor position. If it's a singer, that feed / mix will definitely include the singer's own voice, along with whatever else he/she wants in the mix. It may or may not include the click/metronome tempo. If I'm not mistaken I don't believe Bono's includes the metronome, he has the band mix in his ears as well so it's less necessary for him. Larry's the guy that keeps the band on tempo and to the backing tracks so he would have it for sure and I would be willing to bet Edge's would also.
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Old 04-11-2008, 02:54 PM   #20
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in ear monitor, they transmit an fm signal, that's why bootleggers can capture them...
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