Falsetto (Unusually high pitched vocals) recommendations

I like that Sylvester track - never heard it before!

Before the Bee Gees there was Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons. I think they deserve a mention as they pretty much redefined the falsetto as a masculine singing style, but i mostly know their later tracks (stuff like The Night, or Sun Country) and those seem to use the falsetto more for background harmony vox. Anyone know any good Four Seasons tracks with more upfront falsetto?


The Beach Boys. Pretty good in the upper registers:

However, getting a bit technical, I think they mainly had natural tenor / counter tenor voices rather than using falsetto.
It’s glorious the way they rise into the high notes here:


A more recent Bee Gees favourite of mine. More recent as in 30 years ago, when I first heard it on a Kenny Carpenter mix. Barry almost squeals at around 3.40:


A deep cut from Curtis Mayfield this time, from a rather late addition to the Blaxploitation genre (a dark prison drama called Short Eyes - for which he did the soundtrack and also helped finance). He also plays an inmate in the clip below.

I think the film bombed, at least in part because the soundtrack is completely out of step with the era (it came out in the same year as Saturday Night Fever), but musically it’s really strong.


I’d forgotten this had the slightly dubby second half.



And why don’t people make music videos like that any more…??!

Managed to get this on a big sound system on Friday, sounded great. Bovell doing justice in the form of dub as always…


Love that dub! Bovell really hits the spot for me!

Sort of reminds me a bit of Ghettos in the Sky on A New Chapter in Dub by Aswad, which I just listened to again but only the harmony backing vox stray into falsetto territory so I won’t add it here.

On the other hand, here’s another Horace Andy classic… I’m guessing this is more of a high counter tenor, but you mentioned him in the OP, so thought I’d add it :+1:

1 Like

To me Horace Andy sounds “unusually high pitched” but I would be intrigued to hear what the vocal experts have to say… Similar case with Paris Brightledge…

Love a bit of “skylarking” what a fantastic word haha.

I was going to ask if, technically, a lot of these are actually falsetto vocals?

Bill will know, but he doesn’t like me.

It’s hard to be sure with some whether it is sound from the chest or throat. Some might be doing a bit of both. But I think falsetto is also a catch-all phrase for men singing high, a bit like all the talk box tracks in the vocoder thread.

Definitely falsetto. Jerry Dammers. Not known for his singing, and his missing teeth can’t have helped, but given the chance here he’s almost angelic. And a great video too.


Haven’t heard that for a long time! From one of the great underappreciated albums of that era. And the club dancers in the video were part of Manchester jazz-dance combo The Jazz Defektors, fact fans (back when Jazz-dance combos were a thing).

Agreed with your comments about falsetto being understood as high pitched singing by men, but women appear to do it too - just that it’s harder to recognize.

A nice smooth vocal on this, which must be one of the greatest (IMHO) boogie-disco tracks of all time. The Levan remix seems to get all the attention, but I much prefer the original :+1:

If it’s simply high-pitched singing, why is it not called high-pitched singing? Where does the word come from? (Yes, I could Google.)

It’s not simply ‘high pitched singing’, though we’ve just been acknowledging that this tends to be way in which the term is used and/or understood. It requires the vocal cords to be used in a different way to normal speech or singing, thereby creating an alternative or otherwise ‘false’ voice - hence ‘falsetto’.


obvious but still a classic:


Jazz dance combos, black polo necks, sailor hats, Robert Elms pontificating. All soon to be swept under the infernal rave machines of the evil acid barons.
I used to sort-of know some of the guys from IDJ, from High On Hope, but there they danced like the rest of us, but with perhaps a little more bounce.

1 Like

Ah, yes. I remember IDJ even made it onto the cover (and certainly the video) of Venceremos by Working Week.

I was wondering what Leeeeeeee John track to post if nobody else did.

I always thought this track would make a nice remix in a more Imagination style.

1 Like