A new study suggests the key to spotting a lead singer’s influence on your favourite bands is to look for the big leads.
The findings, presented at a symposium organised by the Australian Music Industry Association (AMIA) and The Australian Institute of Music, show that the key is knowing what songs are popular among their fans and who is paying attention to them.
The study, conducted by the University of New South Wales’ Centre for Music Studies, found the most popular lead songs in Australia were by Australian artists like The Killers, Mumford & Sons and The Beatles.
But the study also revealed that some of the songs were popular by Australian listeners.
“Leads who have been around for decades are more likely to have a large following than those who are newer or emerging artists,” Dr Sarah O’Donoghue, who conducted the research, said.
“They are more often viewed as the face of their genre and the most recognisable.”
We also found that the more time someone has spent listening to a lead vocalist, the more likely they are to have heard their songs in the past.””
The song that you most associate with a lead is one that you would associate with the band or singer,” Dr O’Donnell added.”
It’s a song that they’re known for and that they perform with.
“The more time you’ve spent with the lead singer in a band or in a studio, the stronger that association becomes.”
Dr O’Dowd said the findings showed the importance of looking beyond the obvious and found that there were many different ways a lead can influence a song.
“A lot of times when we see a song, we think of the lead vocalists and the music they’re making, and we tend to think of that artist as a lead, but in reality, a lot of the time the lead is just the voice behind the melody,” Dr McLeod said.
Dr Oder said the study showed that a singer’s importance to a band can change over time.
“There’s no one standard way to measure influence, but it’s not a secret that some popular lead singers are the most influential, and that’s been proven by this research,” she said.
“The next step in this research will be to look at the influence that a lead has on a song over time.”