Who was your favorite lead singer for Petra?

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Who was your favorite lead singer for Petra?

Post by petrafreak2009 » Sat Dec 22, 2007 2:02 pm

My favorite was John Schlitt. His voice just lifts me everytime I listen to the classics. The only reason it's not Greg Volz is because his voice sounded too digitaly changed on too many songs to me. What about you? What's your opinion? Bob Hartman, Rob Frazier, Greg Hough, Greg Volz, John Schlitt, or Pete Orta.
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Post by St_Augustines_Pears » Sat Dec 22, 2007 9:46 pm

John Schlitt for me. Nothing against Greg Volz, but I just like John's voice better. More "rockier" (is that a word?). The fact that the first Petra song I ever heard was "Mine Field" from ON FIRE! probably has something to do with that.
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Post by Shell » Sat Dec 22, 2007 10:09 pm

I would have to say John, and a big reason is I've been to more Petra concerts where John was with the lead singer. John's voice is rockier, but Greg has a wonderful voice too, and I actually prefer the way he does the older songs like "Judas' Kiss" and "Rose Colored Stained Glass Windows", I think Greg's voice is better suited for those particular songs. They have such different voices, it's kind of unfair to compare.

Is is okay to love the way they both sing? :wink:
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Post by ezequiel » Sun Dec 23, 2007 10:28 am

Yes! John... but i like Greg in the album MORE POWER YO YA... is the best performance.

The voice are differents, John is more ROCK and Greg mor SOFT...
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Post by HudsonPethead » Sun Dec 23, 2007 11:44 am

I like Greg X Volz, but John to me is one of the best rock singers of the world.
I love his voice!
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Singers

Post by Preacherman777 » Sun Dec 23, 2007 4:21 pm

Purely from the standpoint of a singer, I believe Greg was the better singer. He had a better vocal range and was much better suited to the type of music they did during his time, but you couldn't ask for a better hard rock singer than John. Greg would not have worked very well for anything they did from This Means War on to the end of their run. I do believe he could have done Back to the Street and suspect that at least some of that album probably was written with him still in mind.

Looking at Petra is almost like looking at least two different bands. They were so very different during Greg's time from where they went with John. But the really cool thing is that in both eras they were awesome.
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Post by Mountain Man » Thu Jan 03, 2008 12:28 pm

I like Greg Volz and John Schlitt equally. They both brought something unique to the table and excelled at what they did.

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Preacherman777 wrote:I do believe he could have done Back to the Street and suspect that at least some of that album probably was written with him still in mind.
Now that you mention it, I could totally see Greg doing a lot of those songs.
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Post by executioner » Thu Jan 03, 2008 2:10 pm

John for me all the way! Greg's voice is great but never really fit in with the style of music that Petra was. Petra was a ROCK band and Greg's voice is purely pop/inspirational. I loved the early 80's style that Petra had but I felt the vocals were always lacking for the style Petra wanted to be; I feel Greg held Petra back from the mainstream because of this. I can see John singing that era instead of Greg but could not see it the other way around.
John's voice will always be considered the voice of Petra and it's for obvious reasons.
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Post by petrabandca » Thu Jan 03, 2008 2:19 pm

The very first song I heard was partial when I walked up to my friends trailer during summer vacation and heard the chorus of "I Am On The Rock". Prior to that I was most likely coming from my trailer after lunch and was listening to either one of these albums - "Appetite for Destruction", "Kiss Alive", "Hysteria", "Slippery When Wet" or "New Jersey". If the album had been something prior to John Schlitt I would have said "what the crap is that?"

Only because of John's voice and the harmonized vocals of the rest of the band on the chorus did this "ROCKER" who listened to some of the biggest bands of our time question "Who is that? They sound awesome!"

Put aside the road John was going down after Head East and prior to Petra and think. Which voice would have stood up to guys like - Axel, Steve Perry, Steven Tyler, Bon Jovi, Paul Stanley, Ozzy, Freddie Mercury and has anyone noticed the similarities between John and Rod Stewart?

Now think, who out of John and Greg truly could sing songs like "Bohemian Rhapsody", "Pour Some Sugar On Me", "Black Diamond", "Crazy Train" or "Living On A Prayer". His voice is rock and because of that I was hooked and hooked to the point that I began to dig deeper into the history of Petra to learn that John wasn't always the voice of my now favorite band that out rocked everything and everyone! You're all trying to hear John's voice on those songs I mentioned, aren't you? :-)

With that all said, I would not have wanted John's voice on Greg's Petra albums because his voice was the voice of that time and I love those older albums just as much as the "newer" ones. John just has a voice that can't be beat and to this day I hear secular bands and compare vocals and John comes out on top 9 times out of 10.

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Post by executioner » Thu Jan 03, 2008 2:20 pm

Mountain Man wrote:I like Greg Volz and John Schlitt equally. They both brought something unique to the table and excelled at what they did.

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Preacherman777 wrote:I do believe he could have done Back to the Street and suspect that at least some of that album probably was written with him still in mind.
Now that you mention it, I could totally see Greg doing a lot of those songs.
Actually none of that album was written with Greg in mind. The album was totally recorded without the vocals in August/September 1985 with the intention of bringing in a new lead singer; In fact it was recorded even before CITAS was recorded in Nov. 1985. CITAS was solely done to fulfill a contract obligation with JDB. All parties knew Greg was leaving just after Beat the System was recorded and before the Beat the System Tour. Everyone always says it was agreed on both sides(Petra/Greg) to part ways but he was in reality let go.
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Post by BForm » Thu Jan 03, 2008 5:21 pm

This really is a tough question. But here's my 2 cents:

As a pure vocalist I think Greg's voice was much cleaner than John's when they were both in their prime. However, John's voice is definitely more of a rocker than Greg's. I think the point about not being able to hear Greg do some of the songs John has done is valid. The sound would be totally different. The downside of this is that the rockers generally rip there vocal chords to shreds and I fear John's is showing a lot of wear in that area.

There is another intangible that is very important. When it comes to people, much of our perception of better/best is affected by how we feel about the person. I'm not meaning to cut down Greg in this area but I always felt John's stage presence was more believable to me. I felt a connection there that I didn't necessarily feel when Greg was on stage.
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Post by sue d. » Thu Jan 03, 2008 8:35 pm

The downside of this is that the rockers generally rip there vocal chords to shreds and I fear John's is showing a lot of wear in that area
Ah... I beg to differ. Just wait until you hear all of The Grafting! His voice is as smooth as silk, and yet he can really hammer it home on the rockers!
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Post by Preacherman777 » Fri Jan 04, 2008 12:27 am

Now think, who out of John and Greg truly could sing songs like "Bohemian Rhapsody", "Pour Some Sugar On Me", "Black Diamond", "Crazy Train" or "Living On A Prayer".
You may have a point with the rest of those songs, but with Bohemian Rhapsody you have totally missed the boat on that one. I can't even begin to imagine John doing that song. He just doesn't have the voice for it. Greg on the hand, in his prime, could have pulled it off easily. I think he proved that with his remake of Dream On which was clearly superior in vocals to the original.
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Post by charl » Fri Jan 04, 2008 12:58 pm

Bohemian Rhapsody? Uh...Greg X Volz.

I like both, though I think Greg X Volz was the better singer in his day, mostly because of his range and the way he controlled his vibrato.

I have never been able to understand this weird assertion of Volz "not fitting" Petra's music. Why not just admit you don't like this era of Petra rather than saying that you like them but his voice didn't fit? His voice made the sound of that era. An album like Not of This World (which is the best of that era I think) was crafted around Volz' voice and JDB's production for heaven's sake. I'm sure we've all heard John sing Greg's songs and they range from okay to utterly terrible so how would he better suit songs he could not sing as well? Of course the same would go for Greg singing many of John's songs.

You "rockers" would die if you had this rock/pop conversation with some people I know. The fact that they retained a keyboard player for most of their history excludes Petra from being a true rock band altogether in the minds of many. I simply argued they transcended such petty boundaries. HA.

As for Back to the Street not being written for Greg, this is true. However the songs were still being written in the same way the earlier songs had been-for a voice like his rather than a voice like John's. This is why you can practically hear him on a song like The Whole World.

I agree with the point made about personality. John has given much of his life to Petra and that will always endear him to the fans.
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Post by executioner » Fri Jan 04, 2008 2:08 pm

Charl to answer your above post:

1. Greg clearly does NOT have a rock voice; Never did, never will.

2. I loved that era of Petra music(in fact I've voted many times here and on GuidetoPetra MPTY my favorite all time Petra album) I just didn't like their vocals. Mark Kelly did a great job on Disciple and I and many would have much rathered heard him in the future instead of Greg. I remember alot of people saying hey why don't they use Mark more then Greg?

3. John has sung many of those songs live and did not only a great job but improved the rockiest around the arrangments.

4. Most if NOT all rock bands of that era retained keyboard/piano players, and all use them in a live setting, Even groups like GnR, Def Leppard, White Snake, Black Sabbath, and AC\DC. I've seen all these bands live in their hey day and all of them use keys during their sets. The 90's really did away with keys and for the most part are not relevant for this generation of musicans. In fact most rock musicans write alot of their music using keys/piano instead of the gutiar; This includes our own Bob Hartman.

5. I do feel the same as many of you about BTTS and say it could have fit in Greg's era, but you could feel the subtle key changes were already being made and most if not all of those songs would needed changes from their current form in order for Greg to put his touch on them. BTTS was a gap era album and was probably not done very well, but it led to some of the greatest music ever after that.
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