Readers' Poll: The Best Vocal Performances in Rock History

Your picks included 'Bohemian Rhapsody,' 'Twist and Shout' and 'Stairway to Heaven'

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3. The Beatles, 'Twist and Shout'

John Lennon's voice was practically fried the night they recorded "Twist and Shout." He had a bad cold and producer George Martin knew they didn't have much time to nail down the vocal. Lennon gargled milk and took a cough drop before stepping into the booth and delivered his throat-shredding take on the Isley Brothers' classic. "That song nearly killed me," Lennon said. "My voice wasn't the same for a long time after; every time I swallowed, it was like sandpaper. I was always bitterly ashamed of it, because I could sing better than that, but now it doesn't bother me."

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