Good post. Not sure yet if I entirely agree but I like the picture you're painting.But I think what @MaidenUlster is getting at is that — regardless of missed notes or not — is that Blaze comes across as more honest than Bruce does, and I don’t mean this as a slight at all, just a noticeable difference in their approach to singing. Bruce is my favorite singer so I’m saying this with all the admiration possible — he is just too theatrical to get across Steve’s raw emotions the way Blaze does. Just look at “Tears of a Dragon”, the most emotional song he’s ever written. What makes it great is the way Bruce combines his personal feelings in a really poetic way that feels like the theater performance of a lifetime.
But Steve isn’t half the poet that Bruce is. What makes Steve great is that he comes up with ideas for songs constantly and just writes what comes to him, and that’s filled with a ton of great imagery. A lot on the stuff on TXF sounds like it was scribbled down directly without a major polish, which adds to the raw feelings of the album. Whereas Bruce would have felt like you were witnessing a night at the opera, Blaze makes you feel like you’re actually witnessing the real subject matter. Just because his delivery feels more honest than Bruce’s does, and again, neither approach is bad at all, they’re both worth something in their own right.
That’s why I like studio and live versions of SOTC, because it’s taking the same song and injecting something different into them. One feels like you’re really there in the wind and rain, the other is like a terrific performance at the local theater. At least to me.