Most Emotional Vocal Performance
I like singers who put their heart and soul into a song. Some examples that come into mind:
Etta James, "Sugar On the Floor", LIVE IN SAN FRANCISCO CD. This lady puts emotion into all her songs but she reaches a new peak on this one.
Van Morrison, "Caravan", LAST WALTZ. Van has a number of other versions but the aura of the night's events on LAST WALTZ took this version to new heights.
Levon Helm, "The Night They Drove Dixie Down", LAST WALTZ. Same as Van Morrison rationale.
Bruce Springsteen, most any song on his live CD's. I especially like the hunger he shows on HAMMERSMITH ODEN, LONDON 1975. As the AllMusic description indicates "these guys were scared, it fueled the gig, and they pulled it off in spades". The pressure was due to press hype about their first overseas tour and maybe a desire to build the yanks up and then put them down.
Doc Watson, "What A Friend We Have in Jesus", DOWN SOUTH by Doc and Merle Watson as well as a number of gospel compilation CD's. The one to look for is the a capella version. Just Doc by himself on a heart-rendering performance.
Eric Clapton, "Layla" with Derek and the Dominoes.
What songs can you think of?
I tried to think of some others but ran into the problem of how to highlight songs with a strong emotion base versus just great vocal efforts. It seems that on the emotional songs the artist needed a particular reason to go all out.