multitrack master | isolated tracks
Billy Joel’s “My Life,” released on his 1978 album 52nd Street went to #2 on the Billboard Adult Contemporary chart and then in 1979 the track peaked at #3 on the Billboard Hot 100, cementing the success of the 9 million copy-selling album. It was recorded at A&R Recording in New York City and produced by Phil Ramone.
INSTRUMENTAL (PIANO: Billy Joel, DRUMS: Liberty DeVitto, ELECTRIC/ACOUSTIC GUITARS: Steve Khan, BASS: Doug Stegmeyer):
This is a vocals-only series of three Beach Boys classics: “God Only Knows,” “Sloop John B,” and “Wouldn’t It Be Nice.” Released by The Beach Boys in 1966 on their Pet Sounds album, all three tracks have become well-known hits from the group. The album was recorded at United Western, CBS Columbia, Gold Star, and Sunset Sound studios in Los Angeles, California and produced by group member Brian Wilson.
VOCALS only (Al Jardine, Bruce Johnston, Mike Love, Brian Wilson, Carl Wilson, Dennis Wilson):
Wild Cherry recorded the classic “Play That Funky Music” in 1976 and released it as their first single off their eponymous album. The track went to #1 on the Billboard Hot 100 and top chart positions in many other markets worldwide. The track was recorded at the Cleveland Recording Company in Cleveland, Ohio and produced by lead vocalist and songwriter Rob Parissi.
VOCAL only (LEAD: Rob Parissi; BACKING: Chuck Berginc, Ian Bridle):
INSTRUMENTAL (GUITAR: Bryan Bassett, DRUMS: Ron Beitle, KEYBOARDS: Chuck Berginc, Ian Bridle, BASS: Allen Wentz, TRUMPETS: Jack Brndiar, SAXES: Joe Eckert, Rick Singer):
Sia released “Cheap Thrills” as the second single from her 2016 album This Is Acting. Originally intended as a song for artists Rihanna or Icona Pop, Sia (along with Sean Paul) decided to record it after those artists decided not to use the song. The track went to #39 on the Billboard Hot 100 but scored higher in other markets including #2 on the UK Singles chart and numerous #1’s elsewhere. The track was produced by Greg Kurstin.
VOCAL only (Sia, Sean Paul):
INSTRUMENTAL (PROGRAMMING: Greg Kurstin):
Sad news today that a terrible half a year of music losses is continuing… As reported by CNN, AP and others Prince has died at age 57. Prince was adamant about not allowing his music to be posted online in every case where he could control it. Because of that there are unfortunately no isolated tracks in circulation for him. However, we wanted to note his untimely passing and join the world in recognizing the unique musical talent and creative spirit which landed him seven Grammy Awards, an Oscar, multiple MTV Awards, an induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004 and millions of fans worldwide. Photo credit: Scott Penner/flickr.com
Michael Jackson’s major hit “Beat It” appeared on his 1982 album Thriller. While the release spawned numerous hits, this one was unique because it also featured a guitar solo by Eddie Van Halen, who reportedly played on the track for free. The track won Grammy Awards for Record of the Year and Best Male Rock Vocal Performance. It was recorded at Westlake Recording Studios in Los Angeles and produced by Jackson and Quincy Jones.
VOCALS only (Michael Jackson R.I.P.):
GUITAR solo only (Eddie Van Halen):
Classic track “Smoke On The Water” appeared on Deep Purple’s 1972 album Machine Head. Released as a single almost a year after the album, the track went to #4 on the Billboard Pop Singles chart and #21 in the U.K. The album was recorded in Montreux, Switzerland (as famously mentioned in the opening lyric) at the Grand Hotel utilizing the Rolling Stones mobile recording rig and was produced by the group themselves.
VOCAL only (Ian Gillan)–starts at :54 mark:
GUITAR only (Richie Blackmore):
Twenty One Pilots released single “Stressed Out” off their album Blurryface, released in 2015. The track went to #2 on the Billboard Hot 100 and the album debuted at #1 on the Billboard Top 200 Albums chart. The track was recorded at Can Am in Tarzana, California and produced by Mike Elizondo.
INSTRUMENTAL (KEYBOARDS/PROGRAMMING: Tyler Joseph, UPRIGHT BASS/PROGRAMMING: Mike Elizondo, DRUMS: Josh Dun):
VOCAL only (Tyler Joseph):
“Santeria” became one of Sublime’s best known songs after its release on their eponymous album in 1997. It was actually released after the death of lead singer Bradley Nowell. The track reached #43 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. It was recorded at Pedernales Studio in Austin, Texas and Total Access Recording in Redondo Beach, California and produced by Paul Leary and David Kahne.
VOCAL only (Bradley Nowell R.I.P.):
The “Karn Evil 9” trilogy was a prog-rock anthem in the 70s released by Emerson, Lake and Palmer (ELP) on their 1973 album Brain Salad Surgery. What you hear here is “Karn Evil 9: 1st Impression” isolated via the center channel of a 5.1 surround sound release. It was recorded at Advision Studios and Olympic Studios in London, England and produced by vocalist Greg Lake.
VOCALS/BASS (Greg Lake); KEYBOARDS (Keith Emerson R.I.P.); DRUMS (Carl Palmer):