These isolated vocal tracks will absolutely blow your mind

27 May 2019, 12:00 | Updated: 27 May 2019, 12:06

Alex Turner of Arctic Monkeys performs during the second day of Lollapalooza Buenos Aires 2019
Alex Turner of Arctic Monkeys performs during the second day of Lollapalooza Buenos Aires 2019. Picture: Santiago Bluguermann/Getty Images

What happens when you remove the band and leave the singer exposed? Listen to magical versions of tracks by Arctic Monkeys, The Rolling Stones, The Smiths and more.

Thanks to the advance of technology and various bedroom producers dicking around with the elements from various Rock Band and Guitar Hero audio tracks, it’s now easier than ever to listen to individual bits of your all-time favourite tracks.

Radio X has trawled the internets for some of the greatest examples of a capella vocals. These clips give you an insight into just how amazing some of these great rock performances were… and they’re positively spine-tingling.

  1. Arctic Monkeys - R U Mine

    This track is classic Alex Turner swagger… but when Matt Helders hits the falsetto backing vox, the song heads off to the stratosphere.

  2. The Rolling Stones - Gimme Shelter

    OK, so the Mick bits are pretty standard Stones fare… but wait until backing singer Merry Clayton hits her solo spot. The sound of her voice breaking on the line “Rape… murder…” are sure to give you goosebumps.

  3. Queen And David Bowie - Under Pressure

    Stadium-filling superstars meet Ziggy Stardust himself in a studio in Montreux. Freddie Mercury and Bowie try to top each other in the drama stakes. Who wins? YOU decide.

  4. Linkin Park - Numb

    The late Chester Bennington soars in this intricately-layered performance.

  5. The Smiths - This Charming Man

    It’s easy to take the piss out of Morrissey’s melancholic warble, but by God he can infuse his lyrics with a very particular sort of emotion. You may miss the Johnny Marr riff, but this is like a whole new song.

  6. Coldplay - Yellow

    Chris Martin’s lead vocal is mannered and gentle, but when those ethereal backing vocals appear in the chorus… you find yourself right back at Glastonbury, in front of the Pyramid Stage, wristband glowing gently in the dark.