These isolated vocal tracks will blow your mind
24 March 2021, 20:05 | Updated: 24 March 2021, 22:28
What happens when you remove the band and leave the singer exposed? Listen to magical versions of tracks by David Bowie, Linkin Park, The Rolling Stones, The Smiths and more.
Sometimes isolation can be a positive thing.
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.
Arctic Monkeys - R U Mine
This track is classic Alex Turner swagger… but when Matt Helders hits the falsetto backing vox, the song enters another dimension.
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.
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 is sure to give you goosebumps.
Linkin Park - Numb
The late Chester Bennington soars in this intricately-layered performance.
Florence + The Machine - Hunger
Hear Florence Welch's soaring vocals in sweet isolation.
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.
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.
Muse - Hysteria
Matt Bellamy heads off into the stratosphere without the fuss of his guitar playing to distract you.
Adele - Someone Like You
No, we've just got something in our eye, that's all.
Nirvana - Heart Shaped Box
Genuinely spine-tingling stuff from Kurt Cobain.
Radiohead - Creep
It's like having Thom Yorke as a flatmate and he's singing in the shower right next to your bedroom.
Joy Division - Love Will Tear Us Apart
Tony Wilson gave Ian Curtis a copy of Frank Sinatra's Greatest Hits the night before he recorded this classic - and it shows.
Queen - Somebody To Love
Mercury leads, May and Taylor provide exquisite back-up. Just a ridiculously talented band.
Guns N'Roses - Sweet Child O'Mine
One of the most distinctive voices in rock.