Home Isolated Tracks

The Who’s Pinball Wizard was released as a single in 1969 and reached No. 4 in the UK charts and No. 19 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. When you listen to Pete Townshend’s isolated guitars, you’ll hear there are two acoustic guitars, one playing the low 8th note pedal note on the intro parts, which then doubles the other acoustic during the strumming. The electric guitar, which plays on the intro, first verse and chorus.

Townshend once called Pinball Wizard “the most clumsy piece of writing [he'd] ever done.”

Rod Stewart performed the song for the 1972 orchestral version of Tommy, and it is included on several of Stewart’s greatest hits compilations. According to the book The Duh Awards by Bob Fenster, Rod Stewart asked Elton John if he should accept an offer to sing in a film version of “Tommy.” John replied no way, “Don’t touch it with a barge pole.” A year later, The Who asked John to sing the same song, and he agreed. “I don’t think Rod’s quite forgiven me for that,” he commented years later.

Released on their 2002 album, Songs for the Deaf, “No One Knows” was also released as a single and topped the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart. The tune was co-written by lead vocalist Josh Homme along with Mark Lanegan of Screaming Trees, who also sings background vocals on the recording. The track also received a nomination for Best Hard Rock Performance at the 2003 Grammy Awards.

Pearl Jam’s “Jeremy” was released in 1992 as the third single from Pearl Jam’s debut album Ten. Inspired by a newspaper article Eddie Vedder read about a high school student who shot himself in front of his English class on January 8, 1991, he went on to say:

“It came from a small paragraph in a paper which means you kill yourself and you make a big old sacrifice and try to get your revenge. That all you’re gonna end up with is a paragraph in a newspaper. Sixty-four degrees and cloudy in a suburban neighborhood. That’s the beginning of the video and that’s the same thing is that in the end, it does nothing … nothing changes. The world goes on and you’re gone. The best revenge is to live on and prove yourself. Be stronger than those people. And then you can come back.”

it reached the number five spot on both the Mainstream and Modern Rock Billboard charts. It did not originally chart on the regular Billboard Hot 100 singles chart since it was not released as a commercial single in the U.S. at the time, but a re-release in July 1995 brought it up to number 79.

Jeff Ament’s Isolated Bass Guitar

Stone Gossard and Mike McCready’s Isolated Guitars

R.E.M. released “Orange Crush” in 1988 on their Green album. Despite not being released as a single in the U.S., the track went to #1 on the Billboard Mainstream Rock and Modern Rock charts and to #28 on the UK Singles chart. The song’s title is a reference to the chemical defoliant Agent Orange manufactured by Monsanto Corporation and Dow Chemical for the U.S. Department of Defense and used in the Vietnam War. On the “Green” world tour, Michael Stipe opened the song during The Green World Tour by singing the famous U.S. Army recruiting slogan, “Be all you can be… in the Army.”

From The Beatles’ 1966 Revolver album, “Taxman” was written by George Harrison. Unusually, it actually featured Paul McCartney on bass and lead guitar (the latter of which is not heard here in this rhythm-only track). Topping most world music charts at the time including the Billboard 200 and U.K. album chart, the classic album was produced by George Martin and recorded at EMI Studios in London.

The Guess Who released “No Time” on their 1969 album Canned Wheat, but a re-recorded version released as a single in 1970 off their American Woman album is the version that became a hit for the band, reaching #5 in the U.S. Billboard charts.

VOCALS only (Burton Cummings):

GUITAR only (Randy Bachman):

ACOUSTIC GUITAR (Randy Bachman)/BACKING VOCALS (Randy Bachman, Burton Cummings, Jim Kale, Gary Peterson)  only:

BASS only (Jim Kale):

DRUMS only (Gary Peterson):

INSTRUMENTAL only:

John Lennon and Yoko Ono co-produced the song and album of the same name with Phil Spector. Recording began at Lennon’s home studio at Tittenhurst Park, England, in May 1971, with final overdubs taking place at the Record Plant, in New York City, during July. One month after the September release of the LP, Lennon released “Imagine” as a single in the United States; the song peaked at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 and the LP reached number one on the UK chart in November, later becoming the most commercially successful and critically acclaimed album of Lennon’s solo career. Although not originally released as a single in the United Kingdom, it was released in 1975 to promote a compilation LP and it reached number six in the chart that year. The song has since sold more than 1.6 million copies in the UK; it reached number one following Lennon’s death in December 1980.

BMI named “Imagine” one of the 100 most-performed songs of the 20th century.

The single was produced by Smokey Robinson, and written by Robinson, and fellow Miracles members Ronald White, Pete Moore, and Marv Tarplin. One of the driving forces behind this awesome song was the innovative bass playing of James Jamerson. Here’s the isolated bass and drum tracks to the great Marvin Gaye’s hit “Ain’t That Peculiar,” which reached #8 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart in 1965.