Artists who played every instrument themselves on their own albums

What does an established musician do when he’s not happy with any of his band mates, but itching to record his shit? I know you wouldn’t have guessed, but yep… the answer is, he’s gonna record his album alone, and play every fukken instrument (at least the ones he can find in their abandoned costume ridden closet). Let’s be honest: sometimes the only good thing about that is he doesn’t also mix it. Many times, these albums suck enough already, without that “final touch” of the artiste. Other times though, the whole thing turns out to be pretty good. Whether it’s the former or the latter case with the following albums; you be the judge.

Sir Macca gets you amazed

George Wilson - a one man band, from 1955It happened to Paul McCartney once, while the Beatles was slowly but steadily falling apart. Paul just went home in 1969, gathered his music toys and started recording on his battered (or not) four track Studer tape machine. “Roll tape, roll…” – Paul murmured the magic words, and surprisingly enough, the tape was rolling, and the album “McCartney” was coming out on the other end. He stirred the whole thing once again in early 1970 and called it a day. Or so the legend goes. -.- Are you amazed?

Paul McCartney – “Maybe I’m Amazed”

The Prince of pop

Do you know the soothing voiced, rebelliously mischievous prince of pop music? (Hint: his most commonly known name is Prince). Don’t tell anyone you’ve heard that from me. Anyway. They figured, for a debut album it would be fun if he would show off his chops and record everything himself (with a little help, but ssshh, we aren’t supposed to know that!). That’s my story about how the album “For You” was born in 1978, and I’m sticking to it. Too bad you can’t find a video of any of the tunes anymore. Oh well.

Steve Winwood diving in

Already famous as a child prodigy from The Spencer David Group, then playing and singing in the Blind Faith and Traffic, Steve Winwood woke up one day with the evidently sick thought of recording an album by himself. Or maybe it happened some other way, but it happened, trust me on that one. The title is “Arc Of A Diver”, that the album cover illustrates nicely. Go look it up if you don’t believe me. He did record and mix the whole thing as well, so if you don’t like it, you know who to blame. Hehe. This album yielded Steve’s first solo hit “While You See a Chance”, so maybe it’s not that bad, after all.

Steve Winwood – “While You See a Chance”

Phil’s side of the story

Phil Collins did the same thing. Right at the peak (or was it the beginning of a decline?) of his solo era, he turned his back to the long time contributors and friends like bassist Leland Sklar, engineer Hugh Padgham or guitarist Daryl Stuermer (among others). Then he recorded a little bit political and definitely, almost exhaustingly personal solo album in 1992, called “Both Sides”. And do you know the reason why he did it that way? Cause I sure don’t.

Phil Collins – “Both Sides Of The Story”

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