Yesterday morning, Chris "Last Critic Standing" Weingarten re-tweeted a link to a website called Studio Multitracks, where you can find YouTube clips of isolated tracks—guitar, bass, drums, vocals—from a fair amount of popular songs. It is basically the best thing in the world, and if you're not careful, your entire day will just slip right the fuck away from you. This is what happened to me yesterday, and so that you might not have to go through the same thing, I will now share with you some of the many, many things I learned.
Exactly One Minute into Ride the Lighting, the Dumbest Thing Happens
Maybe this is common knowledge to some, but it definitely was not to me. At the 59-second mark, a deep voice, which I gather is supposed to be the voice of god, says, "I'll take your life from you." It's ridiculous horror movie shit, and precisely the reason it has always been ok to just sort of laugh at Metallica, no matter what anyone else tells you.
Kurt Cobain Was Sort of a Terrible Singer
There are endless examples of this, actually, so be sure to check out their entire page, but it's striking and a little bit depressing just how hard a time Kurt Cobain seemed to have trying to find a voice he was comfortable singing in. He was constantly testing out new things, from the hilariously grunted "Negative Creep" to this, the nasaly, marble-mouthed mumbling on the chorus of "Drain You." His voice had a sweet spot, of course, where it sounded completely natural and not at all forced—it's not terribly surprising that it's when he was screaming. Pay special attention at the 2:30 mark.
Simon and Garfunkel Were Really Good at Harmonizing
Ok, fine, I know, but also: When the drums come in a little past 30 seconds, it's awesome. And then when they get to the chorus, it gets really awesome. It's basically a Vampire Weekend song. Or maybe chillwave. I don't know.
Mark Knopfler Fucking Rules, and So Does "Sultans of Swing"
He knows all the chords, indeed. And then he plays them without a pick.
The Guitar-Playing in Living Colour's "Cult of Personality" is So Crazy You Will Actually Just Start Laughing
I knew Vernon Reid was a very, very good guitarist, but this is the kind of shit you know some people can technically do, but not really something you ever expect to hear happen in an actual song, let alone one as commercially successful at this one.
Billy Corgan's Girly Scream is Way Cooler Than His Girly Whisper
For the best representation of the many different voices Billy Corgan uses, I really like the stretch in "Cherub Rock" from 56 seconds through 2:04. First of all, you get to hear him say "hipsters," but then you also get the delicate, whispered "for you" and "glued on," plus you get the really good scream toward the end.