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Authentic "One Man Bands?"

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#1 of 51 OFFLINE   buttmunker


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Posted July 03 2007 - 10:00 AM

I only know of two albums that were recorded by just one person playing all the instruments themselves.

01: Centerfield by John Fogerty (1985)
02: McCartney by Paul McCartney (1970)

That impresses the hell out of me, for some reason. One person laying down separate tracks (drums/guitar/vocals) to make one complete song/album.

Are there any other "one man band" albums/songs out there that have escaped my notice?
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#2 of 51 OFFLINE   StephenA



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Posted July 03 2007 - 12:18 PM

If I'm not mistaken, Trent Reznor recorded the first Nine Inch Nails album Pretty Hate Machine himself. I'm not sure if he did with the others.

#3 of 51 OFFLINE   Jean D

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Posted July 04 2007 - 12:53 AM

Foo Fighters first album was all Dave Grohl
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#4 of 51 OFFLINE   gene c

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Posted July 04 2007 - 02:19 AM

I think Phil Collins played everything on his first solo album. There are probably many others who could if they wanted to. Todd Rundgren comes to mind. He's also a talented writer, producer and engineer. O.K. I'll say it. He's a wizzard. A true star.
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#5 of 51 OFFLINE   Carl Miller

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Posted July 04 2007 - 03:19 AM

I'm pretty certain that Prince's first album was all him, and that he did this several times in his career.

#6 of 51 OFFLINE   Andrew Chong

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Posted July 04 2007 - 04:14 AM

I didn't know that about Paul McCartney; I need to check that out.

Another might be Mike Oldfield, specifically Guitars where all sounds including drum sounds were generated somehow from guitar-related means.

A close second of Oldfield's might be Tubular Bells, with the exception of the so-called nasal and girlie choruses, flutes, string basses and mc, where he played (summarized from tubular.net) Assorted Pianos, Glokenspiel, Assorted Organs, Bass Guitar, Assorted Acoutic and Electric Guitars, Assorted Percussion, Flageolet (a woodwind), Concert Tympani, Piltdown Man (referring to Oldfield's caveman-style singing portion). Such long lists seem to be common on Oldfield's early albums.

#7 of 51 OFFLINE   AnthonyC



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Posted July 04 2007 - 05:36 AM

Paul did all the instruments on 1980's McCartney II as well, although it's worth pointing out that Linda provided harmonies on both it and McCartney. He also played all the instruments except for the orchestra on Chaos and Creation in the Backyard.
Except for one stray guitar solo in "X-Static."

#8 of 51 OFFLINE   Henry Gale

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Posted July 04 2007 - 05:39 AM

I didn't realize John was "solo" on Centerfied.
Thirteen years earlier he recorded my favorite work by him, and one of my top Desert Island Discs...The Blue Ridge Rangers.

Here's part of a review I found online:

"While touring with CCR in 1971 / 1972 John practiced steel guitar, fiddle and some other new instruments. After playing that evening's gig he, together with Stu and Doug returned to their hotel room where they would get drunk and play country tunes all night long (after consuming loadsa beer and renaming themselves ''The Shit-Kicker Three from room 73''. This is where John might have gotten the idea of doing an all country album. He also started wearing a white stetson all the time. Directly after the disbanding of CCR in 1972, he wasted no time recording some of his favorite country, bluegrass and gospel tunes.

Because he didn't have a band anymore, John played all the instruments himself. Careful over dubbing made us believe there was a real band at work here. This was also suggested by the album's front cover, showing five different men standing on a sunset- lit hill. Careful examination though shows they are all John Fogerty."

If you have any love for CCR and/or hard country, you need this album.

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#9 of 51 OFFLINE   Paul McElligott

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Posted July 05 2007 - 04:48 AM

I believe Fogerty also played all the instruments on his self-titled 1975 album as well as his 1986 follow-up to Centerfield, Eye of the Zombie. I think the first time he recorded with a band other than Creedence was on his 1997 album, Blue Moon Swamp.
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#10 of 51 OFFLINE   Dave B Ferris

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Posted July 05 2007 - 06:54 AM

I think 'Lightning Seeds' was/is only Ian Broudie.

#11 of 51 OFFLINE   MarkMel



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Posted July 05 2007 - 07:06 AM

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#12 of 51 OFFLINE   Marc Colella

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Posted July 10 2007 - 07:20 AM

Jon Brion's "Meaningless" album.

#13 of 51 OFFLINE   Rachael B

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Posted July 10 2007 - 11:24 AM

Grant-Lee Phillips made Mobilize all by himself. Prince made most of his last album by himself. I think there are about 2 cuts with others. Roy Wood has made several albums by himself. Todd Rundgren has made several albums by himself. A friend saw Todd on tour as a one mand band show. He had some kind of round bandstand where he could play guitar or keyboards to tapes. I wish I'd seen that.
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#14 of 51 OFFLINE   Kirk Gunn

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Posted July 10 2007 - 12:50 PM

Steve Winwood - Arc of a Diver Another genius

#15 of 51 OFFLINE   Jeff_A



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Posted July 11 2007 - 12:11 AM

He is a virtual one-man band, but I believe there were a few guests on this album.

#16 of 51 OFFLINE   Ron Reda

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Posted July 11 2007 - 04:20 AM

The new Ben Kweller CD comes to mind.
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#17 of 51 OFFLINE   Matt Fisher

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Posted July 11 2007 - 02:39 PM

Check out Keller Williams, he is the definition of a one man band.

#18 of 51 OFFLINE   Philip Hamm

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Posted July 12 2007 - 01:41 AM

As already mentioned McCartney did that a few times. His "McCartney II" was all him (awful album IMO but has its moments), as well as the vast majority of "Chaos and Creation in the Back Yard". Has Stevie Wonder done this? Some musicians have a special talent for being able to pick up on many different instruments and learn / play / understand them. I believe Mozart was extremely gifted in this area.
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#19 of 51 OFFLINE   Kirk Gunn

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Posted July 12 2007 - 01:40 PM

Phillip - you may be right on Stevie, except for the horn section.... an album rock-umentary comes to mind, but they only show him jamming on keybds, drums, bass, gee-tar... They commented he did not do horns, though horns were only a minor rhythm contribution. I believe the album had "I Wish" on it ????? Sorry, not a huge Stevie fan, though I definitely admire his talent. As for "One Man Bands".... how about KT Tunstall ? While "Eye to the Telescope" has many artists, I believe most of her songs were originally written/performed with her playing all instruments (including percussion) simultaneously. A TRUE one-person-band. Feel free to correct me.... Cheers

#20 of 51 OFFLINE   EricSchulz



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Posted July 13 2007 - 10:22 AM

I thought that Roger Taylor's first album Fun In Space fit the bill until I checked the liner notes and found that "about 50% of the keyboards" were by David Richards, although all vocals, bass, guitar, drums and about 50% of the keyboards were done by Roger. (He was the drummer for Queen, BTW...) I seem to recall that he did the same thing on a couple tracks that he recorded with them (possibly "Fight From The Inside" from News of the World).

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