Last week, the internet was abuzz with a found relic, an isolated vocal track from 1981 of Freddy Mercury and David Bowie singing "Under Pressure."
There's none of Brian May's guitar, nor any bass or drums that might give you flashbacks to "Ice Ice Baby" which took its hook from this classic song. There are only voices. Cocaine and wine fueled fantastic voices. Queen's version with instruments intact is a justifiably universally beloved song, but the straight vocal track right from the intro with its nonsensical da boom ba bets haunts you in a completely different way.
After hearing this a cappella version, you can't help but wonder if the rest of the band was just slowing Freddie and Ziggy down. In the spirit of this find, we present to you five more songs that would be more interesting with the singers' voices alone in the studio.
"Under Pressure" Isolated Vocal Track
5. "Lovin' You" by Minnie Riperton
Her voice is ridiculous, but not as ridiculous as the easy listening piano and guitar backing her. I won't even mention the annoying bird chirping in the background. Give Saturday Night Live's Maya Rudolph's late mother some cred, and let her voice go solo. And for God's sake, let that poor bird free.
4. "Hot for Teacher" by Van Halen
Eddie Van Halen's noodling up and down his guitar kind of makes this song, but hearing only David Lee Roth's vocals gives this a comedy album feel like a missing track from a Cheech and Chong record.
3. "Scenario" by A Tribe Called Quest
For some reason, it always boggled my mind that this song was recorded in a studio somewhere. It always had the vibe of a group of guys spontaneously spouting out rhymes as they walked down the street. A version without the sampled music would clear things up for me. Even then I might not be able to believe Busta Rhymes solo was done in a soundproof room.
2. "Skyfall" by Adele
The best thing about the newest James Bond movie was the title track by Adele. There is a version floating around the web that kind of filters out her voice, but it leaves traces of the piano and the symphony. It would be great to hear one with solely her booming voice and meaningless lyrics.
1. "The Great Gig in the Sky" by Pink Floyd
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Yes, the piano is heartbreaking and the random man speaking in the background gives me acid flashbacks, but goodness gracious, that voice. It brings upon shivers and awe. It could belong to a Valkyrie riding her horse across the sky or to a supernova exploding in the heavens, but it's credited to a woman named Clare Torry and she deserves nothing but silence around her.
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