Musicians who play all/most of the parts on their albums?

Great album, and he did do everything on his second. Unfortunately, the record company rushed him and the result was weak, and he vanished.

*Billy Corgan

If you count solo acts, there are many. Loudon Wainwright III played all instruments, did all vocals, and acted as producer for his first album, but since it was just him and a guitar, it was relatively easy.

Laleh is a very talented Swedish artist who played all instruments on her first record, and most of them on her second. She also produced at least her first album, and possibly the second too (not sure).

Stephen Stills played guitar, bass, and piano/organ on most of the songs of the Crosby, Stills, & Nash album and on Suite: Judy Blue Eyes he played drums as well.

Karl Walliger is essentially the only person in World Party, and plays most of the instruments on most of the albums.

Matt Johnson is the sole person behind the group The The, although I don’t know whether he does all the instruments himself or just rotates backup musicians.

Steve Winwood can play every instrument needed for a rock song and then some, so I’m sure there are some tracks or possibly whole albums he’s done by himself.

There’s an album I’ve loved for years, called Gypsy Soul by Ashik (I know nothing about him, sorry), where the credits go like this:

Ashik (Bass), Ashik (Guitar), Ashik (Percussion), Ashik (Violin), Ashik (Arranger), Ashik (Keyboards), Ashik (Whistle (Instrument)), Ashik (Engineer), Ashik (Sampling), Ashik (Main Performer), Bhikkhu (Director), Waduda (Art Direction)

Townshend’s “Scoop” series comes to mind.

Ben Folds did this on Rockin the Suburbs for the most part, and does a lot of the instrumentation still on his newer stuff but he still needs people to come in and play horns and strings from time to time.

Speaking of Ben Folds, his pal John Mark Painter plays most of the instruments for Fleming & John (Fleming does the vocals), and an impressive array of instruments they are, including horns and strings.

This is actually a common misconception; Prince has almost always worked with a team of session musicians on his records. In fact, he’s known for being really great at taking the credit for their work. :stuck_out_tongue:

The first Foo Fighters album was entirely written and recorded by Dave Grohl. Other musicians have made up the band since, and I don’t know what % of the other albums are just Dave or collaborative works.

Roy Wood also did pretty much all the instrumentals and vocals on his first solo album, “Boulders.”

Stevie Wonder plays most of the instruments on his recordings.

Do vocals count? I’m pretty sure every “instrument” on Simple Pleasures came out of Bobby McFerrin’s mouth.

I’m pretty sure most Beck albums feature just Beck and maybe some guest singers… unless you count samples. Not too sure about his new stuff, though.

An obscure blast from the past.

Way back in the predigital 1970;s, the Cdn Art rock band KLAATU ( ) put out an album called “HOPE”.

Working anonymously, the 4 members recreated an orchestra and a variety of other sounds uising tape layering and other analogue technology.

It is a beautiful album.


Moby works with different vocalists for many of his songs. A lot of electronica artists probably do everything solo though, Aphex Twin being an extreme case where allegedly he programs his own music software.

Rick Wakeman, keyboard virtuoso, has done all of the work on quite a few of his solo albums, though through the years he’s also brought in players to augment.

My fave Wakeman album is the soundtrack he did for the 1976 Winter Olympics Film, entitled “White Rock”. Sparkling work.


Not to mention contributing to a few albums by the aforementioned Trent Reznor / Nine Inch Nails.

And there were dozens of instruments involved, some obscure. More remarkably, he was 19 when he recorded the album.