Sometimes we can grow up listening to a song but not really hear what’s going on inside. Granted, that’s what mixing is for, but it’s pretty cool to be able to get an x-ray focus inside a track to hear what was really going on when it was recorded. Today we listen to the isolated lead guitar tracks from Heart’s big hit “Barracuda” that will give you some new insight to how well arranged the track really is. Here are a few things to listen for.
1. The interplay between both guitar tracks is great in that they each have separate parts that never get in the other’s way. There are only a few times (like in the verses) where they double each other, but the rhythms, solos, and fills are all separate but equal.
2. The sound of both guitars is different, which makes the track sound larger. Likewise, the sound of the lead guitar solo is much more distorted than the rhythm tracks.
3. They’re each effected differently as well, with the track on the right being slightly flanged while the guitar on the left has a short room ambience.
4, The 2 tracks are far from perfect by today’s standards, but state-of-the-art for 1977. Although the timing is mostly pretty good, most of each take would either be played until it fit better with the drums or edited today. You can hear a lot of ghost notes and amp noise in the spaces that would be deleted today as well. We don’t hear those things in the mix though, and one might argue that those little things give it the energy that we love.
Heart has had many lineup changes in it’s history and they’re still a great band, but this classic lineup with guitar players Roger Fisher and Howard Leese had some magic that we’ve all loved over the years.