Show Offs! 20 Albums Where One Super-Talented Musician Plays Every Instrument

  • McCartney

  • Emitt Rhodes

  • Stevie Wonder

  • Todd Rundgren

  • Roy Wood

  • John Fogerty

  • Prince

  • McCartney II

  • Stevie Winwood

  • Prince Dirty Mind

  • Prince 1999

  • Paul Rodgers

  • John Fogerty

  • NIN

  • Phil Collins

  • Foo Fighters

  • ElliottSmith-EitherOr(1997)

  • Ben Folds

  • Sufjan Stevens

  • Ben Kweller

  • Mike Oldfield

  • Boston

  • Lenny Kravitz

  • LCD Soundsystem

  • Tame Impala

Many rock stars excel on just a single instrument, extending their virtuosity into an incredibly successful career in music. But every now and then you get artists who can make a nice noise on pretty much anything! These people ooze music, and pick up instruments in the way some people pick up languages. It’s easy for them…but not for the rest of us. They’re just born to be one-man-bands! Thanks to the magic of multi-track technology, these uber gifted folks can record entire songs and even albums BY THEMSELVES.

That’s right -they write it, perform it, produce it, mix it, and sometimes even design the cover art. The vision is totally theirs from start to finish. It’s pretty amazing, when you think about it. Today we’ve decided to give a nice warm salute to those musicians who are way too spoiled with talent. On one hand we’re jealous that they’re better at ALL of the instruments than we will ever be at ONE, but our love for the music outshines everything else. From Paul McCartney, Prince, Stevie Wonder and Dave Grohl, head up to the gallery above for 20 incredible albums (plus five honorable mentions!) that were recorded by just one person. Geez, you’re making us look bad…

VH1 Music Editor + Seltzer Enthusiast