The Heartwood Beat, Issue 15: Gorgeousness Deconstructed

Update: Looks like the clips have been removed from YouTube. Bummer!

Today I want to share with you two examples of great music, deconstructed: A classic Rolling Stones recording split into its separate tracks, and an epic analysis of the gorgeous and baffling use of delay effects by U2’s guitarist, The Edge.

Gimme Shelter Deconstructed

Dangerous Minds turned me on to this series of audio clips, posted on YouTube, of the component tracks of the Rolling Stones classic, “Gimme Shelter.” I love Mick Jagger and Merry Clayton’s harmonies, and Clayton’s face-melting screams toward the end. Be patient during the brief periods of silence between the vocal lines—it’s worth it.

I also appreciated the opportunity to hear Keith Richard’s guitar work up close. The bit of string noise here and there made him more human.

And Bill Wyman’s bass playing was impressive. You can hear all these nuances that are lost, at least to my ears, in the final mix.


Rhythm Guitar (Keith Richards):

Lead Guitar and Piano (Keith Richards and Nicky Hopkins):

Bass (Bill Wyman):

Drums (Charlie Watts):

The Edge Deconstructed

I’m a huge fan of U2 and their innovative guitarist, The Edge. The Christmas after I bought my first electric guitar (I was 16), I begged my mom to buy me a $240 Boss DD-3 delay pedal so that I could create the beautiful cascades of notes I heard on U2’s Unforgettable Fire album. Santa delivered, but I still remember the disappointment of realizing, after two weeks of what must have sounded like very bad avante-garde electronica, that The Edge wasn’t going to give up his secret sound easily.

If only I’d had this website to refer to: A veritable PhD thesis on The Edge’s use of delay. A lot of it’s technical minutia that will only appeal to the geekiest U2 fans, but at least check out a few of the author’s home recordings.

A Study of The Edge’s Guitar Delay

Enjoy the music,


Comments 12

  1. I think it could be a great improvement if you could play all the tracks at the same time, because then you can mute o hear each one of this with the loudspeaker icon, like if you are playing with a mixer.
    Great work !

  2. Great stuff, you guys are geniuses, If you could get hendrix tracks, that’d be sweet.

    hey, I’m also starting my own guitar blog it’s called greatest guitars, check it out and tell me what you think.


    1. Hendrix”s trax…..he overdubbed and played so many over that we will have stuff from him leaking out for centuries I think! Great it would be to see them out this way though, Im in on this with u!

  3. I really love The Edge’s guitar riffs, and his gadget, the delay. It really creates a whole unique and ecstatic effect on U2 music.

    Oh the videos can’t be viewed. I would have wanted to try it on my lovely a href=””>Cebu guitars, with a distortion and delay.

  4. Bummer that the Stones’ people removed the clips from YouTube. That’s quite interesting to isolate tracks. The Stones and Led Zeppelin people are apparently sticklers about where their material is released though, because the Vh1 100 Greatest Books of Rock & Roll from which I teach guitar also does not have any of their songs.

    ~ Z ~

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