Hear Amy Winehouse’s perfect voice on the isolated vocal of ‘Rehab’
Amy Winehouse was a mercurial talent, one that the world lost painfully too soon. The singer, a timeless artist who triumphed and pioneered a new approach to pop music, always strived to work entirely in her own lane. Her iconic voice is what made many around the world fall in love with her so greatly and, on this isolated version of her classic song ‘Rehab’, Winehouse’s incredible golden touch shines through beautifully.
Across all the tracks from her beautiful sophomore record Back To Black, which was released in 2006 and is full of beautifully heartfelt songs, the musician filled the thematic depth with the pain and peaks of her love in a way that only Winehouse could. It’s a brilliantly honest record which is given yet another dose of heart-on-your-sleeve romantics when you isolate the singer’s quite unique vocal performance.
The majority of the songs on Back to Black were solely written by Winehouse. At the time, she was working closely with pop-producer extraordinaire Mark Ronson and her musical focus switched toward the girl groups of the ’50s and ’60s.
The choice to work with New York singer Sharon Jones’s band, the Dap-Kings, as her session musicians also affected the change of pace for the former-jazz singer. While they provided the album with its effortless style, it is the removal of the band that allows Amy’s lyrics to carry extra weight.
‘Rehab’ became Winehouse’s signature track with it ended up becoming an internationally adored anthem that epitomised her greatness. It went onto win three Grammy Awards at the 50th ceremony, including Record of the Year, Song of the Year, and Best Female Pop Vocal Performance. On top of that, the track then led Winehouse to win an Ivor Novello Award for Best Contemporary Song.
The song was born out of a conversation she had with producer Mark Ronson and only took her a couple of minutes to conjure up the hook for an all-time classic that sort of just wrote itself. “I was walking down the street with Amy,” Ronson said to Zane Lowe on BBC Radio 1 during a special broadcast following Amy’s passing in 2011.
“We were in New York and we’d been working together for about a week and we were walking to some store,” he added. “She wanted to buy a present for her boyfriend and she was telling me about a specific time in her life that I feel bad, talking about a friend like this, but she hit, like, a certain low and her dad came over to try and talk some sense into her.
“And she was like, ‘He tried to make me go to rehab and I was like, ‘Pfft, no no no.’ And the first thing I was like, ‘ding ding ding ding ding.’ Like, I mean I’m supposed to be like, ‘How was that for you?” and all I’m like is, ‘We’ve got to go back to the studio’,” the producer extraordinaire reminisced.
Take a few minutes out of your day to remember Amy and her timeless voice on this isolated vocal version of ‘Rehab’.