Is performing with backing tracks cheating? Discuss.

When Queen started touring in the 70s, there were questions if (a) they could reproduce their studio recordings live and (b) would they use pre-recorded backing tracks? The early consensus was “no” and “they’d better not.” The thinking was that people were paying to hear a live band and not something that was recorded.

Backing tracks used to be consider verboten and generally uncool. How times have changed. Backing tracks in live performances are everywhere. But is that still cheating like in the old days?

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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