Initial processes for dividing tape up, recording onto it separately, and then playing it all back concurrently first cropped up in 1950s Germany.
These two-track machines caught the eye of Les Paul, who then had a successful crack at a three-track version. Manufactures Ampex saw the potential, bought the machine and developed it, which really opened up a brave new world of recording and bouncing for forward-thinking producers.
Artists could now record multiple takes of their work, and be punched in and out until the magic happened.
Motown and Abbey Road masterpieces benefited from these advances, while modern bands today return to the machines for their unbeatable warmth.