Extra Select-A-Set: Famous Backup Singers



So every once in a while I run out of things to say. I know weird right? Well, today I’ve hit that moment. This probably means I should just not post but I don’t like to go too many days without some kind of post so this week, there’s an extra select-a-set. If you don’t know what that is, read here. It’s just something fun to do with music and connecting songs with a theme. I usually do one every Thursday but this week there will be two.

I was listening to some more Eric Clapton and it struck me… a possible select-a-set! I picked the Ellen photo as an example of a famous back up singer (which is this week’s theme). Plus I happen to like her oodles so there you have it.

Up first – Eric Clapton’s – “Alibis” from the Journeyman album. On it – Daryl Hall, of the Hall and Oats fame. Journeyman is one of my favorite’s from Clapton. I grew up listening to it and it’s marvelous! You will very clearly hear Hall throughout.

Second – I don’t think this one needs a lot of introduction but it’s Rockwell’s “Somebody’s Watching Me.” I didn’t know this for a long time, but Michael Jackson is the background vocals. As a kid I didn’t always make certain connections and even though the voice was familiar it didn’t kick in that it was Michael. Rockwell, for those who don’t know, is the son of famous Barry Gordy, who started Motown Records. My understanding Rockwell didn’t ask for help from his dad to get his career started because he wanted to be able to do it on his but did get help from Michael and that’s how we end up with this song.

Third – “Money for Nothing” by the Dire Straits featuring Sting. Okay this one is a gimmie it’s true. Again, as a kid I had no idea that was Sting. The whole song is poking fun at the then MTV culture and how easy it is to make money as a musician. As I’ve heard it told, the Dire Straits were recording the song when Sting dropped in unexpectedly and offered to add his vocals. Well, he did more than that. The line “I want my MTV” is really an altered version of “Don’t stand so close to me.” At least that’s what I hear and it certainly has that feel so it could very well be the case. Fun facts regardless.

So that’s my select-a-set for today. I hope you enjoy. There are lots more songs with famous backup vocals. “Journeyman” alone features Robert Cray, George Harrison and Phil Collins. I also really like Trisha Yearwood’s “Walkaway Joe” featuring Don Henley. What a great song! Please feel free to find your own or to make some recommendations. I welcome them!


3 responses to “Extra Select-A-Set: Famous Backup Singers

  1. i don’t know what it is but I simply can’t stand Sting…..I can’t think of any songs with backup singers at the moment…in fact I can barely think of any songs at the moment i’m so exhausted…before I got to coffee here I was listening to Eminem Lose Yourself (it has no connection to your post) and I was thinking to myself, “god, this is such an awesome song!” weird that a dude like Eminem could create such a powerful piece isn’t it?

    • that’s too bad you don’t like sting – i think he’s great! as for eminem, i tend to agree. im not really a fan but i do like that song. i think it’s because it’s one of the few songs he’s not horrible violent or rude in – go figure.

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