Submitted by Jacob. You can see more of his writing at his blog.
Not only are these 7 awesome songs some of my all time favourites but they all feature (mostly) uncredited backup vocals by some of the music business’ biggest stars. Some of them are pretty obvious where others will leave you saying, “Oh yeah, I can hear them now.” Here they are, in no particular order. Enjoy!
Dire Straits featuring Sting - Money For Nothing
This is easily the best rock song of the decade. Come on all you AC/DC fans, bring on the trash talk. Sting’s one line cameo was meant as a dig at his own song, “Don’t Stand So Close To Me”. Add the groundbreaking CGI circa 1984 in the video and this classic was born. Take that Jar Jar.
Rockwell featuring Michael and Jermaine Jackson- Somebody’s Watching Me
Kennedy Gordy who is the son of Berry Gordy, founder of Motown Records, was a childhood friend of Michael Jackson and persuaded him to produce this, his only hit, record. He chose the handle Rockwell because he was under the impression that he “rocked well”. Thanks to Michael’s unmistakable backup vocals for making this track so damn catchy.
Carly Simon featuring Mick Jagger - You’re So Vain
My favourite sing in the shower song of all time… The rumours about the origins of this song are as numbered as Carly Simon’s lovers. In the early seventies Carly was reported to have had relations with Cat Stevens, Warren Beatty, Kris Kristofferson, James Taylor, and of course guest vocalist and Stones front man, Sir Mick Jagger. (Also, much like Carly Simon in concert, the girl in this lip dub video gets cuter as she sings. Too bad her performance gets cut short…)
Eddie Money featuring Ronnie Spector - Take Me Home Tonight
Much like the Rockwell selection, the celebrity backups make the record. With no Ronnie here you got no song. That line from the chorus of The Ronettes chart topper “Be My Baby” sounds just as good in 1986 as it did in 1963.
Donovan featuring Paul McCartney – Mellow Yellow
Cool early psychedelic folk song by the wizard himself. The only reason that I have added this song to the list is because Paul McCartney does not actually sing the famed “Quite Rightly” line. It was widely believed at the time of its release that Sir Paul sang on the track but is actually Donovan who tackles all of the vocals in this song. Paul does admit to having been in the studio audience during the recording, which does feature John Paul Jones on bass, and the cute Beatle can be heard in the fray cheering at the end.
Sam Cooke featuring Lou Rawls - Bring It On Home To Me
Some would call Sam Cooke the greatest soul singer of all time and I would have little cause to argue with them. This brilliant ballad showcases Sam’s high school classmate Lou Rawls’ fine harmonies on the straight call and answer chorus, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah…
See video here
Glass Tiger featuring Bryan Adams - Don’t Forget Me When I’m Gone
Gotta have at least some Cancon in this feature… I remember watching this video for the first time on the Sunday morning CBC show Switchback and, get this, falling in love with the 2 girls playing the trumpets. It was 1986 and yes that’s how we all looked then. It’s a classic 80’s pop tune with some great gravelly backing vocals from the then prince of Canadian rock Bryan Adams. Also, his “cameo” in the video is priceless, he looks so reckless…
To see all the previous seven posts just click here.
Just in case you are wondering, Jacob is the brother of Kyle who does the weekly Six Pix. Cuzoogle is becoming a battle ground for brothers. Will it make Kyle step up his game?
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