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Old 01-24-2008, 02:37 PM
Dung Beetle Dung Beetle is offline
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Songs with very famous backup singers

In memory of John Stewart ("Gold" with backup singer Stevie Nicks)

My daughter and I were listing some of these songs the other night, and I thought it would make an interesting thread, so here it is.

A few examples to start the ball rolling:
Games Without Frontiers (Kate Bush)
Bad Blood (Elton John)
Money For Nothing (Sting)
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Old 01-24-2008, 02:41 PM
Troy McClure SF Troy McClure SF is offline
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Aaliyah sang behind Notorious BIG on "One More Chance."
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Old 01-24-2008, 02:43 PM
Octalcode Octalcode is offline
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You're so Vain (Mick Jagger)
Walk Away Renee (Steven Tyler)
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Old 01-24-2008, 02:43 PM
OneCentStamp OneCentStamp is offline
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How about some 80s?

Rockwell (1980s two hit wonder with "Someone's Watching Me" and "Obscene Phone Caller") has Michael Jackson singing backup on both songs.

Stevie Wonder's 1980s hit "Part Time Love" had Luther Vandross on backup.

Glass Tiger's one hit "Don't Forget Me When I'm Gone" featured Bryan Adams showing some Canadian solidarity.

As did Rush's "Time Stand Still," featuring Aimee Mann of 'Til Tuesday.
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Old 01-24-2008, 02:43 PM
Crotalus Crotalus is offline
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Most or all of the Eagles played and sang on Randy Newman's album Little Criminals, which included his hit Short People.
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Old 01-24-2008, 02:44 PM
Troy McClure SF Troy McClure SF is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Octalcode
Walk Away Renee (Steven Tyler)
He does sing a verse himself in one version, but Tyler backed up Pink on "Misery."
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Old 01-24-2008, 02:46 PM
It's Not Rocket Surgery! It's Not Rocket Surgery! is online now
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"Galileo" by the Indigo Girls features Jackson Browne on backing vocals.

Their song "Kid Fears" features Michael Stipe, but he's more prominent than backup vocals.
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Old 01-24-2008, 03:09 PM
RealityChuck RealityChuck is offline
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Katey Sagal (best known as Kate Bundy and the voice of Leela on Futurama) started as a backup singer, for Bette Midler and others:

Quote:
Some specific examples of her back-up work:
On Gene Simmons' 1978 album "Gene Simmons" (the Kiss bassist) she's credited as "Kate Sagall"
On Molly Hatchet's 1981 album "Take no Prisoners" she's credited as "Katy Sagal"
On Bette Midler's 1983 album "No Frills", she's credited as "Katie Sagal" for the song "Soda and a Souvenir"
On Olivia Newton-John's 1985 album "Soul Kiss"
John Lennon sang backup on Elton John's version of "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds."
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Last edited by RealityChuck; 01-24-2008 at 03:10 PM.
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Old 01-24-2008, 03:09 PM
astorian astorian is online now
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Neil Young's "Heart of Gold" had Linda Ronstadt on backing vocals.
  #10  
Old 01-24-2008, 03:14 PM
storyteller0910 storyteller0910 is offline
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Phil Collins sings backup on the Eric Clapton song "Bad Love" (and is also the drummer), and also sings backup on the David Crosby song "Hero."
  #11  
Old 01-24-2008, 03:17 PM
Shot Clock Shot Clock is offline
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just like Ronnie said.....

Ronnie Spector famously added vocals to Eddie Money's Take Me Home Tonight.

How's 'bout David Crosby showing up on Hold My Hand by Hootie and the Blowfish.
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Old 01-24-2008, 03:18 PM
Wee Bairn Wee Bairn is offline
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Magnet & Steel- Stevie Nicks
Sentimental Lady- Christine McVie
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Old 01-24-2008, 03:30 PM
Shoeless Shoeless is offline
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I wouldn't consider her a backup singer, but Ellen Foley sang the female vocals on Meatloaf's "Paradise By The Dashboard Light." She went on to later, greater (?) fame as the public defender in the first few seasons of "Night Court".
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Old 01-24-2008, 03:38 PM
Earl Snake-Hips Tucker Earl Snake-Hips Tucker is offline
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Lou Rawls can easily be heard in Sam Cooke's "Bring it on Home to Me."
Linda Ronstadt backs up Nitty Gritty Dirt Band in "American Dream."
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Old 01-24-2008, 03:45 PM
Skywatcher Skywatcher is online now
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The Big Bopper on Johnny Preston's "Running Bear", which he also wrote.
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Old 01-24-2008, 03:45 PM
GrandWino GrandWino is offline
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On "If I had a Million Dollars" by Barenaked Ladies, there are back-up vocals sung by several Canadian musicians and friends of the band including Moxy Fruvous, and Rheostatics.
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Old 01-24-2008, 03:46 PM
AndyPolley AndyPolley is offline
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Blind Melon's Shannon Hoon was a strange choice to sing back-up on the Guns & Roses hit "Don't You Cry."

I suppose we could debate the famous-ness of Hoon, but there ya go.
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Old 01-24-2008, 03:47 PM
kunilou kunilou is online now
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Olivia Newton John backed John Denver on "Fly Away."
  #19  
Old 01-24-2008, 03:48 PM
JKellyMap JKellyMap is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by astorian
Neil Young's "Heart of Gold" had Linda Ronstadt on backing vocals.
And James Taylor, IIRC.
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Old 01-24-2008, 03:50 PM
silenus silenus is offline
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Jimmy Buffett, among others, sang backup of the Eagles' "The Greeks Don't Want No Freaks."
  #21  
Old 01-24-2008, 03:51 PM
BMax BMax is offline
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Dolly Parton provided backing vocals for Eric Clapton's Lay Down Sally, and Steven Tyler pitched in on Run DMC's cover of Walk This Way.
  #22  
Old 01-24-2008, 03:52 PM
Annie-Xmas Annie-Xmas is offline
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There's always been a rumor that porn star Ron Jeremy is in some of the backing choruses of the movie "Jesus Christ Superstar"
  #23  
Old 01-24-2008, 04:08 PM
PunditLisa PunditLisa is offline
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Timothy B. Schmid backs up Vince Gill on Gill's cover of "I Can't Tell You Why."

Patty Lovelass & Ricky Skaggs sang back up on Gill's "Go Rest High on The Mountain."

Don Henley backed Trisha Yearwood on "Walkaway Joe."
  #24  
Old 01-24-2008, 04:13 PM
Least Original User Name Ever Least Original User Name Ever is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OneCentStamp
How about some 80s?

Rockwell (1980s two hit wonder with "Someone's Watching Me" and "Obscene Phone Caller") has Michael Jackson singing backup on both songs.

Stevie Wonder's 1980s hit "Part Time Love" had Luther Vandross on backup.

Glass Tiger's one hit "Don't Forget Me When I'm Gone" featured Bryan Adams showing some Canadian solidarity.

As did Rush's "Time Stand Still," featuring Aimee Mann of 'Til Tuesday.

I came in here to mention Rockwell.

Damn.
  #25  
Old 01-24-2008, 04:17 PM
Cluricaun Cluricaun is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndyPolley
Blind Melon's Shannon Hoon was a strange choice to sing back-up on the Guns & Roses hit "Don't You Cry."

I suppose we could debate the famous-ness of Hoon, but there ya go.

Not that strange, Hoon and Axl Rose are from Layfayette Indiana and are only 5 years different in age.
  #26  
Old 01-24-2008, 04:21 PM
Astroboy14 Astroboy14 is offline
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Toni Tennille sang back ups on Pink Floyd's The Wall. As did Brian Wilson.

Last edited by Astroboy14; 01-24-2008 at 04:23 PM.
  #27  
Old 01-24-2008, 04:22 PM
Geek Mecha Geek Mecha is offline
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New Kids on the Block sang backup for Tommy Page in "I'll Be Your Everything."
Mariah Carey used to be a backup singer for Brenda K. Starr.
George Michael sang backup for Deon Estus in "Heaven Help Me."
  #28  
Old 01-24-2008, 04:30 PM
Tool of the Conspiracy Tool of the Conspiracy is offline
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John Lennon sang backup on David Bowie's "Fame".
  #29  
Old 01-24-2008, 04:32 PM
Cluricaun Cluricaun is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cluricaun
Not that strange, Hoon and Axl Rose are from Layfayette Indiana and are only 5 years different in age.

According to Hoon's Wiki entry:

"In L.A., Hoon befriended his sister Anna's high school friend, Axl Rose" So there you go, not too weird at all.
  #30  
Old 01-24-2008, 04:36 PM
stanger stanger is offline
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"Lion In The Winter" by Hoyt Axton (a great song, by the way) had Linda Ronstat on backing vocals.
  #31  
Old 01-24-2008, 04:45 PM
Max Torque Max Torque is offline
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Okay, here's a really obscure one: in the 1982 song by Frida (formerly of the group ABBA), "I Know There's Something Going On," Phil Collins plays drums and sings backup. You can single out his voice if you listen closely.
  #32  
Old 01-24-2008, 04:59 PM
Rhythmdvl Rhythmdvl is offline
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Doesn't Bowie do some of the backing vocals for Mott The Hoople's All the Young Dudes?
  #33  
Old 01-24-2008, 05:04 PM
xanthous xanthous is offline
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Luther Vandross sang backup on David Bowie's Young Americans. It was his big break.
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Old 01-24-2008, 05:08 PM
Wee Bairn Wee Bairn is offline
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A couple of the Beach Boys are very noticeable on Chicago's "Wishin you Were Here".
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Old 01-24-2008, 05:08 PM
Biffy the Elephant Shrew Biffy the Elephant Shrew is offline
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Leonard Cohen's "Don't Go Home with Your Hard-On" has Bob Dylan (and Allen Ginsburg) in the chorus.
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Old 01-24-2008, 05:25 PM
cochrane cochrane is offline
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Sting on Dire Straits' "Money For Nothing."

Ray Charles duetted with Billy Joel on "Baby Grand."

Tom Petty's "Full Moon Fever" album had vocals from some of his fellow Traveling Wilburys: George Harrison, Jeff Lynne, and Roy Orbison. This album has often been referred to as "Traveling Wilburys, Vol. 2" because of this.
  #37  
Old 01-24-2008, 06:04 PM
Biffy the Elephant Shrew Biffy the Elephant Shrew is offline
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John Lennon & Paul McCartney sing backup on the Rolling Stones' "We Love You."

Tina Turner with the Ikettes sing backup on several Frank Zappa songs on the Over-Nite Sensation and Apostrophe albums.
  #38  
Old 01-24-2008, 06:38 PM
The Real Thing The Real Thing is offline
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Neil Young's 1995 album Mirrorball features Pearl Jam as backup band, with Eddie Vedder providing some vocals.
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Old 01-24-2008, 06:51 PM
monstro monstro is offline
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Foreigner's "I Want to Know What Love Is" featured Jennifer Holliday (of the original Dreamgirls fame) singing back vocals.
  #40  
Old 01-24-2008, 06:57 PM
Nawth Chucka Nawth Chucka is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BMax
Dolly Parton provided backing vocals for Eric Clapton's Lay Down Sally, and Steven Tyler pitched in on Run DMC's cover of Walk This Way.
Dolly also backed Faith Hill on 'Breathe'. You can hear her best in the line, "In a way I know my heart is waking up..."
  #41  
Old 01-24-2008, 07:05 PM
Barrington Barrington is offline
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Pretty much any big-budget 70s-80s album produced by Quincy Jones has already-famous singers doing backing vocals on some tracks. Michael Jackson, Roberta Flack, James Ingram, Chaka Khan, to name a few. And that's without mentioning instrumentalists.

It was quite incestuous in a way. And yet, to find out they were there, you pretty much had to scrutinise the personnel lists on the sleeve.
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Old 01-24-2008, 07:12 PM
HMS Irruncible HMS Irruncible is offline
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David Bowie on Queen's "Under Pressure" beats the balls of anything mentioned so far.

Not actually backup singing in the strictest sense, but Stevie Wonder did the harmonica work on Chaka Khan's "I Feel For You", which was really the only memorable aspect of the song aside from the dude rapping about what he wanted to do to Chaka Khan.

Joe Jackson sang with William Shatner in 2004 on the song "Common People". I have no idea who was backing up whom and I do not care to speculate on it.

Last edited by HMS Irruncible; 01-24-2008 at 07:14 PM.
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Old 01-24-2008, 07:33 PM
Hippy Hollow Hippy Hollow is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cosmic Relief
David Bowie on Queen's "Under Pressure" beats the balls of anything mentioned so far.
But that track is credited to Queen + David Bowie... further, he sings lead in part of the song.

Sandie Shaw recorded a version of The Smiths' "Jeanne," with S.P. Morrissey contributing backing vocals.

Oleta Adams ("Get Here") was a backup singer for Tears for Fears.

Lenny Kravitz sang backup for Sheryl Crow on the track "You're An Original."

Don Henley sang backup for Ms. Crow on "It's So Easy."

The lead singer of The Shins sings backup on at least two tracks on the most recent Modest Mouse album: "We've Got Everything" and "Florida."
  #44  
Old 01-24-2008, 08:03 PM
longhair75 longhair75 is online now
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James Taylor sings harmony with Carole King on "Will you still love me tomorrow?"
  #45  
Old 01-24-2008, 08:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stanger
"Lion In The Winter" by Hoyt Axton (a great song, by the way) had Linda Ronstadt on backing vocals.
I'm shaking my head. Once again, a record I thought I had the only extant copy of, and was the only fan of, shows up in another Doper's collection/awareness.

As an aside, the lovely Linda Ronstadt shows up on a lot of records--er, recordings. She sings on Paul Simon's "Under African Skies" for one. Which is probably mentioned up-thread, but I haven't read it all yet.
  #46  
Old 01-24-2008, 08:31 PM
pulykamell pulykamell is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Octalcode
Walk Away Renee (Steven Tyler)
Are you sure about this? While there are a number of web references that do cite this, I found a few more that say this is a factoid and Steven Tyler never did, in fact, sing backup on this song.

Adding credence to that is this list of Steven Tyler's recording appearances outside Aerosmith.

The only Left Banke songs I see him credited for are:

"Nice to See You"
"My Friend Today"
"Dark is the Bark"
  #47  
Old 01-24-2008, 08:38 PM
FaerieBeth FaerieBeth is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PunditLisa
Don Henley backed Trisha Yearwood on "Walkaway Joe."
And Trisha Yearwood was a backup singer for Garth Brooks.
  #48  
Old 01-24-2008, 08:41 PM
Turek Turek is offline
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Michael McDonald sang backup on several of Steely Dan's songs, notably "Peg."
  #49  
Old 01-24-2008, 08:47 PM
neutron star neutron star is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by OneCentStamp
Glass Tiger's one hit "Don't Forget Me When I'm Gone" featured Bryan Adams showing some Canadian solidarity.

As did Rush's "Time Stand Still," featuring Aimee Mann of 'Til Tuesday.
Nitpick: Aimee Mann is from Virginia, not Canada.
  #50  
Old 01-24-2008, 08:59 PM
RikWriter RikWriter is offline
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Peter Cetera of Chicago sang backup on Paul Anka's "Hold Me TIll the Morning Comes."
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