Friday, September 22, 2023

Let's Play...



...Classic Tracks Deeply Indebted To Outside/Guest/Hired Backing Vocalists:

I stole this from Michael Chabon's Threads feed.

To get you started, here are some of his examples:
“Great Gig In The Sky” Clare Torry (Pink Floyd)
“Gimme Shelter” Merry Clayton (Rolling Stones)
“Walk On The Wild Side” Thunderthighs [Karen Friedman, Dari Lalou, Casey Synge] (Lou Reed)
“Gold” Stevie Nicks (John Stewart)
“The Battle of Evermore” Sandy Denny (Led Zeppelin)
“Shiny Happy People” Kate Pierson (REM)
Here are some bad examples from those who replied:
"Stop Dragging My Heart Around"- Stevie Nicks w/Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
It's basically a duet. No duets.

"While My Guitar Gently Weeps"- Eric Clapton (The Beatles)

It's not a singing part.

"Remedy"- Barbara Mitchell & Taj Harmon (The Black Crowes)
They are backing vocalists on many Crowes tracks and sadly, it could have been any two vocalists.
"Queen Of Hearts"- Madeline Follin (Fucked Up)
Huh? It's says "classic tracks." I am sure there are fans of both artist and guest, but if your choice is this obscure, the guest spot couldn't have really benefited the song.

My choices were:

Good Times- Steve Marriott (The Easybeats)
Tried To Love- Mick Jagger (Peter Frampton)
You're So Vain- Mick Jagger (Carly Simon)
You Nearly Did Me In -Queen (Ian Hunter)

So you got it, right?

No duets.
No guitar solos.
No weirdness.

Alrighty then...let's play.


Anonymous said...

"Time Stand Still" - Aimee Mann (Rush)

Anonymous said...

What Have I Done To Deserve This? Dusty Springfield (Pet Shop Boys)

Anonymous said...

Have a Cigar (Roy Harper) Pink Floyd

Sal Nunziato said...

Are we just pulling these off Chabon's feed?

Anonymous said...

Lol! That would’ve been easier.

Troy said...

I don't know if it qualifies as "classic", but I always liked "Showdown at Big Sky" by Robbie Robertson with Sam Llanas (Sammy BoDean). That song would be completely different and not as good without Sam.

Also, I don't think it was a duet, so I'll say "This is It" by Kenny Loggins with Michael McDonald. Always liked that one, too.

Anonymous said...

Somebody’s Watching Me - Michael Jackson (Rockwell). Arguably the only reason anyone ever heard the song. Have a wonderful day!

hpunch said...

From A Whisper To A Scream- ( Glenn Tilbrook ) Elvis Costello -

Anonymous said...

How about Tom Waits gut-punch of a chorus on Thelonious Monster’s ‘Adios Lounge’?

kevin m said...

KRS-One jumping in at the end of REM's "Radio Song"

Honest Ed said...

Not a studio recording, but Suki Lahav's vocal on the live versions of Incident when she toured with the E Street Band? Or is that covered under weirdness?

Springsteen on Graham Parker's Endless Night? Or even Springsteen on Lou Reed's Street Hassle?

Allan Rosenberg said...

If this qualifies:

"He's a Rebel" - Darlene Love singing with The Crystals.

Captain Al

Anonymous said...

Michael McDonald on Peg (Steely Dan)
Stevie Nicks on Mohammed's Radio (Warren Zevon)
Emmylou Harris on Return of the Grievous Angel (Gram Parsons)-honestly, could have named any Gram Parsons song


steve simels said...

I soooooooooo agree on Steve M. With the Easys.

neal t said...

That. Stay cover by Jackson Browne with Lindley

Shriner said...

Buckingham/Nicks on "Magnet and Steel" by Walter Egan is one of my favorites.

Brian said...

Maggie Bell on Rod Stewart's Every Picture Tells A Story.
Ronnie Spector on Eddie Money's Take Me Home Tonight.

M_Sharp said...

Tina Turner & The Ikettes on Frank Zappa's "Montana", "Dinah Moe Humm", "Cheepnis", and a few others.

No, that's NOT weirdness!

They were recording in Ike Turner's studio, Ike reportedly heard the playback, said "What is this shit?" and wouldn't allow them to be credited on the albums.

Sal Nunziato said...

At this point in time, let me gently drizzle on the parade.

"Classic Tracks Deeply Indebted To Outside/Guest/Hired Backing Vocalists"

Let's leave the word "classic" up for interpretation, though Chabon's five examples are bonafide classics. Two of my four choices were flop singles, but they are certainly classic to me.

The keys though are "Outside/Guest/Backing Vocals."

I think Emmylou sings on just about every song on both GP records, which to me, makes her a band member.

Darlene Love on "He's A Rebel" is certainly classic, but hardly outside since she was part of Spector's roster. Plus, it's a lead vocal.

Since "This Is It," a fantastic pop song, was co-written by Loggins & McDonald, it doesn't feel like "outside" or "hired."

Jagger and Carly Simon, aside from similar mouths, had nothing in common musically before "You're So Vain," and he wasn't even credited and it was a monster hit.

I think the choices need to be like that. These all seem like what this is about:

Maggie Bell on Rod Stewart's Every Picture Tells A Story.
Ronnie Spector on Eddie Money's Take Me Home Tonight.
Buckingham/Nicks on "Magnet and Steel" by Walter Egan
Springsteen on Graham Parker's Endless Night? Or even Springsteen on Lou Reed's Street Hassle?
KRS-One jumping in at the end of REM's "Radio Song"

Anyway, carry on.

Anonymous said...

Following on Troy's comment, I also like Peter Gabriel's contribution to "Fallen Angel" on that same Robbie Robertson album.

And since I'm mentioning Gabriel -- also his vocals on Johnny Warman's "Screaming Jets."

OK, not classics probably. But I think they may otherwise fit the bill...


daudder said...

Tempted by Squeeze, with Paul Carrack (might not count as he may have been in the band.

buzzbabyjesus said...

It's stretching the rules a bit, but Roy Harper singing "Have A Cigar" makes me think of Jon Anderson singing "Prince Rupert Awakes" on King Crimson's "Lizard".

Shriner said...

Is it a classic? Michael McDonald on Christopher Cross's "Ride Like The Wind"? (an SCTV binge reminded me of that...)

Troy said...

I had no idea that This is It was a co-write. Oh, well.

Sal Nunziato said...

They also co-wrote "What A Fool Believes" and "No Lookin' Back," both of which were recorded by both. There might be one or two more.

kevin m said...

While it's not a classic here, over in the UK Blur's Parklife featuring the actor Phil Daniels is revered. Phil was the lead actor in the movie Quadrophenia.

Shriner said...

And, OK -- it may not be a classic unless you are a fan, but The Trio Bulgarka on background (?) vocals on Kate Bush's "Rocket's Tail", wouldn't be the same song without them.

And Flo & Eddie background vocals on "Hungry Heart" might qualify?

Anonymous said...

After opening my umbrella for these intermittent showers, I submit the semi-classic The Blues by Randy Newman, with a Paul Simon contribution that plays well of his sensitive singer-songwriter persona.


Sal Nunziato said...

Okay, "The Blues!"

Anonymous said...

Ghetto Defendant by the Clash, featuring W.S. Burroughs.
I reckon all those Moby (et al.) hits that featured a sample of some past recording of a singer on the chorus don't count, but Burroughs' contribution to the Clash number was a real contribution, not stuck in post-mortem.
C in California

Guypinot said...

Lou Rawls on Sam Cooke's "Bring It On Home To Me".

Jana M said...

Kate Bush singing on Peter Gabriel's "Don't Give Up" from So

Anonymous said...

Patti Smith - The Revenge of Vera Gemini - Blue Oyster Cult


mauijim said...

Picking up On Robbie, his Temptation on his debut lp, has Bono hollowing along with the rest of his band backing up the song
My very deep track thought his dad Johnny showing up on Thats How I Got To Memphis on Roseanne's Somewere in the Stars

Anonymous said...

Tom Waits - We Know the Night - Replacements


Anonymous said...

Ronnie Spector on Southside Johnny’s You Mean So Much To Me, written by Springsteen.
cleveland Jeff

Honest Ed said...

Hell yeah to Lou Rawls on Bring It On Home to me.

Anonymous said...

Just noticed you put up Can for SOTD. Love Can and went through a krautrock phase mid 1970's. I suppose "I'm So Green," is a good entry point as its more accessible than most. And I like it a lot. Me and Sandy used to get high and be free to Tago Mago. Ege Bamyasi is a great album.

With regard to the subject at hand:

Donovan - Billion Dollar Babies - Alice Cooper.


Anonymous said...

Oh, and

Lynsey de Paul - Roll Away the Stone - Mott the Hoople


Anonymous said...

Bruce Springsteen - Valentine - Nils Lofgren


Todd said...

daudder said...
Tempted by Squeeze, with Paul Carrack (might not count as he may have been in the band.

Don't forget Elvis Costello does one line, which is always a highlight for Me!

Noel M said...

Here's my favorite ...

"Somewhere Down The Crazy River" by Robbie Robertson, with the "crazy lady vocals" actually by a dude from the BoDeans. Genius.

Scottdammit! said...

Dion's impromptu appearance on "Dirty Blvd."

Anonymous said...

David Bowie back-up vocals on Lou Reed's "Satellite of Love"

Anonymous said...

Not a well known classic, but a classic in my book: Terry Reid's backing vocals on The Replacements "My Little Problem", from All Shook Down.


Anonymous said...

Make No Mistake - Sarah Dash (Keith Richards

FM - Timothy B Schmidt, Glenn Frey, Don Henley (Steely Dan)
Quantum Criminals: Ramblers, Wild Gamblers, and Other Sole Survivors from the Songs of Steely Dan
By Alex Pappademas

Ask - Kirsty MacColl (The Smiths)

Got Your Money - Kelis (Ol’ Dirty Bastard)

Games Without Frontiers - Kate Bush (Peter Gabriel)

Take Off - Geddy Lee (Bob and Doug McKenzie
“10 bucks is 10 bucks”

It seems I need to give another spin to Robbie Robertson’s first solo album pronto! Haven’t listened to it since it came out. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Black Coffee in Bed - Elvis Costello, Paul Young (Squeeze)
“No Milk and Sugar!”

Last one. Lol!
Have a great weekend!

Anonymous said...

Patti Smith - E-Bow The Letter (REM)

Anonymous said...

Yoko Ono on Happiness is a Warm Gun
Sam Moore on springsteen”s Soul Driver
Emmy Lou on Ryan Adams Sweet Carolina
Linda Ronstadt amazing compliment to Neil Young’s Hold Back The Tears
Eddie Vedder on Glen Hansard’s cover of Drive All Night


Radio Tower Records, Berlin said...

It melts me every time; Paul Simon singing ‘Twinkle Little Star’ on Dion’s ‘Written On A Subway Wall’. From the same Yo Frankie album Lou Reed sings on ‘King Of The New York Streets’.

Anonymous said...

Rock Dreams - Todd Rundgren (The Lemon Twigs) :)

Anonymous said...

hi... Crosby/Nash on David Gilmour "On An Island" (crosby/nash is essentially one voice don't ya think?)

Anonymous said...

Kate Pierson - Candy- Iggy Pop

Bonnie Bramlett - Crazy Love - Allman Brothers Band (Certainly not their best by far, but a hit nevertheless)

Ruby Starr - Jim Dandy - Black Oak Arkansas

Stevie Nicks - Insider - Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers (if MJ's slight contribution to "You're So Vain" makes the grade, then this should more than suffice)

Christine McVie - Sentimental Lady - Bob Welch

Steven Tyler - Walk This Way - Run D.M.C.

Tony Rivers & John Perry - No One Waits - Cliff Richard B-side of Mr. Dream Maker. Top 20 in Holland. Thought I posted earlier but I guess it didn't take. Richard co-wrote; Bruce Welch produced. Watch Rivers and Perry at work. However you feel about the song or arrangement, this performance is first rate. Link below:


Anonymous said...

OK, before this slides off into the archive: Does Fairytale of New York count? It's a proper duet, but Kirsty is only a friend of the Pogues. And what a song!


Anonymous said...

This is quite a classic and, as far as I can confirm, was credited to Lennon only. Whatever gets you through the night.

pp said...

Will Springsteen on Lucinda Williams New York Comeback become a classic in time?