Wednesday, August 04, 2010

The Best Backing Vocal Performances

The Velvet Rope website had a great thread going the other day regarding Songs With the Best Backing Vocals  that I would like to expand upon.

Their list included:

 1) Any Van Halen Song with Michael Anthony on it.  He's the high voice. Not Dave or Sammy or whats his name from Extreme.
 2) Chaka Khan on Winwood's Higher Love
 3) Merry Clayton on Gimme Shelter (The Stones)
 4) Clare Torry on The Great Gig in the Sky (Pink Floyd)
 5) Mike Mills on Fall on Me (REM)
 6)Linda Rondstadt/James Taylor on Heart of Gold (Neil Young)
 7)Whoever sang on I'm Not In Love by 10cc

I'm gonna add these

1) Mick Jagger on You're So Vain (Carly Simon)
2) Michael McDonald on Peg (Steely Dan)
3)Stevie Nicks on The Chain(Fleetwood Mac)
4)  The "Colored Girls" :Karen Friedman, Dari Lalou and Casey Synge on Walk On The Wild Side(Lou Reed)
5)Nancy Wilson on Dog and Butterfly(Heart)
6) Roger Taylor on Bohemian Rhapsody(Queen)
7) Sandy Denny on The Battle of Evermore(Led Zeppelin)
8) John Lennon on Fame (David Bowie)
9) Paul, George and Ringo on The Sun King(Beatles)
10) Jerry Cantrell on Rooster or Down in a Hole (Alice in Chains)
11) Graham Nash and Steven Stills on Guinnevere( CSN)
12)Eddie Vedder and Chris Cornell( for each other) on Hunger Strike (Temple of the Dog)
13) Rob Halford on Feel Good Hit  of the Summer (QOTSA)
14) Bobby Whitlock on I Am Yours (Layla) Derek and the Dominos
15)Jerry Garcia/Bobby Weir on Box of Rain (Grateful Dead)
16)Greg Rollie on Wheel in the Sky(Journey)
17)Art Garfunkel on Homeward Bound (Simon and Garfunkel)

What can you add?  Dream it, and it will come...


  1. Anonymous4:28 PM

    PP Arnold on The Small Face's "Tin Soldier"
    Flo and Eddy on T-Rex's "The Slider" (pretty much every track on the record)
    Bowie and Ronson on Lou Reed's "Satellite of Love"
    -The outlaw

  2. Anonymous4:47 PM

    Joni Mitchell on "Helpless" from "The Last Waltz"

  3. Fergie Frederiksen on Toto's Stranger In Town. David Paich sang the leads, Frederiksen had the tweeter-frying harmony vocals. That cat had/has some serious range.

    Peter Cetera on Paul Anka's Hold Me Till the Morning Comes. Love him or hate him, Cetera has one of the most distinct singing voices in the biz. He takes a rather milquetoast Anka song and kicks up to a much higher level with his instantly recognizable vocals.

    Tommy Funderburk & David Sykes on Boston's Magdalene from their Walk On album. Some of the tightest b/g vocals I've EVER heard.

    And on Little River Band's 2CD Reminiscing compilation one of the bonus tracks is a live medley of the Eagles Lyin' Eyes/Take It Easy featuring Glenn Frey on lead vocals with the guys in LRB singing the b/g vocals.

  4. Pete and John in support of Roger on the live version of"Happy jack", Crosby and Nash on Joni's "Free Man in Paris", Paul and John backing George on "If I Needed Someone", David and Gene backing Roger on "Mr Tambourine Man", Emmmy Lou Harris on all of Gram Parson's solo material.

  5. It's an obscure one, but how about Steve Mariott on The Easybeats "Good Times." Check it out. You'll be glad you did.

    Here's a you tube of the album version: