6 famous rock stars who did backing vocals for other stars

music news 02/01/2019

You may or may not have already known about these backing vocal features, but this list comes as a reminder that we really should pay more attention to who we hear in the background!

These features of famous stars on backing vocals were by no means kept secret, and they were of course credited, but you may never have paid much attention - until now. 

1. All You Need Is Love - The Beatles
This anthem featured a extensive cast of famous names in its creation, and it was broadcast live so you can see them all sitting alongside The Beatles in the video. Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Keith Moon, Graham Nash, Eric Clapton, Marianne Faithfull, Jane Asher, Pattie Boyd, Mike McGear, Hunter Davies and Gary Leeds were all among those involved - check out the video below.

2. We Love You - The Rolling Stones
This collaboration of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards with John Lennon and Paul McCartney was recorded only a month after All You Need Is Love, and deserves just as much recognition for famous backing vocals.

3. Harlem Shuffle - Rolling Stones
Another song from the Stones, with famous backing vocals that most definitely would have been featured in the title these days. You can hear Bobby Womack in the back, as well as the gravel voice of Tom Waits. Have a listen:

4. Games Without Frontiers - Peter Gabriel
The song's title refers to European TV game show of the French name 'Jeux Sans Frontieres', and the phrase is actually sung throughout the song by Kate Bush. Can you pick her out?

5. Danger! High Voltage - Electric Six
Moving ahead in time a bit, Electric Six's debut single in 2003 featured Jack White, the frontman of the White Stripes. The band however insisted that the vocals belong to an auto mechanic called John S. O'Leary - but Jack White's distinctive sound was picked out and cast doubt on the band's claims. 

6. Knee Socks - Arctic Monkeys
Josh Homme from Queens of the Stone Age and Kyuss featured alongside Alex Turner on the vocals for this track. Alex returned the favour though by providing backing vocals for Queens of the Stone Age's 'If I Had a Tail'. Here's Josh performing alongside Alex live: