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Music

Extra Eager Background Vocals

In some songs somewhere in the background a vocal hits hard–harder even than the lead. You’ve heard this song many times, but I say give it another listen. Pay special attention to what I can only assume is the ‘post-chorus?’… The part where the brothers echo each other. The second echo seems to have much more heft and excitement. The tonal quality is that of a singer that is holding nothing back. It is a full throated howl of bliss. The first singer fits perfectly with the rest of the song, but it is the echo that really stands out here.

If you are not yet convinced, take another listen to the ending. The background singer no longer holds back and is truly bringing it home in monosyllabic chants to the gods of background singers.

This wonderful treat led me to look for more such stuffed away vocalists that reached out through their volume cages to stand out, produces and audio mixers be damned.

In the studio recording of this song, this particular backing track did not unduly standout. Then one day I came across a live version, that’s when he came at me like a haunted soul. It is the drummer that sings it live and by god he gets after it. I don’t think this guy even really sings. The emotion is there and picks up where the notes waver off into fucking nowhere, but he does not hold back and that’s what makes this a great one.

The Allman Brothers Band – Midnight Rider. You know it like the taste of a warm Miller High Life. You just can’t go wrong with this song. “..ONE MORE silver dollar..” and there it is. Likely I guess this is Dwayne Allman over dubbing the harmony but dayum he is into it. Without this backing track, I say this song really falls flat down to a bottom layer of repetitive mush. I always come back for one more silver dollar. Was anyone really using silver dollars when this song was released in 1970?

I am now on the hunt for these gems—where that backing track is begging for a little more attention. But there is one more that really stands out, but I’m not sure it really fits in the same window so to speak. It is undeniable that Lil John stands out so much more than any other vocalist in this song. No one can sing about sweaty balls nearly as emphatic as is belted in this one. Give it that extra attention and you cannot miss the passion being delivered in a way that just does not happen often.