Extra Eager Background Vocals

In some songs somewhere in the background a vocal hits hard–harder even than the lead. You’ve heard it a billion times, but I say gyad dangit give it another listen. Pay special attention to the well what I am going to call the ‘post-chorus?’… The part where the brothers echo each other. The heft and unbridled excitement of that second vocalist—the uh ‘other’ brother I guess. Were they twins? Someone google that. This guy 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 your socks haven’t been blasted off yet, ake another listen to the ending. The background singer has pulled the rubber off now and is bringing it home in monosyllabic chants to the gods of background singers.

Produces and audio mixers be damned, these background singers are going to shine with or without your help.

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 on shrooms. 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 an absolute treasure.

The Allman Brothers Band – Midnight Rider. You know it like the taste of a warm Miller High Life right out the trunk in your hand-me-down cadillac. 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. Me too Dwayne. Me too.

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…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.

For that sweet ass cherry on top, I now give you, the most underwhelming background vocals I have ever heard. Is this a topic for another article? I don’t know, another couple of drinks and maybe.

Calling unprotected girls. Infected girls do it better. Oooooh. Oooooh. Dick Valentine put Electrix Six into our ears with his Captain Beefheart on steroids take on 2000’s era rock that lies somehow squarely in the middle of both bro-rock and nerd-rock all at once. I was never surprised by the types of people at their live shows. Frat Dudes, Japan Club weirdos (that was me), Indy Scene Kids, and people in old black leather jackets. Here she is folks–I dare you to find a more underwhelming backup track. Is she the sound of the infected girl? If so, I can’t imagine she’s doing it better, but then again Tait Nucleus probably takes whatever comes his way.


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