And now, for that great start to your day…Music Moooooooonday!
So, we are now in week three of Music Monday counting down to Halloween. And we’re not doing it with a bunch of cliche Halloween songs; instead, we are doing it with “spooky” sounding songs.
So far, Ray Parker Jr. wasn’t afraid of no ghosts (damn you, double negative!), and the Ramones stipulated in their “living will” (and by living will, I mean song) that they adamantly refused to be buried in a Pet Semetary. And today, Rockwell expresses his fear and paranoia of having somebody watching him.
“Somebody’s Watching Me” is from Rockwell’s 1984 debut album…Somebody’s Watching Me. Rockwell (real name Kennedy William Gordy) made his debut at 19 years old with the single. It was released on January 14, 1984 and featured backing vocals by two well-known Motown Artists (ok, a well-known Motown artist and his brother), Michael and Jermaine Jackson.
The song, which explains the fears and paranoia of a young man trying to live his normal life, finds it difficult to do so when apparitions and zombies are following him all over.
Cameras are following him too, but that’s not here nor there.
And of course, he fears the IRS following him! Evading taxes, Rockwell?
Click play and witness the paranoia unfold!
I used to think for quite a few years that this was a Michael Jackson song, and when I finally saw the video in middle school (on Pop-Up Video, nonetheless!), I was like “who is Rockwell?” I’ve found that this isn’t uncommon, but when you’re a young man trying to make your mark in a business where your estranged father is a big time producer for Motown, wouldn’t you try to make sure no one thinks Michael Jackson sang the song?
Regardless of that confusion, the song was #1 on the Billboard US Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, and #2 on Billboard’s Hot 100. It has been covered, sampled, and featured on Halloween compilations, so its inclusion here isn’t as far out as one would believe it to be.
Despite finding out who actually sang this song, I’ve always liked it. I like the sound, I love the backup vocals, and Rockwell is no slouch himself. This is a great song!
Rockwell would go on to release two more albums in 1985 and 1986, none of which met with quite the success of his first album. The singles from those other albums (and the others released from this album) were not nearly as successful, and by 1991, nobody was watching him.
That’s because his career ended at that point.
Hey, gotta get those snappy jokes in where you can!
And that does it for Music Monday! Stay tuned, as Allison’s Written Words keeps the Halloween stuff coming with Throwback Thursday and Flashback Friday, and two more weeks of Music Monday leading up to Halloween.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I need to check over my shoulder for the millionth time!