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Tom Petty had a severe cold during the recording of "I Won't Back Down". George Harrison, whose vocals are featured on the recording, bought a ginger root, boiled it, and had Petty put his head in the pot to clear his sinuses. The final version was recorded moments after.

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When recording "That's life", the scowl in Sinatra's voice was a result of the producer telling Sinatra, after the recording session, to get out of his car and back in the studio to re-record the vocal. This made Frank very angry, shown in the song, creating the exact feel they wanted.

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what is the role of the backing vocals in killer queen?

  1. Instead of dividing the backing vocals (low, medium, and high), Freddie Mercury, Brian May, and Roger Taylor, of the band Queen, would record each background part together in unison, twice. 3 part harmony = 18 "voices". This is considered to be a key element of the "Queen Sound".

  2. Prince planned on having a female alter ego named Camille by recording his vocals at a slower speed, so when it was played back, his pitch would be higher. The plan was scrapped and most of the tunes resurfaced later as album tracks or B-sides.

  3. When Nirvana performed "Smells like teen spirit" on TOP OF THE POPS they were required to sing live vocals over pre-recorded back tracks, so they butchered it.

  4. During the recording of vocals for "November Rain", Axl Rose insisted on being left by himself with a bucket to shit in until he completed it. Producer Bill Price came back to the studio eight days later and found Axl asleep with the studio covered in shit and empty pizza boxes.

  5. Rick Astley sang some of the backing vocals for Elton John's "Can You Feel The Love Tonight"

  6. Joe Montana sang back-up vocals on several Huey Lewis and the News songs, including "Hip to Be Square"

  7. The backing vocals to Carly Simon's YOU'RE SO VAIN are sung by Mick Jagger.

  8. Keith Moon, the wild drummer for the Who, contributed backing vocals to the Beatles song "All You Need is Love"

  9. The singer who did the robotic backing vocals for Madonna's Material Girl was also the voice of the Kool-Aid Man

  10. Famous movie star Scarlet Johansson recorded an album of Tom Waits' songs and David Bowie provided backing vocals on a few tracks.

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Pink Floyd approached the Beach Boys to sing backing vocals on "The Show Must Go On" from The Wall album. All but one member dropped out at the very last minute.

Rashida Jones provided backing vocals on Maroon 5's hit album, Songs About Jane. - source

"Mother Love" by Queen features Freddie Mercury's last vocal performance. He sang everything up until the last verse, where he left the studio to "have a rest". He would never come back. - source

Singer Sia did backing vocals on Flight of the Conchords' "Carol Brown" and "You Don't Have to be a Prostitute".

Billy Joel sang all the backing vocals on The Longest Time - source

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On November 25, 1991, Nirvana was set to perform "Smells Like Teen Spirit" on the British music chart television program "Top of the Pops." At the time, the show had a policy that required artists to sing live vocals over pre-recorded back tracks. The band gave a special performance in protest.

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Thom Yorke recorded the vocals to 'Fake Plastic Trees' in late 1994 just after seeing Jeff Buckley play the Garage in London. Apparently, an inspired Yorke rushed back to the studio, did two takes then broke down in tears

John Lennon co-wrote David Bowie's Fame, and also sing backing vocals on the chorus.

David Bowie recorded backing vocals for DEVO's first album, but they were deleted in the final mix

Sting sang backing vocals, including the "I want my MTV" part in Dire Straits hit Money for Nothing

Huey Lewis and the News' 1986 hit "Hip to Be Square" features backing vocals by NFL Hall of Famers Joe Montana and Ronnie Lott.

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The comedy song "Lily the Pink" was No. 1 in the UK in 1968. It's about Lydia Pinkham's Vegetable Compound's supposed curative effects for "women's problems". The group included Mike McGear (Paul McCartney's brother), backing vocals of Elton John, Tim Rice, and Jack Bruce (of Cream) on guitar.

John Lennon Co-Wrote, sang backing vocals, and guitar on the David Bowie song "Fame"

Before he became famous as the lead singer of Blind Melon, Shannon Hoon sang back-up vocals on Guns N Roses' album, "Use Your Illusion."

Toni Tennille sang backing vocals on "The Wall"

Before Nirvana covered "Where Did You Sleep Last Night" Kurt Cobain provided backing vocals and Krist Novoselic provided bass for Mark Lanegan's rendition of the song on the album The Winding Trees.

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Michael Jackson did uncredited backing vocals on The Doobie Brothers song "What a Fool Believes"

Actress Rashida Jones (Ann Perkins in Parks and Rec) used to do backing vocals for Maroon 5.

James Hetfield from Metallica Sang Backing Vocals on Danzig's 1988 album Danzig.

CeeLo sang back up vocals on TLC's waterfalls

The track "Duck Sauce - Barbra Streisand" got it's backing vocals from "Boney M. - Gotta Go Home"

James Taylor's "Carolina on My Mind" features the Beatles' Paul McCartney on bass and George Harrison on back-up vocals. A 30-piece orchestra part was recorded as well, though never used.

Tina Turner once sang backing vocals for Frank Zappa

Lucille "2" Austero from Arrested Development played by Liza Minnelli appeared on 2006 album My Chemical Romance's The Black Parade, providing backing vocals and singing a solo part with Gerard Way on the track "Mama."

Clash member Joe Strummer and singer Joe Ely sung the backing vocals of "Should I Stay or Should I Go" in Spanish. The mother of the studio tape operator helped them translate the lyrics into Ecuadorian Spanish.

Merry Clayton, who sang backing vocals on The Rolling Stones' Gimme Shelter, suffered a miscarriage when she got home from the recording studio. It has been attributed to the effort she put into her singing.

"Even before she kissed a girl and liked it; even before her stint on the Vans Warped Tour, Katy Perry provided backing vocals for P.O.D.'s 2006 single 'Goodbye For Now.'"

"Fame" was written by Bowie, Carlos Alomar and John Lennon, who also did backing vocals, becoming Bowie's first number 1 single in the Canadian Singles Chart as well as the U.S. Billboard Hot 100.

Clarke Peters (Lester Freamon in The Wire) sang backing vocals on the song Boogie Nights.

Stings backing vocals in Dire Straits Money For Nothing of I Want My MTV are the same notes as Don't Stand So Close To Me

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