It always helps to be the son of a major record label CEO in order to get pressed up and have a hit song distributed. Actually, in Rockwell’s case that really wasn’t true. Kennedy William Gordy (Rockwell) is the son of Berry Gordy. Does that name sound familiar? Well it should because that is Motown Records CEO. Before you start hating and thinking that the only reason Rockwell got a recording deal was because he was son of the CEO, know this: Rockwell secured his record deal before Berry Gordy even knew it was him! As the story goes, Berry Gordy was not that impressed with Rockwell’s music until he heard familiar Jackson 5 members, Michael Jackson and Jermaine Jackson singing backup vocals on “Somebody’s Watching Me.” After that you could say the rest was history.
This track was a dominator! When this song was released, it went certified million-selling gold in no time and sat in the #1 spot on the Billboard R&B charts for five weeks straight! For someone that really didn’t have a name in the music world. That was pretty impressive. Keep in mind that Thriller, Purple Rain, the Footloose soundtrack, and Born in the USA were all the top albums of 1984. You maybe wondering, “if this song was such a hit, why am I putting it up on my site? I thought you just did obscure tracks?” Well here’s the answer! Recently a few re-editors reworked this track and out of all the re-edits, there wasn’t one that I was 100% happy listening to. I decided to take a stab at it and re-worked it myself. (You can actually find my edit in this post that I wrote a few moments ago.) I played my edit at a recent gig and people still loved listening to this track. After 30 years, people were still getting down to this classic Rockwell jam and most knew the lyrics by heart! Not only that, I also knew that the song was most likely older than a majority of people on the dance floor! These sort of classic jams never need to fade into obscurity.
This track was a recipe for success! You had lyrics that were easy to follow and easily relatable to the average person. There was a haunting groove, wonderful snyths, melodic keys, the video seemed to tie in with the whole “Thriller” concept and of course a chorus line that was sung by the king of pop himself, Michael Jackson! In ’84 the only thing you could have asked for was a guitar section by Prince. This track will forever be a classic and will always be a great track to throw into any floor grooving set!
Label: Motown – ZB 69141
Format: Vinyl, 7″, Single, 45 RPM
Style: Synth-pop, Disco
A1. Somebody’s Watching Me
B1. Somebody’s Watching Me (Instrumental)