Side Note, before the post starts: I know I’m a little late to the table with Pandora, but it is really worth a click. I listened to Wanda Jackson all morning yesterday!
Anyway, onto the real story. Having an “opinion party” with my beau, we were discussing great backing bands; he brought some up, I countered. All in all, it was a great convo. Thinking about it more, i realized there were tons of bands we didn’t name, so I looked some up. So, here are my Top 5 Best Backing Bands. But, the rule for this was it had to be an actual backing band, not like Genesis or Wings. I’m talking true backup bands, with the singer’s name + backup band in the title. This was a tough choice, people. Here are the winners:
5. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (would also put Bob Marley and the Wailers with this choice) Here is a frontman with some stories to tell. Loves gained and lost, pure happiness, youth, unimaginable sorrow, and perhaps a bit of wacky tobackey thrown into the mix.
4. George Clinton and Paliament Funkadelic ( I would also have gone for Frank Zappa and the Mothers of Invention here) Having anyone, including a band of merrymakers and hepcats, that can get on your wavelength, pick up what you’re diggin’ out, beat with your drum, that is a special person indeed. You grab on and don’t let go. And, if you’re a part of either of these bands, you make groundshaking , eccentric, hip-hop psychedelic love music!
3. Iggy Pop and the Stooges ( I would also lump Joan Jett and the Blackhearts into this number as well) When you have a truly punk-rooted rock band tearing it up and egging fans into a frenzy, the last thing you want is egos getting in the way. Joan Jett and Mr. Pop made it very clear that they are here to rock, to bring themselves out for the fans and the music, and anyone who wants to jam with them is welcome, but watch for flying limbs and spit!
2. Smokey Robinson and the Miracles I fell in love with them through so many songs, and with 19 years on the charts, they had a ton. Anyone that can smoothly and beautifully transition for doo-wop to disco, I salute you.
1. Janis Joplin with Big Brother and the Holding Company. They need no other proof that they are the face-meltingest, Number One backing band than this video: