Back Stabbers (song)

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"Back Stabbers"
Back Stabbers - O'Jays.jpg
Single by The O'Jays
from the album Back Stabbers
ReleasedJuly 1972 (1972-07)
LabelPhiladelphia International
The O'Jays singles chronology
"Looky Looky (Look at Me Girl)"
"Back Stabbers"
"992 Arguments"
Audio sample

"Back Stabbers" is a 1972 song by the O'Jays. Released from the hit album of the same name, the song spent one week at number one on the Hot Soul Singles chart. It was also successful on the pop charts, peaking at number three on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart in October 1972.[1] The narrator in "Back Stabbers" warns men about their male "friends" who smile to their faces, but are secretly planning to steal their wives or girlfriends.[2] It was also inspired by an earlier hit with a similar theme, the Undisputed Truth's "Smiling Faces Sometimes", the chorus of which is quoted at the end of the song. It was part of the soundtrack for the 1977 movie Looking for Mr. Goodbar.

Chart performance[edit]

Weekly charts[edit]

Chart (1972) Peak
Australia KMR[3] 92
Canada RPM [4] 39
UK [5] 14
US Billboard Hot 100[6] 3
US Billboard R&B 1
US Cash Box Top 100[7] 1

Year-end charts[edit]

Chart (1972) Rank
US Billboard Hot 100[8] 35
US Cash Box Top 100[9] 21

Cover versions[edit]

"Back Stabbers"
Single by Tina Turner
from the album Love Explosion
Released1979 (1979)
Producer(s)Alec R. Costandinos
Tina Turner singles chronology
"Love Explosion"
"Back Stabbers"
"Music Keeps Me Dancin'"

"Back Stabbers" is the second single from the 1979 album Love Explosion by Tina Turner. The song, along with the other two singles released from Love Explosion, was largely disco-oriented and was overlooked by audiences both in Europe and the United States due to the so-called "anti-disco backlash" at the time.

"Back Stabbers" was also covered by Stephen Cummings in 1983.

MFSB's 1973 debut album featured an extended instrumental cover of "Back Stabbers".

"Wish I Didn't Miss You" by Angie Stone features an interpolated composition of the song as well as samples.

R&B group TLC sampled the song on the track, "Case of the Fake People" from their 1994 album CrazySexyCool.

"Backstabbers" by Project Pat featuring Crucial Conflict have completely redone the instrumental and the chorus; released on the album Ghetty Green in 1999, produced by DJ Paul & Juicy J of Three 6 Mafia.

B.o.B aka Bobby Ray sampled "Back Stabbers" for his own song of the same name from his mixtape Who the F#*k is B.o.B? (2008).

In 1987, jazz fusion/contemporary jazz group The Rippingtons covered the song on their 1987 album "Kilimanjaro."[10]

Rock group Barkmarket covered "Back Stabbers" on their 1991 album Vegas Throat, employing spoken-word vocals and samples from the original O'Jays cut.

In 2000, the song was featured on The PJs episode "Weave's Have a Dream".

In 2008, Russell Watson covered the song on his album 'People Get Ready'.

In 2009, the song was used in Season 7, Episode 4 entitled "Soul" of the television show Cold Case.

In 2011, British soul and R&B singer-songwriter Seal included the song in his second cover album Soul 2.

In 2014, the song was featured on the Simpsons episode "Pay Pal".


  1. ^ Whitburn, Joel (2004). Joel Whitburn presents top R & B/hip-hop singles, 1942-2004. Menomonee Falls, WI: Record Research. p. 438. ISBN 978-0-89820-160-4.
  2. ^ Ankeny, Jason. "Back Stabbers" at AllMusic. Retrieved 14 October 2011.
  3. ^ David Kent's "Australian Chart Book 1970-1992" Archived March 5, 2016, at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ RPM
  5. ^ "Top 100 1972". Retrieved 15 October 2016.
  6. ^ Joel Whitburn's Top Pop Singles 1955-1990 - ISBN 0-89820-089-X
  7. ^ Archive
  8. ^
  9. ^ Cash Box Year-End Charts: Top 100 Pop Singles, December 30, 1972
  10. ^ Kohler, Paul. "Kilimanjaro - The Rippingtons" at AllMusic. Retrieved 14 October 2011.

External links[edit]