Somebody's Watching Me

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"Somebody's Watching Me"
Somebody's Watching Me by Rockwell US 12-inch.jpg
Side-A label of the US 12-inch vinyl single
Single by Rockwell
from the album Somebody's Watching Me
B-side"Somebody's Watching Me (Instrumental)"
ReleasedJanuary 14, 1984[1]
Recorded1983[2]
StudioMars Recording Studios (Los Angeles, California)[1]
Genre
Length
  • 4:59 (album/12-inch single version)
  • 3:57 (single version)
LabelMotown
Songwriter(s)Kennedy "Rockwell" Gordy
Producer(s)
  • Curtis Anthony Nolen
  • Rockwell
Rockwell singles chronology
"Somebody's Watching Me"
(1984)
"Obscene Phone Caller"
(1984)
Music video
"Somebody's Watching Me" on YouTube

"Somebody's Watching Me" is a song recorded by American singer Rockwell, released by the Motown label in 1984, as the lead single from his debut studio album of the same name. It features guest vocals by brothers Michael Jackson (in the chorus) and Jermaine Jackson (additional backing vocals).[5] The song became a major commercial success internationally, topping the charts in Belgium, France, and Spain, and reaching the top 5 in Canada, West Germany, the Netherlands, New Zealand, South Africa, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United States.[6][7] In the UK, it reached No. 6 and is Rockwell's only top 40 hit on the UK Singles Chart.[8]

Background and composition[edit]

Rockwell is a son of Motown CEO Berry Gordy. At the time of the recording, Rockwell was estranged from his father and living with Ray Singleton, his father's ex-wife and the mother of his older half-brother, Kerry Gordy. Singleton served as executive producer on the project and would occasionally play some demo tracks to Berry. The elder Gordy was less than enthusiastic about Rockwell's music until he heard the single with Michael Jackson's familiar voice featuring prominently on background vocals.[5][9]

"Somebody's Watching Me" was written in the key of C minor, though the final recording is a quarter tone sharp. The song is in 4
4
time
with a tempo of 124 beats per minute. The vocals span from C4 to C5.[10]

Produced by Curtis Anthony Nolen, the song featured backing vocals by Michael and Jermaine Jackson, with Alan Murray on percussion.[5][11]

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
Canada (Music Canada)[42] Gold 50,000^
United States (RIAA)[43] Gold 1,000,000^
United States (RIAA)[43]
Digital
Gold 500,000*

* Sales figures based on certification alone.
^ Shipments figures based on certification alone.

DJ BoBo version: "Somebody Dance with Me"[edit]

DJ BoBo based his 1992 single "Somebody Dance with Me" on "Somebody's Watching Me" with new lyrics and rap. The DJ BoBo single reached No. 1 in Sweden and Switzerland, and the Top 5 in Austria, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands and Norway. In 2012, a remix of the hit was made by Remady titled "Somebody Dance With Me (Remady 2013 Mix)" by DJ BoBo featuring Manu-L. Released early in 2013, it charted on the Swiss Hitparade, reaching No. 4. The mix was made on the 20th anniversary of the initial hit by DJ BoBo in November 1992.

Beatfreakz version[edit]

"Somebody's Watching Me"
1 betafrez.jpg
Single by Beatfreakz
ReleasedMay 1, 2006 (2006-05-01)
GenreHouse
Length2:48
Label
Songwriter(s)Kennedy "Rockwell" Gordy
Producer(s)Beatfreakz
Beatfreakz singles chronology
"Somebody's Watching Me"
(2006)
"Superfreak"
(2006)
Music video
"Somebody's Watching Me" on YouTube

In 2006, Dutch dance group Beatfreakz recorded a pseudo-cover of the song that samples the chorus but omitted the verses. This version was a top-10 hit in Belgium, Finland, Ireland, New Zealand, and the United Kingdom.

Track listing[edit]

Dutch CD single[44]

  1. "Somebody's Watching Me" (Hi_Tack radio edit)
  2. "Somebody's Watching Me" (Hi_Tack remix)
  3. "Somebody's Watching Me" (Dennis Christopher remix)
  4. "Somebody's Watching Me" (E-Craigs 2006 mix)
  5. "Somebody's Watching Me" (BeatFreakz Clubmix)
  6. "Somebody's Watching Me" (Ian Carey club mix)

Charts[edit]

Certifications[edit]

Region Certification Certified units/sales
United Kingdom (BPI)[71] Silver 200,000double-dagger

double-dagger Sales+streaming figures based on certification alone.

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format(s) Label(s) Ref.
United Kingdom May 1, 2006 (2006-05-01) CD Data [72]
Australia June 26, 2006 (2006-06-26) CD Ministry of Sound [73]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

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  2. ^ Newman, Jason. "How 'Somebody's Watching Me' Singer Rockwell Created a Paranoid Pop Classic". Rolling Stone.
  3. ^ Huey, Steve. "Rockwell – Artist Biography". AllMusic. Archived from the original on November 17, 2019. Retrieved October 18, 2014.
  4. ^ Reed, Ryan (March 27, 2020). "The 100 Best Beatles Covers". Ultimate Classic Rock. Retrieved December 19, 2021.
  5. ^ a b c Somebody's Watching Me (Media notes). Rockwell. Hollywood, California: Motown Records. 1984.{{cite AV media notes}}: CS1 maint: others in cite AV media (notes) (link)
  6. ^ "The Hot 100". Billboard. March 24, 1984. Retrieved December 16, 2018.
  7. ^ "The Hot 100". Billboard. March 31, 1984. Retrieved December 16, 2018.
  8. ^ a b "Official Singles Chart Top 100". Official Charts Company. Retrieved July 23, 2013.
  9. ^ Gordy Singleton, Raynoma (1990). "Super Three". Berry, Me and Motown (1st ed.). Chicago: Contemporary Books. pp. 297–299. ISBN 0-8092-4340-7. As they finished mixing down the record, I could barely wait to rush it over and play it for Berry.
  10. ^ "Somebody's Watching Me By Rockwell – Digital Sheet Music". Musicnotes. Retrieved February 28, 2017.
  11. ^ Higginson, Cheryl (May 1, 1984). "Rockwell Rockets Up The Popular Charts". Luddington Daily News.
  12. ^ Kent, David (1993). Australian Chart Book 1970–1992. St Ives, N.S.W.: Australian Chart Book. ISBN 0-646-11917-6.
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