"Somebody's Watching Me" became a commercial success internationally, topping the charts in Belgium, France and Spain. "Somebody's Watching Me" also peaked at number two on the US Billboard Hot 100, as well as reaching number six on the UK Singles Chart.
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 a familiar voice featured prominently on background vocals.
Produced by Curtis Anthony Nolen, the song featured backing vocals by Michael Jackson and Alan Murray on percussion.
Due in part to the popularity of the music video, the song is sometimes used for Halloween celebrations, with cover versions found in various collections of Halloween music.
The video opens with Rockwell coming home to discover that the wrong newspaper has been delivered to his doorstep. As he takes a quick shower, he begins to have strange visions (in a manner recalling The Dead Zone) of himself being pursued around his house by assorted ghoulish appartions, of the looming figure of a cadaverous-looking man, and of finding a tombstone engraved with his own name. His shower is interrupted when he hears something outside and goes out on his balcony to investigate. He is shocked to see the man from his visions standing at his gate, but as he struggles to get a better look in spite of the sun in his face he is greatly relieved to see that he is merely a mailman, come to deliver the correct newspaper. As the mailman walks up the path towards the front porch, however, a brief close-up of his arm reveals that he is, in fact, a zombie. Rockwell emerges onto the porch to receive the paper, which the mailman genially hands over. As the mailman brings his other arm around to strike, Rockwell has just enough time to notice that he is not human.
DJ BoBo based his 1992 single "Somebody Dance with Me" on "Somebody's Watching Me" with new lyrics and rap. The DJ BoBo single peaked at no. 1 in Sweden and Switzerland, no. 3 in Austria, Netherlands and Norway, at no. 4 in Germany and no. 13 in Australia. 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 in Swiss Hitparade reaching no. 4. The mix was made on the 20th anniversary of the initial hit by DJ BoBo in November 1992.
In 2006, Dutch dance group Beatfreakz recorded a pseudo-cover of the song which sampled the chorus but omitted the verses. Their version peaked at no. 1 in Spain, no. 3 in the UK Singles Chart, no. 3 in the German Official Dance Chart, no. 4 in Russia, no. 5 in Ireland, no. 7 in Finland and New Zealand, no. 12 in the Dutch Top 40, no. 18 in France, no. 36 in the Belgium Ultratop 50, and no. 38 in Australia.
The Mysto & Pizzi cover version was featured in a series of commercials for GEICO that began airing in December 2008 and throughout 2009. The campaign, created by The Martin Agency, consisted of various advertisements in which people would happen upon Kash, a stack of money with googly eyes, while the song is played in the background.
^ abcSomebody's Watching Me (Media notes). Rockwell. Hollywood, California: Motown Records. 1984.
^Gordy Singleton, Raynoma (1990). "Super Three". Berry, Me and Motown (1st ed.). Chicago: Contemporary Books. pp. 297–299. ISBN0-8092-4340-7. As they finished mixing down the record, I could barely wait to rush it over and play it for Berry.
^Higginson, Cheryl (May 1, 1984). "Rockwell Rockets Up The Popular Charts". Luddington Daily News.|access-date= requires |url= (help)