We've Got Your Back: The 10 Best Backing Bands of All Time

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bluesman51

In 1970 only really dedicated fans of Eric Clapton knew that Eric was "Derek" in Derek and the Dominoes when the band first came out. And that's the way Clapton wanted it at the time. He was tired of the "Clapton is god" image and just wanted to be part of the band. Even though they only released one album, as with "Blind Faith" the musicians behind Clapton, Carl Radle on bass, Bobby Whitlock vocals and keyboard, and the great Jim Gordon on drums, (and of course Duane Allman on shared lead guitar on the studio album)were my all-time favorite backup band.

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mslavik

Good choices all.

I realize that this might strike some as odd, but how about the Beatles? They got their start backing up singers in the nightclubs of Hamburg and then backing up British vocalists such as Tony Sheridan.

gregmein

Are you kidding me? The Silver Bullet Band wasn't even on the list and should have been number 1!

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classicrockguy

The Faces.....best backing band ever!

stillrock

Hello? Big Brother and the Holding Company? Full Tilt Boogie? Janice Joplin had amazing backing bands!

jd111358

Badfinger at BanglaDesh

The Funk Brothers!

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redstrat8

THE JEFF BECK GROUP WASN'T ON BLOW BY BLOW -SOLO STUFF

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GreenBird

Because you sent this out on email list to remind us of this list. I would like to once again point out that the "band" is way to low on this list.

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paul santos

the JB,s the godfather of souls back up band ,The Blizzard of Ozz ,the only good shit ozzy ever put out lol really

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t.k. morgan

No Mellow Mafia?!?

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vabeast

Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes

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doubleg23

The Dominos definitely belong on this list. They are one of the all-time great bands. The Crickets too...

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Tight but loose

The BAND should be #1. Notable MIA for this list:
1)The Dominos(Clapton's best work)
2)The James Brown Band(Hit me!Hey!!)
3)The Silver Bullet Band(Seger's best work)
4)The Experience(Put Jimi on the map)
5)Elvis' late 50's Band with Scotty Moore(Elvis' best work)
6)The Blizzard of Ozz(Ozzy's best solo work)
7)The Family Stone(Hit me again!!)
8)Big Brother and The Holding Co.(Put Janis on the map)
9)Eat 'em and Smile Band(Ate 'em and Smiled)
10) The Jeff Beck Group(Blow by Blow/Wired...AMAZING!)

Yeah,I know I made it TOP 20 so we'll have to debate the order since I can't omit any of them. Peace- :)

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loral

Oh Man....

That SRV cut was just tastey!

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jon_tbone

Correction to the piece on The Wailers: Donald Kinsey replaced Al Anderson in the band and appeared on Rastaman Vibration but left Jamaica and the band after Marley was shot.
Kinsey was later to front The Kinsey Report.

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vince8082

Never quite considered Neil Young a musician. There is a big difference between playing a guitar than beating music out of it. I think I would have preferred to seen Silver Bullet Band instead of Crazy Horse. The difference in the quality of the music and the performance they put on is like night and day. But then it's just one persons opinion.

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GreenBird

THE BAND, while on this list is way to low. They belong in the top five. I agreed with Crazy Horse and E Street Band. But the band belonged in the top five with them. Levon Helm alone elevated the band to legend status. I think GW puts an article together and tries to add something that will bring controversy.

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Marley10

Really!??!!! Either this list is way too short or ya'll just have amnesia. Throughout history, WHAT band has been tighter than the JBs? C'mon, you have to give credit to them. James Brown was a singer and an entertainer. How often did you see him behind the drums, playing piano, vibing with a bass? Never because he had too much work to do up in front. The foundation for who we was as a singer and dancer rested heavily on the JBs. Honestly, they should be, without a doubt, #1. Now consider this. In the same way that Star Wars and The Matrix changed the way movies were made and viewed, or the shift in understanding after Jimi Hendrix and Eddie Van Halen came on the scene, so to was James Brown's impact on music. And the foundation for that was the JBs. Without them we would not have Parliament/Funkadelic (as most of the JBs left for that outfit) Larry Graham, Prince, Hip Hop, and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

Question: Can the Bluesbreakers fit into this category?
Nice touch adding The Roots. Really never expected to see them get any sort of mention in a high quality magazine such as GW. Nice. Also like the mention of both the Wailers and Double Trouble.

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gnri

Sorry funk doesn't count.

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Marley10

Just thought about something. Y'all should do a column on "Top Switch Artists" This would be the artists who caused a monumental shift in the way music, or an instrument, was played. The shift was so great that everything changed after this/these artist/s were introduced.
A few candidates:
Robert Johnson
Muddy Waters / Howlin' Wolf
Do Diddley
Chuck Berry
Jerry Lee Lewis
Ray Charles
Elvis Presley
Pops Staples
Jimi Hendrix
Eric Clapton
James Brown
Edward Van Halen
Bob Marley
Stevie Ray Vaughan
Rza
Tom Morello
and just because I know he would be so vocal about his lack of respect
Little Richard

jefffos

Only if you take Elvis out of the equation. The only thing he changed was that white people could listen to black music without getting in trouble. He was a thief who used others talents and songs to get famous and dies stinking rich while the real musicians he stole from died broke. Don't ever call Elvis a musician. He never wrote music and could barely play guitar. He was a performer, period! F**k Elvis!

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Damaged262

For you to say f*%k Elvis is no less than discrediting any musician who has played anything period. He didn't play guitar worth a damn, something that can be seen in his performances as he blatantly mocks the fact he's holding a guitar and does virtually nothing with it. He knew, any real musician watching would realize it was a prop. Just watch Aloha from Hawaii, with the sound off of course or you might hurt yourself possibly, and you'll see him mocking the very guitar he's holding. It's called "tongue in cheek". Would that also make any performer who were visual artists less than actual musicians or singers, such as Devo or the Talking Heads? He was "pretty/handsome", as far as the standards for the day for a man and he took advantage of it, how many would listen to 9 time Grammy winning Sheryl Crow were she not bangable (my opinion, but I don't discount her music just because I don't care for it), but he also had a great voice and he paid his dues to have the right use it, singing gospel as a child in his church for many years which involved blacks and whites and allowed for the growth of his style, for example. Does that take away from what he did? I'm know Janis Joplin sang many songs not self authored and that doesn't diminish her legacy, right? Because if that makes him any less of a musician, then everyone who didn't write their own material don't count either, like Quiet Riot singing Cum on Feel the Noise which made them famous enough that the band members ended up becoming lots of bands back ups. So stop being so disingenuous, not every famous person who fronts a band or almost any band ever, wrote all their own stuff, or do I need to remind you about the famous Family Guy episode involving Ann Murray. Also, you either admit that most bands started out doing covers or you're an uninformed asshole who doesn't deserve to share your opinion with others that paid their dues more often than not by playing other peoples music. So you don't like Elvis, fine. This isn't politics, keep the negative crap to a minimum unless you've presently become the hottest indie thing since Thrash became a thing. Also, guitar players of a country persuasion would probably dismiss your comment out of hand as that's standard practice in their field. Or, is the highest selling music on the planet not worthy of your opinion? Not my type of music, but it can't be ignored, you would swap your musical choice for that position in a heartbeat or you're a liar. In addition, does that make every musician who's played any music on any album less of a musician if they didn't write the music? Your comment is beyond contempt.

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guitarmorseknopfler

How about Toto? I know that they were never a backing band in the form of "so and so and Toto", but they did play on literally thousands of records as a group(such as Thriller by Michael Jackson) and with their own stuff, which is great as well

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chromecity

No mention of The Eagles? All 4 original members were part of Linda Ronstadt's backing band. Seems like a pretty big omission from this list.

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RonZabrocki

The Wrecking Crew... But good choices.

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RonZabrocki

The Wrecking Crew... But good choices.

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