Rockwell - Somebody's Watching Me


Rockwell - Somebody's Watching Me

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"Somebody's Watching Me"
Single by Rockwell
from the album Somebody's Watching Me
B-side "Somebody's Watching Me (Instrumental)"
Released January 14, 1984
Format
  • 7" single
Recorded 1983
Genre Synth-funk
Length 4:59 (Album version)
4:00 (Single version)
3:33 (Radio version)
Label

Motown M1702 (U.S.)

Motown TMG 1331 (UK)

Writer Kennedy "Rockwell" Gordy
Producer Curtis Anthony Nolen
Certification
  • Gold (CRIA)
  • Gold+Gold (RIAA)
Rockwell singles chronology
  "Somebody's Watching Me"
(1984)
"Obscene Phone Caller"
(1984)

 

"Somebody's Watching Me" is the debut single by American artist Rockwell, released on the Motown label in 1984. It featured former Jackson 5 members Michael Jackson on the chorus and Jermaine Jackson on additional backing vocals.

 
 

Original recording

Rockwell is the 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. Singleton served as executive producer on the project and would occasionally play some demo tracks to Berry Gordy. 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 ex-Motown artist Michael Jackson and Alan Murray on percussion. "Somebody's Watching Me" peaked at no. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1984, and reached the top of the Billboard Black singles chart — where it stayed for five weeks — as well as reaching no.6 on the UK Singles Chart.

Music video

The single's music video underscores the song's paranoid tone with a haunted house-inspired theme, including imagery of floating heads, ravens, graveyards, and shower scenes referencing Psycho. The mailman who appears in the music video for "Somebody's Watching Me" also stars in the video for "Obscene Phone Caller." This was a low-budget video produced by The Wolfe Company, directed by Francis Delia; cinematography by Dominic Sena; production manager, Jason Braunstein; and production coordinator, Jon Leonoudakis. Leonoudakis appears in the video as the visual metaphor "watching" Rockwell through the porthole of the front door.

Charts and certifications

Chart (1984) Position
Belgium (Ultratop 50 Flanders) 13
Canada (RPM Top 100 Singles) 28
France (IFOP) 46
Italy (FIMI) 84
Netherlands (Dutch Top 40) 16
Netherlands (Single Top 100) 46
US Billboard Hot 100 26
US Cash Box 21

Sales and certifications

 

 

Rockwell - Somebody's Watching Me / Somebody's Watching Me (instrumental)

U.K. Motown TMG 1331 (1974)

The vinyl record attains a strong excellent grading, suggesting few plays.

Audio quality is very clear and strong throughout.

Both record centre labels are clean and unmarked.

The record comes with an original company paper sleeve.

Browse this category: Soul/R&B & Motown Singles