Every now and then a lead singer needs a water break, so someone else takes over on vocals. And every now and then one of those songs becomes a huge hit. (And you know the lead singer HATES that!)
“Rolling Stone” has a list of 15 classic examples. Here are 10 highlights:
1. “We’re An American Band”, Grand Funk Railroad, 1973 . . . sung by drummer Don Brewer.
2. “Take It to the Limit”, The Eagles, 1975 . . . sung by original bassist Randy Meisner.
3. “Beth”, KISS, 1976 . . . sung by drummer Peter Criss.
4. “Don’t Fear the Reaper”, Blue Oyster Cult, 1976 . . . sung by guitarist Buck Dharma. (This one’s kind of a cheat . . .)
(All FIVE members of BOC sang. And while Eric Bloom was their most frequent lead singer, Buck sang a lot of tracks, including their three best-known songs, “Reaper”, “Burnin’ For You” and “Godzilla”.)
5. “Tempted”, Squeeze, 1980 . . . sung by keyboardist Paul Carrack, who was only with the band for ONE ALBUM.
6. “Africa”, Toto, 1983 . . . sung by keyboardist David Paich. It was the band’s only #1 single.
7. “Sister Christian”, Night Ranger, 1984 . . . sung by drummer Kelly Keagy, who wrote it for his younger sister.
8. “These Dreams”, Heart, 1986 . . . sung by guitarist Nancy Wilson. It was actually one of two songs they were offered by outside songwriters. The other one was “We Built This City”, which somehow became a hit for Starship.
9. “Don’t Look Back in Anger”, Oasis, 1996 . . . sung by Noel Gallagher. He presented this song and “Wonderwall” to his brother Liam and told him to pick which one he wanted to sing. Obviously, Liam chose “Wonderwall”.
10. “Happy”, The Rolling Stones, 1972 . . . sung by Keith Richards, who generally takes the vocals on one song per album, and this is one that became a hit.
(Hit up RollingStone.com to see the full list. They published it a while back, and are putting it back out there . . . possibly to get everyone’s mind off of the world’s current lead singer, COVID-19.)