“Somebody’s Watching Me” Performed By Rockwell (1984)

October 8, 2009


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Rockwell – Somebody’s Watching Me (1983) US #2 R&B & #2 Pop, UK #6,

I will stay in my least favorite pop musical decade just a wee bit longer and tell you about the male artist (not much of a vocalist since he talks through his major hit record) that went by the name of Rockwell because he believed that he “rocked well.”

Rockwell was in reality Kennedy William Gordy, the son of Motown CEO Berry Gordy Jr and Margaret Norton.

The self-penned single, “Somebody’s Watching Me,” came from his first of four albums that he released in the Eighties on the Motown label. This single was his only top ten hit.

Rockwell grew up with Michael and Jermaine Jackson who are both singing background vocals on his hit. In fact Michael’s voice is so prominent that many people erroneously thought is was a Michael Jackson song when it first came out: I know I did.

Enjoy the promotional video below as a blast from the past as long as it stays available on YouTube.

Musically Yours,


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Filed under:Eighties,Magnificent Male Vocalists,Motown,Pop/R&B,Rockwell,Rockwell Composer,Somebody's Watching Me

{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

1 SupaStarry October 8, 2009 at 11:26 pm

LOL i thought it was Michael too! i neva heard the full song but they playin the hell out of it in them Geico commercials! im not complainin tho cuz i always sing along lol.

P.S. you don’t like the 80′s Sondan? some of my favorite songs came from the 80′s lol


2 SonDan October 10, 2009 at 9:53 pm

Gotta admit it is real catchy chorus. The a GEICO advertising team sure knows their stuff! (SMILE) Supa S, I think that there are some nice dance tunes from the Eighties and a some great soul ballads are probably sprinkled in there too — but it’s that Pop Synth sound that I did not care for much then and it sounds very, very dated now IMHO. I think that the only person that can make the synthesiser work to the benefit of the music if the great Stevie Wonder. Those bogus drum machines drove me bonkers too. I like real instruments played by real musicians! Funk Brothers forever! (LOL)


3 SupaStarry October 10, 2009 at 11:35 pm

oh ok, i get you. i know what you mean because when you hear a song from the 80′s, you automatically know its from the 80′s because of that “80′s sound” (hope that made sense to you lol). i agree it is dated but i cant help but love it. and as soon as you mentioned the synthesizer i knew you were gonna say Stevie lol. and im with you on the Funk Brothers Forever! LOVE them!


4 nixonradio October 22, 2009 at 9:03 am

I always thought this was a Michael Jackson record when I was growing up, too!

A Rockwell anecdote: Apparently he was worried that people wouldn’t take him seriously if he went under his original name, because everyone would assume he only got his record deal through nepotism, so he auditioned with Motown anonymously, hiding it from his parents, deliberately avoiding anyone who’d met him, and only telling dad he was the mysterious new signing “Rockwell” after he was signed. Good for him.

I know what you mean about the artificial instruments; for me, a lot of Motown’s 70s and 80s output are actually decent songs which are marred beyond repair by this generic plasticky backing which sounds so horribly dated and cheesy now. (Most of Ian Levine’s Motorcity re-recordings are verging on the unlistenable for the same reason). There were a lot of bands who really made synths and drum machines work to make great pop records – as well as Kraftwerk, I’m thinking specifically of late 70s/early 80s British synth pop groups like OMD, Echo & the Bunnymen, Wire, Gary Numan, the Human League – which had their own sort of soul and spirit, but most pop acts just misused them, making records that just sounded thin, soulless, artificial. A shame.


5 SonDan October 22, 2009 at 8:59 pm

Hi nixonradio,

Thanks for sharing the anecdote: I wonder what Mr. Gordy thought once he found out Rockwell was his son? ;-)

Yeah, I have to be in a specific mood to listen to most of the Eighties stuff .. but I did like Human League. I had forgotten all about them.
A great project for a new CD would be to take songs that were popular 80s snyth and remake them by some of the current artists of to day in a more classic style. I think you are correct in saying that there were great songs disguised by that terrible over-production style. You and I should split the profit from this venture 50/50. Don’t you think? (LOL)


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