15 Superstar Musicians Who Subtly Appeared In Other Artists’ Songs

By 06.12.12

For no other reason than I wanted to listen to a song that sounded like the New York Dolls, but wasn’t actually performed by the New York Dolls, I put on R.E.M.’s “Crush with Eyeliner” this morning. That, in and of itself, isn’t particularly interesting; neither is the fact that I went to the song’s Wikipedia page the second “King of Comedy” came on. Where it does get interesting, though, is that Thurston Moore, of Sonic Youth fame, plays guitar and provides background vocals on “Crush,” something I never realized before. (Thanks, Wikipedia!)

That got me thinking: what other well-known songs include subtle guest appearances from other extremely famous musicians? Here are 15 other instances.

(Pic via Shutterstock)


Song: “Sing This All Together (See What Happens)” by the Rolling Stones
Guest Appearance: John Lennon and Paul McCartney, backing vocals


Song: “Out to Get You” by Grand Funk Railroad
Guest Appearance: Frank Zappa, guitar


Song: “Your Sweet And Shiny Eyes” by Bonnie Raitt
Guest Appearance: Tom Waits, piano and backing vocals


Song: “Midnight Special” by Harry Belafonte
Guest Appearance: Bob Dylan, harmonica


Song: “To Know You Is to Love You” by B.B. King
Guest Appearance: Stevie Wonder, keyboard


Song: “I’m a Lover Not a Fighter” by the Kinks
Guest Appearance: Jimmy Page, acoustic guitar


Song: “Bust a Move” by Young MC
Guest Appearance: Flea, bass


Song: “Ball and Chain” by Elton John
Guest Appearance: Pete Townshend, acoustic guitar


Song: “Letterbomb” by Green Day
Guest Appearance: Kathleen Hanna, as the taunter at the beginning


Song: “You Nearly Did Me In” by Ian Hunter
Guest Appearance: Freddie Mercury, Brian May, and Roger Taylor, backing vocals


Song: “Faster and Louder” by the Dictators
Guest Appearance: Bruce Springsteen, counting down “1-2-3-4” at the beginning


Song: “Twist of Cain” by Danzig
Guest Appearance: James Hetfield, backing vocals


Song: “Province” by TV on the Radio
Guest Appearance: David Bowie, backing vocals


Song(s): “Are You Hung Up?” and “Nasal Retentive Calliope Music” by Mothers of Invention
Guest Appearance: Eric Clapton, “male speaking part”


Song: “It’s All About the Benjamins (Rock Remix)” by Puff Diddy, Lil Kim, the LOX, and the Notorious B.I.G.
Guest Appearance: Tommy Stinson, Fuzzbubble, Rob Zombie, and Dave Grohl

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