Has any group of dedicated group of backing vocalists added more to a song than the Pips do behind Gladys Knight on “Midnight Train to Georgia”? Their performance is essential to the song. If you must throw studio backing vocalists and band members who sing background vocals as well as play instruments into the discussion to make it a challenge, go for it with the knowledge that I’ll be tsk tsk-ing you for taking the easy way out. If I weren’t playing the “bigger man” you’d be fed up with me for my silly exclusions and seemingly on-the-fly rules.
I’m not the world’s greatest fan of backing vocals, but when done so when and when arranged as such an essential part of the song I can’t help but be dazzled. Whoo-hoo!