Rockwell (Somebody’s Watching Me)

Official Album Cover

The Album

Unveiling Paranoia: A Deep Dive into Rockwell (Somebody’s Watching Me)

In the annals of music history, certain albums stand out not just for their musical prowess but for their thematic resonance. Among these is Rockwell’s 1983 debut album, “Somebody’s Watching Me.” Released during a time of societal unease and technological advancement, the album captured the zeitgeist of paranoia and surveillance culture like no other.

The Man Behind the Music

Born Kennedy William Gordy, Rockwell was the son of Motown founder Berry Gordy. Despite being born into a musical dynasty, Rockwell carved his own path in the industry. His debut album, “Somebody’s Watching Me,” catapulted him into the limelight, largely due to its titular single.

The Hit Single: “Somebody’s Watching Me”

The title track, “Somebody’s Watching Me,” remains Rockwell’s most enduring legacy. The song’s infectious beat and catchy chorus masked its deeply paranoid lyrics. Over pulsating synths, Rockwell sings about the feeling of being constantly surveilled and haunted by unseen forces.

The song’s chorus, featuring the iconic line “I always feel like somebody’s watching me,” resonated with audiences worldwide. It tapped into a primal fear shared by many in the age of increasing surveillance and technological intrusion.

Exploring Paranoia and Surveillance Culture

Beyond its titular track, “Somebody’s Watching Me” delves into various facets of paranoia and surveillance culture. Tracks like “Obscene Phone Caller” and “Peeping Tom” further explore themes of invasion of privacy and the fear of being watched. These songs paint a vivid picture of a society gripped by paranoia, where even the most intimate spaces are not safe from prying eyes.

Collaborations and Influences

One of the album’s standout features is its collaborations. Rockwell enlisted the help of his childhood friend Michael Jackson, who provided backing vocals on “Somebody’s Watching Me.” Jackson’s contribution added an extra layer of star power to the album and helped propel it to commercial success.

Cultural Impact and Legacy

“Somebody’s Watching Me” struck a chord with audiences upon its release and continues to resonate to this day. Its themes of paranoia and surveillance remain relevant in an age where privacy concerns are more pertinent than ever. The song has been sampled and covered numerous times, cementing its status as a cultural touchstone.

Conclusion

Rockwell’s “Somebody’s Watching Me” is more than just an album; it’s a snapshot of a society grappling with the consequences of technological advancement. Its exploration of paranoia and surveillance culture remains as relevant today as it was in 1983. Through its infectious beats and thought-provoking lyrics, the album continues to captivate audiences and solidify Rockwell’s place in music history.

Track Listing

  1. Somebody’s Watching Me (featuring Michael Jackson)
  2. Obscene Phone Caller
  3. Taxman
  4. Change Your Ways
  5. Runaway (featuring Michael Jackson)
  6. Wasting Away”
  7. Knife
  8. Foreign Country
  9. Peeping Tom
  10. Somebody’s Watching Me (Instrumental)

Somebody’s Watching Me

Lyrics

[Intro]
Who’s watching?
Tell me, who’s watching?
Who’s watching me?

[Verse 1: Rockwell]
I’m just an average man with an average life
I work from nine to five, hey, hell, I pay the price
All I want is to be left alone in my average home
But why do I always feel like I’m in The Twilight Zone? And

[Chorus: Michael Jackson & Rockwell]
I always feel like somebody’s watchin’ me
And I have no privacy (Oh-oh-oh)
I always feel like somebody’s watchin’ me
Tell me, is it just a dream?

[Verse 2: Rockwell]
When I come home at night
I bolt the door real tight
People call me on the phone, I’m trying to avoid
But can the people on TV see me, or am I just paranoid?
When I’m in the shower, I’m afraid to wash my hair
‘Cause I might open my eyes and find someone standing there
People say I’m crazy, just a little touched
But maybe showers remind me of Psycho too much, that’s why

[Chorus: Michael Jackson and Rockwell]
I always feel like somebody’s watchin’ me
And I have no privacy (Oh-oh-oh)
I always feel like somebody’s watchin’ me
Who’s playing tricks on me?

[Instrumental Break]

[Verse 3: Rockwell]
(Who’s watching me?) I don’t know anymore
Are the neighbors watching me? (Who’s watching?)
Well, is the mailman watching me? (Tell me, who’s watching?)
And I don’t feel safe anymore, oh, what a mess
I wonder who’s watching me now (Who?), the IRS?

[Chorus: Michael Jackson & Rockwell]
I always feel like somebody’s watchin’ me
And I have no privacy (Oh-oh-oh)
I always feel like somebody’s watchin’ me
Tell me, is it just a dream?
I always feel like somebody’s watchin’ me (Hee-hee-hee)
And I have no privacy (Oh-oh-oh-oh)
I always feel like somebody’s watchin’ me
Who’s playing tricks on me? (Who’s watching?)

[Bridge: Michael Jackson & Rockwell]
Oh-oh-oh
(Who’s watching me?)
I always feel like somebody’s watchin’ me
Ooh, now, ah, ooh
I always feel like somebody’s watchin’ me
(Who’s watching me?)
I always feel like somebody’s watchin’ me
Ooh, now, ah, ooh
I always feel like somebody’s watchin’ me
(Who’s watching me?)

[Chorus: Michael Jackson & Rockwell]
I always feel like somebody’s watchin’ me
And I have no privacy (Oh-oh-oh-oh)
I always feel like somebody’s watchin’ me
I can’t enjoy my tea (Who’s watching me?)
I always feel like somebody’s watchin’ me
Can I have my privacy? (Oh-oh-oh)
I always feel like somebody’s watchin’ me
Who’s watching me? (Who’s watching me?)
I always feel like somebody’s watchin’ me
Hee-hee, oh-oh-oh-oh
I always feel like somebody’s watchin’ me
Stop playing tricks on me, yeah (Who’s watching me?)
I always feel like somebody’s watchin’ me
Why don’t they leave me be? (Oh-oh-oh)
I always feel like somebody’s watchin’ me
I can’t enjoy my tea (Who’s watching me?)22

Reference

Somebody’s Watching Me (album) – Wikipedia