Classic Rock News

Keith Richards performs at the concert "Sing me Back Home: The Music of Merle Haggard" at Bridgestone Arena on Thursday, April 6, 2017, in Nashville, Tenn. (Photo by Al Wagner/Invision/AP)

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.

Rolling Stone has a list of 15 classic examples.  Here are the highlights:

“We’re An American Band”, Grand Funk Railroad, 1973 . . . sung by drummer Don Brewer.

“Take It to the Limit”, The Eagles, 1975 . . . sung by original bassist Randy Meisner.

“Beth”, KISS, 1976 . . . sung by drummer Peter Criss.

“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”.)

“Africa”, Toto, 1983 . . . sung by keyboardist David Paich.  It was the band’s only #1 single.

“Sister Christian”, Night Ranger, 1984 . . . sung by drummer Kelly Keagy, who wrote it for his younger sister.

“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.

“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.