- Paperback: 208 pages
- Publisher: Panoma Press; First Edition edition (June 8, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1909623849
- ISBN-13: 978-1909623842
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 11.7 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 16 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #683,336 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Backtrack: The Voice Behind Music's Greatest Stars Paperback – June 8, 2015
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About the Author
If you were listening to music during the 1980s and 1990s then chances are that Tessa Niles performed live with some of your favourite artists and sang on your most loved tracks. Her first big break came in 1983 when Sting asked her to join The Police on the Synchronicity World Tour. Niles went on to perform with David Bowie at the legendary Live Aid concert and sang on Bowie and Jagger's hit Dancing in the Streets. She then joined Eric Clapton's band and collaborated on the first of MTV's Unplugged series which spawned the classic versions of Layla and Tears in Heaven. Producer Trevor Horn and Niles worked on many projects together including The Pet Shop Boys, ABC, Grace Jones, Frankie Goes to Hollywood, Tatu and Seal. She worked on four albums with Tina Turner and on the worldwide hits What's Love Got To Do With It? and Simply The Best. Niles recorded with Duran Duran on their hits Come Undone and Notorious. She sang on the soundtrack to the films Love Actually, Four Weddings and a Funeral and Bridget Jones's Diary. Throughout the last three decades Tessa Niles has performed with some of the most iconic artists in music: George Harrison, Annie Lennox, Tears For Fears, The Pet Shop Boys, The Rolling Stones, Paul McCartney, Elton John, Kylie Minogue and Robbie Williams to name a few.
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1) I too thouhght backup singers were singers who just "couldn't make it" as lead singers. Her passion, knowledge and commitment to her craft convinced me that back up singers have just as much talent and, in fact, may even have the more difficult end of the stick.
2) There is no smut - she speaks of many "stars" with whom she has worked but always in a professional manner.
For me it was always interesting why Tessa never really tried to make solo career. She had great voice, singing versatility, she was beautiful at least. This book will give you answer. Tessa is some kind of "team player" in sport terms, she hasn't big ego, like most well known music stars and she really enjoys backing solo artists more than making her own stuff.
Her memoir reads wonderfully and gives lots of insights into the unique world of the backup singer. The great ones (and Tessa has worked with almost all of them) aren't necessarily looking for stardom but focus instead on serving the song and the lead singer. She has stories about the artists she has performed with - David Bowie, Sting, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, Tina Turner and more - but her honest descriptions of the challenges of maintaining family stability and a balance between her professional and private lives are among the most interesting parts of this well written book.