15 Musical Collaborations

I was excited to read this morning that Elvis Costello is heading into the studio with The Roots – truly one of the most excellent musical collaborations to look forward to in recent years. I love the statement that “…the results suggest a 21st-century version of Watergate-era funk – Armed Forces by way of There’s a Riot Goin’ On.” I’m a big fan of collaborations – even on my own songs – but what about some other musical collaborations of note? Here’s a selection…

James Brown and Luciano Pavarotti – It’s a Man’s Man’s Man’s World

This one is my favourite – just brilliant performances from two legends. Drugs, women and soul meet food, charity work and opera! This was performed during a “Pavarotti and Friends” concert on May 28 2002.


Aerosmith and Run-DMC – Walk This Way

One of the originals and one of the best – who doesn’t love this track?


Eminem and Elton John – Stan (live at the Grammy’s)

The anti-gay Eminem teams up with Elton John in a decision that messed with the minds of both their fans at 2001 Grammy Awards. But you have to admit it does work.


Jack White and Alicia Keys – Another Way to Die

This should have turned out better than it did – two artists that promise so much but somehow it doesn’t do either one of them justice.


Weezer and Lil Wayne – Can’t Stop Partying

Okay, so I’m a Rivers Cuomo fan-boy, and having a rapper guest in a song is hardly ground-breaking, but I kind of like what this delivers – stylistic crossover that retains the strengths of each act.


Dave Grohl and Norah Jones – Virginia Moon

Speaking of man-crushes, the awesome Dave Grohl cranks out a classic collaboration here – this video is more about the making of than the song itself, but you see how much all of them enjoyed the process.


Metallica and Lou Reed – The View

Reed’s voice slots into the Metallica sound seamlessly in this one – but the song just doesn’t deliver the kind of results this collaboration should have.


Nelly and Tim McGraw – Over And Over

Not sure if the hip-hop meets country thing works here – it ends up being a bit predictable, which you wouldn’t expect would be possible when you see their two names together.


Tammy Wynette and KLF – Justified and Ancient

I’m guilty of liking this one. It’s another unlikely pairing but – as is my measure for collaboration success – they retain their individual appeal but still create something new.


Tom Jones and Art Of Noise – Kiss

Similar to the Tammy Wynette/KLF collaboration, this one is another good combo!


Nick Cave and Kylie Minogue – Where The Wild Roses Grow

Kylie was as pop as they come when Cave asked her to join him – and the result is a cracker (and broadened Kylie’s appeal among the “cool” set.)


Sonic Youth and Cypress Hill – I Love You Mary Jane

Ya reckon this combo had been smokin’ when they decided to do this?


Florence and the Machine and Dizzee Rascal – You’ve Got The Dirtee Love

At the BRIT Awards in 2010 this unlikely duo came together – and it’s another pretty good one.


KRS-1 and R.E.M – Radio Song

More a guest appearance than a collaboration but incredibly unlikely nonetheless. And more to the point, the involvement of KRS-1 really contributes a hell of a lot to this one.


Paul McCartney and Nirvana – Cut Me Some Slack

A wonderful pairing creating great music – can’t ask for much more than that! And you get another look at McCartney’s excellent cigar box guitar playing!

One Comment on “15 Musical Collaborations

  1. Here’s a favourite colab of mine, and one you might like. This is the opening track from the Nikki Sudden and Rowland S. Howard album ‘Kiss You Kidnapped Charabanc’. I bought the disc (yep, that long ago) based on the cover art and was hooked from the first anguished note.

    It would horrify me to discover that the whole album wasn’t recorded live in the early hours of the morning through a red wine haze. Fantastic stuff.


    And a side note; I once gave Roland a lift from a gig in St Kilda to a party in the loft of an abandoned house.

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