Rock Music’s Greatest Collaborations
Mick Jagger & David Bowie – Dancing in the Streets
Corniest. Music video. Ever. But in a way, it’s kind of the best, right? The 1985 collaboration between the artist formerly known as Ziggy Stardust and The Rolling Stones rocking frontman earned them an MTV Music Video Award for Best Overall Performance, whatever that means. It means this is the first time we seriously considered Jagger to possibly be batting for both teams.
Robert Plant & Alison Krauss – Gone Gone Gone
The 2007 collaboration of Led Zeppelin’s leading man with bluegrass-country singer Alison Krauss gave people a different glimpse into the life of the melodic singer’s style, garnering the two a Grammy for Best Pop Collaboration With Vocals. The song, part of a T. Bone Burnett produced full length “Raising Sand,” features a low energy, smooth rhythm to the speed of a good Johnny Cash song but with the smooth vocals of Plant and his wing woman.
Jimmy Page & Puff Daddy – Come With Me
Before he was P. Diddy or Diddy or whoever the hell he is, Sean “Puffy” Combs actually put out some half-decent music in his day, including his “Kashmir” inspired “Come With Me” to the tune of Led Zeppelin’s Jimmy Page for the horrid “Godzilla” movie of the ’90s. The single was released in 1998 as part of the movie soundtrack and featured inspirational themes of the film itself.
Lenny Kravitz & Vanessa Paradis – Be My Baby
Before her days with Depp, the French singer actually dated and worked quite a bit with bombastic rocker, Lenny Kravitz, who wrote most of Paradis’ music upon her move to the United States. The 1992 song was a hit, featuring Kravitz and his guitar with her vocals lovingly laced overtop.
She & Him (Zooey Deschanel & M. Ward) – In the Sun
The “New Girl” star got her music chops out on the market with singer-songwriter M. Ward with their old fashioned, sunny pop licks. Featuring the cheery vocals and spunky dance moves of Zooey Deschanel and the smooth guitar licks of Ward, you get the happiest sound song created in 2010. But wouldn’t you rather have dark lyrics sugarcoated in happy sounding songs instead?
Santana & Rob Thomas – Smooth
Anybody who turned on the radio in 1999 got a load of this song every single time, as Santana invited Matchbox 20 singer, Rob Thomas, on board for his “Supernatural” release. The album went platinum 15 times and won nine Grammys, including Album of the Year.
Noel Gallagher & Johnny Marr – The Ballad of the Mighty I
The former Oasis guitarist who gave us “Champagne Supernova” and “Wonderwall” went successfully solo, and amidst doing his second release, “Chasing Yesterday,” we got this impressive single to round out the record. Featuring guitar chops only the former lead man of The Smiths, Johnny Marr, could deliver, we get an up tempo pop rock song for Brit rock, Noel Gallagher.
Rage Against the Machine & Maynard James Keenan (Tool) – Know Your Enemy
The debut, self-titled Rage Against the Machine record dropped in a little vocal appearance from prized vocalist Maynard James Keenan of Tool on their 1992 release. The song, despite not being one of the band’s initial singles, is considered by some critics as just as memorable as hits from the record like “Killing in the Name.”
Aerosmith & Run-D.M.C. – Walk This Way
The 1986 collaboration of ’80s rockers Aerosmith and Run-D.M.C. seemed like an unlikely mix until you heard it. Run-D.M.C. hijacked the 1975 single from Aerosmith’s “Toys in the Attic” and re-created it with their remix in the height of their fame. The music video features Aerosmith practicing, pissing off some urban folk (Run D.M.C.), and then ends with them taking over the vocals of the song and adding in their usual scratching. The song won the Soul Train Music Award for Best Rap Single in 1987.
Atoms for Peace – Before Your Very Eyes
It was such a good collaboration between Radiohead’s Thom Yorke and Red Hot Chili Pepper bassist Flea (and other highly talented musicians) that they made an entire record behind the supergroup surname Atoms for Peace. This was their third single from their debut album, “Amok.” Both Radiohead and the Peppers are set to release new music in 2016, so it’s not likely we’ll get more of this collaboration in the near future.