This is a continuing activity that Sugar and I are doing for our own amusement. Every so often one of us posts a theme, and we both come up with three or more songs that we feel fit the theme. There are no other rules, and the objective is to have fun and maybe have another song to add to our DiNOPods.
For this go-around Sugar chose “duets”. That theme includes so much good music that it’s a struggle to keep the number down, but I’m going with these five:
Gordon Matthew Sumner & Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta – King and Queen of Pain
When Sugar put up the Duets theme, this was one of the first ones to come to mind. Sorry for the names, but I’ve always thought Gordon had a great name for a musician. Two of the most talented musicians and performers of their generations, putting a new spin on an old classic. Sting and Gaga are an unlikely pairing, and that’s one of the things that draws me to collaborations. This performance is amazing. People think Gaga is a hack, but they confuse the musician and the performance artist. The woman’s talent is undeniable. I don’t care if she wants to wear a dress made of cold cuts.
Annie Lennox & Luciano Pavarotti – There Must Be An Angel (Playing With My Heart)
Absolute gold. Total contradiction in personalities and styles. It’s a blast watching them on stage together. Luciano can’t help but wiggle his considerable bulk. Annie looks like she’s having loads of fun. There are a lot of great Pavarotti collaborations; this is my favorite.
Trent Reznor, Nine Inch Nails & David Bowie – Hurt
Speaking of strange pairings. Bowie has always been a strange one (Ziggy Stardust!) and having him tour with NIN back in 1995 was weird. It kind of worked on some level though. Reznor’s nihilistic anthem “Hurt” was a showcase for the fusion, with Bowie sub-vocalizing through Reznor’s trademark growl. Sound quality is pretty bad on this clip, sadly.
Elton John & George Michael – Don’t Let the Sun Go Down on Me
Another collaboration of generational stars. Sir Elton is a legend, but George is a personal favorite. His voice has very few peers, and he can sing pretty much anything. He sounds so good on this track, and on his collaboration with Queen when he filled in as lead vocal on their Freddie Mercury tribute tour.
Frank Sinatra & Antonio Carlos Jobim – Corcovado, Change Partners, I Concentrate on You, Girl From Ipanema
I was so happy when I found this on YouTube. This video is from November 13, 1967! The Sinatra/Jobim Bossa Nova album is in my personal top 10 of all time. Goddam Frank at the height of his powers, lounging around, relaxing, having a smoke or two, all the while with his perfect phrasing of a set of freaking bossa nova classics. All he needed was a glass of whiskey. The way he pronounces “Ipanema” with his Jersey accent is so distinctive. So effortless, both of them. So perfect.
I like that we’re going in different directions with our themes. So far I’ve chosen “Unusual Love Songs” and “Go-To Karaoke Songs” while Sugar has named “Acoustic” and “Duets”.
Ok Sugar, here’s the next theme. “Songs That Tell a Story.” Interpret it however you wish. 🙂