When Bone Thugs N Harmony asked to sample Phil Collins’ ‘Home’, the former Genesis man had a better idea – he would adopt the name Chrome Bone, sing the chorus himself and wander moodily through a Swiss town with the Ohio bruisers. Unfortunately, Chrome Bone neglected to invite Thugs back to drop a verse on his theme tune for Disney’s Tarzan. Shame.
On his path to global domination, Jigga dropped a guest verse on forgotten single ‘Be Alone No More’ from garage pop chart botherers Another Level. Jay, of course, went on to marry Beyoncé and redefine rap, becoming one of its biggest selling artists of all time. Dane Bowers meanwhile was recently spotted on Twitter trying to flog his collection of vintage Star Wars toys.
Jaws dropped in April 2012 when The Flaming Lips somehow managed to make Ke$ha’s nasal sing-talking sound tolerable on track ‘2012 (You Must Be Upgraded)’. Jaws dropped even further when frontman Wayne Coyne called Ke$ha “badass” and revealed they were working on an album called ‘Lip$ha’ together. The dream never became a reality. RIP Lip$ha.
Damon Albarn once said that if he ever became friends with Noel Gallagher “Britpop would be over” so we’re sorry to report that on 25 March 2013 the genre died. The longtime enemies took to the stage together at a Teenage Cancer Trust gig in London to perform The Smiths’ ‘How Soon Is Now’, much to the horror of Liam Gallagher.
Released in 1994, Nelly and country singer Tim McGraw taught us an important life lesson with the video for their duet ‘Over And Over’. A split screen shows the boys going through identical heartbreak despite their different musical genres. Deep. They look sorrowfully at snaps of ex-girlfriends, sign autographs for pre-teen fans and wear identical floor-length leather jackets.
In April 1984, The Smiths re-released their early hit ‘Hand In Glove’, switching Morrisey’s solemn vocals for the power-punch of ’60s singer Sandie Shaw. The track reached number 27 in the UK charts and came with a (not hilarious at all) video of Sandie dancing like she’s five drinks down at a wedding while the band stare moodily at the camera waving a daffodil.
In 2009, Weezer enlisted Lil Wayne for rap-rock crossover ‘Can’t Stop Partying’. In 2010, a group of Weezer fans launched a fundraiser page offering the band an astonishing $10m to split up and stop further sullying the good name of seminal pop-punk albums ‘The Blue Album’ and ‘Pinkerton’. The two events were not unconnected.
As house band to US talk show schmoozer Jimmy Fallon, The Roots are used to collaboration – they’ve backed everyone from Bon Iver to Carly Rae Jepson. Even still, few people saw this one coming – ‘Wise Up Ghost’ a collaborative album with veteran songwriter Elvis Costello. Their clash of genres showed Questlove and co’s “limitless potential” according to NME writer Angus Batey in his review.
She said, how big is your dick, I said, how big is your mouth?” Gentlemanly poet laureates Marilyn Manson and Gucci Mane hooked up for cut “Pussy Wet” from ‘Diary of a Trap God’, the rapper’s September mixtape. There are certain things you need in life: three minutes of a washed-up shock rocker rapping clumsily about camel toe over clanking beats is not one of them.
When Eminem hooked up with Dido to work on track ‘Stan’ it seemed like an odd move. When the rapper took to the stage at the 2001 Grammys to perform the hit with Elton John minds were blown. They may have looked an odd couple – Em’ was wearing pale blue sweats while Elton donned a shiny pink and yellow spotted suit – but this was one collab that really worked.
1993 action thriller ‘Judgement Night’ is more remembered for its soundtrack than the film itself. An all-star cast of acts turned in collaborations for the OST, including Dinosaur Jr and Del the Funky Homosapien, Slayer and Ice-T and Mudhoney and Sir-Mix-A-Lot, but none weirder than Sonic Youth’s hook-up with kings of stoner rap Cypress Hill on ‘I Love You Mary Jane’.
In 1995, Kylie Minogue stopped doing The Loco-Motion just in time to take on a creepy duet with Nick Cave. ‘Where The Wild Roses Grow’ tells the story of a man obsessing over a woman before killing her. It seems Kylie didn’t mind playing the murder victim though, the pop star re-recorded the track in 2012 and hit the stage with Nick at a Camden gig in November 2013 to reprise the role yet again.
Phoenix and R. Kelly first got together at Coachella in April 2013 when the group brought out the saucy singer for mash up of ‘1901’ and ‘Ignition (Remix)’. A few months later, the unlikely pair took their relationship to the next level by releasing uncontrollably groovy ‘Trying To Be Cool’. Disappointingly, it didn’t come with free panties, but it did include the lyric “holla at the honeys”.
Imagine the scene: David Bowie’s popped round to his neighbour Sir Percival’s house only to find his “poor relation from America” Bing Crosby at the door. The pair head over to the piano and sing ‘Little Drummer Boy’ and ‘Peace On Earth’ together. Christmas magic is born. The scene was recorded for TV show ‘Bing Crosby’s Merrie Olde Christmas’ in 1977 and released by Bowie in 1982.
Sylvester Stallone and Dolly Parton recorded romantic country song ‘Sweet Lovin’ Friends’ while starring in 1984’s ‘Rhinestone’, a movie with the tagline ‘Can she turn this New York cabbie into a overnight sensation’. The song’s lyrics are equally well written: “You’re my kind of woman, you just naturally flow/ You’re my kind of man always raring to go”, and yes, Rocky can sing.
Lady Gaga and Joseph Gordon-Levitt teamed up for a unexpectedly sweet duet of ‘Baby It’s Cold Outside’ during a Muppets Thanksgiving TV special in November 2013. JGL is dapper, handsome, charming and surprisingly good at singing as the pair enjoy a little rough’n’tumble on a chaise lounge. Meanwhile Gaga is.. err.. Gaga.