The best musical collaborations
17 October 2020, 09:00
When rock stars get together, wonderful things happen. Yes, collaborations are the name of the game. Here are some of our favourites.
Arctic Monkeys and Dizzee Rascal
Sheffield's finest were joined by the Bonkers rapper for the song Temptation Greets You Like Your Naughty Friend, which first appeared on the b-side of Brianstorm.
Arctic Monkeys - Temptation Greets You Like Your Naughty Friend (Lyrics)
Noel Gallagher and Johnny Marr
The former Oasis man enlisted the former Smiths man's guitar talents for the track The Ballad Of The Mighty I, on his second album, Chasing Yesterday. The love-in has continued with a number of guest appearances at each other's gigs.
Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds - Ballad Of The Mighty I (Official Music Video)
The Chemical Brothers and Noel Gallagher
Aside from the fact that they made two cracking tunes, Noel Gallagher’s collaboration with The Chemical Brothers helped continue to break down the boundaries between rock and dance. Setting Sun and Let Forever Be were psychedelic gems that pushed the Chems to the forefront, whilst displaying Noel’s musical intelligence at the same time. More than anything though, the tracks are proud nods to Lennon’s Tomorrow Never Knows – and you can’t get much better than that.
The Chemical Brothers - Let Forever Be (Official Music Video)
Wolfman and Peter Doherty
While Pete Doherty has spent the last ten years working on solo projects, the Libertines reunion and getting himself into all kinds of trouble, his delicate vocal performance on Wolfman’s For Lovers is one of his most tender moments.
Wolfman ft. Peter Doherty - For Lovers (Official Video)
Arcade Fire, James Murphy and David Bowie
Arcade Fire - Reflektor
Gorillaz and De La Soul
Gorillaz - Feel Good Inc. (Official Video)
Trugoy, Maseo and Posdunuos - or De La Soul to you - contributed vocals to this classic track from Blur's Damon Albarn and artist Jamie Hewlett. It's one of a long line of excellent Gorillaz collabs, the latest of which is with Robert Smith of The Cure.
Biffy Clyro and Josh Homme
The Queens Of The Stone Age legend provided some extra guitar for this tune from 2010's Only Revolutions album. Homme likes a collaboration - he's worked with Arctic Monkeys, of course, and the supergroup Them Crooked Vultures featuring Big Dave Grohl and Led Zeppelin's John Paul Jones.
Biffy Clyro - Bubbles (Official Music Video)
David Bowie and Nile Rodgers
Let's Dance was Bowie's fifteenth studio album and after the experimentation of the late 1970s, he wanted HITS. So he called on Nile Rodgers, whose group Chic were chart favourites and had done production wonders for the likes of Debbie Harry and Diana Ross. The result was a hugely slick album stuffed full of chart-pleasers, including the title track that went to Number 1 around the world.
David Bowie - Let's Dance (Official Video)
Electric Six and Jack White (maybe)
When Jack White collaborates he doesn’t do it by halves. Out of the various spots he’s popped up, the Electric Six performance is one of our favourites. Controversy has raged over whether it actually is Mr White howling in the background of Danger! High Voltage, and so it remains as one of rock’s great mysteries. In the words of former Electric Six drummer M, "My attorney has advised us to neither confirm nor deny the presence of Jack White."
Electric Six - "Danger! High Voltage" (Hi Res)
Queens Of The Stone Age and Dave Grohl
Queens Of The Stone Age - No One Knows (Official Music Video)
Justice vs Simian
Simian were a Mancunian band that had a DJing alter ego called Simian Mobile Disco, while Justice are a French electronica duo. When Justice remixed Simian's song Never Be Alone, magic was created in the shape of the club favourite We Are Your Friends.
Justice - We Are Your Friends [HQ Sound]
Aerosmith and Run DMC
The veteran rockers hadn't heard of the young hip hop upstarts, and wondered whether a collaboration on the 'Smith's classic song Walk This Way was a good idea. It was.
RUN DMC - Walk This Way (Video) ft. Aerosmith
CHVRCHES and Hayley Williams
The Scoittish electro-poppers collaborated with the Paramore singer for this 2015 track, which was remixed from a song originally on their album Every Open Eye.
CHVRCHES - Bury It ft. Hayley Williams
Alex Turner and Miles Kane
Post second LP Favourite Worst Nightmare, Turner took a break from Arctic Monkeys and joined up with a fresh-faced Miles Kane (then with The Rascals) and became The Last Shadow Puppets. The best buds got together, donned strapping pinstriped suits, and took to the road with 12 full-blooded ballads. They did it all again in 2016 with the album Everything You've Come To Expect.
The Last Shadow Puppets - Miracle Aligner (Official Video)
Death In Vegas and Iggy Pop
“Aisha. We’ve only just met. And I think you should know: I’m a murderer.” That’s about the size of what happened when the psychedelic dance outfit Death In Vegas teamed up with punk god Iggy. The resulting track, Aisha, featured on album The Contino Sessions and earned the band a Mercury nomination.
Death In Vegas - Aisha
Electronic was a supergroup consisting of ex-Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr and New Order frontman Bernard Sumner. While Neil Tennant and Chris Lowe of Pet Shop Boys and former Kraftwerk member Karl Bartos also played their part, it was mainly a Marr and Sumner synth/guitar love-a-thon. The classic Getting Away With It was born out of the partnership.
Electronic - Getting Away With It
The Chemical Brothers and Richard Ashcroft
The Chemical Brothers are fans of teaming up with Britpop superstars, and their partnership with The Verve’s Richard Ashcroft is no exception. The song, The Test, was a psychedelic big beat masterpiece and featured on the 2002 album Come With Us.
The Chemical Brothers - The Test (Official Music Video)
Daft Punk, Pharrell Williams and Nile Rodgers
At the beginning of 2013 you couldn’t move for Daft Punk, and more specifically their comeback single Get Lucky. It was proof of what media hype and the greatest PR campaign in history can achieve. Whilst the soul-fuelled vocal from Pharrell took the limelight, it was the delicious funk riff provided by Nile Rodgers that really drove this tune. The result was one of the biggest pop songs of all time.
Daft Punk - Get Lucky (Official Audio) ft. Pharrell Williams, Nile Rodgers
The Smoking Mojo Filters
Collaborations don’t get much bigger than The Smoking Mojo Filters, which consisted of Paul McCartney, Paul Weller and Noel Gallagher. Contributing a cover of Come Together for the first War Child album, Help, the track became a firm favourite. To be fair, with a line up like that, the track was only ever going to be loved.
Paul Weller / Smokin' Mojo Filters - Come Together
Pearl Jam and Neil Young
It was on the 1995 album Mirror Ball where Pearl Jam joined forces with folk legend Neil Young. The record and tour that followed were praised by fans and critics alike. The two went together like peanut butter and jam – if that’s your thing – as they were suitably dubbed Neil Jam as a result.
Pearl Jam - Animal/Rockin' in the Free World w/ Neil Young (MTV Video Music Awards, 9/2/1993)
Mystery Jets and Laura Marling
Now a hugely-succesful and respected British singer-songwriter, Laura Marling made an early appearance on Mystery Jets' second album in 2008.
Mystery Jets - Young Love (Featuring Laura Marling) video