The best collaborations of all time
11 November 2019, 21:00 | Updated: 11 November 2019, 21:01
When rock stars get together, wonderful things happen. Yes, collaborations are the name of the game. Here are some of our favourites.
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.
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.
Arcade Fire, James Murphy and David Bowie
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Electric Six and Jack White
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."
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.
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.
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.