The most iconic duo collaborations in rock and indie

5 January 2024, 15:54

Together at last! John Squire and Liam Gallagher; Bernard Sumner and Johnny Marr; Miles Kane and Alex Turner.
Together at last! John Squire and Liam Gallagher; Bernard Sumner and Johnny Marr; Miles Kane and Alex Turner. Picture: Tom Oxley/Press/David M. Benett/Patrick Ford/Redferns/Getty Images

It takes two, as they say. Radio X picks the ultimate playlist by superstar pairs as Liam Gallagher and John Squire release their first single together.

Radio X

By Radio X

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  1. Liam Gallagher and John Squire

    Just Another Rainbow

    “I think John's a top songwriter," says former Oasis man Liam about the Stone Roses legend. "Everyone always bangs on about him as a guitarist, but he’s a top songwriter too, man, no two ways about it as far as I'm concerned. There's not enough of his music out there."

    Gallagher has decided to remedy that situation by joining forces with Squire for a new single, Just Another Rainbow. "More new music" has been promised, so there could be an album in the works, and there are already rumours about the duo playing live shows...

  2. McAlmont and Butler

    Bernard Butler and David McAlmont came from other bands (Butler of Suede; McAlmont of Thieves), but the duo collaborated in 1994. Together they penned songs such as the Britpop classic Yes and You Do.

    McAlmont & Butler - Yes [Full Version]

  3. Electronic

    Our only super-group duo on the list, Electronic consisted of The Smiths’ Johnny Marr and Bernard Sumner of Joy Division and New Order – a perfect pairing. Together they released three albums and, although they never officially broke up, Marr's solo career and the New Order reunion have called time on the project.

    Electronic - Get The Message

  4. The Last Shadow Puppets

    The former Rascals man and the Arctic Monkeys head honcho joined forces back in 2008 for The Age Of The Understatement LP. Their follow up, Everything You've Come To Expect was released in 2016.

    The Last Shadow Puppets - Miracle Aligner (Official Video)

  5. Elton John & John Lennon

    Back in the summer of 1974. Elton joined the former Beatle during the latter's recording sessions for the Walls & Bridges album, adding piano and vocals to the riotous song Whatever Gets You Thru The Night. Elton thought that the track could be a Number 1 hit, but Lennon was so doubtful that he agreed to appear with his colleague at one of his shows to perform the song should it ever top the charts. When Whatever Gets You Thru The Night topped the Billboard Hot 100 in November 1974, Elton called in the bet and the Beatle took to the stage at New York's Madison Square Garden for what would be his last public performance.

  6. Smith & Burrows

    Tom Smith and Editors and Andy Burrows from Razorlight got together in 2011 to record what was primarily a Christmas album called Funny Looking Angels, but they also took in some covers, including Yazoo's Only You and Black's Wondeful Life. The single When The Thames Froze was suitably festive, but it took 10 years for them to complete the follow-up, Only Smith & Burrows Is Good Enough.

    Wonderful Life

  7. Peter Gabriel and Kate Bush

    Don't Give Up was a tender, uplifting song written by Gabriel about both the Great Depression in the US in the 30s, and the similarly bleak conditions in Great Britain in the 80s. The musician envisioned Dolly Parton as the other, more positive part of the duet, but when the country superstar turned him down, Gabriel's friend and collaborator Kate Bush became involved and created one of the most enduring songs of the era.

  8. Paul McCartney and Stevie Wonder

    Using the simple metaphor of black and white piano keys working together, this collaboration between the former Beatle and the Motown superstar was a chart-topper on both sides of the Atlantic. The track came from the album Tug Of War, McCartney's first release since the death of his old partner John Lennon.

    Ebony and Ivory (1982) | Paul McCartney & Stevie Wonder

  9. David Bowie and John Lennon

    With Lennon in his "Lost Weekend" period away from wife Yoko Ono, he was spending his time as the elder statesman of rock 'n' roll, hanging around the studios and clubs of New York. He ran into Bowie and a fleeting friendship began, leading to this collaboration during the sessions for Young Americans album. The resulting tune was an enormous hit, giving Bowie a Number 1 hit in the US.

    David Bowie | Fame | Live on the Cher Show | 18 September 1975

  10. Iggy Pop and Josh Homme

    The Godfather of Punk sent the Queens Of The Stone Age frontman a text to see if he'd be interested in collaborating on some material and the response was a resounding yes. The resulting album, Post-Pop Depression, arrived in March 2016 and was produced by Homme, and also featured Arctic Monkeys man Matt Helders drumming on a number of tracks, plus contributions from QOTSA guitarist Dean Fertita,

    Iggy Pop - Gardenia (Live At The Royal Albert Hall)