Sometimes collaborations are a music fan’s dream come true: Watch the Throne was pretty awesome. Mick Jagger’s new super group, SuperHeavy, is also really good and Lou Reed and Metallica are about to release an album that will probably change lives. Let’s not forget Jack White’s work with Lorretta Lynn and Tony Bennett’s with just about anyone…
But then there’s the doomed, cringe-worthy, nausea-inducing collaborations. I’m talking about that Nelly + Tim McGraw skullduggery (what was that about?!) and the awkward moment when Kenny Rogers thought making music with Wyclef Jean would make him relevant again. Or when a boy band named Five and Brian May from Queen did “We Will Rock You,” causing Freddie Mercury to roll over in his grave.
If these misguided musical moments have taught us anything it’s that the collaboration is more of a science than an art. There needs to be the perfect ratio of ego to talent to popularity otherwise it’ll crash and burn faster than bald Britney with an umbrella.
So, pop/rock/auto-tuned stars, here are some suggestions for collaborations that will blow our collective minds and make us go crazier than Justin Bieber showing up in a Limited Too.
1. Feist + Gaslight Anthem: Pretty meets gritty. Feist’s harmonies would compliment Gaslight’s affinity for intricate lyrics and heavy guitars.
Likelihood of happening: 7/10 (Depends on how social they’re feeling)
2. Radiohead + Justin Timberlake: One part “Cry Me A River,” one part “Lotus Flower,” two parts JT giving Thom Yorke dance lessons and you get a techno-pop-alt-rock dance jam with culturally relevant but depressing lyrics. It could be the soundtrack for the next Michael Moore doc.
Likelihood of happening: 0/10 (Thom Yorke is a lot like Severus Snape and JT is Harry Potter’s dad, and as much as we’d like them to understand each other and share their mutual love of hot beats, it just ain’t gonna happen.)
3. Frank Sinatra + Adele: Self-explanatory.
Likelihood of happening: 0/10 (Old Blue Eyes is no longer among the living.)
4. Lady Gaga + Queen: She already had Brian May put “We Will Rock You” drums on “Yoü and I,” and there’s talk that Gaga might get her Freddie on. Let’s face it: the only person who can come close to Mercury’s love of spandex is Gaga. Plus, Gaga’s name comes from a Queen song.
Likelihood of happening: 8/10 (Gaga is certainly open to it but the rest of Queen probably has mixed feelings.)
5. Bob Dylan + Tom Morello: 21st century protest jams with killer guitar lines. Possible group names include Rage Against the Watchtower or Tangled Up In Rage.
Likelihood of happening: 2/10 (Bob Dylan is the Boo Radley of aging folk singers. But he’s still pretty rad and did show up at the Grammys.)
6. Nirvana + Foo Fighters: Sigh. Kurt and Dave sharing frontman Foo duties would have been beyond incredible.
Likelihood of happening: 0/10 (Courtney did it.)
7. The Killers + Deadmau5: New wave guitars with dubstep beats? Think of a remixed Hot Fuss produced by everyone’s favorite Canadian DJ. Then proceed to pick up the pieces of your exploded brain off the floor.
Likelihood of happening: 5/10 (The Killers have been MIA but Deadmau5 doesn’t turn down many projects. 50/50.)
8. Eric Clapton/George Harrison (prod. by Paul McCartney): Remember that time Pattie Boyd left George Harrison for Eric Clapton? I guess marrying a Beatle isn’t better than having “Layla” written about you. These two dudes were friends and it’d be cool if they jammed. Paul would function as the peacekeeper.
Likelihood of happening: 0/10 (Again, death.)
9. Florence Welch + Jay-Z: “Dog Days”/ “99 Problems” mash-up? Yes please!
Likelihood of happening: 4/10 (Not sure Florence would go for it and Jay-Z might be on baby daddy duty for the foreseeable future.)
10. Pink Floyd + The Who: The rock opera to end all rock operas. Tommy meets The Wall. Awesome meets more awesome. An over-the-top concept album about growing up in post-WWII America filled with pudding, pinball and absolutely no education.
Likelihood of happening: 1/10 (It’ll be hard enough getting Pink Floyd back in the same room. Oh well, a girl can dream.)
Train Wrecks that would be awesome to watch:
- Steven Tyler + Cher: Which one is louder and how many outfits can they share on tour?
- Britney Spears + K-Fed: Post-divorce comeback album.
- Spice Girls + Janis Joplin: The original girl power and the wannabes.
- N’Sync + New Kids on the Block + Backstreet Boys: 15 dudes. One stage. Who’s going to fall off?
- Kanye West + Taylor Swift: DUH.
- Mumford and Sons + Luke Bryan: Beer pong and boobs meets Shakespeare and upright bass.
- Celine Dion + Avril Lavigne + Justin Bieber: A battle of who’s the most annoying Canadian.
What would be your dream music collab?