Caffe` Latte` presents…
THE 200 ALL-TIME MOST
This countdown looks back on decades of duets, where 2 acts combine on a song.
HOW COME, HOW LONG
BABYFACE & STEVIE WONDER
Some duets are created simply for fun. Sometimes, special collaborations are recorded to address special causes. Babyface and Stevie Wonder tackle the issue of violence against women, sadly still a scourge on our society today. The 2 penned the sad song and in 1997 this duet was released as a single as well as appearing on Babyface's 'The Day' album. The song reached the top 10 in Britain, parts of Europe, Australia and New Zealand.
JE T'AIME ... MOI NON PLUS
SERGE GAINSBOURG & JANE BIRKIN
French never sounded sexier than on "Je T'Aime...Moi Non Plus", a sultry duet by French music industry legend Serge Gainsbourg and his partner Jane Birkin. The single was unleashed in 1969 and swiftly attracted controversy for its overtly sexual theme. Despite being banned in places, this sizzling duet has remained a landmark recording. It reached #1 in Britain and various European nations.
CELINE DION & ANDREA BOCELLI
"The Prayer" collected a Golden Globe and Grammy, as well as being nominated for an Academy Award. The 1999 duet by Canadian Celine Dion and Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli was first introduced in the film 'The Quest For Camelot'. It was also included on her 'These Are Special Times' and his 'Sogno' albums respectively.
WHEN YOU BELIEVE
MARIAH CAREY & WHITNEY HOUSTON
1998 saw the pairing of 2 major chart champions: Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey. Given both vocalists' abundant skill, it is disappointing the 2 did not have a better song to work with. Their star power carried it into the Top 10 around the world, including Britain, Europe and New Zealand. The single was from the animated film 'The Prince Of Egypt'.
EASE ON DOWN THE ROAD
DIANA ROSS & MICHAEL JACKSON
"Ease On Down The Road" is from Motown's screen adaptation of the musical "The Wiz". Diana Ross was cast as Dorothy and Michael Jackson portrayed the role of Scarecrow. Fun oozes out of the 1978 single's grooves. This marked the first teaming of Quincy Jones as producer with Jackson. Together, they would next work on 'Off The Wall' and, later, the mega-successful 'Thriller' albums.
NANCY SINATRA & LEE HAZLEWOOD
Lee Hazlewood penned "Summer Wine". Nancy Sinatra and he frequently recorded duets and 1967's "Summer Wine" is one of the most intriguing and seductive among their joint efforts. It was included on their 1968 'Nancy and Lee' album. His deep voice and her sweet innocence adds dimension to the track as the 2 trade lyrics about silver spurs and wine. The production has a James Bond theme feel throughout.
*NSYNC & NELLY
The year was 2002. *NSYNC was about to dissolve with Justin Timberlake launching a solo career that has seen him far surpass the success of his boyband origins. "Girlfriend" was written by J.T. with Pharrell Williams and Chad Hugo of The Neptunes. The latters' remix of the track added hooks and depth to the original version. Rapper Nelly joins in, giving the song greater excitement. *NSYNC had never sounded this hip. This duet was rewarded with Top 5 status in America, Britain, Europe, Canada and Australia.
ON MY OWN
PATTI LABELLE & MICHAEL McDONALD
Burt Bacharach had already established an impressive songbook with Hal David in the 1960s. In the 1980s, he was frequently collaborating with his then wife Carole Bayer Sager. The couple wrote and produced the duet "On My Own" for Patti Labelle's 1986 album 'Winner In You'. For the song, Michael McDonald (the soulful lead singer of the Doobie Brothers) was recruited. The single reached #1 in America (both Pop and R&B charts) and Canada. On the UK chart, it peaked at #2.
STOP, LOOK, LISTEN (TO YOUR HEART)
MARVIN GAYE & DIANA ROSS
On their duet album 'Diana & Marvin', the 2 Motown artists covered the Stylistics' "Stop, Look, Listen (To Your Heart)". The collaboration was issued as a single in 1974.
DON’T LET THE SUN GO DOWN ON ME
GEORGE MICHAEL & ELTON JOHN
Elton John revisited his 1974 epic track "Don't Let The Sun Go Down On Me" as a live recording with George Michael. The 2 British chart titans had worked together in the past and their friendship is evident throughout the performance. While this doesn't improve on John's original, it managed to introduce a new audience to his work. In 1991, their duet topped the charts in America, UK, Europe and Canada.
To be eligible, the acts involved contribute close to equal roles as lead vocalists rather than featured or guest vocals. The collaborations must be by acts that do not usually record together as regular duos (eg. Hall & Oates, Everly Brothers, Simon & Garfunkel and Wham!).