Caffe` Latte` presents…
THE 200 ALL-TIME MOST
This countdown looks back on decades of duets, where 2 acts combine on a song.
DIANA ROSS & LIONEL RICHIE
When Motown unleashed "Endless Love", it swiftly became the label's biggest hit to date. The duet was the title song from the film starring Brooke Shields and Martin Hewitt. In 1981, the disc topped charts in America, Canada, Sweden, Norway and Australia. On the UK Top 40, it peaked at #7.
WHERE IS THE LOVE
ROBERTA FLACK & DONNY HATHAWAY
If any pairing can be said to have been handed the baton from the magical chemistry between Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell, it was Roberta Flack and Donny Hathaway. Sadly, this new combo was short-lived, cut short by Hathaway's untimely death. "Where Is The Love" is the best offering from the 2 soul singers. In 1972, the Grammy Award winning single reached #1 on the U.S. R&B and Adult Contemporary charts and #5 Pop.
OLIVIA NEWTON-JOHN & JOHN TRAVOLTA
The 'Grease' soundtrack included many fun tracks and "Summer Nights" was its most humorous. Olivia Newton-John and John Travolta, trade contrasting accounts of their meeting. A chorus of girls and boys interject with asides that emphasize the differences in their versions. Released as a single in 1978, the duet flew to the top of the British chart and made the Top 10 in America, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
ONE SWEET DAY
MARIAH CAREY & BOYZ II MEN
Both Mariah Carey and Boyz II Men were working on songs about losing someone special. They combined their ideas and the result was the grand collaboration "One Sweet Day". The 1995 single struck a chord with the public. In America, the disc broke the record for longest run on the Hot 100: a staggering reign lasting 16 consecutive weeks. The single also reached the Top 10 in Britain, Europe, Canada, Australia and New Zealand.
YOU DON'T BRING ME FLOWERS
BARBRA STREISAND & NEIL DIAMOND
Of all the songs included on the Top 200. "You Don't Bring Me Flowers" was the only unintentional duet recording. Both Neil Diamond and Barbra Streisand had recorded solo versions of the song for their albums 'I'm Glad You're Here With Me Tonight' and 'Songbird' respectively. A DJ named Gary Guthrie spliced the 2 versions into a duet which proved popular with listeners. Reaction spread and, as both artists were signed to Columbia Records, they were asked to record an official duet version. In 1978, the formal take reached #1 in America and Canada. It also made the Top 10 in Britain and Australia.
DON'T GO BREAKING MY HEART
ELTON JOHN & KIKI DEE
The Motown duets cut by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell inspired the writing of "Don't Go Breaking My Heart". Bernie Taupin and Elton John evoked the spirit of the Detroit label's output and the end result was warmly greeted by the public around the globe. John recorded the duet with Kiki Dee. Soon, it was perched at the top of the charts in America, Britain, parts of Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
(I'VE HAD) THE TIME OF MY LIFE
BILL MEDLEY & JENNIFER WARNES
'Dirty Dancing' had a soundtrack that spawned hits, the biggest being the duet "(I've Had) The Time Of My Life", recorded by Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes. In 1987, the track collected an Academy Award, Golden Globe and Grammy. It topped the charts in America, Canada and Australia. In the U.K. the single peaked at #6.
AIN'T NO MOUNTAIN HIGH ENOUGH
MARVIN GAYE & TAMMI TERRELL
Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson were a couple that delivered some stellar tracks for Motown. "Ain't No Mountain High Enough" was their greatest songwriting creation. Before Diana Ross recorded her solo #1 rendition, it was a brilliant love song performed by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell. This combination was so effective that it remains the blueprint. The Gaye - Terrell pairing has inspired countless imitations. The duet was issued in 1966 and was included on the 2 singers' joint album 'United'. Along with reaching #3 on the American Soul Chart, the disc cracked the Pop Top 20.
QUEEN & DAVID BOWIE
In 1981, Queen and David Bowie met in a Swiss recording studio and cut what is arguably the coolest duet of all time, "Under Pressure". Both the group and Bowie were at their peak in sales and popularity. The single topped the British chart and made the Top 10 in Europe, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.
NO MORE TEARS (ENOUGH IS ENOUGH)
DONNA SUMMER & BARBRA STREISAND
At the time plans were being drawn for this collaboration between chart titans Barbra Streisand and Donna Summer, disco was still the dominant musical genre all over the planet. Dance was not a comfortable style for the former but she had recently charted with the disco title song from her film 'The Main Event'. Conversely, Summer was well established in the dance music arena, having recorded some of the best tracks of the genre, including "I Feel Love", "Love To Love You Baby" and "Hot Stuff". Paul Jabara and Bruce Roberts penned "No More Tears (Enough Is Enough)" and pitched the idea to the 2 vocalists. They liked the song so much, both women were keen to record it before legalities could interfere. Thus it came to be that 2 women leading in the genres of Adult Contemporary and Disco respectively, came together. They executed a performance that brought together disparate styles. The single reached #1 in the U.S.A. as well as going Top 10 in Britain, Canada, Europe Australia and New Zealand. It was included on Streisand's 'Wet' album and Summer's 'On The Radio: Greatest Hits Volumes I & II'.
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!).