In honor of the recent Lou Reed and Metallica (Loutallica) despicable duet album, LuLu, SongLyrics is taking a look back over ten other weird music collaborations to have invaded our poor, poor ears. Get ready to cringe!
10. Eminem and Elton John – “Stan“
As if British singer-songwriter Dido’s contributions to the original recording of Eminem’s “Stan” were not weird enough as it was, during the 2001 Grammy Awards, the real Slim Shady decided to take things a step weirder. Having faced a bunch of criticism from gay groups over his apparently homophobic lyrics, Eminem decided to appear on stage with openly-gay superstar, Elton John.
9. Ozzy Osbourne and Miss Piggy – “Born to be Wild“
Yes, you did read that right. In 1994, post-bat munching, pre-MTV contract Ozzy Osbourne “ROCKED THE PLACE DOWN!” with Miss Piggy for the Muppets‘ cover album, Kermit Unpigged. “Collaboration” is a somewhat inadequate term here, after all, it is Ozzy who does all the hard work on Steppenwolf‘s “Born to be Wild” (Miss Piggy just cracks cringe-worthy “jokes”/makes suggestive noises in the background). Seriously, though, “Prince of Darkness”, what happened to you?
8. Bob Dylan and Kurtis Blow – “Street Rock“
Oh Good God…so, I guess if you could say Bob Dylan went through a somewhat “lost period,” it would be the late 70s/early 80s. Not content with having scared every one off with his born-again preaching, in 1986, Dylan swerved into the rap genre and contributed vox to Kurtis Blow track, “Street Rock.” The whole song is dire (think a humorless ”Fresh Prince of Bel Air“), but if you want to hear the worst parts of all (aka, those bits rapped/drawled/stuttered by Dylan), check out the beginning, then from 6.12 on. Gosh, where are Hammer pants when you need them?
7. David Bowie and Mick Jagger – “Dancing in the Streets“
Amidst the neon haze of the 80s, speedily aging rock-gods, David Bowie and Mick Jagger, teamed up to record a cover of Martha and the Vandellas’ hit, “Dancing in the Streets.” One sunny June afternoon in 1984, Bowie and Jagger met at London’s legendary Abbey Road Studios in order to lay down their vocals on the track. Four hours later, the pair scuttled down to the Docklands in order to record the corresponding video, which is infamously full of Dad-dancing, tragic jumpsuits, and some really awkward sexual tension.
Bowie returns for a second time, albeit with significantly less zazz. Instead of skipping around London hand in hand with Mick Jagger, in 1977, Bowie turned humbly demure in order to perform Christmas hit, “Peace on Earth/Little Drummer Boy” with legendary crooner, Bing Crosby. Admittedly, this congealing of catsuits and cardigans, Ziggy Stardust and Mr. “White Christmas” himself seemed extraordinarily peculiar on paper. But when the pair teamed up to perform the track on TV special, Merrie Olde Christmas, magic happened. Everybody now, “pa-rum-pum-pum-pum.”
(P.S. – Check out this scarily accurate parody featuring Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly.)
5. Jack White and Insane Clown Posse – “Leck Mich Im Arsch“
Ever since The White Stripes split back in February 2011, Jack White has had WAY too much time on his hands. Back in August, not only was White crazy enough to agree to work with everyone’s favorite face paint-wearing rap-troupe, Insane Clown Posse, but while he was at the board meeting (boy, would I love to have been a fly on the wall there), he also agreed to re-imagine Mozart with them. But wait, wait, it gets weirder still (I know, impossible right? Wrong!). Y’see, White and the Posse didn’t just take on an old chestnut like “Piano Concerto No.21.” No, they had to cover a Moz’ rarity called “Leck Mich Im Arsch“, which quite literally translates to “lick me in the arse.” Oh God I need a lay down.
4. Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney – “Say, Say, Say“
In 1981, the biggest star on the planet, Michael Jackson, teamed up with the formerly biggest (since flagging) star on the planet, Paul McCartney, in order to record the sickeningly chipper (frustratingly fantastic) “Say, Say, Say.” Watching the pair prance around as cheeky ol’ convicts “Mac and Jack” in the official video, one forgets just four years later Jackson would go on to steal The Beatles back catalogue from McCartney, ruining their relationship for good. Diddums! (By the way, whose idea was it to cast Michael’s sister, La Toya, as his love interest? Creepy).
3. Celine Dion and R. Kelly – “I’m Your Angel“
Back in 1998, R. Kelly officially launched “Mission Save Career With Help of Celine Dion“. In an attempt to sweep some seriously seedy criminal allegations under the carpet, Kelly collaborated with the doe-eyed French-Canadian on hearty-ballad, “I’m Your Angel“. Lucky for “R” and his trusty goatee, the plan worked, with the song going on to become a number one smash hit in the US, despite rocking some seriously cheesy lyrics a la: “No Mountains too high, for you to climb, all you have to do is have some climbing faith” (no fooling?).
2. Jay-Z and Linkin Park – Collision Course
In 2004, Jay-Z teamed up with grumpiest emos on the block, Linkin Park in order to record rap-rock collaboration album, Collision Course. This attempt by both artists to come across as
“revolutionary” by “tearing down music barriers” was doomed from the start, with the entire album going on to be panned by fans and critics across the globe (seriously, stick with Kanye, Jay…).
1. Snoop Dogg and Charlie Sheen – “Winning“
Snoop Dogg cashed in on actor Charlie Sheen’s humiliating public decline by teaming up with him on “Winning” (wow, we totally didn’t see that title coming…) back in May. Complete with a cameo by actress Carmen Electra and a whole textbook worth of expletives dropped by the D-O-Double-G, this track turned out to be as pathetic as we all expected it to be the moment “Warlock” announced it on his Twitter page (admittedly, we are still confused what Charlie Sheen actually contributed to this track, beyond bearing lame buzz-phrases like “violent torpedoes of truth” and “tiger blood”).