Thursday, July 10, 2008

Q were right

Q magazine is not usually an organ I agree with when it does one it's myriad lists, but this time they got it right. They have as the best duet...ever! Nancy Sinatra and Lee Hazelwood's Some Velvet Morning. It's definitely near the top, that's for sure. Good choice.

If you know this song, then you'll be aware of its psychedelic fairytale like qualities, with Nancy winsome whisper complementing Lee's languorous growl. It truly is a great duet, and most unusual. Primal Scream did a cover with Kate Moss taking the Nancy part, and actually it wasn't too bad, though it's by no means a classic.

So I would say, in my Top Ten duets (excluding Some Velvet Morning, which we'll imagine at number one), are the following:

1. Les Papillons Noirs/Michelle Arnaud & Serge Gainsbourg. I can't get enough of this song. It's so French! Serge melds so well with any woman's voice, I'm surprised he wasn't duet partner of choice for everyone.

2. Bell Bottomed Tear/The Beautiful South. While they're a group, Paul Heaton or Dave Rotheray or whoever often shared vocals with whomever was the current female foil they'd not they driven away. This is a heart-rending classic.

3. Hokey Pokey/Richard & Linda Thompson. A saucy romp that gives folk rock a good name. You can only really hear Linda, but Richard's there somehwere. See also: When I Get To The Border, I Want To See The Bright Lights Tonight, and the rest of their oeuvre.

4. Well Did You Evah?/Debbie Harry & Iggy Pop. Taking the piss, hilarious and, as my mother-in-law would say, 'fun'.

5. Separate Lives/Phil Collins & Marilyn Martin. If someone was holding a gun at my head and made me go against all my principles and choose a Guilty Pleasure, then this would be it. See also: On My Own/Patti Labelle & Michael McDonald.

6. Please Don't Touch/Motorhead & Girlschool. Not, I suppose, strictly speaking a duet, but there's nothing like this for filling the dancefloor. Will kick off the rock disco.

7. Interlude/Morrissey & Siouxsie. Oft over-looked attempt at French-style chanson, which has a certain charm.

8. Islands In The Stream/Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton. A karaoke favourite, what more can you say. The Gibbs have written so many great songs.

9. Pale Blue Eyes/Edwyn Collins & Paul Quinn. Gorgeous, lilting country-flavoured cover of the Velvet Underground number. Lush slide guitars and big production. Sadly not available on any CD.

10. I'm Coming Home/Delaney & Bonnie. From 1971, so it of course it's a shoo-in. Hippyish country rock jam.

Bubbling under: Lucky Stars/Dean Friedman; Stumblin' In/Suzi Quatro & Chris Norman; Stay/Fassbender & Russell.

The duet I'm not fond of:

What Have I Done To Deserve This/Pet Shop Boys & Dusty Springfield. Reminds me of a hateful job.


Chris Hughes said...

He was really good in Please Sir!, too.

Clair said...

Ooh, Rock Disco! I forgot about that! *hatches plan*

Matthew Rudd said...

Bell Bottomed Tear, I suspect. Sorry (again) for pedantry. You're right on all counts regarding its quality though.

I adore Separate Lives and as far as I am concerned, "guilty pleasures" do not exist. It's a hateful expression based in snobbery.

Islands In The Stream is a genuinely brilliant pop song.

On the 70s show this week I played Nancy and Lee's Did You Ever, which is terrific. Other worthy collaborations include:-

The Ballad Of Tom Jones by Space and Cerys Matthews
The Time Of My Life by Bill Medley and Jennifer Warnes (despite its overplay lately)
Don't Know Much by Linda Ronstadt and Aaron Nevil
Senza Una Donna by Zucchero and Paul Young

I haven't bought Q for about five years but might need to look at this list...

Planet Mondo said...

I can't stand the Kylie and Nick Cave one it doesn't do either of them any favours she looks glum and he seems lost. Anything with Annie Lennox is usually awful - or Bono (honk).

I like the Alison Krauss and Robert Plant album.

Kikki Dee and Elton John - what's not to like?

You Are The Sunshine/Sacha Distel and Brigitte Bardot is a delight (may need to tune out BB's when it's her turn though)

Bonnie and Clyde/Brigitte Bardot and Serge Gainsbourg - C'est magnifique!

You Got The Look/Prince and Sheena Easton - winner.

Cocktails said...

Well, this certainly looks like the place where I can be shameless about my music taste...

I have an enormous soft spot for duets and agree that Nancy and Lee are top notch (although I also like Jackson).

My other favourites are:
Easy Lover - Phil Collins and Phil Bailey
We do it - R&J Stone
Too much, too little, too late - Denise Williams and Johnny Mathis
Primitive Painters - Felt & Liz Fraser (if that counts)
Stop Draggin' my Heart Around - Tom Petty & Stevie Nicks
And of course Islands in the Stream

Five-Centres said...

I"m going to have to do a duets playlist now, for my own amusement.

office pest said...

BA! Silowwnna

I rest my case, m'lud.

Thumper Plowman said...

Just wanted to say that I completely agree with "Les Papillons Noirs"; brilliant song. That's all.

Ian Jones said...

It's nothing to do with duets, but have you heard the debut album by the US group Fleet Foxes? It was released a few weeks ago, and knowing your penchant for proper singable pop, and late 60s/early 70s Americana, I reckon you'd love it.

Five-Centres said...

I actaully heard a track from it on the radio yesterday, for the first time. I liked it a lot and shall investigate further.

I want to know if anyone can recommend the Bon Iver album? Ian?

Ian Jones said...

Haven't heard the album, though I'm pretty sure Mark Radcliffe played a track on his show recently, and it sounded stunning.