FT5: Collaborations

0918top5coverSolid collaborations seem to come around only once in a blue moon. On the other hand a FT5 of horrible partnerships could go on for 52 weeks straight without repeat. Eminem and Elton John come to mind, Bowie and Crosby creeping me out, and We Are the World as the gold standard of awesomely bad group efforts. Apart from these, there are plenty out there that have me wishing I had never heard them. Fear not, music lovers follow the jump to read about the best collaborations that won’t make you want to hang yourself; in fact, you might enjoy them.

With October 2nd rapidly approaching, the collaboration is a trending topic. Yet to be seen recent add to the Friday ACL lineup, Them Crooked Vultures, give me optimism, but I will withhold judgment until then. The Dead Weather are in the same boat, though I have been pleasantly surprised by Horehound, the group’s debut album. Mmm. Alison Mosshart. She can fire at me any day.

Most recently, Blakroc also excites me, but to be honest anything with Dan and Pat at the helm and the addition of Mos Def and Q-Tip amongst others, can’t be too bad. Alas, here are my picks for best ever. Who’s in your FT5? What did I leave out?


5. Noah Lennox/Atlas SoundWalkabout

So maybe it’s not the best ever, but when two of the most relevant and critically acclaimed artists of the past decade come together, it works. This is one of the best songs of this summer and the best alliance I have seen in a while. It deserves to be in the top 5 for that reason alone.


4. UNKLE/Thom YorkeRabbit In Your Headlights

It must be easy being Thom Yorke lately. He is the closest thing to a real life King Midas. Add in DJ Shadow and it doesn’t get much better. I heard this song way back when and still can’t get enough of it. Not to mention a badass video at that. Released only one year after O.K. Computer, it’s easy to see why Yorke has become such a household name. For some reason, Shadow is still not there.


3. David Bowie/QueenUnder Pressure

Undoubtedly one of the best songs from the great decade known as the 80s, these two musical giants unite to create an enduring song. Whatever the true meaning, Under Pressure was one of those songs that makes me want to lock my friend in a trunk, just to hear them scream “Let Me Out”. It’s truly a classic. Besides all these reasons, who knows if we had ever met God’s gift to music, Vanilla Ice without this bass line. I’d rather not think of a world without him in my life, thank you very much.


2. Ravi Shankar/Alla RakhaDhun (Dadra And Fast Teental)

Monterrey Pop Festival. Four Hour Set. Two of the most legendary Indian solo musicians of the last century collaborated often, but this performance is spellbinding. Even Hendrix is jamming out. I often contemplate time-travel and subsequently where I would go. Monterrey in 1967 is on the list.


1. The Dirty MacYer Blues

This dream-like super group comprised of Lennon, Clapton, Keith Richards, and Mitch Mitchel recorded this raw version of Yer Blues for a special entitled the Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus. This recording was the first time Lennon performed outside the Beatles and was way before Clapton’s full potential was realized. Behold the single best collaboration. Ever. This shit is Legit.


  • Great idea for a Top 5, Jon.

    Some collaborations that would be on my list:

    The Highwaymen – Johnny Cash, Waylon Jennings, Willie Nelson and Kris Kristofferson

    Blind Faith – Clapton, Ginger Baker, Steve Winwood and Ric Grech

    Traveling Wilburys – George Harrison, Dylan, Roy Orbison, Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne

    And don’t forget Aerosmith and RUN DMC!

  • Yeah, the Highwaymen were in the discussion. If I had a top ten they would be there for sure. Highwayman is a great song.

  • Robert Plant and Alison Krauss – Raising Sand

    I want “Your long journey” sung at my funeral, then starts the waterworks…

  • If I Ruled The World – NAS & Lauren Hill

    and close second would be…N 2 Gether Now – Method Man & Limp Bizkit

    I want the second song played at my funeral–for $20 you could probably get Fred Durst to perform the song in person.

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