French fries and a chocolate shake. James Carville and Mary Matalin. College exams and cute cat videos on YouTube.
It’s these unlikely duos that inevitably end in welcomed surprises. Especially when two musicians, exploring the uncharted territory of one-another’s discography, collaborate and push the boundaries of their fan’s expectations. It’s like watching two trains race toward one another, but instead of colliding, they dance and whirl to the beats of newly merged tracks born from alternative, amenable individuality.
While it’s unlikely these collaborations will reunite anytime soon, here are the best mismatched musicians we’re currently trying to get back into the recording studio.
- Why it works: Samples from Collins’ “Take Me Home” layered with some of the smoothest 90’s hip-hop beats provides the perfect landing pad for Bone Thugs to spit their rhymes. While the song itself didn’t perform extremely well in the charts, the positive reception in the UK earned Phil Collins an honorary spot in the group, under the new nickname “Phil Bone“.
- Other hits they should record: A rap version of “Sussudio“. That would kick some serious ass.
Snoop Willie Dogg
- Why it works: Willie Nelson and Snoop Dogg… it’s not everyday the pioneers of pot get together and cut a track. Between those cowboy chords that Willie pluck out and the low baritone drone of Snoop, these BFF leave us with the quintessential reefer blues. Plus, it’s not every day Snoop shouts out “Yeehaws” and “A-how-hows”.
- Other hits they should record: Now that Snoop has sung the blues, we think it’s time for Willie to suck it up and rap. Why not try a new cut of “Gin & Juice“?
John Travoltia Newton John
- Why it works: At it’s core, Grease is a campy recount of the plight of 1950’s high school societal constraints. With Australian pop sensation Olivia Newton-John (29 years old) and 70’s hunk John Travolta (24 years old) playing star-crossed seniors, it seemed like Hollywood had lost its touch with reality. There was no way the melodrama would work… no way… no how… but it did. And it still does. Not only was Grease the highest grossing film of 1978, but it is the highest grossing movie-musical of all time.
- Other hits they should record: We’d really like to see the pair record hits like “Tutti Frutti“, “Johnny B. Goode“, or “Mack the Knife.” As long as they stick to the 1950’s and stay away from the disco (we’re talkin’ to you, Tony Manero).
- Why it works: “Stan” has been referred to as a cultural milestone in Eminem’s career. During a time when the rapper was facing criticism from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation over his lyrics, Eminem responded by performing his tune with openly gay Elton John. The song’s dark narrative is haunting and foreboding, with a storytelling as good as the best Victorian dramatic verse. With the added bonus of Sir Elton John’s reverberant chords interspersed between bursts of thunder, this rendition garnered critical acclaim.
- Other hits they should record: While we’d love to hear Eminem rap a few verses in “Honky Cat” or “Daniel“, it may be better yet if Elton revamped “My Name Is” into a soft-rock ballad.
Bada Bing Bowie
- Why it works: It’s a classic meeting of the minds that transcends the generation gap of the 1970’s. Equal parts bizarre, surreal, mainstream and epic, two of the biggest figures in pop-culture participate in a heartfelt Christmas miracle. At a time when Bowie was struggling to “normalize” his career, the glam rocker joins forces with the most famous crooner of all-time to produce the weirdest (and most celebrated) Christmas duet we’ve ever come across.
- Other hits they should record: Unfortunately, Bing Crosby passed away in 1977 so it won’t be an easy to get him into any recording studio… the closest thing we’ll ever get to getting the band back together is a FunnyOrDie satire featuring Will Ferrell and John C. Reilly.