In the history of music, there have been many meetings of the mind between people with similar attitudes, styles, and ideas. Some of these just felt right from the very beginning and you knew they were destined to produce greatness.
That's what happened when Brian Eno met David Bowie and later when Eno met David Byrne. Speaking of Byrne, that's what's happened recently since Byrne met Dallas native St. Vincent. They'll be playing a show Saturday at Hobby Center to show off how well they gel together.
On the other hand, some collaborations were not born in heaven, but rather spawned in hell, depending on how you look at it. These collaborations are out-and-out weird and (to some fans) utterly revolting.
They often produce less than stellar results and end up being more music trivia than anything else. Take, for instance, the benefit concert last Monday night featuring a double headlining bill of Arcade Fire and Celine Dion.
Aside from Dion being Canadian and Arcade Fire wishing they had been born in Canada instead of The Woodlands, there's little connection between the artists.
Surely the fans of each weren't happy about having to sit through the set of the other and even if the show was for charity, the pairing was probably a poor choice. But c'est la vie. Sometimes these strange things just happen. For instance...
5. Jay-Z & Linkin Park
Remember this thing? At the time, it may have seemed somewhat apropos. Think about it: one of the biggest stars in hip-hop collaborating with one of the biggest stars in nu-metal. What could possibly go wrong here? Well, how about the fact that nu-metal died a much-needed death a few years later?
Linkin Park, for their part, managed to maintain their success by skewing more metal and dropping most of the rapping, which means that these days they'd probably shudder to do any more rap collaborations, just because of their poor history with it.
As for Jay-Z, his success has continued unabated and he probably doesn't even remember doing this, which is just as well because we'd all like to forget it too.
4. Limp Bizkit & Raekwon
This one apparently came together through a friendship between Fred Durst and Raekwon. Aside from that, nothing about this makes sense. Raekwon is widely venerated as one of the realest and hardest MCs around, hailing from the Wu-Tang Clan which has managed to maintain some of the best street cred around over their 20 years of existence. Limp Bizkit, and front man Durst, are widely ridiculed and considered a joke by the rap community, the metal community, and even the nu-metal community.
Not only is doing this sort of a bad career move for Raekwon, but it's probably not winning any fans for the Bizkit either, since I have a hard time imagining very many LB fans listen to real hip-hop.
3. Metallica & Lou Reed
At least in this case, the collaboration was weird but seemed sort of cool at first. One had to wonder what these two pioneers in rock music would come up with. The ultimate answer was "I am the table." So it didn't work out very well, obviously. For bonus points, they got Darren Aronofsky to direct the video, taking the weirdness up a notch even further.
2. KISS & Michael Bolton
Power ballads are a terrible enough idea on their own, of course, but KISS couldn't even write one of these trashy things themselves, which is strange, considering they originated the style to some extent. In any case, they looked to a young rising star of the time to help them write a hit and who better than... Michael Bolton? Honestly guys, even Aerosmith didn't stoop that low. There's plenty of Desmond Child and Diane Warren to go around.
1. Weezer & Kenny G
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Not only is "I'm Your Daddy" an exceedingly creepy song from an increasingly sad Rivers Cuomo, a 15-year-old trapped in a 42-year-old man's body, but the bad vibes got way worse when Weezer decided what the track really needed was a solo by Kenny G.
For Weezer's fanbase, this was one more slap in the face to anyone who still believed this was the same band that wrote Pinkerton. For Kenny G's fanbase, it must have been utterly confusing to hear all those screeching electric guitars and pop-punk vocals disrupting their bubble-bath music.