I have to admit, I love a good duet. True, they are generally sweeter than a nanaimo bar a la mode and do tend to walk a fine line between being sentimental and trite. But I can’t help it. I’m a sucker when it comes to a romantic collaboration between a male and female singer. I believe it dates back to the 70’s, watching Sonny and Cher close their show each week with I Got You Babe.
Over the years, there have been many classic duets which were big hit songs; some are powerful and moving like Crying by Roy Orbison and kd lang, some are corny and fun like Don’t Go Breaking My Heart by Elton John and Kiki Dee and some are cool and uninhibited like Jackson by Johnny Cash and June Carter.
In the last 20 years or so, other than R&B and Hip-Hop (which has it’s own form of duet between rapper and singer), movie soundtrack duets and Disney songs, and duet albums of standards by ex-rockers, there really hasn’t been many notable duet songs in the traditional sense – man and woman singing to each other, face to face. Good duets are still being made, but few and far between and often difficult to find for the singles downloading public. Here are a few of my favourites:
Move Me To Tears category: Don’t Give Up by Willie Nelson & Sinead O’Connor (original by P. Gabriel and K. Bush)
Caramel Corn category: Modern Nature by Sondre Lerche & Sylvie Lewis
Lustful Cool category: I Dig You by Jon Spencer & Cristina Martinez (aka Boss Hog)
I now have a new favourite which, like an old favourite Fairytale Of New York by The Pogues & Kirsty McColl, can be categorized as all of the above. The duet in question is Home by Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeros and it’s from their 2009 debut CD Up From Below.
…by Sandy Gritt