Thursday, July 16, 2015

Dazzling Duets By Dynamic Duos: The 1980s

You asked for it, and here it is! The '80s are probably the 2nd best decade for classic duets – or the best, depending on whom you ask. Did I include all your favorites? If not, which song(s) did I miss? Either way...enjoy!  ~  JH

1)  Kenny Rogers & Dolly Parton  ~  "Islands In The Stream"  (This is one of the most quintessential country music duets of all time – and there are plenty to choose from. I dare you to listen to this and not be humming it quietly to yourself an hour later.) 

2)  Linda Ronstadt & Aaron Neville  ~  "Don't Know Much"  (Her honey-throated vocals, his Human AutoTune skills…I don't know much, but I know I love this song!)

3)  Willie Nelson & Julio Iglesias  ~  "To All The Girls I've Loved Before"  (Who would have ever thought it was a good idea to pair the twangy, nasally voice of Willie Nelson with the silky-smooth, Latin-inflected vocals of Julio Iglesias? Willie, that's who! The man is a genius!)

4)  Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson  ~  "Say Say Say"  (This is an overlooked classic. It's also an early example of how Michael Jackson's music videos would soon push the format beyond merely a visual performance of the song and branch out into storytelling…with a built-in soundtrack.)

5)  Peter Cetera & Amy Grant  ~  "The Next Time I Fall"  (I heard and liked this song for years before I knew the female vocalist was Amy Grant. I guess I wouldn't have expected to hear her alongside the lead singer of Chicago. But the pairing was practically perfect, because it's a great song!)

6)  Bill Medley & Jennifer Warnes  ~  "(I've Had) The Time Of My Life"  (This is for you, Mary Hill, because you love Dirty Dancing – the movie from which this song originates – even though I think it's kind of cheesy, and really it probably is, but you don't care because it's one of your all-time favorites.)

7)  Cliff Richard & Sarah Brightman  ~  "All I Ask Of You"  (Anywhere you go, let me go too! Great song by a couple of talented folks!)

8)  Aretha Franklin & George Michael  ~  "I Knew You Were Waiting (For Me)"  (It doesn't get much more '80s than this! Two soulful singers that, not surprisingly, sound great together!)

9)  Joe Cocker & Jennifer Warnes  ~  "Up Where We Belong"  (This is another essential '80s classic. Joe really gets into it in this live performance, too.)

10)  Kenny Rogers & Sheena Easton  ~  "We've Got Tonight"  (Ladies and gentlemen, Kenny Rogers. The king of the '80s duets. This is the second of what will be three classic pairings in this post alone.)

11)  Phil Collins & Philip Bailey  ~  "Easy Lover"  (Two guys named Phil – one from Genesis and the other from Earth, Wind, & Fire – got together and made a song for the ages. Well, at least a song for the '80s. Still holds up nicely today, though.)

12)  Linda Ronstadt & James Ingram  ~  "Somewhere Out There"  (If you ever watched An American Tail when you were growing up – as I did countless times – you probably cringed at the squeaky, "pitchy" vocals of the two young voice actors who sang this song during the film. Then you probably perked up and sang right along when these two, much-more-highly-polished singers sang the same song during the closing credits. I bet you can still sing along now, too. Go ahead – try it.)

13)  Ozzy Osbourne & Lita Ford  ~  "Close My Eyes Forever"  (This one is for my metalhead friends and relatives. No, it's not technically a metal song – it's more of a power ballad. But it's Ozzy. And Lita. And it's probably the closest thing you're going to get in any entry of this series. So there – I'm throwing you a bone. You're welcome.)

14)  Lionel Richie & Diana Ross  ~  "Endless Love"  (I know, I know – I posted this song in the last entry, with Luther and Mariah doing the honors. But this is the original. And it's every bit as good for many of the same reasons. Maybe you are a music purist and you insist on originals only, and you like this one better. Again, you're welcome.)

15)  Peter Gabriel & Kate Bush  ~  "Don't Give Up"  (In researching this series, this song kept popping up in searches. Then someone suggested it on Facebook. I had never heard of it before. It's good, and it definitely belongs here. But why are they hugging for the entire duration of the video? Why ask why?)

16)  Eddie Rabbitt & Crystal Gayle  ~  "You & I"  (I grew up on 1980s country music, even more so than mainstream pop music of the era. This song was a mainstay of country radio for several years, and for good reason. It's a classic love song duet that really transcends the genre from which it originates.)

17)  Stevie Wonder & Paul McCartney  ~  "Ebony & Ivory"  (Living in perfect harmony! Why can't we all just get along, for realz?)

18)  Queen & David Bowie  ~  "Under Pressure"  (This is one of those intentional rule-breakers I was referring to the other day. Yes, it's a duet between a band and an individual artist. And yes, it counts. Just listen to that bass line!)

19)  Peter Cetera & Cher  ~  "After All"  (I have heard this song a thousand times and never knew, until writing this post, that it was a duet between Peter and Cher. I think I just thought it was a Chicago song. That being said, it's a pretty darn good duet!)

20)  Kenny Rogers & Kim Carnes  ~  "Don't Fall In Love With A Dreamer"  (And we're back to Kenny again. Here he shares some words of wisdom about the perils of becoming enamored with an idealist.)

21)  Patti LaBelle & Michael McDonald  ~  "On My Own"  (This one is just for you, Daniel, since you're such a huge fan of Michael McDonald! You are SO welcome!)

22)  Aerosmith & RUN-DMC  ~  "Walk This Way"  (Another odd pairing that ended up being an all-time classic! And the video is totally RAD, too!)

23)  Stevie Nicks & Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers  ~  "Stop Draggin' My Heart Around"  (Here's another golden oldie I'd forgotten existed until researching for this post.)

24)  Barbra Streisand & Barry Gibb  ~  "Guilty"  (Barbra ain't half bad when it comes to duets, either. And I think that B.G. fella has had a bit of success when singing with his brothers, but I could be wrong.)

25)  Mike Reno & Ann Wilson  ~  "Almost Paradise… Love Theme From Footloose(I'd heard this awesome song a gajillion times before I finally found out who sang it. For those of you not in the know, as I was not, Mike Reno was the lead singer for the band Loverboy and Ann Wilson was the lead singer for Heart – both major '80s bands in their own right.)

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