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Best Rock Collaborations

Over the years we have seen a lot of artists pair together for one reason or another.  Some of these collaborations are the stuff of legend.

Queen plus Paul Rodgers in 2008. Photo courtesy Getty Images

How awesome is it when a couple of our favorite artists pair together for a big hit?  Even if it’s not a big hit it quickly becomes a fan favorite.  I love when rockers get together for a collaboration whether it be for an album, a song or a one time live performance, it is always cool.  There is only one rock collaboration that I think everyone can agree on that it should have never happened, but we will get to that later.  The idea for this top 10 list came to me the other day when I was listening to one of my favorite “super groups” Audioslave.  I thought to myself, man it is awesome when two proven things get together and make magic.  This got me thinking about all the different collaborations that have gone on over the years.  There have been so many how do I put them into a list?  So here (in my opinion) are rocks greatest collaborations.

10. Probot
First of all anything that Dave Grohl touches turns to gold.  Now a days he has taken up the role as guitar player and lead singer of the Foo Fighters.  Let us not forget that he is one of the best drummers in the business.  This was a side project of his.  Just one album, but it featured some of heavy metals best.  Collaborations with Lemmy of Motor Head, Max Cavalera, King Diamond, Mike Dean and more this was one sweet record.

9.  Anthrax featuring Public Enemy-Bring the Noise
Two of the biggest acts in their respective genres.  The pairing of Anthrax and Public Enemy in 1990 was something that we had never really seen.  Rap artists had sampled songs in the past but to actually do it live together was such a inventive thing.  It gave rap rock artists to courage to come out from the underground and rule much of the late 90′s.

8. U2 & Green Day-The Saints are Coming
After Hurricane Katrina wrecked the city of New Orleans many rushed to their aid.  U2 and Green Day decided to do what they do best and rock!  They recorded their take of The Skids “The Saints are Coming” as a tribute to the New Orleans Saints whose home was destroyed by Katrina. The song was huge and got a Grammy nomination for best rock performance by a duo or group.

7. Chad Kroeger & Josey Scott-Hero
Sometimes a song comes along with a big movie that is just the perfect fit.  This is one of those.  I know there are a lot of Nickelback haters out there but you can’t deny that this is an awesome song.  I love the way that Kroeger and Josey Scott (Saliva) do the harmonies together.  It is a catchy rock song with an epic feel.

6. Traveling Wilburys
What an impressive lineup.  Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Tom Petty, Roy Orbison and Jeff Lynne.  They were only an active band for 2 years, but what a sweet collaboration.  They only have 2 albums out.  You can pick those up for a mind explosion of awesomeness or you can pick up the Traveling Wilburys Collection that was released in 2007 which features all their tunes in one package.

5. Temple of the Dog
Grunge royalty in this band.  When you put together the vocals of Chris Cornell and Eddie Vedder you get such a unique melodic sound.  Throw in Mike McCready on guitar and Matt Cameron on drums and the whole package is put together.  It was a band put together in tribute to the late Andrew Wood and only had one album but every once in a while Cronell will break out “Hunger Strike” at a show.

4. Eric Clapton & B.B. King
Once again another one and done album featuring two of the greatest guitar players of all time.  I love Riding with the King because there is such an sweet variety of Clapton style songs and B.B. King style tunes that you can’t shut it off.

3. Queen + Paul Rodgers
Queen is one of the most influential bands of all time.  Unfortunately they lost lead singer Freddy Mercury in the early 90′s to AIDs.  So the band lay dormant for years.  Finally in 2004 they got together with legendary Band Company front man Paul Rodgers who has one of the best voices in rock.  They put out 1 album and 2 live albums and then called it quits in 2009.

2. Michael Jackson-Beat It featuring Eddie Van Halen on guitar
Probably the biggest artist in the world, Michael Jackson’s Thriller was a monster.  Throw one of the worlds greatest guitar players and you have gold.  This collaboration while not as well known as others is one of the best.  That screaming guitar solo in the middle of the song gives it the rock cred it deserves.


Micheal Jackson – Beat It by lostinthe80s

1. RUN DMC & Aerosmith-Walk this Way
The song that ushered in an entire music scene.  No one had done this before.  Aerosmith’s career was not going to well at the time and RUN DMC were kings of the rap world.  “Walk this Way” wasn’t only huge for the Kings of Rock, but it totally gave new life to Aerosmith who became even bigger than ever.  Without this song we wouldn’t see Korn, Rage Against The Machine, Linkin Park, Limp Bizkit, Kid Rock and so many more.

So those are my top 10 rock collaborations.  I am sure I have left off some of your favorites so let me know.  I have to give a nod to a couple notable ones:  Steveie Nicks with Tom Petty “Quit Dragging My Heart Around”; Paul McCartney & Michael Jackson “Say,Say,Say”; Audioslave and Velvet Revolver.  So on that note it is time to put up the WORST rock collaboration of all time.  This one is terrible. Now by themselves I absolutely love these two artists, but together, what a disaster. It is none other than Mick Jagger and David Bowie covering “Dancing in the Streets”.

Worst Rock Collaboration:

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