Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Two to Tango

It takes two, so says Rolling Stone’s 20 Greatest Duos of All Time.  “Less narcissistic than a solo performer, more intimate than a band.”  Not sure that quite holds up, but when the chemistry works, a duo can indeed be magical.

I’m a tad confused about what holds this list together, though.  We’ve got bona fide duos, such as Richard and Linda Thompson, Simon & Garfunkel, and The Everly Brothers.

But then we’ve got duos that may be duos but they sound like bands, even though they are definitely driven by a partnership of two, e.g. Black Keys or Steely Dan.  I mean, is Ronnie Wood any less of a hired gun than Larry Carlton?

Debatable, maybe, if you apply that logic to Sam & Dave, but then the list gets weird.  Ashford & Simpson were really known for songwriting, not performing, so why not King & Goffin?  Fripp & Eno were a one-off.  Ike Tuner was big before Tina, Tina was big after Ike, and no one wants to remember the period in between.

Maybe 20 is a stretch and this should have been a Top 10 list.

ps - Lee Hazelwood and Nancy Sinatra have “stood the test of time?”  Really?

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