10 – Johnny Cash and Joe Strummer – Redemption Song
Sadly, both of these legends had died before this collaboration was eventually released on a Cash box-set. There is also an excellent Strummer solo version on his posthumous Streetcore album, but there’s something special about hearing a country veteran and a punk innovator sing a folk song made famous by Bob Marley.
9 – Youssou N’Dour and Neneh Cherry – 7 Seconds
Youssou N’Dour was a world music star already but this duet with Neneh Cherry was well-timed to coincide with her 15 minutes of pop fame. It helped that it was such a fantastic song, mingling their vocals perfectly.
8 – Otis Redding and Carla Thomas – Tramp
Some of the best duets are those that have a bit of life about them. Soppy lovey-dovey duets are one thing, but a good barney is much more fun, and not many are better than Otis and Carla going at it on this feisty soul classic.
7 – Morrissey and Siouxsie Sioux – Interlude
Morrissey was always a big fan of the awesome Timi Yuro and took the opportunity early in his solo career to record one of her best songs, getting Siouxsie Sioux in to sweeten the deal. It’s not got the heartbreaking power of the original, but it’s one of his best solo releases.
6 – Neil Tennant and Dusty Springfield – What Have I Done To Deserve This?
Disgracefully, Dusty Springfield was almost a forgotten figure by the late 1980s, despite the stunning work she’d done in the 60s and 70s, but this collaboration with the Pet Shop Boys rejuvenated her career and helped remind everyone of her legendary talents.
5 – Nick Cave and Kylie Minogue – Where The Wild Roses Grow
The most unlikely match-up of this whole list, it saw chalk and cheese Aussies Cave and Minogue join forces for a song that sees his character bash her head in with a rock. Like I said, some of the best duets are the ones that aren’t exactly romantic.
4 – Tom Petty and Stevie Nicks – Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around
Another of those songs that is more of a downer than most duets, this is one of the best things either Petty or Nicks have ever done, and it’s a bona fide classic.
3 – Johnny Cash and June Carter – Jackson
Cash’s second duet in this list was a very different one from his one with Strummer. Back in the 60s, he made an awesome album of duets with wife-to-be June Carter and the highlight is this rollicking barnstormer. Great fun.
2 – Marvin Gaye And Tammi Terrell – Ain’t Nothing Like The Real Thing
The only traditional romantic duet of the bunch, this is the best of the Gaye/Terrell recordings (and that’s saying something), and is a beautiful, shimmering pop song. The less said about Elton John’s cover version with Marcella Detroit, the better.
1 – Lee Hazlewood and Nancy Sinatra – Some Velvet Morning
And finally we have Nancy and Lee. They recorded so many incredible duets that they could have had a Top 10 list of their own, but this trippy slice of saucy kitsch insanity wins out.