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Strange Musical Collaborations

by: 
Sean, Standley Lake Library

Oh, Lou Lou!

So have you heard the travesty that is Lou Reed’s latest work, Lulu? Using Metallica as his backing band, Reed has created what many critics are calling the single worst album ever made. You can decide for yourself by getting the CD through the library, but please don’t retaliate afterward by doing something rash like petitioning to cut off our funding.

It’s definitely a strange collaboration, foreshadowed by a notorious live performance of “Sweet Jane” in 2009. Who in the world could listen to this and think, “Wow, Metallica and Lou Reed sound great together!” Only a pairing of Snoop Dogg and Kenny Rogers rapping Christmas songs while the Trans-Siberian Orchestra blares away in the background might be worse (though TSO can make almost anything sound classy).

The Lou Reed/Mettalica train wreck aside, I love it when different musicians team up in odd ways to produce something unexpected and jaw-dropping without being unlistenable. JCPL happens to have a few of my favorites:

Raising Sand  – Rock god Robert Plant meets bluegrass fiddler Alison Krauss. This is a warm, rich album that caught everyone off-guard.

Seeking Major Tom  – Captain Kirk covers a lot of famous songs with a host of equally famous artists, including Brad Paisley and Peter Frampton.

Distant Relatives  – Rap meets Reggae as Nas works with Damian Marley on an album concerned with the well-being of Africa.

Duets - Lots of artists produce duet CDs, but I think this is one of the cooler ones, as opera star Pavoratti hooks up with everyone from Eric Clapton to Frank Sinatra to Lionel Ritchie while covering opera and pop rock standards.

Turtleneck and Chain - SNL’s Andy Samberg’s hilarious band is back with a ton of weird collaborations with celebrities, including director John Waters, Beck and Michael Bolton.