The following is a list of musicial duos -- that's two people who work together -- currently still on the active roster, according to their most recent profiles. The excitement these duos bring to their fans is incalculable. However, thanks to Y! Music's proprietary software, I am able to rank them in terms of their greatness.
Of course, several of the duos aren't really duos. That is, they hire other people to play along with them and support their sound. It's a not-so-polite way of keeping the overheard manageable and eliminating an excessive amount of egos from destroying the group. Duos such as Jagger-Richards, Tyler-Perry and others were not counted towards this list, since their duo-ship is in service to the greater band. Others missing here are likely broken up and will fall to the list of Disbanded Duos that is coming shortly.
I am proud to bring this incredibly important information to you. While other classmates of mine have gone on to advanced medical degrees or to act as titans of corporate leadership, I am strong in knowing that I provide mankind with a much needed service. We can never let this sacred listing business fall into the wrong hands. What would become of the children?
25) Chemical Brothers: Welcome to the digital age. Ed and Tom Chemical were able to put a face of sorts on a slippery genre where stars were in small supply. As a result, they continue to be far more successful than lesser-known brands. Underground obscurity might be good for the cool crowd, but the American consumer needs to wrap itself around a concept. There was a reason album art was once important. Time is short. Judge a book by its cover today!
24) Black Keys: Hugely successful duo from Akron, Ohio who bring out the blues in the garage rock category, the Black Keys even win Grammy Awards for something countless other bands not named the White Stripes have been doing for years to far less success. They work hard, no doubt. But the constant high critical ranking of their records makes me wonder, ooh, it makes me wonder.
23) Loggins and Messina: Listening to "Your Mama Don't Dance" is the quickest way to bring up the donuts lodged in your stomach. The ersatz mellowness of these guys is only made tolerable by the fact that it prevents Kenny Loggins from having a solo career, where he has done far more damage. This is not it.
22) Ween: Merry goofballs and masters of approximating a multitude of genres, Aaron Freeman (Gene Ween) and Mickey Melchiondo (Dean Ween) moved from aggressive home-taping freakouts to professional studio wizards in record time. Proof that not everyone who does drugs turns into a mellow, self-infatuated burnout and that some kids who work in record stores eventually amount to something.
21) Tegan and Sara: Twins are hot. Everyone will tell you that. Nelson, anyone? Tegan and Sara were initially known as Sara and Tegan, an important distinction that surely is the reason for the success. They hail from Canada, where the government forces citizens to buy their records.
20) Indigo Girls: "Closer To Fine" from their second album was required performing for all young, female folk duos looking to find their voice back in the early 1990s and while the lyrics were a bit strained (ah, youth!), the melody was a keeper.
19) Tenacious D: Jack Black might be a bit on the hard-to-take side (a bit?), but some of the jokes here actually work and stand up to repeated listenings. Or to quote AC/DC, I'll you something, it's harder than it looks.
18) Eagles of Death Metal: Here's a duo who use a long list of other musicians to execute a sound that is neither "death metal" nor a tribute to the Eagles. It's like we've raised a generation of liars! Or at least, fibbers!
17) P.M. Dawn: Ill health has slowed the mighty P.M. Dawn who are likely better known for taking Spandau Ballet's "True" and turning it into "Set Adrift on Memory Bliss" than the rest of what they did. The brothers from Jersey City, NJ presaged the entire Jersey craze by a few years. If they were brand new these days, there'd be an entire reality show based on them.
16) School of Seven Bells: Further proof that's three's-a-crowd, The Seven Bells School in Brooklyn slimmed down to a duo when one sister cited personal reasons for leaving the fold, leaving just former Secret Machines dude to hang with the remaining sister. Music and life -- wars of attrition!
15) Air Supply: This is pretty sketchy. Air Supply is said to be Graham Russell and Russell Hitchcock, so the other three guys appearing on the cover of their hit album, Lost in Love? I guess they're not really there.
14) She & Him: She is Zooey "New Girl" Deschanel and Him is M. Ward. Despite this musical outlet, she still sings in the movies in which she appears. I wish parents had crushed the spirits of their little ones once in awhile. All this "anything is possible" stuff really bugs me.
13) Frenchy and the Punk: Steampunk's hardest-working duo? Making inroads the old-fashioned way -- endless touring and hauling merch -- F&P prove that three chords and the truth are fine for awhile but eventually the kids want more glamour in their lives. Who was more punk that Edith "I Regret Nothing" Piaf? Sid Vicious?
12) Wendy and Lisa: Known as being members of Prince's band, The Revolution, back when Prince was at his commercial peak, The Wendy and the Lisa have gone on to become go-to musicians for so many estimable names that it's surprising they don't have more individual commercial success. These days, their name is kept in popular circulation by Nurse Jackie, but if liner notes still existed in physical form, kids today would notice their names are everywhere.
11) Massive Attack: I admit I've loved Massive Attack ever since hearing their music on Luther. Further research shows they've been around for decades and have hundreds of fans who are quite angry at me.
10) Beach House: The Wire isn't the only thing to come out of Baltimore besides John Waters. This "dream-pop" duo includes a French-born lady and a Baltimore boy who are wracking up positive reviews and even sales. Frenchy and the Kid? They exist as proof that SubPop Records never flags in their ability to sign talent and that the label has arguably improved since leaving the grunge behind.
9) The Fiery Furnaces: Matthew and Eleanor Friedberger are like the Karen and Richard Carpenter of their era, which is notably more abrasive than the mellow 1970s. Perhaps they are spokespeople for a generation. Generation, what do you think?
8) Hall and Oates: Curiously, new generations take to the blue-eyed soul and goofy-funk of these groovy dudes in a way that hipsters that existed when H&O Railroad were at their commercial peak surely didn't indulge. Which should serve as a warning to hipsters. You know those mainstream acts you deride? They'll be all the rage in twenty years and no one's going to give two hoots about your art-project. That's just the way it goes. Apparently.
7) Pet Shop Boys: The most successful duo in UK history are relegated to "alternative" stars in the U.S.A. where audiences have trouble connecting due to the duo's lack of heartland appeal.
6) Sparks: Ron and Russell Mael are yet another cult band who make you question why the mainstream exists. Who hasn't sat back and watched a Music Awards show and wondered to themselves if maybe this music thing isn't for them? The idea that Diane Warren lives on a beach in California with her endless string of hit singles while others die in the gutters penniless, well, it makes you want to sit in a park for months!
5) Raveonettes: Coming up with a successful template shouldn't be that difficult. Pull out the usual tropes of sex, drugs and rock 'n roll and cover it up in enough feedback and you've got the decadence crowd covered. Throw a few girl-group progressions in there and you've even got rock historians covered. Life is easy!
4) They Might Be Giants: TMBG, everyone's accusing me. As someone who used to call their Dial-A-Song back when long distance cost real money, I was intrigued by the novelty. The two Johns are well-known for "Boss of Me" from Malcolm In The Middle and the Bob Mould tune heard at the end of The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, a popular faux-news program noted for its humorous style and irreverent humor that is quite popular with the kids. In a just world, the two Johns would have Bono and his clowns washing their cars.
3) Everly Brothers: Anyone who ever sang a harmony in the second half of the 20th Century owes some sort of debt to Phil and Don. So, if you hear them knocking at the door, let 'em in!
2) Steely Dan: Why not just burn everyone else out and keep the spoils for yourself and your buddy? Psych everyone out with endless repetition and create an elite club where only the best and the brightest can shine! None of which would mean a thing if these folks didn't give you the creeps. You think Slayer is evil? They're pikers compared to these evil mothers who are here to tell you that everything is just dirt, Dr. Wu.
1) Suicide: Now this is a duo. Singer and organ guy. Audiences hated them or at least used them as a reason to riot. They're folk music for people who hate acoustic guitars and other people. We shall overcome? Yeah, sure.