This week, Norah Jones and Green Day's Billie Joe Armstrong release Foreverly, an out-of-leftfield but lovely tribute to the Everly Brothers. Listen below:
But this odd couple got us thinking about other inspired — if not always as successful — unions from pop's quirky past.
LADY GAGA & BEYONCÉ, "TELEPHONE" (2010)
Lady Gaga and Beyoncé's tag-team "Telephone" video was an outrageous homage to Quentin Tarantino, bondage, the love that dares not speak its name, and every women's-prison picture grimed to a drive-in screen. Even as firebrand Sasha Fierce, it's rare to see Beyoncé, with her Betty Page-via-Rosario Dawson bangs, in such kinky form. Curious fashions aside, it was fun to see these icons at the pinnacle of their powers rampaging together.
FRANK SINATRA & BONO, "I'VE GOT YOU UNDER MY SKIN" (1993)
Bono seemed to take the title literally, crawling through the Cole Porter chestnut like a predatory fly, his intentions oblique. Meanwhile, Frank kept it traditional with love-daubed strings and well-scrubbed belts of old-school come-hither. The conflicting interpretations didn't quite work, but they rode an interesting lounge-lizard line between creepy and lovely.
ANI DiFRANCO & JACKIE CHAN, "UNFORGETTABLE" (2000)
Whoever joined these two on record was a genius. Jackie's earnest sweetness complemented Ani's dreamy songstress as they serenaded one another over an arrangement so spare, Jackie would've had nothing to use if the bad guys had busted in.
LORETTA LYNN & JACK WHITE, "PORTLAND OREGON" (2004)
Could a six-string bruiser with punk-blues roots make beautiful music with a coal miner's daughter who's been synonymous with country for nearly five decades? When Jack White of the White Stripes joined forces with Loretta Lynn on Van Lear Rose, the answer was a gratifying yes. Gratifying to listeners, too: The album went on to nab two Grammys, including Best Country Collaboration with Vocals for the song featured here.
NANCY SINATRA & MORRISSEY, "LET ME KISS YOU" (2004)
Always a gentleman, Morrissey not only lent his "Kiss" to the Chairman's daughter, he cooed in its chorus with her, too. In a lovey-dovey move, both artists released their own versions of the track on the same day. Hers appeared on a self-titled comeback bid populated with members of Pulp, U2, and Sonic Youth (Nancy fans all). His surfaced on his seventh solo slab, You Are the Quarry. It wasn't quite as star-studded, but it did include vocals from the ex-lead singer of the Smiths.
SNOOP DOGG & WILLIE NELSON, "MY MEDICINE" (2008)
One was hip-hop to the bone, the other was country to his core, but what they both had in common was an affinity for the sweet leaf. Texas met Long Beach and jetted off to Amsterdam for one of those weekends no one will remember.