Double Duds: The 10 Worst Duets Since "Ebony and Ivory"
3. Korn & Amy Lee, "Freak on a Leash (Unplugged)": Some bands should just never unplug. Anti-melodic metal bands, for starters. Korn thought they'd give it a go anyway. God bless 'em, they really shouldn't have.
A lot gets lost in the translation of "Freak on a Leash" from nu-metal rager to Middle Eastern-inspired ballad. Namely, the crunch that gives Korn its appeal. Singer Jonathan Davis's trademark scat vocals are ditched in favor of some plaintive warbling from Evanescence front woman Amy Lee. Not really sure which I'd have preferred, honestly. The whole thing is just terminally silly.
This "Unplugged" episode flopped hard and was quickly forgotten by Korn fans. (Not really difficult, when you smoke that much pot.)
2. Michael Jackson & Paul McCartney, "Say, Say, Say": When onetime superstar pals Michael Jackson and Paul McCartney got together to record a duet, it only makes sense that they'd stay as far away as possible from both anthemic pop balladry and danceable R&B. After all, who wants to hear that sort of thing from these two?
Instead, they chose to release this middle-of-the-road piece of '80s pabulum. Seriously, two of the most celebrated pop songwriters in music history, and this is what they come up with?
The inane music video didn't do the song any favors, but nothing could have saved "Say, Say, Say." The track is completely limp from start to finish, and the lyrics are embarrassing. The song is completely unremarkable in every way save for the names attached to it, and no one has ever genuinely enjoyed listening to it even one single time.
1. Mick Jagger & David Bowie, "Dancing in the Streets": Two legends, caught in an androgyny loop, skipping down the street like the biggest geeks in the world wearing the worst '80s fashions ever recorded. That'll be the MTV Generation's enduring image of this duet from 1985.
Dreamed up for Live Aid, it was definitely a rush job: A rough mix of the track was completed in just four hours, at which point the pair went straight out to film a video with director David Mallet. A really, really hilariously dated video that was completed the same day. I like to think they provided their own wardrobe -- this was for charity, after all!
Needless to say, the song was a hit -- "Dancing in the Streets" always is. But it was just such an excruciatingly self-congratulatory '80s song. The very height of lameness, it's a moment in time both performers probably wish to forget, assuming they remember it.
In a survey conducted by PRS for Music, the song was voted as the top song Brits planned to play at street parties celebrating the Royal Wedding in 2011. That makes me hate it slightly more for some reason.
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