tisdag 10 maj 2011

Excellent musical collaborations across genre boundaries

Now, I have occasionally let slip my opinion that there's been no music worth buying since 1992, but there are some exceptions. One of the greatest crossover hits ever is "Friday". Hey, it's got Stephen Colbert, for crying out loud! Taylor Hicks acting girlish doesn't really work, but other than that, it's one superb fun video … because everybody involved seem to be having a great time – and the dancers do add to that, with their beauty, smiles and energy. I'm not always impressed with what passes for choreography in musical bits and videos, but these girls do bring the right kind of positive, happy energy to the performance.

Another example is "Jack Sparrow" with Michael Bolton and The Lonely Island. Bolton is seriously brilliant in this.

"Now back to the good part!!"

Like I said, brilliant. Kudos to Bolton for being so ready to poke fun at himself.

Then we have a couple of older examples – KLF and country legend Tammy Wynette in "Justified And Ancient". I love this.

I've never been a big fan of either Run DMC or Aerosmith, but this "Walk This Way" version is one great music video – a nice storyline and different musical styles merging very well. (Though Aerosmith's "Janie's Got A Gun" video is excellent as well.)

I'll be a bit patriotic and throw in what isn't exactly a collaboration, but at least it's across genre boundaries: Swedish jazz pianist Jan Johansson giving his rendition of the old folk music classic "Visa från Utanmyra":

And then I'll end this with Paul Simon's brilliant Graceland album where he used South African rythms, employing black South African musicians and getting slapped on the wrist by the UN as a thank you for his troubles – South Africa was under a boycott at the time, and using your cultural clout to give some exposure to black musicians wasn't considered a viable excuse.

I'm not posting any of those videos, however, but a a different song from the Graceland album: "You Can Call Me Al". That's partly because I had trouble finding good videos of the songs with the more obvious South African inspirations, and partly because "You Can Call Me Al" is quite possibly the greatest music video ever. Enjoy!

Edit: I almost forgot – heck, I did forget – Dame Shirley Bassey's wonderful version of Pink's "Get The Party Started". I'll throw that in, as well, because it's so great and she's so cute when she giggles:

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