Top 10 Rock Star Backup Vocal Collabortions

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David Bowie and Queen perform "Under Pressure"

Every now and then, rockstars align to bring us a classic we never saw coming. No matter what the genre, you have plenty of examples of two (sometimes three or more) powerhouses coming together to back each other up with a set of voices that are usually so different that they sound like they were made for each other. The songs almost make us wish they'd just fucking ditch their other bands and go on the road together. While rarely the case, there are plenty of instances where a momentary union of rock-meets-hip-hop or country-meets-gospel or weirdo-meets-weirdo can turn out some fine background vocals that make a song better than it would've been otherwise. These are our picks for the top 10 best back-up vocal collaborations.


10. Gwen Stefani and Eve "Rich Girl", Love.Angel.Music.Baby (2004)

The ridiculously catchy second single off Gwen Stefani's debut solo album, Love.Angel.Music.Baby. (2004) is based off of the song "If I Were a Rich Man" in the musical Fiddler off on the Roof. As if swiping a song concept from a Jewish folk tune for a pop song wasn't ballsy enough, Stefani also added rapper Eve to the mix, who fired off some support bars that turned the song into a less-than-traditional club hit.

9. Moby and Gwen Stefani "South Side", Play (1999)

The original release of "South Side" off Moby's fifth album Play (1999) was without Gwen Stefani's vocal's and was was actually his least favorite song off that record at first because he  didn't think that he could mix her vocal's into the song to the best of his abilities. He had released the album without her vocals and a year later, he gave the track to a friend who remixed the song bring to us this lovely complete version.


8. Temple of the Dog (Chris Cornell and Eddie Vedder), "Hunger Strike" Temple of the Dog (1991)

"Hunger Strike," written by Chris Cornell, would not be the song it is if it was not for Pearl Jam or Eddie Vedder's baritone vocals on this track. The intensity and contrast between the two men's voices makes this song distinct from anything else that either of them had done up to that point. This song was recorded before Pearl Jam released Ten, and it was on Temple of the Dog (1991), the sole eponymous of Cornell and Vedder's grunge supergroup.


7. Blink 182 and Robert Smith "All of This", All of This (2003)

Before Blink 182 took a hiatus in the mid 00's, they released their 2003 self-titled record, which was an album unlike everything else they had put out and "All of This" (2003) was a song that demonstrated how different their sound could be. With vocal help from Robert Smith of the Cure, it gave this song the dark edge that the lyrics have. Recorded in four different studios, the emotional continuity of the song ensures that you'd never know it. It's still pretty hard to believe that this came from the same guys who made Dude Ranch.



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