Ten Pop/Rock Crossovers That Worked – Or Didn’t!
With the news that Mary J. Blige is doing a cover of Zeppelin’s Stairway To Heaven, Classic Rock takes a look at 10 other pop/rock crossovers. Some worked. Others…well, they’re best forgotten!
1. Michael Jackson – He might have been wacko, but Jacko knew the value of a great guitarist. So he worked with Eddie Van Halen, Slash and Steve Lukather. The best collaboration was probably with Van Halen on Beat It.
2. Chris Cornell – His last solo album, Scream, had great songs, fantastic vocals – and a dog of a production from Timbaland. All the latter did was sprinkle some urban chintz, which was wholly inappropriate! Still, at least it got Cornell back with Soundgarden.
3. Judas Priest – It seemed like an interested idea. Get the icons of metal to work with Stock, Aitken & Waterman, the high priests of pop. This happened at the end of the 1980s, but the results were allegedly so disastrous that the band won’t let anyone hear the tracks!
4. Duran Duran – It’s said that, under the influence of guitarist Andy Taylor, the new romantic pin-up lads decided to make Wild Boys a real hard rock slammer, with lots of geetar, The story goes that EMI, their label, almost went into convulsions when they heard the result. So, what was finally released as a single had almost all the guitar removed. Shame.
5. Puff Daddy – When the rap hellraiser did the song Come With Me for the soundtrack of the Godzilla movie in 1998, it was effectively a remake of Zeppelin’s Kashmir. Not only did Jimmy Page approve, he played on it! As did Tom Morello of Rage Against The Machine. Nobody should be proud of the result.
6. Metallica – So, Metallica decided that they needed a female voice for the song The Memory Remains, from the ReLoad album. They got in the legendary Marianne Fathfull, and then proceeded to make her sound like a daft old bat. Right at the end of the song, they even appear to leave the studio, turn out the lights, lock the door, and she’s croaking away. Embarrassing.
7. Mariah Carey – In 2002, the diva covered Def Leppard’s Bringin’ On The Heartbreak. Talk about showboating. Joe Elliott might have approved, but few others did. It was released as a single and flopped. Sometimes the public does know best.
8. Sugababes and Girls Aloud – The two all gal groups combined in 2007 for a cover of Aerosmith’s Walk This Way. All done for Comic Relief. It’s best to treat this as a comedy record, actually.
9. Will Young – The Pop Idol idler covered The Doors classic Light My Fire in 2002. It’s so bad you wanna set him alight, and then set him free in a sea of petrol!
10. Diana Ross – The queen of Motown stunned everyone in 1981 by recording a rock single. Mirror Mirror even had an – ulp! – guitar solo. The fact she was dating Gene Simmons at the time could explain it all. But it was actually not too bad.
Know any other examples of pop/rock crossovers? Let us know your faves – or your hates – below!
Tags: Aerosmith, Andy Taylor, Chris Cornell, Def Leppard, Diana Ross, Duran Duran, Eddie Van Halen, Gene Simmons, Girls Aloud, Jimmy Page, Joe Elliott, Judas Priest, Led Zeppelin, Mariah Carey, Marianne Faithfull, Mary J. Blige, Metallica, Michael jackson, Puff Daddy, Rage Against The Machine, Slash, Soundgarden, Steve Lukather, Stock Aitkin & Waterman, Sugar Babes, The Doors, Timbaland, Tom Morello, Will Young