View Full Version : There needs to be a $%&#in' law: NO MORE DUETS WITH DEAD PEOPLE!!

El Chuxter
08-17-2007, 09:53 AM
This kind of crap endlessly p***es me off.

Why? First, the end result is never, ever any good. It's just someone trying to karaoke along with the recording, or, worse, repeating the last syllable of each line. It makes fine works of music unlistenable.

Second, it's hokey, sentimental crap that is never more than a publicity stunt. Period. The end result is not good enough to actually excel on its own, but news outlets cover the "novelty" of it (though we've unfortunately heard dozens by now), and it becomes successful, or at least successful enough that it's tough to totally ignore it. It's kinda like that that piece of s*** version of "Candle in the Wind" that Elton totally re-wrote for Princess Diana (and credited to Bernie Taupin, though Bernie writing lyrics that bad would nullify the very fabric of the space-time continuum.)

What else? People actually forget the original! My sister-in-law asked me to do the music at her wedding earlier this summer. She wanted "Unforgettable" by Natalie and Nat King Cole. After cringing, I played her a clip of the remake (no way in hell will I own it), then the original in its entirety. You know what? She's in her late 30s and had never heard the original! She didn't even realize the new version was a crummy beyond-the-grave duet.

At least Natalie has some talent (inevident that it may be on this song--she did sing "This Will Be" way back when). The reason I'm disgusted enough to bring this up again is that I just heard part of a duet between Elvis and Lisa Marie Presley on the news. Yeah, that's right. Elvis, arguably the greatest singer of any generation, accompanied by his daughter who's so talentless that even one of the biggest publicity blitzes in history and a marriage to Michael Jackson couldn't sell her crap.

It's wrong. Simply wrong. Because the dead guy can't opt out! Frank Sinatra or BB King can--and did (still is in BB's case)--put out as many albums of mediocre, phoned-in duets they want. But Frank could've shot down a duet with Lemmy, if Lemmy asked to be on the album and Frank didn't know who he was (which is probably not the case, since everyone loves Lemmy).

But there's a recent album entirely of "beyond the dead" remakes of Dean Martin songs. Did Dino get to say, "Dude, I f***ing hate Joss Stone"? No, he didn't.

What about "There's a Tear in My Beer." Hank Jr (admittedly never one to compare to his late father in any minds but the most hopelessly redneck) got all sentimental about recording that duet being the "sweetest thang done ever did done." How about cover the song in your father's memory? Or, better yet, start a Hank museum, or rescue kittens from trees?

Hell, even Queen's [I]Made in Heaven or the Beatles "Free as a Bird" and "Real Love" sound like what they are--three otherwise talented guys clumsily finishing a dead guy's unfinished demos.

Even greater talents than you might expect have fallen into this schlock. Shortly before his own death, the great John Lee Hooker did a beyond the grave duet with Jim Morrison on "Roadhouse Blues," simply repeating parts of lines. Yeah, one of the greatest bluesmen ever. He could've competently, even masterfully, have covered it. Hell, he could've worked with the surviving Doors--nothing wrong with that. Why keep Jim's voice on it? It becomes an embarassment to both. And we're talking about two masters and a truly great song, reduced to drek because someone got the bright idea to make it a duet.

Seriously, this needs to be a capital crime. No jury of your peers, you're just shot onto the moon without a spacesuit.

Bel-Cam Jos
08-17-2007, 11:23 AM
What about a duet album of ONLY dead people? Elvis singing with Janis; Jimi and Brad from Sublime; George Harrison with Harris Georgeson :p .

Listen, songs and music can change, and collaborations have become the norm. Remember when music videos (remember those things?) used to have ONE ARTIST attributed. Now, they're:

Fergie, featuring B-Real, Rob Thomas, John Fogerty, Bow-Wow-Wow, and M.
"Song With No Rael Lyrics"
Big Scary Date B-Movie soundtrack
Broken Records
Director: Stephen Hawking


08-17-2007, 11:56 AM
I don't like the duet thing. Even when it's a relative. The commercials with famous people long dead is kinda tacky too.
Now I don't mind a re-mix of songs with the original artist.
"A little less talk and a lot more conversation" by Elvis is pretty good (for Las Vegas TV show)
Blondie's remix of "Rapture" with Jim Morrison piping in with "Riders on the Storm" is not too bad though. Even though it's kind of a duet with a dead guy.

08-17-2007, 10:34 PM
Chux, you can include Kelly and (half-dead) Ozzy Osbourne soiling the beautiful Changes by Black Sabbath.

That Nat / Nat duet might have you peeved...but it led to a CLASSIC SNL sketch, "Natalie Cole sings with all her dad's dead old friends." Great bit. :thumbsup:

08-17-2007, 10:57 PM
I want to do a duet with Anna Nichol Smith. Ok, neither of us can sing, but she had other talents. :love:

08-18-2007, 07:50 AM
I'd love to see what Wierd Al could do with this subject :evil:

Wierd Al and Tiny Tim............:Ponder:

08-18-2007, 08:12 AM
Good Call Chux, funny htring, I bet it's easier to get the rights to a vocal track and do this than it would be to get two artists on different labels together- that might be why it happens so damn often, cos the innate crappiness of the end product simply doesn't explain the frequency of this high crime
:beard: Iso & Baws
I would also attach a "no childrens voices raised in song" clause

08-18-2007, 08:50 AM
I heard Stanse does this all the time...didn't they do a retro track with the voice of Ritchie Valens laid over some brutal metal riffs ?

El Chuxter
08-18-2007, 08:55 AM
I would also attach a "no childrens voices raised in song" clause

That would eliminate half of Destroyer, though.

That Nat / Nat duet might have you peeved...but it led to a CLASSIC SNL sketch, "Natalie Cole sings with all her dad's dead old friends." Great bit. :thumbsup:

"Hey! I am not dead!"

I actually meant to mention that the Lisa Marie duet sounds just like that sketch, with her just clumsily repeating everything.

BTW, I heard Stanse's next album would include something totally new: a trio featuring Nina Simone and the Notorious BIG.

08-19-2007, 11:05 AM
They altered Biggie's vocals from "Big Poppa" to say "I like it when you call me Big Pegwarmer"

09-04-2007, 11:44 AM
I agree with Lisa Marie Pres singing "In the Ghetto" with her father is a bad idea. Its not even a good song. She could have picked a LOT better one.

However, Celine Dion's duet with Elvis "If I Can Dream" on American Idol this last year was sweet!