When Two Make One

A playlist of songs by duos

The other day, fellow blogger Max from PowerPop posted about Cathy’s Clown, a great tune by The Everly Brothers. He wrote, “When Phil and Don would sing….their two voices would become one.” I couldn’t agree more! In this context, I thought about Simon & Garfunkel, another example of beautiful vocals in perfect harmony. Sometimes it takes two artists to make magic happen, not only when it comes to singing but also when creating music – a good topic for a post, I thought!

After doing a bit of research, I was quickly reminded of the large number of musical duos. The following doesn’t include one-offs. I’m also excluding songwriting partnerships like John Lennon and Paul McCartney, Mick Jagger and Keith Richards, Carole King and Gerry Goffin, or Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, to name a few. All of my picks were or are permanent pairings. Apart from six tracks released in different decades, which are highlighted in the upfront, I’ve included numerous additional tunes in a playlist at the end of the post.

The Everly Brothers/Wake Up Little Susie

Since this post was inspired by an Everly Brothers tune, it felt right to kick things off with a song they performed. Wake Up Little Susie, co-written by Felice Bryant and Boudleaux Bryant, was my introduction to Don Everly and Phil Everly sometime during my teenage years back in Germany. First released as a single in September 1957, Wake Up Little Susie became their first no. 1 on the U.S. mainstream Billboard Hot 100. What a great acoustic rock & roll tune!

Simon & Garfunkel/The Sound of Silence

One of my favorite songs by Simon & Garfunkel is The Sound of Silence. Penned by Paul Simon, this gem is off their debut studio record Wednesday Morning, 3 A.M. from October 1964. It was also released separately as a single in September 1965 and became their first hit, topping the Billboard Hot 100, climbing to no. 2 in New Zealand, and reaching no. 3 in each Australia and Austria. It also charted in a few other European countries.

Hall & Oates/She’s Gone

While Daryl Hall and John Oates have written many great tunes, I’m mostly drawn to their ’70s output. Here’s She’s Gone, a track from their sophomore album Abandoned Luncheonette that appeared in November 1973. The song was also released as a single that same month and became their first charting tune in the U.S., reaching no. 60 on the Billboard Hot 100. I’ve always loved its great soul vibe.

Eurythmics/Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This)

When I think about duos and the ’80s, Hall & Oates, Tears For Fears and Eurythmics come to mind first. The first time I heard of Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart was in 1983 when they came out with Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This). Penned by Stewart and released in January that year, the tune became their first big hit. Among others, it topped the charts in the U.S. and Canada, and reached no. 2 in the UK, Ireland and New Zealand. While I’m generally not fond of synth pop, this is a pretty catchy tune and Annie Lenox’s voice is stunning!

Indigo Girls/Galileo

Amy Ray and Emily Saliers first met in elementary school and were performing together by the time they were in high school. After going separate ways, they again found themselves studying at the same institution (Atlanta’s Emory University) in the mid-’80s and became Indigo Girls. Galileo, written by Saliers, is from their fourth studio album Rites of Passage, which came out in May 1992. The tune was the first single off the record and their only top 10 hit in the U.S., reaching no. 10 on Billboard’s Modern Rock Tracks chart.

The White Stripes/Seven Nation Army

This brings me to the present century and the last tune I’d like to call out: Seven Nation Army by The White Stripes. Written by Jack White, it first appeared in March 2003 as the lead single of their fourth studio album Elephant released the following month. Seven Nation Army topped the Alternative Airplay chart in the U.S., making it one of the biggest hits of the duo, which also includes Meg White. I dig the song’s raw garage feel.

Last but least, here’s the above-mentioned playlist:

Sources: Wikipedia; YouTube; Spotify

20 thoughts on “When Two Make One”

      1. Yes I like them but I haven’t heard them in a long time.
        That reminds me…the name is escaping me…the two ladys that you found that did a Beatle cover or two…what is their name? I liked them.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Oh, man, Larkin Poe! Yes, I like them big time, so not having included these amazing ladies is kind of an oversight, especially since I hardly featured any contemporary acts! Oh, well, I’m sure there are many others I “forgot”!

        Liked by 1 person

  1. I like all of these duos and the music they make. One duo I like that doesn’t sing but makes heavenly electronic music is Boards of Canada. From their website: “Boards of Canada are a Scottish electronic music duo consisting of brothers Michael Sandison and Marcus Eoin.” My older son told me about them originally and I’ve gone on to buy some of their albums, including this one:

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Eurythmics was a duo but, Dave rarely sang…except for some sighs in Love Is A Stranger.

    My second pick in Hans Song Draft was Cathy’s Clown. I grew up with the Everly’s music in my house. My paternal uncle was into Simon & Garfunkel, though my dad loved The Graduate. He said he really identified with it.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I like a lot of the ones on your list. Besides the obvious great ones like the Everly Brothers, I especially like the harmony singing on Summer Breeze, which is a truly great record, and Peter and Gordon A World Without Love. Another British Invasion duo like Peter and Gordon that I like a lot is Summer Song by Chad & Jeremy. My other two all-time favorites are Deep Purple by Nino Tempo and April Stevens, and Love is Strange by Mickey and Sylvia. The Everly Brothers version is another favorite of mine too.

    Liked by 1 person

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