Saturday, January 8, 2011

The Musical Undertaker

You know what the worst phone call is that you can receive from your manager if you're in the music business?

"We think you should do a duet with Santana".

Nah man, it'll really kick-start your career again!

It's the surest possible sign that your career peaked a couple of years ago, and the best you can hope for from here on out is playing 6 nights a week at an off-strip hotel in Vegas and drinking yourself to an early grave, with a possible appearance on 'Where Are They Now?'.

Check out these depressing odds for duets he did with artists that I've at least heard of:

Name Known For Duet Year Done Anything Worthwhile Since?
Rob Thomas Push, 3am (1996) 1999 Released lots of shitty songs, 'Lonely No More' peaked at 5 on US charts but was still awful
Everlast What It's Like (1998) 1999 No singles made Billboard charts, career death in slow motion
Eric Clapton Layla (1971), Tears in Heaven (1992), lots of other good stuff 1999 No, but he's still cool
Lauryn Hill The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (1998) 1999 Crashed and burned on second album, now hides from publicity
Wyclef Jean Killing Me Softly (with the Fugees, 1996) 1999 Ran For President of Haiti and got universally mocked, filed for bankruptcy
Dave Matthews Crash, 7x Platinum (1996) 1999 Yep, he's still got it. 2002's Busted Stuff was a great album
Michael Jackson Billie Jean (1983), Bad (1987), Liberian Girl (1987), Black or White (1991), kicking ass 2001 Released some crap songs and then died, thereby making lots of people who'd called him a pedophile for the past decade pretend they'd liked him all along
Seal Crazy (1992), Kiss From a Rose (1995) 2002 May as well not have
Chad Kroeger (of Nickelback) How You Remind Me (2001) 2002 Album "All the Right Reasons" had commercial success. Got pelted with rocks during a heavy metal concert in Portugal in 2009, caused millions of LOLs as a result
Michelle Branch All You Wanted (2002) 2005 Played 'All You Wanted' at concert, said 'Now here's something from my latest album..', whole crowd left (N.B. I have no specific evidence that this happened, but honestly, would you be willing to bet against me on this one?)
Steve Tyler (Aerosmith) Walk This Way (1975), Don't want to miss a thing (1998) 2005 Continued to be despised by the other members of Aerosmith
Kirk Hammet (Metallica) One (1989), Enter Sandman (1991), Nothing Else Matters (1992) 2005 Kept bitching that people were illegally downloaded his music, found that the strategy of suing your fans is not commercially viable

The second worst phone call is 'We'd like you to do a duet with Tom Jones'. I leave you to compile that list yourself.

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