Forgotten Collaborations

When legends and icons come together

Tuesday 24th October 2017

John Squire's artwork for The Help Album which featured The Smoking Mojo Filters as well as a duet between Terry Hall and Salad.

The world may never see the likes of the Travelling Wilburys again but there are plenty of examples of collaborations between musical greats, many of which go forgotten and some which have become among the artists' best-known work. When it comes to collaborations as with cover versions and remixes, the whole can be greater than the sum of the parts. We take a look at some collaborations you may or may not have come across.

The Smoking Mojo Filters
Paul Weller, Paul McCartney and Noel Gallagher on one song sounds too good to be true but it happened in 1995. The Smoking Mojo Filters (AKA Weller, McCartney and Gallagher) recorded their version of The Beatles' classic 'Come Together' for War Child's charity release 'The Help Album' and the rest is history. Steve Cradock and Carleen Anderson also appear on the track as if it were not already star-studded enough.

Johnny Marr and Bernard Sumner joined forces in the late 80s to form Electronic and teamed up with Neil Tennant of Pet Shop Boys for a flurry of songs including the supergroup's debut 'Getting Away With It'. Complete with Factory catalogue number (FAC 257) and Peter Saville artwork the song was heralded by the press as an instant classic upon its release.  

Gorillaz featuring Shaun Ryder
Whether Shaun Ryder's intent was to mean dare or there seems to be a matter of debate, despite Shaun Ryder's account of the lyric originating from his studio chatter with chief Gorilla Damon Albarn, asking him to turn up the levels in his headphones and stating "It's there" when a suitable volume was reached.

Terry Hall and Salad
Another surprising duet brought about by War Child's Help album Terry Hall and Marijne van der Vlugt (singer of short-lived Britpop era band Salad) sang together on a cover of 'Dream a Little Dream of Me'. 

Chemical Brothers and Noel Gallagher
Just one of Noel Gallagher's vocal contributions to Chemical Brothers, 'Let Forever Be' with its mesmerising Michel Gondry video proved one of the biggest songs of 1999, tapping the collective mood of pre-millennial anxiety washing over the remains of 1990s decadence.

Kylie and Manic Street Preachers
One of the more overlooked collaborations of recent decades is that of Kylie Minogue and Manic Street Preachers. Kylie had already split opinions with her collaboration with Nick Cave in 1995, but in 1997 she continued to challenge the conventions then set upon her by co-writing 'Some Kind Of Bliss' with James Dean Bradfield and Sean Moore. The project satisfied, to some degree, Bradfield's previous wishes to work with Kylie having written his song 'Little Baby Nothing' with her in mind as the female vocal.

The Wonder Stuff featuring Kirsty MacColl
From Billy Bragg to The Pogues, Kirsty MacColl was well known for lending her lilting vocals to other bands where needed. Another charming example of her work with other artists was her contribution to The Wonder Stuff's second highest charting song from 1992. The Wonder Stuff were enjoying a surge in sales at the time following another collaboration, taking their cover of 'Dizzy' with Vic Reeves to the UK number one spot.

The Prodigy featuring Sleaford Mods
Liam Howlet and pals enlisted Sleaford Mods for their unapologetic critique of what they described as superstar DJ culture. 'Ibiza' contains enough elements of both bands to keep both sets of fans happy with its angry energy.

Primal Scream featuring Sky Ferreira
'Chaosmosis', Primal Scream's 2016 album featured not just Sky Ferreira on its lead single 'Where The Light Gets In', but also all three members of HAIM providing backing vocals across three of its tracks. Ferreira's vocals and presence draw out the song's euphoric pop qualities showing a very different side to Primal Scream.

The Cribs and Johnny Marr
Given the polyvalent nature of Johnny Marr's career, it is not surprising that he turns up more than once in a list like this. Many were perplexed in 2008 when The Cribs casually announced that Johnny Marr had joined the band. Marr stayed with the band for around three years around The Cribs' release of 'Ignore The Ignorant'.

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