Music Musts: Everyone loves a duet

Music Musts: Everyone loves a duet
By Jonathan Duguid

By Jonathan Duguid

There is something quite special about two artists coming together to collaborate on a song. I can’t quite pinpoint why that is, though. Perhaps it’s the fact that two great minds (or in this case, voices) are better than one.
Duets have been a part of our musical lives forever, and no matter who you are, there is a duet in history that you can relate to: be it Sonny and Cher’s ‘I Got You’; Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell’s ‘Ain’t No Mountain High Enough’; George Michael and Mary J Blige’s ‘As’; Nelly and Kelly’s ‘Dilemma’; Craig David and Sting’s ‘Rise and Fall’; Usher and Alicia Keys’ ‘My Boo’; or even Mariah Carey and Miguel’s ‘Beautiful’. I can think of hundreds more, but I doubt you want to read a list of all the duets I can remember, so I’ll keep it to those select few for now.

Generally though, when it comes to duets, we’re used to hearing just a single song, or possibly two, but it’s not very often we see artists collaborating on a full album. I think the last album I can remember between two artists (which became a massive hit) was ‘Collision Course’ – the six track album that comprised mashing up Linkin Park songs with those of Jay-Z, the biggest hit being ‘Numb/Encore’.
I bare good news for fans of full-on duet albums: a very high profile one is due to hit stores. It’s called ‘Cheek to Cheek’, and guess what? Tony Bennett has teamed up with Lady Gaga for (from what I’ve heard so far) an amazing full length album that is going to rock your socks off. Okay; maybe that’s not the best way to describe an album that is an assortment of old classics, sung classically (yup, we get the raw, uncut Lady Gaga, sans auto-tune and production effects), but nonetheless it sounds great!

Gaga and Bennett first did a duet together on Bennett’s album, ‘Duets II’, which was released for his 85th birthday in 2011. They performed ‘That’s Why The Lady’s A Tramp’ – and the two got along so well and enjoyed working together so much that they decided to put together a full jazz album, and thus the idea for ‘Cheek to Cheek’ was born – and we will be able to hear the entire thing from September 23, when it will be released.
I think what I love most about this duet collaboration is that with Lady Gaga on the bill, it’s sure to open up and help foster an appreciation of the classics by a new generation.

As we cruise into the weekend, here’s my list of the top gigs to check out:
• On Friday, August 22, Joburg five piece pop band Monark will be jamming you into the weekend at Café Roux at the Noordhoek Farm Village from 8.30pm. Tickets are R100 and booking is essential:

• Saturday, August 23, will see Southpaw performing live at Weinhaus + Biergarten, 110 Bree Street. The gig kicks-off at 6pm and entrance is free. For more info, email:

• Then on Sunday, August 24, also at 6pm, Vusi Mahlasela, The Muffinz and Driemanskap will be performing to raise money for Equal Education. The gig will be at the Equal Education HQ, Washington Square, Capital Drive, Tembokwezi, Khayelitsha. Tickets are R140 each and available from Computicket.

Twitter: @JonathanDuguid