Los 20 mejores duetos vocales de la música

11. «Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around» (Stevie Nicks & Tom Petty). Dos rubios de oro

En 1981, Stevie Nicks saca a la venta su primer disco en solitario, el titulado «Bella Donna«. La lista de músicos invitados es de caerse de espaldas y dos de ellos llegaron a cantar. Hubo sendos duetos: uno con Don Henley y el otro el que nos ocupa ahora. Nicks había colaborado en el disco «Hard Promises«, de Petty y los Heartbreakers, y en aquellas mismas sesiones se grabó este «Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around» que acabaría siendo incluido en el disco de debut de Nicks.

«10/10 para un tema compuesto al alimón por Tom Petty y Mike Campbell; Nicks canta como nunca y el ritmo lento y acompasado de la guitarra de Campbell se acaba convirtiendo en hipnótico. Una de esas canciones para escuchar en bucle«, explica Carlos Rodríguez Duque sobre el dueto musical de estos dos rubios de oro.

12. «Cowboys to girls» (Chris Gaffney & Lucinda Williams). Country con alma

De un precioso hit de The Intruders, Chris Gaffney hizo esta versión maravillosa acompañado a las voces por Lucinda Williams. El tema apareció en su álbum de 1995 «Loser’s Paradise«, que tenía colaboraciones de lo más ilustres: Ian McLagan, Dave Alvin, Jim Lauderdale, Rosy Flores o la misma Lucinda Williams.

«Esta canción es una preciosidad y nos muestra solamente la punta del iceberg de una carrera en solitario que es obligada reivindicar. La discografía pre Hacienda Brothers de Gaffney es excelente, a pesar de ‘Azulito'», sostiene Carlos Rodríguez Duque. Gaffney fue uno de los mejores cantantes de este planeta.

13. «If I could» (Phish & Alison Krauss). Uno de los mejores duetos vocales para gente sin prejuicios

Trey Anastasio y Tom Marshall escribieron esta canción para el quinto disco de su grupo Phish y eligió muy bien la voz femenina que lo iba a acompañar en la grabación. Ella daba un concierto en Los Ángeles y ellos, a pesar de no estar en la onda musical de Union Station, estaban grabando el disco en los estudios American Recording Co., también en la ciudad de Los Ángeles. Pero su historia ya venía de atrás.

Muchos años antes de la colaboración, Anastasio acudió a un concierto de violinistas folk/jazz y se prendó de la voz de una jovencísima Krauss que cantaba para el último violinista en aparecer. Años después Union Station tocaban en el Troubadour, Anastasio se presentó en el concierto y al finalizar le pidió que colaborase en su disco. Krauss ni siquiera los conocía, pero les dijo que sí inmediatamente.

«A los productores de Phish no les gustó la idea y a algunos fans del grupo tampoco les hizo mucha gracia la colaboración porque en la única ocasión en que Alison Krauss la interpretó en vivo con Phish en Nashville en 1994, empezaron a abuchear cuando ella apareció en el escenario. Las piaras no entienden de arte, está claro», asegura Carlos Rodríguez Duque sobre uno de los mejores duetos vocales para gente sin prejuicios.

14. «Getting over you» (Willie Nelson & Bonnie Raitt). Un gran dueto entre dos gigantes de la voz

En el que, según la fuente que se consulte, parece ser el álbum número cuarenta del artista tejano, de nombre «Across the borderline«, aparecía este dueto en el que Willie Nelson hace de Willie Nelson y Bonnie Raitt no sólo canta como los ángeles, sino que toca la guitarra slide.

Don Was le comentó a Raitt que iba a producir un disco para Nelson y fue ella la que se puso en contacto con él y le propuso hacer esta canción en forma de dueto.

«Nunca se lo podremos agradecer lo suficiente. Es en mi opinión, una de esas canciones atemporales que se grabó en 1993 y parece que hubiese sido ayer mismo. These are the tings I hate / But they’re the things I do / To get over you…», sostiene Carlos Rodríguez Duque. El tema fue escrito por otro de esos artistas a reivindicar, Stephen Bruton.

15. «Deportees» (Bob Dylan & Joan Baez). El rey y la reina del folk junto a la Rolling Thunder Revue

Nadie mejor que esta pareja para cantar estas letras de Woody Guthrie. Está basada en hechos reales, en concreto en un accidente de avión cerca del cañón Los Gatos en California, en el que murieron treinta y dos personas. Cuatro americanos y veintiocho mejicanos que estaban siendo deportados. La prensa sólo se hizo eco de la muerte de los cuatro norteamericanos; se dio en nombre y apellido de cada uno de ellos, el resto fueron despachados con un simple “deportados”.

A las letras de Guthrie les puso melodía un tipo llamado Martin Hoffman, Pete Seeger comenzó a cantarla, y Joan Baez la grabó en 1971. Apareció en su álbum «Blessed are…» como cara B de un disco de siete pulgadas que se incluía en aquel doble elepé.

«Con Dylan la interpretó en aquella gira de caravana de zíngaros llamada ‘Rolling Thunder Revue’ que tan bien fue documentada», rememora Carlos Rodríguez Duque. Qué bien mezclan tan improbables voces en este tipo de canciones.

16. «Fairytale of New York» (The Pogues con Kristy MacColl). El mejor villancico jamás escrito

El villancico irlandés que nunca pasa de moda y que gusta todo el mundo. Navidad tras Navidad vuelve a sonar en incluso vuelve a entrar en listas. Y, por descontado, es uno de los mejores duetos vocales de la música.

Es una de las mejores canciones inspiradas en libros y está basada en una obra del mismo título del estadounidense Patrick Donleavy.

Fue escrito por Jem Finer and Shane MacGowan y tras un largo periplo de formación de dos años salió como single para el mercado navideño de 1987. Quizá la que es mejor canción navideña de todos los tiempos fue incapaz de alcanzar el número uno en aquel fin de año en listas británicas, aunque sí lo fue en las irlandesas. El número uno en Gran Bretaña fue para «Always on my mind«, de Pet Shop Boys, y McGowan dijo irónicamente al respecto: “Nos ganaron dos reinonas con una caja de ritmos…”.

«No sé qué me gusta más, si los gruñidos de McGowan, la preciosa voz de la malograda MacColl o la forma de la canción en la que una pareja cuya vida se ha ido al garete por el alcohol entra en ese juego de ‘call and response‘ insultándose con una banda sonora deliciosa«, relata Carlos Rodríguez Duque.

El vídeo es igual de bonito que el tema. Parte de él se grabó en una comisaría de policía real de la ciudad de Nueva York, donde los Pogues que hacían de borrachos detenidos estaban realmente ebrios y los otros bebían y montaban jaleo mientras se grababan las imágenes.

«El comienzo del vídeo, con ese piano y esas notas tan características, siempre me recordó al primer Tom Waits… Y lo peor sin duda es ese final tan abrupto», sostiene Carlos Rodríguez Duque.

Por cierto, Shane McGowan no sólo sigue vivo si no que por tercera vez en su vida vuelve a tener dientes, y esta vez de aspecto decente. ¡Pogue Mahone!

17. «Golden ring»  (George Jones & Tammy Wynette). El pantanoso terreno de los duetos vocales country

Entramos en terrenos pantanosos… Si son ustedes capaces de no fijarse en esos peinados de cabellos que parecen tan de poliéster como los trajes que llevan, van a apreciar unas melodías vocales de primera.

En un número uno rotundo en las listas de country de 1976, Tammy y George cantan un tema de perdedores en el que una joven pareja con poco dinero compra unos anillos en una casa de empeños de Chicago para casarse. A partir de ahí, lo esperado: el amor se va a acabando hasta que llega el divorcio. Como si la hubieran escrito a medida para la pareja de artistas, vamos…

«Atentas, personas de bien, a las guitarras acústicas de Pete Wade y Jerry Kennedy. El tema fue cara a de single y apareció en el séptimo álbum conjunto de ambos artistas que llevó el mismo título», detalla Carlos Rodríguez Duque.

18. «Just Someone I used to Know» (Porter Wagoner & Dolly Parton). Su vida real en una canción

No fueron Wynette y Jones los únicos en bombardear periódicamente al fan de la música country con sus duetos. Porter y Dolly también sacaron discos juntos, trece para ser exactos, desde finales de los años sesenta.

Sólo uno de los singles extraídos de aquellos álbumes llegó al número uno, «Please Don’t Stop Loving Me«, pero no les vamos a torturar con esa canción. Agradézcanlo.

«La elegida es ‘Just Someone I used to Know’, de 1974. Las letras son premonitorias de lo que sería el final de esta asociación musical. No sé qué tiene el country para las parejas que lo viven juntas, pero parece la disculpa perfecta para abusos de bebidas alcohólicas, malos tratos y prácticas sexuales un tanto atípicas», comenta Carlos Rodríguez Duque.

El tema es realmente bueno a pesar de esos vientos poco frecuentes en la música country, y así lo debió pensar Emmylou Harris porque hizo una versión junto a John Anderson para su álbum de 1986 «Thirteen».

19. «Jackson» (Johnny Cash & June Carter). Uno de los mejores duetos vocales en honor a la clase trabajadora

No podían faltar en esta selección el héroe de la clase trabajadora norteamericana y la mujer que intentó meterlo en vereda. Sólo grabaron dos elepés de duetos: «Carryin’ On with Johnny Cash and June Carter», de 1967, y «Johnny Cash and His Woman«, de 1973.

La elegida es «Jackson», del primero de ellos. Escrita por Billy Edd Wheeler y Jerry Leiber, en la primera versión grabada estaba acreditada a Billy Edd Wheeler y Gaby Rodgers, esposa por aquel entonces de Leiber.

La letra trata de una pareja casada que se encuentra en esa etapa en la que el «fuego» se ha extinguido en su relación. Y nada mejor que marcharse a Jackson a buscar una solución que los llevará a seguir en el mismo punto, pero con más problemas. Lo mejor para acabar de rematar una relación es la vida nocturna.

«El toma y daca de Carter y Cash tiene un toque simpático: Cash se pone en el papel de un inocente que cree que la ciudad se va a poner a sus pies y Carter hace de mujer que sabe lo que tiene en casa. June canta con un tono entre jocoso y de enfado, pero quizá la canción se hubiera beneficiado con una mezcla en la que se hubiera dado más importancia a su voz», resume Carlos Rodríguez Duque.

20. «Can’t we be friends» (Ella Fitzgerald & Louis Armstrong). Un dueto vocal para la historia

Cualquier tema, cualquiera, del elepé «Ella and Louis» es una maravilla. Acompañados por el soberbio cuarteto de Oscar Peterson, Fitzgerald y Armstrong interpretan once baladas o medios tiempos que fueron seleccionados por el productor del álbum y capo del sello Verve, Norman Granz, un tipo al que habría que dedicarle una entrada en este blog.

«Mi canción favorita del álbum hoy es ‘Can’t We Be Friends’, un tema de un musical de Broadway de 1929. Siéntense, conecten un buen par de auriculares a su amplificador y disfruten de estos 3:48 minutos de gloria bendita», recomienda Carlos Rodríguez Duque.

Por cierto, el elepé fue uno de los primeros en grabarse en los fabulosos estudios Capitol de Los Ángeles.

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