What’s a guitarist like you doing in a song like this?

By Miguel Ángel Ariza

Water and oil, cat and mouse, or Rutger Hauer and Michelle Pffeifer in 'Ladyhawke'...there are certain things that are either made to go together, or not; but human beings, demonstrating their infinite capacity to go that one bit further, end up putting them together to see what results come up - even though the outcome is usually quite unpleasant. The world of music and specifically of its most legendary guitarists have also delighted ears with a number of impossible mixes that we leave to our readers to judge for themselves. They were, they are, and they always will be our heroes… despite agreeing to participate in some of these ‘impossible collaborations’.        

Slash and Marta Sánchez - Obsession

Poor Axl Rose has become a real joke on himself over the years. It is very common to see him mocked on the oh-so-fashionable ‘memes’ that circulate on the internet. Everyone talks about him being overweight, of his plastic surgery, of his decision to sing with AC/DC, of his broken leg… that’s okay 'haters' - the guy deserves all he gets - but where were you all when this barbarity between Slash and the Spanish singer Marta Sánchez came out?

Jimmy Page and Puff Daddy - Come with me

There are certain things that a street-wise guy knows not to do, or he is going to find himself with problems in his neighbourhood. Well okay, in the ‘neighbourhood of rock music’ there are certain songs that are sacred because of their importance, beauty and magnitude, and it is best not to fiddle with them, let’s say, without having respect for the original. One of these songs is Led Zeppelin’s 'Kashmir'. The issue becomes ‘doubly bloody’ when the author himself starts playing around with his original work and devalues it to the point of it not being looked upon too well in the neighbourhood of music … His Les Paul will never forget him.

Brian May and Dappy - Rockstar

We are now talking about a serious 'rockstar', Brian May, giving up his Red Special to serve a song in which, from the first moments, we start to ask ourselves why we have touched ‘play’, and we pray that it is all a joke and that it is not really Queen’s guitarist who is doing the final solo… but it is all real and the worst is that it was a top seller in the UK.


Steve Lukather and Olivia Newton John - Physical

Here we have a good guitar solo by Steve Lukather within a song that really was a big pop hit at the start of the 80s and that, within the pop genre, isn’t too bad; but it is worth mentioning on this list as we guess that the good in Steve had not seen the promotional videoclip of the song when he agreed to record his guitar part. In these times of TV series like 'Stranger things' it is worth watching this video again to remember that, even in the 80s, not everything was great all the time. Don’t miss it.

Jack White and Insane Clown Posse - Leck Mich Im Arsh

Mix together the music of Mozart, with Jack White, White Stripes’ guitar sounds, and this duo of rappers, and the outcome is a huge question mark. We cannot stop applauding Jack White’s eternal search for new sonic and musical pathways - he is a restless soul and thanks to that restlessness he has gifted us some of the best rock songs in recent history - but this time we cannot say that the result was especially successful...

Paco de Lucía and Brian Adams - Have you ever really loved a woman?

To our taste this is one of the few real hits on this list of impossible pairings. Paco de Lucía, the greatest flamenco guitarist of all times, (someone who has earned absolute critical unanimity in his field, as well as the public and his colleagues all agreeing that he is the number 1), uniting his guitar with the - at that time – highly fashionable heartthrob Bryan Adams on the soundtrack of a Hollywood super-production… it’s incredible but true. The flamenco guitar of the man from Algeciras embellishes to perfection a song that spent weeks at number 1. Nonetheless, we can’t stop wondering how this collaboration was received in a world as closed as flamenco, nor what they would have said in Cádiz when they saw Paco de Lucía playing a pop song. 

Metallica and Lou Reed - The view

The choice of this song, pertaining to the 'Lulú' album, which the Los Angeles band and the New York poet recorded together, is proof about what we said at the beginning about the need for humans to mix water and oil together to see how they react. Well here the result is an album over 60 minutes long in which Lou Reed’s words join with the riffs of the metal band; and when we use the word ‘join’ it’s because we think that ‘mix’ is inappropriate, as really the two parts are never mixed together sufficiently. Nonetheless it is an album worthy of a close listen.

Richie Sambora and Orianthi – Masterpiece

We suspect that Orianthi is supergifted on the six strings (and we guess that because she was chosen for the failed Michael Jackson tour 'This is it') and we know that Richie Sambora isn’t the guitarist with the worst taste in history, but while Orianthi doesn’t demonstrate the former on this Sambora track, he gets closer to the latter by collaborating on such sickly sweet songs like this 'Masterpiece'.

Joe Perry and Pitbull - Bad Man

A real bad man is what Mr Joe Perry is for having said yes to Pitbull and his outfit in this north-American song. The staunchest fans of Steven Tyler now have another reason to confirm their position about which of the two is the goodie in the band.  Normally we don’t stick our noses in regarding Aerosmith’s internal issues, but regarding this song we will.

Raimundo Amador and Bjork - So broken

And among the strange; the most strange. And from the strangest pairings, the perfect union. Two such utterly racially distinct and impulsive artists, like magic, come together in an incredible way on this “So broken” track. Raimundo Amador himself came out of it convinced that the Icelander Bjork was a gypsy. And it is not so strange that this was said, as the older Amador had never seen anything like this force of nature outside his own race before.