Music is a passionate occupation to pursue, and it makes sense that some of our favorite musicians have, well, hooked up with some of our other favorite musicians in fiery ways throughout the years. This is something we’ve been chewing on ever since we first got former Fleetwood Mac co-figurehead Lindsey Buckingham’s last solo record, Seeds We Sow. While on tour for the record he’s been nothing but immaculate, and the album’s full of the sort of mind-boggling guitar work that Buckingham’s known for (yet still ridiculously underrated in), but we’re going to say what’s still on everyone’s mind: we miss the self- (and others-)lacerating songs Buckingham was creating when he was still under the spell of Stevie Nicks. After reading that, regardless of what rumors may be, Buckingham’s in no hurry to create with Fleetwood Mac any time in the near future, we took to daydreaming about what other musical couples we’d like to see back together for various reasons: to be one another’s muses, to restore our sense of wellbeing, or just to be incredibly attractive together. Read through for 10 of our picks, and tell us, won’t you, who you think we’ve missed in the comments.
Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks
When Buckingham showed up on the metaphorical doorstep of Fleetwood Mac insisting that he and then girlfriend Stevie Nicks (of Buckingham and Nicks, of course!) were a package deal, it was the chaos butterfly moment about which thousands (OK, maybe hundreds) of books and articles would be written. From that day on, Fleetwood Mac became synonymous with sex, substance abuse, studio wizardry/insanity (see: Tusk), and some of the greatest rock music ever recorded.
Buckingham and Nicks pushed each other as they accosted each other through song, and the masochists then proceeded to tour their songs of hating, cheating, and despising each other and play them, together, night after night, to stadium-sized crowds. Everything that needs to be said is in the video above, of Buckingham and Nicks performing “Landslide” together during their The Dance reunion tour: after facing each other during this ridiculously emotional performance, they kiss each other off with a barbed “thank you Lindsey”/”thank you Stevie.” We need more of this. Buckingham’s an incredible guitarist on his own, but with Nicks around as muse he was just so much more… fierce.
Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore
Everyone knows where they were the minute they found out Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore were separating. For so long, they held true as the one rock ‘n ‘roll couple that shredded together and stayed together, even producing a (naturally) ridiculously talented daughter, Coco Gordon Moore. We’re sure they have their reasons for splitting, but frankly, in a world where even Kim Gordon and Thurston Moore can’t stay together we’re not sure we believe love exists.
Tori Amos and Trent Reznor
OK, let’s talk more about artists who made their best work while driving each other insane. Tori Amos and Trent Reznor’s actual recorded collaborations are minimal, to say the least: They basically amount to “Past The Mission,” above, from Amos’ Under The Pink. The impact on each other’s lives, though, was massive, at least for Amos, who proceeded to go through her strangest but most productive period. Beginning with the release of Boys For Pele, a bloated, nearly impenetrable genius of a record, through her next two years of touring, Amos spit fire as a result of whatever her failed relationship with Reznor (amongst, uh, other things) had wrought inside her. Best example: this absolutely nuts, so-raw-it’s-painful version of “Caught a Lite Sneeze” from her 1996 Concert For Rainn. In the following years, Amos would tame herself, get married, and release a terrible “classical” record, while Reznor would form an unforgivably bland band with his wife, How To Destroy Angels. These two need each other. They might set each other on fire, but the art they’d create would be worth it.
Courtney Love and Billy Corgan
Two of rock’s most pretentious egos working together on a album sounds like a turnkey good time, right? Absolutely. In Corgan’s hands, Hole’s Celebrity Skin became a divisive pop-glam record, one that’s perfectly embodied by the self-important swan symbol assigned to denote Corgan’s writing credits in the liner notes. It’s also a rare moment of Corgan’s penchant for excess turning into ridiculously heartbreaking art (“Hit So Hard,” “Dying”), and this author might just argue that it’s the best Hole record ever. Unfortunately, a switch flipped in both of them here, and in recent years they’ve made no effort to hide their vitriol for one another. Granted, now that it seems Love’s at least willing to breathe the same air as the other members of Hole, we can hold out hope for more music from her, while Corgan is, uh, doing something that sounds terrible. Maybe while Love’s in a forgiving mood they could at least grab coffee?
Common and Erykah Badu
But what about Andre 3000? Truth be told: yes, your grandmother may know the impact of Erykah Badu and Outkast’s Andre 3000 relationship better through the hit song “Ms. Jackson,” but it was when we were reading Common’s absolutely remarkable and earnest memoir that we realized the true impact Badu had on his life. Whereas Outkast got gold records from the split, Common’s still nursing a broken heart, and we might just have a soft spot for that.
David Bowie and Mick Jagger
Is it hot in here, or is it just them?
Justine Frischmann and Damon Albarn
Yes, we know this was probably the single most destructive period in the lives of both Albarn and Elastica’s Frischmann. Yes, we understand that to suggest this is basically sadism. BUT THE MUSIC.
Michael Stipe and Natalie Merchant
For reasons that are fairly obvious, we aren’t confident that these two ever had anything more that a musical relationship. However, the records 10,000 Maniacs made before Natalie Merchant went solo stand as some of the most remarkably under-appreciated New Wave and pop records of the last 20-30 years. Blending social consciousness with ridiculous musicianship (they wrote a damn catchy song about the Dust Bowl, c’mon now), it made sense that they’d attract the fandom and friendship of R.E.M.’s Michael Stipe, and Merchant and Stipe became a musical power couple. They sang together, they covered each other (10,000 Maniacs’ version of “(Don’t Go Back to) Rockville” is awesome), they showed up at one another’s shows, but we haven’t seem them together in a while. Now that R.E.M.’s called it quits, maybe there’s more time for that.
PJ Harvey and Nick Cave
Just watching this video is making us a little distracted. For a very brief period, Cave and Harvey cut a sleek, black-clad form together in the music world, unleashing more than just a little envy and who knows what manner of demons. Granted, Cave’s pick-up line to Tori Amos might be a little better, but for sheer attractiveness and potential for future mind-blowing musical collaborations, we want to put Harvey and Cave in a room together until they work things out.
Ben Gibbard and Zooey Deschanel
Just kidding, actually, no one wants to see that.