From: "F.Baube[tm]" <flb@FLB.OPTIPLAN.FI>
To: Multiple recipients of list SATB-L <SATB-L@BROWNVM.BROWN.EDU>
Subject: S&B: Career Move in Stereo ?
Date: Wed, 24 Aug 1994 19:35:28 EET

Let's Duet Together

Guardian (UK), Friday 19 August 1994,
Section 2, pp.14-15

Morissey and Siouxsie are the latest in a long line of singers teaming up to prove that two is better (or more profitable) than one

(main picture: Morissey and Siouxsie, their faces together at the centerline, like a comedy-and-tragedy mask. caption: The passionate pessimist meets the dour diva, Morrissey and Siouxsie)

(smaller pictures: caption: Improbable pairings .. Bing Crosby sang with David Bowie)

by Jim Davies

When perfect soul couple Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston sang It Takes Two back in 1966, they could have had little idea of the bizarre musical pairings that were to follow. Released this week, the latest in a long line of unlikely duets features Morrissey and Siouxsie (she of the Banshees), who have joined fleetingly for Interlude, a single which the record company insists unites "two of pop's major ironists".

"Ironists" perhaps, misanthropes certainly. Combine the passionate pessimism of the songwriter who penned Girlfriend in a Coma with the dour diva who sang Love in a Void, and the result is a double dose of misery that will be hard to equal. Interlude is a lugubrious, haunting and occasionally off-key ballad, which should do neither party's enviable reputation for wretchedness any harm. But it seems peculiar that they should have teamed up at all.

Morrissey is the quintessential loner who spent his teenage years holed up in his bedroom, Siouxsie the fiercely independent first-lady of punk with a one= time penchant for dominatrix outfits. You'd have thought Morrissey was too shy to show his tonsils and Siouxsie to haughty to hand over the mike.

But perhaps they're just kowtowing to fashion. [..]

There's always a subtext to these odd couplings, sometimes no more than a smart move by a record company to the mutual benefit of two of its signings. "Putting people together can be an attempt to broaden an artist's or music's appeal", explains Steve Redmond, editor of trade bible Music Week. [..]

It's easy to see why Elton's at it. He was dogged for many years by the fact that despite being one of the country's best-selling artists, his only number one was Don't Go Breaking My Heart, a duet with Kiki Dee released in 1976. It took him another 14 years to do it on his own with Sacrifice. In the meantime, he'd partnered Millie Jackson, John Lennon and the Muscle Shoals Horns, Cliff Richard, Dionne Warwick, Jennifer Rush and Arethra Franklin. He'll try anything that Elton.

It can also be an image thing. Better than pulling on a new jacket, pull in a new partner, and you'll suddenly be seen in a different light. Even the hopelessly naff English footie squad recognised the tactic and looked to New Order for some indie chic before setting off for Italia 90. [..]

But the ultimate mismatch has to be Bing Crosby and David Bowie, who came together for Peace on Earth / Little Drummer Boy, which reached number three in 1983. It was difficult enough to listen to the song, but quite impossible to watch the frosty-edged footage of the spaced-out androgyne and the be-cardiganed granddaddy belting it out from under a Christmas tree.

So perhaps Morrissey and Siouxsie aren't such an unlikely double act after all. Perhaps they're working on the premise that two people can generate twice as many sales. More charitably, they could be playing a knowing post-modern joke on the record= buying public. Let's face it, we're dealing with a pair of pop's major ironists here.

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