7 legendary song-writing duos that changed the face of pop music
It set us to thinking about all the other amazing duos that have changed the face of popular music. We round up seven of the very best, below.
1. Sir Elton John and Bernie Taupin
"It was kismet... it changed my life completely" - Elton on the events that led to his 50 year partnership with Bernie
Fate played a lucky hand when adverts were answered and musician and lyricist were united
Songwriter Sir Elton John and lyricist Bernie Taupin are the dream team behind some of the most loved pop songs of all time, including Rocket Man, Tiny Dancer and Crocodile Rock.
The pair were thrown together by fate when they both answered a 1967 advert placed in the NME by Liberty records. Since then they have collaborated on more than 30 albums. As Sir Elton says: "It was meant to be."
2. Carole King and Gerry Goffin
While Carole's solo career didn't properly kick off until her iconic 1971 album Tapestry, which has now sold more than 25 million copies worldwide, she was already well established by that point as a songwriting powerhouse.
At the age of 17, in 1959, she married lyricist Gerry Goffin. With a young baby, the pair started writing songs in the evenings after work. Together, the pair became one of the most successful songwriting partnerships of their time. Their classic hits for other artists included Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow (for The Shirelles), Take Good Care of My Baby (for Bobby Vee) and The Loco-motion (for Little Eva, and eventually, Kylie!)
3. Keith Richards and Mick Jagger
It's well known that The Rolling Stones founder members Keith Richards and Mick Jagger haven't ALWAYS seen eye to eye. But 'The Glimmer Twins' have, unquestionably, created untold amounts of rock'n'roll magic together over the years.
The old primary school mates, who had moved apart and gone on to different schools, reconnected via serendipity on 17th October 1961 at Dartford train station. Jagger was holding imported records, Richards was carrying his guitar and the two struck up a conversation about their beloved rhythm and blues.
Without that fateful meeting, we might not have hundreds of incredible songs, including the likes of Gimme Shelter, Wild Horses or Jumpin' Jack Flash.
4. Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson
The 'BB' in ABBA, Björn Ulvaeus and Benny Andersson, first met at a Swedish music festival while they were both on the road with other acts. They went on to become the songwriting supremos in one of the biggest pop acts of all time, penning gloriously melodic bittersweet songs like Dancing Queen, Take A Chance On Me and The Winner Takes It All.
After ABBA broke up in 1983, the two 'B's went on to write the musical Chess with Tim Rice. More recently, they collaborated with Steps for this year's comeback album Tears On The Dancefloor with track Story of a Heart.
What can we say - thank you for the music!
5. John Lennon and Paul McCartney
In The Beatles, John Lennon and Paul McCartney created some of the greatest pop alchemy of all time. Early on, the songwriting duo decided that all songs written by them - whether together or alone - should be credited as Lennon-McCartney (though some came out as McCartney-Lennon.)
McCartney's lightness, optimism and melodic touch interwove with Lennon's realism, melancholy and innovation - and the results are legendary. We have the duo to thank for classics including Yesterday, A Day In The Life and Eleanor Rigby.
6. Annie Lennox and David Stewart
It takes guts to carry on making music together after you've split up as a couple, if you're already an established music act (see Fleetwood Mac for excellent examples). But David Stewart and Annie Lennox split up romantically just BEFORE they hit the big time in the charts.
Nevertheless, as The Eurythmics, the pair wrote a string of absolutely huge hit singles including Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This) and Sisters Are Doin' It for Themselves.
To date, The Eurythmics have sold around 75 million records worldwide.
7. Nickolas Ashford and Valerie Simpson
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After joining Motown in 1966, they wrote an array of classics including Ain't No Mountain High Enough, You're All I Need To Get By, Ain't Nothing Like the Real Thing and Reach Out and Touch (Somebody's Hand).
The pair are also behind other amazing songs, including Chaka Khan's epic empowerment anthem I'm Every Woman.