So just a few minutes ago, I woke up from a very strange dream. Strange, but I have to say it was also extremely cool. How else can you describe a moment, even if it is just a dream, where you get to sit and have a friendly debate about music with the great Frank Sinatra? We started off inside a small trailer, talking about renovating and making the single-wide trailer into an office of sorts and Frank was concerned that the cats (two small kittens) would be okay. No, I don’t understand that part of it either, but it was a dream so it’s not expected to make sense, right?
Anyhow, after we discussed buying the trailers on the lot next door and adding on to the trailer we were in, Frank made a comment about a song on the radio and how it was boring, bland and generic. I think it was something by Little Wayne, but I can’t be sure. Anyhow, Frank went on a rant about the music of today and how most of it is totally forgettable and no one will care about these songs five years from now. And even though I’m trying to defend the songs and artists I like, I find myself in total agreement with the “Chairman of the Board”. He’s right… but then again, that’s why he’s “The Chairman”, right.
Anyhow, in the dream, our discussion continues and it’s pointed out that the reason most of the kids today listen to such crap is that they just don’t know any better and they’ve never been exposed to good music, where melodies and lyrics combine to make an unforgettable moment and magic. Instead, all the kids today get to hear are “that hoe bitch this and that” and Justin Beiber. Frank laughed at that comment and called Beiber a “twerp”. Our discussion continued and I ended up making a suggestion that if Frank wants the generation of today to listen to and be exposed to decent and good, classic music that actually means something and is as fresh today as it was fifty years ago, then he should be the one to lead the way with another “Duets” album.
Frank did release two “Duets” albums, singing his songs with several contemporary artists like Barbra Streisand, Bono, Anita Baker and so many others. I have both the CD’s and they are incredibly good. Plus Frank set a precedent that has been carried on by such stars as Tony Bennett and Rod Stewart with their own duet albums since then. But back to the dream. I started throwing names out there. First it was Elton John and Frank rolled his eyes at me. And then I mentioned Miley and he called her a “crazy little broad”. And then I said something about Taylor Swift and I heard him sigh and then I woke up. I guess he had enough of me and dismissed me from the dream. And when Frank is through with a discussion, it’s time to go.
So I woke up and started thinking about this. I’d love to see a CD (preferably double-sized) of Sinatra doing more duets with some of the stars of today performing the songs thart made music great back in the day. Unfortunately, Frank has passed on and left this world so we’d have to find another star of similar status and prominence to handle things. So that’s what I’m going to talk about here. How about a duet CD (triple-sized) of someone who is an icon and legend – how about Alice Cooper.
You had to know I’d make this about Alice in some shape and form, right? A duet album of Alice and maybe ten others doing classic songs from days gone by in duet fashion. Sounds great to me, but the more I think about it, Alice isn’t the right person for this. I’m sure he knows all the old songs and would do a fantastic job and would probably jump at the opportunity for a project like this. It’s so “Un-Alice”, it would be great for Alice. But how about another singer with a distinct and unique voice that would do the older songs justice, but still allow a special magic and quality of oomph to be there as well. How about “David Bowie – Duets”? Sounds interesting, doesn’t it?
Bowie is a rock & roll legend and performer who has been around since the early seventies and has produced some of the most fascinating and iconic musical spectacles of that era. Bowie is also a master of reinventing himself and has remained an enigma in the music industry for almost fifty years. A role and project like this would be a great way to put an exclamation point on his amazing career and give Bowie that one last shot at immortality while also allowing him and his peers to sing the classics and allow the generations of today and tomorrow one more chance to hear music that is truly ageless and lives forever.
Okay, what I am thinking? David Bowie singing songs like “Witchcraft” or “Mack The Knife”? It’d be epic to be sure, but at the same time, it would be a little bit on the odd side as well. But I think I’ve just figured out a way to get as many classic talents, like Bowie and Alice, to be part of this project but not be forced to compromise themselves or their musical genre and style. Does anyone remember an album from the 90’s called “Rhythm, County and Blues”. It was a project that put together country music stars with artists from the R&B & soul genre in different duets. It was a pretty good tape and even scored a few hits if I remember correctly. The song from that disc that I remember the best is a duet of Conway Twitty and Sam Moore singing “Midnight Train To Georgia”. Still love that song.
So here’s my idea. A double (or triple) CD set with unusual parings of artists doing duets of classic old-time songs together. Get folks like Steven Tyler (of Aerosmith), Rob Thomas, Bruno Mars, Kayne West, etc out of their comfort zone and pair them up with other artists like Shooter Jennings, Hank Jr., Sheryl Crow, Kid Rock, etc and just cut them loose in the studio and perform the old songs, bringing and exposing them to the fans and music loving kids of today’s generation.
Just imagine Sebastian Bach teaming up with Lady Gaga to sing “One For My Baby (One More For The Road)”. How about Cyndi Lauper trading verses of “New York, New York” with Toby Keith. Have some American Idol alumni like James Durbin or Casey Abrahams pop up and sing “My Way” together. The possibilities are endless and it would be fun and exciting to see happen and hear the results. Someone really needs to take this idea, run with it and make it happen. Just saying.
And now that I’ve rambled with my idea, I think it’s time to go take another nap. Maybe I can pick up where I left off and Sinatra will talk to me again. One can only hope.