B Sides for 12/28/2011

Top 11 of 11

We are wrapping up the year by looking at some of the top stories of 2011 with our Top 11 of 11 specials. Today we look at the Top 11 Unexpected Musical Pairings of 11

Ozzy Osbourne Teams With Justin Bieber (No. 1 Music Pairing of 11)
Ozzy Osbourne and Justin Bieber were the No. 1 Unexpected Musical Pairing of 11. Here is the report: (Gibson) Metal maestro Ozzy Osbourne and teen heartthrob Justin Bieber have teamed for a TV commercial set to air during this year's Super Bowl. As reported by USA Today, the two singers will appear in a 30-second Best Buy ad slated to run during the third quarter.

Best Buy says the pairing of Osbourne and Bieber marks an attempt to raise the company's profile as an Internet technology expert and service provider, while still maintaining its reputation as a consumer-friendly retailer.

"Justin Bieber is the biggest star out there, but that's not why he's in the spot," said Drew Panayiotou, Best Buy's marketing chief. "He symbolically represents something important to the brand message." Ponder that head scratcher and read more here

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Queen's Brian May Teams Up With Lady Gaga (No. 2 Music Pairing of 11)
Brian May and Lady Gaga were the No 2 Unexpected Musical Pairing of 11. Here is the report: (Gibson) Legendary Queen guitarist Brian May plays guitar on a track on Lady Gaga's new album, Born This Way, according to The Daily Mirror. The two musicians paired up for the song "You & I."

"It's always been Gaga's dream to perform as Queen. If it wasn't for Queen, there would be no Gaga," a source told The Daily Mirror. "This collaboration with Brian May means the world to her."

Of course, Lady Gaga famously took her name from a Queen song, "Radio Ga Ga," thanks to producer Rob Fusari. In the past, Gaga (whose real name is Stefani Germanotta) has credited Queen frontman Freddie Mercury as one of her big influences. "Freddie was unique – one of the biggest personalities in the whole of pop music," she said. "He was not only a singer but a fantastic performer, a man of the theater, who constantly transformed himself." more on this story

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Zakk Wylde and William Shatner Cover Black Sabbath Classic (No. 3 Music Pairing of 11)
Zakk Wylde and William Shatner were the No. 3 Unexpected Musical Pairing of 11. Here is the report: (Gibson) William Shatner has dropped a couple of tantalizing tweets suggesting that he and Zakk Wylde have recorded a cover of the Black Sabbath classic, "Iron Man."

As reported by MusicRadar, Shatner posted the following statement on his Twitter: "Just watched tracks being laid down by Zakk Wylde of Black Label Society for my upcoming record SEEKING MAJOR TOM." Shatner followed with a tweet that read: "Zakk is one of the great guitarists who played with Ozzy Osbourne. A master playing a cover of 'Iron Man'. He's fantastic! I'm energized."

For a sneak peek into the Shatner/Wylde collaboration, check out a video, recently posted by Seeking Major Tom producer Adam Hamilton here.

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Bret Michaels and Miley Cyrus Duet (No. 4 Music Pairing of 11)
Bret Michaels and Miley Cyrus were the No. 4 Unexpected Musical Pairing of 11. Here is the report: (Gibson) Bret Michaels has revealed that his new album will be available this summer, according to HollywoodLife.com. Titled Get Your Rock On, the record will be released on June 14, one week into the upcoming Mötley Crüe/Poison tour.

Michaels said that this album will be "harder" and that the major influences on this release include Garth Brooks, John Mellencamp, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Aerosmith.

"This one is primarily straight-up rock songs, which I think people will like," the singer said. "I've written a lot of good stuff over the last few years that I think are just good rock songs. I feel really strong about it."

In addition, Michaels' duet with Miley Cyrus on "Every Rose Has its Thorn" is going to see an official release… but only in Australia more on this story

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How Metallica Teamed Up With Lou Reed (No. 5 Music Pairing of 11)
Metallica and Lou Reed were the No. 5 Unexpected Musical Pairings of 11. Here is the report: (hennemusic) The promotion machine continues to roll for Lou Reed and Metallica, as they talk to the press about their forthcoming release, "Lulu," due next week.

Lou, along with Lars and James from Metallica, sat down for an interview with the Norwegian TV show, "Lydverket."

Lars explains how the project was introduced to the metal band. "Literally, it was [because] he asked," began Ulrich. "Lou says, 'Let's make a record with Lou.' OK, cool. The problem is people don't ask us very much; I mean, we don't go out and look for it; we don't put an ad in the paper – 'Rock band looking for otherworldly experiences.' But when they come to us, great, sounds awesome." Check out the video here

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Bruce Springsteen Duets With Dropkick Murphys (No. 6 Music Pairing of 11)
Bruce Springsteen and the Dropkick Murphys were the No 6 Unexpected Musical Pairing of 11. Here is the report: (Gibson) The Boss will make a guest appearance on Irish American punk band the Dropkick Murphys' new album Going Out in Style.

Bruce Springsteen duets with the band's frontman Ken Casey on a cover of "Peg O' My Heart," best known perhaps as the theme tune to BBC TV series The Singing Detective.

Casey told NME.com: "It links two generations. We're spanning a lot of years of music here, yet our songs share similar themes, stories, and values." more on this story

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Original Judas Priest Singer Teams Up with Christian Guitarist (No. 7 Music Pairing of 11)
Al Atkins and Paul May were the No 7. Unexpected Musical Pairings of 11. Here is the report: Glass Onyon sent over details about a match made in heaven and hell: original Judas Priest singer and Holy Rage frontman Al Atkins and Christian guitarist and music artist Paul May have released a new CD called 'Serpent's Kiss', now available on Gonzo Multimedia.

The 10-track album is the product of two of the Midlands finest architects of rock and metal coming together to create something that is unique and totally exhilaratin.

There are enough doses of melody and metal madness to entice all fans of the genre, and while it is solid, honest working class heavy metal, it also has its roots in contemporary metal with some fine axe-work and killer choruses. The cover art for 'Serpent's Kiss' is also unique as it was created by world famous fantasy artist Rodney Matthews. more on this story

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AC/DC, The Who and Scorpions Members Recording with Michael Schenker (No. 8 Music Pairing of 11)
Michael Schenker's all-star guest list was the No 8 Unexpected Musical Pairings of 11. Here is the report: (Gibson) In an interview with Classic Rock Revisited, former Scorpions drummer Herman Rarebell talked about recording with early Scorpions guitar god, Michael Schenker. Schenker is currently recording a solo album with Rarebell and former members of AC/DC, UFO, Vanilla Fudge and The Who.

Rarebell explained, "Michael will soon release a solo album with many, many guests. As far as who the guests are, you should ask Michael. I will be one of the guests and so will Pete (Way, bassist from UFO). I know Carmine (Appice) is playing on a few songs. Simon Phillips (who played with The Who) and Chris Slade (AC/DC) will also play on a song. I will be on seven songs. It is all new material that Michael wrote over the last few months. Whatever comes out of this, the future will have to show."

The combination of Rarebell and Schenker is a tantalizing prospect for Scorpions fans, as it is a reunion of two key components from one of the band's best-loved albums, Lovedrive. Schenker, whose brother Rudolf is a founding member of the German juggernaut, played on three key tracks and then bailed. His absence left an opening for one of metal's most unsung guitar heroes, Matthias Jabs. more on this story

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Jack White and Bob Dylan Team Up To Finish Hank Williams Songs (No. 9 Music Pairing of 11)
Jack White and Bob Dylan were the No 9 Unexpected Musical Pairings of 11. Here is the report: (Gibson) Jack White has contributed to a new project spearheaded by Bob Dylan that pays tribute to Hank Williams. A few years ago, Dylan was given a folder of Williams' lyrics that were never put to music. Similar to Billy Bragg and Wilco's Mermaid Avenue "collaborations" with Woody Guthrie, Dylan has brought in a slew of artists to finish off the old Williams compositions, according to ClashMusic.com.

"I did a project with Bob Dylan: he put together 20 or 25 people to finish writing Hank Williams songs that only had lyrics and didn't have music … I had to write music for Hank Williams' lyrics," White said. "I looked through all the piles of lyrics, and one of 'em just kept speaking to me. Sometimes you think it's gonna be really hard to find my spot, and then it picks it for you. You don't even have to choose it; it just picks it for you."

White said the album might come out this year, but Dylan has yet to announce the full list of artists who have contributed to the project. The former White Stripes frontman gave a few clues in an interview with MTV News. more on this story

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Garth Brooks and Billy Joel Duet (No. 10 Music Pairing of 11)
Garth Brooks and Billy Joel were the No 10 Unexpected Musical Pairings of 11. Here is the report: (Gibson) The Songwriters Hall of Fame got a big dose of country last week with the induction of Garth Brooks. The Yukon, Oklahoma native, who rose to stardom in the late '80s/early '90s on the strength of such hits as "If Tomorrow Never Comes," "Unanswered Prayers" and "The Thunder Rolls," was inducted by Billy Joel, who wrote the hit, "Shameless," for Brooks' 1991 album, Ropin' the Wind.

"You talk about songwriters," Brooks gushed to the Associated Press. "[Joel is] one of the greatest songwriters of all time. And he's taken a day out of his life to do this. I feel very lucky."

Joining Brooks at the New York City gala was fellow 2011 inductee Leon Russell, who performed "Superstar" with Dwight Yoakam. Other inductees included Allen Toussant, Billy Steinberg, Tom Kelly, John Bettis and the duo of Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil, who co-wrote the Righteous Brothers' classic, "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'," with Phil Spector, as well as hits by The Animals, The Crystals and Paul Revere & the Raiders.

[According to organizers, the event featured a Garth Brooks and Billy Joel's duet of "Shameless," in matching black cowboy hats. Chaka Khan's performed "I'm Every Woman," Leon Russell on piano with "A Song for You" and Trisha Yearwood's beautiful medley tribute to Hal David, including "What The World Needs Now."] more on this story

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Jethro Tull's Ian Anderson Space and Earth Duet With NASA Astronaut (No. 11 Music Pairing of 11)
Ian Anderson's duet with a NASA Astronaut was the No 11 Unexpected Musical Pairings of 11. Here is the report: Harmony reached new heights recently as NASA astronaut Cady Coleman, circling Earth aboard the International Space Station, and musician Ian Anderson, founder of the rock band Jethro Tull, collaborated for the first space-Earth duet.

Coleman, an amateur flutist, and Anderson played a portion of the song "Bourree," an arrangement of which Anderson and Jethro Tull performed during their 1969 U.S. tour as Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped on the moon.

Coleman played her part from 220 miles above Earth late last week. Anderson played his part while on tour in Perm, Russia, during the weekend. The two parts were then joined. Video from the performance more on this story

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