15 Greatest Romantic Rock Duets

15 Greatest Romantic Rock Duets | Society Of Rock Videos

via Blue Rox / Youtube

Who doesn’t like a good love song right? Whatever genre you’re listening to, love is always a good subject to tell a story in music. We listed down 15 greatest romantic rock duets (in no particular order), that you can add to your playlist whenever you feel inspired. Take a look below.

 

1. “Close My Eyes Forever,” Ozzy Osbourne and Lita Ford (1988)
From the 1988 album Lita, The Runaways’ Lita Ford wrote the song with Ozzy Osbourne after a night of partying. Ford was once engaged to Tony Iommi, who played guitar with Osbourne in Black Sabbath. This was the only song from Ozzy’s solo career that went into the Top 10 hit.

2. “Almost Paradise,” Mike Reno and Ann Wilson (1984)
Heart’s Ann Wilson and Loverboy’s Mike Reno sang the song, but the ones who wrote it are Eric Carmen and Dean Pitchford. Carmen said of this song:

“That was really the first time that I had collaborated seriously with anybody. The music side of things has always been very easy for me. I had to work really hard on the lyric side. John Kalodner asked me if I’d be interested in writing the love theme from Footloose.”

3. “Up Where We Belong,” Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes (1982)
The song was performed by Joe Cocker and Jennifer Warnes, but it was the legendary lyricist Will Jennings who wrote the lyrics. It was written for the movie An Officer And A Gentleman, which won the Oscar for Best Original Song in 1983. The movie ends with the iconic scene where Debra Winger is in Richard Gere’s arms as the credits roll and “Up Where We Belong” plays.

4. “You’re the One That I Want,” John Travolta and Olivia Newton-John (1978)
John Farrar and Olivia Newton-John collaborated to come up with this song. It wasn’t a part of the Broadway version of Grease, but was written specifically for the film. It reached #1 hit in America, claiming the top spot on June 10, 1978 before the film gets to be released on June 16. It sold 15 million copies across the world.

5. “Reunited,” Peaches & Herb (1978)
The song was written by the team of Dino Fekaris and Freddie Perren. Although, “Shake Your Groove Thing” was released first from the album and charting at #5 in March 1979, “Reunited” quickly reached #1 in May upon released. It was by far the biggest hit for Peaches & Herb spending four weeks at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 in 1979 and sold more than 2 million copies.

6. “It Takes Two,” Marvin Gaye and Kim Weston (1966)
Kim Weston told Mojo magazine on February 2009:

“Marvin and I went into the studio together to record the album Take Two. We didn’t pick the tracks, they were picked by Mickey Stevenson, my then-husband, and our producer, but ‘It Takes Two’ had been written by him and Sylvia Moy especially for us and it really worked. Being in the studio with Marvin, I saw a new side to him. I’d traveled and shared bills with him so we knew how each other worked. In the studio he was really encouraging. He added little ad libs, intonations here and there and suggested things for the arrangements. I saw the genius shine out of him but also the frustration. You could hear it in his voice. He wanted more control.”

7. “Our House,” Graham Nash and Joni Mitchell (2021)
Before their breakup, Graham Nash wrote this romantic song about the house he shared with Joni Mitchell in LA’s Laurel Canyon from 1968-1970. The lyrics are true to life, they really did have two cats in the yard along with a fireplace. Nash described it as a “portrait of our life together.” In the earliest live performances of the song, Nash would never mention Mitchell’s name, but introduces the song as being “about my woman.” “Our House” was the last single from the Déjà Vu album and their first with Neil Young in the group.

8. “Insider,” Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers Ft. Stevie Nicks (1981)
When Stevie Nicks joined Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers for some songs on their 2006 tour, Petty introduced this song by saying he wrote it for Stevie. Petty told Melody Maker in 1981:

“It’s one of those things in a relationship that really is the stinger. You know, you didn’t trust me, you couldn’t trust me… that’s the way it always come out. Trust. When I wrote that song, I wrote it very quickly, I mean maybe in ten, 15 minutes. I just wrote it all down on paper and then I just picked up the guitar and tried to sing each line out. It took me maybe an hour to do that – it don’t happen every day, fans! But the lyrics were real quick.”

9. “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart,” Elton John and Kiki Dee (1976)
Elton John and his band recorded their parts in Toronto during the sessions for his 1976 LP Blue Moves. The material was then sent to Kiki Dee, who added her vocals in London. This was Elton’s first #1 in the UK and was the second-biggest-selling record of 1976 in both the UK and US. Dee explained in the book 1000 UK #1 Hits by Jon Kutner & Spencer Leigh:

“Both Elton and I were big fans of those duets on Motown by the likes of Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell and as there hadn’t been any around for a bit, we thought we’d do one ourselves.”

10. “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around,” Stevie Nicks and Tom Petty (1981)
After “Insider”, Petty and company recorded a song that he and guitarist Mike Campbell composed about a year earlier, which was “Stop Draggin’ My Heart Around”. They sent the demo to Nicks’ producer, Jimmy Iovine and she loved it, saying, “That’s what I wanted all along.” Nicks and Petty ended up doing it as a duet. They reunited to perform this song when Petty was honored as the MusiCares Person of the Year on February 10, 2017.

11. “I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That),” Meat Loaf (With Lorraine Crosby) (1993)
Meat Loaf’s 1993 comeback hit wasn’t technically a duet because only the late singer is credited, but the female vocalist is Lorraine Crosby, also known as “Mrs. Loud.” The songwriter, Jim Steinman, called it a “Beauty And The Beast” kind of story. Meat Loaf won his only Grammy Award for this song, taking the trophy for Best Rock Solo Performance. It is by far the biggest hit of Meat Loaf’s career, going to #1 in America on November 6, 1993 and spending five weeks at the top. In the UK, it was the biggest hit of 1993, selling 761,200 copies and spending seven weeks at #1.

12. “Islands in the Stream,” Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton (1982)
The song was written by The Bee Gees as an R&B song. It was originally written for Marvin Gaye, however, it was recorded instead as a duet by Kenny Rogers and Dolly Parton along with the Gibb Brothers also contributing vocals. “Islands in the Stream” topped the Hot 100 (two weeks), Country (two weeks), and Adult Contemporary (four weeks) charts. It was the 1985 American Music Awards winner for Favorite Country Single, and 20 years later topped CMT’s poll of the best country duets of all time.

13. “I Got You Babe,” Sonny & Cher (1965)
When Sonny Bono and Cher started dating, they moved into their manager’s house and Bono wrote the song on the garage. Cher didn’t like it at first. She recalled to Billboard magazine:

“Sonny woke me up in the middle of the night to come in where the piano was, in the living room, and sing it. And I didn’t like it and just said, ‘OK, I’ll sing it and then I’m going back to bed.'”

Sonny and Cher performed this one last time when they appeared on the The David Letterman show in 1987.

14. “Leather and Lace,” Stevie Nicks and Don Henley (1981)
Written by Stevie Nicks. A year later Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham split up, she started dating Don Henley. They were together for about two years and remained close after their breakup. This song was Henley’s first hit away from the Eagles and one of Nicks’ first hits away from Fleetwood Mac. Henley performed this with Nicks when she was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist in 2019.

15. “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell (1967)
Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell recorded the original version which peaked at #19 US in 1967.

Uriel Jones of The Funk Brothers, who played the drums on Gaye and Terrell’s original version, recalled in Mojo magazine February 2009:

“Ashford and Simpson had written the song and they always came to the studio with charts. This time was no exception; they came with the song fully written out.”

Paul Riser, Motown’s musical arranger and trombonist for the label’s band The Funk Brothers, recalled putting the rhythm track together shortly after he first heard the demo:

“After Tammi recorded her vocal, the producers decided the single would be stronger as a duet. Months earlier, Marvin had a hit with Kim Weston on ‘It Takes Two.’ So Marvin was added to Tammi’s record to help its odds on the charts. Marvin was amazing. He overdubbed his vocal so it wrapped around hers, as if the two of them were in love, singing to each other in the studio.”

Don’t Miss Out! Sign up for the Latest Updates

Premium Partners

Society of Rock partner World War Wings
Society of Rock partner Daily Rock Box
Society of Rock partner Country Music Nation
Society of Rock partner Country Rebel
Society of Rock partner I Love Classic Rock
Society of Rock partner Rock Pasta

Interested in becoming a partner?

Contact us for more info.