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Which Are the Best Rock Songwriting Duos?

A conversation about the greatest writing duos of the rock era often begins and ends with John and Paul, with an honorary mention of Mick and Keith.

However, there are other great partnerships. I ran across a fuller listing that was posted at The Gibson Guitar website in April 2013. The first few pairings were offered by writer Russell Hall. The rest are from the comments. I’ve only inserted the bands where appropriate and necessary.

It’s always dangerous for an editor to invite people to offer their own list or ratings: If nobody takes up the offer, it looks like nobody is paying attention to the site. But, whatever…Who is missing? Who are your top five or ten? Please comment below.

fagen, beckerJohn Lennon/Paul McCartney
Mick Jagger/Keith Richards
Alex Chilton/Chris Bell (Big Star)
Elton John/Bernie Taupin
Randy Bachman/Burton Cummings (The Guess Who)
Donald Fagen/Walter Becker (Steely Dan, left)
Jimmy Page/Robert Plant
Johnny Marr/Morrissey (The Smiths)
Joe Strummer/Mick Jones (The Clash, right)
Geddy Lee/Neil Peart (Rush)
Stephen Stills/David Crosby (Crosby, Stills and Nash)
Leiber-StollerIan Anderson/Martin Barre (Jethro Tull)
Justin Hayward/John Lodge (The Moody Blues)
Buddy Holly/Jerry Allison
Paul Simon/Art Garfunkel
Felice Bryant/Boudleaux Bryant (The Everly Brothers, others)
Barry Mann/Cynthia Weil
Ellie Greenwich/Jeff Barry
Brian Wilson/Mike Love
Mike Bloomfield/Nick Gravenites
Angus Young/Malcolm Young (AC/DC)
Michael Sadler & Jim Crichton (Saga)
[/column][column size=one_half position=last ]Eric Stewart/GrahamGouldman (10cc)
Tom Petty/Mike Campbell (The Heartbreakers)
Jerry Leiber/Mike Stoller (Left, with Elvis)
Gerry Goffin/Carole King
Roger Waters/David Gilmour
Andy Fraser/Paul Rodgers (Free)
Randy Bachman/Burton Cummings (The Guess Who)
Jerry Garcia/ Robert Hunter (The Grateful Dead)
the clashBrian May/Freddie Mercury (Queen)
Ozzy Osbourne/Tony Iommi (Black Sabbath)
Roger Daltrey/Pete Townsend
Steven Tyler/Joe Perry (Aerosmith)
Chris Robinson/Rich Robinson (The Black Crowes)
Bono/The Edge (U2)
Jerry Cantrell/Layne Staley (Alice in Chains)
Ann Wilson/Nancy Wilson (Heart)
David Bowie/Brian Eno
Chris Difford/Glenn Tilbrook (Squeeze)
Daryl Hall/John Oates
Lars Ulrich/James Hetfield (Metalica)
Kerry King/Jeff Hanneman (Slayer)
Ritchie Blackmore/Ronnie James Dio (Deep Purple)

Photo credits: Kotivalo (Steely Dan), Helga Overas (The Clash)

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