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FIRE AND ICE: Rock’s Most Explosive Duos [POLL]

FIRE AND ICE: Rock’s Most Explosive Duos by Eric Senich
Paul McCartney and John Lennon 1964 / Getty Images

Yin, meet Yang. Yang, meet Ying.

The good news? The two of you will become very rich and very famous. The bad news? You will drive each other crazy for many, many years to come.

There’s a new book out now called Powers of Two by Joshua Wolf Shenk. His book centers on the idea that creativity is most commonly the result of two people interacting in a variety of ways including mutual inspiration, mutual support and creative rivalry. He has the team of John Lennon and Paul McCartney as the greatest duo in music history when it comes to combining all those elements. No argument there.

The creative rivalry part, however, is what always interests me most when applying it to rock ‘n’ roll music. How many great classic rock bands include two main songwriting partners who are at each others’ throats almost as much as they are writing great songs together? It’s an explosive combustion that leads to explosive results.

Here is my list of rock’s ten most explosive duos.

Keep in mind that the criteria for this list is based on two specific elements added together: 1) How explosive the music is and 2) how explosive the personal rivalry is. This wasn’t easy to do. I’m sure I’ll get flamed on this list by some but that’s what makes this fun.


FIRE AND ICE: Rock’s Most Explosive Duos by Eric Senich
Stevie Nicks and Lindsey Buckingham 2013 / Getty Images

1. Stevie Nicks/Lindsey Buckingham (Masterpiece: Rumours)
How more explosive can it get when two songwriters are in a serious relationship, then break up, then create music together shortly after.

2. John Lennon/Paul McCartney (Masterpiece: Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band)
Their music is a perfect 10 and their rivalry is not too far behind.

3. David Lee Roth/Edward Van Halen (Masterpiece: 1984)
These two guys probably have the two most extremely different personalities of any songwriting duo in rock history.

FIRE AND ICE: Rock’s Most Explosive Duos by Eric Senich
David Lee Roth and Edward Van Halen 2012 / Getty Images

4. Roger Waters/David Gilmour (Masterpiece: Dark Side Of The Moon)
This rivalry got so bad it ended up with Waters suing Gilmour over the Pink Floyd name.

5. Mick Jagger/Keith Richards (Masterpiece: Exile On Main Street)
From childhood friends to band mates to bitter rivals all before we even reached the 1970s!

6. Don Henley/Glenn Frey (Masterpiece: Hotel California)
Somehow Hell froze over on these two. Still a reunion that is hard to believe.

7. Steven Tyler/Joe Perry (Masterpiece: Toys In The Attic)

Two guys who would probably never spend a second together if it weren’t for the great music they’ve created.

FIRE AND ICE: Rock’s Most Explosive Duos by Eric Senich
Steven Tyler and Joe Perry 2012 / Getty Images

8. Jimmy Page/Robert Plant (Masterpiece: Led Zeppelin IV)
As of today this rivalry continues as Page rips Plant for preventing a Led Zeppelin reunion while Plant rips Page for wanting one.

9. Pete Townshend/Roger Daltrey (Masterpiece: Who’s Next)
The introvert Townshend with the extrovert Daltrey has made for some explosive differences between these two. In the end, however, Townshend needs Daltrey’s voice while Daltrey needs Townshend’s music.

10. Ozzy Osbourne/Tony Iommi (Masterpiece: Black Sabbath)

Ozzy drove Iommi nuts in the early days with his hard partying ways. These day, thankfully, they get along much better thanks to Ozzy’s much-improved lifestyle.



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