Back in 1987, two artists from two different arena’s joined forces to deliver a smash hit single which serves this week’s From The Vault pick: it’s Aretha Franklin and George Michael‘s still-stunning ‘I Knew You Were Waiting For Me’.
‘Waiting’ was written by Simon Climie and Dennis Morgan for Franklin’s 1986 release, ‘Aretha’ and saw freshly-solo-star Michael collaborating with one of his idol. After the bubblegum-fest that was Wham!, George started channeling his inner Soul Man which can be heard in this track as he has no problem whatsoever keeping up with the greatest who ever done it, the Queen of Soul herself.
A US-meets-UK collaboration, the track lived up to its international status as it was a chart-topper in both those countries. On the UK front it was Michael’s third in a row and weirdly enough Aretha’s only #1 record to this day; the duet was her seventeenth Top 10 hit and Michael’s first since calling it quits with Wham. It was also a #1 record in Ireland and Australia and a Top 10 in Canada and Germany.
The video is primarily set in a screening room where past videos of the seasoned vocalists are shown alongside footage of notable duos like Marvin Gaye & Tammi Terrell and Sonny & Cher. Midway through, Aretha and George get together and jam to their uplifting tune resulting in an iconic moment in the vein of those they paid homage to in the first place.
“Unusual” pairings like this excite in earnest. Indeed the collision of two worlds on one common ground represents what music should be all about: an art that brings people together. With the likes Miguel and Kelly Clarksonreportedly “trying to make it happen”, let’s pray other artists follow suit. We’d be lying if we said we hadn’t made a few dream combos in our heads already (Janet Jackson and Bebel Gilberto, Mariah and ), but we want YOU to tell us:
What would be your dream pairings of artists from different genres?