Top 10 Guest Appearances in Rock Music

Sometimes it's just big-name flashing, but other times it's genuinely brilliant music.

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Guest appearances are a bit of a tricky issue, as they have that power to instantly draw attention, which can be misused to garner the public towards mediocre, or just plain bad songs. But of course, that's not always the case. Rock music's had its fair share of epic collaborations and guest appearances, some of which have managed to leave a permanent mark in the history of guitar-driven sound. Right now we'll reminisce a few of those as we make a rundown of Top 10 guest appearances in history of rock.

The Beatles feat. Eric Clapton - "While My Guitar Gently Weeps"

An earlier rock classic and a work of ultimate rock legends - The Beatles' "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" was written by George Harrison and features guitar solo work from Eric Clapton, showcasing both guitarists' extraordinary skills in a brief 5-minute piece of music.

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Dire Straits feat. Sting - "Money for Nothing"

Proving that you can give a song an extra dose of magical charm even through background vocals, Sting delivered a distinctive vocal performance in Dire Straits tune "Money For Nothing." Although Mark Knopfler's classy riff is what inarguably drives the song, Sting's part clearly stands out as a cool feature.

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Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds feat. Kylie Minogue - "Where the Wild Roses Grow"

Although Kylie Minogue is by no means a name associated with rock sound, her performance in Nick Cave's "Where The Wild Roses Grow" fetched her kudos from even some of the most hard core rock aficionados. Interestingly enough, you still might encounter people considering the song as a mellow love ballad. Granted, it is a love ballad, but the lyrics hardly make it mellow.

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Deftones feat. Maynard James Keenan - "Passenger"

Delving into metal domain, Deftones' collaboration with Tool frontman Maynard James Keenan remains one of the band's most memorable songs to this day. The combo fused through the mixture of two very unique voices did not only guarantee an amazing tune, but also delivered it.

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Queen feat. David Bowie - "Under Pressure"

As more of an obvious choice, Queen's 1982 song "Under Pressure" was somewhat of a shoo-in for the list. The fact that the song was played on every Queen show ever since the release until the final 1986 gig speaks for itself, only cementing the David Bowie collaboration as a definite rock classic.

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Paul Rodgers feat. Richie Sambora - "Good Morning Little School Girl"

Paul Rodgers' "Muddy Water Blues: A Tribute to Muddy Waters" is a shiny gem among collaboration records. Free/Bad Company frontman gathered up an impressive studio lineup consisting of such guitar icons as David Gilmour, Brian May, Jeff Beck, Buddy Guy, Journey's Neal Schon, Gary Moore, Richie Sambora, Slash, and Trevor Rabin of Yes to pay tribute to great late Muddy Waters. The entire album's well worth the listen, but this time around we've singled out the "Good Morning Little School Girl" track with Bon Jovi's Richie Sambora.

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Megadeth feat. David Draiman - "Dance in the Rain"

Representing some of the newer records, Megadeth's "Dance in the Rain" features vocal performance from Disturbed frontman David Draiman. "Super Collider" album received it's fair share of both bashing and online praises, but no matter which side you're on, "Dance in the Rain" simply stands out as a top-notch Megadeth tune. With somewhat of a "Dawn Patrol" vibe, the song is elevated by Draiman's singing towards the end.

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Eric Clapton feat. Duane Allman - "Layla"

Arguably the two greatest axeman of all time - Eric Clapton and late Duane Allman are the central figures of staple classic rock track "Layla." A fairly obvious choice and a brilliant way of representing the genius of both guitarists in an effective, concise manner.

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Michael Jackson feat. Eddie Van Halen - "Beat It"

Michael Jackson might be the King of Pop, but he pulled in guitar king Eddie Van Halen to deliver a solo on his "Beat It" tune. It's an often misconception that Eddie also recorded the song's catchy riff, but that was actually the work of Toto guitarist Steve Lukather.

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Pink Floyd feat. Clare Torry - "The Great Gig in the Sky"

Although the list was given in no specific order, Pink Floyd's "The Great Gig in the Sky" is without a doubt the No. 1 song. Featuring guest vocal appearance from singer Clare Torry, the track stands for having the guest appearance as its most crucial part. Most of the guest appearances are often reduced to clever fills, sometimes crucial, but fills nevertheless. In this case, Clare's voice made the tune what it is - one of the highlights of possibly the greatest album in history of music. Of course, the input from late great Rick Wright carries just as much weight.

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There are plenty of amazing guest appearances out there and you probably have a few personal favorites. Therefore, don't hesitate to share a song or two in the comments.

43 comments sorted by best / new / date

    Definitely Run DMC feat. Aerosmith - "Walk This Way":
    Arfing Thumb
    They used a picture out of this video, but didn't include it in the list? Also it's a new version of Aerosmiths original tune, so imo it's Run DMC who do the guest appearance.
    I gotta say, I was a little surprised it didn't make it, but I guess it leaned a bit to much into 'rap' territory
    But yes, technically it's rap song with guest rock musicians)
    But it's originally an Aerosmith song... So, technically, it's a remix of a rock song with guest rappers.
    Plus of course Lita Ford feat. Ozzy Osbourne - "Close Your Eyes Forever"
    I didn't know Duane Allman was on Layla.
    He does the slide solo.
    Isn't that Greg Allman playing the piano part at the end as well??
    fun fact, the drummer player for Derek and the Dominoes Jim Gordon is in jail for life for killing his mother while in a schizophrenic rage.
    Sandy Denny of Fairport Convention on Led Zeppelin's Battle of Evermore. The only guest vocals they ever had. A standout Zepp song.
    wish I could thumbs-up this comment 20 times. brilliant song, Sandy Denny and Robert Plant sound great together
    'Swallow The Sun ft. Anette Olzon - Cathedral Walls' and all of Devin Townsend Projects 'Deconstruction'
    Stephen Stills had Hendrix, Clapton and Ringo on three different songs in his first solo effort. Great songs I must say, and I hate Ringo.
    Layla is not a collaboration, Clapton and Allman were in the same band, Derek and the Dominos, who put out the Layla album in 1970.
    Although Duane Allman did contribute with a lot of guitarwork for the Layla album, he was never actually credited as a member of the band. So yes. It is a collaboration.
    Why doesn't the writer say "Beat It - by Michael Jackson Feat. Eddie Van Halen and Steve Lukather?
    Duane Allman wasn't a "Guest Appearance". He was a big part of Derek and the Dominoes, and played on the entire album.
    In "money for nothing", I think Sting's part is COMPLETELY throwaway. I don't really think it adds anything. It's all about that riff and the chorus for me
    What about Slash's Paradise City with Fergie and Cypress Hill?? Or in fact any of his songs off his first solo album?
    Still think Under Pressure is a shitty song, don't understand all the praise it gets. Queen and especially Bowie can do so much better.
    Beasty Boys..You gotta fight, for your right... guitar solo by Kerry King... anyone remember that one..?
    This one should be first: Brian May in "When Death Calls" from Headless Cross by Black Sabbath. And also something really new: Tarja Turunen singing with Within Temptation(song called "Paradise").