Top 10 Rock Duos

Who is the best pairing of musical minds in rock history? See the results of this week's poll - and some of the funnier entries - right here.

Ultimate Guitar

Who are the best rock duos of all time?

That's what we asked UG readers on Wednesday. We wanted to know which pairing of musical minds have proven to be the strongest in all of rock music, and they didn't disappoint.

We have to give a nod to a few of the funnier suggestions too - Dave Mustaine and his ego were a popular choice, and were fictional entries like Bill and Ted, or Spongebob and Patrick. The best comedy entry?

Dave and Grohl.

Tkwndbobo, congratulations for making us laugh our ears off.

Here's the results - let us know what you think in the comments.

10. Serj Tankian and Daron Malakian (System of a Down)

The frontman and guitarist of nu-metal's weirdest export both went to the same Armenian primary school, but didn't properly meet until 1992 when they were working at a recording studio. They formed the band Soil, which later morphed into today's beloved System of a Down.

9. Mick Jagger and David Bowie

Rock's biggest "WTF?" moment was when Bowie and Jagger collaborated for an indulgent, weird and utterly thoughtless video that put both legends to shame. This is what happens when your creative team is too shy to speak up and say the truth to their heroes - a bit like when George Lucas made a new "Star Wars" trilogy and no one dared to tell him it was awful.

8. Simon & Garfunkel

These childhood friends went on to play a definitive role in the 1960s folk songwriting movement. While their relationship was marred by fall outs and break ups, their legacy echoes on with constant references in popular culture - and one of the most harmonious vocal pairings of all time.

7. Mick Jagger and Keith Richards (Rolling Stones)

Jagger's second entry to this list is with his fellow Rolling Stone Keith Richards. While both artists have seen better days (Richards doesn't just look old - he looks like a zombie pirate), they've made a mark on history which most other rock artists would die for.

6. Layne Staley and Jerry Cantrell (Alice in Chains)

Stayley's drug overdose ended one of the great grunge rock partnerships. Thankfully Cantrell rocks on with the current Alice in Chains lineup, who have done a stellar job of making great music without their great frontman - but there's no doubt the lineup was stronger when both of this pair were performing in force together.

5. Jack and Meg White (the White Stripes)

For years it was one of rock's biggest secrets: were Jack and Meg married, brother and sister, or just old friends? It turned out they were married, though divorced shortly before they became flag bearers for the new garage rock revival in 2000.

4. David Gilmour and Roger Waters (Pink Floyd)

The greatest guitar and bass combo of all time? To progressive rock fans, perhaps. Both artists have done exceptionally well in their post-Floyd independent careers, but it's when they get together that the real magic happens.

3. Jimmy Page and Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin)

It's hard to separate any member of Led Zeppelin when every member played an important part in making them the most forceful quartet ever, but Plant and Page played a pretty equal part in playing the face of the band.

2. John Lennon and Paul McCartney (the Beatles)

It's a wonder that these two didn't make it to first place, because their effect on music (and in fact, the whole of western popular culture) has been so influential that the history books will remember them for all time. Bigger than Jesus? Maybe.

1. Tenacious D

Jack Black and Kyle Gass gave acoustic rock a shot in the arm when it could have been relegated to the lesser leagues next to regular bombastic rock. Instead, they showed that acoustic songwriting can be funny, intelligent and even heavy - and that's before they pull out the electric guitars and collaborate with heavy weights like Dave Grohl for a real rock session.

Who is your favorite rock duos? Let us know in the comments.

239 comments sorted by best / new / date

    this wasn't really rock duo's at all to be honest. it was just "pick two people from your favourite band and say they're a "duo" only duo's up there is the white stripes and simon and garfunkel.
    Page & Plant was actually a thing some time after Zeppelin. They toured and even did an album or two. The author probably wasn't aware of that..
    I considered that by Duo, They were actually referring to the musicians in the band who write/wrote the majority of the songs.
    Not entirely true. Lennon/McCartney are one of the most accomplished songwriting duos ever. Most Beatles songs have those two billed as co-writers.
    the fact that none of the guitar duos made it is disturbing, especially considering this is a guitar site. Dave Murray & Adrian Smith Glenn Tipton & KK Downing Jason Becker & Marty Friedman James Hetfield & Kirk Hammett Dave Mustaine & Marty Friedman (or Chris Poland) Jeff Hanneman & Kerry King Dan Spitz & Scott Ian Joe Perry & Brad Whitford Thurston Moore & Lee Ranaldo Head & Munky Angus & Malcolm Young john Lennon & George Harrison Brent Hinds & Bill Kelliher Pepper Keenan & Kirk Windstein Mikael kerfeldt & Peter Lindgren Jerry Garcia & Bob Weir Mike McCreedy & Stone Gossard Joe Strummer & Mick Jones Gary Rossington & Allen Collins Duane Allman & Dickey Betts Steve Clark & Phil Collen Slash & Izzy Stradlin Mick Thompson & Jim Root Fredrik Thordendal & Mrten Hagstrm Greg Anderson & Stephen O'Malley Josh Homme & Troy Van Leeuwen Myles Kennedy & Mark Tremonti Neil Young & Poncho Sampedro there are countless guitar duos to choose from and not one of them made this list.
    Came here to mention Myles & Mark. Those two are incredible together. Staggering soundscapes.
    This list is stupid, only 4 are actually duos, the rest are parts of bands.
    Lennon/McCartney are a songwriting duo but the rest are just I guess the two best people in the band
    Biggest shock about the list? UG finally recognized Bowie and Jagger on a Wednesday question! All shall rejoice.
    My favorite is John and Flea but I knew they wouldn't win. I thought that Tony and Ozzy would have though.
    Personally, I think Chad and Flea fit together a bit better, but only a little bit. Plus they still communicate to this day. John has been pretty private about his life, even to the other Chili Peppers
    Jagger and Bowie?... Really?
    Users. F**king. Voted.
    Other. Users. Are. Allowed. To. Have. Their. Own. Opinions. Though.
    Well if you have an opinion, good for you. But I also have the same right to an opinion, and my opinion is that your opinion is stupid and invalid. I agree though, but hey, that's democracy for ya. The majorities right to royally screw the different minded.
    This should be a reminder to whoever makes these Wednesday questions, ask a silly question, get a silly answer.
    Just expressing my disappointment in seeing them on here just because they supposedly slept together. Much rather see Bonham/John Paul Jones or Moon/Entwistle or Flea/Chad Smith or whatever.
    Yeah, in fact i'd MUCh rather see Geddy Lee/Alex Lifeson on this list than them! Mick jagger got on twice, extremely disappointed with that, but other than that a decent list i suppose.
    Was disappointed not to see that combo, or Geddy and Neil for that matter. But deep down we all know the #1 is more or less a troll vote.
    Some of the people here in UG are 10 yr old kids.
    Is the 2003 in your name related to your year of birth? Thus making you 10?
    I am 25 years old. My favourite bands are THE BEATLES, MetallicA and Megadeth. Anything else? And I probably know way more music than you.
    Dude stop being elitist and just let people have different opinions. It's all subjective.
    Hey DMC, let me hear your list. Trying to insult people. let me hear your list. The Beatles, Pink Floyd and MetallicA probably made the best music that will ever exist
    wormgus2003, if you want people to stop thinking you're ten years old, stop acting ten years old please and stfu
    Not trying to beat a dead horse or anything here, but I stopped typing a capital A at the end of Metallica when I was like 13. So he's probably around that age. Just my educated guess.
    You do realise how stupid this sounds right? Metallica/beatles/pink floys best music there is? its ur opinion that fine, but it's not fact. in MY opinion I would name the likes of Led Zeppelin, Iron Maiden and Eric Clapton for instance.. be mad all you want that your precious crappy bands didnt make the list, but dont crap throughout the comment sections crying about how disappointed you are. look for a different ultimate-guitar site then..
    Well, you've already changed your mind going from MegaDave to Pink Floyd. That's an upgrade. You do sound like a generic wannabe though trying to just name great bands. Metallica, really? What good have they done since Cliff Burton died? If I had to go with a top three I'd toss the Beatles in there, they're great. The others, I don't know. Sabbath, Zeppelin, Clapton, etc. It's difficult to say a favorite when you really appreciate music. Also, you still probably don't know shit about music. Just because you say a band is great doesn't mean you know anything about it. Have you actually studied music? Played it? Lived it? Do you even know what a chord is? Poser.
    To DMC: I never knew the result of someone that has studied music would be to run a pizzeria. Do you need a diploma to like whatever kind of music or bands? I'm sorry but Sabbath, Zeppelin and Clapton sounds pretty generic to me too. So could you please let the guy love whatever he wants? The bands he said mean a lot to him, great that's fine, can you please respect his opinion and just shut up? What is all with you kind of people? Can we just let people share what they like even if you think it's crap? All bands means anything or everything to someone, somehow, somwhere.
    You don't really know all that much either then. How many people do you know that have studied engineering are currently engineers? Do you think Mike Illitch studied pizza in college? Just because someone studies something and has a degree doesn't mean they always work in that field. I'm more inspired by Bach and Shostakovich than I am Sabbath, Zep, and Clapton, but for likes of Rock music those three are big. I listen to the actual music rather than just the hits though, there's a difference. I'd respect his oppinion if he showed that it mattered. Acting like a little bitch about Tenacious D winning a poll and complaining about other shit is stupid. Just like your saying all bands mean anything or everything to someone. What a crock of shit. I still make a living playing music and I own a pizzeria. I may not be doing exactly what I went to school for but I'm pretty ****in happy right now. Go cry some more though and say "can't we all just get along?" It's at least amusing to me.
    It seems as if dmc is asking everyone in this string of comments if we even lift.
    Good for you if you're happy right now. I have nothing against running a pizzeria, I just thought your comment was a lot of 'I studied music and you're shit'. Of course I know that some people study something and don't even work in their domain. And by the way, I love Zeppelin, one of my favorite bands, but for the classical side of thing, I'm more into Rachmaninoff. Clapton is an amazing guitar player too. You surely have great taste in music, I highly doubt the opposite.
    Sure, a 25-year old writing and spelling exactly like a obnoxious teenager - Did I tell you about the time I got a fortune from a Nigerian prince by giving him my credit card information?
    "I probably know way more music than you" What kind of childish response is that? Also Metallica, Megadeath and The Beatles - doesn't that show and educated and well rounded knowledge of music.
    "And I probably know way more music than you"?? That right there shows how immature you are
    You don't know shit boy. As a music major, player, and lover, hearing you say those are your favorite bands makes me just know that you don't know anything.
    His comment was quite childish, but your comment is just as childish.
    Last time I heard that phrase I was 13 and having an argument with my friend who was also 13. Literally nobody who appreciates music says that after you reach the age of 16.
    LMAO at this entire string of replies, you're surely making a lot of friends today, wormgus2003.
    I put that down to be funny and didn't actually think it would make it up there... quite surprised myself, but like others said.. the people have their say. Happy to see Layne Staley and Jerry Cantrell up there too.
    that was the most elaborate gif I've ever seen. But agreed, Tenacious D and Dad bands, as per usual. Black Keys would've been a nice mention.
    Anyways, another list packed full with dad rock and atrocious entries (Tenacious D caham cough Serj/Daron ca-hem). At least Lennon/McCartney got into it.
    Dad rock? If anything fits that description it's Lennon/McCartney. My dad has no clue who Tenacious D or System of a Down are. The simple fact is, yes they are great, but they can't always be the greatest.
    The D reign supreme!
    Im going to have to go look up what "duo" means, because according to this list, I was totally wrong.
    UG will be out of ideas for lists soon so don't worry if this one disappointed you, this list will be voted on again in 6 months.
    Meh. Not impressed, there were some great duos mentioned on Wednesday, it's a shame those didn't receive enough votes. Tenacious D is number one? Really?
    Mick and Keith, but not Steven and Joe? The list is irrelevant.
    Tenacious D? Really? I guess UG users got what they wanted. Tenacious D over the likes of Lennon/McCartney and Gilmour/Waters.
    As I said before, the question was ROCK duo. Pink Floyd and the Beatles are great musicians, but the D rocks their socks off, plain and simple.
    Well I suppose Plant and Page did do most of the stealing from Chicago and Delta Blues in the band.
    I love Pink Floyd, but they are not even close to the best guitar-bass duo of the progressive. That would be Geddy Lee and Alex Lifeson.
    I can't speak for all their albums, but for some of them (the last being an example), it was Lee and Peart who collaborated on most songs to get the foundation, and then Lifeson would come in to create guitar parts.
    If you've ever seen Rush live, Geddy and Alex have a tightness that is uncommon between Guitarist and Bassist, hell they are even tight when Geddy is playing Keys. (The intro to Subdivisions or Red Sector A are great examples)
    It took a minute after seeing this, but now I actually agree that Flea and Chad Smith should actually be on this. They've created, IMO, one of the most solid, technical, and reliable rhythm sections in rock music. Considering the power, funk, and longevity that RHCP have brought for 20+ years, Chad and Flea definitely deserve more credit!
    At this point, why is anyone surprised or upset when an odd choice wins a UG poll?
    Aerosmith's Steven Tyler and Joe Perry, AC/DC's Angus Young and Brian Johnson (or Bon Scott), Foo Fighters' Dave Grohl and Taylor Hawkins, Metallica's James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich, Black Sabbath's Tony Iommi and Ozzy Osbourne, Tony and Dio, Solo Ozzy and Randy Rhoads, Solo Dio and Vivien Campbell, to name a few
    I love the D more than anyone but at least number 2, Lennon/McCartney can't be touched.
    What happened to: James/Lars John Frusciante/Flea and Josh Homme/Dave Grohl?
    Haha this list made me laugh. As I was going down I was thinking to myself wow, the number 1 spot must be someone great! Then I saw the D with that well-chosen image, thanks UG. HAIL TO THE D!!! (sorry a7x )
    I vote for this top 10 list to be in the "Worst top 10 lists in UG History"
    tenacious d? seriously? i'm not one for nostalgia but ahead of all those other guys this is a ****ing joke. also, lame generic list of people i expected to see.
    So many people have tried to kill the metal this week.
    Its not even funny
    I refer to my previous question on Wednesday: Is that you Buzz Killington?
    What Buzz? A comedy act winning over Lennon/Macca?
    WTF is Macca supposed to even be? If you were going to try to abbreviate his name for some reason at least do something like McCa or something. Don't add letters and bitch that they're not number one. No one really cares what you think here. Obviously UG doesn't otherwise they'd have your list up there.
    Just search Macca on Wikipedia and read the first name of the list. Thank you.
    Maccabee, Haifa F.C. What's your point?
    Even Jack Black and Kyle Glass would disagree with the winners.
    bro the jokers won the poll basically. remember when dee snider was voted hottest chick. same thing. i dont know about u but i laughed my ass off when i saw tenacious d as number 1. do the people who voted really think tenacious d is the best. of course not. did it provide some people with a good laugh by putting them number 1. yes it did.
    I thought this poll was more about which artists had the best chemistry together as opposed to the best material. In that perspective, Tenacious D makes sense. David Gilmour and Roger Waters wouldn't work in that regard though unless we're just gonna ignore the years Roger Waters was out of Pink Floyd. The only one that really doesn't make sense is Mick Jagger and David Bowie.
    ZOSO <(")
    Chill out, bro. It's a list on UG, it's not like it's of any real importance.
    I think everybody is missing the big picture. Now I could be completely wrong but when I seen this article I didn't exactly think "OK this is going to be a list of the most talented, famous, or inspiring duos" and for UG to say "strongest in all of rock music, and they didn't disappoint." was completely off.. What I gathered from this is duos who are not only talented musically but who work off each other real well, whether it be comically or business-like etc. That's not to say I agree with Tenacious D being No. 1 but everybody should take whatever it is that's up their ass out and stop complaining. It's a god-damn user-voted article. Peace and love yo.
    Van Guff
    They're only reporting on the vote that happened a few days ago. The people spoke, Quit complaining.
    When they edited the (totally-valid) results, we have the right to be angry. If Bill and Ted or Wayne and Garth aren't acceptable answers, then they should remove Marty McFly from being the #1 guitarist of all time, or take the top-spot in the "hottest Women In Rock" from Twisted Sister's Dee Snider. Why is UG so inconsistent? First it is swearing in the comment-section ("Fuck". "Fucking". Only sometimes, I guess...), and now it's the Wednesday-questions.
    I fully expected Lennon/Macca to win. But Tenacious D? Just goes to show you what kind of people are voting on UG? Most people in here don't even have a clue about the Beatles music.
    It was kind of jokingly. Do you really think people on a music website don't know the music of possibly the most popular band ever?
    and i guess some of us would consider them to be pop also... and yeah tenacious d being #1 is a joke, this is the internet, not Rolling Stone magazine's top 10 best rock duos
    And why should we have to, if you like them cool but why does that mean anyone else has to listen to them. Their music does absolutely nothing for me.
    Jagger-Bowie and Tenacious D are clearly jokes in this list. Maybe they should only be a bonus in the list because of the quantity of votes they had...
    Hey! Where is DAVE MUSTAINE and his EGO?
    Wait a second, how in the blue hell do Jack and Meg White get ahead of Mick Jagger and Keith Richards? What a joke this list is, never mind the actual winners.
    :/ I was really expecting the toxic twins, Joe Perry and Steven Tyler to be somewhere.