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Top 10 Coolest Rock Vocal-Guitar Duos

VO: Matt Campbell
Script written by Q.V. Hough The sounds and stylings of legitimate rock and roll Gods. Join as we count down our picks for the Top 10 Rock Vocal-Guitar Coolest Duos. For this list, we're counting down the most iconic 1-2 punches in the history of rock and roll. You know, those vocal-guitarist combos that make you want to start a band. Special thanks to our users Jimmy Washington for submitting the idea using our interactive suggestion tool at WatchMojo.comsuggest

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Script written by Q.V. Hough

Top 10 Rock Vocal-Guitar Coolest Duets

The sounds and stylings of legitimate rock and roll Gods. Welcome to, and today we’ll be counting down our picks for the Top 10 Best Vocal Guitar Duos in Rock.

For this list, we’re counting down the most iconic 1-2 punches in the history of rock and roll. You know, those vocal-guitarist combos that make you want to start a band.

#10: Morrissey and Johnny Marr
The Smiths

If you’re inspired by the very essence of rock and roll of the indie variety, then you’ve likely been touched by the mojo of these two Manchester musicians. In fact, without the distinct performance style of Johnny Marr, there’d be no Oasis, at least as we know them, and surely there’s never been anyone quite like Morrissey, truly a mesmerizing performer and songwriting wizard. But above all, it’s the songwriting collaboration of Morrissey and Marr, however brief it was, that forever changed alternative music.

#9: Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend
The Who

Today, it’s not uncommon to find rock frontmen that “play the part,” so to speak, and while it’s certainly part of any singer’s branding, it was Roger Daltrey that set the bar in the mid-60s, complemented by the power chords of guitarist Pete Townshend. With the vocalist essentially directing the action, Pete innovated the genre by composing not just iconic singles, but full-blown concept albums, thus ushering in a different school of thought leading into the '70s. And if you grew up during this time, The Who’s Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend weren’t just “admired” – they were Gods of Rock.

#8: Zack de la Rocha and Tom Morello
Rage Against the Machine

Revolution. Some people find a certain of chaotic romance in the idea without understanding philosophies, while others put their blood, sweat and tears into their evolving beliefs. In this case, the combination of Zack de la Rocha and Tom Morello dropped a bomb on the music industry in the early '90s, thrashing it out while incorporating a blend of fundamental rap metal and politically inspired lyrics. The vocal delivery of de la Rocha is simply unmistakable, and if you don’t recognize the atypical sound of Morello, well, then you’ve got some studying to do. Individually, they are musical geniuses, and together, they Rage Against the Machine.

#7: Ozzy Osbourne and Randy Rhoads
Ozzy Osbourne

While Black Sabbath was innovating the genre that would become “Heavy Metal” and Ozzy Osbourne was becoming more myth than man, a teenaged Randy Rhoads found himself enamored by the sound of Alice Cooper. By the late '70s, however, Ozzy went solo, but not entirely, as Randy Rhoads soon became his other half. With the guitarist blending the old with the new through a technical style on par with the greats, the band Ozzy Osbourne influenced a new decade of rock, but sadly, Rhoads’ life came to end just months after the launch of MTV.

#6: Brian Johnson and Angus Young

With all due respect to the late Bon Scott, who was certainly a monster of rock, the addition of Englishman Brian Johnson to this legendary hard rock outfit in 1980 was certainly electrifying, and not just for his dynamic vocals. Let’s say this: it’s one thing to appreciate the sound of guitarist Angus Young, but it’s another to recognize a performance style that’s certainly in line with the spirit of rock and roll. Together, these guys make each live show an experience, and with music that transcended the genre, they became perhaps the coolest rock tag team of the 180s.

#5: David Lee Roth and Eddie Van Halen
Van Halen

Taking cues from Black Sabbath, this duo wreaked havoc on the L.A. scene long before bands like Motley Crue and Guns N’ Roses would do the same. And while David Lee Roth and Eddie Van Halen were known to party in their prime – certainly as part of their pop culture image – every rock critic and devoted fan understands the essence of what made Van Halen tick: pure brilliance on the mic and pure mastery on lead guitar. Not only is Eddie Van Halen regarded as perhaps one of the best rock guitarists ever, nobody compares to the extravagant showmanship of David Lee Roth.

#4: Steven Tyler and Joe Perry

So, there’s been a variety of crazy-cool tandems in the history of rock, but then you have crazy-sexy-cool singer-guitarist combinations. Performers that exude a rare charisma without trying too hard, or so it would seem. On the mic, there’s Steven Tyler, a rail-thin frontman who may look strange at the beach, but looks right at home up on stage, reaching notes that most singers only dream about. And on guitar? Well, Joe Perry’s just got that natural groove, an ability to stand there and melt faces with a knowing look. Flamboyant without being cocky, these guys are both raw and inherently cool.

#3: Axl Rose and Slash
Guns N’ Roses

These two maniacs set Hollywood on fire in the late '80s, with both of them mostly not giving a plate of fudge when it came to conventional rock behavior. The riffs of Slash are now legendary, along with his dangling cigarette manner of playing, and Axl Rose, is both a brilliant vocalist, but an even greater performer, all the while setting a new bar through his musical visions. Axl and Slash, Slash and Axl. There’s no Guns N’ Roses without these two icons on stage together.

#2: Mick Jagger and Keith Richards
The Rolling Stones

While the endurance of these two blues-inspired musicians is certainly an achievement, it’s their lasting cool that continues to blow our mind. In the mid-60s, both Mick Jagger and Keith Richards provided an alternative to the wanting to hold your handiness of The Beatles. The Stones not only brought the house down, but they did so in a such an authoritative way that even the most ardent traditionalists had to offer up their respect. We’re talking about pure grade rock and roll here, and these two are living proof that some people CAN do it their way and not be apologetic whatsoever.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions.

Layne Staley and Jerry Cantrell
Alice in Chains

Bono and The Edge

Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora
Bon Jovi

Ann Wilson and Nancy Wilson

Freddy Mercury and Brian May

#1: Robert Plant and Jimmy Page
Led Zeppelin

In 1968, the concepts of war and peace aligned people in different camps, but music remained the constant for everybody. And though rock fans undoubtedly had their favorites, along came a transformative English band that beautifully demonstrated what happens whenpure musicians channel their inspirations while fully embracing the art itself. Oh, and then Led Zeppelin turned up the volume with Jimmy Page effortlessly accomplishing the impossible on stage while Robert Plant displayed the complete rock and roll package. It’s hard to argue with just how badass this duo is, as they have gone down in rock and roll history as legends of the genre.

So, do you agree with our selections? What do you think is the coolest vocal-guitar duo in rock? For more mind-blowing Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to

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