U2 vs. Foo Fighters, Adele vs. Alice Cooper, Neil Young vs. Steve Earle + more: Odd Couples

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No “best of” list here. Just a year-end housecleaning of random Odd Couples jabs, hooks and uppercuts – and not always above the belt.

U2, “THE MIRACLE [OF JOEY RAMONE]” (2014) vs. FOO FIGHTERS, “ST. CECELIA” (2015): Joey Ramone isn’t actually a saint, and St. Cecilia here refers not to the patroness of music but to a hotel in the city of Austin. So, with neither side claiming divine intervention, it’s a battle of wits. “I was chasing down the days of fear,” remarks Bono abstractedly. Dave Grohl replies with a hard right to the chin: “There ain’t no secrets anymore.” The Odd Couples winner in the giveaway-music-for-free category is the Foo Fighters, mostly because falling off the stage is cooler than falling off your bicycle.

ADELE, “HELLO” (2015) vs. ALICE COOPER, “HELLO, HOORAY” (1973): Adele’s megahit “Hello” is a great album opener; Alice Cooper’s “Hello, Hooray” feels like filler compared to the rest of Billion Dollar Babies, or anything else from that era. Adele wins by first round KO, and perhaps the beginning of the end for the original Alice Cooper band as far as being contenders.

NEIL YOUNG, “ROCK STAR BUCKS A COFFEE SHOP” (2015) vs. STEVE EARLE, “A GRINGO’S TALE” (2004): Neil awkwardly rhymes “GMO” with “Monsanto” in his food supply critique, which leaves an opening for Steve Earle to get him back good with “Grenada” and “Noriega,” in his tale of black ops south of the border. And Neil Young’s choir of canary whistlers has to count for negative points somewhere. Steve Earle takes this Odd Couples competition; simply a better song in all departments.

BING CROSBY AND DAVID BOWIE, “LITTLE DRUMMER BOY” (1977) vs. BING CROSBY AND ROSEMARY CLOONEY, “WHITE CHRISTMAS” (1954): OK, one for the holidays. Bing & Dave or Bing & Rosemary? Any version of “White Christmas” is the perennial winner over any version of “Little Drummer Boy.” You’d think someone would’ve said, “Look kid, stop with the drum already; the baby’s trying to sleep.”

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