Duet albums are generally dodgy affairs, allowing fading performers to enjoy one last chart entry by riding the coattails of their now-more-famous duet partners. Frank Sinatra started the trend and it’s continued with uneven releases by artists like Barbara Streisand, Tony Bennett and Ray Charles while adding little to re-workings of past hits.
In what would appear to be just another entry into the genre, Jerry Lee Lewis’ Last Man Standing smashes expectations sideways, destroying any previous assumptions about duet albums.
The guests provide the hits and then get out of the way. Jimmy Page plays some tasteful guitar on Led Zeppelin’s “Rock and Roll” but it’s a Jerry Lee track all the way.
Kid Rock and Rod Stewart are slow to realize this and their tracks are among the weakest here, while the songs with fellow old-timers George Jones and Willie Nelson are great fun. Jerry Lee Lewis’ singing and piano playing display few indications of his age, and the production is impeccable. Fifty years after he first walked into Sun Records, the Killer has lost none of his fire.