Alice in Chains has called in a real ringer for their first album in 10 years, Black Gives Way to Blue
, now set for a Sept. 29 release. The title track of the LP is a tribute to AIC's late lead singer Layne Staley, and the band wanted to add a piano line to the song. But not just any piano line, mind you; nothing less than a master of balladry would suit this track. And just such a master they got in the form of the Rocket Man himself, Elton John. "We sent him the track and got a call shortly after saying he thought it was beautiful and that he wanted to play on it," guitarist/vocalist Jerry Cantrell explained. "We were blown away." As are we.
A collaboration this unlikely opens the door for all sorts of other partnerships. In fact, there are plenty of opportunities for stranger bedfellows than these to combine their creative talents. Below, then, we've envisioned some "what-if" scenarios; all that's left is to see if those involved can actually make it happen:
Marilyn Manson/Regina Spektor - "I Love You, But I Hate Myself More"
After the Charles Manson/Phil Spector collaboration failed to materialize
, this non-incarcerated duo stepped up to the plate. Regina starts the song off with a tender ballad about true love before Manson launches into an atonal screed about alienation, the evils of organized religion, the pharmaceutical-industrial complex, and his creepy love of burlesque shows. Manson is rumored to appear in the music video as a pale, eight-foot-tall demon-Pope with skeletal wings and a crucifix in place of genitals.
Sandra Day O'Connor/MSTRKRFT - "Street Justice (Reagan SCOTUS Mixx)"
After meeting backstage during the June 23 episode
of Late Show with David Letterman
, MSTRKRFT sent some of their demos to former Supreme Court Justice Sandra Day O'Connor's studio, and this little number was born. With Republicans facing an uphill battle after their electoral rout in 2008, O'Connor hopes to deliver her message in a way that'll reach a young, hip demographic: faux-populist spoken word welded to MSTRKRFT's blistering dance tracks! "Gotta dance / pull myself up by my bootstraps / gotta dance / to make this ownership society last."
James Taylor/Eminem - "How Sweet It Is (To Smoke Blunts With You)"
The two met during the filming of Funny People,
and after a couple reefer-fueled jam sessions, the greatest acoustic hip-hop song since Jonathan Coulton covered Sir Mix-A-Lot
was born. At long last, disaffected suburbanites and aging Baby Boomers can bridge the generation gap over, ahem, snacks.