Elvis Costello, The Roots, And More Unexpected Collaborators

Email a Friend
Elvis Costello and The Roots' collaborative album 'Wise Up Ghost' is out Sept 17.

Back in January, Elvis Costello revealed that his next release would be with rather unexpected collaborators, hip hop group The Roots. Costello is no stranger to these unlikely team-ups; he's worked with everyone from the Brodsky String Quartet and Paul McCartney to Burt Bacharach, among many others. And The Roots obviously are known to work with a lot of artists too both on its albums and especially in its role as the house band for Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. It was on Fallon's show where the two parties apparently hatched the idea for this new record. Still, you might be hard-pressed to find someone who could have foreseen this collaboration.

This week, we finally got a taste of what the full album (out Sept. 17) will be like with the single "Walk Us Uptown." And it got us thinking: What other bizarre musical partnerships have there been throughout the years? Emily Rems, managing editor at Bust Magazine, throws us a few of her favorites.

Elvis Costello and The Roots, "Walk Us Uptown" from Wise Up Ghost

I dig it a lot. And it sounds so natural for both sides. They both come from gritty, urban backgrounds, and that's in their music. But they’re so polished as artists that it really melds together so beautifully.



Snoop Lion and Miley Cyrus, "Ashtrays And Heartbreaks" from Reincarnated

I felt like I did a double take when I found out this year back in may that Snoop Lion, formerly known as Snoop Dogg, had paired up with Miley Cyrus for that song “Ashtrays And Heartbreaks,” -- this song about dead friends and stuff. I wasn’t quite sure what Miley would contribute to that track, but I actually really liked it. I thought it was catchy.



Iggy Pop and Kate Pierson, “Candy” from Brick By Brick

Kate Pierson’s from the B-52s. Super pop, super Southern. Iggy Pop is like the Pope of punk. In 1990, his album Brick By Brick had this song on it, and it became his only Top 40 hit ever. He’s been in Bust Magazine a couple times over the last 20 years, and he’s always said, “I hate love songs, I can't do love songs.” But the one time he did is solid gold.



Lou Reed and Metallica, “The View” from Lulu

You know when you're riffing on two German plays and you’re trying to make a super heavy concept album, you’re really asking a lot from your audience. I don’t know if you heard that interview where Lars Ulrich said that Lou Reed challenged him to a street fight while they were making this album. I don’t think they were even happy with it themselves.



What unexpected collaborations and musical partnerships do you like or despise? Tell us in the comments section below.