Korn guitarist James ‘Munky’ Shaffer recently revealed to Metal Hammer that Slipknot/Stone Sour vocalist Corey Taylor will guest on the band’s upcoming 12th studio album, the follow up to 2013’s The Paradign Shift.
This isn’t the first time Taylor and the Bakersfield boys have collaborated; on the 2006 live compilation The Family Values Tour, he sang a duet with Jonathan Davis on Freak On A Leash.
Taylor is no stranger to the odd guest spot either, having featured on tracks by everyone from Soulfly to Apocalyptica over the course of his illustrious twenty-year career. So with that in mind, we’ve trawled through the singer’s extensive back catalogue to bring you the ten best vocal appearances outside of his daily duties in the ‘Knot and Stone Sour.
In at ten…
10) Travis Barker – On My Own
Blink-182 beat keeper Travis Barker has a broad range of musical tastes and influences. For his debut solo album Give The Drummer Some he invited hip-hop artists RZA, Busta Rhymes and B-Real to jam with the likes of Tom Morello and Slash, with the results spanning everything from techno to punk to heavy metal, as displayed in this bonus track featuring our man Corey Taylor. No matter how many rap stars appear on the album, Barker is clearly still a rocker at heart, as this satisfyingly heavy song shows.
9) Snot – Requiem
Snot’s second album Strait Up was released two years after their singer Lynn Strait was killed in a car accident, and features appearances from a variety of guest vocalists who lined up to pay homage to the late frontman. The credits read like a who’s who of the metal community at the turn of the millennium (Serj Tankian, Jonathan Davis, Max Cavelera, Fred Durst and Dez Fafara), and while the album doesn’t quite stand up to the band’s landmark 1997 debut Get Some, it’s a fitting tribute to Strait’s legacy. On Requiem, Taylor exudes the perfect blend of aggression and restraint, and the line “I see the loss every time someone says your name” still pierces the hearts of hardened metal fans.
8) Sound City Players – From Can To Can’t
On paper, a collaboration between king of the maggots Corey Taylor and Cheap Trick’s nerdy guitarist Rick Nielsen just shouldn’t work. Kudos, then, to the ‘nicest guy in rock’ Dave Grohl for not only bringing the pair together, but overseeing one of the stand-out moments on a soundtrack that features such rock luminaries as Sir Paul McCartney, Trent Reznor and Joshua Homme. From Can To Can’t mixes the power pop chops of Nielsen with the desert roaming low-end bass of Kyuss’ Scott Reeder, while Taylor tightens that chunky neck of his and croons in a style reminiscent of Snuff.
7) Soulfly – Jumpdafuckup
Sepultura/Soulfly mastermind Max Cavalera loves getting his mates in for a singalong. For Primitive, the second studio album by Soulfly, guest vocals come courtesy of Slayer’s Tom Araya, Deftones’ Chino Moreno, and even Sean – son of John – Lennon. But the best guest spot on the album, for fun factor alone, has to be the rage-fuelled rap metal/thrash hybrid of Jumpdafuckup, featuring Corey Taylor in fine ‘don’t fuck with me’ form. It’s harebrained, sure, but it’s brimming with the kind of aggression that guarantees circle pits or your money back – and that’s what nu metal was all about.
6) Zakk Wylde – Sleeping Dogs
Just as there’s more to Corey Taylor than the masked man shouting People=Shit, there’s more to Zakk Wylde than the axe-wielding heavy metal overlord we’ve come to know and love. Zakk, like Corey, also has a softer side, and the pairing of the two metal singers for Wylde’s second solo album is a marriage made in Southern rock heaven. The alternative take of Sleeping Dogs with Corey Taylor on backing vocals fuses folk, country and soul, and serves as a fine example of Wylde’s growth as a lyricist and singer since he first branched out as a solo performer 27 years ago.
5) Rollins Band – Room 13
Black Flag legend Henry Rollins undoubtedly exerted a huge influence on Corey Taylor as a frontman, in terms of physical presence if not vocal style – they’re both a couple of pitbulls with microphones, after all. So when the Rollins Band set out to assemble a stellar cast of guest vocalists to record Rise Above: 24 Black Flag Songs To Benefit The West Memphis Three (which does exactly what it says on the tin), the Slipknot singer must’ve been at the top of their list. Everyone from Iggy Pop to Mike Patton has a stab at making their assigned Black Flag song their own, and the venom and gusto that Taylor injects into Room 13 is as convincing and powerful as anything on the album. In fact, we’d love to hear more of his hardcore side.
4) Apocalyptica – I’m Not Jesus
Apocalyptica’s Worlds Collide is packed with guest vocalists; Till Lindemann (Rammstein), Cristina Scabbia (Lacuna Coil) and Adam Gontier (Three Days Grace) all show up to lend a hand on the Finnish cello metallers’ sixth studio album. But it’s Corey effin’ Taylor that steals the show. It takes a fearless frontman to address the sexual abuse of children at the hands of clerics, even for someone as forthright as Taylor, but on I’m Not Jesus he tackles the subject gallantly, singing from the perspective of a man who was sexually abused as a child and later confronts his abuser. This is as bleak and authoritative as anything he’s done in Slipknot, if not as musically twisted and heavy.
3) Roadrunner United – The Rich Man
The All-Star Sessions by Roadrunner United is one of the most famous compilation albums in the history of heavy metal. In 2005, 57 artists from 45 Roadrunner Records bands (both past and present) assembled to write and record 18 original songs, thus living up to the album’s name and then some. You have to respect the project for balls alone, and full credit to the ‘team captains’ Joey Jordison, Rob Flynn, Matt Heafy and Dino Cazares for seeing it through. While the album isn’t always consistent, there are certainly moments of greatness that shine throughout, not least on the Corey Taylor/Rob Flynn collaboration The Rich Man. This damning indictment of the Iraq war is an excellent example of Flynn’s skills as a songwriter and Taylor’s aptitude in the vocal department, and the eerily soft/loud dynamics perfectly showcase both to their full potential.
2) Damageplan – Fuck You
New Found Power is guitar hero Dimebag Darrell’s last studio appearance prior to his murder the same year, and as such is the final statement in what was already an undying legacy of influence and inspiration. His name will forever be synonymous with heavy music, and if the metal elite ever doubted Taylor’s own place in the annals of heavy metal history, they need only listen to his vocal performance in this song. “Fuck your power trip and fuck your attitude and fuck your bloated ego, too / Fuck your history, your tragedy, your misery / But most of all, fuck you!” You sure as hell wouldn’t want to get on the wrong side of Taylor here.
1) Steel Panther – Death To All But Metal
Regardless of your opinions on the glam metal pisstakers, here’s no denying it; Death To All But Metal is not only hilarious, it’s also a stone cold classic. Over the years, infamous motormouth Corey Taylor has professed his love of ‘80s metal at any given opportunity, but he’s never really had the chance to showcase his passion for it in any musical sense. Steel Panther righted that wrong back in 2009 when they invited him to sing on the lead single from their major label debut Feel The Steel, and we’re eternally grateful that they did. If you’re not grinning like a Cheshire cat when the Slipknot frontman proclaims Papa Roach to not be worth the “crust in my underwear” then, frankly, you’re in need of a humour transplant. The sight of him in wellies, a Mötley Crüe hoodie and a flat cap delivering that diss with Steel Panther live on stage at Download in 2012 is a festival image we’ll savour forever. Death to all but metal, indeed.
Are there any more kickass Corey Taylor guest spots that you love? Let us know!