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Elvis Costello: Watching The Defectors

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After a career full of colorful collaborators — including Burt Bacharach, Paul McCartney, and Anne Sofie von Otter — Elvis Costello goes it alone on When I Was Cruel. But his latest solo turn, it seems, was not Costello’s decision. EW has obtained documents and demo tapes indicating that several unlikely partners-in-rhyme spent time in the studio with Costello, but ultimately opted to spike their dubious duets. Take a look at the following list of coulda-been contenders:

— Thugged-out rappers Nas, Noreaga, and Mobb Deep on the street-savvy, bling-bling-bragging Punch the Glock

— Tubby Italian tenor Luciano Pavarotti for a ”classical pop opera” tentatively titled Blood & Chocolate & Sauteed Lamb in a Heavy Butter Sauce

— Wheel-turner Vanna White, who was to make a surprisingly funky cameo on the R&B-heavy Sajak Variety

Afroman and the Roots’ ?uestlove, as part of a guitar-picking ensemble album, Get Nappy!!

— Tush-touting ”Dazzey Duks” blasters Duice, on the bass-heavy, Jeep-friendly All This Useless Booty

— A one-off, star-studded charity single — featuring Eminem, Luther Cambpell, and a spirited spoken-word introduction by the Osbournes — dubbed ”Sh**building”

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