Metallica Should Collaborate With These Five Old White Guys Next

Are you ready for some new Metallica?

You bet you are, because while plenty have made valiant and noble attempts to enjoy it, Lulu, the band's collaboration with rock 'n' roll animal/poet Lou Reed was a tough one to get through. You can't fault the band's ambition, and it is cool to imagine 14-year-olds who dug ReLoad checking out the Velvet's Loaded on a whim, but no matter how hard to you try to write the piled up riffs and mumbling observations as avant-garde or ahead of the curve (ahem) the whole thing was ultimately like a table without four legs. (Also, "I am the table.")

Well, good news for the headbangers: Metallica announced today that January 31 will see the release of Beyond Magnetic, a new EP of material recorded for 2008's Death Magnetic.

From the mouths of metal:

"During the Death Magnetic album sessions in 2007 and 2008, we originally recorded 14 songs. When it came time to pick the songs for the final album, we decided on 10 songs that you've all come to know over the last three years. Some of you may have heard bits and pieces of those other songs on 'Mission Metallica' (remember 'Mission Metallica'?!) or heard rumors about them during the recording process, and wondered, 'What ever happened to those other four songs???.' We kept them in the vault and decided to pull them for our 30th anniversary celebration last month, so here are the four leftover tracks from the Death Magnetic sessions. They are ROUGH mixes, unfinished to their original degree of mixing from March '08. These four songs were released as gift to our closest fans, the members of our Fan Club, to enjoy. Now they're being made available to you."

Death Magnetic was pretty good, but really, who wants that sort of thing when we can get fascinating think-piece fodder like Lulu from the band? Who wants a solid EP of raw modern metal when we can get concept records based on the works of German playwright Frank Wedekind?

So while we will undoubtedly pick up Beyond Magnetic (and whatever Reed does next), here are five old white dudes Metallica should consider teaming up with for their next LP.

1. David Bowie

Remember that scene in Almost Famous where Lester Bangs is talking about "David Bowie doing Lou Reed, or Lou Reed doing David Bowie" or whatever awesome dialog Cameron Crowe was scribbling down on his path to penning his ultimate masterpiece (We Bought a Zoo)? Right, it's like that. Lou is the father of scuzzy art-rock, and David Bowie is his most loving son. Pair Ziggy Stardust up with Metallica and you could wind up with results like when he recorded with Tin Machine (not that bad), paired with Trent Reznor of Nine Inch Nails (not entirely awful), and certainly something cooler than that godawful Mick Jagger combo.

2. Paul Simon

Paul Simon is probably more apt to team up with bros like Vampire Weekend or Arcade Fire, but imagine his poetic lyrics soaring over Lar's approximation of afrobeat rhythms and Hetfield's chugging riffs. Oh wait, this would suck? Never mind.

3. Jerry Lee Lewis

Seriously, The Killer can still belt it out. If Metallica could tap into the heartland rock sound of Garage, Inc.'s Bob Seger cover "Turn the Page," or even the creeping goth sound of Nick Cave's "Loverman," this could sort of work. Mean Old Man, Lewis' last record, found him teaming up with Kid Rock and Slash, so it doesn't seem like the the most unlikely pairing, right?

4. Leonard Cohen

With a new album, Old Ideas due out the same day as Beyond Magnetic, Cohen probably doesn't need any help from the San Fran bruisers. But still! Think about it: with his low (so impossibly) low voice and lyrics steeped in religious metaphor and pain, couldn't a dark, doomy collaboration between these two forces totally work? Wait -- this one would suck too? Bad news guys, none of these are gonna work out...

5. Hank Williams Jr.

...None of these except this one! Rednecks love Hank Jr. Rednecks love Metallica. I was screwing around with all the other ones, but I seriously think this one could have legs.

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Jason P. Woodbury is a music and pop-culture writer based in Phoenix. He is a regular contributor to the music blog Aquarium Drunkard and co-host of the Transmissions podcast.