Wu-Tang Clan's weirdest collaborations – with Sharleen Spiteri, chess games and a hologram

The news that Cher guests on the new Wu-Tang Clan album maybe shouldn't surprise you. It's not the first time they have embarked on a bonkers collaboration ...

You may have been baffled by the news that Wu Tang Clan have a collaboration with Cher in the pipeline. Their duet – or Wuet, if you like –with the AutoTune-loving pop icon does, after all, sound quite special: Cher - whose Wu-Tang name is Bittah Assassin, according to this site – didn't even bother meeting the band to record her part, and there will only ever be one copy of the album it's released on , as Once Upon A Time In Shaolin is set to be locked in a box and stored in a Moroccan vault before being toured around various museums across the world. Of course it is.

On the other hand, you might not have been at all baffled by news of this team up. After all, the various Wu-Tang members have a rich history of bizarre partnerships, of which these are arguably the weirdest …

Wu-Tang Clan and Dhani Harrison – The Heart Gently Weeps

George Harrison's son was on hand in 2007 to help rework his dad's Beatles classic with a little help from Erykah Badu and the Red Hot Chili Peppers' John Frusciante, who added some sterling guitar noodling. It's sung by a geisha girl in the video. Underneath the YouTube posting of it, a load of people argue about whether the whole affair is sacrilegious or not, as people are wont to do on YouTube.

Weirdness rating: 6/10

Wu-Tang Clan and Texas – Say What You Want (All Day Every Day)

It's not everyone who hears Sharleen Spiteri's soft rock vocals on Texas's biggest hit and thinks it could do with some verses from RZA and Method Man to really make it work ... but we're pleased someone did. Not least because it makes the band's blatant steal from Marvin Gaye's Sexual Healing even more explicit.

Weirdness rating: 5/10

ODB and Macy Gray – Don't Go Breaking My Heart

Or Duunnnggaaawwwwbrreeeekkkkinnnnmyyyhhhhaaaarrrrrrr as Ol' Dirty Bastard radically reinterprets it. Of course, the whole project is somewhat soured by the fact that ODB was struggling with crack cocaine and mental health problems at the time, and then died shortly after recording this. But listeners should not let that entirely ruin this song's uniquely unhinged charm.

Weirdness rating 8/10

Wu-Tang Clan and ODB

Nothing strange about Wu-Tang collaborating with their own member, of course. Other than the fact he had died almost a decade beforehand,and was now appearing live in hologram form.

Weirdness rating: 9/10

Yoko Ono and RZA

Their single release in 2013 featured live duets of Seed of Joy/Life Is a Struggle and Greenfield Morning I Pushed An Empty Baby Carriage All Over The City but could never really compete in the weirdness stakes to their live show a few years before. That featured not just duets but also a game of chess, a sport well renowned for its hectic visual action and crossover appeal in the live music arena.

Weirdness rating: 9/10

Wu-Tang Clan and Cher

“Wu-Tang baby, they rock the world” sings Cher on the 51-second clip of the album the world has been allowed to hear before it enters the aforementioned Moroccan vault and is bought by a collector for $705m or something. But what about the rest of it? Well, the gentle harp intro jars somewhat with the drum'n'bass breakdown in the middle, and we're not entirely convinced by the idea of getting Rustie to remix the middle eight. Oh, and of course there's the fact they we haven't actually heard the record and are just making this all up – but those sort of minor details don't normally seem to bother Wu Tang Clan so why should it stop us?

Weirdness rating: Who knows?


Tim Jonze

The GuardianTramp

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