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10 Songs With Spoken Word Guest Spots: Michael Jackson, Daft Punk, And More

by Joey DeGroot   Sep 22, 2014 17:41 PM EDT

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When someone performs a guest spot on another artist's song, you can usually expect him or her to sing, or play an instrument, or even contribute a rap verse. However, these 10 songs feature guests performing spoken word contributions.

1. Iron Maiden - "The Number of the Beast" (1982)

The famous spoken word monologue that opens up Iron Maiden's "The Number of the Beast" was originally written for horror legend Vincent Price, but when Price demanded too much money for a guest spot, the band hired English actor Barry Clayton instead.

2. Michael Jackson - "Thriller" (1982)

Iron Maiden may not have had enough money to hire Vincent Price, but Michael Jackson certainly did. Price closes out the horror-themed title track to Jackson's monumental Thriller with a classically creepy monologue.

3. Alice in Chains - "Intro (Dream Sequence)" (1992)

Alice in Chains has always felt closer to heavy metal than grunge, and on this brief, bizarre track from their 1992 album Dirt, they showed off their metal connections by getting Slayer's Tom Araya to growl and laugh maniacally over a creepy guitar riff.

4. Blur - "Parklife" (1994)

One of Blur's most famous songs is the title track to their 1994 classic Parklife, which features English actor Phil Daniels reciting spoken word lyrics over the verses. Though singer Damon Albarn would normally recite the verses himself in concert, Daniels would join the band live on special occasions.

5. At the Drive-In - "Enfilade" (2000)

Stooges singer Iggy Pop appears twice on At the Drive-In's 2000 album Relationship of Command, contributing backing vocals to "Rolodex Propaganda" and the creepy phone call introduction to "Enfilade."

6. The White Stripes - "Little Acorns" (2003)

The White Stripes very rarely brought in guests to perform on their albums, but one rare instance was their 2003 track "Little Acorns," which opens with a motivational monologue by news anchor Mort Crim.

7. Deerhunter - "Saved By Old Times" (2008)

Deerhunter and garage rock band the Black Lips are old friends, both having formed in Atlanta during the late '90s-early '00s, and for this song from Deerhunter's 2008 album Microcastle, Black Lips guitarist Cole Alexander contributed the song's spoken word middle section, which he recorded via Skype.

8. Megapuss - "Duck People Duck Man" (2008)

Devendra Banhart's side project Megapuss is sometimes seen as more of a joke or comedy group than a serious musical venture, and this song from their album Surfing is an excellent example of why, as it features surreal spoken word vocals from comedian Aziz Ansari.

9. The Flaming Lips - "I Can Be A Frog" (2009)

Yeah Yeah Yeahs singer Karen O appears on this song from the Flaming Lips' 2009 album Embryonic, though "spoken word" might not be an entirely accurate description of her performance, as she spends the whole song making various animal noises (and it sounds like she literally phoned it in).

10. Daft Punk - "Giorgio by Moroder" (2013)

One of Daft Punk's biggest influences on their smash 2013 album Random Access Memories was Italian disco pioneer Giorgio Moroder, who performs a monologue about his own life and career on their song "Giorgio by Moroder."

What other songs feature spoken word guest spots? Let us know down in the comments section!

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