Mixed Results

10 remixes that beat the original track?

Thursday 3rd August 2017

Many people are horrified by remixes of favourite tunes. Dance beats, too often, get glued on to an existing track in an effort to expand the songs marketability or bulk out a tracklisting, but as with cover versions, a remix can add something to a song when done well, creating something that is as good as, if not better than the original. Here are ten that arguably do just that.

Primal Scream - ‘Loaded’
At the top of the list, the indie-dance remix that many would say started it all. Andrew Weatherall famously constructed 'Loaded' from elements of Primal Scream's existing song 'I'm Losing More Than I'll Ever Have', and the track was included on band's third album 'Screamadelica' in 1991. 'Loaded' is widely regarded as one of the best crossovers of indie and dance music of all time, and simultaneously provided an anthem for both cultures.

Tori Amos - ‘Professional Widow (Armand’s Star Trunk Funkin’ Mix)'
A remix so commercially successful as a mainstream dance hit that it became a UK Number 1 in 1996, with many people completely unaware of the original's existence. Miles away from the harpsichords of Amos' original song, Armand Van Helden introduced Tori Amos to an entirely new audience, with his funked up dance track that that still sounds as urgent today as it did at the time of its release.

Cornershop - ‘Brimful Of Asha (Fatboy Slim/Norman Cook Remix)'
One of the big songs from the Britpop era's autumn years, 'Brimful Of Asha' reached number 60 upon its initial release, but scored a UK Number 1 when it received the remix treatment from Fatboy Slim (AKA Norman Cook). The result, again, was a floor filling track that reigned throughout the thriving indie club-night scene, with many people surprised to find out that it was a remix.

Beth Orton - ‘Central Reservation (The Then Again Version)'
Taken from the album of the same name, 'Central Reservation' was remixed by producer Ben Watt who had enjoyed some chart success himself as half of Everything But The Girl, and it was his remixed version of that song that became the single. Much like Tori Amos and Cornershop, it took an artist that was already successful in their own niche and amplified their message to a whole new audience.

Bjork - ‘Big Time Sensuality (Dom. T Big Time Club Mix)'
One of the standout songs from Bjork's 'Debut', 'Big Time Sensuality' was always a pop song with a house song fighting to get out. Of the many remixes that the song submitted itself to, it was this one that set the song free in its natural habitat to greatest effect.

 

Gorillaz - ‘DARE (DFA remix)'
At a lengthy 12:14 long the DFA remix is three times the length of the original, and less poppy with a vocal treatment that gives an airy space to the voices of Shaun Ryder and Damon Albarn, while retaining the track's crunch.

Oasis - ‘Falling Down (The Chemical Brothers Remix)'
Noel Gallagher had lent his lyrical and vocal talents to Chemical Brothers original songs more than once, providing them with two of their biggest tunes, but the big beat duo had never been let loose on an Oasis remix until 2008 when this one became the b-side to 'The Shock Of The Lightning'. 

Blur - 'Girls & Boys - Pet Shop Boys 12” Remix'
Damon Albarn was inspired to write 1994's huge hit 'Girls & Boys' after witnessing Balearic clubbers in the early '90s, so it seems perfectly fitting that it should be remixed for consumption in a similar environment. As leading experts in DJ culture, East end boys and West end girls, Pet Shop Boys didn't disappoint with their 7:17 version.

Franz Ferdinand - ‘Take Me Out’ (Daft Punk Remix)
One of the more unusual remixes that Daft Punk have produced, it seems that Homem-Christo and Bangalter walked into Franz Ferdinand's song to discover that their job had been done for them. With its signature robotic riffs and repetition, the original song could almost slot into the first half of Daft Punk's 'Discovery'. The remix leaves the structure of the song largely untouched but roughs up the song with grit and feedback to leave their mark.

Saint Etienne - ‘Only Love Can Break Your Heart - A Mix of Two Halves’
Wrapping up this list, another of Andrew Wearherall's examples of exhibition standard remixing. Arguably a remix of a remix (if cover versions can be argued to be a form of cultural remixing). Saint Etienne's version of Neil Young's beautiful 1970 waltz, and in due course Weatherall's remix, like 'Loaded', became one of the defining indie-dance crossovers of the early 1990s.


Related Links

Andrew Weatherall DJs at SubcultureLive at London's 100 Club

10 Cover Versions That Are Better Than The Original

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