Remixes! Covers! Action!

My stereo and iPod Touch are currently being flooded with supurb male R&B voices and remixes, and as I mentioned in a previous blog post, I’m wondering if these are all signposts for a disco comeback?  The vibe is definitely out there and people are in such need of true feel good music.  So I have for you today some remarks on some choice remixes and cover versions (and y’all know I’m selective about the latter…).

Remixes

ARMIN VAN BUUREN featuring TREVOR GUTHRIE “This Is What It Feels Like” (W&W remix)

While this has quickly become a song that I can foresee being played way past the summer months, the W&W remix gives the song a really deep trance drop right at the two minute mark that is repeated later on.  These guys clearly know how to take an already great song and make it go boom on the dance floor.  If you’re not grooving to it, shame on you!

PARRALOX featuring RYAN ADAMES  “Silent Morning” (Cherry Cherry Boom Boom remix)

I’m actually loving this remix, and while it kind of abandons the freestyle origins of the song itself, it adds a different bunch of punches. They include Ryan’s hard hitting vocal at the beginning, as well as the influx of some crunchy rock guitar in the midst of a lot of fancy razzle dazzle that doesn’t overwhelm the song at all.  Not what you’d expect, and that’s a good thing for such a recognizable dance song done in style by Australian duo Parralox and American guy-on-the-rise Ryan, as I wrote about a while back.

FAITH EVANS “Love Like This” (Kwik Fiks Can’t 2-Step Remix)

Not sure if this garage house flavoured remix is designed to make you want to attempt the 2-step or not 😉 but Canadian producer/remix Kwik Fiks (still comfortably sitting atop my Top 30 with “Lifted”) has messed with Faith Evans’ 1998 smash by giving it a new set of grooves. What it might just do is make you forget what Fatman Scoop did to the song about 10 years ago, right?  This is the kind of inventive remixing that will keep ears on Kwik Fiks.  Free download, to boot 🙂

GHOST BEACH “Too Young” (Penguin Prison remix)

Penguin Prison (Chris Glover) is definitely on a roll, recently with a fine remix of Churchill’s “Change” and now with something much rockier, New York band Ghost Beach’s “Too Young”.  The rock basis of the song is kept along with the terrific almost punk-ish vocals amid disco synths that will send your mind into a bit of a time trip.  It’s a really playful remix for clubs to try.

VAGUE-A-BONDE “Our Love” (Camache remix)

The original version of “Our Love”, from the Minnesota-based singer’s recently released (and reviewed) EP 222 is transformed from an other-worldly synth-laden ballad into another club mix that leans heavily on a harder rock sound along with some deliberate distortion near the end.  It’s definitely got crunch that stands out from the rest in a set.

Covers

SAM SPARRO vs DAFT PUNK “Get Lucky”

The Nile Rodgers connection thing is a-happening with what is actually such a deft alternate version of the new hit featuring Pharrell Williams on vocals.  Sam’s slick voice seduces the lyrics and those disco guitar riffs that offers its own experience which some may like better than the hit version.  Official release, pretty please?

CHRIS WALLACE “I Knew You Were Trouble”

I’ve watched this video many times over the last few weeks, and Indiana-born Chris Wallace absolutely kills this Taylor Swift cover in a live House of Blues performance that really makes you want to be a fly on the club’s wall.  The success of “Remember When (Push Rewind)” on US radio has set the stage for huge things to happen for this multi-talent, and performances like this only seal the deal.

CHROMATONE  “Fine China” and “Justin Jackson”

Chromatone is hard at work on new songs for an upcoming release, and in the meantime we are being treated to some choice cover versions.  I already wrote about the version of Emeli Sande’s “My Kind Of Love”, and now we have two videos to keep us going while we’re waiting.  “Justin Jackson” is a supurb medley of Michael Jackson and Justin Timberlake songs (including JT’s recent “Suit & Tie”) with a raw vocal, that is designed to be a crowd pleaser and succeeds (gotta like his British accent amid the songs too 🙂 ).   “Fine China” is transformed in an amusing video and with a really potent vocal from him that might just make you leave Chris Brown’s original in the dust.  Watch both highly entertaining videos below.

Tuned-On! Top 30 #352 – May 9/11

Sitting atop the new Tuned-On! Top 30 of course is “Popular” by Eric Saade, an amazingly feel-good song that shows no sign of leaving the summit any time soon.  There is competition below but it will have to wait!!

This leaves two songs by Adele to tread behind “Popular”, either of which could be number one if there was no “Popular”.  Most interestingly, “Rolling In The Deep” has rebounded to the runner-up spot, which is also a new peak for that song.  There is a dilemma however.  “Rolling In The Deep” is in its 10th appearance (20th week) on my chart.  On every occasion during the nearly 13 years that I’ve published this chart online, such a song leaves the chart as long as it’s in a holding position or descending.  This helps keep the chart fresh and full of great songs that otherwise may not get as much attention.  No song has been in an upward rise in its 10th appearance until now.  If “Rolling In The Deep” continues to be in second place in two weeks – and I think it may – it will break a chart rule and have 11 consecutive appearances.  It couldn’t happen to a nicer song.  And “Someone Like You” is right behind to keep it company – an outstanding Top 3!

New to the Top 5, and still pretty fresh to my ears, is “Born This Way” by Lady GaGa, despite a new single being released tomorrow called “The Edge Of Glory”, in anticipation of the Born This Way album.  Kyle Brylin’s “Everything I’m Missing” follows suit right up to #6, along with soulful dubstep vibe of Jamie Woon’s “Lady Luck” coincidentally at lucky #7.   At #8, and the fastest riser on the chart, moving from #25 two weeks ago, is the first, and possibly definitive, summer jam of ’11 – “Do It In The A.M.” by Frankmusik featuring Far East Movement.  After such great music this year with my #1 “The Fear Inside” and #2 “Hurt You Again”, I felt a little underwhelmed with this track on the first few listens… but after that it simply becomes a highly contagious summer driving song.  You can view the video at the top of this page.  Another seemingly ridiculous song but similarly irresistible is “Stupid” by Databoy, which soars into the Top 10 at #9.  

The middle of the chart continues to be busy, with Bass Robbers & Matt Blue almost in Top TenLand with “Another Dimension”, and other big moves from songs by Britney Spears (looks to be my all time favourite from her), Nelson Clemente, Ro Danishei, and Richard Barone’s “Sanctified”, which you can hear at the bottom of the page in a video of a photoshoot of Richard.

The highest debut on the chart at #24 quite deservedly goes to “Tainted Love” by Elouise, the retooling of the song best known by Soft Cell, which you can hear in my previous entry a few weeks back.  And the song sparked an entire investigation about cover songs on my chart, and that discussion will follow this paragraph.  Then at #27 you’ll find “Cinema” by Benny Benassi featuring Gary Go, which was discussed in these pages last week.  Finally, in anticipation of next week’s show in London, England with Simon Curtis and Ro Danishei, I go 4 songs deep into Andrea Lewis’ fine 54321 album with “Linda” bowing at #28.  Her duet with Simon, “Talk To Me” got to #4, with “Voodoo” and “Robot” reaching #10 and #11 respectively.  Before the last paragraph you can listen to her gorgeous live rendition from a show I attended in Toronto in January.

So with Elouise reaching my chart with no less than 3 cover versions in 6 months, and with me never being one enamoured with cover versions, I investigated how many cover songs have actually appeared in my chart since I began publishing it online in late 1997.   Counting Elouise’s three winners, there is a grand total of 41 cover versions out of over 1,415 chart entries – a very small percentage indeed!  I will publish a list of the entire 41 later in the week, but for now here are the Top 10 placing cover versions in my chart’s history.

MECK F/ LEO SAYER (2006) Thunder In My Heart Again
MICHAEL BUBLE (2004) Sway
TYLER HILTON & BETHANY JOY LENZ (2005) When The Stars Go Blue
BLUE MAN GROUP featuring VENUS HUM (2003) I Feel Love
ENUR F/ NATASJA (2007) Calabria
RUFUS, MARTHA & LOUDON WAINWRIGHT III, AND KATE MCGARRIGLE (1998) What’ll I Do
KATE RYAN (2003) Desenchantee
ORGY (1998) Blue Monday
FREEMASONS F/ SYLVIA MASON-JAMES (2006) Nothing But A Heartache
LOST BROTHERS featuring G TOM MAC (2004) Cry Little Sister

You can view the full chart using the link under ***BILL’S PERSONAL CHART*** to the right, or you can click right here.  Be sure to leave any comments you might have, and thanks for reading :)




A Hat-trick of Great Cover Versions

This isn’t just your usual blog for me.  People who know me know how particular I am about cover versions, particularly those that have been substantial hits.  Nonetheless, I can be persuaded with the right version 🙂 Take for example, most recently, Pet Shop Boys’ rendition of  “Viva La Vida” – but then it’s PSB style mixed with some verses from their own “Domino Dancing”.  Prior to that, you have to go back to 2006 for covers that I really liked – Cheap Trick’s “I Want You To Want Me” as recorded by Chris Isaak, and Celine Dion’s “It’s All Coming Back To Me Now” as recorded by Meat Loaf & Marion Raven (though Celine’s was actually a cover too, just the best known version).

So here are three recent covers.  Click on the headings – the first two of which are free downloads courtesy of the artists themselves.


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Miike Snow – “Animal” (Christian TV 2010 Beast Mode Remix)

I’d like to bill this as Christian TV vs Miike Snow.  This is a terrific pairing 🙂 Christian has slowed down and minimalized the upbeat playfulness of “Animal” without taking the fun away.  He just keeps the fun in anticipation instead of being overt.  I’ve always found the song kind of self-celebratory in some ways – about remaining true to yourself while disguising yourself for certain situations.  A great bonus from the singer whose “When She Turns 18” still rides in the Top 10 of my chart.  Get it before it disappears!


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Adam Tyler “Torn” (acoustic)

From one of my increasingly favourite new singers comes this beautifully stripped down version of Natalie Imbruglia’s 1998 massive hit.  It’s not totally stripped, there are some subtle string arrangements to give it depth.  But kudos to Mr. Tyler’s vocal on this one, considering we have only recently known him for his dance-oriented efforts like “Friction” (which took time but won me over big time this year).  “Torn” sounds different sung by a guy and he’s given it the right emotional quality which has only been hinted at in some of the vocals in “Friction”.  Again, grab this triumph while you can!



 

 

 

 

 

 

Gavin Mikhail “Raise Your Glass”

Another song about self-celebration, US singer Gavin Mikhail has given Pink’s recent hit a bluesy piano man edge that keeps everything that you like about Pink’s version in tact (other than Pink herself).  Like fellow piano guy Clayton Senne, Gavin’s been putting out records for a few years now and has got some notoriety through working with Peter Gabriel a couple of years back.  He’s a fine vocalist and understated talent, and when you hear “Raise Your Glass” you may just do exactly that.  Cheers – and order your copy on iTunes to keep Pink’s original company.

Published in: on December 7, 2010 at 12:07 am  Comments (1)  
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