Another personal top five following last weeks’ INXS one. The only criteria I used is enjoyability, so the technical aspects of each remix (ie, how, where or by whom it was remixed, what instruments or digital effects were or weren’t added / removed, etc are not relevant)…it’s all down to how much I enjoy each track.
5.EVERYBODY (Rusty Egan UK 12” Mix) .Not on everyone’s list, especially not Madonna herself, as she didn’t particularly like what Rusty Egan did with her first single. His remix (and his dub mix on the flip side) isn’t a radical departure from the original, but differ enough to warrant more than the odd listen. His great mixes (along with the 7” edits) have still only ever been released in a small quantity in the UK and they are unlikely ever to get a CD release. The 7” Rusty Egan edit mixes are actually harder to track down that the 12”, and if you have a 7” pressing that has a Rusty Egan credit on it then you have the rarest pressing of all.
4. BORDERLINE (U.S mix / New Mix). Jellybean extended his own mix for this 1984 release without taking away any of the beauty of one of Madonna’s best–loved tracks from her debut album. Surprisingly hard to track down if you’re wanting a CD copy of this, it was entitled ‘New Mix’ in the States, but renamed ‘U.S. Mix’ for its’ European releases. The mix on the ‘B’ side of the 12” has been called ‘instrumental’ and ‘dub’ mix in different territories and at different times.
3. OPEN YOUR HEART (Extended version) Steve Thompson pulls it off yet again. Everything Thompson touched in the mid 80s seemed to turn to gold, and here is an example from 1986 of a fairly decent single / album track being extended in conjunction with Michael Barbiero in all directions into an exciting, danceable extended version that lasts almost eleven minutes.
2. DRESS YOU UP (12” Formal mix) Another Jellybean mix that makes a decent 7” into a more exciting, danceable mix. The engineer on this mix, Michael Hutchinson, worked on several of his own remixes by acts such as INXS, Swing Out Sister & Jody Watley. If only we had some really good deluxe-issues of Madonna’s early albums we would be able to hear mixes such as this more often. Sadly there is little chance of these ever materialising.
1.CAUSING A COMMOTION (Silver Screen Mix). Released in 1987 as the second single from the ‘Who’s That Girl’ album,, Causing a Commotion wouldn’t even make my top 10 individual Madonna tracks. However legendary remixers Shep Pettiboneand Junior Vasquez manage to make this otherwise forgettable hit into a freestyle (‘Miami disco’ if you live in the UK) classic. Much stronger than the other mixes released on 12”, this mix is also available on what was Madonna’s first cassette single to be released in the UK.
Also worth listening to, if you get chance, are the three ‘dub’ mixes of ‘Like A Prayer’ that only ever appeared on a U.S. promo 12”: Shep Pettibone’s ‘Instra-dub’ and ‘Bass-dub’ and Bill Bottrell’s ‘Dub beats’. Also, if you’re a Madonna collector in the UK then www.madonna-decade.co.uk/ is the most complete site you’ll ever need (along with discogs.com of course)