REMIX

The best five Madonna remixes…

madonna

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.

MADONNA Everybody Rusty Egan UK 12″ mix

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.

MADONNA Borderline 12″ mix

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.

MADONNA Open Your Heart (extended version)

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.

MADONNA Dress You Up 12″ Formal mix

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.

MADONNA Causing A Commotion Silver Screen 12″ mix

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)

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THE BEST FIVE REMIXES… INXS

INXS

5.NEVER TEAR US APART (VIDEO SOUNDTRACK) There was a multitude of different formats you could choose from in the UK when INXS put out the umpteenth single from their mega-selling album ‘Kick’ in 1987: 7”, 7” picture disc, 12”, 12” gatefold, 10”, CD single & CD video- all of them containing the regular three minute album version. The video soundtrack however contains an extended instrumental introduction to complement the scenery in and around Prague where the clip was shot. This introduction entirely enhances the track and could easily have been added as an ‘extended version’ to any of the formats. To date, it still hasn’t seen the light of day on any of the subsequent single releases or expanded reissues of ‘Kick’. Come to think of it, there has been a truly complete ‘Kick’ ‘deluxe’ edition that contains ALL the mixes and remixes from that era (the two Nile Rodgers mixes of ‘Calling All Nations’ are still there in the vaults, somewhere)

NEVER TEAR US APART

  1. BURN FOR YOU (EXTENDED VERSION)

Burn For You was never released as a single in the UK, but did receive a release in many other territories around the world, reaching number 3 on the Austrialian singles chart. Nick Launay, who worked on several INXS tracks in the mid ‘80s worked his magic on what was already a fine album track from ‘The Swing’, without ever deviating from the original.

BURN FOR YOU

  1. NEED YOU TONIGHT (MENDELSOHN MIX)

After the single bombed first time round in the UK, the re-issued single included a fine seven minute extended remix by Julian Mendelsohn. This mix has since been overshadowed by another subsequent remix by Ben Liebrand, which is also a great mix, turning the three minute track into a dance-floor classic. Mendelsohn’s mix, however, retains the moody, sultry groove and is undoubtedly the best mix of any INXs song from the ‘Kick’ era. Interestingly, UK chart rules at the time limited single formats to 20 minutes in length in order to qualify for chart returns, so the CD single format contained a truncated 5 minute version of the Mendelsohn mix in order to fit two bonus tracks onto the CD. There is also a further shortened Mendelsohn 7” edit that first appeared on UK 7” promos.

NEED YOU TONIGHT

  1. TO LOOK AT YOU (EXTENDED VERSION)

Remixed by Andrew and John Farriss themselves, one of the stand-out tracks from 1982s ‘Shabooh Shoobah’ was extended into an even finer moody, synth-laden beast. The extended version was one of four tracks on the North American ‘Dekadance’ EP alongside The One Thing and Black & White extended versions and a ‘new version’ of Here Comes II (which itself was a ‘new’ version of Here Comes).

TO LOOK AT YOU

  1. TASTE IT (YOUTH 12” MIX)

In an era when the ‘remix’ suddenly started to became all about some aspiring DJ turning a song into something that sounded nothing like the original (check out the dreadful ‘G-Force & Seijii remix’ of the Elegantly Wasted single. In my younger brothers’ words  ‘What’s that all about?’), Taste It was a breath of fresh air. Remixed by Youth (ex-Killing Joke, Brilliant), what was a fairly decent album track was transmogrified into a glorious thumping dance track that conversely never strays too far from the original mix. The UK 12” promo also contains a pretty decent dubby Youth ‘clubbed-twice’ mix that isn’t found elsewhere.

TASTE IT