Remixes have become somewhat of a lost art. Today, almost all dance tunes and some from other musical genres have been given the remixed treatment, which in theory gives us more than one way to appreciate them.
In practice, however, most remixes have been given the techno slash house slash treatment, meaning you can’t tell the difference of one remix from another, not to mention that the original song is barely recognizable from the mixed versions.
It’s probably the sign of the times but back in the ’80s, remixes, then also known as 12-inch disc versions, were widely anticipated because they enhanced a song’s appeal with extras not found in the original recording.
There are those that extend a song’s running time with a well-placed instrumental or guitar solo here and there. And there are others with additional or totally different lyrics, as shown in our examples below.
5. “WAITING IN VAIN (EXTENDED MIX)” by Bob Marley & The Wailers
John Mendelsohn’s extended remix of “Waiting In Vain” has remained firm to both the original 45 and album mix. It presented a fresh vibe to the remix, which was unavailable for years and was not released in CD format until its inclusion on deluxe editions of “Exodus” and ”Legend” reissues.
Highlights include the much longer parts of the intro and bridge that added horn-sounding keyboard riffs while both the acoustic guitar solo and Marley’s a capella parts further enhance the groove as the song draws to its climactic coda.
4. “EVERYBODY WANTS TO RULE THE WORLD (URBAN MIX)” by Tears For Fears
A fantastic version of a classic song from the past and future Manila visitors is slightly longer than the first extended version.
This one added horns to the mix, which gives it a more danceable feel almost similar to the re-recorded “Everybody Wants To Run The World” Tears For Fears released for the Live Aid cause later in the decade.
3. “NEW YEAR’S DAY (SPECIAL US REMIX)” by U2
This is totally different from the album version and other single mixes with added lyrics under the magnificent mixing skills of famed Studio 54 DJ Frank Kevorkian.
It starts with a 40-second piano intro then segues into The Edge’s signature helicopter guitar sound in unison to Larry Jr.’s firm snare pounding as they transform this early ’80s rock anthem and future stadium staple into a party classic that can be played and mixed weary-free over and over again with sister remix “Two Hearts Beat As One”, also on the same 12-inch disc.
2. “TENDERNESS (SPECIAL DANCE MIX)” by General Public
General Public, the early ’80s UK punk, new wave, ska supergroup, featured members of The Beat, Dexy’s Midnight Runners, The Specials and The Clash’s Mick Jones shortly after being fired from The Clash and not too long before forming Big Audio Dynamite.
Their debut release “All The Rage” includes the most-oft mistaken new wave track “Tenderness”, which is actually a soulful, ska-tinged pop rock tune. This longer but never humdrum remix of producer/DJ John ‘Jellybean’ Benitez is even better than the the three- minute-plus original with horns-like loop added to the intro and interspersed with crisp rounded bass, louder guitar and clap parts in between verses, choruses, and the awesome mid-instrumental bridge portion.
1. “MUSTAPHA DANCE” by The Clash
This is the extended remix version of “Rock The Casbah,” The Clash’s third single off the commercially successful “Combat Rock” album and their only American Top 10 single. Mick Jones’ production of the 12-inch single is not entirely an instrumental dance remix. Snippets of verses and teaser chorus from the original track coupled with digital delay effects and Topper Headon’s excellent percussion solo make this 30-year-old pop-punk track the unofficial soundtrack of the dance floor.