This is something I’ve been thinking about doing for a while now. I’m a fan of samples, remixes and all other sorts of ways of chopping up other people’s songs to create something new. Hell, the latest Girl Talk offering was awesome! But it’s also nice to know what the original song sounds like. So here are a couple of songs and their originals.
This song has been covered and used so many times I’d be amazed if you haven’t heard some version of it. This is from his solo debut album Curtis, released in 1970. He was already both an established soul artist and writer by this point. The lyric in Kanye’s version ‘I gotta testify, come up in the spot looking extra fly / For the day I die, I’mma touch the sky’ is a reference to Mayfield’s soundtrack for the film Super Fly, as well as the fact that his music was very relevant to the social concerns of black people in 1960’s America. Some of the biggest songs that Curtis Mayfield wrote include Bob Marley’s ‘One Love / People Get Ready’, Tony Orlando & Dawn’s ‘He Don’t Love You’ and ‘Gypsy Woman’ by Brian Hyland.
The Diplo version of this song (it’s not so much a remix as an completely new entity) is one of my favourite dance songs. It’s got everything for me: guitar, a beat that’s pushing all the way through and vocals. I’ve also seen (heard, even?) it mixed superbly before, which only makes it better! But the original couldn’t be less like it; a slow, ominous song that builds and builds through the whole song. While they were never that big, they’re a band that any self-respecting indie rocker part worships. It’s a shame that they broke up just as the lo-fi garage rock scene was becoming huge, as they would almost certainly have seen more mainstream success if they were actively touring with the Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana, Hole and Alice In Chains throughout the mid-90’s. But maybe that’s not a bad thing.
Let us know what you think of the songs. Also, to download the songs, just right click on the title and save the file. Happy New Year!