Monday, July 18, 2005

Motown Remixed

A couple of weeks ago I picked up a CD entitled Motown Remixed. The title alone piqued my interest, because I'd had an idea about doing something like that myself for ages now. Of course, not having the equipment, know-how, or access to the original master tapes would have prevented me from being able to carry out my idea, but it was there anyway. Seeing that someone had actually carried out the idea drove me to go ahead and buy the CD, especially when I saw the songs chosen: "Tears of a Clown," "Keep On Truckin'," "Let's Get It On," "I Want You Back," "Papa Was a Rollin' Stone," "War," "Signed Sealed Delivered," and so on.

This past week I bought another, that in my own mind didn't work as well: "Verve Remixed 3," from the same parent company, NBC Universal, which owns both Motown and Verve. Maybe because I associate remixes with R&B and dance music, some of the mixes on the Verve CD didn't click with me, though I have to say that Sarah Vaughan's voice sounds like it was made for this kind of project. I couldn't help thinking that if she were still alive she might lend her voice to some producer's side dance-music project, or maybe even put out a CD of contemporary dance stuff on her own.

I didn't pay much attention to the first two volumes, so now I have to go online and see if I can find snippets somewhere to give me an idea of what they were about. Maybe I'll find them at J&R Music World, or one of the Tower Records shops downtown (NYC, that is; the former site of the Yonkers store is now Westchester Toyota -- looks odd to see cars in what used to be my favorite place to buy music).


  1. Huh - I happened to see "Verve Unmixed 3" on sale and picked it up (and then gave it away when in CA, dangit) - but that's the one in the series with 2 Billie tunes and "Peter Gunn", right?
    The originals are so good I'm gonna buy that CD again.

    Hey, reply to your damn e-mail sometime...

  2. I suppose it wouldn't have hurt for me to give an idea of what I thought about the music on the Motown Remixed CD, instead of just saying "I bought it"...


    Some of the mixes work better than others, of course -- "My World Is Empty" suffers from too much delay on Diana Ross' voice and an odd chord change halfway through, and Rick James' "Mary Jane" sounds like somebody was still learning how to use studio equipment -- but as a group the remixers did a good job. I'm looking forward to the next volume.