She Is Focused

August 24, 2009

Original vs. The Remix

Filed under: Chat 'bout,Flashback,Island Vibes — Felicia @ 3:53 pm

Puff Daddy and a slew of other producers preceding him and following behind his heels have taken songs that were done many years their senior, chopped it up and created the remix. Most people get bent out of shape about a new artist trying to come up (and sometimes established artists) remixing older songs. Sometimes you have to admit that the remixed version smashes the original version out the water. Although I’m sure it may be hard for the originator of the songs to give these new artists their props (ahem, Etta James) the proof is in the pudding.

I compiled a few songs that were remixed over the years and have given my opinion on which version sounds a lot better. Who do you think did the song the most justice? Original vs. The Remix (part one):

“Tainted Love” Original: Gloria Jones (1964) vs. The Remix: Soft Cell (1981)

Gloria JonesWritten by Ed Cobb back in the 60’s, Gloria Jones released this melodic soul tinged song which was one that was bigger than the era in which it was released. Although Jones was considered a soul-singer, Soft Cell’s rendition of “Tainted Love” turned the song into a pop smash in the 80’s. Soft CellIt was one of the most popular songs during that time in both the States and the U.K. where the duo originates. I personally love Soft Cell’s upbeat, pop version a lot better. So Ms. Jones, kindly take a seat on this one…please? What do you think?

Gloria Jones version:  Tainted Love

Soft Cell version: Tainted Love

“Die Without You” Original: P.M. Dawn (1992) vs. Wayne Wonder (1993)

P.M. DawnThe motion picture Boomerang starring Eddie Murphy and Halle Berry probably put this song on the map more than anything else. Til this day a lot of people haven’t even heard of P.M. Dawn. They weren’t the most popular group, but they spawned a few notable hits with “Die Without You”, “Set Adrift On Memory Bliss” and even “Sometimes I Miss You So Much”. Still don’t ring a bell? Ok maybe I’m their only fan. A year later Reggae artist Wayne Wonder did the remix. Reggae artists are good for remixing a popular song. Wayne WonderHis version surprisingly sounds more R&B than P.M. Dawn’s. For this one since I’m a big fan of Wayne’s, I’m gonna ride with him on this one.

P.M. Dawn verison: Die Without You

Wayne Wonder version: Die Without You

“Me And My Girlfriend”/”’03 Bonnie & Clyde” Original: Makaveli/2Pac (1996) vs. Jay-Z (2002)

MakaveliReleased weeks after 2Pac’s death, Death Row released The Don Killuminati: The 7 Day Theory under the name, Makaveli, one of the late great pseudonyms 2Pac released music under. Of course this led to everyone believing that like Elvis, 2Pac was still alive. On the 12-track album, “Me And My Girlfriend” wasn’t released as one of the album’s main singles, but it got a lot of play during the time the album was released. Jay and Beyonce released their own rendition, “’03 Bonnie & Clyde” in 2002 with a slightly different subject matter; and possibly their relationship’s coming out. Their version talked about a man and woman, much like the movie, Bonnie & Clyde. 2Pac’s version referred to his shiny metal piece. This one is a tossup for me, but I’ll go with Jay and Bey on the strength that singing an entire song so well put together about your, weapon, is a bit scary

Makaveli version: Me And My Girlfriend

Jay-Z/Beyonce version:  \’03 Bonnie & Clyde

“Lately” Original: Stevie Wonder (1980) vs. K-Ci & JoJo (1993)

StevieI’ll probably catch a lot of hostility for this one, but you’ve all heard this song from both artists. Hands down K-Ci & JoJo got this one. Sorry Stevie, you’re definitely an R&B great; not just R&B, but you’re a great contributor to music in general. JoJo killed this song, screaming and all. Not too many people can screw up this song because it was beautifully composed, but K-Ci & JoJo’s vocals crowned this song a classic.

Stevie Wonder version: Lately

K-Ci & JoJo version: Lately

“Sweet Thing” Original: Chaka Khan (1975) vs. Mary J. Blige (1992)

ChakaOnce again, and I swear I’m not being biased because I wasn’t around for the original version of these songs. These songs were all smashes when they were initially released by the original artist, but I’m an 80’s baby, what can I say other than Mary ruled this song. It was said that because of the release of this song, Mary has been getting constant comparisons to the legendary Chaka Khan. MaryThat in itself is honorable for a brand new artist. This is from her debut album, What’s The 411 where you could feel every single word uttered on a Mary track. No coincidence at all that I mention this song following “Lately”.  

Chaka Khan version: Sweet Thing

Mary J. Blige version: Sweet Thing


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