Before Diddy and his Bad Boy family truly glamourized the act during the 1990’s, the remix was already a popular feature of music culture. A musician with the ability to create their own adaptation of a song they admire is one thing, but when they manage to re-invent it to a standard that surpasses the quality of the original, it acts as a credit to all parties involved.
Britney Spears – ‘Boys’
Prod. by The Neptunes
Prod. by The Neptunes
The Neptunes in their prime – so good, they made it twice. The original mix of ‘Boys’ was a vibe, but the nastier, upbeat remix had an edge that echoed the classic Neptunes sound of the time and even included a verse from Pharrell.
Norman Connors Ft. Michael Henderson – ‘You Are My Starship’
Prod. by Norman Connors
Performed By Dazz Band
Prod. by Michael Daley
Both are classics in their own right, but the two-steppers anthem that is the Dazz Band’s remix is definitely the version that resonates with most people of multiple generations, its irresistible groove making it a mainstay at many a family occasion.
Jessie Ware – ‘Running’
Prod. by Dave Okumu & Julio Bashmore
Prod. by Disclosure
Released during the time of Disclosure’s chokehold over the dance music scene, the productional siblings completely transformed the atmosphere of Jessie Ware’s original emotional ballad and ultimately surpassed its quality with their bouncy house rendition.
The Pharcyde – ‘She Said’
Prod. by The Pharcyde
Prod. by J. Dilla
One of the many remixes that earned the legendary J. Dilla plaudits and a remix so popular that in many people’s minds they see it as the original. The slothful piano keys and dreary bassline fit perfectly with The Pharcyde’s verses, while superbly showcasing Dilla’s ability as a producer.
Janet Jackson – ‘If’
Prod. by Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis
Prod. by Kaytranada
I couldn’t have created a list of this nature without including someone whose career was kickstarted due to the success of the remixes he produced. His remix of Janet Jackson’s ‘If’ is one that is undoubtedly greater than the original and it includes numerous Kaytranada elements that are now hallmarks of his unique style.