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December 5, 2006

You know I know when it’s a dream
Posted by Patrick at 01:09 AM * 37 comments

The last few years have provided a clinic in the peculiar ability of the “mash-up” to refresh and revive our appreciation of great music. And practically no one’s music has been more mashed-up by outlaw engineers than the Beatles’. From the mysterious “Ill Chemist“‘s collage “Feel Allright” (evidently unavailable online), to the notorious DJ DangerMouse “Grey Album,” to the sustained brilliance of “Revolved” (I recommend “Got To Get You Into The Mood”), to more recent efforts like this fusion of the Beatles with Aretha Franklin, George Michael, and the Scissor Sisters, the Fabs’ catalog has been catnip to brilliant remixers.

Now it’s being re-ripped, re-mixed, and re-burned by this guy called George Martin. I actually wept with sheer delight. (Via.)

Comments on You know I know when it's a dream:
#1 ::: kvenlander ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2006, 02:34 AM:

I didn't know about Revolved. Yeah, I live under a rock, wanna make something of it?

I was just about to go to bed too. Damn. Thanks, I guess.

#2 ::: Anaea ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2006, 03:36 AM:

I'm pretty well under the same rock, especially since while I've heard of the Grey Album, I've never gotten around to listening to it. Thanks for the links!

#3 ::: A.J. Luxton ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2006, 03:42 AM:

this fusion

Sorry to bear bad news, but the link just leads to the local page. I wouldn't want anyone to catch it and report you to the department of recursion department of recursion department of recursion department of recursion department of recursion department of recursion department of recursion department of recursion department of recursion department of recursion department of recursion department of recursion department of recursion department of recursion invalid function call department.

#4 ::: Tania ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2006, 03:49 AM:

I'm betting the recursive link is supposed to go to a DJ Earworm mashup -- here's the link I have.

Back to lurk land . .

#5 ::: TexAnne ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2006, 08:32 AM:

Why filesharing is good for labels: I wasn't going to buy Love. Now I can't get to my credit card fast enough. Best morning I've had in months. Woo-hoo, hey-la!

#6 ::: Merav ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2006, 08:36 AM:

I love mashups. I've been an advocate for ages of seeing what happens when you throw more than one song into the blender.

I highly recommend the title track on Boulevard of Broken Songs.

As a related aside, it is possible to produce live mash-ups. The other day, I was in the car with Jon and as we were driving, I noticed, by flipping around in the usual way, that all three of the major rock stations were playing songs with nearly the same backbeat, so I did a mashup the old fashioned way, by scanning between the stations at points which were change-appropriate.

The best mash-up I achieved was the concurrence of the lines "Put another dime in the jukebox baby" and "jukebox hero". For those of you who are curious, the third song was KT Tunstall's Big Black Horse and the Cherry Tree, which provided appropriate woo-hoo noises.

This amused Jon to no end.

#7 ::: cleek ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2006, 08:43 AM:

i'm currently working on a mash-up of Big Black, Black Star and Big Star: Big Black Star.

#8 ::: Niall McAuley ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2006, 08:52 AM:

Excellent! Love goes in a Christmas stocking this year!

#9 ::: JulieB ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2006, 09:25 AM:

The Beatles in 5.1. Need I say more?

#10 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2006, 10:33 AM:

I can't be the only one who immediately thought "Oh! I guess the Song of Ice and Fire is a mash-up, then!"

#11 ::: meredith ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2006, 11:16 AM:

Merav #6: I would SO love to have a recording of what you did. :)

But really, I'm more shocked that two rock stations in the same market were playing songs sung by girlz at the same time. I thought there was a law against that.

#12 ::: Madeleine Robins ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2006, 11:16 AM:

Danny was highly resistant at first, but he's heard some tracks he really loves (it follows, of course, that he's heard a couple of tracks about which he feels "eh"). This hasn't stopped him from calling me over to the headphones and saying "You gotta hear this..."

#13 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2006, 11:45 AM:

I've been a big mashups fan since I heard The Kleptones's A Night at the Hip-Hopera, which is all based around Queens songs. I'm not quite as fond of their next album, 24 Hours, but it does have some good tracks, and a transcendentally brilliant one: "War of Confusion", a seamless blend of Genesis's "Land of Confusion" and Edwin Starr's "War".

#14 ::: Skwid ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2006, 11:47 AM:

Terrible SF jokes aside, I'm a huge mashup fan, and the "Mashup of the Week" podcast from Mashup Town is one of my favorites. Check it out.

#15 ::: Lois Fundis ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2006, 01:00 PM:

I needed to hear something from the album before planning to buy it (unless it turns up as a Christmas present, of course). But now it's at the top of the list.

However, right now I am in the process of buying a new furnace for my house -- including figuring out how to pay for the thing, which I'll probably have installed next week. More essential even than a new Beatles album! (And this is a sign of growing old, because 40 years ago that would have seemed a *very* odd thing to say.)

#16 ::: MD² ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2006, 01:25 PM:

Thanks for all the links. I so love those things. I couldn't help but smile at "New York avec Cure".

I can't resist offering back that bit I made a couple of years ago when I used to make mix CD's for my way to work: as far as mashing-up goes, it's really poor, border to nihil, but I'm pretty sure some people around here might like it for the idea alone: pretty calm NiN + Gaiman Mash up.

#17 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2006, 01:29 PM:

Ditto, thanks for the links. I had literally been thinking yesterday - probably because of your "Paperback believer" particle - that I really needed to grab the Gray Album, and presto there it is!

I'm a big fan of the Kleptones' mash-ups - they keep getting better and better. Yoshimi Battles the Hip-Hop Robots was pretty good, A Night at the Hip-Hopera was better, and 24 Hours was something like genius.

#18 ::: Avram ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2006, 01:31 PM:

I've just been re-listening to 24 Hours. Those tracks I didn't like so much before have gotten better. I think sometimes downloaded music has to age on my hard drive for a while to improve the quality, like wine in a cellar.

#19 ::: Emmet ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2006, 01:56 PM:

The recentish mash-up that I find most sticks in my head is Nathan Chase's The Ghost that Feeds, which combines the theme from "Ghostbusters" with Nine Inch Nails' "The Hand That Feeds".

#20 ::: Dave Bell ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2006, 02:25 PM:

Some might reckon that I was just too young for The Beatles, and that does mean that I had the bay City Rollers inflicted on my by my cohort at school.

And then there was the Queen soundtrack on Flash Gordon. At least it was a soundtrack to the movie, rather than a soundtrack to ther credits.

#21 ::: kid bitzer ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2006, 02:43 PM:

Thanks for these links.

For some reason, "got to get you into the mood" didn't do it for me. Seemed too much like I got the joke in the first couple of bars, and then after that was left with only some residual admiration for the technical accomplishment.

But I'll listen to some others and see if I find them more delightful. In principle I'm all in favor of this stuff. (I always liked the mash-ups of Hayden that Brahams did).

One good thing: it made me realize that there is already a Beatles tune that has a brief bit of the "in the mood" riff in it, played by a sax. I wonder if the mash-up people realized that John Lennon (or whoever) was already weaving that into his songs.

(Though in fact it is not so much woven in as just sort of bunged in among a lot of other noise in the close-out).

(And yes I'm leaving the title of the original Beatles tune unmentioned here, as a quiz, though probably everyone else realized this years ago.)

#22 ::: Caroline ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2006, 02:53 PM:

kid bitzer #21: Oooooh! Oooooh! I know! Do you want me to say, or wait for everyone else?

#23 ::: Patrick Nielsen Hayden ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2006, 03:09 PM:

If I recall correctly, the "In the Mood" quote in a Beatles song is at the end of "All You Need Is Love," and it wasn't put there by John Lennon but rather by George Martin. And there was a bit of an ensuing copyright fuss, too, because nobody had thought to get permission.

Broken link fixed, btw, and thanks for pointing it out.

#24 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2006, 03:27 PM:

To hook all those who aren't yet Kleptones fans, here's a link to one of the Kleptones tracks from Night at the Hip-Hopera which has some real emotional depth (after you get past the silly sound effects at the beginning, which somewhat undermine it):

I just love the gently tragic, ruefully self-aware tone of this piece.

Besides Queen and Bowie's 'Under Pressure', Vanilla Ice (with its own illicit sample of Bowie), and I don't know what all else, together with their own vocal track.

Andy Baio's Waxy, together with the comment thread there, says it includes:
- Queen w/David Bowie, "Under Pressure"
- Belinda Carlisle, "Heaven Is A Place on Earth"
- Vanilla Ice, "Ice Ice Baby"
- Prince Paul w/De La Soul, "More Than U Know"
- Busta Rhymes, ?
- Adam Freeland's "We Want Your Soul"

#25 ::: zusty ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2006, 05:08 PM:

I don't know if you guys already know about him, but one of my favorite (and local to me) mashuppers is Lenlow. The four bottom ones on the page are probably my favorites. Mercedes Beck is also pretty cool.
Also awesome: DJ Zebra.

#27 ::: Paul Duncanson ::: (view all by) ::: December 05, 2006, 11:23 PM:

They're not mashups in the traditional sense, but I have long had a soft spot for the works of Beatallica. They perform weird hybrids of Beatles and Metallica songs - lyrics in the style of both, music in the style of Metallica - that rarely fail to raise a giggle. They're aiming more for comedy but their impersonation of Metallica is surprisingly good (if you like that sort of thing).

All their recordings are freely downloadable from

#28 ::: Bill Humphries ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2006, 01:32 AM:

The previous Kleptones 'album' From Detroit to JA is worth your time as well. They've taken the mashup game up several levels from novelty aspect.

24 Hrs continues to amaze me. Check out 2200 The Underground Hand That Buttoned The Widow.

#29 ::: individualfrog ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2006, 01:40 AM:

Hasn't this been out for awhile? It has been here in Japan.

#30 ::: Clifton Royston ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2006, 01:41 AM:

That's a good one, Teresa. I don't suppose you know where there's an MP3 version of it?

Paul @ #27: In the same live-hybrids vein, Dread Zeppelin is (was?) pretty great too.

#31 ::: Scorpio ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2006, 05:25 PM:

Popped out from under my rock to listen to the "Strawberry Fields" cut. Guess I am just not hardcore enough, and belong under my rock.

I got that same wash of depression hearing it that I often got during the period of Late Beatles. Why do I hear the dark things instead of all the happy nostalgia that so many others get? It's a mystery.

#32 ::: Joe J ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2006, 05:47 PM:

I absolutely love the "Within You Without You" / "Tomorrow Never Knows" track. It's such a perfect mashup of two of the Beatles better spiritual songs.

Also, I was inspired to listen to up "The Grey Ablum" again. It still blows me away.

#33 ::: Anarch ::: (view all by) ::: December 06, 2006, 07:46 PM:

I'm a huge fan of totom's mash-ups...

#34 ::: Mary Crawford ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2006, 10:09 AM:

I love No One Takes Your Freedom. Another mashup I really like is Enter Aretha, by a Dutch DJ named Rolf Schraa. It's on his site here, and mixes Enter Sandman by Metallica and A Deeper Love, I think, by Aretha Franklin. The timing of it is fantastic, and nobody but Aretha could square up to a Metallica guitar riff with such ease.

#35 ::: eric ::: (view all by) ::: December 07, 2006, 05:11 PM:

The thing I like about the Kleptones (and don't like about most mashups) is that their work is seamless. Since I'm not familiar with a lot of their source material (e.g. all hip hop, NiN), it's hard for me to tell when they're shifting from one to another. It's a little easier with the Queen stuff.

The NiN/Ghostbusters mashup above was better than a lot I've heard, but it still sounded amateurish. The Kleptones stuff is as well produced as anything else out there. Listen to the one above, and "The Underground Hand that Bleeds". Or "Closer to the Boxer". (Both from 24 hours) Ah well, off my soapbox now.

#36 ::: Doug ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2006, 12:03 PM:

I follow the Grey Album links, but my Bittorrent keeps going "0 seeds in 0 peers". Am I doing something wrong here?

The sample at the top of this thread did inspire me to go out and buy Love, which money can now, apparently.

#37 ::: Doug ::: (view all by) ::: December 09, 2006, 12:31 PM:

Also, the transition on Love from "Tomorrow Never Knows" to "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds" is a real take-your-breath-away moment. That is all.

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