Spare me the Remix

-courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
-courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

Why do artists feel like they need to remix our beloved songs? I can certainly understand the desire to make a song ‘perfect’; the thing I don’t think they understand is that we fans liked the original piece of art! When I go back and listen to songs of a band (now huge) from early in their career, I like it that the sound is less than perfect. I don’t want it ‘fixed.’ The way the song was played, recorded, mixed and engineered was the way I originally loved it, and that’s the way I want to hear it. I don’t need it redone so that the quality of the vocals are better, or that the quality of the mix is cleaner. In fact, I go out of my way to avoid remixes.

The only remixes I can understand are dance remixes; remixes to make a song longer or more danceable. That is change for a very clear purpose. It’s not really changing the original, but creating something new.

I feel like remixes are a little disrespectful. After all, there were (usually) other people, other than the band, involved in the creative process—sound engineers and producers. A remix is basically telling them their work wasn’t good enough!

Remixes take out all of the heart and soul of a song. It’s like the difference between analog and digital. When I listen to vinyl, I hear depth (even in a poorly recorded album), like I’m following a song down to the very heart of its existence. Digital can’t compete. It’s cold and precise and dead. Remixes are the same. They take out everything that gave a song depth and cut it so that it is sonically perfect. I don’t want perfection, I want heart and soul. I don’t want it sonically clean, I want a little dirt!

What about you? Do you like remixes of your favorite songs?

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