The Not Remix
The Not Remix is different from what people think of when they hear the term 'remix'. This type of remix doesn't set out to add a new backing track to pre-existing lyrics. They're extremely similar to the original song. In fact, some people may not even realize that it is a remix. And that's sorta the point. These remixes aren't made to be different; they're made to be 'better' than the originals. You may ask, "Why? What's the point?" Basically, to take advantage of modern technology, as well as fix or change around things that you couldn't at the time through modern technology. A song only available in mono could now be remixed into stereo, for example (if the original multi-track tapes are available). When done right, these new mixes can give new life to old songs, as well as bring them up to more modern quality and mixing standards. On the other hand... Of course, this is controversial if the new mixes are to replace the original ones, and can lead to a Keep Circulating the Tapes scenario for fans of the original mixes. Another point of contention with music fans is when these types of remixes are not advertised as such; do they really think we are going to look at the copyright information on the back to make sure it's the original mixes?
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- A non-artistic example: Any album that uses samples will have to be remixed if the original mixes are found to use uncleared samples. As more sample-based artist are aware of what they can and can't do, this is nowhere near as bad a problem as it was 15 years ago.
- Some Greatest Hits Albums have specially made remixes of hits on them. It may be to shorten a song in a way a simple edit cannot, it may be to make a song more consistent with other hits (e.g. making a softer song more rock-oriented), or because someone felt like it.
- Notable example: Madonna's first best of, The Immaculate Collection, is a best of In Name Only: all the songs on there are remixes of her hits. No song was spared; some songs ("Like A Prayer" and "Express Yourself") even had different backing music! What The Hell?
- "Under Pressure" was remixed in 1992 by Hollywood Records for inclusion in "Classic Queen". This version is missing Freddie Mercury saying "that's okay" at about the 53 sec. mark. This remix is also available on several Bowie compilations, but not "The Platinum Collection" or "The Best of David Bowie 1980-87", which use the album version. The version on Queen's "Greatest Hits II" CD is not a remix; that's just an edit.
- "Valerie" by Steve Winwood was originally released as a single in 1982; it's highest position was #70 on Billboard. It was remixed in '87 for Windwood's best of 'Chronicles'. This version peaked at #9, and is the one most listeners are familiar with.
- Averted: Almost all audiophile labels will insist on using the original mixes when re-releasing popular albums for a limited time. E.g. "Pet Sounds" by The Beach Boys, released by 'Audio Fidelity'.
- Steve Hoffman recently remastered all of The Doors' albums for 'Audio Fidelity'. They use the original mixes (see above), but rather than completely ignore the remixes, a few tracks from each album were doubled up; once as a part of the original album, and again as bonus tracks in their remixed from! To put that into context, any sort of bonus track is a rarity amongst audiophile releases.
- A huge portion of the EMI Capitol Collectors' Series, Legends of Rock and Roll Series and Legendary Masters Series compilations from the early 1990s are a Trope Maker of this phenomenon as much of these remixes were done to create stereo mixes of songs from the multitracks that were previously released only in mono or rechanneled stereo.
- Red Hot Chili Peppers' "Greatest Hits" contains a remix of the single "Californication" (from the album Californication) instead of the single version. It doesn't differ hugely, but probably would piss off people buying the compilation for the track.
- It also has a terrible remix of "Higher Ground" which may be because Warner just beefed up the original EMI CD version rather than using the mastertapes.
- The version of "My Friends" included is a nice surprise because it is the original unedited version of the song which had beforehand only appeared on bootlegs. The versions of the songs from the album "Californication" also appear newly mastered, sounding much better than the infamously mastered album they originally appeared on.
- Weezer have a couple of individual songs that were given a slightly different mix for their single versions: "Say It Ain't So" received a subtle remix, which the band liked enough that they replaced the album version with it (the remastered deluxe version of The Blue Album has the original mix as a bonus track). "Pink Triangle", meanwhile, got a noticeably more polished mix for it's single version, presumably to offset the album's much more raw production.
- Pearl Jam did this for their re-release of 10. It was released so that both the original version was included and Brendan O'Brien's new mixes. These weren't very different, but brought forth the instruments in many songs and allowed Eddie Vedder speaking as the bum in Even Flow being heard at all.
- Starflyer 59's first two albums, Silver and Gold, were remastered for the former's tenth anniversary. Some fans praised the new mixes for sounding clearer, others criticized them for falling prey to the Loudness War.
- Frank Zappa remixed and re-recorded some parts of We're Only in It for the Money and Cruising with Ruben & the Jets in the mid 1980s with New-Wave style sounds. Not surprisingly, fans were pissed, and as a result, Zappa's estate restored and released Money to its original form in 1995, while the original mix of Ruben wouldn't appear again for another 15 years.
- When Ayumi Hamasaki released A COMPLETE in 2008, her biggest hit M suddenly lacked its guitar solo, which had been replaced by synths. Aside from that the song was exactly the same, slightly remastered maybe.
- Megadeth's first eight albums were completely remixed and released, and consequently the original mixes were taken out of print. The first album, done well before the rest, was a simple clean-up job using more resources and better equipment. Other than censoring out any changed lyrics in their "These Boots" cover, reception was very positive. On the rest, however, many things were changed due to missing tracks: several songs would be missing vocals or individual instrument tracks, so alternate takes would be used or in some cases re-recorded personally by Dave Mustaine. Some tracks were altered to undo any Executive Meddling (certain arrangements on later albums), and the drums on earlier albums were overdubbed with triggered samples. Reception was mixed, though the bonus tracks (unreleased music, demos, or rough mixes) were received well.
- Die Krupps' Greatest Hits album Too Much History consists primarily of this. Jürgen Engler said this was because he felt unsatisfied with the older versions, and that it would be more fair to the fans to give them some new material.
- The Police Greatest Hits Album Message In A Bottle: The Classics includes a "New Classic Rock Mix" of "Message In A Bottle" alongside the original: the most noticeable difference in the remix is that the guitars are a bit louder and the bass is a bit quieter.
- Simple Minds were fond of these remixes in The '80s. Not so much anymore, though.
- Starting in 2009, King Crimson's albums are being reissued, with new 5.1 and stereo mixes where possible (some of the original multitrack recordings, such as for "The Devil's Triangle", are missing).
- Also, similar to the Ozzy Osbourne albums mentioned above, the compilation Frame by Frame: The Essential King Crimson had a remix of "Cadence and Cascade" with Gordon Haskell's vocal part replaced by a new part sung by Adrian Belew and a remix of "Bolero - The Peacock's Tale" with Haskell's bass part replaced by a new part played by Tony Levin, due to a royalty dispute with Haskell (which has since been resolved). However, these remixes were not used on reissues of the original albums (the Frame by Frame mix of "Bolero" is included as a bonus track on the newest reissue of Lizard).
- The 2008 Genesis remasters. No real changes to the songs, but the mixes bring a lot of softer parts out (the counter-melody lyrics at the end of "Lilywhite Lilith," for example. It especially takes "The Battle of Epping Forest" a lot further away from Ending Fatigue than the original CD release.)
- Ayreon, who rerecorded a good chunk of the instruments for Actual Fantasy Revisited, due to tape loss, getting Gore to drum, thinking he could do it better, and an epic 5.1 release, and again to get Dawn of A Million Souls on the Rock Band Network.
- Porcupine Tree's records Voyage 34 (1992), Up the Downstair (1993), and The Sky Moves Sideways (1995) were remixed in 2003-2005, in order to replace the original drum tracks (made with a drum machine) with new ones played on real drums. Also, Stupid Dream (1999) and Lightbulb Sun (2000) had new 5.1 and stereo mixes released in 2006/2008.
- Rush's 2002 Vapor Trails was highly criticized as being a casualty of the Loudness War, which is why it was remixed from the original masters to give it better dynamic range and re-released in 2013, including a vinyl pressing.
- The Doors' 6 main albums were remixed for the bands 40th Anniversary, and were appropriately called the '40th Anniversary Mixes'. The albums also had bonus tracks, including alternate takes and unreleased songs. General response has been average.
- Pet Sounds by The Beach Boys was originally released in Mono. It has been remixed several times:
- A new stereo mix was made in 1997, originally as a part of 'The Pet Sounds Sessions'. It was later released separately in 1999.
- The album was re-released in 2001 with a new stereo mix, the original mono mix and a bonus track. This remix is based on the one in 1997, but with a few differences; certain vocal parts that were missing from the original multi-tracks were 'extracted' from the original mono mix and integrated them into the stereo mixes.
- A new mono mix was made in 2006 for the 40th Anniversary Edition of Pet Sounds (CD + DVD). The DVD also contains stereo and surround sound mixes.
- The Flaming Lips' The Soft Bulletin is mainly produced by Dave Fridmann, but as potential singles, "Race for the Prize" and "Waitin' for a Superman" were given somewhat different mixes by Peter Mokran, who mostly mixes or engineers for pop and R & B artists like R. Kelly. They couldn't decide which versions of the songs should go on the album, and ultimately ended up including both versions of both songs by tacking on Fridmann's mixes of "Race For The Prize" and Mokran's mix of "Waiting For A Superman" at the end of the track listing. Oddly, the Mokran version of "Buggin'" is listed as a "remix" on the packaging despite the fact that the original mix was only released on The Soft Bulletin 5.1 in 2006 - more than 16 years later. Also, the band made "stereo mixes" of a few songs from Zaireeka (an album consisting of four discs meant to be played simultaneously) and used them as The Soft Bulletin b-sides.
- Iggy Pop remixed 'Raw Power' by his old band The Stooges in 1997. This was particularly divisive - Raw Power was originally supposed to sound over-loud, crunchy, and ugly, and a lot of people think Iggy's remixes of the album are much more like how the songs were supposed to sound. Others, including two of Iggy's bandmates criticised the mix.
- The brickwalling is so bad that no one remembers how muffled and awful the original released mix was. It sounds like heaven in comparison. The original tapes were themselves poorly recorded by Iggy (all the instruments were on one channel and the vocals on the other; David Bowie said that the only real thing he could do was "push the faders up and down a lot"), rumor has it that cocaine is to blame. It's sad, since the songs are the best The Stooges ever did.
- Thankfully, when the original mix was issued on the Master Edition of Raw Power in 2010, they remastered it and improved it considerably.
- The 1997 remix got remastered for 2012 Record Store Day and it's also a surprise improvement while being free of clipping.
- Three of Ozzy Osbourne's albums have been remixed:
- The '02 reissues of 'Blizzard Of Ozz' and 'Diary Of A Madman' had the original drums and bass parts replaced. This was so Ozzy could avoid paying royalties to Lee Kerslake (Drums) and Bob Daisley (Bass), who sued him for unpaid royalties back in '86. Many fans were ... 'displeased'.
- Bark at the Moon was also remixed in 2002. Some guitar parts are missing. What?
- John Lennon's entire catalog has been remixed, along with some bonus tracks on each album, and in some cases different artwork was used. That was all supervised by Yoko Ono. Her reputation, as well as rumors that the mixes were brickwalled, means that this was never gonna please fans.
- Update: In 2010, all of John Lennon's albums were remastered (by the same team who remastered the Beatles in '09), and have used the original mixes, which are now the standard again!
- Two of The Beatles records (Help! and Rubber Soul) were remixed in the 1987 by George Martin. He did this because he considers the original stereo mixes of these albums experimental, and not very good. He had intended to remix the first four albums as well, but was not given enough time to by EMI. When The Beatles' catalog was remastered in 2009, the 1987 George Martin remixes were used for the stereo version of the albums; the original stereo mixes showed up as 'bonuses' on the mono discs.
- While the Vanilla Edition, most commonly available EMI/Virgin reissues of David Bowie's 1969-1994 albums are simple remasters, special editions tend to be or include not-remixes (The Rise And Fall Of Ziggy Stardust And The Spiders From Mars has undergone this twice over, in 2002 and 2012). While the 2010 Special Edition of Station To Station went with the original analogue master, those who sprung for the Deluxe Edition also got a DVD with two new stereo mixes (one 5.1) and an additional CD of the master from the album's first CD release in 1985.
- In 1987, ZZ Top released a Boxed Set titled Six Pack, featuring not-remixes of six of their first seven albumsnote - The band opted to remix the songs and add drum machines and occasional guitar effects, with the intention of making their early work sound more in line with their more commercially successful 80's material. Fans of their more straight blues-rock 70's sound were not happy. Tres Hombres and Fandango! had their original mixes restored for individual re-releases - if you buy a new cd copy of any of the other early albums, chances are you're getting the 1987 remixed version.