mashup classics / polar opposite covers
February 16, 2009 10:05 PM   Subscribe

I'm looking for mashups / bootlegs that are classics or defining moments of the genre.

Ideally the mashups are 2 easily identifiable songs put together; for some reason the only example I can think of at the moment is Missy Elliot over AC/DC's 'Back in Black', but as far as I can remember that was a white label that preceded the mashup craze by a year or so.
posted by chrissyboy to Media & Arts (16 answers total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
Jay Z and Linkin Park - Numb/Encore
posted by abdulf at 10:14 PM on February 16, 2009

Freelance Hellraiser's 'A Stroke of Genius' was one of the first "hit" mash-ups. The song combined an instrumental edit of The Strokes' track "Hard To Explain" with Christina Aguilera's vocals from her hit "Genie in a Bottle". It was the #1 most played song on London radio for a few weeks before the cease-and-desist orders showed up; it was the most talked about underground hits of 2001, and was featured in many "best of" lists at the end of the year.

The Evolution Control Committee's " By the Time I Get To Arizona" and "Rebel Without a Pause" are considered the founding music of the mach-up scene. The songs mix Public Enemy and Herb Alpert. ECC is best known for "Rocked by Rape", consisting of samples of Dan Rather's deadpan delivery describing various atrocities over looped riffs from AC/DC's "Back in Black". This work brought legal threats against The ECC by CBS, but by 2003, CBS appears to have let the issue go by. "Rocked by Rape" was nationally broadcast on NPR's All Things Considered in 2000. It was even played at a roast for Rather, which was later broadcast on C-SPAN.

Richard X (under the name Girls On Top) had such success underground with his 2002 track "We Don't Give a Damn About Our Friends" (grafted an old Adina Howard a cappella onto the music of Tubeway Army's "Are 'Friends' Electric?") that it was released with re-recorded vocals by Sugababes (under the title "Freak Like Me"). The single went straight to number one in the UK charts, making it the first mash-up crossover hit. Later, Go Home Productions released "Ray of Gob", which splices together Madonna's "Ray of Light" and the Sex Pistols' "Pretty Vacant" and "God Save the Queen". The single, which was voted "Bootleg of the Year" in 2003, was cleared by the representatives of both parties.

PartyBen had was in all likelihood was the first American mash-up hit with the "Boulevard of Broken Songs" mashup, featuring elements of Green Day's "Boulevard of Broken Dreams," Oasis' "Wonderwall," Travis' "Writing to Reach You" and Eminem's "Sing for the Moment."
posted by magstheaxe at 10:18 PM on February 16, 2009

Forgot to add: PartyBen's team-up with Team9 for the American Edit album.

There's also DJ Danger Mouse's The Grey Album, which got a LOT of publicity due to EMI attempting to halt its distribution. The album was the focus of Grey Tuesday, where websites hosted the Grey Album for download in protest of EMI's actions.
posted by magstheaxe at 10:21 PM on February 16, 2009

Wikipedia has a strong article on mash-ups, by the way. Their section on the precursors to the phenomenon (such as the "Flying Saucer" single by Bill Buchannan and Dickie Goodman) is quite good.
posted by magstheaxe at 10:24 PM on February 16, 2009

I'd agree with what magstheaxe said, but would add a couple more. Kylie performing the Kurtis Rush "Can't Get You Outta My Head/Blue Monday" mash live on the Brit Awards was a pretty big one.

There was also a bootlegged cd of big boots at the time - called "The Best Bootlegs in the World, Ever". It had the ECC's "Rebel...", "A Stroke of Genius", "Smells Like Booty (Bootylicious vs Teen Spirit)", as well as Soulwax's "Push It/No Fun" and Girls On Top's "Being Scrubbed". I'd seek that tracklist out as it contains the defining hits of the era.
posted by stachemaster at 10:34 PM on February 16, 2009

This one blows my mind, because it's six different songs. And they fit together beautifully.
posted by Chocolate Pickle at 11:59 PM on February 16, 2009 [1 favorite]

How about the entire Yoshimi Battles the Hip Hop Robots by The Kleptones.
posted by JonnyRotten at 12:31 AM on February 17, 2009

2 Many DJs album As Heard on Radio Soulwax pt. 2 as well as the Grey Album and things by The Kleptones. Also, I think you could call Negativland highly influential on the whole genre.
posted by bjrn at 4:03 AM on February 17, 2009

@stachemaster: "There was also a bootlegged cd of big boots at the time - called "The Best Bootlegs in the World, Ever". It had the ECC's "Rebel...", "A Stroke of Genius", "Smells Like Booty (Bootylicious vs Teen Spirit)", as well as Soulwax's "Push It/No Fun" and Girls On Top's "Being Scrubbed". I'd seek that tracklist out as it contains the defining hits of the era."

*smacks forehead* You know, I have that album, right here on my hard drive. Here's the track listing as recorded in the MP3 tags, in no particular order:


Anon - My Name is Funk Soul Brother [Eminem vs Fatboy Slim] (no idea who the DJ behind this one is)
Basement Clash - Magnificent Romeo [Basement Jaxx vs The Clash]
DJ EZG - Rockerfaction [Fatboy Slim vs The Rolling Stones]
DJ French Bloke - Destiny Kennedies [Dead Kennedys vs. Destiny's Child]
Evolution Control Committee - Rebel Without A Pause [Chuck D vs. Herb Alpert]
Evolution Control Committee - Rocked By Rape [ACDC vs. CBS Evening News]
Freelance Hellraiser - A Stroke of Genie-us [The Strokes vs, Christina Aguilera]
Girls on Top - We Don't Give A Damn [Adina Howard vs. Tubeway Army]
Girls on Top - Being Scrubbed [TLC vs. Human League]
Jacknife Lee - Get Your 9lb Cock on [Missy Elliot vs....(my MP3 Tag doesn't say!)]
Kurtis Rush - Forgot About Sugarbabes [Dre vs. Sugarbabes]
Kurtis Rush - One Minute Lovecat [The Cure vs. Missy Elliot]
MC Sleazy - Don't Call me Blur [Blur vs Madison Avenue]
Sealion_dion_vs._cigar_ros_-bium_bium_bambalo [Celine Dion vs Sigur Ros] (Disclaimer: that's how the MP3 is listed on my hard drive, not sure how the song was actually titled, or which DJ put it together)
posted by magstheaxe at 5:33 AM on February 17, 2009

Two of my very favorites are:

- Soulwax's "I Wish", which is a mashup of Skee-Lo and Survivor ("I Wish"/"Eye of the Tiger" - with The Breeders' "Cannonball" thrown in for good measure) [I can't find the download link I used! so sorry!]

- the Jay-Zeezer mashup of Jay-Z's "99 Problems" and Nena's "99 Luftballons".
posted by dryad at 7:21 AM on February 17, 2009

DJ Earworm's Stairway to Bootleg Heaven blows my little mind every time I listen to it. Laurie Anderson, Pat Benatar, Dolly Parton, and more.
posted by adamrice at 7:45 AM on February 17, 2009 [1 favorite]

I prefer Marshall's Been Done To Death, but I don't know that it's a "classic."

We Will Rock You/Hey Ya is brilliant.

Every time I hear Boulevard of Broken Dreams I now imagine Wonderwall on top of it. Yes, I know those two aren't so different.

Other ingenious/weird combos:
Destiny's Child/Nirvana
Missy Elliott/Joy Division
Nine Inch Nails/Ghostbusters
posted by O9scar at 9:09 PM on February 17, 2009

The Avalanches - Gimix

Some beautiful mashup moments in the mix, including a sublime Madonna/Dylan bit early on. Gimix predates many of the classics mentioned here, such as Soulwax's 2 Many DJs mixes or The Grey Album.
posted by shortfuse at 11:16 PM on February 17, 2009

I've always found the Best of Bootie Cd's to be a source of a ton of good mash-ups, most of the A vs. B form. You can find the 2008 CD here, but if you can dig up the 2005 and 2006 Best-of's, there are some absolutely killer tracks on those. Also, Feed the Animals is great.
posted by pwicks at 12:40 AM on February 18, 2009

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