I just saw a great video that breaks down Led Zepplin and how many of their tracks were stolen from other tracks. While interesting, it makes the larger point which i completely agree with that “everything is a remix” today and it always has been. Taking previously created content and altering it to make something similar but also original and unique is what art’s all about.
Over the past few years, i’ve grown to love the music mashup which is when a DJ takes two or more (sometime a dozen) songs and mixes them all together to create a new song. Some of my favorites have U2+a rap song, an instrumental with Star Wars soundtrack, and 80’s classic with Jay-Z (links to all songs are below). I’ve noticed a few things: (a) that listening to these tracks is totally different than listening to the original, even though they sound extremely similar; (b) the best music mashups have a classic rock backbone and then from another tune faster lyrics on top of it.
Mashups and remixes of all kind are all over. I’m seeing it in TV shows, for instance in The O.C. where they did an episode just like the Spider Man movie or when Avatar recycles the plot from Dances With Wolves. Everyone has biases and influences so it’s rare to find something truly original. Even when copying though, you are creating something new. When Twitter launched, people thought it was just a copy of the News Feed application that was just one part of Facebook ,but it’s grown into something completely different than Facebook. I always thought a cool movie idea would be an entire movie and narrative but every lined used is from another film. Some lines are famous, and others wouldn’t be as recognizable. I think it’s a cool thought.
I’m pro-remix. I think more people should try it. Personally, I have a goal for myself over the next 12 months to actually create a music mashup of my own where i can actually use the tracks i enjoy the most to make something original. I’ll let you know how it goes.
Here are my favorite music mashups that i’ve posted on my music blog where i post one good song every weekday:
- Push The Button
- Callin’ for a great mashup
- 99 Balloons and Problems
- American Edit’s Broken Song
- Beatles Mashed Up
- KiD’s Prayer
- Pause for a Mashup
- Cure Mash
- Mashup Letterbomb
- Jay-Z Collision With Linkin Park
- My Sharona Mash
- Lady Tigra Mashup