1. Destiny’s Child, “No, No, No Part 2 (Featuring Wyclef Jean)
“No, No, No” by Destiny’s Child came out right as I got to high school, and you better know I was queening out to that mini disc honey, yasss. Sometimes a remix is so good that nobody remembers what the hot mess original, unremixed song sounded like. Aren’t record labels supposed to know what kinds of songs are going to pop off? That’s the case with “No, No, No,” a song that introduced the whole world to Destiny’s Child or, as I like to think of them, Beyoncé and Her Three Rotating Backup Singers. I love the video for “No, No, No” because they look so chill in their crop tops and latex body suits, and there’s no special effects or over-the-topness. Peep the original below.
2. Britney Spears, “You Drive Me Crazy (The Stop Remix!)
Bald headed, barefoot, cooch exposed — whatever — in 1999 Britney Spears was everything. Don’t even front like you didn’t try to learn all her dance moves. She may not be a powerhouse singer a la Adele or Jessie J., but she’s the one artist I actually want to hear remixed. Don’t release an album of original songs — just get to the point and give us the remixes, because that’s the only thing we care about. As a manufactured pop tart, Britney Spears was made to be remixed, and that’s just fine by me because the remixes are what they play in the clubs anyway. That’s how you build a fan base. It’s hard to believe that “You Drive Me Crazy” was the second track on Spears’ oh-so-innocent debut album Baby One More Time, especially considering the hotter, sluttier version she’s giving us in the remix. Also, another crop top! Original below.
3. The Rapture, Sister Savior (DFA Remix)
I’m of the mind that a DFA remix can do no harm, and a lot of the remixes I stick to the most come from these guys. The Rapture is one of my favorite dance punk bands so in general I love all of their stuff. But the DFA Remix of their song “Sister Savior” is sooooooo much better than the original. A good remix takes elements from the original song and amplifies or retools them to make the song that much hotter. The bass in the original is low, but this remix cranks up that bass and those claps and throws you into a deep disco groove. This one is one of my favorite remixes ever. Check out the original below.
4. GoldFrapp, “Slide In (DFA Remix)”
Goldfrapp, like Britney Spears, is another group who makes music that is just waiting to be remixed. Some songs are basically unlistenable before the remix, but Goldfrapp doesn’t really need to be remixed, it’s just that their stuff gets super epic when it is. This DFA Remix speeds things up a bit and adds a little extra groove, taking the single idea of the original song, stretching and reinterpreting it again and again into a symphony of electronic dance music for 12 whole minutes. Listen to the original below.
5. Puff Daddy, “All About the Benjamins (Rock Remix)”
“It’s All About the Benjamins” is one of those songs that works just because, like, everybody is in that bitch — Lil Kim, Puff Daddy, Notorious B.I.G. But the Rock Remix amps up the excitement because very loud guitars naturally make things more urgent-sounding. My favorite part of this remix, though, is where Lil’ Kim busts out on stage, wearing a pink dress and in the middle of her rap rips that dress right on off and reveals that sexy lingerie she’s wearing underneath. Full disclosure: my cousins and I used to perform to this song in my grandmother’s basement all the time when it first came out. I always insisted on being Lil’ Kim so I could wear some kind of ridiculous bathing suit underneath a giant coat, snatching it off when the time was right. Like you wouldn’t do the same thing. Video starts at 2:30.
6. Justice, “D.A.N.C.E., MSTRKRFT Remix”
Personally, I think Justice is a touch overrated, though I do like some of their stuff and in general I really like French people. But the MSTRKRFT remix of their song “D.A.N.C.E.” really kills it. The original is below.
7. Yeah Yeah Yeahs, “Heads Will Roll (A-Trak Remix)”
I live for Karen O. I feel like if we met we would be vegans together, do Bikram Yoga and just be total BFFs. “Heads Will Roll” is already an awesome song, maybe the most electro one from their 2009 record It’s Blitz, but the A-Trak Remix makes it so danceable and every time I hear it out at the club I get excited that the DJ played this version instead of the original (not that the original is bad or anything). Check out the original song for yourself.
Peaches, “Boys Wanna Be Her, Tommy Sunshine’s Brooklyn Fire Retouch”
I heard this song at some bar in Tribeca in 2006 and I almost lost it. The Tommy Sunshine remix of “Boys Wanna Be Her” by Peaches is so deep and dark, and I guess that’s how I prefer my electronic dance remixes. Remixes usually make things faster, but what’s amazing about this one is that it’s a little bit slower than the original song, compressed maybe, and that makes it feel so intense. It’s perfect music to grind somebody to. Try it out for yourself and report back to me with the results.
Mariah Carey, “Fantasy (Featuring Old Dirty Bastard)”
Isn’t it funny how you can just throw a rapper on a song and call it a remix? It happens all the time, but does anybody remember the original version of “Fantasy”? When I think about this song in my head, I’m thinking about the one with Old Dirty Bastard in it. But what I really want to know is…how did she manage to stay fabulous, singing, and appear perfectly fresh all while singing calmly in a falsetto on a roller coaster? Original below.
10. Whitney Houston, “It’s Not Right But It’s Okay (Thunderpuss Remix)”
If you go to a gay club in Biloxi, Toronto, Saint Louis, or New York City, I promise you will hear this song on the dance floor. And the queens will go wild because we love a dance diva! Whitney Houston is one of those R&B divas whose stuff got turned into some of the hottest dance remixes. RIP, girlfriend, RIP.