Top 5 Michael Jackson Remixes
Top 5 Michael Jackson Remixes
Michael Jackson and Steve Rubell in the DJ booth at Studio 54, circa 1977
Four years ago Michael Jackson cleared the world's dancefloor (and shut down the internet) when he passed on this date in 2009. It's hard to fathom that it's been four years since we lost the King of Pop and it is just possible that pop music, too, is dead and just hasn't realized it yet (at least that's the way some people in this office see it).
But wherever you rate Michael's contribution in your personal canon of musical saints, it is only right and meet that we remember him today, a little sadly, but with music. In that spirit Okayplayer presents the Top 5 Michael Jackson remixes--our absolute favorite reworks and re-imaginings of classic jams from MJ's decades-long catalogue by some of the best DJs and producers in the entire world. Without further ado, let's dust of the mirrorball and step into the booth. The King is dead...long live the King.
Michael Jackson - "I Wanna Be Where You Are" ( J. Period's String Mix)
We are biased, obviously (because we premiered it) but J. Period's String Mix of the classic (and much-sampled/covered) 1972 jam "I Wanna Be Where You Are" is still the best of the best--and perhaps the most lighter-in-air emotional for pulling up on this day of musical mourning. Here's what we said at the time:
The remix is the latest in J. Period’s Man Or The Music Collection, a series of MJ tributes released as part of Spike Lee‘s annual “BK Loves MJ” events. Unfortunately, this year’s “BK Loves MJ” event was cancelled, and as a result the planned companion mixtape (with contributions from DJ Spinna and ?uestlove) has been postponed until 2013. Until then, grab your download of “Wanna Be Where You Are” (J. Period Remix) from J. Period’s Facebook page!
Jackson 5 - "I Want You Back" (Z-Trip Remix)
Z-Trip takes it to the top on this break-heavy, DJ-friendly remix of The Jackson 5's "I Want You Back" from 2005's Motown Remixed compilation, which makes audibly dope use of the original master tracks and studio ad-libs, in a remix that conjures up Hevalo and The Paradise Garage just as much as Studio 54.
Michael Jackson - "I Can't Help It" (Todd Terje Rekutt)
Todd Terje re kutts the most Stevie Wonder-ful entry in the Michael Jackson discography into a 9 minute, 41 second journey through a haunted disco garden, complete with an extended afro-latin/deep house percussion workout and echoey claps. Released in 2009 on black-label vinyl marked only Michael001.
Michael Jackson - "We're Almost There" (DJ Spinna Remix)
A close tie with J. Period for most-emotional Michael Jackson remix, Spinna's re-edit (dub, really) of this slightly more slept on selection is less lighters in the air and more ghost-light, emphasizing the song's spookiest elements with supernatural echo. Goose-bump level remix work from on of Okayplayer's favorite DJs and producers.
Jackson 5 - "It's Great To Be Here" (Kenny Dope Remix)
Super-duty tuff work from Kenny Dope, who touches MJ's greatest B-Boy classic, extending the atmospheric break famously sampled under Biggie's verse on "It's All About The Benjamins" into a happy balance between party jam remix and respectful/heartfelt edit--proving beyond a shadow of a doubt that MJ is hip-hop, after all.
Bonus Beats: Jackson 5 - "It's Great To Be Here" (Wonderlove's Re-edit)
Only thing better than a dope remix of a classic song is a genius re-edit of a dope remix of a classic song. Here you go. Wonderlove's re-edit of the Kenny Dope remix (previous page) extends the uprock portions of the track out so long you will think it's actually Afrika Bambaataa or Red Alert coast to coasting it, Death Mix-style.