4
Jan 20

R. KELLY – “Ignition (Remix)”

Popular69 comments • 6,078 views

#954, 17th May 2003

So here we are. In 2014, when I wrote the entry for “I Believe I Can Fly”, acknowledging the monstrousness of R Kelly, I had plans to make this piece some sort of grand follow-up. Here is a song that – when I started Popular – was the most beloved of its year. I’ve heard “Ignition (Remix)” in clubs; I’ve danced to it; I’ve watched threads online spiral into giddy delight over it. I expect it was played at my wedding. I expect I played it.

Will I ever play it again? I doubt it. I remember its creamy confidence, its conspiratorial, tale-telling joy well enough not to bother. To this day, any time I’m in a hotel lobby my brain jumps a track and “after the party, the hotel lobby” wanders into my mind. Not as a welcome or unwelcome guest, either, just a well-used connection whose spark lies somewhere below the conscious. “Ignition (Remix)” is part of the mental furniture.

But it can’t ever be more than that again. Its easy familiarity, its cosy pleasure are part of the problem – “Ignition (Remix)” was a song that captured the feeling of so-what-I’m-drunk, the happy state of being lightly toasted, rolling from place to place and finding they’re the best places, with the best people, in the best of all possible worlds, until the night ends. But then the night did end, and now it’s the morning and I want no more of it. To use a critical idea not so available in 2014 (let alone 2003), “Ignition (Remix)” is cancelled.

Perhaps unfashionably, I think the idea of ‘cancellation’ is a useful one on an individual level. It sidesteps the question which has always dogged conversations about our relationships with art made by bad people – does it make the art bad? – by creating a space in which the answer isn’t relevant. “Ignition (Remix)”, like Morrissey’s “Speedway”, is a song which, good or not, I have decided to put beyond use. I’m not claiming consistency, or asking anyone else to emulate me – it’s just what I’m doing.

This is less difficult to live by – another difference from 2003 – because of the internet, and not because the internet makes it easier for angry crowds to form, or victims to have their say (though it does). By simply holding up to the light the immense scale of musical production – the impossible number of songs, albums, and careers available for us to listen to – the internet brings home how very much good music there is, and how very little of it we will ever hear. That forced widening of perspective has all sorts of implications for how people relate to music – for me at least, it makes discarding artists a much less drastic proposition.

But all this theory is dodging an uncomfortable question. Lots of things have changed since 2003. But when “Ignition (Remix)” came out that year, almost everybody who was active in online music chat, me included, knew that there was a tape doing the file-sharing rounds of R.Kelly and a 14 year old girl. “Ignition (Remix)” isn’t a song that people soured on when they found out the truth – it’s a song which came out in open defiance of that truth.

Now, some people called out R.Kelly early on and wanted nothing to do with the song – credit to them. Why didn’t I? I could file through excuses but the truth has two parts to it, neither flattering. First, the deeds and misdeeds of celebrities didn’t seem as vivid as they do now – maybe because I was younger or more callous, but also because the cliched “separation of art from artist” was easier in those days. The art was what you lived with every day; the artist was still a creature of report and rumour.

But also, I kept the truth of the tape an open question because I didn’t want it to be a closed one. “Ignition (Remix)”, and the happiness it brought me, was a big part of why. In the conversations around why the industry protected R.Kelly, why promoters kept booking him and critics kept reviewing him, the assumption is that Kelly was too rich and popular to be touched. So he was.

But he became rich and popular – and was able to live as an abuser in plain sight – because he was extremely good at what he did: charming people, and writing songs that charmed people, just silly or knowing enough to disarm. Complicity was what he sold best. “Ignition (Remix)” does what a lot of great pop does – which is why it’s hard for me to stomach now. It holds the door open for you on a fantasy of a charmed life; playfully, so you might drop your guard, believe it, and look away.

No mark given.

Comments

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  1. 31
    Smilin' Peter on 6 Jan 2020 #

    I seem to remember that in about 1994, the Beeb received laids of complaints about R Kelly’s performance on Totp of ‘Bump and Grind’. On account of it being too raunchy for teatime telly.

    Having just seen it again, though, I’d guess the complaints were about some of his backing dancers’ antics rather than anything that R did.

  2. 32
    Edward Still on 6 Jan 2020 #

    To me the difference between 2003 and now is the notion of Innocent until proven guilty. I think, perhaps naively, that this should hold true in the court of public opinion as much as anywhere legal. I haven’t much issue with MJ songs today for the same reason.

    Anyway I agree 100% with Tom’s review. One of my all time favourite songs which I’ll never knowingly play again. Would’ve been a 10, possibly my highest 10 to popular date.

  3. 33
    Tommy Mack on 6 Jan 2020 #

    Will @ #26. You’re right, which makes a lot more sense, since it’s true of Lennon and thinking about it, it is squarely in his confessional style compared to Paul’s more detached observation.

  4. 34
    James on 7 Jan 2020 #

    It is fairly simple from my point of view. I’ve long been on record considering R Kelly a genius. A genius who can make some utterly phenomenal music (“The World’s Greatest” is my favourite song of self-worth) and some complete tripe at the same time.

    I will always love listening to the non-tripe stuff, and do regularly.

    I have zero interest what he does with his penis and where, but if the authorities disagree it is entirely a matter for them.

  5. 35
    Paulito on 7 Jan 2020 #

    Other contributors (particularly James BC @28) have touched on this, but I think it’s important to draw a distinction between (a) acts whose key work was done long before they committed their crimes and (b) those who carried on their criminality at the same time as they were producing their most notable work. Imho it’s daft to torment oneself, or to chastise others, for enjoying the genius music that Phil Spector produced some 40-odd years before he committed a homicide. Yes, he was always a somewhat sinister individual, but he wasn’t a murderer when he produced “Be My Baby” and I’ve no reason to think he was capable of murder at that time either. He became more unhinged as time went on and eventually developed a form of full-blown paranoid psychosis. That’s an awful shame (most of all, for poor Lana Clarkson), but it will never spoil my enjoyment of the magic he produced in his prime. Why should it?

    I’d make a very similar argument about Joe Meek, who was suggested as an “acid test” above. The man who created such glories as “Telstar” and “Johnny Remember Me” was undoubtedly an oddball (the thin line and all that). But the Joe Meek who, some years later, killed his landlady and himself (there were no other victims btw) was clearly someone who had collapsed into catastrophic insanity. Again, that’s very sad, but it doesn’t make me hate him or find his work unlistenable.

    At the other end of the spectrum are individuals like Glitter, Ian Watkins and, yes, R. Kelly – calculating sociopaths who from the outset used their music, and specifically the celebrity it brought them, as a vehicle to abuse children. That irrevocably taints their music (not much of which is any good, thankfully).

    MJ is a more awkward proposition because some of his music – particularly his late 70s/early 80s output – is superb and yet there has to be a suspicion that he was always a wrong ‘un. I (like others) prefer not to believe he was a predatory child abuser and, in the absence of definitive evidence, I cling instead to the hope that he was – sad as it may be – an emotionally retarded and mentally imbalanced naïf who tried to create a fantasy world where he could live out the boyhood he never had. There’s certainly plenty of other evidence that he became more and more detached from reality over the years. Either way, my sense is that the MJ of the 90s and beyond was simply not the same guy who gave us Off The Wall and Thriller. For that reason, I can still enjoy those albums.

    I agree with other contributors that Morrissey shouldn’t be lumped in with any of the above. He’s not a criminal; he’s just someone with views that many people find unpalatable. (For what it’s worth, I think he’s misguided more than malicious. I also think he’s a different person to the Morrissey of 35 years ago and, again, I don’t feel any guilt in enjoying the music he made back then.)

  6. 36
    Shiny Dave on 7 Jan 2020 #

    This was always going to be an all-time great comment thread. I don’t know how much I can add.

    (One bit of context I can add, regarding comments #11 / #15: for commenters who aren’t aware of this, there’s quite a difference in philosophy here. Baseball’s Hall of Fame states that “voting shall be based upon the player’s record, playing ability, integrity, sportsmanship, character, and contributions to the team(s) on which the player played.” The Pro Football Hall of Fame explictly prefers to focus on the on-field accomplishments, and that seems to have carried over into the lists produced separately by the NFL around its centennial.)

    What I will say is I didn’t see the no-mark coming – Tom mentioned Dunblane as “as close to an unmarkable record as I’ll see,” and that review came in January 2014, a few weeks after the interview that Tom linked to in the “I Believe I Can Fly” review that was AFAICT the defining moment in bringing wider attention to the accusations. I agree with the decision, I just didn’t see it coming for that reason.

    And that I’m genuinely amazed from this distance that R. Kelly shrugged the accusations off in the specific context of a mid-2000s America where social conservatism and moral panic was very much not in retreat, was in fact the primary driver of the only GOP popular vote plurality in a post-Cold War presidential election to date. And an early version of “cancellation culture” was well and alive and already trying to destroy the career of the Dixie Chicks for questioning the Iraq war. How did that society not cancel R. Kelly?

  7. 37
    Tommy Mack on 7 Jan 2020 #

    The point I’m reaching for is that most of the artists mentioned exist for me (and I think a lot of the other commenters) in a middle-ground between “innocent until proven guilty, crank that shit” and “burn it all and let us never speak of him again!” If I wake up one day and I’ve just got to hear Don’t Stop TYGE or You’ve Got Everything Now, I’m not going to beat myself up over it but in a normal “what shall I play today?” quandry, the answer, more often than not, is going to be someone who doesn’t come with baggage, be that baggage problematic (MJ) or merely irksome (Moz).

  8. 38
    Andrew F on 7 Jan 2020 #

    I mean, there’s an argument that where we’re discussing unpleasant views rather than crimes*, it’s easier for things to slip past – in the light of present Morrissey, it makes it possible to revisit Bengali in Platforms, or Panic, and listen to what minorities are saying about them – and what they’re were saying about them then.

    *again the criminal aspect isn’t the most useful here, as one of the common threads is the ability of those in power to swerve such a thing – bringing it back to R. Kelly, one of the more eye-opening details in (I think) the first Jim DeRogatis article about him was that a case that was to go to court collapsed because the main witness wouldn’t testify, at the same time that Kelly had paid for her and her family to go on a long holiday in Europe.

  9. 39
    Tommy Mack on 7 Jan 2020 #

    The other thing with R Kelly, seldom mentioned, is that, I think I’m right in saying, all of his victims were black. You can bet your life that if Kelly, a black man, had laid a finger on a white girl, America would have treated him rather differently.

  10. 40
    Implodingme on 7 Jan 2020 #

    This is easily a 10, being woke doesn’t change the fact that this is, and always will be, a banger.

  11. 41
    PinkChampale on 7 Jan 2020 #

    I think a lot of peoples’ points are that being a vaguely decent person DOES, for them, change the fact that this is a banger.

    Or at least, it’s R Kelly’s fault that I no longer think this is a ten, not mine.

    Or to be more specific, I stopped liking it as much once I realised it was a song about raping children.

  12. 42
    weej on 7 Jan 2020 #

    Hm, I have lots of thoughts about this, sorry if they are a bit of a jumble, but here we go anyway.

    First the context here – I had never been a fan of R Kelly, but when this came out I was as detached from UK (& even US) pop culture as I’ve ever been, living in Prague with my first ever proper girlfriend and only consuming pop music via the occasional world service show – so when this came out and was such a huge hit I was confused, wasn’t this guy on trial for something awful? And the song was about getting drunk and doing inappropriate things? And the album was called “Chocolate Factory”?! I just sort of passed it off as something I didn’t understand yet, but now I live in the UK again it only seems more inexplicable. My full understanding of what R Kelly really was was from the article linked in the IBICF post, and, really why were people still listening to this? Still feel I don’t really have an answer.

    A few years ago I read an review of Chris Brown which just said “Don’t listen to this, he beats women” and wrote a long article which I have since deleted and won’t be putting back up. The jist was, though, (a) that there are a lot of very problematic people in music, and if you are taking a stand you should be consistent and (b) that the work was tainted only if the terribleness was reflected in the music (and gave examples of Lennon, James Brown, Chuck Berry vs Skrewdriver) – what I didn’t take into account though was (c) abusers profiting from their “dangerous” public personas and (d) there is lots of other music you can choose to listen to if you feel like it.

    Is the work of Michael Jackson retrospectively tainted? As a 9-year-old I was a massive MJ fan – this was around the time Bad was out and I listened to the tape endlessly and went to the cinema to see Moonwalker, I even read his autobiography. MJ was at that point the coolest person I could ever imagine, and it feels now that this was deliberate – he was, perhaps by design, the coolest person a 9-year-old boy could imagine. This is what I hear and see if I revisit him now, a grooming of the general public. At work I deal with safeguarding and one thing we are told repeatedly is that the people being groomed are often the adults, who are being persuaded that this person is harmless around children, this fits the overgrown child persona of MJ as much as it does the eccentric jester Savile.

    For Gary Glitter – think this has been discussed elsewhere, but his creative input into his music was fairly small, and it’s a shame the people really responsible have had it tainted like this.

    I agree with tommy mack @8 that there is danger of sweeping this stuff under the carpet and not addressing the underlying issue – but for me this issue is that we allow celebrities a certain amount of leeway which means they are used to getting anything they want. For people with a motivation to do bad things anyway this is an absolute disaster, and we really need to stop putting artists on pedestals just because they create things we like.

    Regarding “cancel culture” then – for celebrities I agree that it quite often has very little effect in the final analysis. On the other hand members of the public who get caught up in feeding frenzies on Twitter quite often do not deserve the shocking treatment they get – Jon Ronson’s book “So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed” is good on this and I really am not sure why it isn’t talked about more.

    Re #19 – agreed, I miss Crystal Castles too, Magic Spells was one of my favourite bits of music of the 2000s and now I can’t even bear to listen to it. But I can always listen to something else.

  13. 43
    Andrew on 7 Jan 2020 #

    I find the standards we apply to ‘cancellation’ fascinating.

    There is no clear difference between the severity of the Michael Jackson allegations and the severity of the R. Kelly allegations. Both are extremely serious, but different. The different genders, and races, of the alleged victims (and how both play into who as a culture we allow to see as victims). Michael Jackson’s alleged victims were younger, which one could argue makes the accusations against him more severe. However, R. Kelly’s alleged crimes involve aggravating violence, cult-like rules and effective kidnap/imprisonment.

    On culpability: both had troubled childhoods involving suffering different forms of abuse (parental violence for Jackson; sexual abuse for Kelly). This might partially explain but it cannot excuse what has been alleged. I have been a fan of MJ most of my life but that line “he was just a confused man-child” is pretty wretched as an argument, much as I understand exactly why many fans (or former fans) of the man and his work might have felt compelled by it, and invested in it – as a form of mitigation, distancing, denial.

    Both have been alleged to have manipulated their victims and tried to silence them. With money, with implicit and explicit threats. See Dan Reed’s Leaving Neverland, and Dream Hampton’s Surviving R. Kelly for details.

    Both produced output of musical genius at their peaks, and I honestly think for most music lovers when we feel an emotional loyalty to an artist (or to their work) a vast array of double-standards are applied, illogical conclusions arrived at and blind eyes turned.

    If Pol Pot had made Off the Wall, we’d still be listening.

  14. 44
    Tom Ewing on 7 Jan 2020 #

    We don’t demand logic, consistency, etc. when people’s emotional reaction to music is love or hatred – why should disgust at the musician require it? This is the point I’ve been making throughout, really – we should consider ‘cancellation’ as an individual, visceral reaction, like almost any reaction we have to music or musicians.

    Of course we can look at those reactions and see patterns in them – they aren’t entirely random, you can usually see a fluid kind of standard emerging in anyone’s responses. But this urge to try and codify it as if it was a watertight defense or prosecution standard… I’m fascinated by how the conversation always ends up going in that direction, really.

    This isn’t to say this thread hasn’t been interesting and full of good points, of course.

  15. 45
    Tommy Mack on 7 Jan 2020 #

    I think disgust is a big part of it. We’re appalled by Phil Spector, Joe Meek, John Lennon, Chuck Berry, James Brown, Ian Curtis but we’re not disgusted. Abuse of children is abhorrent but furthermore is viscerally disgusting and we feel not just anger but revulsion towards the abusers.

    Obviously if their music means a lot to us, we either have to leave it behind or go through some sort of mental gymnastics (innocent until proven guilty, the art not the artist, hadn’t turned bad yet)

  16. 46
    Tommy Mack on 7 Jan 2020 #

    Although Chuck Berry was implicated in abuse of a minor so again, no particular logic.

  17. 47
    weej on 7 Jan 2020 #

    Tom @44 – yes, agreed about this, but the line between “I don’t like to listen to this”and “I am telling other people not to listen to this” is blurred when the music is used in a social or commercial context, and there are plenty of those contexts to be navigated. Two examples recently – a CD at a kids’ party with Rolf Harris (is it bad parenting to play this?) and the use of Rock & Roll Part 2 in the film Joker (will GG profit financially from this?) – I don’t know if I really have answers in either case, but they both go beyond the personal to our responsibility as a culture.

  18. 48
    Tommy Mack on 8 Jan 2020 #

    IIRC, Gary Glitter sold his publishing stake back to his record label so doesn’t receive any payment for the use of RnR pt 2 in Joker.

    Apparently, the new Glitter Band singer still uses the stage name and persona of Gary Glitter, saying ‘Gary Glitter is a character which shouldn’t be tainted by what Paul Gadd did’ which seems a bit of a stretch to say the least.

  19. 49
    Paulito on 8 Jan 2020 #

    @45 what appalling things is Ian Curtis supposed to have done?

  20. 50
    Lee Saunders on 8 Jan 2020 #

    A fantastic thread. I haven’t contributed until now as a concession to the realisation to what extent my personal ignoring or not of questionable artists is, as #5 put it, “inconsistent and self-serving”. I can easily, and very happily, ignore Kelly and Glitter, those who has mentioned used their celebrity and power to do evil things seemingly from the get-go. I don’t want to only listen to music by people who never put a foot wrong but for everyone else who is in either the hell or limbo of this topic, I’m either okay with some of them or with others more slightly uncomfortable listening, but listening anyway at a bit of a distance.

    I’ve always been fine with Meek, not least because I believe his last five minutes or so to be a man practically beyond the realms of depression and very clearly not the same Joe Meek that made a living making music (I also believe the murder was an accident, or at least want to believe it was).

    Morrissey is someone I feel more disappointed with than anything, that a seemingly well-read, clever man has turned out so dumb. I’ve had no interest in listening to him since the antics that pushed too far into the red for many (except Alsatian Cousin, where I focus on Vini and Street’s nervous noises and don’t really think about the man singing), but this isn’t a conscious shutting his music out of my life so much as a passive ‘yeah I’m not in the mood’. On a similar note, I’ve generally been fine with Spector, making his masterpieces decades before the murder, although learning of his frankly psychopathic treatment of Ronnie in the 70s has made me more weary. I am fine to listen to Born to Be with Your or All Things Must Pass, as he is not the artist, my head tells me, and maybe that’s what I feel I should go on. I don’t like to think I’d change my mind on that; even so, I can’t tell the future or how I could be feeling at another time.

    Michael is perhaps the trickiest one for me. I didn’t want to listen to him for ages, and I haven’t even seen the documentary. Then one day I stick on Dangerous and find myself drawn back into the paranoid dissonance that defines almost each corner of his 90s work. And then back to his music before the crimes allegedly began. I don’t want to believe he was evil, and it would be hard to shut him out of my life, but maybe I’d want to stop listening to him again if I do get round to seeing Leaving Neverland.

    And these days when I listen to Led Zep a voice in my head sometimes goes “but that’s Jimmy Page,” whose apparent dark side I admittedly know little about other than distressing passing comments from friends. Its maybe just as well that my two favourite Led Zep songs – the final two on their final album – don’t feature him much at all.

  21. 51
    Chelovek na lune on 8 Jan 2020 #

    This is a good thread, and it’s interesting that there is almost a clear consensus here.

    One thing that I think has changed incrementally in the last few decades (and which has surely been a factor in the kind of conservative backlash that has resulted), and at the risk of sounding like Peter Hitchens, a substantial breakdown in moral or societal norms, or even, in some circumstances, the sense that such a thing should exist – with the overt promotion of violence and extremely sexualised content (and often, associated misogyny) in a way becoming widespread in elements of popular culture that would have been unthinkable in the recent past (again, the internet has something to do with this, but so do other media) .

    I’m not sure this is the very best track to flesh out this discussion on (but couldn’t – from the top of my head – name a subsequent bunny that would suit it better) – but it seems illustrative that a path had been trod from a situation when, in 1988, NWA (I think it was Ice Cube specifically), who for all their image of toughness, etc, had certain limits to their behaviour, had sufficient self-awareness, on “Gangsta Gangsta” , to pose their listeners the question “do I look like a motherf–kin’ role model?”, to a situation, last year, where we had a top 20 hit called “Murder on My Mind”, performed by someone who was, at that very time, facing charges for murder….

  22. 52
    Tommy Mack on 8 Jan 2020 #

    Paulito @ 49: In her memoir, Touching From a Distance, Debbie Curtis details physical violence and lots of controlling behaviour. I think the real physical violence perhaps only started once he was in the throes of mental illness and extreme side-effects of his epilepsy medication but from what I recall, he was an abuser from the outset.

    And of course, there was the flirtation with the far-right though tbh, it was Barney Sumner who was the real Nazi fetishist in Joy Division.

  23. 53
    James BC on 8 Jan 2020 #

    Just getting away from the sex cult stuff for a minute, is this the first hip hop/rnb remix to hit number 1? Meaning the bewildering 00s concept of a remix that’s actually a completely different song with the same title. I’d be very interested if anyone could shed light on the origin of that.

    The apogee of the form for me is J-Lo’s Ain’t It Funny “remix”, which is a completely different song in a completely different style that includes not one single note or line from the original, and according to some accounts is largely sung by Ashanti and not J-Lo. Great stuff from Murder Inc, and it’s a shame none of their signature tracks seem to have quite made number 1.

  24. 54
    Andrew on 8 Jan 2020 #

    Bizarrely, Kelly actually wrote the ‘remix’ before writing the ‘original’: https://www.gq.com/story/r-kelly-confessions

  25. 55
    James BC on 8 Jan 2020 #

    That’s fascinating. The same article also suggests Kelly himself originated the remix-as-entirely-different-song concept, so if true, that answers that. Puff Daddy would possibly be the other claimant – he did call an album “We Invented The Remix” after all.

  26. 56
    Matthew on 8 Jan 2020 #

    Within the popsphere, the remix-as-a-completely-new-song should be credited to Mariah Carey.

    Check out the original version of Dreamlover and the Def Club house remix she created with David Morales back in 1993. Mariah continued with this formula for the lead singles of her next few albums (Fantasy in 1995, Honey in 1997 and Heartbreaker in 1999). This set the standard for people like JLo who was probably encouraged by the head of her record label, who just so happened to be Carey’s ex-husband who was trying to blackball Carey at the time.

  27. 57
    Andrew F on 9 Jan 2020 #

    #56 – I think I remember an interview with Alex Patterson out of the Orb (tho I can’t find it), who when asked on his extremely loose remixes, admitted that at least one of them was because he forgot he was due to do a remix, so just handed over a brand new track.

  28. 58
    rydeen on 9 Jan 2020 #

    #57 Aphex Twin apparently did the same thing with either The Lemonheads or Nine Inch Nails (iirc the remix in question is on 26 Mixes for Cash), though in his case there was an element of couldn’t be bothered to even listen to the original as much as just forgetting abt being on the hook for a remix.

    Given that multiple unconnected people were doing this throughout the nineties, it feels this was culturally just something in the air, bubbling away in the background until it broke through around this time.

  29. 59
    AMZ1981 on 9 Jan 2020 #

    I don’t have much to add to the main issue being discussed in this thread. I’m guilty of a double standard myself in that when I revisit the cheap 1970s compilations I cut my music nerd teeth on I skip over Gary Glitter but occasionally revisit Michael Jackson’s albums. Incidentally one name that hasn’t come up yet (apologies if it has) and who is actually trending on social media on the day of writing (due to a provocative tweet) is Boy George who was jailed for assault and kidnap of a male escort, an incident now almost completely forgotten.

    Anyway I had very little time for R Kelly but when Ignition hit big I liked it. 2003 was a year where the crossover number one single returned and this was a massive seller that expanded well beyond its core fanbase. It’s worth noting that he was an erratic hitmaker and this was his first non ballad top ten hit since Bump and Grind almost a decade before.

  30. 60
    Chelovek na lune on 9 Jan 2020 #

    The earliest unrecognisable remix I can think of in the pop realm was deeply uncool, not very good, and a commercial flop, c. 1990: Brother Beyond’s “The Girl I Used To Know”. Outwith dance-pop, Andy Weatherall had of course been engaged in radical remixery with the likes of Primal Scream, My Bloody Valentine and That Petrol Emotion. While the rebirth of “Looking Good Diving” as “Buffalo Stance” is not dissimilar.

    I await confirmation that the Brother Beyond remix was a key influence on “Ignition Remix”

  31. 61
    Mark M on 9 Jan 2020 #

    Re assorted: the Aphex stuff is creating something distinct and only passingly related but in a different genre – and he’s very much an outside force brought in for his lack of familiarity with the original. Mariah and her collaborators normally retained elements of the original song while shifting genre. With Loaded, Weatherall created a whole new song using chunks of the original.

    With J.Lo, though, you get the idea of her singles competing each other: although assembled from different roots, the results are fully constructed pop songs, rather than the remix being a deconstruction a la Mariah’s Heartbreaker. With the utterly unrelated Ain’t It Funnys, it’s pretty much A/B testing: which do you prefer – J.Lo as cod-flamenco romantic or, well, Jenny from the block? (Both, said the British public, as A got to 3 on the chart and B to 4).

    And then we’ve got skeazy RK writing two songs that are essentially in the same genre, although (Remix) is more of a party tune, so you’re taking out the market research element and having him competing against himself – just because he could?

  32. 62
    Steve Mannion on 10 Jan 2020 #

    A few times in the 90s you’d hear a particular mix of an RnB single in the Top 40 rundown and presume it was the ‘original’, often for years. When SWV’s first single ‘I’m So Into You’ charted all I remember ever hearing (in the chart show at least) was Allstar’s Drop mix rather than Teddy Riley’s ‘A side’ version. With other hits it was a lot more obvious when the remix was entirely responsible for the song’s resurgence or newfound impact e.g. Bobby Brown’s ‘Two Can Play That Game’. A less obvious case might be Tina Moore’s ‘Never Gonna Let You Go’ of which the Kelly G ‘Bump N’ Go’ mix retains all of the original’s vocals over a terrific 2 Step template. Unlike the original and other mixes this version only recently turned up on Spotify thanks to the fine work of popmusicactivism.com

  33. 63
    weej on 10 Jan 2020 #

    My main experience of Two Can Play That Game was VVM’s version “Two Can Play That Gammon” – still cannot hear the original without expecting the fuckedness to begin.

  34. 64
    Tommy Mack on 10 Jan 2020 #

    When did ‘remix’ start to mean the 2010s version with new verses by guest vocalists?

  35. 65
    Lee Saunders on 11 Jan 2020 #

    One of the strangest phenomena for me is where, in the 90s age of CD1/CD2 singles, the CD2 singles would in fact be led by a remix that sounds nothing like the original, with the original nowhere to be found. Poor unsuspecting passive fans hearing The Chemical Brothers’ Life Is Sweet or U2’s Last Night on Earth on the radio, for instance, and going out to innocently buy the CD2 singles would have been very puzzled.

  36. 66
    General Bounce on 11 Jan 2020 #

    I’m no fan of ‘cancel culture’ in the slightest but what I’ve always found difficult about R Kelly is that his more sexual records almost always seem to be rubbing the public’s nose in the fact he preyed on young girls. What else are we supposed to think about songs with titles like ‘I Think You Are Ready’ and ‘Home Alone’ given what we know about him now?

    ‘Ignition’ was always a sleazy song to me from day one given the fact its so obviously about sex and how much we knew about him back then so I’m more than happy for this to be cancelled.

  37. 67
    Coagulopath on 14 Jan 2020 #

    It makes me think of Michael Jackson.

    His songs are so huge and so much a part of our culture that it’s hard to comprehend that a *human* made “Billie Jean”. It’s like how you don’t realise that the MacDonalds arch was made by a graphics designer.

    These things just…exist. The way hydrogen atoms exist.

    This might be why people are disinterested in musicians being bad people – they’re hardly aware of musicians being people in the first place, because their art has dwarfed them into nonexistence. Roy Orbison is a massive, Caruso-like voice saying “pretty woman!” and nothing else. He doesn’t have a real life, and as soon as you turn off the radio, he stops existing.

    The internet may have changed things: once, all you knew of pop stars was how they looked on their CD covers and MTV videos. Now you can go on Instagram and see selfies of unshaven faces and unmade beds.

    It’s increasingly hard to forget that they’re people.

  38. 68
    phil6875 on 28 Mar 2020 #

    Has R. Kelly been found guilty of anything yet? Shouldn’t we wait until he has been?

  39. 69
    weej on 28 Mar 2020 #

    no, you can have opinions about people without them being convicted in a court of law.
    these things should not be confused.

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