The 411 Music Top Five 02.05.14: Top 5 Mash-Up Songs
Posted by Jeremy Thomas on 02.05.2014
From Nas vs. Black Sabbath and Kendrick Lamar vs. Imagine Dragons to Stevie Wonder vs. Metallica, Nine Inch Nails vs. Carly Rae Jepsen and more, the 411 staff counts down their top five mash-up songs of all time!
THE TOP 5 MASH-UP SONGS
Criteria: Blame this one on me, folks. I've been listening to a ton of mash-ups and so guess who was inspired? There are some incredibly creative mash-ups out there and they can often be much better than the individual songs they're comprised of. For those who are aware, a mash-up is two songs remixed together, a la the Jay Z/Linkin Park Crash Course album. This week our task was to name our favorite mash-ups.
Honorable Mention: System Of a Down "B.Y.O.B" X Daft Punk "Get Lucky", Judas Priest "Painkiller" X Lady Gaga "Judas"
5. Inhumanz - "Shoot the War Pigs" (Nas "Made You Look" X Black Sabbath "War Pigs")
Opening up the list is something that I didn't expect to like, but it was more that I had no clue how Nas was going to be integrated into the song. I don't know much of what Nas does, but I know he has a good reputation, and "War Pigs" has a ton of places to integrate other songs in it, and it did a good job of doing so. It's mostly Nas here, which is cool with me.
4. Wax Audio - "Sad But Superstitious" (Stevie Wonder "Superstitious" X Metallica "Sad But True")
I think my favorite type of mash-ups are the ones that us the singer from the other genre and a bit of their music on top of a metal canvas. It's like I get to stay close to home, but go to college and meet new and different people, so I'm safe but still being adventurous. But anyways, this here is Metallica's awesome riff from "Sad But True" with Stevie Wonder, and it fits so much better than I thought it would. I know that will be a phrase that I use for nearly EVERY Song here, but it's true. I love the Stevie Wonder song and the 4000 covers of it that have happened since, but I wasn't sure how it would meld with Metallica. While Metallica isn't something like Mayhem that doesn't allow for mixing, it's still not the friendliest genre for other people to play in. But damnit, it worked! Give this a listen, boys and girls!
3. "The Trooper Believer" (Iron Maiden "The Trooper" X The Monkees "I'm a Believer")
Talk about songs that have polar opposite themes to them. The base for the song is by The Monkees and is completely and totally happy and peppy. Then you have the song "The Trooper" which is based of Lord Tennyson's poem "Charge of the Light Brigade", which is about a charge that happened in the Battle of Balacava during the Crimean War (history books, kids, they can be cool sometimes). So a song based off of a poem, based off of war is thrown in with happy skippy fun time and it fits. Nothing really seems TOO off, hell, the only thing I miss is the opening riff from "The Trooper", otherwise this is just a really fun little alternate version of two good songs. Though "The Trooper" on its' own is still better, because metal.
2. Pallomember - "Ov Fire and Bad Romance" (Lady Gaga "Bad Romance" X Behemoth "Ov Fire and The Void")
Remember how I said earlier that Lady Gaga was born to be mixed with metal? This was the basis for this statement. I had seen the Judas Priest mash-up video, then I found the mash-up with Meshuggah. While I feel like the Meshuggah one was more about using Meshuggah's music as a canvas for a Lady Gaga song, this one has Behemoth's side being much more involved. I think that perhaps it's because Lady Gaga's songs (or at least the ones that are picked for these mash-ups) have a dark underbelly to them, as well as some macabre thrown in for good measure, it really fits her public persona or at least the meat suit wearing one. What is even crazier is that the sections with Behemoth towards the end doing the vocal duties work with the little creeping undertones of Gaga's music. I swear that sometimes we need a weird ass tour of a death metal band and a darker pop singer, it could do really good....or get a lot of people in the hospital, or better yet, THE JAIL!
1. Waxaudio- "South of the Grapvine" (Marvin Gaye "Heard it Through the Grapevine" X Slayer "South of Heaven")
HOLY SHIT ON A STICK, this song is creepy. From the first minute, you can tell that you're in for something great. The opening of Jeff Hanneman's amazing "South of Heaven" riff combined with an absolutely haunting chorus that comes from "Heard it Though the Gravepine". That's how the song goes for the most part, waxaudio has managed to make Marvin Gaye sound very foreboding and very ghostly. Throw in the opening verse from Slayer and Tom Araya, and you have a song fit for the credits of a horror movie. If you listen to ANYTHING and I mean ANYTHING from this list, LISTEN TO THIS SONG, you will probably be as amazed as I was.
Note: Some of my favorite mash-ups like Michael Jackson/Johnny Cash's "Black or White Prison" and Jackson/Manowar's "Warriors of the World Care About Us" I wanted to include, but couldn't because I couldn't find video or audio. That's the way it goes sometimes.
Honorable Mention: Wax Audio – "Stayin' Alive In The Wall" (Pink Floyd vs. Bee Gees), Mark Vidler - "Rapture Riders" (Blondie vs. The Doors), DJ Earworm - "Stairway to Bootleg Heaven" (Dolly Parton vs. Eurythmics vs. Beatles vs. Laurie Anderson vs. Art Of Noise vs. Beastie Boys vs. Pat Benetar), "The Royals from Liverpool" (Lorde vs. The Beatles)
5. pomDeter - "Call Me a Hole" (Nine Inch Nails vs. Carly Rae Jepsen)
Yeah, I think I'm shooting myself in the foot right off the bat but so be it. This is one of the things I love about mash-ups; DJs that find two songs that should in no way go together and make them sound insanely good together. Trent Reznor was reportedly not pleased about this but I think it says a lot about "Head Like a Hole" that it can be paired with as banal of a song as "Call Me Maybe" and still sound bad-ass. This is far, far better than I think people give it credit for.
4. FAROFF - "Let It Be, No Cry" (Beatles vs. Bob Marley)
Where a lot of mash-ups are two very different songs thrown together, this is one where you have two similar moods from similar eras that just combine for incredible power. "No Woman No Cry" is an unbelievable reggae song and of course "Let It Be" is one of the greatest songs in rock history. Combine them in just the right way, as FAROFF did, and you have a song with more emotion than you might believe a remixing capable of. Just an incredible piece of music.
Here's the newest songs on my list, and even topical thanks to the Grammy Awards where these two collaborated together for "Radioactive." That song is one of the biggest hits of 2013 while "Swimming Pools" was perhaps the best rap song of 2012 period. When they're combined together you have an incredible mix of two of the biggest newer artists in music today for an unforgettable fusion. Just great, great stuff.
2. Carlos Serrano – "Something About The Fire" (Adele vs. Daft Punk)
Another great merging of two songs you wouldn't expect to go together. I think this mash-up shows just how well Daft Punk's music works in a timeless variety. Adele is a pop artist who brings the past rushing to the present with her 1960s soul voice and modern sensibilities; here she melds perfectly into Daft Punk's classic jam "Something About Us" from Discovery. I honestly don't understand how anyone could not like this one.
1. DJ Morgoth - "Never Gonna Give Your Teen Spirit Up" (Nirvana vs. Rick Astley)
This sounds, on paper, like the kind of mash-up someone would do on a dare. Take the song made famous the second time around by Rickrolling and combine it with grunge music's #1 anthem. But then why does it work so well? And man, does it work really, REALLY well. It starts off with the hard-driving power of Nirvana's instrumental and then suddenly you have Rick Astley's deep, rich baritone. Before you can even say "What the hell?" you're sucked in by how well the work is on this and how nicely it all fits together. This is what mash-ups do best. Bravo, DJ Morgoth.
As always, the last thoughts come from you, the reader. We're merely unpaid monkeys with typewriters and Wikipedia. Here's what you need to do: List your Top Five for this week's topic on the comment section using the following format:
5. Artist - "Song": Why you chose it
4. Artist - "Song": Why you chose it
3. Artist - "Song": Why you chose it
2. Artist - "Song": Why you chose it
1. Artist - "Song": Why you chose it