Thursday, June 05, 2008

Remixes, covers and coincidences...

The last year or two have thrown up a selection of cover versions and remixes, and some of them have been as successful as they seemed unlikely. The cover of The Zutons' 'Valerie', produced by Mark Ronson with Amy Winehouse on vocals, is probably the best known in the UK. Others turn up in less obvious places, b-sides and also in live sets. You can find such things such as The Manic Street Preachers covering Rihanna's 'Umbrella' (live) and also Lily Allen singing Keane's 'Everything's Changing' - it is the b-side to the 7" of 'Littlest Things'. The CD single had a new song 'U Killed It' as the (so called) flip-side!
'Littlest Things' fits well here too - it was largely written by Santi White, who has worked in major-label A&R, as a producer and also as a freelance songwriter.
Now better known as Santogold she sings her new, often rather challenging, songs herself...

Santogold - Santogold (Warners, 2008)

The TV contest coincidence is this:
Earlier this year Duffy hit the big time in the UK with her début album Rockferry. She had however made a couple of fleeting appearances before. The first was as the runner up in
Waw Ffactor 2003, the Welsh language version of Pop Idol. The next was a CD single, Aimée Duffy in 2004, which you can still buy new.

In 2005 she sung vocals on two tracks on the album See You In The Morning, the third album from Manchester based dance-pop act Mint Royale and this is where the coincidence factor plays. Another track from this album looks odds-on to be the UK #1 single this week. It is a cover/remix of 'Singing In The Rain' that was originally used in a VW Golf advert in 2005! That it has suddenly shot to prominence some three years later is due the fact that the winner of Britain's Got Talent, break-dancer George Sampson, used it as the backing for his final performance!
This will be a very good example of just how the weekly singles charts in even the countries of Western Europe can be incredibly different, which is not even a remotely unusual event.

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