With the recent explosion of trap and twerk, it seems no one (including us!) can shut up about the marriage of hip-hop and dance music, with rock being left out in the cold. For all of the amazing Kanye West remixes or Jay Z remixes, there's another hundred rock bands being pushed aside. Today, we decided to change course and scour our collections for 20 of our favorite remixes of rock songs. For this list we picked some classic rock cuts (as in album-oriented psychedelic rock from the '60s and '70s) as well as some alternative rock numbers like Radiohead and folksier acts like John Denver. Here are the 20 best remixes of rock songs.
The Rolling Stones - "Gimme Shelter (Streetlab Remix)"
It's amazing what a coupld of fat kicks and snares can do to take a song to that next level. This, my friends, is a clear example of that. Streetlab's remix of The Rolling Stone's undeniable "Gimme Shelter" takes the listener for a ride and cuts back just when you need that chorus to keep you on track and shaking your ass. This might be just what you need to slide some Stones into your next set. So...you're welcome.
Fleetwood Mac - "Dreams (Gigamesh Edit)"
Regardless of what he makes, Gigamesh tends to be a no-listen download. In his edit of Fleetwood Mac's dreams, Gigamesh doesn't make any exceptions and adds his lilting, beautiful edge for a product that you can enjoy as much as your dope smokin' hippy parents did.
Eagles - "Hotel California (Pied Piper Progressive 2012 Remix)"
What a great example of yet another perfect classic with a subtle remix that doesn't exactly change its sound or intent, but just embraces its message to display a new way of loving it. If you love Hotel California (you do) and you love The Eagles (you should) you'll love this track (you will).
Eric Clapton - "Cocaine (No Big Deal Remix)"
No big deal, but it's about damn time somebody made a remix out of "Cocaine" that is this hot. Teenagers and twentysomethings have been getting their rocks off to this jam for quite some time now and No Big Deal's remix takes your favorite pre-DUI (pre-UI?) song and jacks it up on, well, cocaine.
Bruce Springsteen - "State Trooper (Trentemøller Mix)"
Springsteen's original track will already haunt my dreams for the rest of my life. If you haven't heard it then you don't understand the depth of heartbreak and emotional clarity that Springsteen can really reach. Trentemøller added the subtle kick/clap combo that made him famous and helped me rediscover why I loved this song.
John Denver - "Country Roads (Pretty Lights Remix)"
In the heyday of when Pretty Lights may or may not have been producing some of his best work, his remix of "Country Roads" was enough to turn an already flawless song into an epic electronic banger. From his easy intro, embracing the spirit of freedom in this classic tune, to those pretty light wub-wub bass drops that we all used to get off on, this remix is an easy example of what made us fall in love with his style in the first place.
Aerosmith - "Dream On (GRiZ Remix)"
Michigan native GRiZ has been one of the brightest spots in American dance music, cultivating a funky, dubsteppy, electro sound. With his saxaphone in tow, GRiZ has played some of the world's largest festivals, even teaming up with Gramatik to create Grizmatk. With his remix of Aerosmith's "Dream On," GRiZ serves up his soul-infused dubstep to great results.
Steve Miller Band - "Fly Like An Eagle (Pretty Lights Remix)"
While he often slices and dices tracks in every which way to make his own metamaster pieces, for his take on the Steve Mill Band, Pretty Lights opts for the light lasers and subtle smooth sub-bass style to get this glitch-hop number into the modern era. Banger.
Pink Floyd - "Time (Pretty Lights Remix)"
Derek Vincent Smith might be producing wholly original material now, but his take on the absolute classic "Time" is quite special. With grainy distorted synths, glitchy audio cuts, and dubstep percussion, Pretty Light's version of "Time" is special, unique and most definitely a worthy tribute.
Led Zeppelin - "Stairway To Heaven (Gramatik Remix)"
Gramatik took the timeless classic on and did so with integrity. Gramatik creates an instrumental wonder perfect to just sit back and vibe to. The 90's boom-bap era percussion, vocal pittches, the dancey vibes, and the emotional delicacy of the original make this a delight.
Eric Prydz vs. Pink Floyd - "Proper Education"
The funky new wave rhythms over house percussion mixed with the iconic Pink Floyd vocals and aesthetic makes for an infectious concoction. "Another Brick In The Wall" was a classic and Prydz makes it into a dancefloor classic with his spin.
Neil Young - "Old Man (Sound Remedy Remix)"
Have you ever listened to an artist and just not understood why they were so popular? Sound Remedy was one of those for me, but his "Old Man" take is a wonderful surprise as he adds a solid low-end to Neil's jam.
Red Hot Chili Peppers - "Other Side (Benny Benassi Remix)"
Admit it. You love this. You might be too cool to sing along now that you've heard it a bajillion times, but that doesn't make it awesome. This track is sort of the "Sweet Caroline" of dance music in that when it comes on, surely you'll hear the moans but by the end, everyone is singing along.
Pretty Lights - "The Wayfaring Stranger"
While technically not a remix, more of a cover, Pretty Light's take on the American classic "Wayfaring Stranger" is a special one. Born out of the RE:GENERATION project (which saw Pretty Lights, Skrillex, DJ Premier, Mark Ronson, and The Crystal Method each team up with musicians from other eras/styles), the electrified take features vocals from LeAnn Rimes and Dr. Ralph Stanley as the folksy tune is turned into a futuristic wild west electro soul tune. While the marriage of country/folk and electro hip-hop soul (or whatever you might call the Colorado sound) hasn't occurred that often, this is the sort of jam that makes you think why not?
The Beatles - "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds (Bassnectar Remix)"
This has been around for a number of years by now, but this one is still fresh as ever. Bassnectar puts his "omnitempo maximalism" spin on it and makes it a mind-bending kaleidoscope of a tune. Nectar nestles the track in between his signature psychedelic bass and the results are just awesome.
Radiohead - "Everything In Its Right Place (Gigamesh Remix)"
Yes, Radiohead does not fall within the classic distinction of "classic rock" (hint: a few on this list don't), but this Gigamesh nu-disco remix is just the one we need for this list. Without enough "alternative rock" remixes to make it's own list (well...for now), Gigamesh's take is great enough to (hopefully) get more producers digging into the alt-rock archives and reworking their favorites.
Led Zeppelin - "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You (Free n Losh Remix)"
Free n Losh has pretty much made this whole classic rock thing part of their stamp. Though they've made some delightful tracks in other realms (like their Ray Charles and Stevie Wonder-aided "Things You Don't Understand"), this Toronto duo's artistry and production prowess is really showing off with this one. Achieving a subtle re-imagining, FnL transform the heart-tugging classic into a a trapified slow jam. Their immaculate production will tickle your ears while Robert Plant will sing to your soul.
The Rolling Stones - "Gimme Shelter (Zeds Dead Remix)"
While many fell in love with Zeds Dead after their "White Satin" and "Eyes On Fire" remixes, the rest of us were taken captive after the release of their eerie remix of "Gimme Shelter." A classic cut in it's own right, Zeds Dead's Rolling Stones remix employs the low-down slimy basslines and horror movie-inspired vibes to make for one heck of a track. There's something intense and powerful about this remix that resonates when you hear this on a proper soundsystem in a sea of thousands.
Blue Foundation - "Eyes On Fire (Zeds Dead Remix)"
If you were in the thick of the U.S. dubstep explosion, you must have heard this or seen this on the UKF channel back in the day (about three years ago already). The original is a somber, alternative shoe-gazer track with dreamy vocals and delicate instrumentation. Zeds Dead took their heavy bass and drenched this number with it and made a spine-chilling remix. A classic to be sure.
The Pixies - "Where Is My Mind (Bassnectar Remix)"
As the anthem of his Cozza Frenzy tour, Bassnectar's drumstep take on "Where Is My Mind?" was ubiquitous in 2010. There's just something so raw and powerful about this that it even captures the anxiety and angst of the original while also giving it a complete update.