Songs with Radio Heads
People get confused about cover versions. They are a labour of love, not some sort of disrespectful treatment of the classics. Everyone involved in the "Exit Music" project love the music of Radiohead – "Songs with Radio Heads" doesn't attempt to replace the originals as "definitive versions". Instead, like the Futureheads cover of Kate Bush or the Slits cover of Marvin Gaye, this is an exercise in translating well loved tracks into a different genre.
"Exit Music" also taps into the dancefloor potential of Radiohead, long recognized by DJs ranging from Paul Oakenfold to the Scratch Perverts. The band themselves are devotees of both hiphop and dance music – commissioning remixes from respected figures such as Madlib, DJ Shadow and Four Tet. With an increasing number of under the counter remixes beginning to surface, BBE thought it was time to collect together the finest hiphop and dance cover versions of Radiohead songs. Ranging from gentle acoustic treatments to raw funky versions, BBE have taken the songs of Thom Yorke into realms even he couldn't imagine. And with a new album from Radiohead expected in 2006, "Exit Music" may only be the beginning…
One of the great Radiohead tracks and drummer Phil Selway's favourite song on "The Bends", "Just" combines self-loathing lyrics, a particular viscous guitar riff and middle-eight to die for. For his cover Mark Ronson not only enlisted the help of the formidable Daptones horn section (The Dap Kings) but Alex Greenwald, the lead singer of Phantom Planet (best known for "California", the theme to "The OC"). A dynamite combination of snappy horns and dusty drum breaks, "Just" belongs to the cover canon of Quantic Soul Orchestra's "Get a Move On", Alice Russell's "Seven Nation Army" and the Daptone's own "What (Have You Done For Me Lately". The man behind "Just" is one of the most sought after DJs in the world and, as one half of
AllIDo Records, Ronson is currently working with Chicago rapper Rhymefest, Australian soul singer Daniel Merryweather and fabulous pop goddess Christina Aguilera. His cover of "Just" won early support from Gilles Peterson, Zane Lowe and Jo Whiley on Radio One as well as Eddy Temple-Morris on XFM, making this one of the most exciting BBE releases in years.
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