With the abundance of inexpensive sound software, there are lots of people trying to mash together songs but there are very few good mashups! Recently I’ve started listening to French mashup artist Mighty Mike who does a great job blending Michael Jackson, Green Day, Smashing Pumpkins, Queen, the Police, Gotye, the Beatles, Rihanna, Kanye West, Coldplay and countless more. You can stream or download a long list of his songs here on SoundCloud. I can’t list all my favorite songs,so instead I made a Top 10.
#1: “Unbelievably Tangled Up” (EMF / Caro Emerald)
I first came across Mike through his fantastic mashup of Caro Emerald’s “Tangled Up” with EMF’s 80s hit “Unbelievable”. You may not know the later EMF song by name, but I am sure you would recognize the chorus in a heartbeat. Supposedly it may be responsible for the most profanity ever heard on radio, as the background refrain in the chorus was never censored (“What the F%#* was that?”) . This version has mostly EMF words with the Caro’s swinging beats.
#9: “Fair Thriller” (Michael Jackson / Lily Allen)
This a mashup of Michal Jackson with Lily Allen’s “Not Fair” somehow gives “Thriller a country feel. I don’t think I could listen to either song the same way again without hearing the other in my mind.
#8: “Umbrella Dream” (Rihanna / Il était une fois)
“Next up Mighty Mike pairs Rihanna with French 70s band “Il était une fois” and their single “j’ai encoré rêvé d’elle“. I had never heard of the later band as I am bad enough remembering english language music from the 70s. However this one is really pretty, and gives a lovely melancholy to “Umbrella”.
#7: “Lonely Yoshimi” (The Police / The Flaming Lips)
I love this entire album by The Flaming Lips, but I would never thought to combine it with the Police’s “So Lonely”. However I still think the resulting song would fit in with the entire sad story of Yoshimi battling those giant robots.
#6: “Massive Fear” (Lily Allen / Massive Attack)
This time you get to hear Lily Allen’s lovely voice overlaying Massive Attack’s instrumental song “Exchange”. Massive Attack occasionally use guest vocalists but this one is a lovely fit. A great chill-out song for late at night when you are done partying.
#5: “F*ck Henrietta!” (The Fratellis / Cee Lo Green)
I was just talking about how much I love Cee Lo. Here Mighty Mike combines Cee Lo’s “F%*@ You” (or if you want to sing along click here) with Fratellis’ “Herrietta”. The later is a Scottish rock band of the 2000s who somehow manage to be catchy but still not always memorable. What I like about the mashup is how well the two songs fit together with interwoven vocals. The two songs have a similar down-on-your-luck themes so it just works.
#4: “Secret Music” (Madonna / Indochine )
Madonna’s original “Music” was so closely tied to French producer Mirwais – that it was hard to separate the two. I really like Mirwais’ work from his Madonna era “Production” to his later work with Y.A.S. covering “Stayin’ Alive”. However it again great to discover more French music that I missed in an Anglo-centric world and to reimagine what Madonna would be like with a different producer. In this case the backup is French 80s band Indochine and their song “Le grand secret”. I am still working through the lyrics to their song “3ème sexe” as my French is rather rusty.
#3: “A Gypsy Woman That I Used To Know” (Gotye / Crystal Waters)
Perhaps you could put any words over Gotye’s 2012 hit and it would still be good. But at least this isn’t another Sting mashup (btw Gotye is sick of that comparison). Instead he takes 90s house classic “Gypsy Woman” by Crystal Waters and make it actually sound moving instead of just mindless beats.
#2: I’m Fluorescent” (Arctic Monkeys / Diana Ross)
I understand why Dianna Ross’s “I’m coming out” has been lip-synced to death. The song was of course inspired by her seein three Drag Queens emulating her, In this version, I miss some of the original funky beats, however the change is refreshing.
#1: “Just a Limit” (No Doubt / Julien Doré)
I love this song full of teenage girl angst. The original led the wave of mid-90s punk-ska and made Gwen Stefani famous. Now Mighty Mike adds a crazy French backing which evokes a old-timey Jug band. I half expect to see a group of Muppets playing washtup bass, washboard, spoons, and banjo.
In fact, I am going to start choreographing a new routine. I’ve already memorized the words (thought the last verse gave me trouble). I already met with Tanisha to practice the vocals. I am going to try and meet with Candice sometime this week to work out the dance moves. How do you dance to a banjo–ska? With some luck (and practice) it will also be ready in time for the USC Drag show. Now I just wonder if I could find a drag-queen to play washtup bass?