Tuesday, May 13, 2008

The Stutter of Ignition

R.Kelly's "Ignition (Remix)" is the only pop song I'm aware of that tells you not just which song you're listening to but which version of that song. The B-52's don't sing "This is the single edit of 'Love Shack.'" Paul McCartney doesn't sing "This is the live version of 'Maybe I'm Amazed.'"

But at the top of every chorus, R. clues you in: "This is the remix to 'Ignition.'" It makes me wonder, what does he sing in the non-remixed version? I've never heard that version, but according to the lyrics I've found, the only reference to the title is a line that goes "Let me stick my key in your ignition, babe."

I don't pretend to understand contemporary hip-hop, but it seems to me that if your remix of a song is so thorough that you've even got entirely new lyrics, you don't have a remix on your hands - you've got a whole nother song. R. more or less acknowledges the uniqueness of the situation when he opens up the remix by saying, "Now usually I don't do this, but go ahead and break 'em off a little preview of the remix."

Embedding, sadly, is not permitted, but if you want to hear the remix to "Ignition," hot and fresh out the kitchen, it's here. I can't find a copy of the original, which is probably all to the best.


Gavin said...

I feel like I've heard announcements of "remix" often enough on remixes for urban radio stations that it's unremarkable.

Your "pop song" restriction narrows things down considerably--not many remixes hit the top 40. (I'm not sure how Billboard handles it--does their airplay get collected into one overall hit?)

Anyway, with all that said: Prince's "Gett Off" has regular announcements of "club mix."

T. Nawrocki said...

Like I said, this is moving a bit outside my bailiwick, but the song was good enough for me to try to learn a little more about it.

If Fountains of Wayne had issued a remix of "Bright Future in Sales," I'd be all over it.

Rob said...

I tried karaokeing this once and they only had the non-remix version, which neither I nor the DJ had ever heard before. Not even close enough to fake it. (But you can sing it to the backing track of Roxy Music's "Love Is the Drug.")

I think Bad Boy may have remixed the remix this way, cf. Lil Kim's "Not Tonight (Remix)," a #6 hit in Billboard in 1997, which had no lyrics or music in common with her album track "Not Tonight." Both excellent songs, too!

T. Nawrocki said...

I've only ever heard the remix of "Love Is the Drug." Strangely enough, the music and lyrics are identical to "Sugar, Sugar."

Gavin said...

You might be interested in the Mountain Goats acoustic cover of "The Boys Are Back in Town," which incorporates a verse of "Ignition (Remix)."