Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Remixes Against Phony Entertainers

This is an interesting, alternative UK version of a common US 12" with an extra remix. Now, UK versions of 12"s with extra remixes aren't all that uncommon in hip-hop... but usually they're dreadful CJ Mackintosh or Norman Cook things that are best ostracized. But how about an extra SD50s' remix on a 3rd Bass 12"? Yeah, I was pleasantly surprised, too.

The 12" in question is 1991's "Pop Goes the Weasel," the debut single of 3rd Bass's second (and sadly final) album, Derelicts of Dialect. It's their anti-old to pop music... you surely remember the music video where they beat down a Vanilla Ice look-a-like and giant weasels terrorize the city? "Hip-hop got turned into hit pop the second a record was number one on the pop charts."

Now the US version came in a cheerfully colorful picture cover and featured Radio, LP and Instrumental versions of "Pop" plus four versions, including an SD50 Remix, of "Derelicts of Dialect." Well, this version comes in a sticker cover and features just two versions of each song: LP and SD50 Remix versions - which means an all new SD50 Remix of "Pop Goes the Weasel." Oh, and just to keep you on your toes, this 12" plays at 45 rpm and is mislabeled, listing the songs in the wrong order.

So yeah, the "Derelicts" remix isn't exclusive here, but if you haven't heard it, it's dope. It's smoother and mellower than Prince Paul's original, but features a bunch of extra samples and different instruments - organs, piano, flutes, scratches of crazy vocal samples... all drift in and out over a similar, but much more low-key, softer drummed track. It's more Midnight Marauders.

Well, so like how the "Derelict" remix keeps a lot of elements of the original, the "Pop" remix (called the "Weasel Remix," but the label credits tell us it's by the Stimulated Dummies, who also produced the original) keeps even more. It starts out with an old storybook vocal sample saying, "let's sing 'Pop Goes the Weasel'," and then it sounds kinda like the LP version at first - it's the same drum and bass lines, even the same sleigh bells. But the key distinction is that the signature Peter Gabriel sample is removed. You might say, "but that sample was hot!" Yeah, but it's been replaced with a new, tight horn sample. There's a few other little bits, like a little funk guitar, sprinkled into the mix sporadically to spice things up, too. But the main difference is the replacement of the signature horn sound with another.

I wonder if this is maybe an alternate version they created just in case they couldn't clear the Gabriel sample, and that's why they just threw it away on this little 12"? At any rate, I'm not sure which one is better... they're both worthwhile, and the remix has the added benefit (or weakness, depending on your PoV) of losing that instant pop tune recognizability. So I'll leave you to make your own judgments, but whichever version you consider to be definitive, it's worth picking this up to have both on call.


  1. I have the original US 12" version that comes with the picture cover, instrumentals, acapella, etc. That 'WEASEL REMIX' is the same as the 'RADIO EDIT' that is on the original 12".

  2. Oh really? Ha ha That kinda takes the mystery out of it. But good call!