I am speaking of the continuing trend of not just remastering older tunes, but hipping them up so that they are as dance-able as anything you might hear today on radio or whatever device you use to hear music these days.
Take Elvis for example. I am not a huge Elvis fan. He is slightly before my time, but over the years I have developed an appreciation of his library. Jailhouse Rock, I Can't Help Falling in Love With You, Hound Dog...all still pack the dance floor every time. But with increasing frequency, when you search the various music services for "Elvis" you are going to see remixes by various music producers and DJs available along side the original title.
This is not exactly new. The tune "A Little less Conversation" that gained popularity again when it was used as the title song for the "Las Vegas" TV show on the air from 2003 to 2008. That title was remixed and hipped up with funkier rhythm, sampled bits, and....wait for it....more cow bell! Listed on iTunes as "A Little Less Conversation (Elvis vs. JXL) [JXL Radio Edit Remix] it retains, good or bad, a decidedly 70's sound, but it's fun, recognizable, and does justice to the original tune. All of this means: it can now be used as the music background for commercials on TV that are aimed at boomers. I see the folks at the Cache Creek Casino in Northern CA have begun using it already.
BUT, while preparing for a recent gig (with instructions to go heavy on Elvis) I ran across a some remixed versions that were so awesome that they have become part of my core playlist. You will find them on an album called "Bossa Nova Baby: The Ultimate Elvis Presley Party Album" on iTunes.
Some of the tunes appear unchanged and aside from being digitally remastered are indistinguishable from the original. "Viva Las Vegas" and "Let's Have a Party" are two examples. They are classics in the Elvis style, and stand on their own. But on this 15 track album there are a few that have "Viva Mix" appended to the name. Among these "King Creole" and "Bossa Nova Baby" stand apart as simply amazing, infectious dance tunes that you have to hear to appreciate. yes...King Creole, from the cheesy B-movie stage of Elvis' career. Never saw it? Me neither.
When I played it for the first time I wasn't sure what I was listening to. There are two versions of this title, and the longer one (at 4:22) includes the narration from a trailer for the movie. Interesting, but a dance floor-clearer. Once the actual remixed tune begins it takes off like an f***ing rocket. Holy shit...."what have you done to my Elvis?" From the pounding percussion and trombones at the beginning to the addition of female backup singers and very updated guitar solo, you will know you are not in Memphis anymore.
The same treatment is given to Bossa Nova Baby (Viva Mix.) It rocks. No, I mean it REALLY rocks. My wife loses all control over her hips when she hears either of these tunes, and has spent way too many hours shaking it around the house to the King Creole track.
There's a man in New Orleans plays rock n roll,
A guitar man a with a great big soul.
He lays down a beat like a ton of coal
He goes by the name of King Creole
You know he's gone, gone, gone,
Jumpin like a catfish on a pole
Yeah he's gone, gone, gone...
- Hip-shakin' King Creole
oh yeah...check it out.