As first revealed here in January, a host of Motown classics have been remixed for the aptly named “Motown Remixed” compilation, which the label will release May 24. The 15-track set will be augmented on the same day by “Motown Unmixed,” featuring the original versions of the source material for the remix project.
Among the notable remixes here are Gladys Knight & the Pips’ “I Heard It Through the Grapevine” by the Roots’ ?uestlove and James Poyser (under the moniker the Randy Watson Experience, named for the hapless singer in “Coming to America”) and the Jackson 5’s “I Want You Back” by DJ Z-Trip.
“They gave me the masters to use,” Z-Trip marvels to Billboard.com. “I was like a kid in a candy store. My song starts off the album so I feel really good about it. I love to show people that I’m versatile.”
Eminem’s DJ Green Lantern remixes Rick James’ “Mary Jane,” while Groove Boutique (Rafe Gomez and David Baron) tackles Smokey Robinson’s “Quiet Storm” with assistance from legendary vibes man Roy Ayers. DJ Jazzy Jeff and Pete Kuzma revamp the Temptations’ “Papa Was a Rolling Stone,” while Easy Mo Bee puts his stamp on that group’s “Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me).”
On May 10, the label will issue two vinyl singles with extended mixes: a “hip-hop” volume with the Jackson 5’s “ABC” and “I Want You Back,” a “club” record with “Keep on Truckin'” and “War.” There will also be a “chill” edition with album versions of “Papa Was a Rolling Stone,” “Let’s Get It On” and “Quiet Storm.”
Remix pioneer Tom Moulton had worked on three tracks for the collection: the Commodores’ “Three Times a Lady,” the Miracles’ “Do It Baby” (post-Smokey Robinson) and the Supremes’ “Stoned Love,” but none of them wound of making the cut for the North American version of the album.
“Tom Moulton and Universal Music Enterprises have a long-standiing relationship, ” said Harry Weinger, VP of A&R for Universal Music Enterprises. “We’re thrilled that his mix of ‘Stoned Love” is on the U.K. version of the album. Tom always does great work and I am confident that a ‘Tom Moulton Mix’ will be on a future version of ‘Motown Remixed.'”
DJ Smash, who remixes Stevie Wonder’s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours” for the album, will headline the Motown Remixed tour in May and June. The trek will hit such cities as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Detroit and San Francisco on dates to be announced.
Here is the track list for “Motown Remixed”:
“I Want You Back” (Jackson 5), DJ Z-Trip
“I Heard It Through the Grapevine” (Gladys Knight & the Pips), the Randy Watson Experience
“Let’s Get It On” (Marvin Gaye), DA Producers
“Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours” (Stevie Wonder), DJ Smash
“ABC” (Jackson 5), Salaam Remi
“I Just Want To Celebrate” (Rare Earth), Mocean Worker
“Papa Was a Rolling Stone” (Temptations), DJ Jazzy Jeff & Pete Kuzma
“Quiet Storm” (Smokey Robinson), Groove Boutique featuring Roy Ayers
“My World Is Empty Without You” (Diana Ross & the Supremes), Tranzition
“Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)” (Temptations), Easy Mo Bee
“Smiling Faces Sometimes” (Undisputed Truth), Futureshock Entertainment
“The Tears of a Clown” (Smokey Robinson & the Miracles), Hotsnax
“Keep on Truckin'” (Eddie Kendricks), DJ Spinna
“War” (Edwin Starr), King Britt
“Mary Jane” (Rick James), DJ Green Lantern