Remixing is a complex subject to approach, I’ll give it that. There’s intellectual property, collaboration, sampling, and legal licensing on the technical side. Then you’ve got to deal with what “covering” a song really means in the long term.
Originally the purpose of remixing was to tweak a song to appeal to different markets. It’s basically the same song, but with more elements to appeal to certain sub-groups. Like, “let’s add a steel lap guitar” to appeal the country market, but it’s still a pop song, but this time with steel lap guitar.
I can’t find the videos to prove my point right now, but it was two different Kelly Clarkson songs that were distributed to different markets. Anyway.
Back to remixing…so there’s this internal need on the part of the remixer (well, the good ones, at least) to maintain the original feel and structure, but then also their own take on it, to add to the novelty of doing something interesting with the general structure. It’s true in all remixes, and I’ve dug through many in my life as a DJ. Remixes are easy to do, but they’re not easy to do WELL.
My friend Bill Holland AKA Mr. Automatic took on a classic Giorgio Moroder track and brough it into the now with some tweaks here and there. And being an industry type, he knows what works and what doesn’t. However, I find his take on this track particularly good because it references the original, maintains the melodic content, and then is just professional in its handling of sounds. Check out both versions below.