The '90s make a womping comeback: Fifteen tracks get a good old dubstep goose via remix
There are a lot of things to love about the '90s: Power Rangers, Cindy Crawford, Titanic, Beanie Babies, Win Ben Stein's Money, Mr. Bean, Friends or that notorious low-speed chase involving a white van and a retired professional football player. The music, however, was the best part of the decade. Who could forget such dank tunes from Nirvana, TLC and -- dare we say it -- the Spice Girls?
Apparently, no one. That's why a few '90s nostalgics have taken fifteen of the decade's most popular tunes and made them relevant again. How? By remixing them, of course, dubstep style, and then posting them on YouTube. Add some womp-womps to "The Sign," and suddenly, Ace of Base is the bomb-diggity again. Boo ya!
15. Reel 2 Real - I Like to Move It "I Like to Move It" already had a resurgence once in the last few years, when it was included in the soundtrack to the animated film Madagascar, in 2005. Since then, this song, originally from 1994, has inexplicably managed to hold on to its popularity. Maybe it's the appealing message -- "I like to dance, I like to shake my body" -- maybe it's the Eurodance vibe of the track (like so many others of the '90s), or maybe, just maybe, it's this dubstep remix.
14. TLC - No Scrubs No, we don't want no scrubs. Not now and definitely not in the late '90s, thanks to T-Boz, Left Eye and Chilli. They warned us to avoid guys who think they're fly while sitting on their broke asses. This hit from 1999 was played into the ground, so it's nice to hear that the dubstep remix breathes new life into an old, empowering jam, with new drops and the layering of the vocal tracks at the end of the mix.
13. Ace of Base - The Sign Oh, Ace of Base. Your early singles paved the way for many a pop star looking to add mad synth tracks to their own songs. (Let's be fair here, Gaga's "Alejandro" sounds near-identical to an overwhelming percentage of the Ace of Base catalogue -- but we knew that.) So this time, it's Ace of Base's turn. Mixing the staccato elements of "E.T." with the griminess of "Hold It Against Me," this dubstep remix of 1993's "The Sign" could compete with some of the songs by pop's brightest stars today -- Britney, Katy and even Gaga included.
12. Nirvana - Smells Like Teen Spirit Something tells us Courtney Love would have a heyday if she found out that 1991's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" got the dubstep treatment. Unfortunately for her, however, this version of Nirvana's runaway hit, which paved the way for alt-rockers everywhere, is so damn catchy you'll want to play it over and over and over. And isn't that the true definition of nirvana, musical bliss? If only other '90s rock songs were given dubstep makeovers, too. Oh, wait, keep reading...
11. La Bouche - Sweet Dreams If you ever bought a mixtape in the '90s -- or made one, for that matter -- it was an unspoken requirement of the decade that "Sweet Dreams" be on said mixtape. Though La Bouche was from Germany, the Eurodance band's debut single, "Sweet Dreams," was a seminal dance hit in the United States in 1994, and it led the way for the followup, "Be My Lover," to do even better. Nowadays, "Sweet Dreams" gets more attention -- most likely because of the new love it's getting from the dubstep community.
10. Spice Girls - Wannabe It didn't matter which Spice was your favorite in the '90s, because here was a girl group whose members knew what they wanted -- what they really, really wanted -- and nothing's sexier than a woman who knows what she wants. (Okay, maybe there is something sexier, like wearing a dress that looks like your country's flag.) Part dance remix, part dubstep remix, this new version of "Wannabe" from 1996 makes it sound like Geri Halliwell and the other girls aren't all sugar and spice, like their handlers claimed.
9. 2Pac - California Love What better way to honor 'Pac's would-be-fortieth birthday, which was yesterday, than to take one of his most beloved songs, about one of the most beloved of places, and mix it with one of the most beloved of new music styles out there? (Sorry, but a mathcore remix just wasn't in the cards.) 'Pac surely would be proud of this dubstep remix of "California Love," which was released in 1995 -- if anything, because the man was such a pioneer himself.
8. Eiffel 65 - Blue (Da Ba Dee) Whether or not the rumors are true and you were, in fact, in need of a guy in 1999 (did anyone else hear that speculation on the playground?), we get it, Eiffel 65. Your world was blue, your Corvette was blue, the feelings that lived inside you were blue. Enough, already -- don't you think it's time to build a bridge and get over it? Because the sooner you can pull yourself out of your funk, the sooner you can enjoy this dubstep remix with the rest of us. And that would be sick, home skillet.
7. Corona - Rhythm of the Night Despite peaking with "The Rhythm Of The Night" in the '90s -- released in 1994 in the States, but a year earlier in Italy -- Corona has continued to release music well into 2010. Can Corona's newest stuff, released last September, be classified as dubstep? No. Is it as good as "Rhythm of the Night"? Hell, no. Therefore, should Corona venture into dubstep territory, judging by how well this remix goes off? Dude. Yes.
6. Oasis - Wonderwall Noel Gallagher's inspiration behind "Wonderwall" was not an imaginary friend like he claimed. He may not have known it at the time, when "Wonderwall" was released in 1995, but Gallagher's saving grace -- the thing that would "come and save me" -- would do so sixteen years later, in 2011... in the form of dubstep. And what would all the womp-womps be saving him from? A catalogue of songs doomed to spin on alternative rock and adult contemporary radio stations forever. Some could call the dubstep remix a modern crossover hit, while others, like Gallagher, could call it a wonderwall.
5. *N Sync - Bye Bye Bye This track may have been released in 2000, but we felt it just had to be included in what we categorize as '90s music, because a) it is heavy on the cheese and b) it is just plain filthy. Although the original version was declared the 17th most annoying song ever by Rolling Stone, the dubstep remix breaks down JC Chasez and Justin's vocals into a joltingly sexy kiss-off to everyone who'd ever done *N Sync wrong -- yes, Lou Pearlman, they're talking to you.
4. Sublime - What I Got Sometimes life can be shitty, with censorship (why this remix censors "motherfucking" is beyond us) and heroin overdoses (R.I.P. Bradley Nowell). Other times, it can be uplifting -- and in the best, wobbliest way possible, like this remix of Sublime's slammin' single from 1996. When things are looking down, Sublime fans, you still have love -- and Rome -- so remember that.
3. The Fugees - Killing Me Softly In 1997, "Killing Me Softly" won a Grammy for Best R&B Performance by a Duo or Group. In 2011, "Killing Me Softly" wins for best dubstep slow jam out there. Lauryn Hill's glitchy and jittered remixed vocal is what makes the track -- since it lacks any major dropouts. But, hey, sometimes even dubstep has to change it up a little, and we all know Lauryn Hill likes to keep us guessing.
2. Haddaway - What Is Love A good night at the Roxbury, indeed. Will Ferrell and Chris Kattan's 1998 film A Night at the Roxbury managed to turn this just-another-'90s song into the defining song of the decade. Sure, it took five years for Haddaway's "What Is Love" popularity to explode (thanks, in large part, to the awkward choreography Ferrell and Kattan made up for the song -- yeah, our necks hurt, too), but at least it made "What Is Love" the runaway hit of the '90s. And now dubstep pulls a Ferrell and makes the song just as oddly intriguing in 2011.
1. Ginuwine - Pony What, did you think number one was going to be R. Kelly? As if! For all those readers out there who were born in the '90s, you may remember hearing the original version of Ginuwine's 1996 hit "Pony" bumpin' from your parents' bedroom. Now it's your turn. Turn up the volume and ride the beat (among other things) to the best '90s-gone-dubstep song of them all.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.