10 of the Best Mash Ups Ever

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Mash-ups are certainly not a new phenomenon to those within the music and DJ industries, but the wide availability of programs designed to facilitate the combination of two songs and the massive, global audience of the Internet through sites like YouTube have boosted the art form to mind-boggling popularity. The first “break-in” song was actually released in 1956, but mash-ups have become something akin to their own genre these days. While there is a sea of transformative works consisting of two existing songs online, all mash-ups are certainly not created equal. These are ten of the best out there, which is proof that artistic talent comes in many forms.

  1. “Sweet Dreams are Made of Seven Nation Army” – The Eurythmics’ “Sweet Dreams” and the indie styling of the White Stripes’ Seven Nation Army may not seem like a logical combination at first blush, but this seamless mash-up brings the best of two eerie worlds together. As an added bonus, the perfectly edited video is almost as impressive as the song itself.
  2. “Let It Be, No Cry” – Few piano pieces are as instantly recognizable as the optimistic, wistful Beatles hit “Let It Be.” Combining the melody of a song celebrating such an idealistic world view with the plaintive, lovelorn world-weariness of Bob Marley’s “No Woman, No Cry” is a stroke of genius.
  3. “Careless Rebel” – The hard-rocking sounds of Billy Idol’s “Rebel Yell” make the mournful lyrics of Wham!’s “Careless Whisper” come to life in a song that’s unrepentant about its adoration for the excess of the Eighties.
  4. “Stayin’ Alive in the Wall” – “Stayin’ Alive” was the unofficial theme song of the carefree disco era, which makes the seamless integration with Pink Floyd’s moody classic seem even more unsettling. Play “Stayin’ Alive in the Wall” when you’re looking for a way to blow the minds of everyone on the dance floor.
  5. “Never Want You Back” – One thing that Taylor Swift and the Jackson Five have in common is that their music is pure pop perfection. Listening to the flawless blend of “I Want You Back” with Swift’s ode to empowered breakups “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together” might be a nod to shameless pop, but it’s a great one.
  6. “Something About the Fire” – Pairing two acts at the top of their respective game is no mean feat, but it’s accomplished perfectly here. French electronica power couple Daft Punk’s classic “Something About Us” is mashed up with Grammy darling Adele’s runaway hit “Set Fire to the Rain,” resulting in a combination that’s unexpectedly perfect.
  7. “Call Me a Hole” – Nine Inch Nails front man Trent Reznor’s angry send-up of materialism and greed combined with the vapid, chart-topping “Call Me, Maybe” by Canadian pop princess Carly Rae Jepsen might have angered a few hardcore fans and Reznor himself, but the rest of the music world sat up and took notice when the remix went viral in 2013.
  8. “Never Gonna Give Your Teen Spirit Up” – Most Internet memes have a fairly short shelf-life, but Rickrolling has enjoyed a startling longevity. The original Rickrolling consisted of a bait-and-switch, in which Internet users were tricked into clicking on a link leading to Rick Astley’s 1987 hit “Never Gonna Give You Up.” When a Frankfurt, Germany-based DJ mashed the song up with the Song That Started Grunge, Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” he created what is perhaps the most clever Rickroll in history.
  9. “Daniel Versus the Cure” – There weren’t many bands that crafted moody, Eighties rock quite like the Cure, which is why the combination of their song “A Forest” with “Daniel” by Bat For Lashes is such a perfect marriage. The songs are so similar in tone and mood that it’s hard to separate one from the other after you’ve heard the mash-up, a definite compliment to relative newcomer Bat For Lashes.
  10. “Just Can’t Get Enough Paparazzi” – Depeche Mode was certainly among the forerunners of the electronic music, which is why the mash-up of their hit “Just Can’t Get Enough” with shock-electronic goddess Lady Gaga’s anthem for celebrity stalkers everywhere, “Paparazzi” was nothing short of fabulous.

Tech-savvy musicians with a basic understanding of digital sound programs are limited by nothing aside from their imagination, though getting the hang of crafting the perfect mash-up is initially a challenge. With a few good ideas and plenty of perseverance, you may find your own mash-up masterpieces on a few “Best Of” lists!


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