Radio and TV versions of dance songs – DO NOT WANT!

Posted: March 13, 2011 in Music, Rants

I hate when producers try to create radio and TV versions of the songs that were originally made to be played in clubs and on festivals. It’s almost impossible to compress all the emotions from an 8-11-minute song into a 3-minute video. It’s the same as taking all 7 seasons of House M. D. and trying to tell the entire story and develop all the characters within a 2-hour movie. Or it’s like taking Windows 7 (without changing the controls) and trying to run it on a mobile phone with a 5-inch screen. It might be able to run, but you wouldn’t be able to work on it.

Very often, such approach completely ruins the entire experience of enjoying the song, especially if the official music video is poorly made.

Tiesto’s classic track “Traffic” is a prime example of such negligence:

The original, full length track Traffic is my favorite Tiesto’s composition, and one of my favorite songs of 2000’s. It sounds so Epic and it certainly has some empowering qualities. But the official video, which was made for MTV, kills its atmosphere completely.

Another example of how an amazing song can be ruined by a nauseating 3-minute video is the official music clip for Ferry Corsten’s “Beautiful”:

The original, album version is 6 minutes long. You can just dive into the atmosphere of the track and have a complete mind-blow (by the way, during his performance in Brisbane in February, Ferry played Beautiful, and, for me, that was the most euphoric moment of 2011, so far :) ). The video version, on the other hand, is disgusting.

But you can find some exceptions too.

For example, a radio version of Chicane’s classic trance tune “Saltwater” (released in 1999) sounds as good as the album version:

Unfortunately, adaptations of this sort are extremely rare.

***

According to my observations, there are only two ways to make good radio versions of electronic dance tunes.

First way: making the original no longer than 5 minutes in the first place. Different house and electro artists (such as Benny Benassi, David Guetta, Calvin Harris, etc) make songs that are relatively short and could be played on the radio without cuts and edits that might ruin the composition. Tiesto has been doing so too since 2009.

Second way: completely reconstructing the track, making it sound more mainstream, maybe adding some vocals, so it wouldn’t be just a collection of samples from the original song. In this case, the radio/TV versions of the songs have very little in common with the originals, but the fact that they were properly adjusted for a short-time run makes them fairly listenable.

A classic example of such technique would be the pop (mainstream) version of legendary track “Synaesthesia” by Thrillseekers. The song was (re)named “Fly Away” and contained vocals by Sheryl Deane:

Another example would be the mainstream version of Riva’s “Stringer“, which was named “Who Do You Love Now?” to suit the lyrics:

Of course, these pop-versions are only remotely as awesome as the original tunes. But, nevertheless, they are better than just cut-versions.

Always try to listen to the original tracks.

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