Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Sledgehammer (White Label Remix)

Song: Sledgehammer (White Label Remix)
Artist: Peter Gabriel
Album: Sledgehammer White Label

Often club remixes will come on limited pressing vinyl, sometimes only 300 or 500 copies are printed, or even as little as under five. These pressings are referred to as “White label” because the label is literally white. No artwork, 12” vinyl, and sometimes very little or no writing at all on them. White label can mean a variety of things, some are mixes done by DJ’s that are bootlegs or unofficial (not commissioned by the artist or record label) to test out during their sets, or are limited released commissioned mixes for DJ’s. Sometimes the white label is used to leave off the name of the artist as not to let pre-conceived notions of the name damage the chance of play (this was apparently done for Traci Lords singles, as well as LaToya Jackson) or they are simply white because the DJ peeled the label off as to not give away a secret weapon track to competing DJ’s.

So complicated! To learn more about White labels check out the very good Wikipedia article.

I am a fan of White label mixes as many of them take older songs, 80’s or 70’s stuff, and upgrade them with updated beats. One of my recent favorites that I found is a mix for Peter Gabriel’s 1986 number one single, “Sledgehammer.” I found it labeled only as “White label” so not sure who it is that did the actual mix… but that is par for the course for these type of remixes. But it’s a song like this, and the treatment that it gets from the remix, that I find perfect for club play. Unfortunately, it is very rare to hear a DJ play something “old” like this… despite the updated treatment. You have a better chance hearing a new Britney, Rihanna, or Justin mix, or just an unrecognizable song. Which is what frustrated me about these DJ’s… because if you have a song like “Sledgehammer” that EVERYONE knows (well, that’s over 25… which may be the reason) the crowd goes crazy for it. And this particular remix hits all the right notes (and beats) in regards to peak hour on the floor dancing. Hot.

Now that I’m a bit older I realize how sexual this song is… Peter is such a horn-dog!


And just because it’s so amazing…. here is the original video for “Sledgehammer,” which I think still holds up as one of the best videos of all time:

I miss this era of the music video… when people were really trying to do something interesting. Not that this isn’t still happening, but they just don’t seem to become huge video singles. It’s just all T and A now. (old man alert)

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