Anniversaries are kind of dumb, even if it’s the anniversary of an album that supposedly changed music forever. As you’ve probably heard, The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band came out 40 years ago this weekend; it’s a completely arbitrary moment, except in a kind of “boy, 40 sure is old” sense, and honestly I’ve never really listened to the album all the way through (I prefer Revolver, and I’m more of a Stones man anyway). But it does provide an excuse for digging through the hard drive for some amusing mashups featuring tracks from Sgt. Peppers.
Go Home Productions – “Nightbeatle,” “Karma in the Life”
It would be silly to start a Beatles mashup thread without first mentioning Go Home Productions. I’ve often called GHP (otherwise known as Mark Vidler) “The Metallica of Bootleggers” since he both defines and transcends the genre. Part of the reason is that he’s chosen canonical music to recontextualize, and indeed, some of his best work has utilized the Fab Four. First check out a newer track, “Nightbeatle,” which somehow manages to fold the robotic antics of Daft Punk into “When I’m Sixty-Four,” and then grab the classic “Karma in the Life,” which combines the ominous piano chords from Radiohead’s “Karma Police” with the vocals from “A Day In the Life” to create a haunting and atmospheric tribute.
MP3: “Nightbeatle,” “Karma in the Life”
DJ BC – “Root Down Reprise”
Boston’s BC took what could have easily been a poor imitation of Danger Mouse’s “Grey Album” concept and through sheer chutzpah (and fantastic production skills) came up with two bootleg albums worth of quality tracks. This mashup uses the “Reprise” of the Beatles’ title track and a now-classic Beastie Boys a capella; understandably, BC had to take down the mp3s, but it’s worth it to do some spelunking around the interwebs to find the rest of his Beastles tracks.
MP3: “Root Down Reprise”
Team9 – “Lucy In the Sky With Diamonds” (Team9 remix)
Australian producer Team9 is known for making some of the most affecting and surprising mashups of the last few years, but one gets the sense he’s more interested in the straightforward remix, which gives him a chance to create his own beats and harmonies alongside the originals. Here he takes the most notoriously “psychedelic” track from Sgt. Pepper’s and gives it a bit of a trip-hop style rerub, retaining both the song’s accessibility and its trippiness.
Jimmi Jammes – “Sgt. Pepper’s Paradise”
This extended mix still manages to somehow raise the “hands in the air” quotient of two of the biggest “hands in the air” songs ever. A quick look at his profile on Last.fm shows it’s his most popular mashup ever, and understandably so.
And finally: okay, this isn’t a mashup, and it doesn’t really have anything to do with Sgt. Pepper’s specifically, but it’s super cute nonetheless: The Powerpuff Girls’ “Meet the Beat Alls”. Happy anniversary, album!