Various Artists

The Best Bootlegs in the World Ever

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Just because they're bootleggers doesn't mean they're dishonest -- The Best Bootlegs in the World Ever lives up to its title claim, compiling 17 underground masterpieces that remake, remodel, and reinvent pop classics both vintage and contemporary to create all-new tracks that are unauthorized primarily because they put the original artists' intent to shame. Previously available only as MP3s and white-label promos, these recordings typically fuse vocals and backing tracks from starkly different but oddly similar hits to breathe new life into each -- for instance, Freelance Hellraiser's "A Stroke of Genius," easily the best pop single of 2001, grafts Christina Aguilera's vocals from her smash "Genie in a Bottle" onto the Strokes' throbbing "Hard to Explain," a match that shouldn't work but somehow does, and quite brilliantly at that. And so it goes -- Salt-N-Pepa's "Push It" meets the Stooges' "No Fun," Basement Jaxx's "Romeo" merges with the Clash's "Magnificent Seven," and Eminem's "My Name Is" joins forces with Fatboy Slim's "Rockafella Skank." Sure, these are novelty records, and at close to an hour in length, that novelty wears thin after awhile, but as incontrovertible proof of the genuine artistry of remixing, the disc can't be beat. [For the record, the tracks are mixed together as follows: 1. Fatboy Slim's "The Rockafeller Skank" and a live version of the Rolling Stones' "Satisfaction";" 2. Gary Numan's "Are Friends Electric?" and Adina Howard's "Freak Like Me";" 3. Salt-N-Pepa's "Push It" and the Stooges' "No Fun";" 4. Public Enemy's "Rebel Without a Pause" and Herb Alpert's "Bittersweet Samba";" 5. Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and Destiny's Child's "Bootylicious";" 6. Basement Jaxx's "Romeo" and the Clash's "The Magnificent Seven";" 7. Missy Elliot's "Get Your Freak On" and a charging industrial punk track; 8. Christina Aguilera's "Genie in a Bottle" and the Strokes' "Hard to Explain";" 9. Eminem's "My Name Is" and Fatboy Slim's "Rockafeller Skank";" 10. Blur's "Song 2" and Madison Avenue's "Don't Call Me Baby";" 11. Destiny's Child's "Jumpin' Jumpin'" and the Dead Kennedys' "California Uber Ales";" 12. D-12's "Purple Pills" and Depeche Mode's "I Just Can't Get Enough";" 13. Missy Elliot's "One Minute Man" and the Cure's "Lovecats";" 14. Dr. Dre's "Forgot About Dre" and the Sugababes' "Overload";" 15. TLC's "No Scrubs" and Human League "Being Boiled";" 16. Celine Dion's "My Heart Will Go On" and Sigur Rós' "Sven-G-Englar";" 17. Nelly's "Country Grammar" and the "Theme from Grange Hill."]

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