This weekend was Record Store Day. The greatest single event created for music fans everywhere. And for all the haters, they’re just bitter because they didn’t think of it first. Seriously. Without Record Store Day, independent record stores would be out of business, not increasing in numbers. So for any flaws it might have, the positives outweigh the negatives in extremes.
This year, for Record Store Day, there were a few “alternate” versions of popular albums. The Flaming Lips’ alternate version of “Clouds Taste Metallic” and Fleetwood Mac’s alternate “Tuck” are a couple that come to mind. This got me thinking. How can we re-imagine famous albums in a new way? Not necessarily a better way…but a new way. Like visiting a best friend in a new house or a director’s cut of a great movie. Are there other ways to enjoy something we already love?
My favorite album of all time is the Cure’s “Disintegration.” It might be the perfect album. To me. It got me thinking…is there a new way to enjoy this album? Even by merely re-ordering the songs… Is there a new way to experience it? I took the 12 songs from the original release. I included the 4 B-sides and used the extended remixes of the singles in lieu of the current album versions. With these 16 songs, I ventured out to create a new album.
Immediately, I noticed one very important thing…the order of the songs is as important as the songs themselves. Here’s something to consider. If I try to make a 12 song album, using these 16 songs, the possibilities of different albums number in the…get ready for this…billions. Yes, billions. There are over 800 billion different ways to order these 16 songs. Eight hundred billion. This is true. It’s called math. Permutations, precisely. Google it.
So, of the 800 billion possible combinations, are there other combinations that work? The answer is…yes. Over the course of re-evaluating this album, I discovered two very different paths, creating two polarizing different albums: a dark album…and a light album. So I have included them for you here. Disintegration: The Light and Disintegration: The Dark. Listen to them both below…and enjoy a new journey into The Cure. Even songs used in both alternate versions, come across with totally different feels in their new homes. A unique experience that can surely open the door into the listening of other favorite albums.
Trying to stay on par with the original, I have capped the running length under 70 minutes. Let me know your thoughts…and your own versions.
The Cure Disintegration: The Dark
The Cure Disintegration: The Light