It’s not often that a mash-up gets radio play, but that’s just what is happening with a new creation called “Whole Lotta Helter Skelter.” You can pretty much guess who and what is getting mixed here, but what you might not guess is how many more of these kinds of classic rock efforts you may be hearing in the future.

Though the tradition of taking parts of songs and putting them together dates well back to almost the beginning of rock (read up here on Wikipedia), for me the idea really took route with Danger Mouse’s Grey Album. Who would have thought of mixing Jay-Z and the Beatles? But then again, who thought someone like Girl Talk would come around and make a career out of it.

Over the years we’ve all become used to these fan-based efforts. It’s pretty common to find a Facebook post like this every once in a while: “Hey listen to this mash-up … No Doubt and Justin Bieber. Crazy, right?” The art of the remix is the disparate parts somehow finding a home together. 

At least that’s what was. Now we’ve got this new Beatles/Led Zeppelin mash-up. Two pioneering British rock bands together in one song. As it turns out, this isn’t just some strange accident. According to Reverb, the MSN music blog, the internet has been flooded with a bunch of isolated vocal and guitar tracks used for games such as Guitar Hero and Rock Band. And more are coming all the time. Rumours suggest some tracks from Queen and Bob Marley could be making their way to a mash-up soon.

And while this is indeed interesting news, it doesn’t explain why “Whole Lotta Helter Skelter” is getting radio play all over the world. Unless, of course you factor in the insatiable desire to find anything new from the classic rock canon. And if it’s not a remix or found songs in a mysterious attic, well, a mash-up will do in a pinch.

Related Links:

RiP! A Remix Manifesto

Copyfraud and Other Abuses of Intellectual Property Law

posted by Lisa Christiansen on Apr 16, 2012