Born This Way: The Remix

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Born This Way: The Remix
A grescale image of a blond woman sitting on a liquid-like substance. Her body and head is wrapped with the same liquid-like substance and a shoe hangs from her mouth.
Remix album by Lady Gaga
Released November 18, 2011 (2011-11-18)
Recorded 2010–11
Genre
Length 71:27
Label
Producer
Lady Gaga chronology
Born This Way
(2011)
Born This Way: The Remix
(2011)
Born This Way: The Collection
(2011)

Born This Way: The Remix is the second remix album by American recording artist Lady Gaga, released on November 18, 2011 by Interscope. This album contains remixes of multiple songs off of Gaga's second studio album, Born This Way. It was also released as part of the Born This Way: The Collection, a special edition release including the 17-track version of Gaga's second studio album and a DVD release of the HBO concert special Lady Gaga Presents the Monster Ball Tour: At Madison Square Garden. Most of the remixes had been available in the remix EPs released alongside each single from Born This Way. Musically, the album is an electronic and dance record; there are also influences of Europop, techno and dubstep within the composition.

Critics gave mixed reviews for the album, with their general complaint being that the release was unnecessary. Most of them, however, complimented The Weeknd, Twin Shadow and Guéna LG's remixes. It earned an overall score of 57 out of 100, on review aggregator site Metacritic. Commercially, Born This Way: The Remix achieved minor success, entering the charts in ten countries. Its highest position was attained in Japan, where it reached top-twenty, while in the United States, it failed to reach the top-100 of the Billboard 200 albums chart.

Background[edit]

A blond woman with curly hair singing in a microphone, while wearing a pink, short dress
Goldfrapp remixed Gaga's second single, "Judas"

In October 2011, Lady Gaga announced plans to release a remix album titled Born This Way: The Remix.[1][2] The album contains fourteen remixes of tracks from her second studio album, Born This Way, only seven of which are unreleased. Born This Way: The Remix was also released as part of Born This Way: The Collection, a special edition release including the 17-track version of Gaga's second studio album and a DVD release of the HBO concert special Lady Gaga Presents the Monster Ball Tour: At Madison Square Garden.[2] The remixers featured for the songs on the album include mainly techno musicians like Sultan & Ned Shepard, electropop producers like Goldfrapp and Metronomy, indie rock upstarts like Twin Shadow and Two Door Cinema Club, and remixer The Weeknd.[3]

Most of the remixes had been available in the remix EPs released alongside each single from Born This Way. The first remix commissioned was the Twin Shadow remix of "Born This Way", released in March 2011.[4] This was followed by the Goldfrapp remix of "Judas" in May 2011, which was released to Gaga's YouTube channel.[5] The Wild Beasts remix of "You and I" was released in August 2011, and the proceeds from the sales helped to raise awareness to the ways people can support independent labels that lost stock in the PIAS Recordings UK warehouse fire. Regarding the inspiration behind the remix, Hayden Thorpe from Wild Beasts group told The Guardian: "The unlikeness of this match was perhaps what compelled us to take it on. Gaga in many ways is the epitome of what we are not. She is the butcher to our butter knife. The essential thrill is always to keep eluding what is expected of us and what we expect of ourselves."[6] The last of the remix to be released was The Weeknd's take on "Marry the Night" which featured Illangelo, thus earning him a co-producer credit on it.[7]

Composition[edit]

The album opens with the Zedd remix of "Born This Way" which begins with some minimalist beat followed by loud synths, and consists of a techno breakdown.[3][8] The Goldfrapp remix of "Judas" follows as the second track; the remix consists of industrial music and Gaga's vocals are converted to a slow, low-key moan making it almost like a man's voice.[3][8] Foster the People remixed "The Edge of Glory" and introduced a new break down from the 3:20 time sequence.[3] Producers The Weeknd and Illangelo kept the overall feel of "Marry the Night" intact, but introduced vocals by Abel Tesfaye of The Weeknd and a steely looping drum machine.[8] Jason Lipshultz from Billboard described the addition as "directly conflict[ing] with Gaga's M.O. But like so many of these remixes, the Weeknd marries his vision of the song to Gaga's gorgeous voice without losing the original's integrity."[3] Tesfaye's voice can be heard in spots on the song, adding an occasional "Ooh yeah" and a moan; ultimately at the 2:20 mark, the song collapses on itself and ditches the percussion for infrequent piano notes.[7] The remix of "Black Jesus + Amen Fashion" retains the most of the composition of its original counterpart, although it introduces a new synth by Michael Woods, thus turning it into a rave-trance track.[8] The Horrors remix of Born This Way album track "Bloody Mary" consisted of Gaga's vocals fading in and out of sequence.[3] "Scheiße" featured influences from The Knife song "Heartbeats" (2003) as well as Vengaboys' "We Like to Party" (1999).[3] "Electric Chapel"'s composition is completely changed by Two Door Cinema, altering the dark mood of the song to a fun and engaging one.[3] The Metronomy remix of "You and I" varies little from its original equivalent, while dubstep is introduced in the Hurts remix of "Judas", with a different conclusion.[3] Sultan & Ned Shepard's remix of "The Edge of Glory", the last track on the album, features pumping drums and slinking synths.[3]

Critical reception[edit]

Professional ratings
Aggregate scores
Source Rating
Metacritic 57/100[9]
Review scores
Source Rating
Allmusic 3/5 stars[10]
BBC (Positive)[11]
Billboard (Mixed)[3]
Consequence of Sound 3/5 stars[12]
Rolling Stone 2.5/5 stars[13]
Slant Magazine 2/5 stars[8]

After its release, Born This Way: The Remix received mixed reviews from critics. It earned an overall score of 57 out of 100, on review aggregator site Metacritic.[9] Jason Lipshultz from Billboard commented that the album did not re-invent anything new in terms of remix composition, but instead "gives less recognizable artists a platform to tinker with these complex pop schemes." He added that the album is not essential listening for non-Gaga diehards, "but electronica fans who have yet to drink the Mother Monster kool-aid will find plenty of pristinely produced club tracks to groove to. The album is a great avenue for fans to digest new versions of their favorite songs of the year, as well as discover artists that are trying to command audiences the way Gaga so masterfully does."[3] Stephen Thomas Erlewine from Allmusic gave the album three out of five stars, commenting that "some remixes take considerable liberty, ditching verses or hooks, whatever catches their fancy. So, it’s a remix album not for fairweather travelers but rather the hardcore Little Monsters, the kind who love every gesture grand or small from Gaga, but it also displays enough imagination to appeal to those listeners who fall into neither camp and are only looking for some darkly elastic dance."[10] Harley Brown of Consequence of Sound website was impressed with the diversity of remixes on the album, prompting him to comment that "just in time for the holiday season, there’s something for everyone on Born This Way: The Remix. And, unlike many remix albums featuring one song reworked again and again, this Remix comprises a diverse tracklist to match the diverse list of remixers."[12]

Jody Rosen from Rolling Stone gave a mixed review of the album, wondering why the remix album was necessary to be released in the first place. She nevertheless added that "[t]he album has some diverting moments. Goldfrapp's down-tempo 'Judas' is less a remix than a smart cover, and the Weeknd and Illangelo re-imagine 'Marry the Night' as a strobe-y, atmospheric R&B epic. But there are two or three duds for each winner—like the bludgeoning 'Scheiße', a gratuitous exercise that strives to make a dance-floor thumper out of a song that was born that way."[13] Rosen's view was shared by Paul Rice from Slant Magazine, who gave the album a rating of two out of five stars. Rice's main complaint was that "[c]ertain artists cry out for the remix treatment more than others, usually those whose vocal talents are relatively straightforward and could benefit from the extra fuss." He added that Gaga was not such an artist and that the original Born This Way album "in particular, is too big and untamed, full of too many of its own references and styles, from Springsteen to Madonna. As such, it's best enjoyed on its own flawed, bombastic terms."[8] Nick Levine, reviewing the album for BBC Music felt that most of the tracks are already available as digital downloads and CD singles, "so it's easy to dismiss Born This Way: The Remix as inessential and, yes, a cash-in. But taken as a whole, this release offers enough revelations to suggest the original album is worth revisiting. That additional purpose, whether intentional or not, feels at least partly fulfilled."[11] Levine complimented The Weeknd and Twin Shadow's remixes, while criticizing Foster the People and Sultan & Ned Shepard for their predictable remixes.[11]

Chart performance[edit]

In the United Kingdom, Born This Way: The Remix entered the UK Albums Chart at number 77, for the issue dated December 12, 2011.[14] In Japan, the album sold 12,120 copies in its first week, and debuted at number 14 on the Japanese Albums Chart.[15] In its second week, the album fell down to number 19 while selling 6,650 copies.[16] It has been certified gold by the Recording Industry Association of Japan (RIAJ) for shipment of 100,000 copies.[17] In the United States, the album debuted outside the top 100 of the Billboard 200 albums chart, at number 105, while debuting at number three on the Dance/Electronic Albums chart.[18] As of March 2014, Born This Way: The Remix has sold 60,000 copies in the US according to Nielsen SoundScan.[19] Other nations where the album attained top-100 positions included Italy, France and Spain.[20][21][22]

Track listing[edit]

Credits adapted from Born This Way: The Remix liner notes.[23]

No. Title Writer(s) Producer(s) Length
1. "Born This Way" (Zedd Remix) Lady Gaga, Jeppe Laursen Lady Gaga, Laursen, Fernando Garibay, DJ White Shadow (remix production and mixing by Zedd) 6:30
2. "Judas" (Goldfrapp Remix) Lady Gaga, RedOne Lady Gaga, RedOne (remix by Goldfrapp) 4:41
3. "The Edge of Glory" (Foster the People Remix) Lady Gaga, Garibay, DJ White Shadow Lady Gaga, Garibay (remix by Foster the People) 6:10
4. "You and I" (Wild Beasts Remix) Lady Gaga Lady Gaga, Robert John "Mutt" Lange (remix and additional production by Wild Beasts) 3:50
5. "Marry the Night" (The Weeknd & Illangelo Remix) Lady Gaga, Garibay Lady Gaga, Garibay (remix by The Weeknd and Illangelo, additional background vocals by The Weeknd) 4:03
6. "Black Jesus + Amen Fashion" (Michael Woods Remix) Lady Gaga, DJ White Shadow Lady Gaga, DJ White Shadow (remix, additional production and keyboards by Michael Woods courtesy of Three Six Zero Group) 6:10
7. "Bloody Mary" (The Horrors Remix) Lady Gaga, Garibay, DJ White Shadow Lady Gaga, DJ White Shadow, Garibay*, Clinton Sparks* (remix by The Horrors) 5:18
8. "Scheiße" (Guéna LG Club Remix) Lady Gaga, RedOne Lady Gaga, RedOne (remix and additional production by Guéna LG, mixed by Julien Carret) 5:44
9. "Americano" (Gregori Klosman Remix) Lady Gaga, Garibay, DJ White Shadow, Cheche Alara Lady Gaga, Garibay, DJ White Shadow (remix produced by Gregori Klosman) 6:07
10. "Electric Chapel" (Two Door Cinema Club Remix) Lady Gaga, DJ White Shadow Lady Gaga, DJ White Shadow (remix by Two Door Cinema Club) 3:59
11. "You and I" (Metronomy Remix) Lady Gaga Lady Gaga, Lange (remix and additional production by Joseph Mount) 4:19
12. "Judas" (Hurts Remix) Lady Gaga, RedOne Lady Gaga, RedOne (remix by Hurts) 3:58
13. "Born This Way" (Twin Shadow Remix) Lady Gaga, Laursen Lady Gaga, Laursen, Garibay, DJ White Shadow (remix production by Twin Shadow) 4:05
14. "The Edge of Glory" (Sultan & Ned Shepard Remix) Lady Gaga, Garibay, DJ White Shadow Lady Gaga, Garibay (remix production by Sultan & Ned Shepard) 6:34
Total length:
71:27
Notes

(*) denotes co-producer.

Credits and personnel[edit]

Credits and personnel adapted as per Born This Way: The Remix liner notes and as per Allmusic.[23][27]

Charts and certifications[edit]

Release history[edit]

Region Date Format Label Edition Catalog
Colombia[32] November 18, 2011 CD Universal Music International, Interscope Records Standard 602527870007
Germany[33] CD, digital download B005SV9W4Q
United States[34] November 21, 2011 Streamline, Interscope, and Konlive
United Kingdom[35] Polydor Records
Japan[36] Interscope
France[37]
Japan[38] November 23, 2011 CD Universal International Limited B005SUI4Z0
United States[39] December 6, 2011 (2011-12-06) LP Streamline, Interscope, KonLive Standard B005ZN2I66
Germany[40] Universal Music Group, Interscope
United Kingdom[41]
Japan[42]
Indonesia[43] December 14, 2011 (2011-12-14) CD Universal Music Indonesia Unknown catalog
China[44] March 29, 2012 (2012-03-29) CD STARSING CULTURE 9787888801011

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Lady GaGa Announces Remix Album". MTV UK. MTV Networks Europe. 2011-10-09. Retrieved 2011-11-05. 
  2. ^ a b Lipshutz, Jason (2011-10-07). "Lady Gaga Announces 'Monster Ball' DVD, 'Born This Way' Remix Album". Billboard (Prometheus Global Media). Retrieved 2011-11-05. 
  3. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k l Lipshultz, Jason (2011-11-21). "Lady Gaga, 'Born This Way: The Remix': Track-By-Track Review". Billboard (Prometheus Global Media). Retrieved 2011-11-21. 
  4. ^ Fitzmaurice, Larry (2011-03-15). "Listen: Twin Shadow Remixes Lady Gaga". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 2011-11-15. 
  5. ^ Breihan, Tom (2011-05-15). "Listen: Goldfrapp Remix Lady Gaga". Pitchfork Media. Retrieved 2011-11-15. 
  6. ^ "New music: Lady Gaga – Yoü & I (Wild Beasts remix)". The Guardian (Guardian News and Media). 2011-08-23. Retrieved 2011-11-27. 
  7. ^ a b Lipshultz, Jason (2011-11-02). "The Weeknd Remixes Lady Gaga's 'Marry The Night': Listen". Billboard (Prometheus Global Media). Retrieved 2011-11-26. 
  8. ^ a b c d e f Rice, Paul (2011-11-23). "Lady Gaga: Born This Way: The Remix". Slant Magazine. Retrieved 2011-11-23. 
  9. ^ a b "Born This Way: The Remix". Metacritic. Retrieved 2011-11-25. 
  10. ^ a b Erlewine, Stephen Thomas (2011-11-21). "Born This Way: The Remix – Lady Gaga". Allmusic. Rovi Corporation. Retrieved 2011-11-25. 
  11. ^ a b c Levine, Nick (2011-11-23). "Offers enough revelations to suggest the original album is worth revisiting". BBC Music. BBC Online. Retrieved 2011-11-25. 
  12. ^ a b Brown, Harley (2011-11-23). "Album Review: Lady Gaga – Born This Way: The Remix". Consequence of Sound. Retrieved 2011-11-25. 
  13. ^ a b Rosen, Jody (2011-11-23). "Born This Way: The Remix – Album Reviews". Rolling Stone (Jann Wenner). Retrieved 2011-11-25. 
  14. ^ a b "Official Albums Chart: Week of December 12, 2011". Official Charts Company. 2011-11-27. Archived from the original on 2011-11-28. Retrieved 2011-11-28. 
  15. ^ a b "2011年11月21日~2011年11月27日のCDアルバム週間ランキング" (in Japanese). Oricon. p. 3. Retrieved 2011-12-01. 
  16. ^ "2011年11月28日~2011年12月04日のCDアルバム週間ランキング" (in Japanese). Oricon. p. 3. Retrieved 2011-12-07. 
  17. ^ a b "Works Receiving Certifications List (Gold, etc) (November 2011)". Recording Industry Association of Japan (in Japanese). 2011-12-07. Retrieved 2011-12-10. 
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  22. ^ a b "Top 50 Albums: Novembre 27, 2011" (in Spanish). Productores de Música de España. 2011-11-27. Retrieved 2011-12-02. 
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External links[edit]