Music

The Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical Grammy Winners, Ranked

Of the 86 Grammy categories being awarded this year, one of the most intriguing is the Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical. Over the years, eclectic sonics have been a hallmark of the category, which was first awarded in 1998 as the Grammy Award for Remixer Of The Year, Non-Classical. Because these songs are remixes, the source material nominated isn’t limited to genre. In 2022, it’s safe to say Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical is the only Grammy category to include Papa Roach (nominated due to Spencer Bastin’s “Born For Greatness (Cybek Remix)”), Deftones (“Passenger (Mike Shinoda Remix)”), and Demi Lovato and Ariana Grande (“Met Him Last Night (Dave Audé Remix)”).

Naturally, over the years, the artists who triumphed in this category have been equally intriguing. Here’s the top 10 winners, ranked.

10. Song: Madonna — “I Rise (Tracy Young’s Pride Intro Radio Remix)”

Winner: Tracy Young
Year: 2020

Madonna and dance music have gone hand in hand since the ’80s. In fact, Madonna herself has won a Grammy Award for Best Dance Recording (“Ray of Light”) and Best Electronica/Dance Album (Confessions On A Dancefloor). However, in 2020, Tracy Young was the first woman to be nominated, much less win, the Best Remixed Recording, Non-Classical category for an inspired take on Madonna’s pro-gun control anthem “I Rise.” Young’s interpretation amplifies the icon’s empathetic vocals and the song’s resiliency — as well as the voice of Emma González, a survivor of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting — with low-key house beats and a chill (but verve-laden) tempo. Consider this remix of a piece with dance music’s long history of political activism.

9. Song: No Doubt — “Hella Good (Roger Sanchez Main Mix)”

Winner: Roger Sanchez
Year: 2003

No Doubt‘s hard-left turns to ’80s synth-pop throwbacks on 2001’s Rock Steady were ideal for dance remixes — as evidenced by this no-frills, brisk re-do by global superstar DJ Roger Sanchez full of rollicking percussion and beat drops that emphasizes the lines “You got me feeling hella good, so let’s just keep on dancing.”

8. Song: Cher — “Believe (Club 69 Mixes)”

Winner: Club 69
Year: 2000

Cher‘s Y2K comeback came because of the already-unstoppable dancefloor anthem “Believe.” The Club 69 remixes are peak late-’90s house, with over-the-top beats, blocky stacks of keyboards, and an arrangement that places Cher in the role of vocal diva — something she comes by naturally.

7. Song: MGMT — “Electric Feel (Justice Remix)”

Winner: Justice
Year: 2009

It’s a fitting bow on the blogrock era that French electrofunk act Justice won a Grammy for a sophisticated remix of MGMT’s “Electric Feel.” Rich horns, squelching beats and a choppy vibe transform the swank electro of the original into a swaggering mid-’80s synth-rock throwback.

6. Song: Nero — “Promises (Skrillex and Nero Remix)”

Winner: Joseph Ray, Skrillex & Daniel Stephens
Year: 2013

This remix is peak dubstep era, with Skrillex (aka Sonny Moore) and two members of Nero teaming up for a re-do of Nero’s “Promises.” There’s a massive beat drop at about a minute in that leads directly to an explosion of grimy zippered beats that alternate with dramatic, piano-driven interludes with caution-heavy vocals from Nero’s Alana Watson. The net effect is a song that’s both unsettling and moving—a fine combination.

5. Song: Public Enemy — “Bring the Noise (S-faction Remix)”

Winner: Benny Benassi
Year: 2008

Superstar DJ Benny Benassi deconstructed Public Enemy‘s 1988 hit with surgical precision. At first, he leaves in only select exhortations (“Bring the noise!” and “Bass!”) atop a pulsing, surging bed of techno-house beats, before introducing more of the song’s lyrics — building excitement and tension alike with a natural rhythm.

4. Song: Curtis Mayfield — “Superfly (Louie Vega EOL Mix)”

Winner: Louie Vega
Year: 2006

There’s a long history of classic songs receiving a boost thanks to a modern dance remix — witness how Junkie XL’s re-do of Elvis Presley’s “A Little Less Conversation” breathed new life into the tune. The same thing happened when Louie Vega took a crack at remixing Curtis Mayfield’s already-unimpeachable “Superfly.” Vega added salsa beats and a languid touch to the 1972 soul-funk hit, making it (improbably) even more smooth than it was to begin with.

3. Coldplay — “Talk (Thin White Duke Mix)”

Winner: Jacques Lu Cont
Year: 2007

Stuart Price records under many aliases — to name a few, Les Rythmes Digitales, Zoot Woman and Jacques Lu Cont. Under the latter moniker, he’s known for recording retro-tinted synth-pop remixes; in fact, he won a Grammy in 2005 for his take on No Doubt’s “It’s My Life.” He won another Grammy two years later for his spin on Coldplay‘s “Talk,” a song that interpolates Kraftwerk. Lu Cont plays up that association by adding in robotic vocal flourishes and stripping the song down to insistent, Krautrockian rhythms and streamlined synths.

2. Song: SAINt JHN — “Roses (Imanbek Remix)”

Winner: Imanbek Zeikenov
Year: 2021

Back in mid-2020, you couldn’t scroll through your TikTok #FYP without running into Imanbek’s remix of “Roses,” by the rapper SAINt JHN. This viral hit was a radical re-work of the original, speeding up the vocals and adding sharp-edged, electro-driven rhythmic contours that doubled as mega earworms. Remixes with Future and J Balvin followed, although Imanbek’s take remains tops for how it took fresh source material and made it sound even cooler.

1. Song: Lana Del Rey — “Summertime Sadness (Cedric Gervais Remix)”

Winner: Cedric Gervais
Year: 2014

Lana Del Rey‘s originals are already known for being mesmerizing and hypnotic. However, the Cedric Gervais remix of “Summertime Sadness” elevated the song to a different level entirely, tapping into the melancholy hinted at in the title by plucking out Del Rey’s wistful refrain (“I got that summertime, summertime sadness”) and pairing it with turbulent house beats. “Summertime Sadness (Cedric Gervais Remix)” peaked in the top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100 and No. 2 on the US Hot Dance/Electronic Songs chart — but, more important, became an instant-classic anthem for every type of summer bummer imaginable.

Some of the artists covered here are Warner Music artists. Uproxx is an independent subsidiary of Warner Music Group.

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