Armand van Helden's Remix of Professional Widow: A House Music Classic
Armand van Helden is an American DJ, record producer, remixer and songwriter who is considered one of the most influential figures in house music. He has been active since the early 1990s and has produced many hit singles and remixes for artists such as Tori Amos, Daft Punk, Katy Perry and Madonna.
One of his most famous remixes is his version of \"Professional Widow\" by Tori Amos, which was released in 1996 as the third single from her album Boys for Pele. The original song is a dark and cryptic piano ballad that deals with themes of betrayal, revenge and death. Van Helden transformed it into a catchy and upbeat house track that features a prominent bassline, funky drums and chopped-up vocals.
The remix was a huge success, reaching number one on the US Billboard Hot Dance Music/Club Play chart and number two on the UK Singles Chart. It also won a Grammy Award for Best Remixed Recording in 1998. The remix is widely regarded as one of the best examples of house music and has been sampled, covered and remixed by many other artists over the years.
The title of the remix, \"Professional Widow (Armand's Star Trunk Funkin' Mix)\", is a reference to the zippy suitcase that van Helden used to carry his records around. He said in an interview that he wanted to give the remix a \"funny name\" that would stand out from the other versions. He also said that he did not know much about Tori Amos or her music when he agreed to do the remix, but he liked the challenge of turning a slow song into a dancefloor anthem.
Van Helden's remix of \"Professional Widow\" is a testament to his creativity and skill as a producer and remixer. It showcases his ability to transform any song into a house music classic that appeals to a wide audience.
Van Helden's remix of \"Professional Widow\" received critical acclaim and recognition from the music industry. It won a Grammy Award for Best Remixed Recording in 1998, beating out other nominees such as Daft Punk, Moby and The Chemical Brothers. It also received positive reviews from publications such as Rolling Stone, NME and The Guardian, which praised its inventive and catchy production. The remix was also influential in popularizing the speed garage genre, a substyle of house music that featured fast tempos, heavy basslines and chopped-up vocals.
\"Professional Widow\" has seldom been reinterpreted since, perhaps due to the spikiness of the original and the iconic stature of the remix. But Amos herself has performed it in different arrangements, including a full-band recreation of the remix, played during her 2007 tour. She has also expressed her admiration for Van Helden's work, saying that he \"made something completely new\" out of her song. She added: \"I think he's brilliant. He's one of my heroes.\"
Van Helden's remix of \"Professional Widow\" also had a significant impact on Amos's career and image. It introduced her music to a wider and younger audience, who may not have been familiar with her previous albums. It also challenged the perception of her as a serious and introspective singer-songwriter, showing that she could also be playful and adventurous. Amos said that she was happy with the remix because it \"opened up a whole new world for me\". She added: \"I think it's important to have different sides of yourself out there.\"
Van Helden's remix of \"Professional Widow\" remains one of the most popular and recognizable songs in his extensive discography. It established him as one of the leading figures in house music and paved the way for his subsequent hits such as \"You Don't Know Me\", \"My My My\" and \"I Want Your Soul\". He has also continued to remix songs by other artists, such as Daft Punk, New Order, Britney Spears and Dua Lipa.
\"Professional Widow\" is a song that has transcended its original context and genre, becoming a timeless and versatile anthem that can appeal to different tastes and moods. It is a testament to the creativity and talent of both Amos and Van Helden, who managed to create two distinct versions of the same song that are equally compelling and memorable. ec8f644aee