From the increasingly popular Spanglish overhaul to superstar features and the ever-present club makeover, releasing multiple versions of a song has become standard practice in 2020. While there is some debate if these can all be described as “remixes,” that’s exactly what I’m going to do for the sake of convenience. Why is this the new normal? Well, it’s a clever way of targeting multiple demographics and, to be more cynical, is an effective method of maximizing chart position given that all versions count towards the Billboard Hot 100.
It’s easy to be dismissive, but every now and again something wonderful happens. Beyoncé jumping on Megan Thee Stallion’s “Savage” elevates the song to pop culture phenomenon, while Stevie Nicks lending her voice to Miley Cyrus’ “Midnight Sky” is an intergenerational collaboration for the ages. Furthermore, what would fitness freaks put on their workout playlists without the humble remix? I’ve compiled a list of 2020’s best remixes below.
15. “Past Life” — Trevor Daniel & Selena Gomez
This is one of those songs that somehow flew under the radar despite being an example of a superstar feature done right.
14. “Smiling (F9 Radio Remix)” – Alanis Morissette
Freemasons (now called F9) reemerging with an Alanis Morissette remix was not on my 2020 bingo card.
13. “Lento (Remix)” — Lauren Jauregui & Rauw Alejandro
A song as good as Lauren Jauregui’s “Lento” deserves a finely calibrated remix, which is exactly what this is.
12. “What’s Love Got To Do With It” — Kygo x Tina Tuner
Kygo brought Tina Turner’s “What’s Love Got To Do With It” into 2020 with the requisite love and care.
11. “Banana — DJ FLe – Minisiren Remix” — Conkarah & Shaggy
You might not recognize the title, but chances are you have heard this outrageous banger about dicks.
10. “Mood Ring (By Demand) – Pride Remix” — Britney Spears
Take a bow. Britney Spears single-handedly saved Gay Pride with her “Mood Ring” remixes.
9. “In Your Eyes – Remix” — The Weeknd & Kenny G
Kenny G sprinkled a whole lot of sax on The Weeknd’s “In Your Eyes” and suddenly 2020 didn’t feel so bad.
8. “Blue – Flume Remix” — Eiffel 65 & Flume
While we were binge-eating and watching TV in lockdown, Flume was remixing Eiffel 65’s “Blue.” He wins.
7. “Hallucinogenics” — Matt Maeson & Lana Del Rey
My love of Matt Maeson’s “Hallucinogenics” borders on obsession, but Lana Del Rey adds another dimension to it on this lovely feature.
6. “Easy” — Troye Sivan, Kacey Musgraves & Mark Ronson
A really good remix can make you forget the original, even if the original is really, really good. And that’s exactly what Troye Sivan achieved with this.
5. “Hawái – Remix” — Maluma & The Weeknd
The most successful Spanglish overhaul of 2020. Now I need a whole Spanish-language album from The Weeknd.
4. “Edge Of Midnight (Midnight Sky Remix)” — Miley Cyrus & Stevie Nicks
Mashing Stevie Nicks’ “Edge Of Seventeen” with Miley Cyrus’ “Midnight Sky” is a stroke of genius.
3. “Love Is Religion (The Blessed Madonna Remix)” — Dua Lipa
The crowning jewel of Dua Lipa’s Club Future Nostalgia and The Blessed Madonna’s get-out-of-jail-free card (from miffed pop fans). It needs to be a single.
2. “willow – dancing witch version (Elvira Remix)” — Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift trolled us with endless remixes of “willow,” but the “dancing witch version” by Swedish producer Elvira has now become my preferred cut of the song.
1. “Savage Remix” — Megan Thee Stallion & Beyoncé
Arguably the best and most impactful song of 2020. As much as I liked the original, “Savage Remix” surpasses it in every way. Give Megan and Beyoncé their Grammys.