I meant to post this yesterday but things have been hectic at NME towers with our Best Albums and Tracks of 2012. So, remember ‘The Grey Album’ from 2004? When Danger Mouse wove together Jay-Z’s ‘Black Album’ and The Beatles’ ‘White Album’, to create an unholy masterpiece? ‘Encore’ features ‘Glass Onion’ and ‘Savoy Truffle’, ’99 Problems’ samples ‘Helter Skelter’ and my personal favourite ‘December 4th’ sits with ‘Mother Nature’s Son’. Although it’s referred to as a “mash-up album” – and one of the first that defined the genre – there’s a lot more to it than that. Instead of just layering and fitting vocals to instrumentals, Danger Mouse’s work was technically intricate, creating songs that were new in themselves (one of his problems with talking about the album now is this mislabelling). Consequently it was never bettered by mashups that came after: Wugazi, Grizzly Bear/Dead Prez, Jaydiohead, Mos Dub. On February 24 2004 1 millions people downloaded the album in the US – and it drew plaudits from near (Jay-Z and Paul McCartney were both cool with it) and far (David Bowie and Noel Gallagher were apparently fans).
Anyway, good news for those who a) haven’t heard it b) lost it over the last few years. A ‘soundscaper’ called John Stewart has just re-mastered the album and everyone’s going ape about it again. It sounds as fresh as ever. You can download it for free here.
Watch the awesome Grey Video below.