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It was only a couple of decades ago that the term remixing began to creep into the mainstream music vernacular. In the 1980s D's like Shep Pettibone gained worldwide notoriety by creating remixes of songs recorded by mainstream pop artists. These remixes were specifically designed for dance clubs and DJ sets. Often referred to at the time as 12-inch mixes, fans were treated to longer and more amped-up versions of songs they knew from top 40 radio. At their core these early remixes were rearrangements of the original versions, with small amounts of overdubbed parts added to give the tracks a bit more hype.
DJs were given the analog multitrack recordings of the original songs from the record label, thereby giving them the ability to take individual parts of the song and rearrange them to suit their needs. The most obvious difference between the original versions and their remixed counterparts was the length of the arrangements, with the remixes having long intros and outros so that DJs could mix in and mix out of them into the next song. As remixes grew in popularity, they evolved into complete reproductions of the original versions of the songs, with barely any of the original multitrack parts used in the arrangement.
But the shell of the arrangement pretty much stayed the same, a DJ-friendly intro and outro with some sort of breakdown section halfway to two-thirds of the way through the track. Today we see slight variations of this blueprint, and more often than not, parts are added and subtracted every eight bars to keep it interesting to our ears.
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