THE DARKNESS – “Girlfriend” (2005 Warner 10″ star-shaped picture disc)
I fuckin’ love this song. It’s not in any way typical of the music I normally like. Maybe it’s the expertly arranged backing orchestra. Maybe it’s Justin Hawkins’ ever more ridiculous falsetto. Maybe it’s the key-tar solo. Maybe it’s the sheer joie de vivre of the thing. Whatever it is, I heartily endorse the album version of this fun, frivolous tribute to the 1980’s.
There were (I think?) four remixes of this single done, and this 10″ contains two of them. Usually I’m well on record for disliking remixes, and the “Space Cowboy Hard & Fast Remix” is a good example of why. It’s repetitive, and congested with noise, burying the killer hooks of the song. One of the only things I like about the remix is that it brings out Richie Edwards’ bass a lot more, helping to humanize its robotic nature. There’s also a moment at about the 4 minute mark with the orchestra section isolated, and I like that.
The better remix is “The Freelance Hellraiser ‘Screaming Jay Hawkins’ Remix”, whatever the hell that means. This one featurings a backwards vocal hook, and all the familiar elements rearranged, creating what essentially sounds like an original song. This one delivers plenty of catchy bits here and there, familiar but presented in new surroundings. This is what I would call a great remix.
What’s the score, then? Well, mathematically, this one works out to: