1. Jumpin’ Jack Flash – The Rolling Stones
You know you’ve made it when you get a song covered by Aretha Franklin and Tina Turner. Described as ‘supernatural’ by Rolling Stone, the release of Jumpin’ Jack Flash in 1968 marked the return of the Stones to the funky, blues-influenced riffs that shot them to fame in the early sixties after psychedelic releases in ’66, ’67 and ’68 received mixed reviews. In contrast, Jumpin’ Jack has been played on every Rolling Stones tour since its release, covered by a host of top artists and featured in Martin Scorsese and Ron Howard films amongst others. A combination of high and low-strung guitars played over each other give the distinctive riff a unique depth and pitch to compliment Mick Jagger’s legendary vocals. Can’t get enough of this song at the moment after hearing it in the final scene of Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. I’d recommend watching that too. Jesus.
2. Ms. Fat Booty – Mos Def, Aretha Franklin
Released in 1999 as the first single from the acclaimed album Black on Both Sides, in Ms. Fat Booty Mos Def fuses beautiful vocals from Franklin’s 1965 single ‘One Step Ahead’ with his own lyrical flow to bring a 90’s Brooklyn feel to a rarely-heard soul classic. The track itself largely flew under the radar with Mathematics and Do It Now (both fantastic songs) both performing better in the charts. Regardless, the verse in this Mos Def reboot is extraordinary, with sublime flow and lyrical content to match the greatest storytellers of the 90’s hip-hop scene.
3. Bigger Than Prince (Darius Syrossian Remix) – Green Velvet
Released in September, this remix of American house legend Curtis Jones (known under aliases Green Velvet and Cajmere among others) failed to gain the same sort of recognition as the rework released by Hot Since 82 last year. However, in stark contrast to the deep and bassy feel of Hot Since 82, Syrossian’s track is bouncy and funky early on and then takes on an acid-house feel at the introduction of a synthesizer. Fresh from a summer in Ibiza, Syrossian is now resident DJ of the famed Tribal Sessions at Sankey’s, in Manchester and with tracks such as Klaxon and House is House getting huge Ibiza coverage this year, 2015 is looking like a pretty massive party for the breakthrough producer whose first digital release was only 12 months ago.