Oct. 11 sees the release of Britney’s second official remix album, B In The Mix: The Remixes Vol. 2, a collection featuring some of the most bangin’ mixes of her singles released between 2007′s Blackout through 2011′s Femme Fatale — including “Gimme More,” “Womanizer” and her new single, “Criminal.”
To celebrate the dance-music-centric release, Buzzworthy put me to the task of compiling five of the best Britney remixes of all time. After several days of pondering and pacing and countless sleepless nights spent shaking and crying, I’ve come up with a definitive roundup of my all-time favorite Britney remixes, from club anthems to haunting versions of dance tracks to rock-tinged reinventions and everything in between.
So what are you waiting for? Get into the mix! (Sorry, I’m just a little excited over here.)
5.) “Someday (I Will Understand) (Leama & Moor Remix)”: “Someday (I Will Understand)” is probably one of the lesser-known gems from the Brit Brit compendium. The touching Guy Sigsworth-produced ballad was first unveiled during the series finale of her short-lived UPN reality series, “Britney & Kevin: Chaotic.”
Much like the sublime Valentin remix of “Everytime” on 2005′s B In The Mix: The Remixes Vol. 1, UK production duo Leama & Moor’s take on “Someday (I Will Understand)” transforms the tearjerker of a ballad into a full-on trance anthem. Big beats, stuttering vocals — it’s heartbreak on the dance floor. So go on and grab your light-up binkies and glow sticks, ’cause this one’s a full-on raver. Just what Brit probably intended for this ode to the birth of her child, right? + LISTEN TO “SOMEDAY (I WILL UNDERSTAND) (LEAMA & MOOR REMIX)”
+ More Britney Spears remixes after the jump!
4.) “Break The Ice (Jason Nevins Rock Remix)”: Ever feel like throwing on an old Zeppelin tee, slicking back your mullet and slinging a big, black guitar ’round your neck to seriously shred to some Lady Spears? FINALLY: Now’s your chance. It’s Rockney, bitch!
Equipped with a killer live guitar and loud crashing drums, the Jason Nevins remix of “Break The Ice” breathes a little rock ‘n’ roll fire into Brit Brit’s Blackout single from back in ’08. Formerly a chilly urban club haunt, the song sounds more like a head-thrashing arena rock anthem under Nevins’ wings, complete with all the rowdiness of an ’80s hair metal concert. + LISTEN TO “BREAK THE ICE (JASON NEVINS ROCK REMIX)”
3.) “Outrageous (Junkie XL Dancehall Remix)“: “Outrageous” is a tough memory for a lot of fans: While Britney was shooting the video for the R. Kelly-penned track with Snoop Dogg back in 2004, she slipped on the slicked-down street during a dance scene and badly injured her knee, resulting in the cancellation of the rest of her Onyx Hotel tour and, subsequently, a three-year hiatus until her eventual fifth studio album in 2007, Blackout.
Despite the drama on set, “Outrageous” was still serviced to clubs as a 12″ and an EP overseas in Japan, featuring a suite of remixes. The standout track of the bunch? The Junkie XL Dancehall mix, which highlights the song’s Middle Eastern flair with jingling bells, a funky sitar and a deep disco bass. It’s rare for a remix to be superior to the original version — this one genuinely is.
(And while you’re at it, check for the equally scrumptious Junkie XL Tribal Mix. It’s a stomping, more urban-tinged take that’s just as delicious.) + LISTEN TO “OUTRAGEOUS (JUNKIE XL DANCEHALL MIX)”
2.) “Breathe On Me (James Holden Vocal Mix)”: “Breathe On Me”: Not only one of Britney’s best songs ever, but the greatest single that never was. Following B’s “Outrageous” bust, all future singles from her 2003 record In The Zone were scrapped. And judging by the fact that remixes of “Breathe On Me” were already being commissioned, it seems fans just missed out on the release of what would have been Brit’s sexiest single to date.
Thankfully, producer James Holden felt bad holding out on his remix, and when it became clear that Jive wasn’t moving forward with the single, he unleashed it upon the world. Stretching B’s vocals along on a weird, warbling plateau of spacey ambient noise and spooky vocal effects, Holden’s version of the track is a positively haunting take on Brit’s breathy number. Even if the mix never saw the light of the day, it’ll never stops sounding so good late at night. + LISTEN TO “BREATHE ON ME (JAMES HOLDEN VOCAL MIX)”
1.) “And Then We Kiss (Junkie XL Remix)”: Britney’s first remix compilation, 2005′s B In The Mix: The Remixes, featured loads of excellent remixes stretching from “…Baby One More Time” to “Toxic,” but nothing shined quite as bright as the album’s undeniable highlight: “And Then We Kiss (Junkie XL Remix).”
The sublime remix found producer Junkie XL taking the (still) unreleased studio version of “And Then We Kiss” (which fans finally got to hear just one month ago!) and smoothing it over into one of Britney’s most lush, mature musical moments of all time.
In an interview with About.com, the producer said he wanted to turn the song into a “2006 version of [Depeche Mode's] ‘Enjoy the Silence’ with really electronic chunky beats and nice melodic guitar lines.” Well, he succeeded: The Junkie XL remix of “And Then We Kiss” is undeniably sexy, intoxicating and ever-so-slightly mysterious — the most fitting soundtrack for the Femme Fatale. To this day, the remix remains simply unmatched. + LISTEN TO “AND THEN WE KISS (JUNKIE XL REMIX)”
Bradley Stern is a writer from Connecticut. In his spare time, he enjoys organizing his Britney Spears CD collection in reverse chronological order and plotting the various ways in which he will bring down Katy Perry to become Rihanna’s best friend. But most of all, he spends his time tweeting and musing daily about pop music on his blog, MuuMuse.