Friday, 31 May 2019

Danger Mouse - The Grey Album (2004)

The Grey Album is one of the first and best-known mash-up albums, mixing a cappella versions of rapper Jay-Z's The Black Album with samples from The Beatles' 'The White Album'. It gained notoriety when EMI attempted to halt its distribution despite approval of the project from Jay-Z and the two surviving Beatles, Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr. It was created as an experimental project intended for a limited 3,000-copy release in February 2004, and while Danger Mouse never asked permission to use the Beatles' material, Jay-Z's a cappella recordings were released commercially for the purpose of encouraging mashups and remixes. The hype around The Grey Album caught the attention of Beatles' copyright holder EMI, who ordered Danger Mouse and retailers carrying the album to cease distribution. Music industry activist group Downhill Battle responded by coordinating Grey Tuesday, an electronic civil disobedience event held on 24 February 2004. Participating websites posted copies of The Grey Album for free download for a 24-hour period in protest of EMI's attempts to prevent distribution of the mashup on the grounds that sampling is fair use and that a statutory license should be provided in the same manner as if an artist were to perform or record a cover version of a song. Hundreds of web sites publicized the event with 170 hosting the album for download, and over 100,000 copies were downloaded on that day alone. The album was my introduction to Jay-Z, after downloading it purely for the Beatles' connection, and it pointed me in the direction of a genre that I'd never really explored before, so I'm thankful for that, as well as for the fact that it's a brilliant album in it's own right. This post is for anyone who hasn't already heard it, and if you are impressed enough to want more then there are other mash-ups out there, mixing Jay-Z's rapping with Prince for 'The Purple Album', as well as 'The Silver Album' by Bazooka Joe, 'The White Albulum' by DK Kno, and 'How To Remix The Black Album' by Jon Doe. 

Track listing

01 Public Service Announcement ('Long, Long, Long')
02 What More Can I Say ('While My Guitar Gently Weeps')
03 Encore ('Glass Onion', 'Savoy Truffle')
04 December 4th ('Mother Nature's Son')
05 99 Problems ('Helter Skelter', 'Wild Honey Pie')
06 Dirt Off Your Shoulder ('Julia')
07 Moment Of Clarity ('Happiness Is A Warm Gun')
08 Change Clothes ('Piggies')
09 Allure ('Dear Prudence')
10 Justify My Thug ('Rocky Raccoon')
11 Lucifer 9 (Interlude) ('Revolution 9', 'I'm So Tired')
12 My 1st Song ('Savoy Truffle', 'Can You Take Me Back')

Enjoy / Enjoy