This article appeared originally on THUMP UK.
Here's a great way to spend an hour/afternoon/day/week/month/year/lifetime/afterlife—type pretty much any song title you can think of into YouTube and add "hardcore" to it. Invariably you'll be able to listen to a unofficial bootleg of the song in question, where the bedroom remixer's decided that the best way to improve "Happy Birthday" or "Greensleeves" or Mozart's "Turkish March" is to inject it with a massively OTT rhythmic track that has absolutely no relation to the song in question whatsoever.
And that's part of the joy and pleasure of this music—it gives taste a massive middle finger. It is craven and bloated, rough and ready, queasy and uneasy. It's music for provincial fairgrounds and library car parks, music that soundtracks adolescent escapades and feats of dering-do that'll go unrepeated. It is music as total freedom.
Which is why we've put together this list of our ten favorite needlessly-massive hardcore remixes of all time. If you're in the mood for music that sounds pretty much just like a swarm of Buckfast-drunk bees repeatedly flying headfirst into a wall then you're in luck!
1. Ultrabeat - Pretty Green Eyes (Hixxy Remix)
Let's kick things off with an undisputed classic. We've written about the undeniable majesty of "Pretty Green Eyes" and it's the song that inspires pretty much 96% of the output on this website, being as it is the perfect summation of the sad wonder of UK nightlife at its most sentimental and trashy. Hixxy's remix is as functional as it gets but why would you fuck with a classic? You don't slather Reggae Reggae sauce on battered cod do you?
2. Madonna - Like a Prayer (Remix)
Obviously a hardcore take on the Madonna classic is always going to be stunning. Take one of the most strangely affecting pop records ever made, whack a massively distorted kick that sounds like a concrete ping pong ball being smashed between rubberized tectonic plates underneath it, speed everything up to comedy-helium-voice levels and hey presto—you've got a song that'll perfectly soundtrack doing speed on a bouncy castle at a friend's daughter's christening.
3. ABBA - The Winner Takes it All (Hardstyle Hardhouse Hardcore Techno Trance Gabber Rave Version)
Do you like your remixes RAW?
Do you like your remixes PUNISHING?
Do you like your remixes TO ONLY REALLY CONTAIN A FRAGMENT OF THE SONG THEY'RE CLAIMING TO REMIX AND OTHER THAN ARE JUST A BOG STANDARD BUT ACTUALLY REALLY SICK HARDCORE RECORD?
4. Bryan Adams - Everything I Do (Remix)
Hating the original of this is the kind of thing that makes sense when you're an overly-serious teen desperate to impress the opposite sex by overstating your own sense of self-seriousness. You like Oscar Wilde and math-rock. You dislike ITV and naff, mum-friendly balladry. By now, safely tucking into the three course meal of disappointment, regret, and failure that is life in your mid-twenties you can embrace Bryan with something that looks a bit like a smile if you squint really hard. Holy fuck, I'm old. Bryan Adams hasn't been a reference point for anyone for over a decade. Christ. Help. Fuck. Oh God, it happened.
5. Phil Collins - Another Day In Paradise (Hardcore Terror Mix)
Is Phil Collins one of the most oddly unlikeable figures in pop culture? He exudes a certain creepiness, a kind of unshakable air of spitefulness that means the thought of spending time with him is about as attractive a proposition as having your teeth pulled out, one by one, by former Apprentice contestant Ruth Badger. In a caravan. In Solihull. With The Best of Phil Collins playing in the background. Somehow though, this aptly titled rejig is utterly stunning in its own incredibly cack-handed way. Collins' commercial radio station's 80s Power Hour melody is shoved into an on-the-blink blender with some rotten old gabber record and the result comes on like big Phil's been force fed into an industrial mincer. It's the best he's ever sounded.
6. Red Hot Chili Peppers - Under The Bridge (DJ Finchy Hardcore Remix)
When you think about it, ignorance really is bliss isn't it? If I never go to the doctors, I'm never going to be ill; if I ignore the letters that my energy provider sends me then I'll never have to pay the bill; if I never turn up to work I can't get bollocked for not being at work. All of which is why I want to know nothing, absolutely nothing, about the mysterious figure behind this perfectly functional hardcore refix of a song that usually makes me think long and hard about just how soft the human skull really is. DJ Finchy, I don't want to know where you're from or what you dream of at night or which member of Hearsay you fancied most as a pre-teen. None of that matters. What matters is that you once spent at least 15 minutes putting this remix together, and an additional five uploading it to YouTube. Because you know that art transcends the self, don't you DJ Finchy. Yes. Yes you do.
7. Bjork - Joga (State of Emergency Mix)
Happy hardcore is essentially the aural equivalent of eating 16 double cheeseburgers in a single sitting, then glugging down the same number of cans of knock-off fizzy drink, then smoking a 20 deck of JPS, without so much as a pause for breath all before getting into one of those human gyroscopes with a battered and broken 808 for company. This feels like that, except someone also snuck Bjork in there with you and she's having a terrible time and it's suddenly all gone a bit Very, Very Bad Acid Trip and you're both trying to not vomit everywhere and...well done! You've been sick all over Bjork! Nice one.
8. Coolio - Gangsters Paradise (2Pac Happy Hardcore Remix)
While it's lovely to pretend that music is some kind of higher artform, a means of communicating the unspeakable, a salve for the gaping septic wound that is life itself, to do so is to ignore one crucial thing: the fact that it isn't any of those things. Music, for most people, is nothing more than something that exists in the same space as them—be it in the office, at ASDA, or in the car. However, there are exceptions, songs which make even the most music-ambivalent throw their hands in the air, body propelled into spasms of utter and uncomprehending delight. This is one of them. The remix that is. The original is the worst kind of student-friendly ironized wank.
9. Oasis - Wonderwall (Happy Hooligans Remix)
This is the sound of mixing VK and Carling. This is the sound of puking into your mate's hood round the back of a cornershop after drinking VK and Carling. This is the sound of that mate then turning round and lamping you square in the jaw because you just puked up VK and Carling into his hood. This is the sound of the pair of you tearfully making up minutes after he's lamped you square in the jaw for puking up VK and Carling in his hood round the back of a cornershop. This is the sound you looking back on those youthful hijinks as an old man and weeping for hours on end, wishing life was still that simple, praying for another chance to drink VK and Carling round the back of a cornershop on a Saturday night.
10. Scooter Vs Status Quo - Jump that Rock
Alright, fair enough, this isn't an actual remix per se, but anyone who thinks that pairing the denim-clad granddaddies of turgid two-chord pub rock with the world's most absurdly successful arena-sized hardcore act—fronted by a bloke who emits all the potent sexuality of a thick erection quivering at the point of orgasm—is anything but a 10/10 idea needs to take a long hard look at themselves. It's "Whatever You Want" plastered over a Scooter track, which is sort of the sonic equivalent of washing 15 roast potatoes down with a pint of barely-mixed Bisto, but sometimes you just want to gorge yourself on thick stodge, don't you? Life isn't all William Basinski records and spice roasted corn chowder. And thank god for that.