Aaron James, our founder writes: I like to think I have something of an eclectic taste in music. Some artists, such as the Manic Street Preachers, or the Lightning Seeds, I have loved for years. Others, such as the terrific Scottish band, Chvrches are a love I have acquired in more recent years; indeed, two weeks after first hearing their music I found myself watching them live in an unforgettable night. 

Admittedly, it was a time long before coronavirus was ever mentioned. It feels like an age ago.

I’ve found myself listening to Cilla Black this week and it all came from a question that was deep rooted in my wayward imagination. When visiting one of my best friends, they had Clubland TV on the go, ostensibly, she said it was to help calm her baby daughter. 

It was a programme featuring 90’s anthems, so even if it didn’t really succeed in calming the little one, it certainly was a musical education – I forgot how good some of the early 90’s music was! 

What on earth does this have to do with ‘Our Cilla’ you might ask?  Well, I got myself thinking about remixes after one of the tracks was a dance version of the incredible track Baker Street by Gerry Rafferty. It wasn’t anywhere near as good, the vocals were naff but the interpretation of the song was intriguing to say the least. 

It got me thinking about unlikely remixes – I do love a good remix, and years ago on NCB Radio we had a special show every so often called Remixology where the rule was you could only play remixes of a song. Particular favourites of mine include the Public Service Broadcasting remix of Hold Me Like a Heaven by the aforementioned Manic Street Preachers, the Greg Wilson remix of Getting Away with It by Electronic and an extended version of Dance Away by Roxy Music; perhaps ironically when you consider that Cilla Black herself was a titan of Saturday nights that I have our very own titan of Saturday nights, Vincent Vega, to thank for introducing me to the latter two. 

I racked my brains to think of an artist who I thought was unlikely to be featured in remixes, and perhaps with my sub-conscious harking back to watching hilarious clips of Cilla and Paul O’Grady just after he passed away, I thought to myself ‘I wonder what a remix of a Cilla Black track would look like’. 

Not expecting many, I had a browse on Youtube and sure enough – there was only a whole album of remixes. 

Some of the covers she did are interesting, too, but here are some words I’d never say: there’s an excellent remix of a track by Cilla Black, covering Imagine by John Lennon. Look up Cilla Black Imagine Matt Pop remix. Yes, you’ll find yourself raving, or at very least dancing to Cilla Black, no word of a lie. Bet you wouldn’t be reading that in a column. 

Just like it was for me, you might just find yourself surprised, surprised. 

Cilla Black from 1970 (Joost Evers / Anefo, CC BY-SA 3.)