Music

The best slowed-down songs on the internet

Whoah, there! What's the rush, sonny?

Take a seat and let us tell you about the olden days. 

Time was, the only way to slow a song down was to play the record at the wrong speed. Or to very gently stretch your cassette tape so that, on playback, every vowel became a yawning sound.

Of course, the internet has put paid to all that. Not only has it made music universally available, it has made it universally editable, too. 

We've got 8-bit versions that recall the halcyon days of computer gaming, sped up versions that are even more irritating than the original, and the hilarious "shreds" phenomenon, which re-records useless audio over live footage.

Lately, though, we in the ShortList office have become intrigued by songs that have been slowed down. In some cases, they're better than the originals, too.

Here's a quick - but not too quick - roundup...

 

The EastEnders Theme

Turns out that the EastEnders theme slowed down 800% is nigh on euphoric. We're not sure this works for the whole episode, mind. Unless you find the prospect of watching Ian Beale inch very slowly towards his breakfast uplifting.

BETTER THAN THE ORIGINAL?: Definitely. Even if the famous drum bit takes about three minutes at this speed.

Pharrell Williams - Happy

Here's Pharrell as you've never heard him before. Unless you have heard his impression of Bagpuss falling down a well in slow mo before. In which case, you'll know it's well worth a second listen. Like many slowed-down songs, Happy is transformed from upbeat chirpathon into a melancholy thinkpiece. Arguably for the better.

BETTER THAN THE ORIGINAL?: Yes. Because it won't get played to death on the radio.

Dolly Parton - Jolene

The ultimate slowed-down song. When Jolene is played at 33rpm instead of 45rpm, Dolly Parton is transformed into a baritone and her backing band are reduced to a casual pace. In fact, they sound like they're playing their instruments with fags hanging from the corners of their mouths. Louche and vibey. Nice.

BETTER THAN THE ORIGINAL?: Oof. It's a tough call. We'll say 'yes', but only just. And partly for novelty value.

Santana ft. Rob Thomas - Smooth

Even at a regular tempo, Matchbox Twenty's Rob Thomas has a curious singing voice. Slow it down, however, and he sounds like a creature from the abyss. A mournful creature from the abyss with a gammy leg and piles. Overall, the slowed Smooth takes on a funereal, sombre feel that's far removed from its normal-speed cousin.

BETTER THAN THE ORIGINAL?: Having your pupils lanced with used syringes is better than the original. So, yes.

George Michael - Careless Whisper

At first, this stretched-out rendition seems rather mundane. But it soon draws you in, first surrounding you like a fog, then smothering you like a great big fluffy duvet of '80sness. The chorus is particularly eerie - Michael's yowling apparently coming to you from the extreme rear of a very dark, very large, cave. There's a sort of sadness to his voice, too. Like it's a bad computer trying to fight against a rapidly draining battery.

BETTER THAN THE ORIGINAL?: It's less cheesy, more like a dying computer/airborne sedative in fog form, and therefore more interesting. So yeah, it's better.

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Carly Rae Jepsen - Call Me Maybe

Ever wished Call Me Maybe was over half an hour long? Well, thanks to technology, it can be. This version has been slowed 1000% and lasts 32 minutes. The opening is devastatingly sinister, and makes us think of the bit in Terminator 2 when Judgment Day happens and everyone's being vaporised by a colossal nuclear event. Which is hardly something you could say about the original.

BETTER THAN THE ORIGINAL?: Having your teeth chipped out by a hammer and chisel is better than the original. So yes.

The Bee Gees - Night Fever

Here's The Bee Gees' seminal Night Fever at 50% of its proper speed. The super-slow chugging of the funk guitar riff is a highlight, as is the chorus, which sounds legitimately awesome. In fact, this isn't too far removed from the '70s-flecked slowcore of Matthew E. White, and some people say he's a genius. Maybe this song is his muse?

BETTER THAN THE ORIGINAL?: It's interesting, but not better. Although John Travolta performing his famous pointy-at-the-crotch-then-the-ceiling manoeuvre in time with this version would be a sight to behold. And not that weird by his recent standards.

Edith Piaf, Non, Je Ne Regrette Rien

Here's some superb movie trivia for you: Hans Zimmer slowed down Edith Piaf's Non, Je ne regrette rien and used it as the basis for ALL of his Inception soundtrack. The video above shows how. Pretty mindblowing stuff.

BETTER THAN THE ORIGINAL?: No. But it makes for a stirring soundtrack.

Have you seen a better slow-mo song on the internet? Use the comments below to alert us...

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