The word “no” is one you must quickly get accustomed to if you’re in the world of music. The same is true in house music, as I learnt more or less from the start. No, you can’t release your track through our label. No, I don’t want to collaborate with you. And no, we don’t like the remix we asked you to do of our track either.
I ended up doing a lot of remixes in my time and was mercifully told “yes” more than “no”. Disco Balls Records, for example, never turned down a single remix which I submitted to them. And in five years, my record with dub mixes remained at 100% – not a single one of them was ever rejected by the labels, despite me being told by quite a famous name in the scene in 2017 that “no one listens to dubs anymore”.
Initially, it used to annoy me when my remixes were turned down. Then I soon learnt that even David Morales had the same experience. Back in 1991, Simply Red released a song called “Something Got Me Started”. It came with remixes by Perfecto – an early alias of Paul Oakenfold and Steve Osborne – Steve “Silk” Hurley and E-Smoove. My personal favourite to this day remains the E-Smoove Late Night Mix – but did you know David Morales also remixed it?
He did four remixes of the song, and they were never given an official release. Infact, the only place they were released at the time was on a test pressing. I’ve always found this decision utterly baffling – take one look at David Morales page on Discogs and you’ll immediately spot he was in enormous demand for remixes in this period. EastWest Records would have paid a five-figure sum for these remixes – yet they never got a commercial release.
If you want a copy of this, they come up occasionally on Discogs. At the time of writing this post, one copy is currently available from a seller based in the USA. The selling price? $350, or £275 in British money. And the site’s statistics reveal the lowest price paid on the marketplace for this release was £99 and the highest £292.
Rumours over the years alleged that Mick Hucknall of Simply Red personally blocked their release, although this has never been confirmed. Whatever the truth, I learnt to be a lot more comfortable with rejection when I discovered it even happens to the biggest of names…