Robert Lamm Songs: The JVE ReMixes, was released on June 1 on CD and vinyl via Blue Infinity/Chicago Records II.
It’s like nothing you’ve ever heard before! Dance floor remixes are one thing. What producer John Van Eps does to such iconic rock classics by Chicago—all written by Robert Lamm—is another. You might call it deconstructing the songs and rebuilding them from the ground floor up using their DNA. Eps even snipped lyric lines, juxtapositioning words to change meanings. You might even say Eps eviscerated these songs, gutted them like fish. The weirder Eps got, the more Lamm loved it. Eps even told Lamm: “Thank you for letting me ruin your songs.” When you’re talking about songs like “25 Or 6 To 4” “Beginnings” “Does Anybody Really Know What Time It is” “Saturday In The Park” and “Questions 67 And 68,” you’re talking the stuff upon which a generation took to their heart and soul.
“It’s supposed to be quirky and fun,” says Van Eps. “My fear is that the Chicago website is going to be rife with complaints about what I’ve done!” Lamm, always adventurous, “a purely musical kinda guy,” according to Van Eps, is ready for the response, no matter what it is.
As Lamm says, “this group of remixes were created by John Van Eps. They are more than remixes: they are new compositions based on my songs, using ‘stems’ from various recordings. John and I first started discussing remixing just after the release of The Bossa Project. He did a few remixes on that album that were amazing, and stayed true to the concept of an organic album of Brazilian music.“Initially,” he continues, “we wanted this album to be a Chicago project, but we got no encouragement from that quarter. So in changing it to Robert Lamm Songs, it comes from me, and John, to you...with a wink. No doubt, you will recognize at least the source of these re-imagined pieces of music. We worked strictly through email and file sharing, actively reviewing, refining, and some ways I was the Producer, and John was the Artist. I have so much respect for him as a person and a musician."
Obviously, there have been many remix projects of artists as far-ranging as Dean Martin, Yes, Nina Simone, Elvis Presley and Michael Jackson but none of them had the okay of the artist to literally change the lyrics and the meaning of the source material. “Artists don’t usually say, ‘sure, cut up my words, change the storyline,’” says Van Eps. “Robert is—and has been throughout his career— unbelievably creative. He’s still writing songs every day. He’s up on contemporary technology. He’s got great ears. He’s really quite something. You don’t need to be in a club to get it. If you grew up with this music, something inside you will click when you hear it.”
Almost four years in the making, Robert Lamm Songs: The JVE ReMixes will blow people’s minds.
CD Track Listing: 1. Beginnings 2. Saturday In The Park 3. 25 Or 6 To 4 (latin) 4. Does Anybody Really Know What Time It Is? 5. Questions 67 & 68 6. It’s A Groove, This Life 7. Another Rainy Day In New York City 8. You’re My Sunshine Everyday 9. On The Equinox 10. 25 Or 6 To 4 (dance)