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All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
You know that a producer has become a star in his own right when he's given a contract to put out an album under his own name -- but, really, if any producer deserved his own vanity project in 2007, it's Mark Ronson, the man behind much of the two best British pop albums in 2006, Lily Allen's Alright, Still and Amy Winehouse's Back to Black. Ronson, of course, had been a fixture in the N.Y.C. and London DJ scenes long before this, and had even released an album called Here Comes the Fuzz in 2003 that found him enlisting a cast of American hipsters -- everyone from Ghostface Killah and Mos Def to Rivers Cuomo, Jack White, and Saturday Night Live comedian Jimmy ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Stephen Thomas Erlewine
You know that a producer has become a star in his own right when he's given a contract to put out an album under his own name -- but, really, if any producer deserved his own vanity project in 2007, it's Mark Ronson, the man behind much of the two best British pop albums in 2006, Lily Allen's Alright, Still and Amy Winehouse's Back to Black. Ronson, of course, had been a fixture in the N.Y.C. and London DJ scenes long before this, and had even released an album called Here Comes the Fuzz in 2003 that found him enlisting a cast of American hipsters -- everyone from Ghostface Killah and Mos Def to Rivers Cuomo, Jack White, and Saturday Night Live comedian Jimmy Fallon -- to front tracks he crafted. Ronson keeps that same blueprint for his second album, Version, but he sets his sights on the U.K., the country that finally turned him into a star thanks to those Allen and Winehouse productions, bringing in Lily and Amy and a parade of modern Brit stars to sing over his tracks. This time around, Ronson has ginned up the original concept with a better concept: to cover a bunch of contemporary British pop classics and modern hits, ranging from the Jam's "Pretty Green" to Maxïmo Park's "Apply Some Pressure." All of the tunes have been run through Ronson's grinder, turning them into splashy, clever, but not-quite-campy blends of old-school hip-hop, '60s soul (equal parts Motown and Stax), postmodern pop, and classic kitsch, so it sounds like a modern update on a late-'60s variety show. Since Ronson has a distinct musical viewpoint -- one that's heavy on style, of course; one that's designed for club play but emphasizes melody and feel over beats -- Version holds together as a proper album, but that's primarily because Ronson turns everything into a soundtrack for an absurd retro-fantasia of a Northern soul club, one where the Tamla beat never stops pounding even as it morphs into rolling hip-hop loops, one where the horns never stop blaring, one where the pop hooks are as prominent as the groove. Whether you're into club music or pop, it's easy to be seduced by Ronson's fantasy, and Version sure is fun as it plays the first time through, and several of his reinventions are giddy, devious delights, as when he finally injects some humor into Coldplay by turning "God Put a Smile Upon Your Face" into an instrumental fueled by the Daptone Horns, or doing a similar deed to Radiohead's "Just" (here sung by Phantom Planet), or how the Smiths' "Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before" is turned into a soul medley with the Supremes' "You Keep Me Hangin' On" as sung by Daniel Merriweather. That latter track in particular is a neat trick, but it's like the bulk of Version in microcosm: the imagination and skill is dazzling at first but subsequent spins reveal it as more style than substance, particularly because Merriweather isn't a sensitive interpreter and his affectless delivery becomes grating upon repeated plays, turning this into a shallow display of production virtuosity. Too much of Version is like this -- great ideas shackled by bland vocalists -- to make it a lasting pleasure, but in the moment it's a great party record anchored by two brilliant moments: Lily Allen's take on the Kaiser Chiefs' "Oh My God" and Amy Winehouse's flat-out stupendous reworking of the Zutons' "Valerie," which turns it into a lost Motown classic. Not for nothing are these two highlights from the artists who made Mark Ronson a star -- not only do their aesthetics match his, but they're the only ones with enough charisma to overpower his showy tracks and make them into their own.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 7/10/2007
  • Label: Red Int / Red Ink
  • UPC: 886971003123
  • Catalog Number: 710031

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 God Put a Smile Upon Your Face - The Daptone Horns (3:12)
  2. 2 Oh My God - Lily Allen (3:35)
  3. 3 Stop Me Medley: Stop Me If You Think You've Heard This One Before/You K - Daniel Merriweather (3:54)
  4. 4 Toxic - Tiggers (4:05)
  5. 5 Valerie - Amy Winehouse (3:39)
  6. 6 Apply Some Pressure (3:36)
  7. 7 Inversion (1:47)
  8. 8 Pretty Green - Santogold (3:16)
  9. 9 Just (5:20)
  10. 10 Amy (3:32)
  11. 11 The Only One I Know (3:59)
  12. 12 Diversion (1:19)
  13. 13 L.S.F. - Kasabian (3:30)
  14. 14 Outversion (1:50)
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Album Credits

Performance Credits
Mark Ronson Primary Artist, Organ, Bass, Guitar, Percussion, Piano, Clavinet, Hand Clapping
Mark Berrow Violin
Garfield Jackson Viola
Martin Loveday Cello, Celli
Rita Manning Violin
Johnathan Rees Violin
Cathy Thompson Violin
Gavyn Wright Violin
Stuart Zender Bass
Ol' Dirty Bastard Vocals
Michael Tighe Guitar, Vocals
Ben Chappell Cello, Celli
Peter Lale Viola
Sam Koppelman Percussion, Drums
Boguslaw Kostecki Violin
Jackie Shave Violin
Bruce White Viola
Robbie Williams Vocals
David Daniels [cello] Cello, Celli
Julian Leaper Violin
?uestlove Percussion
Chris Elliott Piano, Conductor
Everton Nelson Violin
Perry Mason Violin
Rachel Bolt Viola
Raymond Angry Piano, Keyboards, Clavinet
Sam Farrar Bass
Alex Greenwald Guitar, Vocals
Emlyn Singleton Violin
Warren Zielinski Violin
Neal Sugarman Tenor Saxophone
Alia Marie Background Vocals
Ian Hendrickson-Smith Baritone Saxophone
Santi White Vocals
Jordan Galland Piano, Electric Piano
Paul "Scooby" Smith Vocals
Daniel Merriweather Vocals
Amy Winehouse Vocals
Nick Movshon Bass
Binky Griptite Guitar
Homer Steinweiss Drums
Lily Allen Vocals
Thomas Bowes Violin
Matt Allchin Guitar
Thomas Brenneck Guitar
Cochemea Galecum Baritone Saxophone
Cenophia Mitchell Vocals, Background Vocals
Chris Scianni Guitar
Alia Marie Mitchell Vocals
Tom Pigott-Smith Violin
Christopher Tombling Violin
David Woodcock Violin
Ivo Jan van der Werff Viola
Technical Credits
Edwyn Collins Composer
Tim Burgess Composer
Gavyn Wright Orchestra Leader
Jon Brookes Composer
Jackie Shave Orchestra Leader
Chris Elliott String Arrangements, String Conductor
Dominic Morley Engineer
Derek Pacuk Engineer
Sam Farrar Engineer
Lee Reinke Bright Executive Producer
John Hanes Digital Editing
Peter Adarkwah Executive Producer
Mark Ronson Producer, Engineer, beats
Gabriel Roth Engineer
Henrik Jonback Composer
Rohan Onraet Engineer
Eddie Bezalel Executive Producer
Russell Pritchard Composer
Sean Payne Composer
Boyan Chowdhury Composer
Abi Harding Composer
Lukas Wooller Composer
Taz Mattar Engineer
Leila Stacey Assistant Contractor
Dave McCabe Composer
Archis Tiku Composer
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