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Mark Ronson talks Version

Mark Ronson

Story by Jack Foley

MARK Ronson is clever enough to know that his re-interpretations of tracks from the likes of The Smiths, Coldplay and Kaiser Chiefs are likely to offend some. But he’s not bothered.

Version, his clever collection of re-interpreted modern classics, isn’t designed as a quick cash-in like some recent makeovers we could mention. Rather, it’s the sign of an artist determined to stretch himself and provide listeners with something worthwhile and different in the process.

“I keep the up-most respect and appreciation for the original versions of songs I use,” he explains. “I’m just trying to find something in it, add something to the arrangement or change a groove. It’s not like I’m thinking it’s a shit song that I can make good, it’s more like a great song and I’m going to make it bounce.”

The idea for Version stemmed from the Exit Music project he got involved with a year or so ago – a scheme that put down similarly funky variations on Radiohead songs. Ronson delivered an album highlight in Just, a horn-heavy re-interpretation featuring the vocals of California’s Phantom Planet.

But he enjoyed the experience so much that it triggered something inside him…

“I hadn’t even thought of doing covers before,” he continues. “But that did well over here – even Thom Yorke went on Radio 1 and said he loved it. So, basically with Version I’ve taken these well-known songs – plus some lesser well known ones – and turned them into Motown stax 70’s versions.

“I think this record has really hit a sound. I’ve been on fire in my creative streak and the records I’m making now are ones I love. The music I’ve got coming out next year is definitely the best stuff I’ve done.

“You wouldn’t be able to hear another cover that had such great, funky beats and not think it’s a Mark Ronson record.”

Version hits record shops on April 16.