Remixes that gave songs a big chart boost

As a remix of Saint Jhn's Roses battles for Number 1, we look at other songs that were helped up the charts thanks to a refresh.

It's not uncommon for artists to breathe new life into songs with a remix – both to refresh album tracks or extend a single's chart run.

A recent evolution of the trend has seen relatively minor hits from recent years find global success thanks to a nifty re-swizz. The latest is Roses by Saint Jhn, which hit Number 1 on the Official UK Singles Chart in March. The Guyanese-American rapper and producer - real name Carlos St. John - first released the song in 2016, but a remix by relatively unknown (in the UK, at least) Kazakh producer Imanbek last September has seen it find huge success across the globe.

Here are a more songs that reached their full potential on the charts thanks to some behind-the-scenes tinkering.

Run DMC vs Jason Nevins - It's Like That

Few could've guessed that Run DMC's debut single It's Like That from 1983 would, years later, end up becoming not only one of the biggest bangers ever, but one of the best selling singles of all time. But that's what happened, thanks to Jason Nevins. His remix of the track in 1998 knocked Celine Dion's My Heart Will Go On off the top spot and blocked Spice Girls from earning a seventh consecutive number one with Stop. The new version of It's Like That spent six weeks at Number 1 and has since gone on to be the best selling remix in UK chart history.

Robin Schulz/Mr Probz/Lilly Wood & The Prick

German DJ Robin Schulz was busy in 2014, remixing two tracks and helping both go straight in at Number 1. First, Schulz’s rework of Mr Probz’s Waves catapulted the Dutch artist to stardom across Europe – and doing Robin’s own profile no end of good too.

A few months later, Robin worked his magic again on Prayer in C, a track originally released by French-Israeli twosome Lilly Wood & The Prick way back in 2010. The new version topped the charts in over 20 countries, even causing the original to chart in the French Top 10 as a result. Both tracks spent two weeks at Number 1 on the Official UK Chart

Lana Del Rey - Summertime Sadness

Lana’s sundowner anthem was a hit in a smattering of countries in its original form, but it was the Cedric Gervais’ remix that catapulted it up the charts, hitting the Top 10 in as many territories, including the US and the UK, where it currently stands as Lana's biggest hit. View Lana Del Rey's Official UK Chart history in full here.

Emma Louise/Wankelmut/MK - My Head Is A Jungle

This dance-pop smash started life as a minor indie hit by Australian artist Emma Louise in 2011 but took off two years later thanks to a remix by German DJ Wankelmut in 2013. The track was given another re-swizz by US producer MK which saw its success swell even further, taking it to Number 5 on the Official Singles Chart in August 2014.

Elvis - A Little Less Conversation

Recorded for the 1968 film Live A Little, Love A Little, Elvis’ A Little Less Conversation was merely a minor US hit when originally released. It wasn’t until 34 years later when Dutch producer Junkie XL gave it a makeover that appeared in a Nike advert that it became a worldwide smash, logging four weeks at Number 1. See all Elvis Presley's Official UK Chart history in full.

Melanie C - I Turn To You

By the time Mel C had reached the fourth single I Turn To You of her debut solo album Northern Star, the record had sold bucket loads, so the track was wisely given a remix by Hex Hector. The infusion of Eurodance into the song sent it to Number 1 in the UK and even won Hector a Grammy for remixer of the year.

Tove Lo - Stay High

A remix was the perfect career-launching platform for Tove Lo. The Swedish singer-songwriter’s track Habits (Stay High) was remixed by Hippie Sabotage back in 2014, helping her climb to the upper echelons of the charts across the world, including the UK, where it reached Number 6.

Everything But The Girl - Missing

Everything but the Girl’s Missing is an undisputed club banger, but it didn’t start out that way. Husband and wife duo EBTG (made up of Tracey Thorn and Ben Watt) originally released Missing back in 1994, peaking at 69. Fast forward a year and when legendary US DJ Todd Terry gets his hands on the track, the blinged-up version went stratospheric, hitting Number 3 in the UK, Number 2 in the US and making in the Top 10 in 15 countries.

Moloko - Sing It Back

The original version of Sing it Back was nice enough but perhaps not the most radio-friendly song you'd ever hear. Once German house producer Boris Dlugosch got to work, however, Sing it Back was suddenly a floorfiller and a genuine dance classic, and was soon zooming to a peak of Number 4 in 1999.

Kelly Rowland - Work

Back in 2008, Brighton knob-twiddlers Freemasons worked their magic on Work, turning Kelly's sassy R&B original into a sparkly disco anthem that propelled it into the Top 5. It certainly gave Kelly a taste for the dance floor – she teamed up with David Guetta soon after for smash Number 1 When Love Takes Over. Meanwhile, Freemasons became the go-to remixers for a radio hit: their rework of Beyonce and Shakira's Beautiful Liar was instrumental to its success. 

Florence + The Machine - Spectrum

2011 was the year Calvin Harris went global, and one of his first bold moves was remixing Florence + The Machine’s Spectrum. Prior to his involvement, Flo’s fourth single from her Ceremonials album hadn’t made a dent in the chart - but his remix sent the song to Number 1 for three weeks. The remix sparked a proper collaboration the following year - Sweet Nothing hit the top spot in October 2012.

Britney Spears - (You Drive Me) Crazy

STOP! Re-worked for the film Drive Me Crazy starring none other than Sabrina the Teenage Witch herself Melissa Joan Hart, The Stop Remix! of Britney’s (You Drive Me) Crazy well and truly deserved that exclamation mark compared to the slightly clunky, cowbell-heavy original from her debut album ...Baby One More Time. And the person behind the remix? It was none other than pop genius Max Martin, of course.

MORE: All Britney's UK chart hit singles and albums

Cornershop - Brimful Of Asha

There was a period in the late '90s where the sounds of Fatboy Slim (aka Norman Cook) were virtually inescapable. And when he wasn’t turning out his own hits, he was re-swizzling others’, the most successful of which was Cornershop’s Brimful Of Asha. The remix of the considerably more downbeat original stormed to Number 1 in February 1998 and gave the band their only Top 10 hit.

Tori Amos - Professional Widow

Tori's harpsichord-driven alt-rock track was given a dancefloor makeover by Armand van Helden, called Star Trunk Funkin' Mix, which sent it to Number 1 in January 1997. The professional widow Tori is rumoured to be referring to is Courtney Love, following the breakdown of their friendship in the early '90s.

Gorillaz - 19-2000

This re-working of 19-2000, the virtual band’s second single, was technically released alongside the original (both appeared on the same CD single), but given radio stations and music channels adopted the Soulchild Remix over the standard version, it seems fair to say it helped earn Gorillaz their second Top 10 single, peaking at Number 6 in 2001.

OMI - Cheerleader

One of the biggest global hits of 2015, in OMI's summery anthem was a very different animal before German DJ Felix Jaehn got his hands on it. Once Felix has worked his magic, the laid-back vibes of the original became a bop worthy of any dancefloor and – bingo! – worldwide smash status beckoned.

Mike Posner - I Took A Pill In Ibiza

Mike Posner's heartfelt acoustic track I Took A Pill In Ibiza didn't lose any of its soul when it was synthed up by Norwegian electronic duo SeeB. One big difference it made to the song was its fortunes – it was soon blaring out of radios and filling clubs and even scored Mike his first ever UK Number 1, topping the Official Chart for four weeks.

Listen to a selection of remixes that propelled singles up the Official Chart below:

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Joonas Stanislav Björklund


Melanie C - I turn to you Hex hector remix




Mariah Carey - Fantasy remix from 1995


Gary Feld


Freemasters Remix of Beyoncé & Shakira's "Beautiful Liar"




Lykke Li - I follow rivers Magician Remix and of course form back in the day Climie Fisher - Rise to the occasion


James Masterton


I'm going to nominate:

U2 - Even Better Than The Real Thing. A hit twice over within a matter of months in both original and remixed form in '92.

Wildchild - Renegade Master (Fatboy Slim Mix) in '98

Chicane with Powercircle - Offshore '97

K-Ci and JoJo - Tell Me It's Real. A minor R&B hit in '99 transformed into a 2-Step banger in '00.

Guru Josh - Infinity 2008




Tom' Diner by Suzanne Vega




Tori Amos - Proffesional Widow




Unbreak my Heart by Toni Braxton.


A Taste Of International Music


Great article! Thanks!




lisa stansfield- people hold on




Armand's Star Trunk Funkin' Mix of "Professional Widow" by Tori Amos.
I think the remix took it to No. 1


Tim Pardington


Indeed and knocked the Spice Girls off the top spot