James Lavelle Remix of “Wake Up Dead Man” Appears Again
Original Story by Aaron J. Sams (2019-02-08)
Almost a year ago we were able to tell you about a new mix of “Wake Up Dead Man” that had appeared many years later. The song, originally from 1997’s Pop album, had been remixed back in 1997 by Unkle. Unkle was a British group, founded in 1992 by James Lavelle and Tim Goldsworthy. Lavelle had a monthly radio show on Soho Radio, and on March 21, 2018, he commented about the mix, “Since I’ve been going through the Mo’ Wax Psyence Fiction DATs I found a U2 mix that never got released” and he then continued to play the song on the air. The mix played was 04:56 in length, and included a voice that said ‘exclusive’ a number of times over top of the mix.
Now the mix has appeared again. The program Nemone’s Electric Ladyland on BBC Radio Six recently featured James Lavelle “in conversation and in the mix” ahead of the release of a new Unkle album. As part of the broadcast, Lavelle spun some tracks including some exclusive unreleased mixes. As part of that mix, Lavelle included his mix of “Wake Up Dead Man” but only 02:35 of the mix was played, this time without the voice repeating “exclusive” over the track. But it is a shortened version of the mix, and mixed with sounds ahead and after the song.
The program can be heard here on the BBC site. It can be replayed for another 23 days. The remix of “Wake Up Dead Man” can be heard at 1:33:39 until 1:36:14. It is mixed in with other material by Unkle, as well as songs by Massive Attack and Queens of the Stone Age, and is titled the “Living in My Headphones Def Mix”. Here, the U2 mix is titled the “James Lavelle Remix”. The program initially aired on Saturday, February 2 from 00:00 to 02:00.
In 1997 Unkle were working with a number of collaborators including Thom Yorke, Mike D. and Richard Ashcroft, and working on their own album Psyence Fiction. That album was the debut studio album by Unkle, released on the Mo’ Wax label on August 24, 1998. Unkle would have worked on the U2 remix at the same time they were recording the album, thus the song’s presence on the DAT tapes for that album. How would U2 have gotten hooked up with Unkle? Most likely through Howie B who helped produce Pop. Howie B had been involved in Unkle’s 1995 double EP Time Has Come and he worked extensively with acts on the Mo’ Wax label.
Special thanks to Max and Graeme for bringing this one to our attention. And to Andrew for sharing the track with us initially in 2018.