It’s not often we get to hear classic dance tracks in a modern context outside of halfhearted remixes. Marshall Jefferson has enlisted George Smeddles to break the mold on a passionate rework of “It’s Alright.” The original 1987 record produced by Jefferson, Sterling Void, and Paris Brightledge went on to be a global hit after it was covered by the Pet Shop Boys on their 1989 album, Introspective.
It’s apt that Jefferson and Brightledge have chosen Smeddles to help provide a modern twist for this house classic as he’s not strayed too far from the feel-good piano house style of the original. Smeddles has reimagined “It’s Alright” for the modern dance floor, with some added punch in the drums and bass line. While the original maintains an air of nostalgia, after all, the mix and master leave something to be desired in the context of contemporary house music.
1987 was yet another tumultuous time in the world, and Brightledge’s vocals spoke to that: “Dictation being forced in Afghanistan/Revolution in South Africa taking a stand/People in Eurasia on the brink of oppression.” Meanwhile, the song’s bright and uplifting piano riffs support the overall message of hope. Brightledge joyously sings that “Music will last/Never dissipating, but giving us strength.” It’s surely a sentiment that we can all use in a year that has been rife with uncertainty.
A portion of the royalties from “It’s Alright” will be donated to St. Catherine’s Hospice, located in England’s northwestern city of Lancashire. The palliative care facility helped a close friend of Smeddles who passed from cancer last year.
“Last year, I lost one of my best friends,” Smeddles said in a statement to Mixmag. “He spent his last few weeks in a hospice and from spending time there with him it completely shocked me to find out how selfless, gracious, and humble these people are that work there. The attention and care Matt received at St Catherine’s Hospice was seriously out of this world.”
“It’s Alright” is out now on Ultra Records.