Strings Of Life
Format: 12'' Reissue
Label: Transmat Cat: MS004
Release date: 23/09/2019
Considered a classic in both the house and techno genres, “Strings Of Life” is the most recognizable and well-known song in Derrick May’s repertoire. It is based on a piano sequence by May’s then-friend Michael James, and was originally at 80 BPM before May increased the tempo, chopped it up into loops, and added percussion and string samples.
There were five official versions of the song. The first two were released in 1987: the famous 7:23 mix called “Strings Of Life (Piano Mix),” “Strings Of Life (The Classic Mix)” or just “Strings Of Life”, and a 6:56 remix called “Strings (Flam-Boy-Ant Mix)” or just “Strings”. In 1989, two new remixes were licensed exclusively to UK & European labels: a Juan Atkins remix called “Strings Of Life ’89 (Juan’s Magic Mix)”, and an uncredited remix called “Strings of Life (Exclusive Remix)” (issued on a split release with Model 500). In 1991, an 8:23 kick drum-free version titled “Strings Of Life (Unreleased Mix)”, “Strings Of Life (Remix)”, or “Strings Of The Strings Of Life” first appeared, and featured additional production by Carl Craig & Derrick May. This mix was “unreleased” in the sense that it was new at the time and was never officially released on a single; only on compilations.
Numerous compilations feature early fades and other space-saving edits of the original 1987 Piano Mix, the 1989 Exclusive Remix, and the 1991 Unreleased Mix.
In addition, the original 1987 Piano Mix often appears at two distinct speeds on compilations. The unedited track is 7:19 for the faster speed and 7:35 for the pitched-down version