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Hear R.E.M.’s Shinier, Happier ‘Losing My Religion’ Converted to a Major Key

R.E.M.'s "Losing My Religion" video

Before video-sharing services like YouTube became popular, a film editing trade group held a contest. Competitors had to pick an old movie and cut a new trailer for it, except in a totally different genre. The contest winner, in which The Shining was recast as a rom-com called Shining, became a viral hit before “viral” was a thing. The New York Times even reported on it.

More recently, some enterprising Vimeo users have done something similar with music. The owner of the account Major Scaled has gone about taking bleak minor-key songs and using digital tools to recast them in a sunny major key. Boing Boing points to the most recently (re)-uploaded clip, a major-key reworking of R.E.M.’s “Losing My Religion.” 

It’s as surreal as it sounds. Boing Boing draws a comparison to Garfield Minus Garfield, another simple but ingenious reappropration that draws new meaning out of existing art, and… yeah, this is pretty head-smacking. At the same time, major-key “Religion” is saccharine and plodding, like My Bloody Valentine’s (pretty good!) post-goth, pre-shoegaze songs if they were robbed of their bubblegum energy — a slow-motion “Strawberry Wine,” maybe?

Major Scaled hasn’t stopped with R.E.M., though. Major-key versions also exist of Metallica’s “Nothing Else Matters,” the Doors’ “Riders on the Storm,” and Django Reinhardt’s “MInor Swing.” Watch them below, at least while they last.