Friday, March 19, 2010

Play What? Play This! Playlist.

This week: Where Did That Come From? 

Sampling. Great post-modern art of the music world. Taking that which has been established and revamping it into a new sound. Thousands or artists sample, millions of songs (have there been a million songs? Probably, right?) include a sample of some sort. But where did those samples come from? Well here is a quick list of some of my favorite originals. (Normally I would have playlist you could listen to as well… but I couldn’t find most of these songs on the website that creates those playlists. Enjoy the YouTube versions!)

Herb Albert & The Tijuana Brass: “Rise.” Can you hear it from the beat of the song? Possibly the most recognizable rap song from the 90’s used this beat and that dizzying spiral of a sound (skip to 3:23) to create one of Biggie’s greatest. “Hypnotized.”

Chuck Brown: “Ashley’s Roachclip.” It should come as no surprise that most of these samples are used in rap songs. Its interesting, however, to see what the rappers or producers were listening to which sparked their ideas. The drum beat marked at 3:34, first used in Eric B. and Rakim’s “Paid in Full,” then went on to be used in many other songs. It is the perfect beat to start off a freestyle.

E.S.G. “UFO.” My favorite no-wave band by far. ESG were some rockin’ chicks that made fantastic, minimal, drum-driven songs as part of the downtown New York movement in the late 70’s. This song, probably their weirdest, yet possibly best (though I am partial to “Dance”) perfectly encapsulates anxiety and paranoia in song. All that and no words. So what used it? Big Daddy Kane did in “Ain’t No Half Steppin.” J. Dilla used it in “Geek Down.” “Back in the Dayz” by Doug E. Fresh. It is in Girl Talk’s “Play Your Part (Pt. 2.). The list of artists and songs who use it is absurd. Biggie, Public Enemy, MF Doom ft. Raekwon. This is a legendary track with a legendary cut. Appreciate.

Archie Bell & The Drells: “Tighten Up.” One of the greatest rhythm and blues songs also has quite a history in pop music. That beautiful, summery guitar hook is featured in Janet Jackson’s “Free Xone”… but honestly who cares about that song? More important, it is used by sample greats The Go! Team in their frenetic song “Ladyflash.”

Shirley Ellis: “Soul Time.” Speaking of those great kids The Go! Team, have you ever listened to their song “Bottle Rocket?” Well that cheerleading-esq counting at the end (“2-4-6-8-10! 2-4-6-8-20!”) is taken from this fantastic soul singer. Shirley Ellis first came onto my radar after watching the – seems fitting – vinyl/DJ-ing documentary “Scratch.” Afrika Bambaataa samples Ellis’s “The Clapping Song” to keep things stayin’ funky. Amazing how many rappers and producers are being influenced by soul, funk, and rhythm and blues.

The Shadows: “Apache.” Perhaps this is not so much a sample as it is the original of a beloved dance cover. That iconic Fresh Prince of Bel-Air dance to the music of the Sugarhill Gang song? Originally a surf tune by these devils.

Frankie Smith: “Double Dutch Bus.” How Missy Elliot decided to use this jibberish sample for “Gossip Folks” (skip to 2:36) is completely beyond me. But somehow, it totally works.

David McCallum: “The Edge” This one is more surprising. Upon hearing it, you will immediately recognize the song which samples it. Dr. Dre’s “The Next Episode.” What is amazing to me is that Dre was listening to something as “Adult Contemporary” or “Modern Smooth Jazz” at this original song.

Edwin Birdsong: “Cola Bottle Baby.” This one almost isn’t even a sample. Daft Punk just stole the hook from this song to create the incredibly catchy “Harder Better Faster Stronger.” Just listen to the intro.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Hello. And Bye.