The Winstons, ‘Amen Brother’
Alt-J have surprised fans by sampling Miley Cyrus on their new record. The enfant terrible of pop won’t be up there quite yet, but here’s a countdown of the 30 most sampled tracks ever, starting with The Winstons, ‘Amen Brother’ AKA the ‘Amen Break’ which track provided the breakbeat for N.W.A.’s ‘Straight Outta Compton’ and Mantronix’s ‘King Of The Beat’ before propping up numerous others.
Skull Snaps – ‘It’s A New Day’:
Skull Snaps – ‘It’s A New Day’: The opening drum pattern from this song has been sampled by The Pharcyde, The Prodigy, Rob Dougan, Ol’ Dirty Bastard, Das EFX, Eric B. And Rakim, Digable Planets, DJ Shadow, Black Moon and Guru.
Sly And The Family Stone, ‘Sing A Simple Song’: The drum riff to this funky 1968 tune has been used by musicians in almost every genre, including Gorillaz on ’19-2000′, Dr Dre and Snoop Dogg, the Spice Girls, Sade, Moby, Ludacris, Lupe Fiasco, Kylie Minogue, Nicky Minaj, Katy B… the list goes on really. Recognize the beat?
Wallace Collection, ‘Daydream’: In 2006, Lupe Fiasco and Jill Scott put a hip-hop spin on the Belgian band’s 1968 single (and won a Grammy for it), though they were actually sampling the Gunter Kallmann Chorus’ 1970 cover of the song. Other samplers include The Pharcyde, The Motowns, I Monster, Skinny, The Beta Band and German rappers Fettes Brot, incidently.
Billy Squier, ‘The Big Beat’: Aside from Girl Talk’s “This Is The Remix’ (but let’s be honest, Girl Talk samples practically everything), Squier’s thumping rock anthem has also been sampled by rappers Dizzee Rascal and Jay-Z on two of their most popular songs – ‘Fix Up Look Sharp’ takes the drums while ’99 Problems’ samples the guitar riff. Numerous others have also borrowed bits.
Dave And Ansel Collins, ‘Stalag 17’: There’s a good chance you’ve jammed to this Jamaican duo’s reggae tune before. Sister Nancy sampled it on ‘Bam Bam’, while DJ Dextrous and Rude Boy Keith broke down the ‘Stalag’ “riddim” on their dubstep track, ‘Wicked’.
Isley Brothers, ‘Make Me Say It Again Girl’: Hey…ho…hey…ho! Remember? Naughty By Nature used the Isley’s tune on their 1993 party hit ‘Hip Hop Hooray’. Rappers seem to love the Isley Bros – Gangsta Blac’s ‘Ain’t No Love’ and Bone Thugs-n-Harmony’s hit single, ‘Tha Crossroads’ have also used the song. Listen here.
Soft Cell – ‘Tainted Love’: Most younger people probably don’t not know that this tune existed before ‘SOS’ and ‘Sexy Bitch’. ‘Tainted Love’ was one of British new wave band Soft Cell’s most popular songs before falling into the hands of Rihanna and David Guetta. But even Soft Cell’s version was a cover – the original ‘Tainted Love’ is by American soul singer Gloria Jones.
Isaac Hayes, ‘Ike’s Rap 2’: 90s trip-hoppers Tricky and Portishead sampled so heavily from Hayes’ 1971 single on ‘Hell’s Around The Corner’ and ‘Glorybox’ that it’s easy to confuse the two songs. Listen to ‘Ike’s Rap 2’ here.
George Clinton, ‘Atomic Dog’: First, the music video for this track is a must-see for cheezy 80s goodness. Many have sampled this song: MC Hammer, Ice Cube, Ice-T, Biz Markie, Insane Clown Posse, Nas, Pitbull, Blackstreet, Publc Enemy, Snoop Dogg, 2Pac and, yes, Girl Talk on ‘Get It Get It’, just to name a few.
James Brown, ‘Funky Drummer’
James Brown, ‘Funky Drummer’ Arguably THE most sampled track ever, having been used by: Grandmaster Flash, Public Enemy, NWA, Run DMC, Sinead O’Connor, Jovanotti, Vanilla Ice, LL Cool J, Aphex Twin, TLC, Moby, Ludacris, Lupe Fiasco, Kylie Minogue, Girl Talk, Nicki Minaj and Katy B. Phew!
Club Nouveau, ‘Why You Treat Me So Bad’
Club Nouveau, ‘Why You Treat Me So Bad’ Give this a spin on YouTube. Recognise the bassline? It’s the one Luniz stole and repackaged as his own on ‘I Got Five On it’. Also borrowed by Ashanti (‘Only U’), P Diddy (‘Satisfy You’), Jennifer Lopez (‘I’m Gonna Be Alright’) and Jessica Simpson (the So So Def Remix of ‘Irresistable’).
Jimi Polo, ‘Better Days’
Jimi Polo, ‘Better Days’ Jimi Polo might not mean much to you or us, but his old school house tune has been sampled by Fatboy Slim (‘Song For Lindy’) alongside Congress and Slipmatt. Original’s not bad either – check out the rave piano right here.
The Mohawks, ‘The Champ’:
The Mohawks, ‘The Champ’: This is kind of an obscure track from Alan Hawkshaw and his group of session musicians (listen to it here), but it’s popped up in loads of other tunes from Big Daddy Kane, KRS One, Cut Chemist and DJ Shadow, Redman, Breakestra and Eric B. And Rakim.
James Brown – ‘The Boss’:
James Brown – ‘The Boss’: James Brown contributed heavily to the soundtrack for the 1973 film Black Caesar. ‘The Boss’, which appeared in the final cut, has since also appeared on Nas’ ‘Get Down’, Ice-T’s ‘You Played Yourself’ and Trick Daddy’s ‘Take It To Da House’.
Honey Drippers, ‘Impeach The President’:
Honey Drippers, ‘Impeach The President’: Wowza, this one’s appeared in pretty much every song out there, eh?. View the full list here, featuring Nas (‘I Can’), Limp Bizkit (‘Stuck’ and ‘Nookie’), Janet Jackson feat. Shaggy (‘Luv Me, Luv Me’), Insane Clown Posse (‘Nuttin’ But A Bitch Thang’), The Lonely Island (‘Incredibad’) and Panda Bear (‘Slow Motion’).
Rock Master Scott And The Dynamic Three – ‘The Roof Is On Fire’:
Rock Master Scott And The Dynamic Three – ‘The Roof Is On Fire’: “The roof, the roof, the roof is on fi-urrrrr“. We all know that line – and it started off in this mid-80s classic. Here’s where else you might have heard it: The Chemical Brothers, De La Soul, Bratmobile, Rancid, The Bloodhound Gang, YACHT, Buck-O-Nine, Chonk, The Prodigy and The Pharcyde .
Isley Brothers – ‘Between The Sheets’:
Isley Brothers – ‘Between The Sheets’: Right, so the single artwork sort of screams ‘SLEAZY PORNO’, but the song kind of matches that assumption nicely. Ready for the list of acts who’ve poached it for their own songs? Here we go: Gwen Stefani, Notorious B.I.G., Aaliyah, Tupac, Jay-Z, Lil Wayne and Drake, Drake and Lloyd and Whitney Houston.
Kool And The Gang – ‘Jungle Boogie’:
Kool And The Gang – ‘Jungle Boogie’: Besides appearing in Pulp Fiction, this song’s popped up in the works of Madonna (‘Erotica’), Luniz (‘I Got 5 On It’), Blackstreet (‘No Diggity’), Janet Jackson (‘You Want This’), Beastie Boys (‘Hey Ladies’) and M/A/R/R/S (‘Pump Up the Volume’).
James Brown – ‘The Payback’:
James Brown – ‘The Payback’: True, it’s hard to sample James Brown and make is sound better than the original, but quite a few have come pretty close: LL Cool J (‘The Boomin’ System’), En Vogue (‘My Lovin’ (You’re Never Gonna Get It)’ and ‘Hold On’), Massive Attack (‘Protection’), Notorious B.I.G. feat. Total (‘Can’t You See’), and Silk feat. Keith Sweat (‘Happy Days’).
Eddie Kendricks – ‘Keep On Truckin’’:
Eddie Kendricks – ‘Keep On Truckin’’: Ignore the fact that The Temptations man’s title sounds like a crappy motivational self-help book, and focus on the fact that this song has been re-worked by Jennifer Lopez (‘Do It Well’), Lil’ Kim (‘Who’s Number One?) and Mr. Cheeks (‘Lights Camera Action’).
Lafayette Afro Rock Band – ‘Darkest Light’:
Lafayette Afro Rock Band – ‘Darkest Light’: You’ve most definitely heard the opening sax riff in this one. It’s been used by Public Enemy (‘Show ‘Em Whatcha Got’), Jay-Z (‘Show Me What You Got’), N2Deep (‘Back To The Hotel’) and Wreckx-n-Effect (‘Rump Shaker’).
Led Zeppelin, ‘When The Levee Breaks’
Led Zeppelin, ‘When The Levee Breaks’ A huge amount of bands and artists owe a debt to this Led Zep monster, from Eminem (‘Kim’) to Beastie Boys (‘So What’cha Want’), Dr Dre (‘Lyrical Gangbang’) and Depeche Mode, via Erasure, Nine Inch Nails, Sophie B Hawkins, Bjork and numerous others.
Funkadelic – ‘Get Off Your Ass And Jam’:
Funkadelic – ‘Get Off Your Ass And Jam’: For starters, this song’s got an amazing title. Plus, it’s catchy as all hell. You might recognise it from Ice T’s ’99 Problems’, Public Enemy’s ‘Bring The Noise’ and A Tribe Called Quest’s ‘The Pressure’.
Mountain Feat. Leslie West And Felix Pappalardi – ‘Long Red’:
Mountain Feat. Leslie West And Felix Pappalardi – ‘Long Red’: A few bars (plus a clip of Leslie West yelling to the crowd ‘Ya out there? Louder!‘) from a live recording of this song have popped up in songs from the likes of A Tribe Called Quest, Nas, Kanye West, Jay-Z, Common and Public Enemy.
Bob James – ‘Nautilus’:
Bob James – ‘Nautilus’: This jazz song is now probably most remembered for being one of the most sampled songs in hip-hop. Salt ‘N’ Pepa, Run-DMC, Slick Rick, The Roots – even Mary J. Blige used a snippet of this tune in her song ‘Deep Inside’. And if that’s not enough, ‘Nautilus’ was also used in the video game ‘Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas’.
The Incredible Bongo Band, ‘Apache’
The Incredible Bongo Band, ‘Apache’ A 1973 take on the Shadows classic that’s been ripped over twenty times, by Nas, Madonna, Amy Winehouse, Vanilla Ice, Grandmaster Flash and loads more