April 20, 2024


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Sampling music might be as old as music itself: Video

Passages from existing music were routinely inserted into new compositions for centuries. In the modern age, jazz improvisation often includes bits and pieces of familiar songs.

With the invention of recorded music over a century ago, it became possible to insert elements of existing recordings into new ones. A comedian and producer named Dickie Goodman pioneered this practice with a series of mock interview records in the 1950s. This formula was a hit and it made a career for Dickie Goodman that lasted decades.

Obviously, these records dated rather quickly. But by 1979, the Sugar Hill Gang released “Rapper’s Delight,” which helped spark a musical revolution. It was a rap on a sample of Chic’s hit, “Good Times.”

Hip hop, modern R&B, and other forms of contemporary pop routinely sample existing recordings. Sample Sampler. Let’s see which of these original songs you can recognize as the reincarnated hits.

Beyonce’s “Crazy In Love” sampled the 1970s Chi-Lites’ song, “Are You My Woman?”; and “Dazz” by Brick, a huge funk hit from 1976, was sampled numerous times: by Ice Cube in their hit “No Vaseline;” also by C+C Music Factory, The Real Roxanne; “Cinderfella” Dana Dane and many others.

The 1963 pop hit “Can’t Get Used to Losing You” by crooner Andy Williams was sampled for Beyonce’s hit, “Hold Up.”

Curtis Mayfield’s 1979 song, “You’re So Good to Me,” from his album, Heartbeat, was sampled on “Be Happy” by Mary J. Blige in 1994.

And “Gangsta’s Paradise” was made possible by Stevie Wonder’s “Pastime Paradise” from his 1976 album, Songs in the Key of Life.

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