Did you know that November 15th is the only nationally recognized day dedicated to encouraging Americans to recycle and buy recycled products? Well, now you do. But it’s not just products that America likes recycling… that’s right, we’re going to talk about sampled songs!
Just to be clear, sampling in music refers to the practice of taking a portion of one sound recording and reusing it in a different song or piece. Too technical? Ok, let’s dive into practice.
America Recycles Music: Most Sampled Songs
It’s undeniable that it’s an effective technique; it’s widely used in various genres, particularly in hip-hop, electronic music, and pop. In fact, in many cases, the sampled songs end up gaining more momentum as a sample than as the full song.
We’ve selected the 5 most sampled songs in the last decades, from the 60s till today!
“Amen Brother” by The Winstons (60s)
“Amen Brother” by The Winstons is most famous for its “Amen Break,” a six-second drum solo that has become one of the most widely sampled breaks in the history of music, particularly in the realm of electronic music and hip-hop.
Rock band Oasis samples the “Amen Break” in their song “D’You Know What I Mean?” from the album Be Here Now (1997). This song also features a prominent sample from Neil Innes‘ song “How Sweet to Be an Idiot.” The drum loop is possibly the most recognizable part of the song and gives it that energetic and anthemic quality.
“Think (About It)” by Lyn Collins (70s)
This classic funk track by Lyn Collins was released in 1972 and the most famous and sampled element is the powerful vocal line, “It takes two to make a thing go right, it takes two to make it outta sight.” This line has been widely sampled in hip-hop and dance music.
Among the many songs that sampled this unforgettable track, “Shoop” by Salt-N-Pepa sampled part of its catchy chorus. In fact, it became one of Salt-N-Pepa’s most successful singles, reaching the top 10 on the Billboard Hot 100 chart. A mix of humor, confidence, and a truly infectious sample.
“The Big Beat” by Billy Squier (80s)
This rock song released in 1980 might not be the most sampled song but it gained significant popularity among hip-hop producers and has been sampled in several notable tracks.
Run-D.M.C. is known for incorporating rock elements into their early hip-hop sound, and “The Big Beat” definitely blends in with the dynamic and energetic elements of their music.
“Love Sensations” by Loleatta Holloway (90s)
This dance and house music track by Loleatta Holloway was released in 1980 and is known for its energetic and upbeat tempo – come on, it’s dance and disco! As with most of her tracks, it reached a level of infectious energy through her vocals.
A true classic in this genre, it’s been featured in various compilations and, of course, widely sampled.
Before you start googling Mark Whalberg’s arm, listen for this sample in “Good Vibrations” (1991) by Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch. More recently, LeAnn Rimes sampled Holloway’s vocals in Commitment, adding a dance element to the country-pop track.
Keep recycling, please!