The Most Famous Samples In Music History!
The Most Famous Samples In The Music Industry!
An essential part of music production today is the use of music samples. Producers often use melody packs or drum samples to enhance a project in the music industry. Some pieces are better than the rest sometimes - which is why there are snippets of a track sampled thousands of times.
The most famous music samples come from a range of genres. Usually, it is a unique but catchy snippet of music you know you can't reproduce to its original value when you listen to it. Currently, the most sampled song of all time is the 1969 track by The Winstons, "Amen, Brother."
“Amen Brother” has been used in different projects since its release - so many times that its 2020 sample count stands at 4,130 times! It isn't the only one, though - many songs like this have been sampled thousands of times.
Six Most Sampled Songs In The Music Industry
Songs being sampled is no new thing; it has been around for ages. It has been around for so long that a song released in 1969 is used today and frequently. So, let's look at the five most sampled songs in the music industry and how they were sampled over the years.
"Amen, Brother" by The Winstons
The song was a hit in its time, but what really made it timeless was its mid-song break. A six-second clip from 1 minute 26 seconds of the song became the most widely used drum sample of all time. Because of the nature of the piece and its use, musicians refer to it as the Amen Break.
Even though The Winstons' drummer shifted the future for many artists, the band never got any royalties from the sample. Most interestingly–I might get a little sciencey here–the Amen Break's waveform is similar to the golden ratio.
The drum sample from the song has then been used by stellar artists like Amy Winehouse, David Bowie, Oasis, N.W.A., and more.
"Think (About It)" by Lyn Collins
Lyn Collins' "Think" (About It) is seemingly an unknown song to many. But, her songs' samples in various music is something you have definitely heard before whether you've noticed it or not. The groovy music has a beat to it that gets in your head, and she yells the words "Yeah!" and "Woo!" throughout the song, which will stick with you. And so it did with a lot of producers.
Collins' exclamations are so common in music now that it's hard to miss. In Kanye West's "So Appalled" and "Lost in the World," you can catch Collins' voice. Then again, renowned artists like J Dilla, Snoop Dogg, and Jamie xx used the sample in some of their more famous works.
Think (About It) is the second most sampled song ever, with 2,466 tracks crediting it as a sampled track in 2020.
"Change the Beat (Female Version)" by Beside/Fab 5 Freddy
Change the Beat by Fab 5 Freddy is a dance electro-pop song that is captivating enough on its own, but it still stands as the third most sampled song in the music industry. The part of the song that gets sampled is not one you would expect, though; it is a record scratch.
The iconic sound of Fab 5 Freddy's record scratch and distortion near the song's end became a part of many modern pop songs. Its earliest use is in Herbie Hancock's 'Rockit,' which came out in 1984. You might recognize it in Macklemore's Thrift Shop or Justin Bieber's Right Here - which uses the sample throughout the entire song.
According to the Smithsonian, Change the Beat is the most sampled song in history. The issue is debatable since multiple song versions were released over time. Either way, it remains one of the most iconic tracks to sample.
"Funky Drummer" by James Brown
It is no surprise that any of James Brown's songs would be one of the most sampled songs in the music industry. But to speak for its versatility, both N.W.A.'s Fuck Tha Police and the Powerpuff Girls Theme song use the drum sample from Funky Drummer by James Brown.
Funky Drummer is the fourth most sampled - with about 1500 songs crediting it as a sample. The drum sample may be the easiest to identify. Still, the song has been musically shredded in multiple ways due to its rich number of components.
Besides N.W.A. and the cartoon theme, you can also hear parts of the 1970 project in Dr. Dre's "Let Me Ride" and Public Enemy's "Fight the Power" and "Rebel Without a Pause."
"La Di Da Di" by Doug E. Fresh and Slick Rick
Much like James Brown's Funky Drummer, "La Di Da Di" became a sampling favorite because of its versatility. The song is a hip-hop classic. Doug E. Fresh beatboxes while Slick Rick does the vocals - and in many ways, the song made its place in music 30 years into the future.
The song is anything but serious - it's a party song about a fictional story. Yet, in 2020, about 990 projects have a part of the song in its production. Once you hear La Di Da Di, you may be able to listen to details of it on The Notorious B.I.G.’s "Hypnotize" and Miley Cyrus's "We Can't Stop."
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The music industry sees no limit to music samples - whether its melody packs or drum samples. Due to the availability of these samples on the internet, even a homegrown producer can bring their vision to reality!