A Sampling of Some of Music’s Greatest Samples

Slate's Culture Blog
Jan. 29 2014 1:10 PM

A Sampling of Some of Music’s Greatest Samples

Chances are you’ve heard some of the same songs sampled again and again without even knowing it. In this video from Eclectic Method, the DJ has created “A Brief History of Sampling,” chronicling some of the most popular breaks in music, from the time they were first sampled until today.

Beginning with Lee Dorsey’s “Get Out of My Life Woman” from 1966 (whose drums have apparently been sampled by everyone from Nas to Biz Markie to Beck), the video isolates each original snippet and then spins off into a brief tour of the songs it inspired.


We should note that the video makes at least one curious claim: It suggests that the Beatles’ “Revolution No. 9” samples The Winstons’ “Amen, Brother,” though there doesn’t appear to be any evidence that this is true, nor do I remember hearing any such drum break in that artsy collage. It also ends with AC/DC’s “Flick of the Switch,” meaning that it doesn’t cover the 30 years’ worth of songs that have been sampled since.

Still, it’s a pretty cool introduction to many of music’s most popular samples, and we bet you’ll never be able to un-hear ubiquitous samples like “Funky Drummer” and “the Amen break.”

Aisha Harris is a Slate staff writer.


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