Thursday, October 16, 2008

Classic Soul Samples

Here's a compilation I've been wanting to put together for a while. Having listened to a lot of hip-hop growing up, I've always been fascinated by the use of sampling, and how looping a few seconds of an original song, speeding and chopping up a breakbeat or a bassline, could create an entirely new song. Of course, most of the best beats created were made using classic soul and Rn'B samples, so I've tried here to pull together a selection of the best original tracks -- that were or were not hits in their time -- hoping you'll say to yourself "Oh, this is where they took that from!" when you play them.

Mostly, these are all excellent stand-alone Soul gems, which just need to be rediscovered.

First come is Joe Cocker's "Woman to woman" from his 1972 album called... "Joe Cocker". Pure funky soul groove, with an instantly recognizable piano & horn riff, borrowed in 1996 by Tupac for his #1 "California Love". This original version is just as much a party bomb as Tupac's... The second track, the Delfonics' "Ready or not, here I come" is also an instant catch. Sheer soulfulness from 1969, which inspired the Fugees to create a groundbreaking hit on their 1996 album "The Score".

The next track is even more grasping. Camille Yarbrough's "Take yo praise" from 1975. A beautiful gospel/spoken word/funk tune sampled by Fatboy Slim in 1998 for his hit "Praise You". Then come Syl Johnson "I hate I walked away", sampled by IAM on the album "L'école du micro d'argent", Ann Peebles "Troubles, heartaches & Sadness" sampled by the Wu Tang. Both Johnson and Peebles recorded on the soul label "HI" in the early 70s, and mostly evolved in Al Green's shadow, as he was the most famous act signed on Hi Records.

Then? Joe Simon. "Before the night is over". Just listen to the opening verse a couple of times and you'll recognize Outkast's "So fresh & so clean". This another HUGE Funky Soul piece, with a thumping bass and great wah guitar licks. Following is Bill Wither's "Grandma's Hand", the opening humming and guitar chords from which were sampled by Dr Dré for Black Street's "No Diggity" in 1996.

Another favorite in the selection is "All your goodies are gone" by Parliament, from the "Up for the downstroke" album. Mystical and spiritual soul funk, with a massively sampled opening break. Just brilliant! ~ And then... you'll need just a couple of seconds to recognize the huge sample taken from the Chi-lites "Are You My Woman? (Tell Me So)". MASSIVE boogie soul funk...

Then comes an amazing piece. An legendary bit of jazzy soul, by an obscure soul singer from Milwaukee called Penny Goodwin. Arranged by the genius Richard Evans, with a strong Chicago soul feel. "Soon you're old" starts in a quite mellow mood and picks up at about half time, rising to a jazz funk climax of strings, Fender Rhodes, massive wah guitar and percussions, aerial flute groove and a frantic bass line. Need I say more? Absolute winner track!

Next is "As long as I've got you", from another obscure Soul outfit called the Charmells. The opening piano & drum break was used on the Wu Tang's "C.R.E.A.M.". A classic production by RZA, and one of the defining moments in hip-hop history, if you want my opinion.

Other standout tracks include: "I Want'a Do Something Freaky To You" by Leon Haywood, sampled by Dre on ""Nuthin But A G Thang"; and "Never Gonna Stop" by Linda Clifford sampled by Tupac on "All Eyez on Me"

Tracklist is:

01. Joe Cocker - Woman To Woman, 1972
02. The Delfonics - Ready Or Not, Here I Come, 1969
03. Camille Yarbrough - Take Yo Praise, 1975
04. Syl Johnson - I Hate I Walked Away, 1973
05. Ann Peebles - Trouble, Heartaches & Sadness, 1972
06. Gwen McCrae - I've got nothing to lose, 1976
07. Joe Simon - Before The Night Is Over, 1977
08. Bill Withers - Grandmas Hands, 1971
09. The Detroit Emeralds - Let Me Take You In My Arms, 1972
10. Parliament - All Your Goodies Are Gone, 1974
11. The Chi-Lites Are You My Woman (Tell Me So), 1971
12. Penny Goodwin - Too Soon You're Old, 1974
13. The Charmels - As Long as I've Got You, 1967
14. The Dramatics - In The Rain, 1972
15. Clarence Reid - Living Together Is Keeping Us Apart, 1973
16. Bobby "Blue" Bland - Ain't No Love In The Heart of the, 1974
17. O.V. Wright - Let's Straighten It Out, 1978
18. Leon Haywood - I Want'a Do Something Freaky To You, 1975
19. Linda Clifford - Never gonna stop, 1979
20. The Isley Brothers - Between the Sheets, 1983

Get it here!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Freakbeat & Jerk Grooves - Made in France

I'm back with some more ultra groovy music from the late sixties -early seventies period with this selection of Freakbeat and Jerk masterpieces "à la Française".

Whether they come from Library records, film & T.V. soundtracks, or studio albums, the party bombs in this selection are all drenched with great drum breaks, speedy bass lines, psychedelic fuzz guitars and crazy mod Hammond organ solos.

Francis Lai kicks it off with the heavy instrumental funk chaser called "St Tropez" composed for Brigitte Bardot's album "the Brigitte Bardot Show". He is followed by the Hammond organ driven "Audition" by François de Roubaix, from the soundtrack for "L'homme orchestre" with Louis de Funès.

Michel Legrand's "Mi, sol, mi, mi, ré, ré, mi" comes out of the soundtrack for the film "La Dame Dans l'Auto Avec des Lunettes et un Fusil" and blends together jazz, jerk, pop, and mod elements. Legrand at the very top of his 60s cinematographic composing.

George Rodi is next with the brilliant mid tempo instrumental jazz jerk "Stercok" from the original soundtrack for the TV movie "Arsène Lupin". Francis Lai is featured again, with Nicole Croisille this time on the track "I don't know why" from the soundtrack for the film "La Leçon Particulière".

The groove bomb that follows next, "No no, yes yes" was composed by Michel Colombier and Serge Gainsbourg, for the film "Mr Freedom". The original record is extremely rare and pricey, and is one of the greatest late 60's French Freakbeat recordings, in a kind of "Aretha Franklin & Janis Joplin meet super killer organ player & the funky drummer" style.

Dany Maurice with his crazy "Hoodlum's Parade Jerk" and Michel Bernholc "Chevauchée Fantastique" follow with fast, car-chase like, wicked vibes. Then, often-featured on this blog, comes Bernard Estardy, the super talented organist behind Nino Ferrer's "Metronomie" and the cult "La Formule du Baron" with the delirious "Autoscopie". A baroque symphonic swirl of organ, harpsichord and piano.

Legrand again, with "Soirée Jerk chez les Dumonceau", soundtrack for the Jean Becker film "Tendre Voyou" with Michel Belmondo. The next track "Patrick Jerk" by Les Pros, was released on a promotional EP for a kids and teens clothing company called Boum Bomo. The song features some great fuzz guitar and just seams to stick in your head!

Other highlights in this compilation include : "Take One" by the Golden Pot, a fantastic jerk piece that was the theme from the Campus radio station show, pure instrumental psych-funk jerk madness ; Georges Garvarentz's psychedelic sitar groovy score for the film "Sapho" ; Jack Arel & Pierre Dutour's hundred-mile-an-hour "Following you" which is almost as fast as Bernard Lubat's "Crazy Organ" (the name speaks for itself).

Also included are the fantastic substance-infused "Freak" from Nino Ferrer's album Metronomie; the huge breakbeat jerk "Strip Poker at Caesar's Palace" by David Whitaker and the trippy organ score by Claude Bolling for the film "Doucement les Basses"

Click on the image below to see the album art for all of tracks in this compilation:

Tracklist is:

01. Brigitte Bardot & Francis Lai - St Tropez, 1968
02. François de Roubaix - Audition, 1970
03. Michel Legrand - Mi, Sol, Mi, Mi, Re, Re, Mi, 1970
04. Georges Raudi et son Orchestre - Stercok, 1970
05. Francis Lai & Nicole Croisille - I don't know why, 1968
06. Serge Gainsbourg & Michel Colombier - Mister Freedom - No no, yes yes, 1969
07. Dany Maurice et son Orchestre - Hoodlum's Parade Jerk, 1971
08. Michel Bernholc - Chevauchee Fantastique, 1976
09. Bernard Estardy - Autoscopie, 1967
10. Michel Legrand - Soiree jerk chez les Dumonceau, 1966
11. Les Pros - Patrick Jerk, 1966
12. Ben & the Platano Group - Castill Battle, 1971
13. The Golden Pot - Take One, 1968
14. Georges Garvarentz - Nues dans l'eau, 1970
15. Jack Arel & Pierre Dutour - Following You, 1974
16. Nino Ferrer - Freak, 1971
17. Bernard Lubat - Crazy Organ, 1975
18. David Whitaker - Strip Poker at Caesar's Palace, 1966
19. Vladimir Cosma - Cool Pool, 1970
20. Claude Bolling - Générique Fin (happy night), 1970

Get it here (and don't forget to comment!)