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"
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!