Four watershed moments in sampling history
1969 The Winstons record Amen,Brother
Washington funk-soul combo The Winstons only released a handful of tracks in the late 60s and early 70s, but their impact on music ended up being way bigger than they might have expected. The instrumental drum break on 1969’s Amen,Brother went on to be sampled on more than 3,000 records.
1987 MARRS - Pump Up The Volume
The UK’s first big crossover house hit came in the form of this frantic mash-up of samples, which pinched snippets from a whole roster of artists including James Brown, Public Enemy and Trouble Funk. Similar samplebased hits would then follow on from acts like Coldcut, Bomb The Bass and S’Express.
1991 Biz Markie versus the law…
1991 saw the beginning of the end of the sampling free-for-all. Gilbert O’Sullivan took Biz Markie to court over a sample on the rapper’s track
AloneAgain. The ruling in the case, Grand Upright Music, Ltd v Warner Bros Records Inc, set a legal precedent that uncleared samples counted as copyright infringement.
1996 DJ Shadow releases Endtroducing
A blend of largely instrumental hiphop, woozy breaks and downtempo ambience, Josh Davis’ debut LP was credited by Guinness World Records as the first album created entirely from samples. There are actually a few original vocals on there too…but it’s a masterpiece, so why let facts get in the way of a good story?