Musical Quiz: Sample Galore

I know you (all three of you) are eagerly waiting for more heady insights on French society seen through the prism of a dusty ten-volume political theory handbook, but my aspirin ran out mid-sentence and I have been busy doing other things. Things such as getting woken up at 6am by timezone-agnostic Japanese flight attendants calling to ask if I need green tea brought over and wondering why I sound sleepy. So we’ll be taking a break off socio-politico-froggy-bashing and resuming in a few days.

Instead, today is Musical Quiz.

Not any musical quiz: Catch-the-sample musical quiz!

Music producers are lazy bastards. Take my word for it. Modern electronic producers: even more so.

Actually, all genres’ music producers get away doing fuck all, they just do it in a different way:

I don’t think I need to cover R&B and Hip-Hop “producers”. In a way, when listening to some of the excruciatingly bad original Hip-Hop backing tracks made in the 90’s, you tend to be thankful that they finally opted for a more consistent rip-off policy of every instrumental tracks known to man. You just wished sometimes they’d do a bit more than cut a two-minute loop and dub it with lyrics involving large vehicles, precious ore and loose women, that make you wonder why Gil Scott-Heron ever bothered in the first place.

Charted pop music usually doesn’t go for sampling of actual past tracks, they just dip into the same three arpeggios and five bass lines used by all Western musicians since the dawn of times. “Alternative” rock doesn’t always go that length: they turn on their RS7000 to some random default settings, call it a “revolutionary riff” and sing on top (if you have no idea what I’m talking about: imagine it the somewhat higher-end equivalent to recording an album using the “cha-cha-cha” rhythm line pre-packaged into your kid’s $30 electronic synthesizer).

And then there is house music, and it just becomes a wild game of spot-the-disco-sample or the Motown bass line. I mean, I love the stuff, and I’ll rip-off the obscure Salsoul track just as much as the next guy, but it makes you sometimes wonder about the whole point of ending the disco era in the first place. Note that all this applies mostly to the eminently “commercial” subset of the genre, particularly the string of club hits released during the 90’s by the masters of the so-called French Touch. Deep house, techno and others aren’t so much into this (which doesn’t mean they don’t share one bass line for twelve tracks: they are just a tad more subtle about it).

Anyway, not so much to prove my point (because really, Google and the name of any major club hit of the past two decades is all you need for that) as to provide some easy entertainment, I went through my archives in order to offer this small quiz. But rather than giving you the remix, asking for the original (which once again requires nothing more than basic Google skills), I figured I’d present you with the original and see if you can spot the remake. Some are easy, obvious, provided you had a pair of ears during the 90’s, the last few may be harder to spot. Overall, though, I made a point to stick with the mainstream.

In a word: everybody can play!

Game is easy: give a listen down there and post your guesses in the comments. One point goes for name and artist of the original track, and one point for the more recent version (most notorious one, if there are many). Both are a Google query away from each other anyway.

As for the prize, beside basking in the glory of your well-earned musical nerdiness… let’s say coffee’s on me next time you pop by Paris.

Ready, set, go:

Filed under: MP3s, Music


  1. The second one Carol Williams – Love Is You aka Spiller – groovejet
    The third one is from Daft Punk – Discovery but I’m too lazy to catch the DVD
    The fourth one is Vernon Burch – Get Up (whistle) aka Dee lite – groove is in the house
    The sixth one is Camille Yarbrough – Take Yo’ Praise aka fat Boy Slim – Praise

  2. 6 : Camille Yarbrough – “Take Yo’ Praise” – Fatboy Slim – “Praise you”
    11: Gil Scott-Heron / Brian Jackson – “We almost lost Detroit”

  3. The first one : Portoshead ?

    I am so bad at that kind of game. I quite gave up listening to the third sample. I will try one more time later 🙂

    I love the little stream player. I saw it on another website and I wonder where I could find it.

    I did not notice, until today, that you were in Paris now.


  4. 1. Danube Incident – Lalo Schiffrin / Sour Times – Portishead

    9. Just tell me the truth – Najat Aatabou (brilliant!) / Galvanize – Chemical Brothers

    10. A track of the Premiers symptomes EP – Air (?) / as given previously

    Very nice selection!

  5. (sneaked back to the computer for 5 minutes. Kids busy …)

    8. Macon hambone blues – Wet Willie / Talkin’ ’bout my baby – Fatboy Slim

    Sadly, Norman Cook cut the last and best line:

    “She said ‘Daddy, I’m gonna take care of your hotdog, if you take care of my bun’.”

  6. Woa, not bad everybody!
    OK, I will be posting results, later this afternoon, as soon as I have a sec to cut a small sample of each remixed track. Now is your last chance to catch the missing ones 😉

  7. I think my submission for No. 7 was mulched as spam because of one word.

    7. The Breaks – Kurtis Blow / It began in Africa – The C. Brothers

    3. Can you imagine – The Imperials / Crescendolls – Daft Punk

    Oh, I think I’m being taken down as a multiple spammer 🙁

  8. Pingback: Dr Dave
  9. Hey guys,

    I chose to play the game for real (no looking at the answers in the different reply posts). ‘Just been listening to shitty hiphop tracks for the past 15 years and seeking for originals since then. Got tipped on the existence of the quizz by lisbei.

    1 Danube Incident / Lalo Shiffrin (Portishead)
    2 Love Is You / Caroll Williams (some house music good shit)
    3 Daft Punk (got me on this one)
    4 Get Up / Vernon Burch (Deeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee Lite)
    5 no idea junkie! (nor sample or remix)
    6 Take Yo’ Praise / Camille Yarbrough (fatboy in in the house!!)
    7 The Breaks / Kurtis Blow (what kind of a sucker sampled this?!!?)
    8 same as 5 damned!
    9 getting a habit chemicals! gotta get back diggin’
    10 Gill Scott Heron of course (there’s Detroit in the name, Lisbei tipped me on that when she told me about the quizz sorry) sampled by Air / Modular Mix and Grand Puba / Check in Out (album”2000″ in 1995 the tracks great) I have to admit i’ve been seeking for that sample for years thank you so much!!
    11 …and got f**cked again… thank you for that half hour of seeking, mr teacher!!

    and thanxx again for sample 10!!


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