Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Free "Samplings"

I had a piece in the Hartford Courant today about Kid Rock's hit single, "All Summer Long"-- you know, the song that's a "mash-up" of Warren Zevon's "Werewolves of London" and Lynyrd Skynyrd's "Sweet Home Alabama." Basically, in the piece, I skewer Kid Rock for his laziness and lack of originality. You can read it here.

Thing is, I don't really have a problem with Kid Rock as a rule, just this song. Nor do I have a problem with the practice of sampling in general. In fact, in the original draft of the article, I listed some songs I enjoy that have ample samples. For example, back in the summer of 1990, I liked M.C. Hammer’s “Super Freak”-fueled “U Can’t Touch This” as much as the next guy—and possibly more than the next guy (...wait... did I just reveal too much..?).

My sample examples (OK, I'll stop the punning now) had to get cut from the original article for space reasons, but lest I come off as a complete Sample-Ogre, I wanted to offer up a few Sampling Songs I Enjoy:
  • Gym Class Heroes' "Cupid's Chokehold" (sample: Supertramp's "Breakfast in America"
  • Rihanna's "S.O.S." (sample: Soft Cell's "Tainted Love")
  • Jay Z's "Hard Knock Life" (sample: "It's a Hard Knock Life" from Annie)-- You know you're all that when you can make Annie cool.
  • Gwen Stefani's "Rich Girl" (sample: Fiddler on the Roof)
  • Robert Plant's "Tall Cool One" (sample: a bunch of Led Zeppelin songs)-- A rare artist indeed who samples himself
A great use of sampling, in my opinion, fires healthy nostalgia; you enjoy the new song while simultaneously remembering why you liked the original song in the first place. I just don't think "All Summer Long" accomplishes this. Then again, according to, the song is number one in Germany, so what the keck do I know?

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