Okay, so this has become a bit of a music blog — but only temporarily, I swear. I have a list of meatier entries to write, but I’ve been too lazy to get to them. And besides, music stuff is more fun.
So here’s something interesting. Check out these three songs. (Give each one at least a minute.)
Notice anything interesting? Yeah, that slinky descending baseline. Coincidence? Of course not. When I first bought these albums about a decade ago, I was flabbergasted. I looked into it, and it seemed that they all sampled the same song, Isaac Hayes’s “Ike’s Rap II” from 1972:
Ike is the man. I’m still amazed that the Tricky and Portishead albums — which came out within the span of a year — would sample the same song. Anyway, it’s a solid one.
Well, of course things aren’t so simple. At the time, I thought I had made a pretty interesting observation. Naturally, it turns out that there are entire websites devoted to tracking song samples, and I stumbled across one the other day. It turns out that the Beta Band song doesn’t actually sample “Ike’s Rap II” — it samples (or, more directly, rips off) a Gunter Kallman Choir cover of “Daydream in Blue” by the Wallace Collection from 1968! (And has its own same-year twin.)
It also appears that Ike himself may have sampled “Daydream in Blue” to create “Ike’s Rap II”! Well then. I can’t dig any further on that bass line, so props to the Wallace Collection for writing it. Of course, art is theft, and guess what, “Daydream in Blue”‘s main chorus (which is not sampled by any of the aforementioned songs) is itself lifted from Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake.
Compare the chorus of “Daydream in Blue” (starting around 0:40) to the melody at 0:29 of this clip.
Of course, Tchaikovsky himself frequently quoted folk songs in his compositions, so who knows how far back that melody goes. As I always like to say, there’s nothing new under the sun.
Hrm, or maybe someone else might have said that first…