The Thousands download: 2013
Derek and Clive (Peter Cook and Dudley Moore) – Bo Duddley
Years ago in London I bought an unassuming 7" called 'The LS Bumble Bee' by British comedians Peter Cook and Dudley Moore. I bought it to show to my friend Chris Colonna from the Bumblebeez thinking there might be some worthy sample material within. Little did I know that my favourite house track of all time, 'Voodoo Ray', had beaten me to the idea. A Guy Called Gerald, from Manchester, had ingeniously lifted and re-contextualised a few words from the Derek and Clive Live LP to create a vocal hook in one of the most successful acid house tracks ever released. The line originally said “In her voodoo rage”.
Unknown prisoner in Louisiana (recorded by Alan Lomax) – Woah Buck
Alan Lomax was one of the greatest archivists in the history of recorded music. His prolific career as a field recordist, archivist, political activist and filmmaker made him a fascinating subject for me back in film school. His recordings and interviews with chain-gang prisoners and early blues artists in the far reaches of southern America were of particular interest to me. Around the same time I became fascinated with the Primal Scream album Screamadelica and in particular Andrew Weatherall's influence on the band. Years later I recognised a lonely voice in the outro of 'Inner Flight' and realised it was a truncated sample of the unknown prisoner performing 'Woah Buck' on Alan Lomax's dusty field recording.
Camille Yarbrough – Take Yo' Praise
Norman Cook is a cheeseball but credit where credit is due – 'Praise You' is a toooon with a film clip by Spike Jonze that is arguably a modern masterpiece. Like him or not, Fat Boy Slim turned the opening lines of Camille Yarbrough's understated soul jam into a timeless classic.
Bo Diddley - She's Fine, She's Mine
Bo Diddley is the man. I wish I invented the Bo Diddley beat, but I didn't. Bo Diddley did over 60 years ago. Damn. Anyway, Dawn Penn's absolute classic Jamaican jam 'You Don't Love Me (No, No, No)' incorporates lyrics and phrasing from Cobbs's 1960 song 'You Don't Love Me', and Cobbs based his song on this track by the baddest of badasses… Mr Bo Diddley.
The Tornados – Red Roses and a Sky of Blue
The first piece of studio equipment I ever owned was a British racing green rack unit called a Joemeek Compressor. I got it for free from a guitar shop I was working at, tuning and setting up guitars. It was free because it was empty; it was just a display rack. It did absolutely nothing but I liked the look of it. Years later I learned who Joe Meek was and what he did. (Google him if you're not familiar.) He was basically the first bedroom banger, churning out hits from his Holloway apartment. No one could do that back then.
In 2007, Person Pitch by Panda Bear became the soundtrack to my life. It snapped me out of my world of techno and minor-key indie music and opened up a colourful dream that confused elements of the music my parents listened to with the music I wanted to be making.
The band that performed Joe Meek's infamous 'Telstar' was the Tornados, which led to a lawsuit that I would argue led to Joe's suicide. 'Red Roses and a Sky of Blue', recorded by Joe Meek in 1962, has a little loop to be found in it that would become the foundation of Panda Bear's Bros… which would become the soundtrack to my 2007 summer.
The Main Attraction – Everyday
In the year 2000 the Avalanches released Since I Left You. It was and still is considered one of the great Australian albums that transcends time, musical pigeonholes and any preconceptions of what Australian music sounds like. The title track, 'Since I Left You', was the one. It sings of nostalgia and paradise and ecstasy. The voice that originally spoke of these sensations was the band the Main Attraction in their jangly dream-pop song 'Everyday'.
Shocking Blue – Love Buzz
Kurt's musicological knowledge never ceases to impress me. When I was younger I loved Nirvana for many reasons, but I was blissfully unaware that Kurt had such diverse influences. I had no idea 'Love Buzz' was a cover until years later when I heard the original played late at night on the radio. A great cover of a great original song.
The Flamingos – I Only Have Eyes for You
Many moons ago I went on a doo-wop journey. I'm not sure why, but I suddenly became obsessed with the luscious, lollipop harmonies of '50s doo-wop groups. Those bright and bold vocal stabs always take me back to Hill Valley, 1955 in Back to the Future… I guess that was my concept of the '50s as a child. In my exploration of doo-wop records I came across Flamingo Serenade by the Flamingos, which became one of my all-time favourite bedtime LPs. 'I Only Have Eyes For You' is one of the smoothest, dreamiest verses ever and a loop from it made its way into the Fugees' smoothest and dreamiest of tunes, 'Zealots'.
Can – Sing Swan Song
Ah, Can. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Ege Bamyasi is a masterpiece; all killer, no filler. Even the experimental ambient interludes, which are quite literally 'fillers', are killers. The swooning 'Sing Swan Song' is a swinging tune that obviously pricked up Kanye West's acute ear for a good old sample and became the foundation for his track (featuring Mos Def) called 'Drunk and Hot Girls', a line lifted from Damo Suzuki's nonsensical lyrics.
Young MC – Know How
In 1989 the Stone Roses released 'Fools Gold'. One year earlier Young MC released 'Know How', which samples the opening guitar line from the Shaft soundtrack and the Bongo Band's legendary 'Apache' break… and it also features Flea from the RHCP playing a bass line that went on to inspire the Stone Roses classic 'Fools Gold', which went on to inspire a entire subgenre of indie dance. Flea must be so smug about that.
Thomas Krome – The Real Jazz (Dahlbäck remix)
I bought this deep-house 10" after I heard it on a Sabotage mixtape by Phil Smart. It's an absolute faceless banger of a track and apparently samples the disco tune 'Together Forever' by Exodus. The beat later formed an element of the rhythm track for the Chemical Brothers masterpiece 'Sunshine Underground' off the Surrender LP. I spotted the sample when I saw them in the Boiler Room at the Big Day Out – the same room in which I'd heard Phil Smart play the track at during a rave a few years earlier.