jan 20

Music Terms: Remixes and Samples

RCRD LBL asked me to do a playlist, which got me thinking about remixes. The accelerated release of music has created a situation where the remix is sometimes released before the original, which leads to some complex blurring of the terminology. But it also led me to ask on Twitter, what's the most remixed song of all time? Most people replied with the notorious "Amen Break," a six-second drum sample that you hear everywhere. My first instinct was to say "that's not a remix -- that's a sample." And the distinction seemed valid. But then the most musicological person I know, Michaelangelo, theorized on Facebook that the answer was in fact "My House" by Chuck Roberts, a house sermon staple. Now here was an intriguing case. When the sermon is used in house music -- such as here, here, and here -- is it a sample or a remix? The answer seems like... both.


It also seem intersting to note that the sermon was created as source material to be used in other music.

And Matos said he's talking about "My House" at EMP Pop this year.

posted by Rex at 9:10 AM on January 20, 2009

I didn't know you know MATOS

posted by Jay Smooth at 9:16 AM on January 20, 2009

Minneapolis, yo!

(I'm sure he'll show up any second and tell me this is a dumb question. And it probably is.)

posted by Rex at 9:20 AM on January 20, 2009

It's a sample, but who am I to make it a black and white issue. No pun intended. It's nice to see Jay show up on the issue. What's your thoughts Jay?

posted by taulpaul at 9:25 AM on January 20, 2009

It's not a dumb question, and I think your distinction is correct. I mentioned "My House" because the a cappella has been utilized so much in different ways--it's a very popular sample, too. (But yeah, "Amen" probably wins for that.)

posted by Matos W.K. at 9:26 AM on January 20, 2009

Ironically Rex, I was messing around with video and one of your listed tracks yesterday.

posted by taulpaul at 9:29 AM on January 20, 2009

Can't wait to hear your EMP piece!

(Paul, can't see that video.)

posted by Rex at 9:32 AM on January 20, 2009

So back to the original question, what is the most remixed song of all time?

Someone else on Twitter claims it's New Order's "Bizarre Love Triangle," which I guess is possible but seems like a long-shot.

posted by Rex at 9:33 AM on January 20, 2009

I actually assumed song would come up earlier. My bid would be "The Shadows - Apache" it seems like every one and his freaking grandmother recorded this; but it's iffy since a lot the remixing based on samples. But I consider it more a complete work than the "Amen beat". bracing for impact.



posted by Rasmus at 9:41 AM on January 20, 2009

"My House" is clearly not a song. Personally, since it was created for the sole purpose of being used by other music I say it's a sample.

posted by harryh at 9:43 AM on January 20, 2009

More research tells me that more than 500 covers of the song Popcorn exists!


posted by Rasmus at 9:54 AM on January 20, 2009

Depeche Mode "I Feel Loved" 862 remixes

posted by taulpaul at 10:28 AM on January 20, 2009

What is rcrd lbl?

posted by shawn d at 10:47 AM on January 20, 2009

I would wager that its likely some electronic tune that made little impact in america but was huge for years during a time when remixes were popular but the pace of new releases was slower. Something like Robert Mile' Children-- like a pan-europe dance megahit. The kind of thing where the remixes basically all sound the same except one is a little trancier and one is a little dubbier. Either that or Popcorn.

I don't think you can count Apache because most of them are either (a) covers or (b) samples. Both definitely diff than remixes.

posted by jeb at 12:58 PM on January 20, 2009

I concur with Paul - gotta be DM's "I Feel Loved"

Although...Moby has had a few remix contests over the years - surely he gets some giant number of entries every time. I have the two (UK & US) winners' mixes of "Every Time You Touch Me" somewhere - they're both pretty good and both very different. (That's what we love about remixes!)

posted by CRZ at 1:20 PM on January 20, 2009

harryh: the "My House" a cappella is part of a larger recording, so yes, it is a song, or at least part of one. Nothing exists solely as a sample.

jeb is right about "Apache" (which I've also presented at EMP on): sampled a ton, covered a ton, but even the Bongo Band version hasn't been "remixed" much, per se, unless you count something like Switch's "A Bit Patchy," which you probably should.

posted by Matos W.K. at 8:33 PM on January 20, 2009

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