Singles Awareness Day Valentine’s Day like a sad song with the word VALENTINE in it. This song was actually written by Richard Rodgers and Lorenz Hart, but you might recognize the Etta James version which Kanye West samples.
As you can probably tell, I’m very excited for the new Kanye West album to come out.
As one who will admit to have not invested a large amount of time into rap and hip-hop music, my love for Kanye West has always come from his production. His ingenious sampling of classic and obscure R&B and rock tunes has won me over along with other countless rock loyalist who freaked out the first time they hearing Kanye sampling Ray Charles on “Gold Digger”.
In honor of tomorrow’s official release of Yeezus (though I’m sure you’ve already heard it by now), I present to you a Spotify playlist of Kanye’s most recognizable samples. I narrowed the list down to songs that are recognizable on their own and within the songs in which they’re sampled. I didn’t put any songs on here that I couldn’t find on Spotify, which unfortunately excluded a lot of great songs (sorry “Iron Man”).
Hear the playlist here.
And for a reference, here are the songs on the playlist divided by its album appearance from oldest to most recent.
The College Dropout (2004)
“I Just Wanna Stop” – The Jimmy Castor Bunch [“We Don’t Care”]
“Mystery Of Iniquity” – Lauryn Hill [“All Falls Down”]
“Distant Lover” – Marvin Gaye [“Spaceship”]
“Spirit In The Dark” – Aretha Franklin [“School Spirit”]
“Through The Fire” – Chaka Khan [“Through The Wire”]
“Man In The Mirror” – Michael Jackson [“Family Business”]
Late Registration (2005)
“Move On Up” – Curtis Mayfield [“Touch The Sky”]
“I Got A Woman” – Ray Charles [“Gold Digger”]
“Wildflower” – Hank Crawford [“Drive Slow”]
“Home Is Where The Hatred Is” – Gil Scott-Heron [“My Way Home”]
“Rosie” – Bill Withers [“Roses”]
“My Funny Valentine” – Etta James [“Addiction”]
“Diamonds Are Forever” – Shirley Bassey [“Diamonds From Sierra Leone”]
“It’s Too late” – Otis Redding [“Gone”]
“Kid Charlemagne” – Steely Dan [“Champion”]
“Harder Better Faster Stronger” – Daft Punk [“Stronger”]
“My Song” – Labi Siffre [“I Wonder”]
808s & Heartbreak (2008)
“See-Line Woman” – Nina Simone [“Bad News”]
My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy (2010)
“Cinderella” – Roald Dahl [“Dark Fantasy”]
“21st Century Schizoid Man” – King Crimson [“Power”]
“She’s My Baby” – The Mojo Men [“Hell Of A Life”]
“Avril 14th” – Aphex Twin [“Blame Game”]
“Comment #1” – Gil Scott-Heron [“Lost In The World”/”Who Will Survive In America”]
Watch The Throne (2011)
“Try A Little Tenderness” – Otis Redding [“Otis”]
“The Makings Of Your” – Curtis Mayfield [“The Joy”]
Well it’s the end of the first month of 2012 (supposedly the last January of our existence?!), and there was plenty going on in the music world. Here were some notable stories from the past month, along with my favorite album of January.
Lana Del Rey’s Debut Finally Drops…And There’s Nothing Much There.
With an official debut coming out and tons of hype behind her, Del Rey had nearly impossible expectations to meet in January, and of course she failed to meet them. She bombed her performance on SNL – it sounded like a bad American Idol audition – and her debut album didn’t match the excitement that the hype had created about her. Looks like we have another victim of the Internet Hype Machine. I’ll always love “Video Games” though.
Disney Starts Selling Joy Division Shirts…Then Takes Them Off The Market
Disney finally started listening to their post-punk demographic and began selling Disney shirts with the famous Unknown Pleasures‘s album cover in the shape of the famous Mickey Mouse head. However, the shirts created quite a stir among some people, and they were quickly removed. It’s a shame – now what am I supposed to wear on Space Mountain?
RIP Etta James
Etta James left us in January, and she took with her one hell of a voice. She will be greatly missed.
My Album of the Month: Cloud Nothings – Attack On Memory
Cloud Nothings third album, and the first with a proper producer, is a short but sweet kick in the ass. Much like Yuck’s debut last year, Attack On Memory will take you back to the good old days of the Lo-Fi 90s.
The Song I Listened To The Most: James Blake – “A Case of You”
This Joni Mitchell cover was released in October, but it was all I listened to in January. After hearing James Blake on piano without any electronics, his excellent debut album sounds more like Blue than Kid A.
Etta James passed away Friday, and the world lost one hell of a lady. Many people have dubbed James as the first Queen of R&B, and her singing has inspired many artist (including Bob Dylan!).
To put things into perspective for my age group, her classic song “Something’s Got A Hold On Me” is sampled in Pretty Light’s “Finally Moving”. The sample is nice, but it’s got nothing on the original.
Here’s “Finally Moving”, where you can hear her voice throughout the song.