What’s that sound? The answers

Setting a musical quiz was a mixed experience. I enjoyed making it up, then worried that it was too obscure. The first response proved me wrong, however, scoring hits on six out of the eight samples. Sadly, that was the first and last serious attempt! Sure, I forgot the [dot] in my e-mail address, but I corrected that within a few hours.

Pretty poor showing, then.


Never mind. As I said, I enjoyed making the quiz.

Here are the answers:

  1. [audio:Sample1a.mp3]

    The original above is Chase the Devil by Max Romeo & the Upsetters, produced by Lee “Scratch” Perry.

    I blogged about this track almost two years ago, and it is still one of the biggest search hits that lead to this blog.

    The best known sample is probably Prodigy’s Out of Space, but I much prefer the version below: Lucifer by Jay-Z, produced by Kanye West.


  2. [audio:Sample2a.mp3]

    The original is My Conversation by The Uniques, a group formed and produced by Bunny Lee. The lead vocal is by Slim Smith, one of the great voices of early reggae.

    The sample is nicely used in Ludi by Dream Warriors, a Canadian duo of Jamaican heritage. They scored big with My Definition of a Boombastic Jazz Style; otherwise they didn’t make much impression outside of Canada and the UK.


  3. [audio:Sample3a.mp3]

    Another gem from the crates: Is it because I am black? by veteran Ken Boothe, O.D. (Order of Distinction), who still performs in Kingston. This is a fine example of reggae meets soul.

    Dr Dave was correct in his answer that I was thinking about Ali G’s joke, “Is it cos I is black?”

    Faithless beefed up the sample in their track, Fatty Boo.


  4. [audio:Sample4a.mp3]

    Yet another grand old man of Jamaican music, Burning Spear, featured in this track with a much more modern, trippy dub style. The track is Civilize Reggae.

    Showing how to mix musical styles with err … style, The Orb slipped the sample into one of their early tracks, U.F.Orb.


  5. [audio:Sample5a.mp3]

    The original, MacArthur Park, first recorded by actor Richard Harris, was voted the worst song ever recorded, not once but twice!

    Trust me, you don’t need to hear more than the thirty seconds I gave you.

    However, those few seconds are enough to make me misty eyed, not because of Richard Harris’ voice, but because of the track that sampled it: Dreamy Days by Roots Manuva. I don’t know why … there’s something so melancholy about the line, “We’re gonna have fun and lots of laughter.”


  6. [audio:Sample6a.mp3]

    Once you’ve heard that bassline, you’ll never forget it: Cargo culte by Serge Gainsbourg, from his best album, Histoire de Melody Nelson, an epic story involving a Rolls Royce, a teenage seduction and the cargo cults of Papua New Guinea, all in less than 28 minutes!

    I had a short moment of panic when I couldn’t hear the sample in Massive Attack’s Karmacoma (also blogged about); I remembered it was such a touch of genius. But the touch belonged to the boys of Portishead in their remix.


    Obscure? I don’t think so. Dr Dave got it straight off.

  7. [audio:Sample7a.mp3]

    Simple enough if you can google the first words: Parce que tu crois by French crooner, Charles Aznavour.

    Sampled below in Breathe by Blu Cantrell and Sean Paul.


  8. [audio:Sample8a.mp3]

    I left the most obscure till last: Rose Len by Jamaican vibraphonist, Lennie Hibbert.

    Rescued from obscurity by the huge UK hit of 2002, Dy-Na-Mi-Tee by Ms Dynamite. After winning the Mercury Music Prize, a.k.a. the poisoned chalice for your musical career, Ms Dynamite seems to be sinking back into obscurity herself.


That’s it, pop pickers. I’m done. Congratulations to Dr Dave — it turned out to be a fitting return match.

8 thoughts on “What’s that sound? The answers”

  1. Well, I would have tried but they were all obscure to me. I know some of the beats, but as to who did them originally of who sampled them, I would have not had one clue… Sorry…

  2. I will try to accept this victory with all the dignity and humility required by such an honour… That being said…

    I SO 0WN()RZ JAMAICAN MUSIC!!!!!1111111oneoneoneone!!!


    Regarding lack of responses: they were hard. And I’m amazed I knew that many (sheer luck actually).

    As for my prize. Does the lunch include return plane ticket to Kingston? It’ll also give me an opportunity to give you yours (coffee’s on me).

  3. Magnanimous in victory … hmmm

    Dang! I’d hoped no one had seen the prize. During the night, after posting the quiz, I was woken by one of my kids. After putting them to bed again, I suddenly remembered having offered the prize lunch. I ran downstairs and deleted all mention of it.

    God! I thought, someone might actually have taken me up on that. This stupid quiz could actually cost me big money if they know some of the seriously expensive places in Kingston. I mean, I’ve never met Mad Bull, but something tells me he likes his food.

    Of course, I could probably get off cheaply with a pack of Starbursts.

    Fortunately, no one nearby won, and no, Dr D, flights from Paris are not included in the prize.


  4. Oh geez, I’m ashamed of myself, I gave up before I got to number 6… I should have at least got that one, and probably Aznavour as well.

    I was so at sea on the first ones, but that’s no excuse! I’m such a quitter.

    I don’t hear the Aznavour sample, by the way… can you give a hint as to what to listen for?

    It was a fun post, by the way… I guess it was kinda rude to just sit it out like that.

    My apologies and I hope you give it another whirl in a bit.

  5. The first eight seconds of the Aznavour track are endlessly looped in the Sean Paul song, just shifted down in pitch and speed.

  6. Ohhh crap.

    Forgot, didn’t I.

    Well I’d have gotten 1, 7 and.. maybe 8 but I doubt it… Nice wee “player” thing though..


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