Sampling is almost as vital to house music production as the 808. But it’s not just synths, drums and the Amen Break that keep being sampled by producers. It’s also classic house vocals which still play an indispensable role in house music production.
We take a look at some of the most sampled vocals in house that have passed the test of time, bridging the golden era of electronic music with some today’s most forward-thinking dance tracks.
Loleatta Holloway - Crash Goes Love (Yell Apella)
Loleatta Holloway is one of those divas whose flamboyant voice completely takes over every track featuring her vocals. House music’s mightiest diva, Loleatta Holloway ranks among the most sampled vocalists of all time — not just in electronic music, but in pop too. Sampled 211 times by the likes of David Guetta, Armin Van Helden, deadmau5, Pitbull, Vengaboys and Diplo, “Crash Goes Love”, released in 1992, gave birth to dance music’s most famous ‘whop’.
Loleatta Holloway - Love Sensation
Overall, Loleatta’s anthem has been sampled 103 times, but the most famous track that brings new life to the 1980’s club hit is Marky Mark’s “Good Vibrations” from 1991, though you probably know it from Black Box’s “Ride on Time”, released 9 years after the original. Pulling off a Milli Vanilli move, Black Box, didn’t credit Loleatta, hiring French model Katrin Quinol to lip-sync to the original lyrics instead. The list of electronic music artists, who have sampled the 1980 anthem goes on and on, as even Skream’s “Burnin’ Up” and “Hats Off” sampled the sassy vocal.
The Jacksons - Opening/Can You Feel It
Taken from their album The Jacksons Live!, recorded in Pittsburgh in 1981, the track contains two outstanding samples used in as many as 60 tracks. The famous vocal “Can You Feel It?” is one of both dance and pop music’s most used vocals of all time. For instance, Royal Party’s track “Can You Party”, produced by Todd Terry in 1988, opens up with the legendary vocal. It samples another six tracks, including First Choice’s “Let No Man Put Asunder”, which also made our list. Another hall-of-fame tune that sampled The Jacksons’ vocal is Fingers Inc.’s “Can You Feel It”, which in turn is also among the most sampled house tracks of all time.
First Choice - Let No Man Put Asunder (A Shep Pettibone Mix)
This disco classic contains two of the most famously sampled lyrics of all time — “It’s Not Over Between You And Me“ and “I’ve Got Something For Your Mind, Your Body And Your Soul” — pinched 154 credited times so far, including by Moby in both “Next is the E” (1992) and Thousand” (1994), Vaggio’s “Don’t You Want Some More” (2011), New Order’s “World In Motion” (Carabinieri mix) from 1990 and D.O.P.’s “Take Me” from 1991. Though the original version of the song was released in 1977, it’s the 1983 version that gained huge popularity. Of course, Bicep, Frankie Knuckles, Butch, Masters At Work and many others have also reworked the timeless vocal.
Rhythm Controll - My House
Undoubtedly, one of house’s greatest and most recognizable vocals ever, this gem was first released in 1987. Just a year later, Fingers Inc sampled the famous “In The Beginning There Was Jack” vocal in their track “Can You Feel It”, which also samples The Jacksons’ eponymous song. The vocal has been sampled 71 times since then, with Todd Terry’s 1991 anthem “House Is A Feeling”, Julio Bashmore’s 2009 track “Jack Got Macked” and Sunday School’s 1994 relic “House is a Feeling” (Sunday School Mix). Even Warren G and Nate Dogg’s 2015 track “My House” samples the cult acapella.
Roland Clark, Urban Soul - President House
Although it hasn’t been sampled as many times as some of the tracks on our list, the cult lyrics “If House Is A Nation, I Wanna Be President” from Roland Clark Presents Urban Soul’s “President House” have been making crowds across the world go crazy for over 13 years. Honourable mentions include Cabin Fever /Trax 18’s - “They Say They Play House” from 2011 and Sante Sansone & DJ Roland Clark - “House Nation: (Riva Starr Edit) from 2015.
Cece Peniston - Finally
Produced by David Morales, “Finally” entered the dance music hall of fame as one of the tracks with highest number of covers, next to Robin S’s “Show Me Love”. Whosampledwho’s data shows Cece Peniston’s classic has been credited for sampling only 10 times, but we’ve all heard her mighty vocals on dozens of white label releases.
Blaze - My beat
Although WhoSampledwho says it has been sampled only twice, we all know the vocal “Can You Dance To My Beat” has been way too many times. Sampled by a number of artists, including DirtyTwo's "Dance To My Beat" (2014) and Expanded People’s 2011 track of the same name. This tune is so famous, there’s even a festival named after it.
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