I’ve touched upon the work of Fatboy Slim before. I actually don’t want to devote too many posts in this series to him (or Daft Punk or DJ Shadow for that matter), because that could go on forever. Suffice it to say, most of Norman Cook‘s work consists of copy-pasting other people’s work together to form something new, without actually adding any instruments or vocals himself. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But it can be annoying if you keep digging up the exact same originals.

Take the massive 1998 hit The Rockafella Skank. If I say “Right about now …”, you say “the funk soul brother”! Cause you know the song. Or do you know the intro Lord Finesse did in 1997 on the song Vinyl Dog Vibe by The Vinyl Dogs? Cause that’s where the lines come from.

You’ll also instantly recognise the Just Brothers’ Sliced Tomatoes from 1965 in the song.  In ’65 it was just a B-side, but it got promoted to single in 1973. And then it got sampled.

Years before that, in 1960, a film entitled Beat Girl came out.  Apart from now legendary actor Christopher Lee, it also featured opening music by the John Barry Orchestra. Which you will also recognise as part of The Rockafeller Skank. If you think that tune sounds a lot like the guitar riff on James bond, you would be right. John Barry also scored the first James Bond film Dr. No two years later in 1962, even though it is credited to Monty Norman for legal reasons.

That leaves one more sample: The Art of Noise’s version of Peter Gunn from 1986. The irony here is that The Art of Noise were pioneers in the use of samples. Not only is Peter Gunn a cover from the theme by Henry Mancini (who also did the Pink Panther theme) the late 1950’s detective series, it also uses a sample by Malcolm McLaren, though you got to listen really hard to hear that.

So as you can understand, Idon’t really like to dig too much into Norman Cook’s back catalogue, cause it just becomes a very long who’s who in sampling history. All the samples put together and you get The Rockafeller Skank:

(original video can’t be embeded sadly)

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