The drum break in The Soul Searchers song Ashley’s Roachclip from 1974 was well on it’s way to become just as hugely sampled as the Amen break. But something stopped its triumphant march: it went out of fashion.

Like many breaks, it was first used in hiphoptracks in the early eighties. A lot of early hip hop sampled the song at the 11-second mark, like Grandmaster Melle Mel and LL Cool J. Some artists, used the drum break, like Michee Mee & L.A. Luv in 1987 in Run For Cover. The first use of the sample that became famous was however was Eric B. & Rakim’s classic sample track Paid In Full from 1987.

That may well have spurred on it’s sudden popularity, but not just in hiphop, but regular pop and dance music. The relaxed break suddenly popped up as a backing for Milli Vanilli’s 1988 songs Girl You Know It’s True and Baby, Don’t Forget My Number. Ice MC’s 1990 track Easy not only emulated Milli Vanilli, it also used the same sample. Snap!’s 1990 track Oops Up used the sample too. Interesting to note is that remixes of pop songs used it to make it more danceable, like Roxette’s The Look from 1989 and Caron Wheeler’s Livin The Light from 1990.

The hits then just started to roll in. PM Dawn in 1991 with Set a Drift On Memory Bliss (which combines it with Spandau Ballet’s True), Unbelievable by EMF in 1991, Sweet Thing by Mick Jagger in 1992, Come Undone by Duran Duran in 1993. Even Moby used it in First Cool Hive from 1995.

But from there it’s use in popular songs (chart hits in this case) kinda ended. Even though it is still often sampled and used in various ways since then. It seems the beat has become associated with those late 80’s/early 90’s hits and become somewhat unpopular with producers. That and the fact that most people used it ‘as is’ and didn’t slice it up, like it was done with Amen break.

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