Some of the Most Sampled Classic Rock Tracks of All Time

It’s a familiar sensation for any music fan: you’re listening to a hip-hop or electronic track when suddenly you hear a familiar beat drop in the background. Sampling grounds songs in a long musical tradition, giving them an automatic sense of history. However, not all samples are created equal. Some classic songs have shown up in samples many times more than others over the years. These are some of the most sampled rock songs of all time.

Some of the Most Sampled Classic Rock Tracks of All Time
Some of the Most Sampled Classic Rock Tracks of All Time

“Come Together” – The Beatles (1969)

The drums, bass and even occasional vocal line from this classic Beatles tune have cropped up in samples. Despite the larger-than-life reputation of the Beatles, it’s mostly lesser-known hip-hop acts who sample them, including politically-minded groups The Goats and Evidence.

“Whole Lotta Love” – Led Zeppelin (1969)

The wild drumming and fuzzy guitar on this song make it ideally suited for sampling in club-oriented anthems. It tends to show up in West Coast hip-hop and crunk, but it was used perhaps most famously in “Our Most Requested Record” by Ice-T.

“Money” – Pink Floyd (1973)

The rhythmic cash register noises in “Money” are sampled most often in – you guessed it – songs about cash. The pulsing baseline and iconic sound effects can be heard in “All About the Benjamins” by Puff Daddy, “Money” by Cypress Hill, and many others.

“Another One Bites the Dust” – Queen (1980)

You could fill a whole list of famous samples with Queen tracks alone. The band had a knack for crafting instantly recognizable baselines that sound great backing up a hip-hop track. Appearing on tracks by Flying Lotus, Grandmaster Flash and Onyx, “Another One Bites the Dust” has a refined pedigree.

“Fly Like an Eagle” – Steve Miller (1976)

Usually hip-hop latches onto an iconic baseline or drumfill from a song to use as a sample. However, artists grab from all different parts of “Fly Like an Eagle,” snatching up the psychedelic guitar and soaring prog-rock ambition and repurposing them for use in over 100 songs over nearly three decades of hip-hop.

“The Big Beat” – Billy Squier (1980)

Billy Squier is far from the biggest name in rock radio. However, there’s nothing small about the heavy percussion that has been sampled by some of the biggest names in hip-hop. Jay-Z, Kanye, Run DMC and A$AP Rocky have all borrowed the hypnotic percussion of this song that would otherwise be largely forgotten.

“Long Red” – Mountain (1972)

Wait, who? Mountain isn’t exactly a household name in the vein of Led Zepplin or The Beatles. However, the drum line from this ponderous 10-minute-long prog-rock tune has appeared in more than 500 tunes, including iconic songs like “99 Problems” and “The Glory.”

Honorable Mention:Walk This Way” – Aerosmith (1975)

The appearance of the opening riff from this song on the Run DMC classic of the same name is one of the most iconic samples in all of hip-hop. While “Walk This Way” doesn’t appear in the sheer number of tracks of some of the other samples on this list, it’s surely one of the most instantly recognizable.

Sampling music certainly doesn’t diminish an artist’s skills. As you can see, integration may just mean a hit track.

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