Amen Brother

Amen Brother by the Winstons from 1969 is the most sampled 6 seconds in music history according to stuff that I found posted on the internets. A little trolling of the youtube came up with the stuff.

The breakbeat comes in at 1:27 on the file above. It should be familiar to anyone with ears even if you can't place where you last heard it.

A friend from the Bay Area (JZ-the rollercoaster was awesome on Saturday night!) shared this clip with me that tells the story behind Amen Brother.

The presentation above is delivered in a Speak and Spell type mode. So there is entertainment value in that alone.

First the break was used in a straight forward manner like in Straight Out of Compton. Then it was used in the Jungle and Rythm and Bass musical genres used as the complete basis of their sound. They even share a clip of Perry Farrell (yes, him) doing a cover of Whole Lotta Love in a Jungle mode using Amen as the basis of the song.

The example of commercials using the break are pretty funny, especially as they are potentially sourced via bootleg cds. Eventually the presentation makes the point that more stringent copyrights are a bad thing.

How were the Winstons compensated? It appears that they were never paid. Mainly because they never persued a legal battle.


HeavySoulBrutha DaveB. said...

The crazy thing to me, besides the monumental break of course, is that the tune is a crazy mash up of The Impressions' "We're A Winner" and "Amen." Perhaps one of the first mashes as well? Nice One RB!

Peace and SOUL,

Vincent the Soul Chef said...

Now that's an education...

I would have never guessed in a million years that the break was the primary sample in those old D&B records. I'm so glad that I've got a copy. Great job!

Peace and blessings.