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Classic Samples (Lyn Collins)

Classic Samples 
 (Lyn Collins Think About It)

With sampling being a major part of my productions over the years and a big part of the music scene in general, I've decided that I am going to begin a new series which will explore a few key components of which the fabrics of Dance Music have been woven together with many times over the years, therefore creating many different genres but at the same time using the same samples but in very different but still in very creative and effective ways.

For the first topic I'm going to explore the all time classic track by Lyn Collins called "Think About It" A track that was co written and produced by none other than James Brown back in 1972. Since the 1980's it has been sampled and used countless times and was one of the foundations for Drum & Bass not to mention its presence in Hip Hop, Hip House and other early 90s Rave & Techno productions. It has found its way into the mainstream and in the underground and still continues to be used to this day.
What is it that makes this very short drum beat snippet so effective? A loop that had very little processing applied to it in its original form, if any at all due to its raw live delivery in 1972, and yet since then it has been compressed, crushed, pitched up and down, reversed and put through the mill by a vast array of different types of record producers.

How does a short loop continue to play a part in the evolution of Electronic Music after almost 30 years of being originally sampled? It appears to me that the simplicity of the drums are the key. How could the drummer which I'm guessing was the J.B's drummer "John "Jabo" Starks ever know that he was creating one of the key elements for Hip Hop and Electronic Dance Music of various genres in the decades to follow? Perhaps the answer lies in the fact that a real live performed drum beat has much more appeal to it than a drum machine, due to it having a natural swing which machines could never do? However the loops have been combined with the 808 and 909 machines many times over which do enhance the live loops to a much stronger effect.
Maybe its just the fact that they are some of the most incredible drum beats ever performed and that the tightness of the snare is what makes it a sampling producers dream? Who knows?

So here are some of the key tracks that have featured it over the years starting chronologically in order. Its impossible to actually catalogue the amount of times it has been used through countless white label productions of Drum & Bass records and various House Music productions also.
But according to the Who sampled data base, so far there have been around the 1500 mark that have been registered. A staggering amount for one record that wasn't even a commercial hit itself when it was originally released in 1972. Whilst there have been several cover versions of the song prior to the sample based versions in the late 80's and onwards, I have selected my favourite ones below.

The track has within it four different drum loops that have each been sampled in many commercial hits. Here I am going to explore some of those key tracks and the beats they have used by selecting very different genres but using the same loops. I myself first discovered the original Lyn Collins version around the mid 1990's having heard the breaks many times before on other tracks. I first came across this on a series of albums called "Ultimate Breaks and Beats" which were a string of releases that compiled all of the classic breaks and tracks used in the early days of Hip Hop by the likes of Flash and Bambataa etc, and were an absolute gold mine to DJ's such as myself back in the day who didn't have much access to rare grooves before the likes of Discogs existed to take away the crate diggers pain.

So let me highlight ten key tracks that used the beats to good effect and then work up towards more modern productions within this decade to see how or if they have been manipulated in different ways with the aid of newer digital music production technologies?

Lin Collins Think (about it ) The original version 1972 Polydor Records

The all time classic that used the sample to full effect.
Rob Base & DJ EZ Rock (It Takes Two) Profile Records 1988

Hip Hop classic that uses one of the shorter breaks on top of the Talking Heads classic
Once in a Lifetime (Next Plateau Records 1988)


Hip House Legend using the same hook as Rob Base but with that classic Piano Sound.
Tyree Cooper (Turn Up The Bass) DJ International Records 1989)


As we entered the Rave era in the early 90's the breaks saw a mega rise in its use from bedroom producers speeding it up to another gear. (Rhythm on the Loose) Break of Dawn 
Network Records 1991.

As the tempo got faster for the Techno/Rave scene so did the breaks. Combining the European Techno sound and the 909 Drum beats to perfection.
(Toxic Two) Rave Generator PWL Records 1992.

As the Rave scene gave way for the Drum & Bass era I remember this
track sold in its droves at the record store I worked at during the mid 90's.
This has an infectious groove to say the least.
(Leviticus) Burial Philly Blunt Records 1994.


During the mid 90's we saw the rise of the Big Beat & Breaks scene take a bit of a centre stage with 
the likes of Fatboy Slim, Hardkiss and of course DJ Icee. Here with his mash up of the breaks and the haunting synthesizer riff from Tony Di Barts Pop House classic The Real Thing.
(DJ Icee) Bbrr Go Go Zone Records 1995.


With the Drum & Bass scene becoming more mainstream, we saw a resurgence in the early days of the Rave scene being recreated with that classic sound. This track pushes all boundaries in terms of mixing up the genres from Drum & Bass to Electro House whilst still adding the Lyn Collins break throughout at a sped up tempo. This track showed how using modern software still meant that the old ingredients were still a vital part of the Dance Music production scene.

(Sub Focus) Move Higher Ram Records 2009.


Jump forward to a new decade and we still find the breaks being used in modern productions of 
Drum & Bass. Here Drum Sound and Bass Line Smith  who are from my home town here in Derby use the break very subtlety during the build ups of this classic track alongside some very heavily processed synthesizer sounds. Also the fact that Drum & Bass by this point had stepped up a few paces towards the 160 - 170 bpm range.
(Drumsound & Bass Line Smith) Freak Newstate Records 2011.


Whilst this decade also saw the massive return of the 1990's Deep House sound mostly perfected by Disclosure, this remix here from Bicep uses one of the breaks for his Two Step influenced remix for the Disclosure boys. Using it in a traditional manner without manipulating it too much. Proving I guess that if it aint broke, then don't try and fix it.
(Disclosure) You & Me Bicep Remix Island Records 2013.


So they were ten of the best sample based tracks using Lyn Collins, showing that it still holds its own over four decades later. A classic break that just doesn't want to go away and nor should it.

Written and researched by Rob Webster for Waxadisc Music Blog 2016.

Classic Samples (Lyn Collins) Classic Samples (Lyn Collins) Reviewed by Waxadiscmusic on 23:51 Rating: 5

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