The days before the widespread availability of the internet sucked if you wanted to learn more about something. You’d have to dig through mountains of books, newspapers, magazines, and essays to find leads. Failing that, you’d have to ask your friends who were often just as clueless as you.
These days, it’s as easy as typing a few words into your browser’s search bar. But once upon a time, movies, television, and other media loved to toy with us by slipping awesome music into their stuff and then make us freak out over where they can be found. Sometimes even the credits at the end – if there are any – provide limited information.
Electric Worry – Clutch
While I don’t much care for Clutch lyrically (they can be VERY hit or miss), I will contest that they are amazing at creating a beat that’s perfect for kicking some ass to.
That’s probably why the folks behind the game Left 4 Dead 2 used Electric Worry in the TV spots that got everyone hyped for it. It certainly does its job to put you in the mood to slay some zombies.
Still, can you imagine how much of a kick in the cajones it was to get the game and NOT hear it anywhere? I mean, there’s an entire map dedicated to using the A/V gear and pyrotechnics of an abandoned rock concert to signal a rescue. That would have been the perfect time for a great big ‘F*** yeah’ song like that.
O’ Death – Jen Tidus
Now, to the song’s credit, you’ve likely heard this one off of the soundtrack for O’ Brother, Where Art Thou. But that’s not the cover of this classic that my generation remembers. Instead, we associate it with the introduction of Death himself on the series Supernatural.
I think the reason we remember this version so vividly is because of the imagery and tone it evokes. It took a folk song about a man worked to the brink of death begging for one more day and grew that emotion to cover an entire planet pleading with the last horseman of the apocalypse for mercy.
Also, we didn’t have to watch a bunch of KKK a-holes commit an act of cultural vandalism by stealing and perverting a famous spiritual for this one. I mean, I appreciate the irony of that scene, but it was infuriating to watch.
Release The Beast – Breakwater
I find that one of the most difficult situations to suss out what song I’m listening during to is while listening to a completely different song. That’s not to say that I’m against sampling in music. As we’ve established, I’m a fan of Vaporwave and that genre is based almost entirely around sampled and edited tracks.
But what I am saying is that if it weren’t for sites like WhoSampled to help me out, I would have never known that one of Daft Punk’s most famous songs is just a short loop of a rock/funk fusion track from 1980.
Of course, I’m not trying to belittle the glory that is Robot Rock either. Minimalism is a valid artistic style after all. But that said, I’m glad to have stumbled upon Release The Beast if only to take a look at the shift in the music industry between the 70’s and the 80’s and catch a glimpse of the transition as it happened.
In fact, I encourage you to find out what songs YOU like have sampled other artists and where they got the samples from. You may just learn something about music history in the process.