And The World’s Most Sampled Song Is…

The World's Most Sampled Song - Change The Beat by Fab 5 Freddy

BBC’s DJ Roger Johnson talks about what is claimed to be the world’s most sampled song – Change the Beat by Fab 5 Freddy on Radio 4’s Today programme.

I’ll admit this came as something of a surprise. On BBC Radio 4’s Today programme broadcasted on 21st February, DJ Roger Johnson discussed the world’s most sampled song and it might not be what you’d expect as the track is claimed to be Change the Beat by Fab 5 Freddy. The sample itself is actually taken from another song – Herbie Hancock’s Rockit in which Grand Mixer DXT scratches the song and it’s that scratch sound you’ll have heard in countless tracks from Eric B & Rakim to… Justin Bieber. The classic hit topped WhoSampled’s list of the world’s most sampled songs, ahead of likely contenders The Winstons’ Amen Brother, Lyn Collins’ Think About It and James Brown’s Funky Drummer. Now, this list was based on sample submissions on the site (with Change The Beat in the lead with 1294 as of today) so there’s no telling just how many more tracks are out there with the sample or the Amen and Funky Drummer breaks, the latter of which I would expect to be the most sampled. Nevertheless, that doesn’t take away the legend surrounding the song and what it has achieved.

Stream the clip and the whole show on the BBC Radio 4 website but hurry, as you only have until Friday to listen.