Ongoing History of New Music

Ongoing History Daily: No money for Fatboy Slim

“The Rockafeller Skank” is probably Fatboy Slim’s biggest song. It was released in June 1998 and was an important part of the “big beat” sound of the era with its dance beats and samples.

Ah. The samples. The “right about now” bit comes from Lord Finesse and the song “Vinyl Dogs Vibe” by Vinyl Dogs. There are also samples from the Just Brothers, The Bobby Fuller Four, David Bowie, John Barry, Duane Eddy, and Brian Poole and The Tremeloes.

When it came time to clear all the samples, Fatboy Slim found himself against the wall. The only way he could release the song is to pay 100% of the track’s royalties out to the artists he sampled. So he agreed.

Fatboy Slim makes zero money from “The Rockafeller Skank.”

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

Alan Cross has 38319 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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