Music History

The More You Know About the Legendary “Amen Break,” The Better Off You’ll Be

It’s the six seconds that inspired more than 1,500 songs. Peter points us to this article from the BBC.

“Amen, Brother” was a little-known B-side released in 1969. Barely noticed at the time, its drum solo has been hugely influential, appearing in different forms in more than 1,500 other songs – but the band behind it never made any money from it.

“It felt like plagiarism and I felt ripped off and raped,” says Richard L Spencer, lead singer of The Winstons – the band that recorded the original track.

“I come from an era where you didn’t steal people’s ideas.”

Over the past three decades bands on both sides of the Atlantic have used the drum solo from Amen, Brother for inspiration.


Over the years, it has become one of the most sampled drum beats of all time.

So why did these six seconds from 1969 become so popular?

The story is bloody fascinating. Read all about it here.

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 37464 posts and counting. See all posts by Alan Cross

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