Everyone samples everyone these days. But who was the first? What was the first track to feature a surgically excised bit of another song in its construction?
According to no less than the people at the Guinness Book of World Records, it was a track called “He’s Gonna Step on You Again,” a 1971 track by South African John Kongos. A portion of the song is based on tape loops of African drumming.
However, it’s possible that they made a mistake. Some believe that the Guinness people confused “Step On” with “Burundi Black” by British musician Mike Steiphensen, which was out at around the same time. That song features a tribal rhythm made by 25 drummers of the Ingoma tribe in Burundi that originally appeared on an album entitled Musique du Burundi, which was issued by the Ocora album out of France in 1968.
Steiphenson excised that bit of drumming and looped it on a tape, adding guitars and keyboards on top. The resulting album, Burundi Black, sold 125,000 copies in the UK.
This is the A-side of the original 7-inch single of the album’s title track. It’s history!