The Break That Launched A Thousand Hits
This weekend, the NYT profiled a record it called “one of the most sampled LPs in history, if not the most sampled,” featuring a cut that D.J. pioneer Kool Herc called “the national anthem of hip-hop” (and who are we to argue?). The track in question is called “Apache,” and though you may not know it by name, you’ve heard it all your life. Trust us.
Who knew this was the Incredible Bongo Band? It’s like that actor you always see and love but can never call out (like the guy that John C. Reilly used to be). “Apache” is on Bongo Rock, one of two Bongo Band LPs getting re-released this year. And the list of samplers is endless. Originally penned in 1960 by British composer Jerry Lordan, IBB’s ’72 cover has been used by everyone from Kool Herc and Grandmaster Flash to Missy Elliot and Fatboy Slim.
Also, the song stars our favorite, deranged studio-drummer/drug casualty, Jim Gordon. Yes, he murdered his mom, but not before writing the timeless piano coda to “Layla” as part of Derek & The Dominoes, and not before laying down the drum beats that hip-hop has immortalized. He said his mom’s was one of the “voices inside his head,” and ended her with a knife in ’83. Think about that while you watch.