Written by Malvika Hemanth
Cover art by Sonia Zanatta
They were always there. The influential bands of the 60s and 70s.
Like the fashion trends of the 60s and 70s infiltrating their way back into the styles of today, the same can be said for the music of the 21st century, though in a less subtle manner.
Let me introduce you to sampling. Sampling is a technique used by producers whereby they use a section of a song, often one that is not their own, to create another independent song. Through this technique, one can see the influence of popular musicians from the 60s and 70s and their lingering legacy in the music of the modern era.
Take for example the 1968 track You Showed Me by The Turtles. Whilst the band’s genre of music can be categorised as psychedelic rock and sunshine pop with elements of blues, this particular song has been sampled in genres as diverse as electronica to hip hop and even in film soundtracks. The most notable sample from this song is the use of The Turtles’ rising and falling string section. This string section can be heard in DJ Farolfi 2002 electronic track, Burnin’, in which this string section is heard briefly layered over fast dance beats. The same sample can also be heard in Whizzer Dee’s 2016 hip hop instrumental, Illusion, and in the 2005 remake of Fun with Dick and Jane in the track, Job Calls.
One can see the influence of popular musicians from the 60s and 70s and their lingering legacy in the music of the modern era.
However, it’s not just The Turtles that have established their place in today’s music and that of the 60s and 70s but also the ever-timely Fleetwood Mac. Whether it’s the catchy guitar riffs of Jeremy Spencer and Peter Green or the jarring yet warm vocals of Stevie Nicks, one can still hear their prominence in today’s music. Take for example Fleetwood Mac’s 1977 track, Dreams. This song was the only song by Fleetwood Mac that reached the Billboard Hot 100’s number one spot and its influence can be heard in the artistry of Post Malone and Jessica Simpson. In Malone’s 2016 track, Hollywood Dreams/Comedowns, one can distinctly hear the sample of Dreams throughout particularly his use of Dreams’ chorus. Similarly, the same can be said of Simpson’s 2006 track, Walkin’ ‘Round in a Circle, where she samples Dreams’ drum and bass pattern and uses this as a recurring theme.
Whilst the 60s and 70s was an era of bands one cannot forget the lasting impact of one particular band: The Doors. Composed of four key members and notated as one of the greatest musicians of all time by the Rolling Stone, The Doors have influenced the likes of James Blunt and Snoop Dogg. The Doors’ 1971 track, Riders on the Storm, which can be described as eerily spooky with the breaking of a thunderstorm used as the introduction, is sampled in songs including Blunt’s 2004 track, So Long Jimmy, and Snoop Dogg’s 2008 track of the same name. In Blunt’s song, one can hear The Doors’ sample towards the end where the smooth descending keyboard transition and accompanying drums and guitar of Riders on the Storm is used as an outro. Similarly in Snoop Dogg’s song where The Doors are credited as a feature, one can clearly hear their influence as The Doors’ chorus is used as the song’s chorus as well. In addition to this, Snoop Dogg’s first lines are an ode to the singer of The Doors, Jim Morrison (AKA the Lizard King) as he states, ‘goin’ off of this, off of that, with the Lizard King bumpin’ in the back.’
Now might be the time to dive into your parent’s old record collection for that real nostalgic feel…
Whilst the scope of popular music today has changed from that of the 60s and 70s leaning towards songs with more bass, catchy lyrics and a significant influence of hip hop over rock, the significance of music of the 60s and 70s can still be heard. So now might be the time to dive into your parent’s old record collection for that real nostalgic feel or just play a 60s/70s playlist on Spotify and see whether you can hear their influence. It might just be a small guitar riff, a subtle drum pattern or an overt sample, but I am sure you will find the legacy of the 60s and 70s hidden in the tracks of today.
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