8 Songs From the Past That Today’s Artists Just Can’t Leave Alone

You might be disappointed to learn that some of your favorite pop tracks are sampled from ’80s or ’90s songs.

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This means that music producers took a portion of a song’s lyrics, vocals, and/or melody to incorporate in a new track.

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You’d also be surprised to learn that a majority of pop music right now draws inspiration from other songs. First, take a listen to the track that’s been sampled from and then see if you can guess the pop song.

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La Di Da Di by Doug E. Fresh & Slick Rick (1985)

This song has been sampled a number of times, but it’s most recognizable in Miley Cyrus’s 2013 single “We Can’t Stop.” Lyrics like “La di da di, we like to party” are copied straight from the original track.

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Take On Me by A-Ha (1985)

Now that you’ve heard A-Ha’s 1985 track “Take On Me,” you’ll instantly recognize the beat that was sampled by Christina Aguilera and Pitbull in “Feel This Moment”. The 2012 song adds a deep bass to the original melody.

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Tom’s Diner by Suzanne Vega (1987)

You can hear Suzanne Vega’s vocals from “Tom’s Diner” in the background of American rock band Fall Out Boy’s 2015 song “Centuries”.

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Baby Got Back by Sir Mix A Lot (1992)

If “Baby Got Back” didn’t inspire female rapper Nicki Minaj, then what did? Minaj adds Sir Mix A Lot’s verses and she imitates the girls in the beginning of the original song’s video.

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Can you guess these next ones?

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Thank You by Dido (1999)

Dido became more popular after famous rapper Eminem released “Stan” in 2000. Although he makes her a feature artist on his track, many don’t know that her vocals are from her own 1999 track “Thank You.”

Straight to Hell by The Clash (1982)

The first 15 seconds of The Clash’s “Straight to Hell” is very similar to the beginning of M.I.A.’s “Paper Planes”. It’s impossible to miss the similarity.

No Scrubs by TLC (1999)

The R&B trio’s melody appears 30 seconds into Ed Sheeran’s “Shape of You”, and continues until the end of the track.  

Tainted Love by Soft Cell (1981)

Rihanna samples Soft Cell’s “Tainted Love” throughout the her 2006 hit track “SOS”. The base melody is the same, but the beat is more ‘club-worthy’.

How many of these did you guess right?

Emma C
Freelance Writer