Artist: Michael Jackson
Track name: I Can't Let Her Get Away
Original release: Dangerous L.P.
Cat number: 465802 2 (US CD?)
Producer: Teddy Riley
Also available on:
D Livin' - Why (D-Livin', 1992)
Satin Storm - What D'Ya Do? (Satin Storm, 1992)
Technarchi - Flashback (Fokus UK, 1993)
As the proliferation of sampling technology increased, so the remit for valid samples and break-beats became increasingly obscure...
Take this, for instance. Who in their right mind could have ever imagined that an ultra modern (then, that is), musical, R'n'B-stroke-pop song could ever have worked as the source for a drum loop? Surely no self-respecting breakbeat maestro would do that, right?
Well, beyond all incredulity, someone very well did. And it works. D-Livin's 1992 released "Why" was one of the most memorable, interesting and exciting pieces of hardcore drum'n'bass to have emerged that year. Pairing with a heavy dub-wise inspired bassline, a couple of well chosen hip-hop & reggae vocal lines, not to mention another Michael Jackson sample - the "...why?..." vocal snippet taken from
This 'break' was instantly recognisable, to me at least, being taken from only about the best track out of the handful of really good songs on the year prior's "Dangerous" album. Produced by Teddy Riley, the break is slightly unusual in that it is quite musical, with a synth 'plucked guitar' riff running through the loop, and a 'band-hit' dropping on the kicks. Flipped on 45, the break does gain a worthy momentum to the grinding funk of the original.
Back in 1999 I actually had a guy I knew begging me for my copy of "Why". He wanted to drop it in with his UK Speed 2-Step Garage tunes when playing out, bringing back some of the old school tunes. Coincidentally I actually came across a white label of this whist digging out some 2nd hand shop - only realising what it was after scanning the etchings on the vinyl. Sold it to him for £20!
Returning back to 1992, and Satin Storm soon got in on the act using the break for the B-side to "Think I'm Going...". It didn't work nearly as well as the D Livin' track and the break was then forgotten all about...
...until late 1993 when a then unknown Optical decided to revisit the break for use in his track "Flashback", this time layering it as part of the mix rather than in its own right. Since then... well!
P.S. I asked this guy how it went with the "Why" track. He said it was too fast to mix in with his newer stuff, but in the end he dropped it as the last track of his sets, playing it in its own right for what it was. Went down well he reckoned!