The Most (Over) Used Drum Loop

For the past 15 years or so I’ve been looking for the magic drum loop to use in one of my songs. I’d say going back to my Ensoniq TS-12 days (with the ability to use ASR-10 samples) I’ve enjoyed the easy use of drum loops in my music. Granted – this was all before the cool days of ACID and even before the Internet. I’d sit at Big Dude’s and copy off the demo samples and libraries onto floppies… (yes – floppies!!)

Sound Loop Wave

So what is this story about? Well – my quest has almost come to a close. But first – my selection of music clips to guide me along my path of discovery:

Along with a few Google searches finally landed me the first of several Web sites:

  • Crap From The Past – Milli Vanilli
  • Famous Sounds from Synth Mania – They list it as “The Loop of ’89” – but I was hoping that somewhere I could attach a “name” to this loop. Something that Google could instantly provide me access to. Not to be. I kept looking…

I visited a few more Web sites but called it quits for the day… However, I went back to the Crap From The Past Web site to check out more info on Milli Vanilli (since I do actually like some of their songs even if they didn’t really sing the music themselves…) and hit a page that I seemingly overlooked during my first brief visit:

Crap From The Past – Milli Vanilli: That Beat!

Producer Frank Farian borrowed liberally from earlier recordings to put together the Milli Vanilli backing tracks. The Billboard review of the first single cites DON’T LOOK ANY FURTHER by Dennis Edwards with Siedah Garrett as an inspiration for some of the “Girl You Know It’s True” rhythm. (For those of you playing at home, Dennis Edwards was a member of the Temptations, and Siedah Garrett sang on Michael Jackson’s “I Just Can’t Stop Loving You” in 1987, and later teamed up with the Brand New Heavies for a lifeless album in 1997 called “Shelter”.)

A great deal of attention was placed on that beat, and the review mentions its use in PAID IN FULL, a 1987 single by Eric B and Rakim. The beat was also used in LL Cool J’s JACK THE RIPPER from 1988, but the original source of that beat was a 1974 recording by the Soul Searchers called ASHLEY’S ROACHCLIP.

Sweet!!! Ashley’s Roachclip!! I found you!!

Chuck Brown & The Soul Searchers – Ashley’s Roachclip

Sad part was finding out that even more of the Milli Vanilli “sound” came from:

Dennis Edwards – Don’t Look Any Further

Google is killing my 1990’s pop music memories!

So now that I’ve found the original source – now I’m on the follow up event to find a good sample to play with… Either that are start building a list of Top 10 songs that use this drum beat!


Leave a Comment

  1. @ron:

    EMF – “Unbelievable”

    The Roachclip sample was also used in:

    PM Dawn – “Set Adrift on Memory Bliss”

    ..and a couple of other tracks that I can’t remember right now. Thanks for this post. The sample source been driving me crazy for years.

  2. Thanks for finding this! I’ve wondered for years about the origin of this loop. It was indeed “The loop of ’89” and a number of years beyond. I’m glad it’s finally fallen out of favor, but I’d welcome it back with open arms if it made people forget autotune.

  3. One day I will get this loop into one of my own creations. Then – and probably only then – will it no longer haunt me. Of course, I think it’ll never be better than Milli Vanilli. It’s way too cliche now.

  4. thanks for the story.

    I look for it for sometimes just to figure it out.

    I always called this beat as my fave classic looping beat 😀

  5. lol…i don’t know why I was googling “beat used in a lot of milli vanili songs” but I was and I found this page. Good stuff!! It’s one of my fav beat loops..and a bunch of the songs sampled here are some of my favs…espcialy the PM Dawn and Soul System song.

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