Samples used by The Prodigy

A comprehensive list of samples that The Prodigy have used in their tracks on albums, singles and live shows, ranging from 1990 to today. If you know some other samples that haven't been listed here, please mail to me. And if you got some audio files please send them too!

We're pirates, we steal things and make them our own

What is sampling?

In music, sampling is the reuse of a portion (or sample) of a sound recording in another recording. Samples may comprise elements such as rhythm, melody, speech, sounds or entire bars of music, and may be layered, equalized, sped up or slowed down, repitched, looped, or otherwise manipulated. They are usually integrated using hardware (samplers) or software.

A process similar to sampling originated in the 1940s with musique concrète, experimental music created by splicing and looping tape. The mid-20th century saw the introduction of keyboard instruments that played sounds recorded on tape, such as the Mellotron. The term sampling was coined in the late 1970s by the creators of the Fairlight CMI, a synthesizer with the ability to record and play back short sounds. As technology improved, cheaper standalone samplers with more memory emerged, such as the E-mu Emulator, Akai S950 and Akai MPC.

Sampling is a foundation of hip hop music, which emerged when producers in the 1980s began sampling funk and soul records, particularly drum breaks. It has influenced many genres of music, particularly electronic music and pop. Samples such as the Amen break, the "Funky Drummer" drum break and the orchestra hit have been used in thousands of recordings; James Brown, Loleatta Holloway, Fab Five Freddy and Led Zeppelin are among the most sampled artists. The first album created entirely from samples, Endtroducing by DJ Shadow, was released in 1996.

Early rap artists simply used portions of other artists recordings without permission. Once incorporating samples began to make significant money, the original artists began to take legal action, claiming copyright infringement.

Sampling without permission can infringe copyright or may be fair use. Clearance, the process of acquiring permission to use a sample, can be complex and costly; samples from well known sources may be prohibitively expensive. Courts have taken different positions on whether sampling without permission is permitted.

How to get rights to use samples?

To legally use a sample, an artist must acquire legal permission from the copyright holder, a potentially lengthy and complex process known as clearance. Sampling without permission can breach the copyright of the original sound recording, of the composition and lyrics, and of the performances, such as a rhythm or guitar riff. The moral rights of the original artist may also be breached if they are not credited or object to the sampling. In some cases, sampling is protected under American fair use laws, which grant "limited use of copyrighted material without permission from the rights holder".

Maria Forte began working with Liam Howlett and The Prodigy in 1992. She moved with the writer to EMI Music Publishing following the sale of Virgin Music Publishers to the major.

She worked closely with Liam in the use and clearance of sample for the first three albums of the band’s career - “Experience”, “Music For The Jilted Generation” and the multi platinum “Fat Of The Land”. She left EMI Music Publishing in 1996 and continued to work with the band whilst at V2 Music Publishing to complete the sample clearance process for “Fat Of The Land” which proved to be their most successful and groundbreaking album for them date. In July 2006 she created Maria Forte Music Services Ltd.

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