Phrases In Music

Lately I’ve been listening to a lot of older music, and I’ve been recognizing a lot of these older songs.  Why?  Because their remakes are some of my favorites.  I think it’s crazy the amount of songs I know that have borrowed from older songs.

I’ve put together a small list of some songs that have been remade or sampled.  Let’s see what I’ve got!  I’ll put in some links with the songs that’ll take you to its YouTube video if you’re interested in listening to any of these.

1. “Video Killed The Radio Star” (1979) by The Buggles was the first music video that aired on MTV on August 1, 1981.  I don’t watch MTV (do they even air music videos on that channel anymore?), but that’s really cool that this is the music video that got the ball rolling! The song kind of describes how music formats have changed.  The lyrics in the chorus go, “Video killed the radio star.”

In Yelawolf’s song “Radio,” some lyrics in the chorus go, “Internet killed the radio star/And YouTube killed the video star.”  I don’t know if this counts as sampling (or as a remake), but it kind of follow’s the pattern of “Video Killed The Radio Star.”  And, it’s kind of interesting to see how technology has progressed.

Nicki Minaj’s song “Check It Out” uses the “oh, oh” part from The Buggles’ song.  I had no idea!  Back when I was a big Nicki Minaj fan, this was one of my favorite songs.  I still play it sometimes, just for the fun of it 😀

2. “Straight up” (1988) by Paula Abdul is a song I actually recognized—but not because of the phrases that were borrowed in a more recent rap song.  I have this Paula Abdul cassette, and I have listened to it back when I had a radio that could play CDs and cassettes, so this song might have been on there.

Anyway, J. Cole sang the “straight up, now tell me, do you really wanna love me forever” part in his song, “Work Out.”  I’ve never been a fan of this song, but it was popular on the radio a couple of years ago.

3. “Ring of Fire” (1963) by Johnny Cash is the original, though there have been other remakes, such as Social Distortion’s remake.  I actually really like both versions.  Johnny Cash’s version is really starting to grow on me.

4. “Careless Whisper” (1984) by George Michael is a song that’s been covered by many other artists.  The version I believed to be the original, though, was Seether’s remake.  Again, I really like both versions, though the older version is really growing on me 😀  Really diggin’ George Michael’s ‘do and earrings in the original video.

5. “Smooth Criminal” (1987) by Michael Jackson is an awesome song!  When I first heard it after being so used to the Alien Ant Farm remake, I didn’t like it, but as I listen to it more and more, yep, you got it, it’s growing on me.  LOL.  When I first heard “Smooth Criminal,” I heard the Alien Ant Farm version, and I now find it weird that I didn’t hear Michael Jackson’s version on the station because this is the station that introduced me to Pat Benatar.

6. “The Boys of Summer” (1984) by Don Henley is a song I was recently introduced to through Spotify.  I recognized it, though, because I’m very obsessed with the remake The Ataris made.  I don’t think I have to tell you that I like both versions very much 😀

7. “Our Lips Are Sealed” (1981) by The Go-Go’s was a song I was very excited to recognize.  Why?  Because as a kid, I was OBSESSED with the Hilary and Haylie Duff version.  In fact, even the music videos are similar.  This is such a fun song, though, you can’t help but love it (well, I can’t help but love it, lol).  And I was a big Hilary Duff fan.  I remember when I was younger, my mom recorded Hilary Duff’s sweet sixteen TV show thing on a video tape(!!!).  Unfortunately, I think it was recorded over :/  I also still have her Metamorphosis CD, which is awesome.  Plus, I was a Lizzie McGuire fan… yeah…

8. “Material Girl” (1984) by Madonna was also remade by Hilary and Haylie Duff, and I loved both of their remakes, heheh.  Of course, the Madonna version is brilliant.  Loving her voice.

9. “Dream On” (1973) by Aerosmith is a song I was introduced to through Eminem’s song “Sing For The Moment” (one of his best songs, in my opinion).  I actually hadn’t known it was sampled until I heard it on the radio at a friend’s house.  And that’s when I fell in love with the original 😀

10. “Your Love” (1985) by The Outfield is another original I recently discovered and recognized.  I was listening to the Punk Goes Classic Rock album when I heard the I See Stars remake of this song, which I enjoyed immensely.

11. “Take On Me” (1985) by a-ha is not a song I recognized.  I did, however, recognize the beginning of it, which Pitbull Christina Aguilera used in their song “Feel This Moment.”  I really like Christina Aguilera’s parts in this song.

12. “Walking On Sunshine” (1985) by Katrina & The Waves is a song I’ve been familiar with for a while, because it was used in the beginning of Eddie Murphy’s movie Daddy Day Care, one that I saw in the theaters a looooong time ago.  But I was more familiar with the Aly & AJ cover.  Good times 😀

And that’s my list!  I hope you enjoyed reading.  One of the things I love about older music is how the recordings aren’t as clear as they are now, if you know what I mean.  But all of these songs that borrowed from other songs put their own little twist, especially the covers!  Have I stirred any memories with the old music?  How about the more modern music?  Do you know any remakes or songs with snippets of other songs in them?  I know this is pretty common in the rap genre.  Let me know your thoughts!



20 thoughts on “Phrases In Music

  1. Ohhhhhh my gosh, old music is basically the reason I have an iPod. (Well, not really, I like new music too, but STILL OLDIES ARE SO NOSTALGIC AND BEAUTIFUL AHHHHHH) Is it bad to be nostalgic for an era I wasn’t even alive in? 😉 Love, love, love your list – especially 5, 9, and 12!


    1. Thanks! Old music is awesome 😀 Haha, don’t worry–I’m nostalgic for an era I wasn’t alive in, either. It makes me wish there were such things as time machines! The eras I’d travel to… Number 9 is one of my favorites ^.^


      1. I know, me too! What’s your favourite time period? Mine’s probably the 1920s, in New York – flappers and the new, “thoroughly modern” era, oh yes! 😉 And Number 9 is simply lovely.


      2. Right now, my favorite era is the 80s! I’m loving everything 80s to the point of obsession (I’m even reading a book about the decade, heheh). After the 80s, though, I don’t doubt I’ll find a new era to study up on ;D


      3. It’s just so much fun to immerse yourself in a whole different world, isn’t it? 😀 I’d recommend The Diviners, by Libba Bray, if you haven’t read it yet – it’s basically what got me started on the 1920s, but even if you’re not a big fan of the time period it’s a great story. 😉


      4. Ooh, yes, I actually own The Diviners! I’ve had it for months, but I haven’t gotten around to reading it yet. Many people have told me they’ve enjoyed it though 😀 I’m excited to read it!


      5. Lucky duck. 😉 I’ve been hinting at my parents to buy me a copy for ages, so hopefully that’ll magically show up on my bookshelf one of these days… 😀 I promise you’re in for a treat!


  2. How crazy that you hadn’t heard some of these originals till recently! Especially the ones by Michael Jackson or Madonna.
    I love Johnny Cash, his voice and storytelling abilities are amazing! For a newer sound look up the Johnny Cash cover of Hurt, originally by Nine Inch Nails, words don’t do it justice 🙂


  3. This is such a great post! I love listening to older songs, and I’m glad you added remakes. I’m going to jam to all of these songs today, haha.


  4. I love Video Killed the Radio Star! One of my favorite bands (Pentatonix) does a cover that is brilliant. I LOVVVEEEEEEED Aly & AJ! They were my faves. I used to play over and over “Chemicals React”. I think I still have Hilary Duff’s Metamorphosis CD somewhere in my bedroom… 😛


    1. Yes! Video Killed The Radio Star is one of the best songs ever 😀 I was obsessed with Aly & AJ, haha! Chemicals React was one of my favorites by them, but I think my favorite song by them was Rush.

      I loved Hilary Duff, too 😀 I think I got her Metamorphosis album right after the release, more than ten years ago, lol. And I still know where it is!


  5. Killing Me Softly by the Refugees (fabulous song but old in and of itself now) is a remake of Roberts Flack’s.and if you like Motown The Supreme’s get stolen from regularly along with Aretha Franklin -they are the new inspiration with Lily Allen and Amy Winehouse. I was a 90′s girl during my youth. The 80′s have a big resurgence now because a lot of music having a very new wave and punk twist. I think you would love Pat Benetar, Blondie, and Depeche mode from your comments above. I love that you are into this stuff


    1. I love the Fugees’ remake of that song 😀 I don’t know if I knew it was a remake until now, though. I really enjoy some of Pat Benatar’s music, but I only know a few songs by Blondie and Depeche Mode. I’ll definitely have to listen to more of their music!


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