The Sample Life

Not done one of these for a while, and it occurred to me to revive it when I was thinking about what to post in this week’s “Late Night Stargazing” thread.

It was going to be one of these records. Can you guess which one?

It could’ve been oh-so different for The Beta Band. Following the critically-acclaimed “The 3 E.P.’s” – acclaimed both as individual releases and as the combined album they forged together – and an eponymous album that they freely admitted they hadn’t quite nailed it on, The Beta Band holed up in a studio to give it another crack.

I would imagine you all know the story by now, but just in case you don’t:

The Betas finished their “Hot Shots II” album and pencilled this in for the lead single from it:


The Beta Band – Squares

Any concerns that they had failed to nail it again were dispersed: “Squares” is magnificent, prime trippy Beta Band gold, sampling as it does, this:


The Günter Kallmann Choir – Daydream

But there was a problem. For just as they were ready to roll with the release of “Squares”, a previously unheard of act called I Monster released a single which featured exactly the same sample from exactly the same tune. What are the odds of that happening?


I Monster – Daydream in Blue

The weird thing is, I feel like I’m being unfaithful to The Beta Band by posting that.

“Daydream in Blue” was a smash hit, or so my befuddled memory tells me. I had it in my head that it reached the top of the UK charts, but a little research tells me it only got to No. 20.

But the damage was done. The Beta Band elected to postpone the release of “Squares” for a couple of months, but by then, the British record buying public were all Gunther-ed out, and it failed to make the Top 40.

Still, if you asked me now which I’d rather hear, it’s The Beta Band every time.

More soon.