Awesome words set to awesome music
February 24, 2012 4:45 PM   Subscribe

I have a fondness for songs that incorporate crackly snippets of old movies/audio recordings, or things that sound like old movies/audio recordings. What are the best tracks in this genre?

Chaplin Snakkar is a fantastic example, although for my purposes, the song doesn't need to be centered around the sampled audio.

Original words, like The Last Astronaut is fine; what I love is that the cadence is natural, unlike most spoken word.

Symphony of Science does tick some of the preferred boxes, but it'd tick more without the autotuning.

Agalloch's Summer Reprise is another example, and one that doesn't have the song revolving only around the sample.

One non-crackly favorite before I hand it over to you fine folks: Philip Glass's Knee 5

I've seen this thread and I like my Tom Waits, Henry Rollins, William Shatner, and Laurie Anderson, but they're not quite what I want here
posted by itesser to Media & Arts (40 answers total) 15 users marked this as a favorite
Julie Ruin's "I Want to Know What Love Is" does some sampling (it sounds like Katherine Hepburn, but I'm not sure where the sample comes from) and is great if you dig anti-sexist songs critical of cops... which I do.
posted by verbyournouns at 4:53 PM on February 24, 2012

Welle Erdball has several of such songs; however, they are all in German. It's samples from 50ies radio shows and commercials.
posted by MinusCelsius at 4:53 PM on February 24, 2012

Something like this?

The Books do a lot of this kind of thing. They are awesome.
posted by Garm at 4:54 PM on February 24, 2012

I can't seem to find a recording of the original track online, but you might like Ben Harper's "Suzie Blue."
posted by Kevtaro at 4:56 PM on February 24, 2012

Living Colour's Cult of Personality incorporates clips from several historic figures.
posted by Flunkie at 5:02 PM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Civil War by Guns N' Roses starts with a snippet from Cool Hand Luke.
posted by Flood at 5:02 PM on February 24, 2012

The Friends of Mr Cairo (although the 'clips' are copies of famous lines). Persian Love by Holger Czukay.
posted by Yowser at 5:03 PM on February 24, 2012

Moby- Natural Blues
posted by costanza at 5:05 PM on February 24, 2012

How about The Avalanches - Frontier Psychiatry?
posted by hot soup girl at 5:05 PM on February 24, 2012 [3 favorites]

Try Lilacs & Champagne
posted by Ironmouth at 5:08 PM on February 24, 2012

US3 - Cantaloop (Flip Fantasia)
posted by MonkeyToes at 5:10 PM on February 24, 2012

I was going to suggest Half Japanese's "My Sordid Past," but it looks like you're looking for snippets that are very much part of the music, not just samples dropped in here and there.

How about:

Steven Reich's "It's Gonna Rain" or "Different Trains"
Felix Mendelssohn - A Midsummer Night's Dream, which is often performed with a speaker reciting parts of the play. I can't find the audio online, but I have this recording and I think it might work for you.
David Byrne & Brian Eno - My Life in the Bush of Ghosts
posted by hydrophonic at 5:24 PM on February 24, 2012

I have a fondness for Loaded by Primal Scream which has lines from the Peter Fonda film The Wild Angels.
posted by vespabelle at 5:26 PM on February 24, 2012

Following up on Costanza's - a few other things off Moby's "Play" may also fit the bill:

Why Does My Heart Feel So Bad?
Find My Baby
Run On
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:33 PM on February 24, 2012

Bathtime in Clerkenwell
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 5:35 PM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Jon & Vangelis' The Friends of Mister Cairo incorporates (fake) dialogue, and is an homage to the old movies themselves.
posted by googly at 5:43 PM on February 24, 2012

Fentry by Grandaddy is my favorite one of these. I think it works better just listening to the audio rather than seeing the footage from the film on the YouTube version (although Tomorrow is a good film in its own right).
posted by burnmp3s at 6:22 PM on February 24, 2012

Godspeed! You Black Emperor
posted by empath at 6:34 PM on February 24, 2012

Busta Rhymes- Gimme Some More is one such song that uses old movie samples (Psycho).
posted by kettleoffish at 6:34 PM on February 24, 2012

Stars: Your Ex-Lover Is Dead

The line at the beginning sounds like a crackly old recording of a British statesman intoning the words "When there is nothing left to burn, you have to set yourself on fire." However, the line was actually written by the lead singer, Torquil Campbell, and spoken by his father, noted classical actor Douglas Campbell.
posted by hurdy gurdy girl at 6:46 PM on February 24, 2012 [2 favorites]

One by Metallica.
posted by Sassyfras at 7:04 PM on February 24, 2012

Fool's Overture
posted by philipy at 7:06 PM on February 24, 2012

Grace Kelly by MIKA.

The original though says "Mr. Dodd", not "Mr. Smith".
posted by pimli at 7:18 PM on February 24, 2012

I really love this effect in Devil Bunnies by My Life with the Thrill Kill Cult. "So I told him that's crazy.... I have to race in 20 minutes!"
posted by mochapickle at 7:54 PM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

"Honey Pie" by the Beatles.
posted by Rash at 8:11 PM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

The Wind Up Bird by Tunng, featuring dialogue from Fahrenheit 451.
posted by emelenjr at 8:16 PM on February 24, 2012 [1 favorite]

Caro Emerald's "That Man" has a spoken-word part near the end that sounds like a '20s phone call.
posted by kirkaracha at 8:27 PM on February 24, 2012

The concept album Haunted by Poe is a really interesting example of this: the entire album was inspired by and incorporates audio recordings made by Poe's father, film director Tad Danielewski, that Poe (AKA Annie Danielewski) discovered after his death. At the same time, Haunted is a companion story-commentary to her brother Mark Z. Danielewski's meta-horror-mindscrew novel House of Leaves. So at the same time, Poe is operating Haunted at minimum as an excellent electronica-pop CD, a soundtrack to her brother's book, and a conversation with her dead father. It's one of my favorite albums. And she recorded it in her basement! WITH A BOX OF SCRAPS!

A few tracks:
- Spanish Doll
- creepylicious interlude House of Leaves
- Control, especially around 4:11
- the heartbreaking If You Were Here
- Hey Pretty (Drive-By 2001 Mix) with Poe singing + Mark Danielewski reading from House of Leaves
posted by nicebookrack at 8:34 PM on February 24, 2012 [3 favorites]

Seconding Poe's Haunted album.

Paul Simon's song Getting Ready for Christmas Day from his new album So Beautiful or So What includes some sampling of a 1941 sermon by Reverend J.M. Gates.
posted by PussKillian at 8:58 PM on February 24, 2012

Everything by Tunng, especially in their first two albums (This is... and Comments of the inner chorus). youtube if you like!

There's also Max Richter's The Blue Notebooks: viz. Not strictly sampling but the aesthetic effect, wrapped round his very individual style of music, is so similar.
posted by lokta at 2:13 AM on February 25, 2012 [1 favorite]

Also recommending Tunng. Here's one of my favorites: "Beautiful and Light"
posted by kms at 5:15 AM on February 25, 2012

Moby Grape -- "Just Like Gene Autry: A Foxtrot" off of Wow/Grape Jam.
posted by Guy_Inamonkeysuit at 5:44 AM on February 25, 2012

Pogo makes really interesting remixes out of samples, often of older and rather obscure movies. "Go Out and Love Someone" based on "Carry On Cruisin'" is a particular favorite.
posted by Rallon at 6:17 AM on February 25, 2012

If you like trip-hoppy stuff, this has been around for a while now, but Mocean Worker's "Summertime / Sometimes I Feel Like a Motherless Child" is remixed crackle-ly goodness of an old Mahalia Jackson recording. I think it may also be on this album where there's a grab of an enthusiastic "One more time!" from an old Ella Fitzgerald recording of "April In Paris."
posted by kuppajava at 6:36 AM on February 25, 2012

When the Man Comes Around, by Johnny Cash. Crackles 'n' pops right up front.
posted by BrashTech at 12:11 PM on February 25, 2012

Don't Fall by The Chameleons kicks off with a sample from "Two Sisters from Boston".
Your Ex-lover is Dead by Stars opens with what sounds like an old movie sample - but it was the lead singer's dad.
There are quite a few tracks that sample old school preachers - like King Britt's "New World in my View" which features a sample from Sister Gertrude Morgan.
You might like some music by Lemon Jelly such as Ramblin' Man which features a conversation between Lemon Jelly's Fred Deakin and actor John Standing (and has its own special secret)
posted by rongorongo at 1:43 PM on February 25, 2012

Oh - and perhaps Silent night-7 o'clock news by Simon and Garfunkel
posted by rongorongo at 2:06 PM on February 25, 2012

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