A new YouTube program called “Show Me The Sample,” which traces samples from hit songs to their origins, recently featured a piece of dance music history in Eric Prydz‘s “Call On Me.”
Hosts Felix Leiter and Dan Nightingale track the song’s iconic hook back to 1982 with the release of English artist Steve Winwood‘s “Valerie.” The song, written by Will Jennings, is about American singer-songwriter Valerie Carter, who was a backup vocalist for Linda Ronstadt, James Taylor, and more before launching a solo career of her own. In the early 1980s, Carter’s career was believed to be in decline due to drug use.
Over 20 years later, Prydz would go on to sample the song for “Call On Me.” Prydz presented the track to Winwood, who was thoroughly impressed with his efforts and even offered to re-record the vocals for the song. A company called Replay Heaven assisted in the effort to recreate the dynamics and effects of the original vocal precisely using Winwood’s fresh recording.
Upon its release, Prydz’s single climbed to the top of the UK Singles Chart and became the fourth best selling record in the entire country in 2004. “Call On Me” received an assist by a zany music video, frequently dubbed the sexiest music video of all time. In addition to the track’s origins, the “Show Me The Sample” episode also covers the success of the memorable aerobics-themed video, which was effectively a parody of a scene from the 1985 film Perfect starring John Travolta and Jamie Lee Curtis.
You can watch the episode below and check out “Show Me The Sample” here.