RIP: Loleatta Holloway, 1946-2011

Some sad news if you’re a lover of Disco and/or House music–or even just Disco Divas. Loleatta Holloway, aged 64, passed away after a period of poor health.

Holloway was perhaps best known for her 1980 disco hit Love Sensation, which was later sampled by Black Box for their 1989 club smash Ride On Time. Her vocals were originally used without credit, but she successfully sued the band and received an undisclosed share of the royalties.

This is just one of many occasions on which Holloway’s vocals have been sampled, while she also a sang on Dan Hartman’s original version of Relight My Fire, which was later covered by Take That. Salsoul Orchestra classic Runaway features her vocals, too.

Loleatta Holloway is often called “One of the most sampled performers in music” mostly due to the track Love Sensation which has been used in the following songs and more. Some say it’s been used in hundreds of tracks:

  • “And I Know” by Veranova
  • “I Wanna Have Some Fun” by Samantha Fox
  • “Ride on Time” by Black Box
  • “I Don’t Know Anybody Else” by Black Box featuring Martha Wash
  • “Grand Piano” by Mixmaster
  • “Good Vibrations” by Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch
  • “We All Feel Better in the Dark” by the Pet Shop Boys
  • “Move” by Moby
  • “Take Me Away” by Cappella
  • “Take Me Away” by 2 in a Room (using the same sample as Cappella)
  • “(You Got Me) Burnin’ Up” with Cevin Fisher
  • “Take Me Away” by Chase & Status
  • “Blind Faith” by Chase & Status
  • “American French Machine” by American French Machine

As much as I rail against the excessive rehashing of old ideas*, I’m never sure where I stand on sampling. Too much gets to be annoying, but the right hook or bridge can make a song magical. Still, like Martha Wash, I’m glad Holloway was able to be properly recognized for her work as she was not really a notable singer in her heyday of the 70s, extremely talented but not chart-topping. Like many of the disco divas, she continued releasing singles and albums well into the 21st century. Her memory will live on through her powerful, amazing and instantly recognizable voice.

Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m going to press play one more time… :mrgreen:

* I’m looking at you, Hollywood. Either get some new ideas or release cleaned-up remastered films.† Stop copying off of the past’s A+ tests.

† Unless you’re George Lucas.

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