Monday, July 18, 2011

Behind the Sample: Club Nouveau's 'Why You Treat Me So Bad?'

Remember the 1987 R&B dance single "Why You Treat Me So Bad?" by Club Nouveau?

The single charted #39 on the Billboard Hot 100 on the merit of the melodic hook and signature keyboard and rhythmic arrangement.

If the name still doesn't ring a bell, perhaps it would be best to put the song into context with the numerous artists who have sampled it on their own hit singles.

First, you should listen to Club Nouveau's "Why You Treat Me So Bad?" right here.

Maybe you'd be more familiar with "I Got 5 on It" by Luniz. The rap duo scored their biggest hit single in 1995, selling over a million copies of the song. Notably, the song sampled heavily from the Club Nouveau synthline, as well as from Kool & the Gang's "Jungle Boogie". The result is a now-classic staple of '90s hip hop.

Watch the video for Luniz' "I Got 5 on It" below:

1999 was a simpler time - a time when Sean Combs still called himself "Puff Daddy" and R. Kelly wasn't relieving himself on underage girls. The two megastars combined forces for the #1 hit single, "Satisfy You". Back then, it was hard to go anywhere without hearing this smooth track on the radio. Oh, by the way, it implements the same beat and synth track as some song called "I Got 5 on It" by Luniz, which apparently sampled some song by Club Nouveau...

Watch the video to "Satisfy You" by Puff Daddy & R. Kelly:

In 2001, Jennifer Lopez released her second album, J.Lo. She followed it up the next year with a remix album, titled, J to tha L-O!: The Remixes. That album had a reworked version of her song, "I'm Gonna Be Alright" by the Track Masters and Nas which went on to outshine the previous version, hitting the #10 spot on the Billboard charts. That remix also contained a reworked instrumental sample of "I Got 5 on It".

You can see what I mean by watching the video to "I'm Gonna Be Alright (Track Masters Remix)":

During the first few years of the aughts, it seemed like Ashanti was singing on just about every rap song on the radio. Her third solo album, Concrete Rose, was released in 2004 and the Gold-selling single "Only U" gained considerable airtime. The song briefly, but prominently uses the same samples as the aforementioned artists. You can click here to watch the video.

By now, you can tell that quite a few pop artists have had big success sampling and reworking the simple catchiness of Club Nouveau's "Why You Treat Me So Bad?".

But we're not quite done.

Club Nouveau's Jay King was previously involved in another group, Timex Social Club - best known for their hit, "Rumors".

Timex Social Club penned another single, "Thinkin' About Ya" in 1986 and then shortly after disbanded.

King went on to form a "new" group, called Club Nouveau and used his own "Thinkin' About Ya" as the basis for a new single... called, "Why You Treat Me So Bad?".

No, seriously.

Listen to Timex Social Club's "Thinkin' About Ya" right here, then go back and compare the two.

Did I mention that Luniz' "I Got 5 on It" features guest vocals from Michael Marshall, the former lead singer of Timex Social Club?

And that's the story... behind the sample.

1 comment:

Michael Borshuk said...

Really fun post. Enjoyed the genealogy of the Club Nouveau hook across different tracks.

Michael Borshuk