When the music world mourned the late Dennis Edwards, the Temptations’ former lead singer who died Friday, February 2, just a day shy of his 75th birthday, several tributes mentioned that his biggest solo hit, “Don’t Look Any Further” was one of the most sampled tunes in music history.
And that appears to be the case.
According to the website WhoSampled.com, which many consider the authority on these things, “Don’t Look Any Further” has been sampled (or interpolated) for 82 different songs or remixes of songs since its initial release in 1984.
That’s an awful lot of rehashing, and it certainly makes the song’s familiar drum beat, chord structure and bass line (please hum along with me: boom boom ba-boom, bom-bom-bom boom boom ba-boom) one of the most recognizable in all of R&B.
In 1984, “Don’t Look Any Further” (featuring then-newcomer Siedah Garrett) reached #2 on the Billboard R&B chart and petered out at #72 on the pop chart, a modest but respectable showing indeed, particularly on the former list.
But its cultural significance far exceeds those chart numbers, specifically because of the many samples that have kept elements of the song alive for going on four decades. From its most notable use in the Eric B. & Rakim hip-hop classic “Paid In Full” in 1987, to one of the most recent samples, 2017’s “So Excited” by Fat Joe featuring Dr. Dre, the song has been a vital cog in the hip-hop machine during most of its existence.
Artists from Too $hort to 2Pac and from Mary J. Blige to Mary Mary have all dipped into the eternal well that is “Don’t Look Any Further,” as have various other MCs and deejays who’ve fallen in love with the memorable track.
In honor of the late Edwards, plus Garrett and the song’s creators (songwriters France Golde, Dennis Lambert and Duane Hitchings, with Lambert producing and Paul Jackson, Jr. responsible for the famous bass and drum programming), djrobblog came up with a ranking of the ten best samples of “Don’t Look Any Further.”
These are ranked using only one criteria: opinion. You’ll have yours and I welcome them either in the comment section or on any of the blog’s social media links. If you want to see a complete listing of all 82 songs that sampled “Don’t Look Any Further,” click this link.
Now, without any “further” delay, check out the rankings by scrolling through the list below.
R.I.P. Dennis Edwards
Aside from the normal rap fare about pussy and more pussy, this is actually a pretty good sample of “Don’t Look Any Further.” It wasn’t the only time Too $hort was connected to the track, but it’s the only time you’ll see him here. XVII is from the hip-hop group UGK.