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Hip Hop Pop Song of the Day

Song of the Day (The Chain): Malcolm McLaren and The World’s Famous Supreme Team – Buffalo Gals

Day 37. Public Image is fairly transparently about John Lydon’s feelings towards his former manager Malcolm McLaren. Todays link in the chain is this relationship.

Buffalo Gals is Malcolm McLaren’s appropriation of the then nascent sound of Hip Hop, which he’d been exposed to in New York while seeking a support act for a Bow Wow Wow show. It’s fairly basic stuff. Scratching & sampling over a very simple (but effective) drum machine beat. Sounds so basic now but was a pretty big deal at the time.

In absence of lyrics, heres Malcolm McLaren himself explaining the song:

Buffalo Gals was recorded with the World’s Famous Supreme Team and Zulu singers backing them up with the words ‘she’s looking like a hobo.’ The performance by the Supreme Team may require some explaining, but suffice to say they are DJs from New York City who have developed a technique using record players like instruments, replacing the power chord of the guitar with the needle of a gramophone, moving it manually backwards and forwards across the surface of a record. We call it scratching.

Malcolm McLaren, Duck Rock liner notes

Stay up to date with the Song of the Day (The Chain) Spotify playlist.

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