Andy Summers says that Puff Daddy's 1997 tribute to the Notorious B.I.G., "I'll Be Missing You," was a "rip-off." The tune, which was recorded with B.I.G.'s widow Faith Evans, and 112, sampled Summers' guitar part from the Police's 1983 chart-topper, "Every Breath You Take" and went on to hit Number One itself, sell seven million copies, and snag the Grammy for Best Rap Performance by a Duo or Group. Although Sting -- who wrote the "Every Breath You Take" -- eventually gave his permission for Diddy to use the song and collected millions in songwriting royalties, Summers, whose original guitar work on the track was spotlighted on Puff Daddy's sample, was left out of the deal.
Summers recalled the situation to A.V. Club, explaining, "That was the major rip-off of all time. Stewart (Copeland) and I were not privy to that. I found out about it after it was on the radio. It was actually my kid, who was 10 at the time, said, 'Hey dad, there's some girl on the radio who's playing you guys!' I went into his room and listened to his radio, and I was like, 'This is me, what the f*** is this?' . . . He actually sampled my guitar, and that's what he based his whole track on. Stewart's not on it. Sting's not on it. I'd be walking round Tower Records, and the f***ing thing would be playing over and over. It was very bizarre while it lasted."
WHAT DO YOU THINK??
- Now that it's going on 20 years since sampling has become commonplace in popular music, are your opinions of it any different than it was back then???
- Should Sting have split the royalties he made off the Diddy track with Summers, seeing as how that was the portion of the track lifted for the sample???
- Do you generally think that sampling is a new art form or pure laziness from new record makers???
CHECK IT OUT: The Police in 2008 performing "Every Breath You Take" live in Japan:
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