Amerie – Gotta Work (Samples Sam & Dave’s Hold On, I’m Comin’)


Anyone’s who has been reading my ramblings for long will know that there is a very special place in my heart for Amerie.

One Thing is one of the greatest tracks of the 21st Century and still gets me going when I hear it. I remember thinking at the time of its release that if she never released another good record as long as she lived, she’d still have done more than 99% of musicians manage.

Well, last year she released Gotta Work, and so now she’s managed more than 99.9% of bands or artists as it’s almost as good as One Thing. The reason I’m blogging about it now, other than the fact that every Sunday morning can be improved by a blast of Amerie, is that I’ve just worked out that the glorious horn sample driving Gotta Work along is Hold On, I’m Comin’by Sam & Dave, the duo who proved that you don’t need to be friends to make amazing music.

However, until doing some digging I’d never realised that Sam & Dave were originally on Stax (I always thought of them as Atlantic artists), meaning that Hold On, and many of their other tunes, were written by Isaac Hayes. It somehow seems utterly right that a riff created by the original Mr Loverman powers a song as charged as Amerie’s Gotta Work. I think Blues & Soul Magazine pretty much summed up the genius of Gotta Work when they wrote that it:

treads that rare fine ground between club-friendly sing-a-long anthem and credible soulful territory; its bold and brassy orchestral instrumentation and clattering percussion pushing it along nicely.

And as for Amerie herself, she described the track as “go-go soul” and also said that the idea for the video came to her in the shower:

I think it’s where all the creative energy flows because at that moment you’ve got nowhere to go…You’re just standing there with the water

And that particular image means that I really ought to go & have a cold shower. I’ll leave you with the video for Hold On, I’m Comin’ by Sam & Dave, the bickering soul geniuses who we can thank for Amerie’s Gotta Work, and suggest that you buy their Best Of if nothing else.

One comment

  1. there’s a part [at the bridge] that also sounds really familiar; i wonder if that was sampled from somewhere, and if so, what song?? im dying to know!!

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