There has been a lot of talk about Beyoncé’s new single since its release. Because Beyoncé is still Beyoncé. Because it’s the first taste of her next album, Renaissance, out July 29. Because from the previous album, Lemonade, it’s been almost seven years now. Because so many critics saw the hymn of the Great Resignation in that song. And, now, it is also being talked about for a tribute to a 90s dance classic that Beyoncé has “hidden” in the single. The classic is “Show Me Love” by Robin S., “probably the most ubiquitous dance piece in modern history”, as Larry Flick, dance editor of Billboard in 1993, when the song came out. And indeed, according to the tally kept by the site WhoSampled“Show Me Love” has been sampled more than 100 times (as reported by the New York Timesin chronological order the last one to use it was Charli XCX in “Used To Know Me”, track from his album Crash).
Beyoncé fans noticed the sampling of “Show Me Love” listening to Bey’s new single, then they received confirmation of the homage by reading the credits of the piece on streaming platforms: among the first on the list were Allen George and Fred McFarlane, the original authors. On Wednesday, Robin S. – who played the song – spoke to British TV and said she was grateful to Beyoncé “for giving her this gift” and found out when her son told her that his name had entered the trending topics of Twitter. Shortly after this thank you from Robin S., however, the names of George and McFarlane disappeared from the “Break My Soul” credits. Then, over the weekend, their names reappeared. This intrigued journalists, who tried to contact the press officers of Beyoncé and Columbia (the singer’s record label, responsible for providing streaming platforms with the credits to be included in the songs) but got no response from either. from others.
According to what was said in the Times by Christopher Buccafusco, lecturer in law at the Cardozo School of Law, this disappearance and reappearance of credits may seem strange but it is more frequent than one might imagine. “Someone at some point notices that the song is too similar to another,” explained Buccafusco, and then the names of the authors of the other song are added immediately to avoid legal consequences. Of course, the strange thing is that such a thing happens to Beyoncé: “Usually, artists of this level don’t put the names of other authors in their songs unless there is already an agreement”. In any case, the name of Sten Hallström, aka StoneBridge, the Swedish producer and author of the remix of “Show Me Love” which became a worldwide success in 1993, is missing from the restored credits. composed by George and McFarlane, it was released in 1990 and was a fiasco: it was a very disco influenced piece, flat and, for the period, conventional. With his work, StoneBridge turned it into a hit but, precisely because his contribution to the song came from a remix, he is not considered as one of the original authors of the piece, those that must be indicated in the credits in case of sampling. It doesn’t matter that the version of “Show Me Love” used by Beyoncé is the one “reworked” by StoneBridge. “It’s kind of annoying,” he told Times the Swedish manufacturer.