The Funkiest Year Ever
Over at the Library of Vinyl Experience (another fine music blog), Pace Foster has culled data from the Sample FAQ to answer the burning question we have all been asking: "What was the funkiest year ever?"
Because the Sample FAQ lists the year of the original songs that have been sampled by hip hop producers, we can construct a simple frequency count of the number of samples that used material from a given year. All I did was add up the number of times that people sampled songs in each year and plotted the frequencies in Excel so that the categories are years and the values for each category are the number of times songs from that year were sampled. If none of this makes any sense to you, just think of this as "freq.-ing the funk".
The resulting distribution will not surprise people familiar with hip hop, sampling or the explosion of amazingly funky music in the early 1970's. As you can see, the most heavily sampled period (represented by the peak in the distribution) occurred between 1970 and 1975. But the actual peak occurs with 872 different songs that sampled material released in 1973. So that's it. According to this source at least, 1973 was THE FUNKIEST YEAR EVER! (If you accept a few conditions and caveats - see below).