Eric B. & RakimPaid In Full (Seven Minutes Of Madness - The Coldcut Remix)

Label:4th & Broadway – 12 BRW 78
Vinyl, 12", 45 RPM
Genre:Hip Hop


APaid In Full (Seven Minutes Of Madness - The Coldcut Remix)
Engineer [Remix]Raine Shine
ScratchesD. J. Cell*, Matt Black
B1Paid In Full (Album Mix)
B2Eric B. Is On The Cut

Companies, etc.



℗ 1987 Island Records Inc.

Barcode and Other Identifiers

  • Barcode (Text, rear of sleeve): 5 014474 810787
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout stamp side A, variant 1): 12 BRW 78 A//1∇420 EX 11 2 1
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout stamp side B, variant 1): 12 BRW 78 B//1∇420 EX 11 1 1
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout stamp side A, variant 2): 12 BRW 78 A//1∇420 EX 11 1 4
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout stamp side B, variant 2): 12 BRW 78 B// 1∇420 EX 11 1 4
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout stamp side A, variant 3): 12 BRW 78 A//1∇420 EX 11 6
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout stamp side B, variant 3): 12 BRW 78 B// 1∇420 EX 12 6
  • Matrix / Runout (Runout etching side A): Townhouse

Other Versions (5 of 28)

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Title (Format)LabelCat#CountryYear
Recently Edited
Paid In Full (Seven Minutes Of Madness - The Coldcut Remix) (12", 45 RPM, Maxi-Single, Stereo)Island Records, 4th & Broadway609 472Europe1987
Recently Edited
Paid In Full (Derek B.'s Urban Respray) (12", 45 RPM, Maxi-Single, Stereo)Island Records, 4th & Broadway609 661Europe1987
Paid In Full (Mini Madness - The Coldcut Remix) (7", 45 RPM, Single, Silver Injection Labels)4th & BroadwayBRW 78UK1987
Recently Edited
Paid In Full (Derek B.'s Urban Respray) (12", 45 RPM, Stereo)4th & Broadway12 BRX 78UK1987
Paid In Full (Mini Madness - The Coldcut Remix) (7", 45 RPM, Single, Stereo)Island Records, 4th & Broadway109 472Europe1987



  • Yemsky's avatar
    Edited 11 days ago
    • Yemsky's avatar
      Background story as told in Sight On Sounds by Tom Doyle in December 2017 in the article "CLASSIC TRACKS: Coldcut ‘Paid In Full’ (Seven Minutes Of Madness)"

      "Coldcut’s version of Eric B & Rakim’s ‘Paid In Full’ launched their career and reinvented the concept of the remix at the same time.

      This year [2017] Coldcut — Matt Black and Jonathan More — celebrated the 30th anniversary of their partnership. Over the span of those three decades, they were initially responsible for ground-breaking remixes and their own productions (featuring singers including Lisa Stansfield and Yazz), before they diversified into the development of desktop video, computer games and apps, and launched their highly successful independent label Ninja Tune.

      More and Black, originally a pair of part-time DJs, first met in 1986 when the former, having halved his hours as an art teacher, was working three days a week behind the counter at Reckless Records in London’s Soho. Black, whose day job was as a computer programmer, was a regular customer and the pair began chatting and bonding over certain much-coveted records on the funk, soul and jazz scene known as rare groove at the time. But it was the Lessons series of sample collage 12-inch hip hop records made by American duo Double Dee & Steinski, featuring creative cut-ups of the likes of Little Richard, the Supremes and James Brown that first sparked their imaginations.

      “We were some of the only people who’d forked out 45 quid a copy to get those records,” remembers Black. “That was because they were really fascinating artifacts representing a new way you could put music together, by cutting it up and making collages out of it. Hip hop was itself a new culture and energy and we were really into it. These records sort of put that party on plastic really. So we thought, well, we’d love to do something like this.”

      So began the journey to More and Black becoming Coldcut and making their name — and having their first hit — with their landmark 1987 ‘Seven Minutes Of Madness’ remix of New York hip hop pairing Eric B & Rakim’s ‘Paid In Full’. It was to be the first remix to enjoy chart success in its own right, reaching number 15 in the UK.

      “I think we knew that we were onto a winner with it,” says Matt Black, looking back on their creative and commercial breakthrough.

      “We’d cracked something there,” adds Jonathan More. “But we didn’t expect it to blow up in the way that it did though.”


      "Paid In Full"
      At the same time, Jonathan More was a big fan of go-go, the Washington DC syncopated funk sound that was popular in the mid-’80s and championed in the UK by Island Records offshoot Fourth & Broadway’s A&R man Julian Palmer. “I actually flew to Washington DC, to buy go-go records, like an idiot,” laughs More. “I was seriously into it. And I think I probably pestered Fourth & Broadway to get free copies of various go-go records that they were putting out at the time.”

      Palmer was also aware of the cut-up records that Coldcut were releasing. As a result, the A&R man approached the duo — without telling his bosses at the label — to remix Eric B & Rakim’s ‘Paid In Full’ from their 1987 debut album of the same name. “He’d got his ear to the ground,” Black says of Palmer. “He knew we’d been putting out these underground releases and he thought, There’s something there. I don’t think we were his first choice. I think we were the third choice and the other people he didn’t get to do it. But we jumped at the chance.”

      Since this was a furtive, exploratory commission, however, Palmer wasn’t able to supply Coldcut with the master tape of the track. “He gave us, like, 10 copies of the album,” More notes with a chuckle.

      “Literally he gave us vinyl copies of the album and that was it,” says Black. “We just took elements. Like ‘Beats + Pieces’, the ‘Paid In Full’ remix didn’t even start in a studio. It was a small corridor in my flat. I had a couple of decks and the four track and we would try things out.”

      One of the key elements that was to make Coldcut’s ‘Paid In Full’ remix stand out was their use of a vocal sample of Israeli singer Ofra Haza’s ‘Im Nin’alu’ from her 1984 album Yemenite Songs. “I’d been turned onto it by Charlie Gillett who was a Capital Radio DJ,” says More. “He was sort of the John Peel of world music. Fantastic DJ, lovely man, sadly passed now. I guested on his show on Capital and he played that record and I was like, I’m gonna have that. DJ’ing out, ‘slurping’ was one of the many crazy expressions we had to describe to people what we were doing.”

      “Slurping was sort of you’re mixing it in but you’re not too worried about whether it’s in time or not because maybe it hasn’t got a beat,” Black explains. “So we slurped it in and it was like, ‘Yeah this could work, but it doesn’t sound quite in tune. OK if we pitch it down...’ And it was minus eight on the turntable, which is as far down as you can go. But at minus eight it was perfectly in tune, and in time effectively as well, by good coincidence. That turned out to be the hook.”

      Elsewhere the elements that the pair took from the original ‘Paid In Full’ included the scratching of the line “This stuff is really fresh” from Fab 5 Freddy’s ‘Change The Beat’, the distinctive rolling bass line from Dennis Edwards and Siedah Garrett’s 1984 single ‘Don’t Look Any Further’ and the beat from the Soul Searchers’ ‘Ashley’s Roachclip’ from the 1974 album, Salt Of The Earth.

      For their remix, Coldcut wanted to employ the same method as ‘Beats + Pieces’ and so requested two days in the Island Records studio to work again with engineer Raine Shine. “We actually had a sampler by then,” says Black. “We’d got a Casio RZ-1 drum machine, with 0.8 seconds sampling time, which was just enough to get four drum hits. But we wanted to do something with better quality, so the next step was to use a Bel delay as a sampler. Again it was Raine who showed us that you could take a loop into it and then edit the start and end point.

      “What was weird was it seemed to enhance the bass of the kick drum. The Bel unexpectedly added that to it. So then we had a solid looping drum break, which we laid down for several minutes. That became the backbone of what we could lay stuff on top of. We were able to cut in bits of the vocal on top of that.

      “This was our first use of an SSL desk as well, so you could do automation and write into it when you wanted which tracks to cut in and out. That was a way to make the mix more intricate and to automate the structure of it more.”

      For the more complex scratching that Coldcut wanted to hear on ‘Paid In Full’, they brought in London hip hop crew Bass Inc’s DJ Cell. “He was a wicked talent,” says Black. “By far one of the best scratchers that I’d come across. So that was a good extra element to it. “

      Among the other tracks Coldcut sampled for ‘Paid In Full’ were James Brown’s ‘Hot Pants’, the Peech Boys’ ‘Don’t Make Me Wait’, the Salsoul Orchestra’s ‘Ooh I Love It’ and Long Island rap combo Original Concept’s ‘Pump That Bass’. At the same time, Coldcut pulled out another Eric B & Rakim track from the Paid In Full album, ‘I Know You Got Soul’, for the key “pump up the volume” sample.

      Non-hip hop spoken-word samples, such as Humphrey Bogart from the film The Big Sleep (“Wait a minute, you better talk to my mother”) and the standout “This is a journey into sound” introduction (by actor Geoffrey Sumner) were spun into the track using an ad-hoc technique the pair had first used on Kiss FM.

      “We would mix spoken word and jingles,” says More. “They didn’t have a radio-style jingle cart machine as they were called in those days. Couldn’t afford it. So we used to get computer cassette tapes, which were like 15 minutes long, or something, the shortest cassette tapes. You were able to actually unscrew them, unlike a lot of other cassette tapes. So using the same pause button technique, we’d record a phrase onto those cassettes, unscrew them, cut the leader tape off, fit the tape back in again, and get it so that it was spot on, so as soon as we pressed the cassette button, it would play the phrase.

      “I’d found a record called A Journey Into Stereophonic Sound and actually the music on it’s really boring. But there’s this guy introducing it. I took it home and put it on and that was the first thing that came up on it and it was like, Yes! It’s like gold mining basically, y’know. You sift through it. Most of it’s crap, but then every so often you find a nugget. We used that as an introduction to the record. It’s a good signature sample.”

      One of the more surprising and unexpected samples on ‘Paid In Full’ is actually from the BBC Records album, Bang On A Drum, featuring songs from the kids’ TV shows Play School and Play Away. “All the hipsters were into these old James Brown and Dennis Coffey records and so on,” Black points out, still amused. “But you see a record called Bang On A Drum and you’re gonna buy that because you never know, there might just be something.”

      “We put that in pretty much at the end of the mix and purposely didn’t allow any of it to kind of leak out,” says More. “It’s faded so that nobody else could take it [laughs].”

      Plastering Over The Cracks
      Even with an SSL desk at their disposal, the creation of ‘Paid In Full’ was still very much a process of trial and error. “There’s a sort of dodgy edit [at 3.13],” says Black. “We spent ages on it, but you can still hear it. We didn’t know how to get out of it, so we just sort of brutally cut in and put some delay on it and hoped that no one would notice. Sometimes when there were the joins and things, you sort of had to paint over them. One technique was to put some echo on, or another technique was to have some kind of exciting sound just before, so you get distracted by that and you don’t notice the backing.”

      Although a record comprised entirely of samples, ‘Paid In Full’ was actually quite a tricky track to mix. “The complicated thing,” says More, “is that all of those records we’d sampled contained their own reverb. So the issue is that if you want to start adding reverb, which is a traditional kind of mixing element, you can very quickly make something that’s sample-based sound incredibly muddy and shit.

      “Raine was a great engineer with a great ear. She was very, very careful about how to balance that record. Really it was a question of EQ’ing it so that it sounded really big and tough with judicious use of reverb and delay. I think there’s probably a tiny bit of reverb on the scratching to sort of seat it in. But actually for a traditionally trained engineer, it was probably quite a difficult thing to mix, ’cause it’s outside of their comfort zone.”

      The success of the ‘Paid In Full (Seven Minutes Of Madness)’ remix was a huge profile-lifting boost for Coldcut upon its release, which was a fitting reward for the fact that they were only given £750 for it at the time. “It sold several million copies, I believe,” says Black. “Later we did a version called ‘Not Paid Enough’...”

      “But we got full credit,” adds More, “which actually I think was unusual. We didn’t realise that. It seemed normal, but I think probably we were only the second or third remix artist to get a proper equal billing.”

      “[The record label] could do that ‘cause it didn’t cost them any money and we were hip, so actually they gained from that,” says Black. “But it did get us on the front cover of the NME which was a pretty decent result, and so it was a big moment in our career.”

      Apparently though, Eric B & Rakim, who suddenly found themselves with a surprise UK hit, had mixed reactions to the track: Rakim loved it but Eric B dismissed it as “girly disco music”. “Some people say that Eric said that about a different mix that was done of it at the time,” stresses More. “But they came over to do Top Of The Pops for it.”

      “Imagine, they don’t know anything about this record,” says Black. “It’s not their single from the album, they don’t know that anything’s been done. Suddenly they get a phone call from the record company: ‘Guys, your record ‘Paid In Full’ is a hit in the UK, you’ve got to fly over and be on Top Of The Pops.’ They come over here and they get shoved onto Top Of The Pops, which was lots of girlies dancing around handbags.”

      “It’s par for the course, as a hip hop artist though,” laughs More. “Having a good old whinge.”
      • alfonsino's avatar
        This track is one of the strongest pearls that circulated in the disco in the late 80s. I remember that I danced this piece for a whole year at the "Power" nightclub in Rome. Great times. - Questa traccia è una delle perle più forti che circolavano in discoteca a fine anni '80.
        Ricordo che ballai questo pezzo per un'anno intero alla discoteca "Power" di Roma. Tempi fantastici.
        • keepitvinyl's avatar
          Eric B & Rakim we’re invited to perform their Hit single on Top If The Pops and only after they heard the remix for the 1st time and it was explained to them that this the version they were performing they refused to appear on stage... they were pissed off, and had to be begged to appear on stage.
          • page7's avatar
            One of the greatest remixes of all time and truly still holds up. I first heard this in '88 on the Colors soundtrack and was the first time I really thought about samples, breakbeats and what you could do with them. WIthout this remix a lot of the 90s sampled-based music would've sounded much different.
            • jiggawhat's avatar
              Actually in an interview, Coldcut said this:

              "When he heard it, Eric B described it as `girly disco music,' and Rakim said it was the best remix he'd ever heard; I thought both assessments were quite brilliant."
              • possibly one of the best remixes ever, coldcut to me basically came and virtually slayed the original, and it still sounds fresh today! i really love the use of some of the more unique samples on this record, such as the Ofra Haza sample and the ending drum break sampling of playschool's bang on the drum(!) at the end of the track. recently had to buy two of it also, as the copy i recieved jumps at the intro (one of my fave parts!). a real floor filler depending if the crowd is right.
                • johnnysizzle's avatar
                  djpasq, eric b and rakim don't like the rmx cuz we all would rather here it's quirky samples and arrangment, made possible only by virtue of Coldcut's genius and love for rising above "street cred"... nuff said...
                  • johnnysizzle's avatar
                    Proof that genius equals longevity... Coldcut was the standard back in the day for pure, uncut fuggitup-ness.... They still are the vanguard of good electronix --johnnysizzle
                    • Subliminal_Guy's avatar
                      Yes, that`s true push-man, and for all those who don`t know it already: Eric B. and Rakim do not like the Coldcut Remix version `cause in their minds it doesn´t have nuff street credibility... Make dis clear for yourselves ..Oldschool rap pioneers together with Ofra Haza (sic!) samples and stylish dancefloor samples....Same Procedure like with A.R.Kanes heavy guitar (de)constructions in M.A.R.R.S.´s "Pump up the volume"..But that´s the way dancefloor goes....


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