A Shadows reissue arrived at work earlier this week, and ever since then “Apache” has been stuck in my head:
Everybody knows this song whether they know it or not. The Incredible Bongo Band sampled it for their own version of “Apache” and the Sugar Hill Gang borrowed the same melody for “Apache (Jump On It),” which broke the Billboard top 100, went to number 13 on the US R&B charts, and was featured in an episode of The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air.
There’s a Captain Beefheart connection here, too, by way of the UK’s Edgar Broughton Band. In 1970, they released a 7″ that substituted “Dropout Boogie’s” waltz-like interludes with melodies from “Apache.” The Wiki article on the Edgar Broughton Band says that this song was first performed live on BBC’s Juke Box Jury to a befuddled audience, but it made it to number 33 on the UK singles chart that year. Great idea, great song. I’ve played it every morning this week.