You thought Song A borrowed from Song B, but really they both borrowed from Song C ...

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Stephen J, Dec 5, 2017.

  1. Stephen J

    Stephen J Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Baton Rouge, LA
    No, this post is NOT designed to stir up debate about what is or is not "plagiarism". No legalities need apply here, I'm just talking about examples you heard in your head. Here's an example:

    Back in late 1982, when the Stray Cats released their hit song "Stray Cat Strut", I remember thinking that it was very similar to the Richard Hell punk anthem "Blank Generation" that had come out a few years earlier, and for decades whenever I heard SCS i would think to myself "nice lift, fellas".

    But just a few years ago, I found out that "Blank Generation" itself was largely a re-write of a 1959 song called "Beat Generation", so the trail of influence actually went back way further than i imagined. Maybe it goes back further still!
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  2. ajsmith

    ajsmith Forum Resident

    When ‘Bohemian Like You’ by the Dandy Warhols was a hit in 2001 ish, one of my friends accused it of being a lift from The Specials ‘Little Bitch’; I knew The Specials song was taken from the Stones ‘Brown Sugar’ though. (Apparently this ‘homage’ made Mick Jagger walk out on a Specials show in distaste when he went to see them).
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  3. Devotional

    Devotional Forum Resident

    Oslo, Norway
    "Come As You Are" by Nirvana (1991) comes to mind. The main riff was quite obviously lifted from Killing Joke's "Eighties" (1984). Killing Joke got a rude reply from Nirvana's publisher when they contacted them ("Nirvana have never heard of Killing Joke"), which was kinda funny, as KJ even got a fan letter from Kurt Cobain in 1987. Kurt later admitted that he was reluctant to put the song out in the first place because of the similarities, and Dave Grohl played drums on a full KJ album for free years later as a friendly "pay-back". But what about "Life Goes On" by The Damned (1982)?

    Killing Joke claim that they never heard "Life Goes On", but took a cue from The Equals' "Baby Come Back".

    (PS: Sorry if I'm straying from the OT with this example.)
  4. Rfreeman

    Rfreeman Forum Resident

    Lawrenceville, NJ
    Everything harmonious in music has been around forever. It is only a question of whether you can locate when it was done before.

    There are 12 notes. They harmonize in three distinct ways (minor 3rd/major 6; major 3rd/minor 6th; 4th/5th). If you like some dissonance you can also play with three more types of intervals (tritone, 7th/2nd, major 7th/minor 2nd). If you think you can come up with something truly unique out of those materials, you are deluding yourself.

    The goal should be coming up with pleasing and interesting things to do with those materials, not the impossible task of coming up with something nobody else has ever come up with.

    You will have better luck writing unique lyrics as there are a lot more words and ways to combine them.
  5. MikeP5877

    MikeP5877 Senior Member

    Lloyd Price borrowed the melody for "Just Because" from a Shirley and Lee song called "A Little Word", which Leonard Lee borrowed from Verdi's Rigoletto opera. This I just learned recently from the notes to the Bear Family Shirley and Lee box set.

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  6. Rne

    Rne Sufferin' succotash!

    I thought the bass line of "¿Qué se puede hacer salvo ver películas?" by La máquina de hacer pájaros was a quote from "Rikki Don't Lose That Number", but I ignored Steely Dan had taken it from Horace Silver's "Song for My Father".

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  7. California Couple

    California Couple dislike us on facebook

    Newport Beach
    Porcupine Tree - Time Flies / Pink Floyd – Dogs / Ash Ra Temple VI - Inventions for Electric Guitar

    Supposedly Animals is Steven Wilsons favorite Floyd album. As a tribute he wrote the song Time Flies. When asked why he stole the Guitar line from Dogs, he answered that David Gilmour stole it from Manuel Göttsching.

    Manuel Göttsching’s album Inventions for Electric Guitar contains three songs. Having not heard it in ages, I do not recall which song is the one in question.

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  8. andy749

    andy749 Forum Resident

    I've seen posts where people claim that Deep Purple used the Blues Magoos' song "We Ain't Got Nothing Yet" for the riff in their song, "Black Night" when actually Ritchie nicked off of Ricky Nelson's version of "Summertime".

  9. Overthehillsandfaraway

    Overthehillsandfaraway Forum Resident

    Bobby Parker wins this thread. How many bands ripped this one off were inspired by this?

    This is Song C for so many cases!
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  10. CliffL

    CliffL Forum Resident

    Sacramento CA USA
    With regard to the Kingsmen's "Louie Louie" cover, I had always thought it originated with Richard Berry, but here is the Latin riff that originally inspired Richard Berry's famous song:

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  11. Stephen J

    Stephen J Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Baton Rouge, LA
    No, that is a great example of what i am talking about. :)
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  12. NaturalD

    NaturalD Forum Resident

    Boston, Mass., USA
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  13. NaturalD

    NaturalD Forum Resident

    Boston, Mass., USA
    I'm a great fan of the Damned who has been listening to Life Goes On since 1982, and I've always thought that any so-called similarity with Come As You Are is way overstated. Any amateur guitarists here can grab their instrument and find they aren't that similar. I can definitely hear the connection with the Killing Joke and Nirvana songs.
  14. Stephen J

    Stephen J Forum Resident Thread Starter

    Baton Rouge, LA
    It's amazing how far back some of these rock and roll riffs go, to the big band era, jazz era, and even to middle-age minstrelsy. Shows the commonalities among all forms of music.
  15. letmerollit

    letmerollit Well-Known Member

    West Texas, USA
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  16. powerq

    powerq Forum Resident

    Whitehall, PA, USA
    All You Need Is Love>1812 Overture>French National Anthem? Horns.
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  17. onionmaster

    onionmaster Tropical new waver from the future

    It was thought that Scooter's popular cover of Nessaja was inspired by the Peter Maffay original, though it was actually a copy of an little known German happy hardcore version from 1995, complete with high pitched vocals. Also, the Scooter's derives from a sideproject 3AM (a reunion with their old member Ferris Bueller), which was overdubbed & remixed to make the Scooter track, with Bueller's credit removed. He's refused to speak to the group since.

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  18. Adam9

    Adam9 Forum junkie

    Toronto, Canada
    Well Tchaikovsky deliberately quotes La Marseillaise to depict Napoleon's troops, as he does with the Russian hymn "God Save The Tsar" to depict the Russian troops in the 1812 Overture.
    It would be interesting to know how and why the Beatles chose it for All You Need is Love.
  19. What I loved is how LZ denied (as I recall) touring with them during a time when Randy California would play this song. Randy pointed out that Jimmy Page and Robert Plant (who was a big fan of Spirit as I recall) sitting in the audience. While the chord progression was around ages ago would Page have thought to use it if he hadn't heard Spirit play it?
    Last edited: Dec 6, 2017
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  20. As I recall, it was George Martin that came up with that opening and it was in his arrangement from the very beginning. My guess is that the themes in the French National Anthem is what appealed to Martin. The tricky time signature changes flowed from John's weird sense of rhythm. He would want to drop beats here and there and it seemed natural to him. He didn't think about it. He just did it.
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  21. aphexj

    aphexj Sound mind & body

    My friends thought "There She Goes Again" had come from "Hitch Hike" by the Rolling Stones but of course that's a Marvin Gaye cover
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  22. Brendan K

    Brendan K Forum Resident

    Probably the most famous recent example:

    Rihanna took the "Mama-se Mama-Sa Mama-Coo-Sa" in 'Don't Stop The Music' from Michael Jackson's 'Wanna Be Starting Something', and everyone thought that she'd copied him but turns out they both took it from Manu Dibango's 'Soul Makossa'.
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  23. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your Host Your Host

    As discussed yesterday. Led Zep’s Boogie With Stu a rip of Ritchie Valens Ooh My Head which is a slowed down rip off of Little Richard’s Ooh My Soul.
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  24. chacha

    chacha Forum Resident

    mill valley CA USA
    I find myself devastated, shocked & stunned that Zeppelin could actually take something that wasn’t theirs.
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