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Blatant song ripoffs

Discussion in 'Music Corner' started by Beagle, Mar 6, 2002.

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  1. Beagle

    Beagle Senior Member Thread Starter

    List some tunes where the music and production ideas were completely stolen from another song or songs. I was thinking in terms of ones you don't hear about, where there was never any legal claim or lawsuit.

    Example: How about Billy Joel's version of 10cc's "I'm Not In Love", where he changed the title to "Just The Way You Are" and claimed writing credit? :rolleyes:

    I mean, listen to the song structure and production. The echo on the electric piano, the multi-layered backing vocals, the acoustic guitar strum, the kick drum beat pattern. And the song itself, listen to the melodic structure of the verses, listen to the bridge; the "I need to know that you will always.." is almost identical to the "Oooh you'll wait a long time for me..." in the 10cc tune.
  2. Grant

    Grant Life is a rock, but the radio rolled meeeeee!

    United States
    I tried and I don't hear it.

    One I did recall is how 5000 Volts' "I'm On Fire" resembles Los Brovos' "Black Is Black".

    The Archies "Kissin'" copies "Love's Made A Fool Of You" by the Bobby Fuller Four.

    I'll try to think of more later.
  3. JPartyka

    JPartyka I Got a Home on High

    I don't get the Billy Joel/10cc thing either.

    There's always the Doors' "Hello I Love You" and the Kinks' "Destroyer" ...
  4. Drew

    Drew Senior Member

    Grand Junction, CO
    Some one try to convince me that Billy Ray Cyrus - Achey Breaky Heart doesn't sound exactly like Don Williams - Tulsa Time with the lyrics changed, right down the intonation of the words.
  5. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    Uhhhh, Led Zep's version of Ritchie Valens' "Ohh My Head". On my copy of Physical Grafitti it sez written by Plant/Page.

    That's about as Ripoffie as you can get, eh?
  6. Tony Caldwell

    Tony Caldwell Forum Resident

    Speaking of the "mighy zep", has anyone compared "Stairway to Heaven" to the Spirit song "Taurus" (which came out several years before on Spirit's first album)??

    Randy California was very laid back about this issue when asked about it. Apparently, Spirit and Led Zeppelin had toured together and he felt like it was no big deal that they "borrowed" (in his words) part of this song and made it into one of the most played songs in history.

    What a guy! Too bad he is no longer with us.

  7. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    Randy California was a great guy, and a friend.

    I miss him every day.

    I play "Nature's Way" in his honor once a week.
  8. joelee

    joelee Senior Member

    How bout,
    Bad Case of Lovin You (Moon Martin/Robert Palmer) with Hurts so Good (John Mellencamp). Listen to that riff.
  9. hoboken lad

    hoboken lad New Member

    hoboken, NJ
    Not sure, but I always heard that a Hall & Oates song from their debut Atlantic album contained a track that 10cc ripped off for "I'm Not In Love". Clarification anyone?

    Ray Manzarek of the Doors years ago owned up to "Hello I Love You" being ripped off from the Kinks "All Day And All..."

    Of course, do we need to list the Rolling Stones songs that were "based" on Chuck Berry songs?

    The Small Faces ripped off "You Need Loving" from Howling Wolf (I forget the name of the Wolf song. Sorry). Led Zep in turn ripped off the Small Faces to come up with "Whole Lotta Love". Interestingly, Wolf (or his estate) sued Zep and won (or least got a settlement), but never sued the Small Faces.

    Pearl Jam seems to have lifted the music from the Neil Young/Buffalo Springfield "Mr. Soul" for its "Better Man" tune.
  10. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    Now folks, there is a big difference between a homage and a rip off.

    "Surfin U.S.A.", "Hello I Love You"--Homage.

    Led Zep "Ohh My Head"---Rip off.

    "My Sweet Lord" -- homage or blatent Rip off?

    Let's not get the two confused!

    BTW, every rocker ever written started with Chuck Berry so forget that.:)
  11. Beagle

    Beagle Senior Member Thread Starter

    Do you mean "Boogie With Stu" where Plant sings "Oooh my head/rock on!"? In the credits I believe it indicates "Mrs. Valens" (whoever that is) along with Page and Plant. Whole Lotta Love was also stolen from Willie Dixon?

    Re 10cc/Billy Joel; listen under headphones and you will see almost the exact same production ingredients. This can't be a coincidence.
  12. Sckott

    Sckott Hand Tighten Only.

    South Plymouth, Ma
    Led Zeppelin "beg borrowed and stole" from lots of people. Plant even admitted it. "Since I've Been Lovin' You" came from Moby Grape, "Whole Lotta Love" came from Willie Dixon, as did "Bring It On Home", "You Shook me" and "I Can't Quit You Baby", sometimes in whole - other times partially. Demos of most of thier earlier material sort of suggest Plant mixing familiar songs in his head along with stuff he wrote, when he "forgot". Led Zeppelin was a glorious cover band in many ways. Still pioneers, but lyrically, you can trace a lot of their things back to other obscure (and not-so-obsure) artistry.
  13. TSmithPage

    TSmithPage Ex Post Facto Member

    Lexington, KY
    I always thought one of the most blatant was a Duran Duran song on their "Liberty" CD, Do You Believe in Shame, to which I could sing along the lyrics to Suzy Q. "Oh, Suzy Q, baby I love you, Suzy Q..." What's the title to that song?
  14. Steve Hoffman

    Steve Hoffman Your host Your Host

    Well, that's the song. Carbon copy of "Ohh My Head" by Ritchie.

    On the first American LP issue, there was no Valens credit. Just Plant and Page. I couldn't believe it then, and I still can't. Now THAT was a ripoff.
  15. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    Yeah, that one is incredibly blatant plagiarism. Lyrically and musically almost identical to Bob Mosley's "Never" on the Grape Jam album. If Bob hadn't been incapacitated by years of mental illness they woulda been sued long ago. I believe I heard somewhere he's seeking legal redress currently.

    How about Rod Stewart's "Forever Young"? I can't believe Dylan didn't sue over that. Or "Waterfalls" by TLC, which resembles the old McCartney song of the same name.
  16. btomarra

    btomarra Classic Rock Audiophile

    Little Rock, AR
    One of the most obvious ripoffs is Ice Ice Baby from Vanilla Ice which doesn't credit Bowie or Queen but is a direct ripoff to Under Pressure.


  17. David R. Modny

    David R. Modny Senior Member

    Streetsboro, Ohio
    Bread - Lost Without Your Love
    Kenny Rodgers - She Believes In Me

    virtually the same melody and chord structure on the chorus.

    In fact, much of MOR/AC radio seems to be the same song....lol!

  18. Highway Star

    Highway Star New Member

    eastern us
    And let's not forget the debacle over John Fogerty's Old Man Down The Road being homage or rip off of Run Through The Jungle, depending on who's lawyer was talking. I guess it ended up being homage.

    Zaentz: "You ripped off Creedence"
    Fogerty: "Did not"
    Zaentz: "Did too"
    Fogerty: "Did not you @#$%&"
    Zaentz: "you said I couldn't dance too"
    Fogerty: "you stole my money you @#$%&"......
  19. David Powell

    David Powell Well-Known Member

    Atlanta, Ga.
    John Fogerty gave up the publishing rights to his Creedence songs to get out of his contract with Zaentz & Fantasy. The bad blood between Fogerty & Zaentz later resulted in Fogerty's dubious distinction of being accused of plagarizing himself. After a lengthy legal battle, Fogerty prevailed however.
  20. Cousin It

    Cousin It Senior Member

    Sydney, Australia

    Zep used to do a hard riffing version of Fresh Garbage in their live set c.69.Starts off with the riff and goes it to a boogie thing.
  21. Rspaight

    Rspaight New Member

    I was going to mention "Forever Young" -- about as blatant as you can get.

    And, as noted above, both "Destroyer" and "Hello I Love You" are derived from "All Day And All Of The Night."

    Here's one:

    Marillion's fifth album was to be produced by Bob Ezrin, but Fish left the band in the middle of writing. However, prior to the breakup in 1988, Ezrin heard an early version of a song called "Tic-Tac-Toe." This demo can be heard on the 1999 2-disc reissue of Marillion's "Clutching At Straws."

    The music for this song, with a shorter intro and different lyrics, later resurfaced as a Marillion B-side called "The Release" in 1990 (produced by Nick Davis).

    Then, in 1993, the Gilmour-led Pink Floyd releases a single from "The Division Bell" called "Take It Back" (produced by Bob Ezrin) that was fairly successful. Credited with co-writing is Ezrin (along with Gilmour, I think). Sounds an awful lot like "The Release." But it sounds almost *exactly* like "Tic-Tac-Toe," especially the extended intro (that wasn't used for "The Release").

    It's pretty obvious that Ezrin remembered the Marillion demo and later used it on the Floyd project, either not knowing it had been commercially released as a B-side or not caring. Marillion has half-jokingly suggested suing, but they know they wouldn't stand a chance against the mighty Floyd legal juggernaut (and both recordings are on EMI anyway).

  22. czeskleba

    czeskleba Senior Member

    And then there's REM's "Pop Song 89" which is an homage to "Hello I Love You"...
  23. Jefhart

    Jefhart Senior Member

    Then there's the Kinks song on Low Budget, damn, can't remember which one and I'm at work, far from my record collection, that lifts the riff from Jumpin' Jack Flash.

  24. Bill

    Bill Senior Member

    Eastern Shore
    Special solo Beatles version:

    Happy Christmas (War is Over)= Stewball
    Freedom= If I Had A Hammer
    My Sweet Lord= O Happy Day (NOT He's So Fine)
    (sorry- can't think of a Ringo one)
  25. bob g.

    bob g. Forum Resident

    Los Angeles
    Since the first day that I heard it on the radio I've coupled "Purple Haze" with "Walkin the Dog". Definitely homage catagory or maybe offspring, cousin at least... some of the same genes.
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