Plagiarism in Music

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by charles white, Nov 28, 2002.

  1. charles white

    charles white Second Unit

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    We all know the prime examples of plagiarism in pop music. Ray Parker Jr. copying note for note Huey Lewis's I want A New Drug
    for the Ghostbusters theme song or George Harrison borrowing Be My Baby for My Sweet Lord. But, I just heard Let's Work Together by Canned Heat, completely by accident and it sounds exactly like Let's Stick Together by Bryan Ferry. The Canned Heat song was made many years earlier than Bryan Ferry, who has in the past, done several albums solely of remakes. But my Bryan Ferry CD is missing the liner notebook so I don't know if he gave credit to Canned Heat for the song or not. I started this thread because I want to know other cases, famous or not, of rock and roll plagiarism or strikingly close similiarities.
    I'll start with one-being a huge ZZ Top fan, doesn't the beginning of LaGrange sound just like Spirit In The Sky?
     
  2. Evan S

    Evan S Cinematographer

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    The guitar riff in Buckcherry's hit a few years back "Lit Up" is a total rip off of the Kiss classic "Shock Me". In fact, the first time I ever heard it I said to myself "wow, somebody covered 'Shock Me'". Then the lead singer started singing and I was like "what the f**k?" I cannot believe bands can push the envelope like this on some cases.
     
  3. Jeff Ulmer

    Jeff Ulmer Producer

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    Try comparing Michael Jackson's "Billy Jean" to Billy Ocean's "Caribbean Queen." Same riff, same arrangement.

    There is plenty of music that is borrowed or stolen, sometimes by accident, sometimes not.
     
  4. Dereck Graefer

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    Check Led Zeppelin's "Going to California" and Pearl Jam's "Given to fly".
     
  5. Mike Broadman

    Mike Broadman Producer

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  6. John Watson

    John Watson Screenwriter

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    Who is credited for Lets Stick Together? I have a recording of it by Wilbert Harrison, which may long predate Canned Heat?

    I believe the Beacboys had to credit or pay Chuck Berry for lots of their stuff.

    Bo Diddley had a rhythm named after him, it has been used so often

    Originality is highly over-rated anyway
     
  7. James Corey

    James Corey Stunt Coordinator

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    The listing on the back of my vinyl copy of the Ferry album only gives credit to "Harrison" as writer of "Let's Stick Together".

    Charles, I believe that 'My Sweet Lord' was lifted from "He's So Fine" by The Chiffons.

    Another 'coincidental' sound-a-like is "Under The Boardwalk" which bears a striking resemblance to Was (Not Was)'s 'Shadow and Jimmy' (co-written by Elvis Costello)
     
  8. Stefan A

    Stefan A Second Unit

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    Much of John Williams' movie scores have themes and motives from great classical composers before him.
     
  9. Andrew Pratt

    Andrew Pratt Producer

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    how about vanila ice's classic rip off from Queen[​IMG]
     
  10. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

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    It's all re-hash. [​IMG]
     
  11. charles white

    charles white Second Unit

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    Charles, I believe that 'My Sweet Lord' was lifted from "He's So Fine" by The Chiffons.

    You're right! I thought it was the Ronettes but I knew it was a Phil Spector production.

    And Andrew, Queen missed out on being sued by the R&B group CHIC for stealing the bass line from Good Times used on Another One Bites The Dust. However, the Sugar Hill Gang did get sued by the CHIC producers for Rapper's Delight.

    The Billy Jean to Carribean Queen example is worthy of comparision.
     

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