Robin Thicke, appropriately with foot in mouth
Robin Thicke, appropriately with foot in mouth

So, the other day on the radio (yes, some of us still listen to that sometimes!) I heard about Robin Thicke whining that he really didn’t write “Blurred Lines,” he was just high on Vicodin and booze. The whole mea culpa sounded to me like he was asking Marvin Gaye’s estate to sue Pharell, not him, for plagiarizing “Got to Give It Up.”

Ironically, soon after that news story, I heard the inescapable Milky Chance single “Stolen Dance,” which really should be called “Stolen Song,” given its sonic similarities to The Wallflowers’ “One Headlight.”

It got me to thinking about how many songs sound so much like other ones, yet we hear about so few copyright infringement cases.

Keith Richards once said he “stole every lick” Chuck Berry played. So, I wonder how he felt when Buffalo Springfield made “Mr. Soul,” with some striking similarities to “Satisfaction.”

Did the Boss want to kill The Killers for “When You Were Young,” which resembled “Born to Run” so much, down to the breakdown about 3/4 of the way through?

And of course, there’s  the Australian quartet Jet, each of whose two big hits you get excited about at first, thinking they’re other songs, then you have that moment when you realize they’re just fakes. Of course, I’m talking about first, “Are You Gonna Be My Girl?” immortalized in iTunes, and hopefully paying residuals to Iggy Pop for “Lust for Life.” And second, though the Lennon estate and McCartney don’t need any more money, it’s unbelievable that Jet actually used the title “Look What You’ve Done” and the rhyme “you’ve made a fool of everyone” in a song so similar to “Sexy Sadie.”

What songs make you think, “Oh my God, how are they not getting sued for this?”

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2 Comments

  • According to Wikipedia, he gave songwriting credit to Zevon and the guys in Skynard:

    “All Summer Long” is a song recorded by Kid Rock. It was released in 2008 as the third single from his seventh studio album Rock n Roll Jesus. The song samples two hit songs of the 1970s, Warren Zevon’s “Werewolves of London”, and Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Sweet Home Alabama”; the idea for the mashup was suggested by Mike E. Clark.

    Writer(s) Edward King
    Kid Rock
    Gary Rossington
    Uncle Kracker
    Ronnie Van Zant
    Robert Wachtel
    Warren Zevon
    Leroy Marinell James Green V

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