. Uncoached - Seven Examples of Song Ripoffs |

May 12 2011

7 Song Ripoffs That Were Pretty Awesome Regardless

Published by at 7:20 am under Music

They say that “talent borrows and genius steals” right?  Well I’m not quite sure about that but I will say this.   Many people have taken an idea and expanded on it to make it their own.  It’s the nature of the beast.   I mean Burger King exists doesn’t it?  You don’t think there was some McDonald’s thinking going on there?

Someone may write a great article containing five points but another person might add five making it ten points and the ten points article is better.  However, it’s a fine line what is blatantly stealing and what is original.  Same goes for the music industry.

In these cases it seems there’s some pretty obvious ripping going on but even so, all the songs below kick ass.

After the jump you’ll see the comparisons.  The first song is embedded first followed by the blatant copy after…..

Dani California was Ripped from Last Dance with Mary Jane

Let’s face it Red hot Chili Peppers, if you didn’t rip this song from Tom Petty then how in the hell do you explain the fact that it sounds exactly the same?  I mean is there any evidence to the contrary?  I don’t think it’s possible.   Regardless, they’re both great songs.   Petty never intended to sue the Peppers and said “a lot of rock songs sound alike.

U Can’t Touch This was ripped from Super Freak

We all know about this one and to this day do any of us really care?  Both songs seriously kick ass.

Chicago 25 or 6 to 4 ripped from Babe I’m Gonna Leave You

Which oddly enough was ripped from a much older song by Joan Baez.   It was recorded by Joan Baez (credited as “traditional”) and released on her 1962 album Joan Baez in Concert, Part 1.  Then of course Chicago decided to use the exact same track as well.

Surfin USA was Ripped from Sweet Little Sixteen

The Beach Boys first hit single Surfin’ USA, reaching the Top 10 in the US, Canada, Australia and Sweden is blatantly ripped from Chuck Better.   In 1963, the band made no attempt to credit Chuck Berry for any aspect of the song and Brian Wilson was listed as the sole composer.  Chuck Berry confronted the group and Murry Wilson gave him the copyrighted rights for writing Surfin’ USA.  This is a right that Chuck Berry still holds today and deserves it.

Given to Fly was Ripped from Going to California

It’s kind of hard to pick up on these two without hearing them both.  Then you kind of realize it.  I happen to love both Pearl Jam and Led Zeppelin bands so who the hell cares.   But amazingly enough Given to Fly very much follows the same melodic structure as Going to California.  Just listen.

Ice Ice Baby was ripped from  Under Pressure

Something about the song is catchy, and it is partly due to the fact that the hook samples the bassline of Under Pressure by David Bowie and Freddie Mercury. Vanilla wrote his own lyrics, but used one of the most famous beats in the world for his song.  Bowie and Queen got paid in the end.

Ghostbusters was Ripped from I Want a New Drug

In 1984, movie producers approached Huey Lewis and asked him to develop the musical theme for the film, Ghostbusters. Huey declined the offer because he was working on the soundtrack for the movie Back to the Future.  The project was turned over to Ray Parker Jr who then completely ripped off Huey.    Parker was sued by Huey and the matter was settled out of court.



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