Tuesday, February 22

Pop Will Eat Itself

Here's the post that follows up to this one.

Musicians rip each other off all the time. What shocks me is how open it is. In just a few minutes of brainstorming, I thought of 4 examples involving 8 songs.

These links will take you to the 30 second preview clips hosted on Amazon. Depending on your browser mood, you may have to scroll down and find the title of the relevant song in the tracklist and actually click on preview button or something. For each example, I suggest you listen to the preview clips in close succession. Some of these examples are more outrageous than others, but others are unabashed "homages" that the would artists admit, as in the case of David Bowie riffing off "Somewhere Over the Rainbow."

This is pretty astonishing. The stanzas are pretty much note-for-note identical. No one said that Madonna was the emblem of musical innovation, but still - she's ripping off Ozzy?
Okay, this one is a bit of a stretch. But that weird, dissonant, descending-note structure to the verses of these songs sound similar at least to my ears.
This example proves my point, if only because David Bowie admits it - in interviews that I'm sure you can find with a little Google-work, or in the liner notes to the special edition rerelease of Ziggy Stardust. To paraphrase, there he says (or maybe his producer says) that this song was bound to be a hit because it had an ingenious crib of Somewhere Over the Rainbow.
The instant I heard that crappy Lifehouse song, my ears started to bleed and I keeled over dead. What manner of travesty has befallen rock music, my disembodied spirit demanded to know. Then I realized what was happening. They are ripping off 'N Sync, note for note. Unbelievable.

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