September 22, 2010

These Songs are Rip-Offs, or Why Kelli Just Might be a Little Crazy.

This is a common occurrence for those who know me:

Kelli: Ugh, I can't believe __________ ripped off _________.

Someone else: Um, what?

Kelli: Just listen to the chorus! Doesn't that sound just like _______?! I am outraged.

Someone else: I don't get it...they sound nothing alike.

Kelli: Just listen! Don't you hear that? ::proceeds to hum a few bars of each song for comparison::

Someone else: ::shakes head::

And so on. It might just be me. But in the event that I'm not just musically-inept, I'll present some cases for analysis.

(Keep in mind that I actually like all of these songs, even the ones I think ripped off somoene else. Nothing is ever truly original, right? So I'm not bashing these bands or anything. It's all for the sake of entertainment. So quit your whining.)


1. New Villager ripped off Genesis

The combination of heavy percussion and synthesized vocals in New Villager's "Rich Doors" are similar enough to Phil Collins' music to warrant initial curiosity. But listen to the chorus of "Rich Doors," starting around 0:13. Now listen to the chorus of "Invisible Touch" (starting around 1:06). Imagine slowing it down and taking away some of the excess guitar and keyboard (I wonder if this is something Keene can do for me with his music editing software).

(Note: I had to swap the old video for this live version...but hey, bonus mullet!)


2. Gorillaz ripped off U2

I love Gorillaz. A lot more than I like U2 (which is not much these days). However, when "Feel Good Inc." was released, it peeved me to hear a part which sounded exactly like (to me, anyways) "Staring at the Sun".

So, first watch the Gorillaz video. Pay close attention around 1:05, starting with "Windmill, windmill."

Okay, now pause! Begin paying attention to the U2 video around 0:14, focusing especially on the vocal melody.


3. James ripped off Bob Dylan

I wish I had "evidence" for this one. But I really don't. I have no portions I can compare to one another. James' song "Laid" just really reminds me of "Like a Rolling Stone."

Weak, I know. And that, my friends, is why I'm clearly not an expert on this stuff.

On the bright side, I've learned that the singer of James apparently has magical hip-swaying powers. Wowie!

(Unfortunately for this post, I could find neither a Bob Dylan version nor a decent Rolling Stones version. So here's this okay concert footage.)


So, what do you think? Are they rip-offs or am I just getting nutty?

If you're interested in hearing more copycat riffs, check out That Song Sounds Like.


misskortney said...

I don't think you're nutty about THIS particular topic. Well, I did at first. I read, "Imagine slowing it down and taking away some of the excess guitar and keyboard.." and thought, "Well, Kelli.. that makes it exactly NOT like the original song." but after listening, I totally agree that these songs all have strikingly similar melodies and rhythms. And then I thought to myself, "Wait, is Kelli listening to Pandora when she makes these discoveries?" because you know it's this exact phenomenon that makes up the Music Genom Project. I would like to politely disagree that this is ripping off, and that it's moreso a matter of certain melodies and rhythms being particularly attractive to moody, brooding, indie-rock artists.

Kelli said...

I'm basing this only off of the Pandora inside of my head. This is the kind of stuff I think about, while getting rid of other information like anniversary dates and bill due dates.

I had to re-read my post to see if there were indie-rockers, and lo and behold! You're right...there are arguably indie artists in each pairing. Touche, Kortney-love. Touche.

RedRad said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
RedRad said...

Here goes:

"My therapist said not to see you no more
She said you're LIKE A DISEASE without any cure"

"HOW DOES IT FEEL? To be without a home
Like a complete unknown
Like a rolling stone?

You don't have to thank ;) XD

P.S. There's so much more to this song... :D