Monday 5 December 2005

A tune by any other name

It’s hard to create anything new without being affected by the old that has already been created. Copyright and derivative works claims seem to indicate that the relationship between the old and the new must not be obvious… However I can’t help recognize similarities between these popular music items; I list them here as I come across them, there are many more which won’t come to mind as I hear them, so check back…

The introduction to Video Killed the Radio Star by The Buggles and A Town with no name by Madness.

Wrapped Around your Finger The Police and Lemon Tree Fools Garden.

Rock This Town Stray Cats and Good Hat, Good Dog, Good Boat Them Eastport Oyster Boys

Super Freak Rick James and U Can’t Touch This MC Hammer

The introduction to Where the streets have no name U2 and Survivors Phil Collins

Here Comes The Hotstepper Ini Kamoze and See Me Melanie Blatt (written for the film Robots but somehow didn’t make the soundtrack album even though it plays in the closing credits)
The main verse lyrics of Hotstepper

No no we don`t die
Yes we mul-ti-ply
Anyone test will hear the fat lady sing
Act like you know, Rico
I know what Bo don`t know
Touch them up and go, uh-oh!
Ch-ch-chang chang

Has darn similar tune to this part of See Me

I’m gonna look to fly
I’m gonna touch the sky
I will not compromise
Don’t want to hide all my life


  1. A well known phenomenon in the Creative Arts industry. Subconcious plagiarism I suppose. Thats what patent/copyright searchers are all about.
    Isaac Newton said “If I have seen further than other men, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants” (Para). I don’t think it’s possible to work entirely in isolation, we will be influenced.
    So I guess the trick is to make sure your “own work” is original enough - because it can never be totally new.

  2. Quote from Wikipedia:

    Lang received a writing credit for The Rolling Stones' song "Anybody Seen My Baby?", whose chorus sounds strikingly similar to "Constant Craving". Jagger and Richards claimed to have never heard the song before and when they discovered the similarity prior to the song's release, were flummoxed as to how the songs could be so similar. Jagger then soon discovered his daughter listening to a recording of “Constant Craving” on her stereo and realized he had heard the song before many times but only subliminally. The two gave Lang credit, along with her co-writer Ben Mink, in order to avoid any possible lawsuits. Afterwards, Lang said she was "completely honored and flattered" by receiving the songwriting credit.

  3. Story on a whole load of similar musics here: