The recent court case involving Pharell Williams and Robin Thicke and whether their song “Blurred Lines” copied Marvin Gaye’s 1977 track “Got To Give It Up” highlights how difficult it can be to come up with a truly original tune. When I first heard it, it sounded familiar though more from a generic late 70s feel than anything specific. Only Williams himself really knows if he blatantly copied from Gaye’s song but admitting that he could barely tell one base line from the other probably sealed his fate. This case came shortly after Sam Smith and Tom Petty came to an “amicable agreement” over the similarities between “Stay With Me” and “Won’t Back Down”. Has anyone noticed (or would admit to noticing) the similarity between “All About That Bass” by Meghan Trainor and Bay City Rollers’ hit “Summerlove Sensation”? Noel Gallagher (of whom I’m a big fan) with both Oasis and High Flying Birds has a long track record of borrowing from or being influenced by many songs. His latest fantastic offering, “Ballad Of The Mighty I”, has a touch of Graham Gouldman’s “Bus Stop” about it. Even our very own Glenn Tilbrook’s been at it with his intros for “In Quintessence” and “Persephone”. I’m sure there are loads of other examples both old and new and, I guess, there’ll be a lot more in the future.
This week’s cover has itself been the subject of influencing another song. Glenn feels that there are a couple of bars in Crowded House’s “Fame Is” that are a little too similar to “Another Nail”. I’m not that convinced myself but I’m not a musician. One thing I am convinced about is that Rubber’s version of the song is really good.
Back to my record collection next time and my cunning knack of buying records that barely troubled the charts.
Until then, toodle pip.