Or do all songs just sound the same?
It’s Ed Sheeran’s turn this week to be accused of plagiarizing a song.
There’s been a lot of lawsuits lately involving the music industry. People claim that other artists ripped off their music, whether is be from stealing lyrics, to chords, or harmony. When you’re in the same genre, it’s got to be hard to make music that is completely new. There’s only so many music notes, and eventually, one song is going to sound like another if your lawyer is hungry enough.
Men at Work got done for stealing the riff from Kookaburra sits in an Old Gum Tree, which just smacks of a label going after easy money. The record company bought the rights to the kids song way after each song had been made. (Kookaburra was written in 1932.) The estate of Marvin Gaye sued over Blurred Lines. Chuck Berry sued John Lennon claiming certain lines and melodies for “Come Together” were taken from Berry’s 1956 track, “You Can’t Catch Me.” John Fogarty was sued for plagiarizing John Fogarty, after he left CCR and sold the rights to get out of his contract. His old record label claimed “Run Through The Jungle” sounded too much like “The Old Man Down the Road”. There are plenty more incidences of people being sued for music sounding similar. There’s only so many ways you can string music together and make it sound pleasurable. Otherwise you just end up with Jazz…
So here’s the thing. How many more years can people make music, and NOT have anyone claim it sounds similar? Especially when almost all the hits of the last few years have the same four chords?
For your viewing pleasure, I present Axis of Awesome, with their song 4 Chords. It’s worth the watch, just because it’s great, but it also makes you wonder why none of these people felt like they should sue?