Spotlight: Your Influences Are Showing

Inspired by Beyonce-gate (the music video plagiarism one, not the baby bump one), we’re pulling up a few occasions where the similarities were just too close not to notice. Are we accusing anyone? Not really. Wearing creative influences on your sleeve is part of being an artist, and there’s certainly a difference between being inspired by something and straight up ripping it off (okay, some might be guilty here). It’s kind of a case by case relationship; there’s a line crossed, and it’s easier to just view it than it is to define. The following examples came dangerously close, coincidentally or not:

[BoxTitle]Girls “Morning Light” v. Sonic Youth “Mote”[/BoxTitle] [MusicVideo][/MusicVideo] [MusicVideo][/MusicVideo]

Excellent San Francisco band Girls are defined by, and often celebrated for, their dedication to styles of the past. Youtube commenters cried foul on this one however, it was simply too clear of a riff lift.

[BoxTitle]Jet “Are You Gonna Be My Girl” v. Iggy Pop “Lust For Life”[/BoxTitle] [MusicVideo][/MusicVideo] [MusicVideo][/MusicVideo]

First off, our apologies for reminding everyone of this 2003 monster. Dear Jet, that really was sacrilege. I’m glad I don’t know of your whereabouts these days, and I’m still mad this happened, and you presumably got rich from it.

[BoxTitle]Active Child “When Your Love is Safe” v. Gin Blossoms “Follow You Down”[/BoxTitle] [MusicVideo][/MusicVideo]

Harp-bearing heaven-pop artist Active Child started on a few blog-topping hits, and this was one of them. It was difficult to figure out just what it was about the song that triggered a mental image of the Empire Records cast, but the random melody finally revealed its insanely catchy self after a couple listens.

[BoxTitle]Nirvana “Come As Your Are” v. Killing Joke “Eighties”[/BoxTitle] [MusicVideo][/MusicVideo] [MusicVideo][/MusicVideo]

One of the most legendary cases of who’s bassline is it anyway? Cobain was always pretty candid about the music he loved, paying tribute with cover songs (and his diary would later reveal lists, etc). And the remaining members have acknowledged the similarities in this one.

[BoxTitle]LCD Soundsystem “All I Want” v. David Bowie “Heros”[/BoxTitle] [Link target="blank"][/Link] [MusicVideo][/MusicVideo]

Speaking of tributes, that seemed to be James Murphy’s point on this majorly Bowie-esq cut from his last record. Let’s hope it was.

[BoxTitle]Lady Gaga “Born This Way” v. Madonna “Express Yourself”[/BoxTitle] [MusicVideo][/MusicVideo] [Link target="blank"][/Link]

History repeats itself. The Gaga phenomenon is surely proof of that. Props to her for knowing how to masterfully re-use a hit, both musically and in its message. A closer comparison proves the theory.

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