Just like in every other industry, the music industry has seen plenty of plagiarism cases over the years. We decided to select ten tunes and their possible inspiration. We also added some polls so you can decide whether these tunes are either rip-offs, coincidental similarities or authorized samples.
And yes, I stole the picture on the left from the internet. I'm naughty...
Metallica's 'Welcome Home (Sanitarium)' (Master Of Puppets - 1986) is one of the most popular metal ballads in the history of the genre. It contains an easily recognizable riff, but so does 'Rainbow Warrior' by NWOBHM band Bleak House (single - 1980). Check out both tracks and vote below the videos.
This one seems pretty obvious. In fact, in recent years more and more people have accused the Leds of stealing their songs. 'Stairway To Heaven' was released in 1971. However, a band named Spirit sued them for copyright infringement because the megahit sounds a lot like their 1968 song 'Taurus'. Again, check and vote.
I think this one is quite easy since Massive Attack have been sampling on pretty much all of their songs. In 'Safe From Harm', released in 1991, you can find whole pieces of 'Stratus' by Billy Cobham. This jazz fusion piece was released in 1973. So yeah, this one is obvious but you just have to listen to 'Stratus'.
Coldplay doesn't escape the plagiarism accusations either. Did they rip-off Kraftwerk 'Computer Love' for their 'Talk' single?
With 'Waterloo', Swedish pop sensation Abba won the Eurovision Song Festival in 1974. However, the song seems to have a few similarities with 'Build Me Up, Buttercup' by The Foundations, which was released six years earlier. Coincidence?
Everybody knows that Tricky shares Massive Attack habits of sampling other people's music. But this one seems right on the edge between sampling and ripping off.
'Bittersweet Symphony' was a smash hit back in the day when Britpop was still relevant (haha). However, the song has a similar feel as 'The Last Time' by Andrew Oldham Orchestra, released in 1965. Check out both songs and decide for yourself.
Dutch author, and Bach aficionado, Maarten 't Hart calls "A Whiter Shade of Pale" an "original adaptation" of Johann Sebastian Bach's Ich steh mit einem Fuß im Grabe, BWV 156. In fact, this was the first piece of musical "borrowing" I have ever heard about. My old music teacher let us listen to both pieces. Check it out and vote below.
Here is another crack in the wall of musical originality. The opening riff of 'Smoke On The Water' is probably one of the most recognizable riffs ever. Every guitar player begins his career with that single riff. But... it's a rip off from a bossa-nova piece by Astrud Gilberto, released in 1966. Or isn't it? You decide.
Someone found out that the 1988 Guns 'n Roses has a lot of similarities with a song by Australian Crawl, released in 1981. Somehow that makes sense. Slash played that well known opening riff during practice and Axl loved it. Slash hated it but Axl wanted to turn it into a song. So, Slash quickly added a few chords, probably stolen from a song he heard a few days before.
Right, this was a fun article to compile. We'd like to do more but I got to bake some hamburgers now. If you know more of these, send us an email (info(at)merchantsofair(dot)com).
This holiday was started in 1972 by sisters Ellen Stanley and Mary Lynne Rave. According to Rave the purpose of National Pig Day is "to accord the pig its rightful, though generally unrecognized, place as one of man's most intellectual and domesticated animals."
Funny side note: It is an open question whether the holiday is a time to honor pigs by "giving them a break" or to appreciate their offerings (spare ribs, bacon and ham).
Green Jelly - Three Little Pigs
And of course we kick of with this hard rocking classic by comedy band Green Jelly. I actually wanted to start with a song by Mucky Pup which sounds very, very, very, very alike. Mucky Pup was a lot earlier with it than Green Jelly so the credit is theirs but still, this is a fun tune, right?
Black Sabbath - War Pigs
1970, most of our readers' parents still had to meet each other. But Ozzy and his band of jolly blues rockers was already creating thousands, if not millions, of metalheads. 'War Pigs' is undoubtedly one of their most famous songs. I know it's not actually about pigs but you know, it's Black Sabbath.
Nine Inch Nails - March Of The Pigs
Speaking about legendary musicians, here is Trent Reznor and his industrial project Nine Inch Nails. I suspect that Trent is talking about the same sort of pigs that Ozzy was in the previous video. Come to think of it, this entire list is getting quite political all of a sudden.
Ministry - Filth Pig
I mean, fellow industrial masterminds Ministry also deliver a guitars and electronics driven stomper to make your ears bleed. Al Jourgensen is well known for his outspoken political views. Some people even claim that Ministry made their best records when a Bush was president. Perhaps...
Nicole 12 - Piggytails
Well well, what do I find here in my ridiculously varied music collection? A track by illustrious noise act Nicole 12. Formed by Mikko Aspa, also known from harsh noise act Grunt, Nicole 12 delivers a controversial and somewhat shocking theme. Perhaps this track is not really suited for the sensitive ones among our readers. I promise, I'll select a fun tune next...
Hans Zimmer - Spider Pig
See, something more fun. This comes from The Simpsons Movie and was composed by Hans Zimmer. I wonder how he felt while writing this, certainly considering other musical masterpieces from this man. It must have been a lot of fun, that's for sure...
Cypress Hill - Pigs
Time for drugged-out rappers Cypress Hill to be added to one of our weird lists. Blasted into superstardom with their 'Insane In the Brain' smash hit, this act is said to be one of hip hop last raw talents. Once again, I don't think they're rapping about the dirt crawling mammals in this song. I'm also not sure if the police appreciates this one.
The Beatles - Piggies
This uplifted tune by the Beatles actually contains real pig sounds. The Fab Four used heaps of animal sounds throughout their career, sometimes real, sometimes imitated by one of the band members.
Pink Floyd - Pigs (Three Different Ones)
Equally legendary and equally talented in creating innovative musical ideas, Pink Floyd also liked to work with or around animals. This track comes from the album 'Animals', released in 1977.
Nemrac - Crazy Pig
And in the category "what if we check the psytrance scene?", we selected this groovy tune by Nemrac. It's a psytrance tune and it's got the word "pig" in the title, so shut up and dance.
Charles Mingus - Goodbye Pork Pie Hat
Ooh, I found some jazz, and what kind of jazz!!! Please sit down, relax and enjoy almost ten minutes of pure jazz bliss while we browse some other genres...
Angstfabrikk - Lecker Schweinchen
Unexpectedly, we couldn't find any Rammstein song with "schwein" in the title. You would have expected these industrial metalers to use that awesome sounding word at least once, no? Oh well, on to the next best thing: German EBM. Here is Angstfabrikk and their mouthwatering industrial stomper.
O Yuki Conjugate - Long Pig
I couldn't find this one on YouTube so for once we'll share a tune from bandcamp. This is one of the many brilliant tracks from ambient English duo O Yuki Conjugate. They recently started touring again after almost twenty years and I couldn't be happier. Well, I could but that would involve things outside of O Yuki Conjugate's control. Nevermind that. Enjoy....
Cocteau Twins - Peppermint Pig
This is probably one of Cocteau Twins' biggest hits. However, the band was dissatisfied with the results. Robin Guthrie described the EP as "shit" in a 1983 interview, claiming it was "a bad mixture—bad song, bad producer, bad band". Elizabeth Fraser simply described the material as "all we had at the time".
Fleddy Melculy - Varken
And we end with Belgian metal combo Fleddy Melculy. "Varken" means "pig", but after reading this list you should have already figured that out. This is a song about Belgian weekends, and the sweet and fun things we Belgians do during that short period of time: get pissed on booze.