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Thread: Another thread about music: Assault on Precinct 13

  1. #1

    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: The land of ever sideways rain

    Another thread about music: Assault on Precinct 13

    This thread is about music, and songs that are, for various reasons, very similar to other songs, but not outright covers. Sometimes by sampling. Sometimes by trying to replicate a riff. Sometimes adding to it, creating something new and wonderful. Sometimes just ripping it off for profit. Sometimes as a homage, with permission from the original songwriter. Sometimes just, um, "inspired" and "accidently similar". Sometimes a copyright lawsuit. Sometimes making it just horribly, painfully awful. Below, I'm listing a few examples of what I'm thinking of. Please feel free to add to this list. I want to hear what you can come up with that I was unaware of, or maybe forgot.

    John Carpenter: Assault on Precinct 13 vs Bomb The Bass: Megablast (Hiphop on Precinct 13)
    Kraftwerk: Computer Love vs Coldplay: Talk
    Queen: Under Pressure vs Vanilla Ice: Ice, Ice Baby
    Chuck Berry: Sweet Little 16 vs Beach Boys: Surfin' USA
    The Police: Every Breath You Take vs Puff Daddy: I'll Be Missing You
    Kraftwerk: Trans Europe Express vs Afrika Bambaata: Planet Rock
    The Hollies: The Air That I Breathe vs Radiohead: Creep vs Lana Del Rey: Get Free
    Gary Numan: Are 'Friends' Electric? vs Sugababes: Freak Like Me
    Human League: Being Boiled (1980 album version) vs Liberty X: Being Nobody vs Chaka Khan: Ain't Nobody
    Neil Innes: How Sweet to be an Idiot vs Oasis: Whatever
    ...and, as you probably all know already, Axis of Awesome

    This doesn't really count, since it's essentially the same song, but it's gone through so many permutations I deem it worthy of this thread anyway. Yes, I'm cheating already.
    Solomon Linda: Mbube vs Pete Seeger: Wimoweh vs The Tokens: The Lion Sleeps Tonight vs They Might Be Giants: The Guitar

    [Edit: various edits to fix links]
    Last edited by Gray; 27th Oct 2018 at 05:11.
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  2. #2
    Registered: May 2004
    Location: Canuckistan GWN
    Funny thing you should broach this subject as just this morning the CBC played Stevie Wonder's 1973 song Superstition as part of their Hallowe'en play-list. The funky central riff, resonates strongly with the Bee Gees 1977, Stayin' Alive. Hearing them side by side they are obviously very different but hearing Superstition by itself creates a real 'where have I heard that before moment. I am not aware of legal accusations of plagiarism over that riff. Anybody know?

    An example particularly grating to Canadians is the blatant pilfering of Huey Lewis' minor 1983 hit I want A New Drug with the theme from Ghostbusters, released a year later.

    From Wikipedia:

    When the theme song of Ghostbusters was released, Huey Lewis sued Columbia Pictures and Ray Parker Jr. for plagiarism, stating that Parker's song was too similar to Lewis's "I Want a New Drug." Lewis had been approached to compose the main theme song for the film. The three parties settled out of court. Details of the settlement (specifically, that Columbia Pictures paid Lewis a settlement) remained confidential until 2001, when Lewis commented on the payment in an episode of VH1's Behind the Music. Parker subsequently sued Lewis for breaching confidentiality.
    If you tell anybody I so obviously ripped you off, I'LL SUE!

    Another famous case would be George Harrison's song My Sweet Lord and it's inspiration, He's So Fine by Ronnie Mack. Here's the Wikipedia entry on the case.

  3. #3
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Well, you certainly got the usual suspects.

    The Arcade Fire - Wake Up's celebratory bass-line driven ending vs. Phil Collins' You Can't Hurry Love.
    Led Zepp's Kashmir vs. (again) Puff Daddy's Come With Me... though given Jimmy Page supplied guitar for it, I guess it's an official reworking.
    John Mellencamp's Jack & Diane vs. (ugh) Jessica Simpson's 'I Think I'm in Love With You'
    Metal Gear Solid's Main Theme vs. Georgy Sviridov's Winter Road Theme

    Yoko Kanno's ripped off so many chord progressions in her career, it'd need its own thread.

  4. #4
    Still Subjective
    Registered: Dec 1999
    Location: Idiocy will never die
    The Bomb the Bass track is from Xenon2. We all knew it was sample from AoP13.

    I never knew that about Ghostbusters though. Wow. What a crock. And the Huey track is much better.

    The Sugababes track samples two songs, doesn't it? There's a bridge in the middle which is from something else...

  5. #5

    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: The land of ever sideways rain
    Well, no, the Bomb The Bass track didn't sample the original, it was recreated on a cheap DX7, and sprinkled with loads of samples, because Tim Simenon was a fan of the movie. That's why the album version is even labelled as "hiphop on precinct 13". The whole album supposedly only cost 150 to make, in 1988. Let's assume that close to, um, $800 nowadays..? I just figured it'd be a good starting point, since I saw that movie again just a couple of nights ago. I'd put that in the homage/cover category. And yes, I did play Xenon 2, and it was supposedly the first videogame to license a pop song for its soundtrack.

    I do remember the Huey Lewis song, but I was unaware of the lawsuit. Fair point.

    Wikipedia tells me that the Sugababes version was a mashup of a cover of the original Freak Like Me and Gary Numan, I was not aware of that either until just now, it just bugged me that they ruined a perfectly good Numan.

    Led Zeppelin vs Puff Daddy kind of falls into the category of, say, Puff Daddy vs The Police (which I hated), except I, as much as I despise Puff Daddy, actually like his Led Zep mangle. Bought with actual money and shamelessly own. I blame Led Zep for that and their awesome original.

    I thought of a couple more, both based on similar basslines. One, let's say, "inspired", the other one admittedly stolen.

    Kraftwerk: The Robots vs Yello: I Love You; I'll mark this one down as "inspired", since I have no other information. Curiously, that's the third Kraftwerk on this list already. I'm sure there's a point here somewhere.
    Frida: Something Going On vs Offspring: Self Esteem; I have an unusual amount of stuff to say about this, I'm surprising myself here, working from memory: Frida was Annifrid Lyngstad of ABBA, one of the two "A":s in the name, the Norwegian who wasn't blonde and somewhat resented the other one for being more popular. This was from her solo album, produced by Phil Collins. Offspring, in an interview, admitted that they blatantly stole the bass riff from this song. This surprised me, not because they were a light-grunge-pop band and ABBA was light fluffy pop, but the fact that they had actually heard the song. The other thing that surprised me is that I remember all this crap, despite the fact that, as a Swede, I properly hated ABBA up until well into the 90's, until I sort of got over it.

    The Stevie Wonder vs Bee Gees never occurred to me, for one very simple reason. I like Stevie Wonder. I do not like the Bee Gees. I'm aware of them, but try to avoid them like the plague. Much like I'd avoid any falsetto men singing horrible disco crap. Of course I've heard the song, but I never made the connection. I particularly like that Stevie Wonder song, and particularly dislike that Bee Gees. Go figure.

    The Arcade Fire vs Phil Collins point is invalid, since that was just a fairly faithful cover of a Supremes song.


    I have to add, I have huge love and respect for Yello, and all their weird and wonderful music. If you can, listen to all they ever recorded. It's just that this particular song sounds a bit more.... Kraftwerky than they usually do. Go on, listen to Bostich and dance until you collapse into a small puddle of goop. Oh yeah.

    [Another edit]

    I do actually like Sylvester and Jimmy Somerville, so I can't even claim I don't like falsetto gay disco. I own loads of Erasure, on purpose. I guess I just don't like Bee Gees. It just doesn't sound right.
    Last edited by Gray; 28th Oct 2018 at 02:03.

  6. #6
    Registered: Feb 2007
    Location: Sevastapol Station
    I always figured the menu music in VtM:B was a deliberate ripoff of Angel by Massive Attack.

    Massive Attack - Angel:
    VtM:B Main Theme:

    One of my favorite stories was about how Filter and Stabbing Westward just decided not to be dicks about a misunderstanding over a very iconic riff, and just let things slide. Stuart Zechman was playing for both bands when they recorded their debut albums, not sure what he was thinking but when you hear it you'll wonder what on earth he was smoking.

    Stabbing Westward - Ungod: riff @~ 3:00 mark
    Filter - Hey Man Nice Shot:

  7. #7
    Registered: Jan 2001
    Location: the Sheeple Pen
    Since we're now including game music as well, here's a pretty obvious one:

    Clint Bajakian - The Last Gunfight (from Outlaws) vs. Ennio Morricone - The Ecstasy of Gold (from The Good, the Bad and the Ugly)

    I love the whole Outlaws soundtrack (and the game!) and this track is quite obviously meant to be a tribute to Morricone, but I wonder how Bajakian even managed to get away with this. Still, it's a pretty awesome tribute at least!

  8. #8
    Chakat sex pillow
    Registered: Sep 2006
    Location: not here
    Quote Originally Posted by Gray View Post
    The Arcade Fire vs Phil Collins point is invalid, since that was just a fairly faithful cover of a Supremes song.
    Fair. I was unaware that the original track was a Supremes number, which reminds me that I really should cycle some more Motown into my regular listening.

  9. #9
    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: Switzerland
    I just watched Assault on Precinct 13 for the first time on Thursday or Friday, and while I liked the film I didn't think the score was nearly as memorable as other Carpenter scores I've heard, especially Halloween. Am I missing something?

  10. #10

    Registered: Apr 2001
    Location: The land of ever sideways rain

  11. #11

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