Whether intentionally or unintentionally, sometimes musicians rip each other off. Now, I don’t mean not picking up the check at Golden Corral. I mean ripping-off each other’s music. So, here’s a countdown of the ALL-TIME BEST 10 SONGS…THAT WERE RIPPED-OFF BY OTHER SONGS!
10. “Eighties (Killing Joke)”-ripped-off by “Come as You Are (Nirvana)”
Even the newly-inducted Rock and Roll Hall of Famers may not be above ripping-off a song. In fact, the Killing Joke melody is nearly identical to one of Nirvana’s biggest hits. Like all of these, there’s no real way of telling if Kurt and the boys copied this song purposely or it just arose somewhere from their subconscious.
9. “I Want a New Drug (Huey Lewis and the News)”-ripped-off by “Ghostbusters (Ray Parker Jr.)”
An incredibly famous rip-off. This one is alleged to have occurred when Huey Lewis and the News turned down creating the Ghostbusters theme. Later, Ray Parker Jr. was hired, and an intentional or unintentional jab was made toward Lewis and the News through Parker’s theme…which sounded nearly identical to Huey’s “I Want a New Drug.” The ripped-off band learned their lesson though. When asked to do a song for the Back to the Future soundtrack a year later, they agreed…resulting in one of their biggest hits.
8. “You Need Love (Muddy Waters)”-ripped-off by “Whole Lotta Love (Led Zeppelin)”
I get that Zeppelin is greatly influenced by the blues, but c’mon! They clearly stole, not only the music for “Whole Lotta Love” from Water’s version of “You Need Love,” but they also barely changed the lyrics. As music thieves go, the Zeppelin boys are clearly amateurs. What must really stick in the craw of all those who love blues is “Whole Lotta Love’s” massive success. Enough to make someone write a blues song…which someone else will then steal.
7. “Sweet Little Sixteen (Chuck Berry)”-ripped-off by “Surfin’ U.S.A. (The Beach Boys)”
You don’t screw with Chuck Berry, Beach Boys. See, ole Chuck got wind of the Beach Boys stealing his melody and decided to sue them. Berry won and got credit for the Boys’ song. Talk about some “Good Litigation.”
6. “Message in a Bottle (The Police)”-ripped-off by “Love Without Tragedy (Rihanna)”
Rihanna might have robbed The Police (I know, I know…I should stop), snatching their catchy Reggae melody and using it as her own. Instead of merely blaming the artists for this thievery, a lot of it should likely fall on their producers. I mean, these are not obscure songs they might be ripping off. I’m not sure if they think no one will notice or if they hope the controversy will help sell records.
5. “Uptight (Stevie Wonder)”-ripped-off by “Step Out (Oasis)”
I’m still not really sure why Oasis would rip-off this Stevie Wonder song. The rhythm and melody are out of character for the band. But I guess what they say is true, imitation is the best form of flattery…and the most admissible in court.
4. “Under Pressure (Queen & David Bowie)”-ripped-off by “Ice Ice Baby (Vanilla Ice)”
This is one of the most famous rip-offs in music history. Let me first say, that “Under Pressure” is a classic song and “Ice Ice Baby,” despite some kitsch, is definitely not. What was classic on Ice’s end though, was how he explained the differences between the two songs. Was it a ding or a dong, Ice? …Ok, that came out wrong.
3. “What’d I Say (Ray Charles)”-ripped-off by “Break On Through (The Doors)”
I was pretty shocked when I first discovered that The Doors might have ripped-off this Ray Charles classic. Honestly, I’m a fan of both songs, but whether intentionally or unintentionally, the nearly identical rhythms make me enjoy “Break On Through” a tad less now.
2. “Baba O’Riley (The Who)”-ripped-off by “Best Song Ever (One Direction)”
Now, I am not a fan of “boy bands.” Let’s just get that out of the way. Frankly, I was pretty unfamiliar with One Direction until I heard “Best Song Ever,” which coincidentally is not in fact the best song ever FYI. When I did, I was extremely pissed, as it seemed a total rip-off of the classic “Baba O’Riley.” So much so, that I wanted their “one” and only direction to lead straight into my outstretched fist. I’ve calmed down now, and I’ll just ridicule them on a website probably seen by none of their fans.
1. “Stairway to Heaven (Led Zeppelin)”-ripped-off by “We Used To (Dolly Parton)”
This is one of the more blatant rip-offs on the countdown. Just listen to the freaking intro to “We Used To.” Dolly must have thought her country music fans wouldn’t know about rock music. While they may predominantly listen to country, you’d have to be living under a massive rock in the 1970’s to have not heard of “Stairway.” What’s sad is the Parton song is actually pretty good, not really even in need of the intro.
For Sports Thursday, we’ll look at the ALL-TIME BEST 10 MUHAMMAD ALI FIGHTS!