They say that imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, but that’s not usually true for musicians. In fact, they tend to get pretty pissed. With only 12 musical notes to choose from, some songs are bound to resemble each other occasionally, but through the years there have been heated debates over tunes that borrow a little too heavily from others. George Harrison famously got taken to court when he “subliminally plagiarized” the Chiffons record “He’s So Fine” while writing “My Sweet Lord” in 1970. Other stars take matters into their own hands and just complain a lot in the press. And then of course there are songs that sound similar to us, but maybe we’re just weird. Head below to check out 10 songs that are dangerously similar to different songs. Get ready for some serious musical deja vu!
10. “Locked Out Of Heaven” by Bruno Mars (2012)
Sounds Way Too Much Like: “Roxanne” by The Police (1978)
Bruno Mars admitted that the Police song was the main inspiration behind his latest hit. He paid tribute to the source by inviting Sting to perform the tune with him during the Grammys in February.
9. “California Gurls” by Katy Perry (2010)
Sounds Way Too Much Like: “TiK ToK” by Ke$ha (2009)
Even though we admittedly like Katy’s track way more, we can’t help but segue into the earlier Ke$ha song in our minds.
8. “When Love Takes Over” by David Guetta ft. Kelly Rowland (2009)
Sounds Way Too Much Like: “Clocks” by Coldplay (2000)
Whenever we first hear that cartwheeling piano intro, we’re never sure which song we’re listening to! Although we love them both tremendously. Just sayin’…
7. “Viva La Vida” by Coldplay (2008)
Sounds Way Too Much Like: “If I Could Fly” by Joe Satriani (2004)
Coldplay got mixed up in some rights issue shenanigans, too. They first got accused of plagiarism by the alt band the Creaky Boards, ironically for their song “The Songs I Didn’t Write.” Then guitar virtuoso Joe Satriani took them to court for allegedly ripping off his instrumental track. The case was dismissed in 2009. And then even Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens) got on board, noting that the songs sounds uncannily like portions of his song “Foreigner Suite” from 1973. Coldplay’s Chris Martin remains defiant, saying, “If everyone’s trying to take away our best song, then we’d better write 25 better ones!”
6. “Come As You Are” By Nirvana (1992)
Sounds Way Too Much Like: “Eighties” by Killing Joke (1984)
Many have noted how Nirvana’s iconic “Smells Like Teen Spirit” sounds distinctly like Boston’s “More Than A Feeling.” We don’t really hear it, but it’s eerie how much “Come As You Are” resembles this post-punky British band.