As soon as Tom Petty heard Sam Smith sing “Stay With Me”, Petty thought, “Well, that sounds too damn familiar.” He was right. The chorus and melody of “Stay With Me” sound almost identical to Petty’s 1989 hit “I Won’t Back Down” so Petty’s publishers went after Smith’s publishers to get to the bottom of the issue.
Luckily, Smith’s people aren’t into drama. According to FADER, they immediately admitted to the obvious similarities and agreed to give Petty and Jeff Lynne a co-songwriting credit. Now that the problem has been solved, both parties are happy and making a lot of money from the massive hit.
Listen to “I Won’t Back Down” below and tell us what you think. Should Petty be getting paid? Should Smith not give up so easily on protecting a song that most likely only got Petty’s attention because of its popularity? Should Petty and Smith get together and create an awesome “Stay With Me”/”I Won’t Back Down” mashup and put it online for free?! We can only hope.
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.
5. “Some Nights” by .fun (2012)
Sounds Way Too Much Like: “Cecilia” by Simon and Garfunkel (1970)
Something about the clap-along rhythm of .fun’s recent song reminded us of the S&G classic.
4. “Born This Way” by Lady Gaga (2011)
Sounds Way Too Much Like: “Express Yourself” by Madonna (1989)
The Material Girl raised quite a fuss when Gags dropped the title track from her much-anticipated album. We don’t think it sounds that much like “Express Yourself” in particular, but more like a bunch of Madonna’s songs put in a blender.
3. “I Feel Fine” by The Beatles (1964)
Sounds Way Too Much Like: “Watch Your Step” by Bobby Parker (1961)
John Lennon admitted that he borrowed the track’s signature riff and distinctive drums from this ’61 deep cut. Years later when he could afford to buy his own jukebox for his apartment, he made sure to include this record in it.
2. “What I Got” by Sublime (1996)
Sounds Way Too Much Like: “Lady Madonna” by The Beatles (1968)
Obviously tons have bands have been influenced by the Fab Four. But the most unexpected (and most harmonically blatant) seems to be this mid nineties tune.
1. “Creep” by Radiohead (1992)
Sounds Way Too Much Like: “The Air That I Breathe” by The Hollies (1974)
This one is sort of on the fringe, but there’s no denying that the verses on this ballad written by Albert Hammond sound similar to Radiohead’s breakthrough hit.