June 20, 2008

I was as shocked as anyone to learn of recent accusations of plagiarism levelled against Coldplay. After all, this is a band who came up with an album title as meaningful and imaginative as X+Y. Their bland reworking of ‘Computer Love’ ruined one of my all-time favourite Kraftwerk tracks, but that wasn’t plagiarism it was ‘sampling’.  The singer from the the Creaky Boards posted the video below outlining the similarities between his band’s ‘Songs I didn’t write’ and Coldplay’s recent Apple ad soundtrack.

 For some strange reason these tunes are so similar, yet I like the Creaky Boards one and hate the Coldplay one. I suppose I find lyics about teen angst a tad more compelling than some internalized Impreal nostaliga dirge.

Much as I’d love to add another reason to my extensive list of reasons to hate Coldplay, I’m not entirely convinced that they nicked this. Musical coincidences like this happen quite frequently.

The Flaming Lips and Cat Stevens

I think the Lips acknowleged that ‘Fight Test’ sounds like ‘Father and Son’ by Cat Stevens but I don’t think they ripped him off. It’s just a coincidence.

Also, Cat looks remakably like Wayne Coyne in that clip

Belle & Sebastian and Cliff Richard

As far as I know I’m the only person who’s noticed any similarity between the choruses for these tunes. But then nobody listens to Cliff so that’s not so surprising.

Silence vs. Silence

John Cage and Mike Batt went to court to settle a dispute over plagiarism of silence. The court heard performances of each silent workand in the end the composers managed to reach an amicable settlement. (I won’t waste your time with youtube clips of this.)

Newton vs. Leibniz

This isn’t music-related but it is another interesting case of synchronicity. Leibniz and Newton both invented calculus at the same time, independently of eachother. Newton set up a kangaroo court that stiched up poor old Liebniz, which resulted in him being ostricized from polite society until his death.