Musical Ripoffs Pt. 2

I think I should preface this post by saying, I like musical ripoffs. I like when you can follow the melody, rhythm, spirit of a song from one artist’s rendering to the next. I believe imitation really is the sincerest form of flattery. Of course, if you imitate only yourself (yes, I’m talking about you, Third Eye Blind) that’s another story.

Today’s ripoff comes to us from “Say,” John Mayer’s contribution to The Bucket List soundtrack. It sounds remarkably like Steve Winwood’s “Back in the High Life Again.” As was the case with the Matchbox 20 ripoff, there’s a symmetry between the messages of each song. The Modern English song whispered hopefully, “I’ve seen the future, and it’s getting better all the time,” while Rob Thomas bemoaned, “I believe the world is coming to an end.” In this pair, Steve Winwood is the voice of hope promising that “all the doors I closed one time will open up again.” John Mayer counters with the warning to “say what you need to say,” while there is still time to say it.

I like both messages. I like the idea of reclaiming a broken past and enjoying life to the fullest. But I also appreciate the warning not to take any days for granted. It’s good to be hopeful for tomorrow. And it’s good to express your feelings as if tomorrow might not happen.

And now I just can’t get around adding this one.

5 Replies to “Musical Ripoffs Pt. 2”

  1. I do enjoy being able to distinguish influence in different artists, but appreciate originality at the same time. Back in the High Life… that’s a good one.


  2. This is another good one. You’re good at this. And your 3EB comment? Holy cow, how right on was that?

    Don’t both of this blogs songs sound like that song “Free Fallin'” by Tom Petty? That’s what I heard as they played…

    I remember this copyright issue from earlier this year. It was with Avril Lavigne, did you hear this one? Read the article here:, and try and get a listen to both the songs. It’s ridiculous how identical they are…

  3. Yeah, had to add Petty. And I listened to Avril and the song she copied. I love the fact that they actually thought to consult a musicologist to compare “Hey, hey, you, you, I don’t like your girlfriend,” to “Hey, hey, you, you, I wanna be your boyfriend.”

    Why not just say it’s a musical response and give credit?

  4. That’s what I wondered. They’d be flatter if you admitted it, probably. It’s not as if you’re a “credible” musician anyhow, as Avril, so people expect it…

  5. That's what I wondered. They'd be flatter if you admitted it, probably. It's not as if you're a "credible" musician anyhow, as Avril, so people expect it…

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