“Thank You for Being a Friend,” Andrew Gold (Golden Girls theme, performed by Cindy Fee) “F*ck You,” Cee Lo Green
The message of these two songs could not be more different. And the tempo is off a bit. But every time I’d hear the Cee Lo hit, I kept expecting it to close with a run of strings and a prolonged note from a song I couldn’t quite place. I knew it was a TV theme. I knew it was from the ’80s. But “FU” is such a catchy song, I never lingered on the similarity very long.
Also, since I now update this blog only annually, I didn’t feel compelled to take action. But today I finally cleared away enough mental laziness to try to remember what song it really is. I can’t say I expected the road that started at Gnarls Barkley to end at Bea Arthur, but here I am.
With all the Neil Diamond – Bob Dylan comparisons I’ve been making, I can’t believe it took me this long to post this musical ripoff, which is not my original observation, but an old carpool mate. You can listen in the playlist: “Sleepwalker,” by the Wallflowers (feat. Jakob Dylan) and “Solitary Man,” by Neil Diamond. Enjoy.
Okay, these aren’t actually ripoffs, other than that all these songs have the same title. I got the first one stuck in my head, which aggravated me to no end because the only lyrics I can ever remember are, “All I Need is just a little more time to be sure what I feel.” Drives me nuts. Anyway, I thought I’d pass the aggravation on to you by adding the song to my playlist. But in my search for the song, I found loads of other artists who have recorded tracks called “All I Need.” And while I wouldn’t go so far as to call them clones of each other, at least three of them seemed to have the same vibe as the song I was looking for. I guess it sounded to me like they all had an assignment in music class to write a song called “All I Need” that was melancholy while making a vain attempt to be upbeat. Go figure. So I thought I’d put it to a vote. Please check out a sampling of the four different songs, and tell me which one you like best.
To make it easy on some of you, I went ahead and included Radiohead. I’m not really familiar with Shawn McDonald or Mat Kearney, but I liked the songs. So give them an honest listen, a fair shake, and make your vote count . . . even though it doesn’t, in the vast configuration.
I’ve been sitting on this one for a long time. I have no idea if James Blunt has ever acknowledged the true source of his only hit’s melody, but I know where he got it.
I submit for your comparing pleasure, “The Lonely Man Theme” from the 1980s television series, The Incredible Hulk and JB’s sapfest, “You’re Beautiful.” Please note, the Hulk theme is a YouTube submission that has some Enya thrown in somewhere in the middle of the homemade montage, but you’ll get the idea.
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.
Today Addison was doing one of the odd things that drive me crazy. Nothing bad, just . . . he sings songs, and I can’t tell if he made them up or he heard them somewhere. The song tonight went like this: “SOMEDAY, I’ll be a firefighter. SOMEDAY, I’ll be a man.” The tune was kind of catchy. It sounded real enough. But when I asked him where he heard it, he said he didn’t know. When I asked him if he made it up, he said he didn’t know. So neither of us know, but it bothers me alone.
But that got me thinking of a musical clone I noticed on the radio recently. The Mix 101.9 had Modern English and Matchbox 20 in their daily 15-song rotation, and the station was on all day in our house. But I had trouble distinguishing these two songs. Check ’em out.
What do you think? Similar enough to be a ripoff? Or did Rob Thomas and pals make it up on their own? I smell a ripoff.