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  #1  
Old 04-29-2010, 09:25 AM
Zeldar Zeldar is online now
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ID a song: based on two examples of a similar sound

Not too long ago I was listening to the "Smooth Jazz" station WJZW-FM and one of the tunes they played reminded me of one I heard quite a bit some decades ago, but I had no real idea of its title. (They do have titles in the online player, but I didn't happen to see it at the time.)

After some poking around at YouTube, I found two that sound enough like my memory to make me believe I'm close.

Listen to Boney James Grazin' in the Grass Live and Tommy James & The Shondells - Crystal Blue Persuasion (LIVE) to see if you hear the similarities to the basic riff.

Can you think of another song/tune that sounds like that?
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  #2  
Old 04-29-2010, 10:50 AM
DChord568 DChord568 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeldar View Post
Not too long ago I was listening to the "Smooth Jazz" station WJZW-FM and one of the tunes they played reminded me of one I heard quite a bit some decades ago, but I had no real idea of its title. (They do have titles in the online player, but I didn't happen to see it at the time.)

After some poking around at YouTube, I found two that sound enough like my memory to make me believe I'm close.

Listen to Boney James Grazin' in the Grass Live and Tommy James & The Shondells - Crystal Blue Persuasion (LIVE) to see if you hear the similarities to the basic riff.

Can you think of another song/tune that sounds like that?
Ha! Never thought of that similarity, but without listening to the "Grazin' in the Grass" version you cite, I know what you're talking about from knowing the Masekela/Friends of Distinction versions.

Rereading your post more carefully, I don't know if you're looking for yet another song with a sound similar to the two you identify, or MORE examples of this phenomenon...two different songs that share a similar riff/melody/etc.

Just in case it's the latter, there are many examples: first that comes to mind is Joe Jackson's "Breaking Us in Two," a portion of which sounds a great deal like Badfinger's "Day After Day."

And here's one I somehow missed until recently, even though I know a LOT of country songs from the 70s:

Ronnie Milsap's "Back on My Mind Again" and The Beatles' "Octopuss's Garden."

Guaranteed to blow your mind, as it did mine!
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  #3  
Old 04-29-2010, 11:02 AM
Zeldar Zeldar is online now
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Well, actually, DChord568, it was my effort to locate perhaps a third (or more) tune(s) that shared that same sound with the two in the OP. But your take is just as valid for the sake of this thread. Links would be preferable so that we could hear what you hear, without having to chase down the music from the title(s).

There surely are some close matches in music all the time. Just lately we were watching some movie, made well after Schindler's List and with a similar theme to the movie, and the music was almost a direct ripoff of John Williams' violin theme. I wish I could remember the movie and thus the film's composer, who at the time struck me as being above such plagiarism. It will come to me, I'm sure.

But for others interested in the concept, take the thread as you will. But please use links to the sounds instead of just titles.
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Old 04-29-2010, 11:11 AM
DChord568 DChord568 is offline
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I did link to the Milsap tune...I figured the Beatles one was well-known enough that I didn't have to link it. But that could be an unwarranted assumption based on my generational prejudice!

Here is Octopus's Garden (song starts at about :37).

And here are "Breaking Us in Two" and "Day After Day."

Last edited by DChord568; 04-29-2010 at 11:13 AM..
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  #5  
Old 04-29-2010, 11:18 AM
ministryman ministryman is offline
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Gil Scott Heron's Who'll Pay Reparations and

The Pretender's Mystery Achievement


Michael Jackson's "I'll Be There" and The Tony Rich Project's "Nobody Knows but Me".

Last edited by ministryman; 04-29-2010 at 11:19 AM..
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  #6  
Old 04-29-2010, 11:29 AM
Zeldar Zeldar is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DChord568 View Post
I did link to the Milsap tune...I figured the Beatles one was well-known enough that I didn't have to link it. But that could be an unwarranted assumption based on my generational prejudice!

Here is Octopus's Garden (song starts at about :37).

And here are "Breaking Us in Two" and "Day After Day."
Very similar in both cases. It may be a reflection on my own tastes, but once you introduce Country songs, you are in deep water. Too many of those simpler melodies get repeated with minor variations by many writers. Same sound with different lyrics type of thing.

And without taking the thread in a totally different direction, it's worth noting that many of the Jazz Standards from the 40's and 50's are mere Contrafacts of more well-known, and possibly more popular, tunes, where the chord structure was reused but with different melodies, often too far from the original tune to be recognized. (See the Wiki article for some examples.)

I would hope the example in this thread would stay close to the same basic sound. Yours certainly do!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_jazz_contrafacts

Last edited by Zeldar; 04-29-2010 at 11:34 AM.. Reason: added wiki link for contrafacts examples
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  #7  
Old 04-29-2010, 11:41 AM
In Winnipeg In Winnipeg is offline
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Joe Jackson's "Is She Really Going Out With Him?" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SPogGqCgeM and The Raconteurs' "Steady, As She Goes" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7aOWIFgIZQ have pretty much the same bassline.

I always thought that John Lennon's "(Just Like) Starting Over" pinched a muscial passage from The Beach Boys' "Don't Worry Baby" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUCmqb3EwAs -- compare the sound of "But when I see you darling/it's like we both start falling..." at approsimately 1:01 with "But she looks in my eyes/and makes me realize..." at 0:35 in "Don't Worry Baby". This was something I first noticed when the Lennon cut was first released.

Of course, I am sure we all know about the Chuck Berry's "Sweet Little Sixteen" and The Beach Boys "Surfin' USA" situation, which wound up with Berry getting a writing credit on the Beach Boys song, and the similar situation with The Stones' "Has Anybody Seen My Baby" and k.d. lang's "Constant Craving" which got lang a writing credit on the Stones song.

The one I still can't see is the similarity between "He's So Fine" as sung by the Chiffons (written by Lonnie Mack) and George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord" -- to me they sound nothing alike because of the difference in tempo. A Jonathan King cut where he sings the former to the tune of the latter just further mystifies me http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syk4q1tlPcA Of course, a jury could see it and Mr. Harrison paid handsomely for the perceived similarity in a famous plagerism case.

The funniest plagerism case had to be where John Fogerty was sued for sounding like himself after the release of "The Old Man Down the Road" which sounded too much like Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Run Through the Jungle" to suit Fantasy Records -- and he was sued for plagerising himself.

There are numerous threads on Youtube where similarities in songs are illustrated; check them out, starting with this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch#!v=jV6i...eature=related
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  #8  
Old 04-29-2010, 11:55 AM
Biffy the Elephant Shrew Biffy the Elephant Shrew is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeldar View Post
Listen to Boney James Grazin' in the Grass Live and Tommy James & The Shondells - Crystal Blue Persuasion (LIVE) to see if you hear the similarities to the basic riff.

Can you think of another song/tune that sounds like that?
Soulful Strut?

Suavecito?
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  #9  
Old 04-29-2010, 12:29 PM
Zeldar Zeldar is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Biffy the Elephant Shrew View Post
Good work! It may have even been Soulful Strut that sent me looking for what I eventually decided were the two in the OP. There are perhaps others from that era like that as well, but both of yours have "that sound."

Thanks!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zeldar
There surely are some close matches in music all the time. Just lately we were watching some movie, made well after Schindler's List and with a similar theme to the movie, and the music was almost a direct ripoff of John Williams' violin theme. I wish I could remember the movie and thus the film's composer, who at the time struck me as being above such plagiarism. It will come to me, I'm sure.
Success! I asked my wife for help and she was sure I was mistaken. No composer of any quality would stoop to ripping off John Williams. As it turns out, she didn't see the movie in question, and when I played her Tania - Enemy At The Gates Soundtrack (from Enemy at the Gates (2001) she did admit that it sounds more than a little like Schindler's List Soundtrack - Main Theme and that the best that can be said is that both Williams and James Horner were using a Russian (or some other Eastern European) folk melody as the basis for their themes and were thus both ripping off something else.

Speaking of John Williams, does anybody else think Indiana Jones Theme Song (Full Song) sounds a little like the old The Kiddify Kent Cigarette Commercial?
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  #10  
Old 04-29-2010, 01:43 PM
DChord568 DChord568 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by In Winnipeg View Post
Joe Jackson's "Is She Really Going Out With Him?" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6SPogGqCgeM and The Raconteurs' "Steady, As She Goes" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7aOWIFgIZQ have pretty much the same bassline.

I always thought that John Lennon's "(Just Like) Starting Over" pinched a muscial passage from The Beach Boys' "Don't Worry Baby" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VUCmqb3EwAs -- compare the sound of "But when I see you darling/it's like we both start falling..." at approsimately 1:01 with "But she looks in my eyes/and makes me realize..." at 0:35 in "Don't Worry Baby". This was something I first noticed when the Lennon cut was first released.

Of course, I am sure we all know about the Chuck Berry's "Sweet Little Sixteen" and The Beach Boys "Surfin' USA" situation, which wound up with Berry getting a writing credit on the Beach Boys song, and the similar situation with The Stones' "Has Anybody Seen My Baby" and k.d. lang's "Constant Craving" which got lang a writing credit on the Stones song.

The one I still can't see is the similarity between "He's So Fine" as sung by the Chiffons (written by Lonnie Mack) and George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord" -- to me they sound nothing alike because of the difference in tempo. A Jonathan King cut where he sings the former to the tune of the latter just further mystifies me http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=syk4q1tlPcA Of course, a jury could see it and Mr. Harrison paid handsomely for the perceived similarity in a famous plagerism case.
I was with you right up until this section of your post.

Tempo really has nothing to do with the "He's So Fine"/"My Sweet Lord" controversy (and FWIW, the tempos aren't all that different..."He's So Fine" is somewhat faster, but if you did a BPM comparison, the two songs wouldn't be that far off).

What sealed Harrison's doom is that there are not one, but TWO distinct sections of "My Sweet Lord" that are melodically identical to "He's So Fine":

1. "He's so fine, wish he were mine"/"My sweet Lord, oh my Lord"

2. "I don't know how I'm gonna do it"/"I really want to see you"

The melodies are note-for-note the same in each of these cases, and the chord progressions beneath them are also identical.

If only one of these examples had been present, George might have skated...but two was just too much to ignore.

BTW, the decision in the case was rendered by a judge, not a jury.


P.S. The composer of "He's So Fine" is The Chiffons' friend Ronnie Mack, not guitarist Lonnie Mack.

Last edited by DChord568; 04-29-2010 at 01:48 PM..
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  #11  
Old 04-29-2010, 01:54 PM
In Winnipeg In Winnipeg is offline
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Hmmmm...okay, I see what you're saying. I always thought it was much more than just those two little passages.

Seems to me that it should have to be more than this to claim copyright plagerism.
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  #12  
Old 04-29-2010, 01:59 PM
Zeldar Zeldar is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by In Winnipeg View Post

There are numerous threads on Youtube where similarities in songs are illustrated; check them out, starting with this one:

http://www.youtube.com/watch#!v=jV6i...eature=related
That's some spooky stuff! Well done clips.
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  #13  
Old 04-29-2010, 02:50 PM
DChord568 DChord568 is offline
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Originally Posted by In Winnipeg View Post
Hmmmm...okay, I see what you're saying. I always thought it was much more than just those two little passages.

Seems to me that it should have to be more than this to claim copyright plagerism.
Plagiarism claims have actually been based on less than this...just one musical phrase. Some make more sense than others -- each really has to be evaluated individually.

I was just saying that there was really no way out for Harrison on this one -- particularly when one of the phrases in question contained the song's title in both instances.

And whether his plagiarism was indeed "unconscious" or not is something George took to his grave. I don't disagree that it could have been -- but it was plagiarism nonetheless.
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