Similar Sounding Songs

Not sure whether this is better for Thread Games or Café Society.

The quintessential similar sounding song:

  “He’s So Fine” “My Sweet Lord”
Artist The Chiffons George Harrison
Album He’s So Fine, 1963 All Things Must Pass, 1970
Video The Chiffons - He´s So Fine - YouTube George Harrison - My Sweet Lord - YouTube


Yeah, and George Harrison got sued for plagiarism and was found guilty of “subconscious plagiarism” and had to pay $1,599,987 of the earnings from “My Sweet Lord”.

George Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord” Copyright Infringement Case (

Another example,

  “Grazing in the Grass” “Every Morning”
Artist/Composer Hugh Masekela / Philemon Hou Sugar Ray
Album The Promise of a Future, 1968 14:59, 1999
Video Hugh Masekela - Grazing In The Grass (1968) - YouTube Every Morning - Sugar Ray - YouTube


That’s not incidental, or plagiarism. Grazing in the Grass was deliberately sampled in Every Morning.

You could do one of these for nearly every song Chuck Berry ever recorded; You Can’t Catch Me/Come Together, Sweet Little Sixteen/Surfin’ USA, etc.

Oh? I thought it was coincidence. I didn’t realize it was a sample.


Paul McCartney - “Junk” (1970)

John Denver - “Cool and Green and Shady” (1974)

There is a Pretenders song (ironic band name at that point) that sounds almost exactly like some piece of crap song by Miami Sound Machine.

I hate them both and refuse to look up the names of this ‘music’.

Are you looking for songs that are reminiscent of one another, or direct ripoffs, or it doesn’t matter? It seems that any similarity in pop music compositions leads to litigation, and usually for good reason. For instance, Gordon Lightfoot could have won a lawsuit against the composer of The Greatest Love of All, but he chose not to pursue it.

The chorus of “Kiss From a Rose” by Seal sounds very similar to the chorus to “Hero” by Nickelback.

And both played in the closing credits of superhero movies. Batman Forever for Seal and Spider-man for Nickelback.

My vision for the thread was songs with strong reminiscence but not an acknowledged cover song or sample.

It doesn’t have to be the whole song that sounds similar, but something prominent.

Also I’m not necessarily accusing anyone of plagiarism, or saying they are less of a composer.


Yeah, those are definitely similar sounding.

@BlankSlate so are your songs.


Wilco’s “Pot Kettle Black” let me think of the Cure’s “In Between Days” after I first heard it:

The entire output for Gary Puckett and the Union Gap. As Lilian Roxon said, all their hits were the same song sung sideways.

Queen’s “Under Pressure” and Vanilla Ice’s “Ice Ice Baby” sound similar but aren’t the same.

“Under Pressure” goes DING DING DING da da DING DING.

“Ice Ice Baby” goes DING DING DING DING da da DING DING.

They aren’t the same; “Ice Ice Baby” has an extra DING.

One of the eerier coincidences in Rock History is that both Freddie Mercury and David Bowie expressed the same regret on their death beds: “I wish we had added an extra ding.”

Darn, I’m having trouble coming up with a pair of specific songs, which is weird. Because I often get two songs conflated, especially if they came out about the same time, have similar instrumentation or vocals… I was going to add “chord progression”, but that’d be 15/16 of all pop/rock music.

I also do this with actors (I first saw Pacino and DeNiro on the big screen at the same theater, in the same week! Of course I get confused).

Huh, I just realized that my brain has a need to make connections, even where they don’t necessarily exist. Thanks, Dr. SDMB Therapist!

It’s only an extra DING on every second measure, so it averages out to an extra half a DING.

My contribution:

Not super obvious I guess, but the rhythm is very similar albeit a bit slower on the Heart song. Heart are also big Led Zep fans so I think there was a bit of homage going on there.

According to Daryl Hall of Hall & Oates, Jackson told him he had taken the “Billie Jean” groove from their 1981 track “I Can’t Go for That (No Can Do)”.[23] Hall told him “Oh Michael, what do I care? You did it very differently.”
Billie Jean - Wikipedia

Obladi, oblada, na na, why don’t you get a job?