Billy Joel's "My Life" takes its melody from Johnny Rodriguez' "Love Put A Song In My Heart".
His "This Night" has almost exactly the same tune as Louise Tucker's "Midnight Blue." But he's not ripping off "Midnight Blue," they're both borrowing from Beethoven (Sonata No. 8). Billy Joel gave Beethoven writing credit.
Ditto for Four Non-Blondes' "What's Up?", from Bobby McFerrin's "Don't Worry, Be Happy".
The fade-out of Dire Straits' "Money For Nothing" is set to The Police's "Don't Stand So Close to Me"—lampshaded by Mark Knopfler having Sting sing it and giving him co-writing credits.
Safetysuit's "Stay" sounds incredibly similar to Switchfoot's "Meant to Live". They sound enough alike that most people seem to initially think that "Stay" is a cover of "Meant to Live".
Both The Killers' "Mr. Brightside" and My Chemical Romance's "Bulletproof Heart" are reminiscent of Placebo's "Special K". MCR even sings "gravity" in the same way; this may have been done intentionally.
Then there's also Muse's "Time Is Running Out". It doesn't sound like "Special K", but "Mr. Brightside" and "Bulletproof Heart" sound a lot like it.
Manson has done this more than once: "I Don't Like the Drugs (But the Drugs Like Me)" (taken from the heavily David Bowie-influenced Concept AlbumMechanical Animals) is a dead ringer for Bowie's own "Fame".
"The Fight Song" is quite similar to blur's "Song 2".
In a more odd example of this, former guitarist Daisy Berkowitz claimed that the song "1996" stole and sped up his "She's Not My Girlfriend", an earlier Marilyn Manson song (back when it was Marilyn Manson and The Spooky Kids), from when Manson wrote only the lyrics, and Daisy wrote the music. The likelihood of this is reduced when you remember that Marilyn Manson (the person) considers "She's Not My Girlfriend" to be the worst song he ever wrote.
David Hasselhoff actually made Suspiciously Similar versions of multiple songs... his song "Looking for freedom" sounds like very much like "Rivers of Babylon" by Boney M. But actually, David Hasselhoff's 1989 version of it isn't the original one... it was originally done by Marc Seaberg who released it back in 1978 when "Rivers of Babylon" was still in the charts. Other sound-alike songs by David Hasselhoff are "Do the Limbo Dance" (sounding like Boney M's "Hooray! Hooray! It's a Holi-Holiday") and "Hands Up for Rock'n'Roll" (similar to Pia Zadora's "Let's Dance Tonight").
Taiwanese pop singer Cyndi Wang's "Honey" is also another "YMCA" ripoff.
"YMCA" itself was clearly influenced by The Trammps' "Disco Inferno".
Music/ABBA did this with the follow-up to "Waterloo", "So Long", which was intentionally done to ensure another hit. It wasn't as successful.
In turn, the title song to Phantom of the Opera nicks its opening melody from Pink Floyd's "Echoes". Roger Waters was pissed off at this ("I couldn't believe it when I heard it. It's the same time signature - it's 12/8 - and it's the same structure and it's the same notes and it's the same everything.") but commented that "I think life's too long to bother with suing Andrew fucking Lloyd Webber."
Scooter's Roll Baby Roll featured a sample of ABBA's Arrival which it turned out the band hadn't asked to use. As a result, the rerelease of the album it was on (The Stadium Techno Experience) features a remix of the song called Swinging In The Jungle, which has a Suspiciously Similar version of the Arrival sample.
Scooter have done this so much that it has become a sort of trademark to expect certain songs in a particular style on each album. Maria (I Like It Loud) and One (Always Hardcore) are the most notorious and there is one song like them on every album since. Similarly, Break It Up and Leave In Silence are both techno ballads and have pretty much the same chord progression and laid back feel.
David Bowie tried to do a lyrically less-than-faithful glam rock version of "Comme d'Habitude," but Paul Anka took the rights from under him for "My Way." He changed the tune slightly (but not the chord progression), and the result was "Life on Mars." Note that on the back cover of the album the song is parenthetically noted as being "Inspired by Frankie" — as in Sinatra, who made "My Way" famous.
Similarily a few of their songs' intros do this. on The X Factor, "Fortunes of War" and "Look for the Truth have a very similar chord progression. "Blood Brothers" from Brave New World and "Face in the Sand" from Dance of Death'' open with the same four chord progression, with the latter being slightly more upbeat.
Also; The Pilgrim's intro and When The Wild Wind Blows middle section have a similar Celtic sounding part, Brighter Than A Thousand Sunsmiddle section and The Legacy's exunt have similar four chord progressions.
"Stay" by Safetysuit sounds incredibly like Switchfoot's "Meant to Live".
Australian musical comedy group Tripod have, on occasion, included a version of the Mash theme in their concerts. When the concert was being recorded to be put on DVD, the song had to be changed - the last note of every phrase goes in a different direction (the final note in the first line, for example, goes up rather than down.)
This was incredibly amusing on the DVD- they sang it properly (crowd joining in) then stopped and said that if it was going to make it on the dvd they'd have to change it, so Scod gets the audience to sing said 'revised' version, which he's improvising, leading to a very confused chorus.
Apparently they did get the rights for the song anyway- a later performance has them telling the audience that the final stage was sending their version off to the guy who wrote it for his approval, so they wrote a song about him. Here it is, folks.
Linkin Park's "Shadow of a Day" was rather heavily criticized for its uncanny resemblence to U2's "With or Without You".
The sheer similarity between the intro of "No More Sorrow" and the last 30 seconds of Megadeth's "Silent Scorn". They even use similar 'military' drums. Of course, they may well have sampled it up, rather than outright copied it, but it still sounds like a Suspiciously Similar version.
Trivium is often reviled by metal fans for making songs that allegedly copy the notes from other metal bands' songs, primarily Metallica. In fact, most people see them as trying to "copy" Metallica.
Metallica's "The Four Horsemen" and Megadeth's "Mechanix" bear a massive resemblance. The reason? Dave Mustaine, while a member of Metallica, wrote the song "The Mechanix" which is included in some of their early demos. However when he was kicked from the band's roster they kept the song and rewrote the lyrics and some parts and made "The Four Horsemen". Later when Mustaine formed Megadeth he dropped the "The" in the same and sped up the main riff and included the track on his debut album.
There's a YouTube series called "Metal that sounds like other metal" based all around this trope, pointing out the similarities between songs intentional or not.
A techno song called "E" included the melody from a popular Eminem song. However, when that techno song got popular and got released in a larger scale, they changed the melody to the Suspiciously Similar Version. The funny thing was that Eminem mocked techno in this song.
A few of Japanese singer Gackt's songs are Suspiciously Similar versions of other songs; "Another World" is very similar to the Josie and the Pussycats song "Three Small Words", "Vanilla" is very reminiscent of Ricky Martin's "Livin' la Vida Loca", and "Emu~for my dear~" sounds very much like U2's "With or Without You".
The signature guitar riff for "I Feel Fine" by The Beatles is a very slightly altered version of the riff for Bobby Parker's minor 1960 hit "Watch Your Step". The drums on the two songs are also very similar. However, John Lennon himself freely admitted that he borrowed the riff. The riff was also borrowed by Jimmy Page for the Led Zeppelin instrumental "Moby Dick".
The same riff was then borrowed more-or-less untouched for Sugarloaf's "Don't Call Us, We'll Call You."
Sugarloaf's first hit "Green-Eyed Lady" sounds a lot like "25 or 6 to 4" by Music/Chicago, which was popular around the same time.
The Beatles more or less admittedly used this technique to craft the song "Come Together" out of Chuck Berry's "You Can't Catch Me", even taking one of the lines ("Here come ol' flat top"). Berry tried to sue them; they settled out of court. The same thing is often alleged to have been done by George Harrison's solo hit "My Sweet Lord", which sounds a lot like "He's So Fine". That one wasn't settled out of court: Harrison was successfully sued; his defense (that if he had plagiarized it was unintentional and subconscious) is actually considered a landmark decision in American copyright law.
When the Beatles' press officer started working for The Byrds, Harrison asked him to tell the band's guitarist that he created the Beatles' "If I Needed Someone" out of twoof their songsnote Though the former is a cover.
In a similar vein, The Beach Boys' song "Surfin' U.S.A." inadvertently copied Chuck Berry's "Sweet Little Sixteen" and in re-issues is credited to Berry. Meanwhile, some people have noticed a resemblance between "Sweet Little Sixteen" and Clarence Garlow's 1953 Listing Cities song "Route 90".
It wasn't Chuck Berry who tried to sue, actually. Morris Levy had snapped up the publishing rights to a score of songs from the 1950s and 60s, including "You Can't Catch Me", and jumped at the opportunity to extort a dollar from Lennon (and, eventually, an album - "Rock 'n Roll"). Lennon remained in good stead with Berry and performed with him on occasion.
Keith Richards has claimed that the guitar riff for The Rolling Stones' "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction" came to him in a dream in a Florida hotel room. But listen to Martha and the Vandellas' "Nowhere to Run" and tell me if that notion holds water.
Neil Young then swiped the same riff for Buffalo Springfield's "Mr. Soul" a couple years later.
The chorus of The Rolling Stones' "Anybody Seen My Baby" sounds a lot like kd lang's "Constant Craving": It's reportedly a coincidence, and since this came to the band's attention before Bridges To Babylon was released, they actually credited lang (and her co-writer, Ben Mink) as co-writing the song to help prevent any kind of lawsuit.
"Still Take You Home" by The Arctic Monkeys borrows a riff from "Out On Patrol" by The Offspring.
One of The Residents' songs share the bass line of Michael Jackson's "Billie Jean". Which one? Their cover of Kaw-Liga. Funnily enough, The Residents usually avert this so their covers usually only share the lyrics and the basic rhythm of the original song.
And then there was the time that John Fogerty got sued for "The Old Man Down The Road" ripping off Creedence Clearwater Revival's "Run Through The Jungle", a song written by... John Fogerty. (There's a lesson here about reading the fine print in your record contract.)
The power metal band Dragonforce's music drew much inspiration from computer and video games, including the synths, complete with occasional SID-style arpeggios, ala Machinae Supremacy. In fact, the solo section from "Black Fire" contains the beginning of the Double Dragon theme verbatim.
Afrika Bambaataa used a slightly altered version of the main riff from Kraftwerk's "Trans Europe Express" in his popular song "Planet Rock"(you may know the Paul Oakenfold remix from the Swordfish soundtrack), and needless to say, got sued over it.
He didn't help his cause by using the beats from "Numbers" in the very same song. Eventually the case was settled out of court.
Lenny Kravitz's "It Ain't Over Til It's Over" has a strong resemblance to "That's the Way of the World" by Earth Wind&Fire (mostly in the arrangement and chorus).
The opening of Procol Harum's "A Whiter Shade of Pale" is clearly... ahem, inspired by Bach's "Air On A G-String", aka "The Hamlet cigar music" in the UK. Ironically, the authorship of the song (and thus the royalties) is now disputed between the band members...
The Village People's "Go West" has a somewhat similar tune to the hymn "Give Thanks", released a year earlier, as many have noted.
"Go West" also sounds a lot like Pachelbel's Canon in D. The Pet Shop Boys' cover sounds even more like Canon in D, as Neil Tennant was a huge classical music fan.
The cover of "Go West" also heavily interpolates the Soviet national anthem.
Pachelbel's Canon has seen Suspiciously Similar versions produced countless times, of course, even by classical musicians.
The main guitar riff of Weezer's "Take Control" is almost the same as that of "Children of the Revolution" by T Rex.
Another odd Weezer example: their single "Troublemaker" has been reviled by their fanbase as just a rehashing of the song "The Good Life" despite only having a vague resemblance. This is mostly a case of an incredibly Broken Base, though.
Nine Inch Nails' "A Warm Place" has a very similar keyboard melody to "Crystal Japan" by David Bowie, as well as the same overall ambient feel. Reznor himself admitted inspiration from Bowie (link), but specifically cited the album Low, which doesn't include the song (it was added to Scary Monsters as a bonus track much later on), so it seems to be a bizarre coincidence.
Before that, his very first single, "Down In It", was very admittedly a rip off of "Dig It" from Skinny Puppy.
This video tells us about how Nirvana (with "Come As You Are") ripped off Killing Joke ("Eighties"), who ripped off The Damned ("Life Goes On"), Who ripped off The Beatles ("Day Tripper", though this one is debatable).
Also from Nirvana, "Smells Like Teen Spirit" was considered similar to Boston's "More Than a Feeling", "Debaser" and "U-Mass" by The Pixies, and "Godzilla" by Blue Oyster Cult. Kurt Cobain himself agreed: "It was such a clichéd riff. It was so close to a Boston riff or [The Kingsmen's] 'Louie Louie'", but admitted only that he was "trying to write a Pixies song". So it's more likely he was doing a Suspiciously Similar version of the Pixies track rather than Boston.
In turn, Diamond Dallas Page's WCW theme music "Self High-Five" is a Suspiciously Similar version of "Smells Like Teen Spirit".
Journey's song "Faithfully" sounds awfully similar to "Working Class Man" - with good reason. They were both written by Jonathan Cain, keyboardist for Journey.
Asher Roth's "I Love College" was originally based around a sample of "Say It Ain't So" by Weezer. Once it got an official release, he couldn't get the sample cleared, so it became a Suspiciously Similar version... which accidentally made it sound a little like "Waiting On The World To Change" by John Mayer instead.
"Weird Al" Yankovic used to do this early in his career, especially with non-vocal orchestrations. But as he got famous enough to ask direct permission from artists, these got closer and closer to the originals. He also continues to do "style parodies" that sound a lot like a specific song or artist, but are not actually the same. For example, "Dare to be Stupid" riffs on the style of Devo, while "Germs" parodies the style of Nine Inch Nails.
On occasion, Al's "style parodies" have been so close to actual songs that fans began to consider them as true parodies. The most obvious examples are "Traffic Jam" (Prince's "Let's Go Crazy"), "I Remember Larry" (They Might Be Giants' "See the Constellation"), "The Night Santa Went Crazy" (Soul Asylum's "Black Gold" - in fact, a mash-up exists to prove that the songs are nearly identical), and "Albuquerque" (The Rugburns' "Dick's Automotive"). "Albuquerque" comes so close to its source, in fact, that a handful of fans accused Al of flat-out plagiarism. After this occurred, Al began crediting style parody inspirations in his CD booklets.
Also, compare the choruses of "Young, Dumb & Ugly" and AC/DC's "For Those About To Rock (We Salute You.)"
Al's soundalike skills actually landed him in legal trouble once - the incidental music for the 'Gandhi II' scene in UHF is a spoof of the Shaft theme; and the copyright owners for that song weren't amused.
A strange example is "Buckingham Blues," the lyrics of which seem to fit perfectly with John Mellencamp's "Jack and Diane." In fact, the song was written as a Mellencamp parody, but legal issues prevented Al from recording it this way. For the final version, he matched the lyrics to a completely different tune that in no way resembles Mellencamp's song.
"I'm So Sick of You" not only parodies the style of Elvis Costello, but also has similar chorus patterns to that of "I'm Not Your Steppin' Stone" by The Monkees.
Jim Steinman, the songwriter-producer most commonly associated with Meat Loaf, tends to recycle certain musical hooks in songs written for different artists. Compare the intro to the song "Stark Raving Love" off his solo album, Bad For Good, to the intro of Bonnie Tyler's "Holding Out For a Hero", which he wrote, and you'll note that aside from the drum track the two are note-for-note identical.
The choruses to Bonnie Tyler's "If You Were a Woman (and I Was a Man)" and Bon Jovi's "You Give Love a Bad Name" are Suspiciously Similar versions of each other. Probably because they were written by the same guy...
Justin Timberlake's "Nothin' Else" sounds like a Suspiciously Similar Version of the Rolling Stones' "Paint It Black."
The beginning of Sublime's "What I Got" is an acoustic "Lady Madonna" with different lyrics and a note changed here and there.
Sublime has an entire laundry list of this, as demonstrated here.
The chorus of Belinda Carlisle's "Heaven Is a Place on Earth" is Bon Jovi's "You Give Love a Bad Name" reset in a major key.
Also Bon Jovi's "Livin' On A Prayer" chorus.
That's Desmond Child at it again (albeit not for Belinda Carlisle), and he does it yet again with FM's Bad Luck.
In another "You Give Love A Bad Name" soundalike case, the bassline for "Comedown" by Bush sounds like the guitar riff of the former.
Which is itself extremely similar to that of the Stones' own "Brown Sugar." It's a very regularly recycled riff in classic rock.
The vocal melody sounds strikingly similar to that of the Duran Duran song "Hungry Like The Wolf".
It actually sounds a lot more like the riff to John Mellencamp's "Hurts So Good". In fact, some listeners born after about 1980 might hear "Hurts So Good" nowadays and think, "Hey, 'Black or White'!"
But then, there was an old Mountain Dew commercial (The "doing it country cool" one) that resembled "Hurts So Good."
An intentional, parodic example is The Offspring's "Why Don't You Get a Job?", which is patterned after "Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da."
The riff to "Hammerhead" sounds ridiculously reminiscent of "Ace of Spades" by Motörhead.
MOD/demoscene example: Purple Motion's "Fracture In Space", one of his earliest songs, was a Suspiciously Similar version of Dr. Awesome's "Space Deleria".
Three 6 Mafia's "Late Night Tip" song sounds an awful lot like Lisa Fischer's "How Can I Ease The Pain". They never mention whether it was sampled or not.
Many cheaper compilations during the nineties were full of Suspiciously Similar versions. One label (Mecado) is credited with killing an entire genre of music by oversaturating the market with subpar copies in the Netherlands and was succesfully sued over misleading customers.
Older than Television: The tune most commonly used for the Christmas song "Away in a Manger," typically called "Mueller", was written by James R. Murray. Some hymnals also use the less-familiar "Cradle Song" (1895) by William J. Kirkpatrick, which sounds much like a Suspiciously Similar version of "Mueller". (Both tunes are in F major and 3/4 time with virtually identical phrasing, and both even end on the same four notes.)
Bedrich Smetana's Die Moldau (the melody in question begins about a minute in) is a tweaked version of the Italian song La Mantovana, which is best known as the tune for Hatikva, the Israeli national anthem (about thirty seconds in on that video).
Calixa Lavallée, in composing a national anthem for Canada, borrowed very heavily from a march in The Magic Flute.
Conversely, Leo Arnaud's "Bugler's Dream" (the 1958 fanfare most commonly associated with the Olympics) shares the same first six notes as "O Canada".
The main riff from Green Day's "Warning" is a Suspiciously Similar Version of the main riff of The Kinks' 1968 song "Picture Book". The melodies are different but the verses of the two songs also have some structural similarities.
The Kinks' "Catch Me Now I'm Falling" has a guitar riff similar to The Rolling Stones' "Jumpin' Jack Flash", while the ending of "U.K. Jive" recalls The Who's "My Generation".
The Who's "I Can't Explain" has a similar feel and guitar tone to The Kinks' "You Really Got Me". Both were produced by Shel Talmy. Townshend himself pretty much admitted that he just churned out a Kinks copy with that song.
The main melody of Solar Stone's "Solarcoaster" is a faster tweaked version of "Marwood Walks" from Withnail & I.
Tom Lehrer's "That's Mathematics" was originally intended to use the tune from "That's Entertainment" but it had to be changed. Still pretty much the same rhythms though.
Velvet Acid Christ's "Fun With Drugs" copies Purple Motion's "Second Reality" almost verbatim.
Tenth Planet's "Ghosts"(original mix), Darude's "Music"(original mix), and Aura's "Project Soar" also bear resemblences to Second Reality.
Mariah Carey's "Emotions" sounds very similar to "The Best of My Love", a song by... The Emotions... as well as "Got To Be Real" by Cheryl Lynn.
As of April 1st 2010, the PPCA AKA Phonographic Performance Company of Australia, a group organisation representing the interests of record labels and recording artists, will force places such as fitness centres to either pay a large licence fee to play any original music or be only allowed to play Suspiciously Similar Songs. Any club caught playing the original stuff will be fined.
"Viva La Vida" by Music//Coldplay was accused of ripping off other songs.
So many songs copy the chord progression (or variations thereof) of "Louie Louie" that it's not even funny. An exhaustive list would be insanely long, but just to mention a few notables: "Wild Thing," "The Joker," "Get Off Of My Cloud," "Good Lovin'," "Hang On Sloopy," "Back 2 Back" from the Sonic Rush soundtrack, "Walking on Sunshine"...
It's highly unlikely that I IV v IV repeated ad nauseam originated with "Louie Louie." The quite similar I IV V I is possibly the most common chord progression in western music.
Opeth has listed the 70s prog-rock band Camel among their inspirations, which would explain why "Benighted" sounds extremely similar to "Never Let Go".
"Heaven" (no relation to the Bryan Adams song) by Dune was a tweaked version of "Piece of Heaven" by A7 (later remade by Akira). They didn't get away with it, as its release (and in effect, that of the entire album it was supposed to be on) was blocked by a plagiarism injunction.
Ironically, "Piece of Heaven" was a (less obvious) version of Dune's early hit "I Can't Stop Raving", as well as using the instrumentation of Alice Deejay's "Better Off Alone", which the lyrics contain a Shout-Out to.
"Escape Velocity" by Anders Lundqvist, another space-synth artist, copies Ice Cap Zone from STH 3. The synth brass intro of "Escape Velocity" also resembles the Epic Riff of Europe's "The Final Countdown", which the title may be a reference to.
"The Search for Otherland" rips off Laserdance's "The Challenge".
Common practice by a number of classical composers, for a variety of reasons. Many borrowed heavily from themselves, others stole from whatever sources were available - folk tunes, other composers' works, ideas brought to them from afar... George Handel was a master of the art, to the point that movements from his early works sound like versions of his later works.
As Handel lived before the notion of the 'repertory' had caught on (a set of classic works that, as today, were almost continually in performance somewhere, with which professionals are expected to at least have a working knowledge and audiences expect to go to several versions over their lifetime- Don Giovanni was probably the first to have this status from birth), every opera he wrote would be practically tossed aside to gather dust once its run closed, never expecting a revival. If he thought a tune from even a partial flop was worth recycling until it was famous, he would reuse it in hope that the next show was a hit. (He wasn't the only one to do this, either.)
Handel also is said to have replied, when someone pointed out to him how many tunes by other composers he had used in compositions of his own: "But those swine don't know what to do with a good tune!"
This also happened frequently when great works would become popular, inspiring whole droves of Follow the Leader-type works. Many of those composers aren't even mentioned any more except in relation to the leader that they followed - Sigismund Thalberg, for example, is never talked about except as having done this to Franz Liszt, much to Liszt's dismay.
Many of a composer's early repertoire, before they find their own "voice," sounds like the Suspiciously Similar version of another composer. Early Mozart sounds like weak Haydn; early Bach like his lesser-known predecessors (and slightly later Bach like his lesser-known teachers), Dvorak like Brahms, Holst like Elgar; even more modern composers aren't immune, with the "second Viennese school" composers (Schoenberg, Webern, and Berg) pre-atonality sounding a lot like Brahms and Wagner.
In oratorios and other religious musical works familiar chorales and hymns were freely used by most composers.
The synthesizer riff in Muse's "Uprising" sounds like the melody of the Doctor Who theme tune.
The overall march-like rhythm of the song (though not the synth riff, or the lyrical content, or the vocal style) is also somewhat reminiscent of "Psychosis" by Poets of the Fall.
A synth riff similar to the Doctor Who theme can be found in the breakdown to Pink Floyd's "One Of These Days" as a throwaway joke.
The Pogues' instrumental "Wild Cats of Kilkenny" sounds suspiciously like the Doctor Who theme Irishised and played on acoustic instruments.
"Doctorin' the Tardis" by The Timelords is a mash-up of the Doctor Who theme with "Rock and Roll Part 2" by Gary Glitter, "Block Buster!" by Sweet, and "Let's Get Together" by Steve Walsh. The group didn't even try to hide their plagiarism, and when Glitter heard about it he wanted in on it and contributed to a remake called "Gary in the Tardis".
The piano riff from "Resistance" closely resembles that of "Hero" by Mariah Carey.
The backbeat to the Black Keys song "Howlin' For You" also sounds a lot like that of "Rock and Roll Part 2".
"Dreamin'" by KISS compared to "I'm Eighteen" by Alice Cooper. It went to court when Cooper's old record label with the rights to the song sued with KISS settling out of court. This might have also been yet another point of argument against those who claim KISS copied Alice Cooper's makeup, too.
First, PM Dawn sampled Spandau Ballet's "True" in "Set Adrift on Memory Bliss", then later, did a self-copy of that titled "Faith in You".
It's also a little bit similar to the Dusty Springfield song also titled "Born This Way". It was even being passed around the internet right before Gaga's "Born This Way" was to be released claiming to be the new single.
Also, when Gaga sang at the Grammys, she wore an outfit that looks like Madonna's signature tight ponytail and cone bra during the Blond Ambition tour. YMMV, of course.
Also, "Bloody Mary, Heavy Metal Lover" and "Electric Chapel" sound a lot like most of Madonna's Confessions On A Dancefloor album, "Isaac" and "Get Together" is particular.
Gaga's examples without Madonna include "I Like It Rough" with the instrumental from Rockwell's "Somebody's Watching Me", which itself was a disguised cover of the synthesizer instrumental of Pigs by Pink Floyd, and "Bad Romance", which comes melodically close to "Don't Bring Me Down" by ELO.
Part of Danity Kane's "Damaged" also sounds a little like "Somebody's Watching Me."
Speaking of Madonna herself, her song "Has To Be", which was released as a B-side track to the "Ray Of Light" single, sounds suspiciously similar to Chris Isaak's "Wicked Game" but at a slower tempo.
And part of the synthesizer melody of "Material Girl" is based on the vocal melody from "The Name Game" by Shirley Ellis.
Likewise, for all of her complaining about "Born This Way", "Express Yourself" is a rather blatant copy of "Respect Yourself" by The Staple Singers, to the point of it being accused of direct sampling. Don't believe me? Listen for yourself!
The intro to Madonna's "Borderline" is very similar to the intro of "Never Knew Love Like This Before" by Stephanie Mills. Of course both songs were produced by Reggie Lucas so this isn't too surprising.
Alesha Dixon's "The Boy Does Nothing" is the Suspiciously Similar version of Lou Bega's "Mambo No. 5".
The bridge of Katy Perry's "Firework" sound similar to the bridge of Erasure's "Always".
And "The One That Got Away" sounds strangely similar to the melody of Thrice's "Music Box". Not a lot of people realize this because Thrice's song memorably uses a music box (hence the title). But their choruses are surprisingly alike.
Cascada's "Bad Boy" sounds similar to Groove Coverage's "Runaway", then in turn, Cascada later did a sequel to "Bad Boy" also titled "Runaway".
Forbidden Broadway has occasionally used ersatz tunes by Gerald Alessandrini for songs they couldn't get permission to parody.
T.I. & Rihanna's "Live Your Life", in addition to interpolating/ripping off "Dragostea din Tei"'s refrain, has a strings riff similar to Coolio's "Gangster's Paradise".
Which itself took from Stevie Wonder's "Pastime Paradise".
Persecution, from Judas Priests's 2 CD album Nostradamus has a section which sounds a bit like one of the songs from Revolutionary Girl Utena.
Megadeth's cover version of the Duke Nukem 3D "Grabbag" theme is supposed to be a straight cover, and is on a Duke Nukem soundtrack CD, but so many notes were changed that it sounds like a suspiciously similar song.
The opening verse of Alexia's "Me & You" is a disguised version of the verse of a-ha's "The Sun Always Shines on TV".
Pink Floyd's Another Brick In The Wall Part 2 has some instrumental stylings reminiscent of the disco era, specifically the Bee Gees. It's not gone unnoticed. Bob Ezrin, the album's producer, was mainly responsible for pushing the band to use a disco rhythm on the song, much to David Gilmour's initial chagrin.
The American version of The Beatles' "Help!" album (as well as the title track when it appeared on American issues of "1962-1966") began with a brief, unlisted orchestral piece, universally credited as "The James Bond Theme" by Monty Norman - even though it's just a vague soundalike.
The end credits theme from Sonic the Hedgehog 3 bears a startling resemblance to Michael Jackson's "Stranger In Moscow," which led gamers to speculate that the tune may have been a MJ composition. Brad Buxer, who collaborated with Michael around this time, revealed after Michael's death that the speculation was correct.
The instrumental is mostly Joe Cocker's "Woman To Woman", although it sounds more like the redone version from Tupac Shakur's "California Love". Even so, it's one note off and the musician seems to improvise it a bit.
The chorus of Alexandra Burke's "All Night Long" and the bridge of Survivor's "The Search Is Over" (the particular section starts about 3:10). They might not be exact, but the similarity between the two is noticeable.
Chuck Berry's 1959 song "Broken Arrow" is "Old MacDonald Had a Farm" with new lyrics (replacing "E-I-E-I-O" with "I'll never do that again.")
The Cars borrows many parts of "Let's Go (Pony)" by the Routers for their single, "Let's Go".
The riff of "My Best Friend's Girl" alludes to "I Will" by The Beatles (itself nicked from Eddie Cochran), while the intro refers to "Wild Weekend" by the Rebels.
The Intro to "Just What I Needed" sounds similar to "Yummy Yummy Yummy" by the 1910 Fruitgum Co.
And, as noted above, "Moving In Stereo" is a slower version of Golden Earring's "Mad Love's Coming"
The chorus riff to "Hey Man Nice Shot" by Filter is exactly the same as the chorus riff of Stabbing Westward's "Ungod". However, this is because guitarist Stuart Zechman was working with both bands at the same time and used the same riff twice for some reason. "Ungod" was the first of the two songs to be released, but according to Filter's Richard Patrick, "Hey Man Nice Shot" was written years earlier note Patrick wrote "Hey Man Nice Shot" a couple of years before working with Stuart Zechman, but Zechman was apparently the one who added that riff to the chorus. The bands mutually agreed not to sue over it, and Stabbing Westward pretty much stopped playing "Ungod" live after "Hey Man Nice Shot" became a hit single.
In a similar vein, Howard Devoto was originally a member of the Buzzcocks and came up with a certain ascending minor-key guitar riff. He left to start his own band, Magazine, and included the riff in his song Shot By Both Sides. Pete Shelley, meanwhile, liked the riff so much that he used it in his own song, Lipstick
VNV Nation's "Control" steals the bass riff from Judas Priest's "You've Got Another Thing Comin'". "Resolution" sounds oddly similar to "You're a Superstar" by Love Inc.
"Can't Help Falling in Love" has a similar melody to the French folk song "Plaisir d'Amour", but the rhythm is slowed down and syncopated.
The tune was sped up and slightly tweaked for the happy hardcore song "Techno Wonderland".
Joss Stone's "You Had Me" was heavily inspired by Stevie Wonder's "Superstition".
Also, "Superstition" itself sounds similar to Wild Cherry's "Play That Funky Music."
"Superstition" was released in 1972, predating PTFM by a few years.
Listen to this piece of music. Now listen to this one. Even to this day, people are still confused as to who ripped off whose music. (If only they checked out the dates: Leviathan came out in 1989, whereas Recordof Lodoss War came out in 1990.) And to even ask if the veteran composer like Jerry Goldsmith ripped off music from an obscure (at that time anyways) anime film is kinda unthinkable.
Albert King's Love Shock is essentially a more upbeat rendition of Peggy Lee's Fever.
"Posthumus Zone" by E.S. Posthumus Zone, which have been used as a theme song for the NFL on CBS, sounded similar to some piece of background music from Dexter's Laboratory.
Helalyn Flowers did this with at least two of their songs. "Your Killer Toy", particularly the chorus, is similar to P!nk's "U & Ur Hand", and "Crystal Bullet" is this to Duran Duran's "Rio" and "Sunrise".
Jessie J's "Price Tag" resembles Jason Mraz's "I'm Yours", and to a lesser extent Jimmy Eat World's "The Middle".
"I'm Yours" itself resembles Israel Kamakawiwoʻole's arrangement of "Over the Rainbow", and Straight No Chaser produced a mashup of the two, which actor Dane Stokinger also sang at the closing of Seattle Children's Theatre's 2012 run of The Wizard of Oz, in which he played the Tin Man.
"Laserlight" is similar to KP's "Firework", which Jessie also legitly covered.
The song to celebrate the release of OpenBSD 5.1 is a parody of the "Ghostbusters" theme with the melody slightly altered. It even switches in briefly at the end to "I Want a New Drug," which pokes fun at the controversy that "Ghostbusters" was a Suspiciously Similar version of the former.
Then again, Ray Parker Jr.'s "Ghostbusters" also has a similar riff to the Bar-Kays' "Soul Finger", which made things rather confusing when the commercials for the movie Spies Like Us aired on TV a year after Ghostbusters featuring that particular song.
After Miranda Lambert was told that her 2005 single "Kerosene" sounded an awful lot like Steve Earle's "I Feel Alright", she told CMT, "I didn't purposefully plagiarize his song — but unconsciously I copied it almost exactly." She willingly added Earle's name to the song as a result.
Alan Jackson's "I'll Go On Loving You" has an intro very similar to the Mash theme. A few notes are downright identical, just in a different key.
The verse in Gwen Stefani's "What You Waiting For?" is sung in an almost identical melody to the one in Weezer's "Hash Pipe".
Kris Kardashian (now Jenner)'s "I Love My Friends" is a remake of Randy Newman's "I Love LA"...but the bass- and drum-heavy production (unlike that of the original) makes it sound more like a combination of Ozzy Osbourne's "Crazy Train" and The Cars's "Magic."
As admitted by the band themselves, Lostprophets' "Burn Burn" is very similar to Adamski's "Killer".
Venom's, "Welcome to Hell," Dio's, "Stand Up and Shout," Accept's, "Flash Rocking Man," Iron Maiden's, "2 Minutes to Midnight," Mercyful Fate's, "Curse of the Pharaohs," Riot's "Swords and Tequila," Anvil's "Tease Me, Please Me," Puta's "Extremodurta," Midnight Chaser's "White Spirit," Def Leppard's "Wasted," Saxon's "the Power and the Glory," Judas Priest's "Hell Bent For Leather," Nitro's "Freight Train," Grim Reaper's "the Wrath of the Ripper," Helloween's "Phantom of Death," and Rory Gallagher's "Moonchild," all sound like Ted Nugent's "Stranglehold"
Psy's "Gangnam Style" is suspiciously similar to "Pump Up the Jam" by Technotronic, which is quite ironic considering these two songs are pretty much the only ones the artists are known for. There's also a mashup remix.
Speaking of Gangnam Style, there is an uncanny similarity with Afrojack's "Take Over Control" and LMFAO's "Party Rock Anthem."
Jordin Sparks' "Tattoo" and Taylor Swift's "Back to December".
The riff to Steve Miller Band's "Jet Airliner" (wriitten by Paul Peña) sounds similar to Cream's "Crossroads" (based on Robert Johnson's "Cross Road Blues"), while "Rock'n Me" has a similar riff to Free's "All Right Now".
The main riff for the "Monsters" section of Rush's elaborate instrumental "La Villa Strangiato" - which Alex Lifeson has said was based on his dreams - sounds suspiciously like music from Loony Toons and Merrie Melodies cartoons called Powerhouse by Raymond Scott. By the time they were notified of the issue, the statute of limitations for Scott to sue had expired, but Rush agreed to a settlement nonetheless, believing it to be the ethical thing to do. The terms were not disclosed, but the band was not required to add a credit for Scott to the song and it has been said that all parties were pleased with the outcome.
Meshuggah, Ill Will, Textures, and Gojira has some very similar rhythm pattern as seen here. This rhythm pattern is popular among Technical Metal bands.
So, we've been going like: "Ooooh we have re-written Wicked Games" and then "No, the chords scheme is different, we don't have to worry. And it's a written song!" (laughs) "Yay!".
The Flaming Lips' "Fight Test" has a similar vocal melody to Cat Stevens' 1970 hit "Father and Son". The band eventually admitted that, while they hadn't deliberately set out to mimic "Father And Son", they had realized the similarity while recording the song, and had tried in vain to change things enough to make it less obvious. Cat Stevens (now known as Yusuf Islam) successfully sued, and reportedly now gets 75 percent of the royalties for the song.
The band themselves have also noted that "Take Meta Mars" borrowed heavily from "Mushroom" by Can, and that the verse section of "Chrome-Plated Suicide" came about when Wayne Coyne was trying to learn "Sweet Child O' Mine" on guitar.
The Escape Club's "Wild Wild West" borrows almost all of its arrangement ideas (including the singing style) from Elvis Costello's "Pump It Up".
Krisiun's "Bloodcraft" has a riff in it that sounds basically identical to the opening riff to Six Feet Under's "Killed in Your Sleep".
U2's "Van Diemen's Land" (sung by The Edge) has a verse structure and vocal delivery similar to Leon Payne's "Lost Highway", which was covered live by U2 a few times... and was sung by The Edge whenever they played it.
And The Edge's signature repeating guitar style, as in "Where The Streets Have No Name" and some other songs? Listen to David Gilmour's guitar come forth in the epic reprisal before the third verse of Pink Floyd's opus "Echoes". Or even better, "Run Like Hell".
The intro to Soundgarden's "Fell On Black Days" sounds a lot like the intro to Cream's "Badge".
Led Zeppelin's "Babe I'm Gonna Leave You" has a very similar internal riff to the opening riff of Chicago's "25 or 6 to 4".
There's a similar riff in Heart's "Heartless" and Blue Oyster Cult's "O.D.'d on Life Itself", with The Hollies' "Long Cool Woman". (The Hollies were first, B.O.C. followed with theirs a year later, Heart about 5 years after that.)
Compare The Police's "Canary In a Coalmine" with Bob Seger's "Get Out Of Denver"—mainly the very unusual metering of the vocals found in both.
"Get Out of Denver" itself is a blatant Chuck Berry pastiche ("Johnny B. Goode" crossed with "Nadine" crossed with "Tulane", basically).
The Strokes' "Hard to Explain" has an opening drum machine riff not unlike that of the Saturday Night Live song "I Wish It Was Christmas Today" that debuted the preceding Christmas. Amusingly enough, Julian Casablancas turned out to be such a big fan he did his own cover of the latter, which he debuted on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, performing alongside one of the original performers, Fallon himself. (Julian hasn't touched on any similarities between the two songs as of yet though.)
Culture Club's "Church Of The Poison Mind's" melody is similar to that of Stevie Wonder's "Uptight".
Whitney Houston's "Greatest Love of All" is a ripoff of Gordon Lightfoot's "If You Could Read My Mind", to the point that Lightfoot filed a lawsuit over it.
A hilarious example: LMFAO's hit "Sexy and I Know It" sounds a lot like the song the paraplegic DJ plays in Jon Lajoie's Drug Commercial video. One could easily mistake the latter as being a parody of the former, but the former came out several months after the latter!
Aerosmith's Crazy sounds a lot like their earlier hit Cryin', not least because both song titles start with a "cr".
The breakdown and ending of Ylvis's "The Fox" resemble Inna's "In Your Eyes". Although its video was released second, that song was released six months prior to "The Fox". The verse and overall melody is even more similar to Imagine Dragons' "Radioactive" and to some extent David Guetta's "Titanium", to the point that it was temporarily pulled from circulation due to plagiarism accusations. .
One can argue that it's a deliberate parody of modern "electronic dance music" (referring to the specific mainstream use of the term to refer to the particular classes of house music made popular by acts like Guetta)
And yes, there's a resemblance to Gangnam Style as well.
The "Pachelbel Rant" routine by comedian Rob Paravonian features him playing the chord progression used in "Pachelbel's Canon in D" on his guitar while singing the lyrics to many, many different contemporary songs.
Some have noted that "Das Lamm, das erwürget ist", the last movement of J.S. Bach's cantata Ich hatte viel Bekümmernis, is very similar to "Worthy is the Lamb", the last movment of Handel's Messiah. The two share a very similar structure and are even based on the same Bible verses!
Eluveitie's "A Rose for Epona" copies its intro almost note-for-note from Blood Stain Child's earlier "Metropolice", released approximately five years before Eluveitie's song. Some say that the intro is lifted from an earlier Irish/Scottish folk song, but so far not many people have been able to verify that origin (or what the base song is, for that matter) and it leaves one questioning how a Japanese trance/metal band would have heard an obscure Celtic folk song in the first place (slightly more understandable for Eluveitie, being a Celtic metal band themselves).
Eluveitie has several songs based on folk songs, which makes them sound very similar to other songs based on the same source material. If you don't know this, you might be forgiven for thinking Inis Mona and Luxtos were pirated from French folk hip hop band Manau's La Tribu De Dana and Qui Est La Belette or the other way round.
Neil Young's "Borrowed Tune" outright admits the melody is lifted from a Rolling Stones song (specifically, "Lady Jane") - it's right there in the title.
Dragonforce's "Cry Thunder" sounds like a ripoff of a couple of Sabaton songs, particularly "Union (Slopes of St. Benedict)."
Amber's "This Is Your Night" is an almost note-for-note copy of Real Mc Coy's "Another Night".
Swedish singer Ted Gärdestad's 1979 Eurovision Song Contest entry "Satellit" is infamously similar to Toto's breakthrough hit "Hold The Line". Gärdestad's guitarist had jammed with the then-unknown Toto in Los Angeles, and unaware that they'd just started climbing the charts, figured he'd get away with borrowing the most striking bits.