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Coldplagiarism?
December 5, 2008 7:34 AM   Subscribe

Guitarist Joe Satriani sues Coldplay over Viva La Vida (audio). Satriani's version: If I Could Fly (audio).
posted by starman (111 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Man, does Satriani ever suck. I can't say as I've ever actually listened to one of his songs before. He's the freakin' Kenny G of guitar.
posted by Manhasset at 7:43 AM on December 5, 2008 [8 favorites]


Youtube Side-by-side Comparisson

I don't see the big deal. The Coldplay stuff is obviously not done on guitar; I don't see where Joe's coming from. If Joe wins this case, then Neil Young is going to basically sue the entire punk rock scene into oblivion; I think he's used every combination of 3 chords possible.

This sounds like a whole lot of fuss over nothing. Both songs seem to be aping an orchestral piece of music, despite the different choices of instrumentation.
posted by Dark Messiah at 7:44 AM on December 5, 2008


Ha. I think that's a massive ego trip. Yes, I'm sure all the fellows in Coldplay are fans of yours, Joe.
posted by kingbenny at 7:45 AM on December 5, 2008


Oh, and the subtle amusement I have over a story alleging "copyright infringement" posting links to downloads for each song.... Ummmm..... Bad form?
posted by Dark Messiah at 7:46 AM on December 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


I think the relevant precedents were set in Douchebag v. Douchebag.
posted by condour75 at 7:47 AM on December 5, 2008 [9 favorites]


songza is legal apparently
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 7:49 AM on December 5, 2008


After a series of close examinations, I can confirm that both are terrible songs.
posted by stresstwig at 7:51 AM on December 5, 2008 [12 favorites]


the subtle amusement I have over a story alleging "copyright infringement" posting links to downloads for each song.... Ummmm..... Bad form

As for as I can tell, there are no real 'download' links - if you click download, you get the opportunity to buy the tracks on iTunes or Amazon. Seems legit.
posted by kingbenny at 7:51 AM on December 5, 2008


The music streamed on Songza is generously made available by sites like YouTube.com and imeem.com, who in turn pay the rights owners for use of the songs.

Godamn my bullshit sonar is going off like a jackhammer.
posted by cavalier at 7:52 AM on December 5, 2008


They both fuckin' suck.
posted by gman at 7:52 AM on December 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


Wow, that Joe Satriani song really sucks!
posted by OverlappingElvis at 7:53 AM on December 5, 2008


I feel like the mathematical donkey who starved to death because he was equidistant between two piles of hay and therefore was unable to choose between them.

Except in my case they are piles of hate.
posted by unSane at 7:53 AM on December 5, 2008 [28 favorites]


The music streamed on Songza is generously made available by sites like YouTube.com and imeem.com, who in turn pay the rights owners for use of the songs.

They seem to be contradicting themselves. The statement above says:

Songza pays for licenses from all the major performing-rights organizations (ASCAP, BMI, SESAC), who then pay the publishers and writers in proportion to the number of plays they get on Songza.

So does Songza pay, or does Youtube pay? Honestly, I see english words but am unable to parse the logic.
posted by Dark Messiah at 7:53 AM on December 5, 2008


JoeRamboUK (45 seconds ago)
That is a tough one because they are both rubbish.


Heh. Don't ever change, Youtube.
posted by cortex at 7:54 AM on December 5, 2008


Uh, he certainly didn't write this melody, or come up with the harmonic progression. He isn't even the most recent person to use it. Why doesn't he go after (incredibly relevant self link) Alizee or Ne-Yo?
posted by phrontist at 7:55 AM on December 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Did they ever credit Kraftwerk for "Let's Talk"?

Here's one more, which is definitely a stretch.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:56 AM on December 5, 2008


Has anyone done a side-by-side of Alicia Keys's Fallin' and James Brown's Man's World?
posted by Pollomacho at 7:56 AM on December 5, 2008


Wish I could sue both for sucking so bad.
posted by tiger yang at 8:03 AM on December 5, 2008


There are, after all, only twelve notes in the chromatic scale, and certain ones always sound better with certain other ones. Stands to reason. In fact, it always amazes me whenever someone writes a song that doesn't sound like another one.
posted by jbickers at 8:05 AM on December 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Wish I could sue both for sucking so bad.

Same, class action suit maybe? Ah, fuck it, I'll just go listen to some Intronaut.
posted by Dark Messiah at 8:05 AM on December 5, 2008


Whoever did "Hang On Sloopy" should sue the fuck out of that "Louie Louie" guy.
posted by Cookiebastard at 8:10 AM on December 5, 2008


They stole the melody! (Except the parts that are different.)
posted by smackfu at 8:11 AM on December 5, 2008


I've always looked askance at Alicia Keys' "Like You'll Never See Me Again" against Prince's "Diamonds and Pearls."* But that being said, pop music is incestuous by nature -- yeah, I said it -- and it will always feed upon itself, just as its done from jump.

Coldplay ought to just bite their pride and settle, give over some change to a charity of Satriani's choice, if for no other reason than to staunch any further legal bleed. Follow the lead of pop stars that came before and move on. Let this ridiculous controversy devolve into ephemera.

For instance ... Barry Manilow's people sued Wham! over "Last Christmas." His publishing company felt that "Last Christmas" sounded too much like "Can't Smile Without You" to be a coincidence. Wham!'s representation settled, donating a year's worth of "Last Christmas" revenue to Bob Geldof's BandAid charity. Everybody wins and another music trivia question is born.
posted by grabbingsand at 8:15 AM on December 5, 2008


Honestly (and I don't think anyone has noticed this before), Viva La Vida is a naked ripoff of Lily Allen's Littlest Things. Fast forward to 1:12 and tell me I'm wrong.
posted by felix betachat at 8:17 AM on December 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


in louie louie it's c f g-minor (or whatever key) -- in hang on sloopy it's c f g-major (or whatever key). I know this from having a synthesizer when I was 12. I can also play the Legend of Zelda.

"Twist and Shout" and "La Bamba", however, are the same song.
posted by condour75 at 8:17 AM on December 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


I've always thought the home depot theme was a ripoff

(Satch rocks!)
posted by jpdoane at 8:18 AM on December 5, 2008


It seems like people take appropriation much more seriously when it crops up in pop-rock as opposed to in R&B. I wonder if this has something to do with the illusion of authenticity in rock music? With rap, the current attitude seems to be, "Oh, it's interesting that you think you can make this better thing out of this other thing."

Incidentally, Coldplay's Yellow takes the rhythm guitar part from the Cocteau Twins' Cherry Coloured Funk. As far as I know, there's no resulting legal action.
posted by goldfinches at 8:31 AM on December 5, 2008


OMG I THINK THEY BOTH SUCK LOL ROTFL LMAO HURF DURF

You're super cool!
posted by kbanas at 8:36 AM on December 5, 2008


OMG, No Doubt(~0:32) ripped off Aerosmith! Somebody do something!
posted by owtytrof at 8:38 AM on December 5, 2008


I thought Viva La Vida was closer to J'en Ai Marre, myself.
posted by flatluigi at 8:41 AM on December 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


Well, the overlap has rhythm, harmony and melody in common, and I'm not clear on why it would matter what instrument was used to voice those compositional elements. But, since no one has ever listened to a song by Joe Satriani, it was obviously not intentional, and since the violator was Coldplay, the legal award should be limited to the guilty party being banned from possessing recording equipment and everyone can call it a day.
posted by Your Time Machine Sucks at 8:42 AM on December 5, 2008 [15 favorites]


kbanas - I like what you did there. That's an impressive combination of post-literate acronyms.
posted by gman at 8:42 AM on December 5, 2008


Whoever did "Hang On Sloopy" should sue the fuck out of that "Louie Louie" guy.

the kingsmen did louie louie in 1963, the mccoys did hang on sloopy in 1965 and neither of them did the original version of those songs, although they were responsible for the famous riffs on those records

variations of that riff have been done by boston, bachman turner overdrive, nirvana and many other bands

"Twist and Shout" and "La Bamba", however, are the same song.

along with about a million african records ... people really like that chord progression
posted by pyramid termite at 8:49 AM on December 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Isn't the real outrage that Nirvana ripped off Boston's More Than a Feeling for Smells Like Teen Spirit? No justice, no peace.
posted by chinston at 9:02 AM on December 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


The hooks are very close. I think Satriani has a case.

I'm not a fan of his music, but in Satriani's defense: There aren't many teachers this side of Segovia who can claim to have produced the caliber of Satriani's students -- Steve Vai, who played with Zappa; Metallica's Kirk Hammett; Primus's Ler LaLonde, eight string guitar/bassist Charlie Hunter, and many other guitar greats.

Maybe someone made a mash up of mid 90s electronica and tuval throat singing accompanied by authentic albino yak skin drums while sampling some harp prodigy from the 1930s who's only recorded work was painstakingly restored by the Library of Congress by reflecting sounds from a scratchy wire recording off the ionosphere. And maybe... you hipster haters can go grab the torrent of that, listen to it, and go have a giant ironic circle jerk while cooing to each other about it. You know who you are. Thanks.
posted by edverb at 9:10 AM on December 5, 2008 [5 favorites]


"Alphabet Song", my ass; it's Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and you know it. You'll be hearing from my lawyers.
posted by yhbc at 9:12 AM on December 5, 2008 [4 favorites]


MetaFilter: Your favorite lawsuit sucks.
posted by sidesh0w at 9:18 AM on December 5, 2008


There aren't many teachers this side of Segovia who can claim to have produced the caliber of Satriani's students -- Steve Vai, who played with Zappa; Metallica's Kirk Hammett; Primus's Ler LaLonde, eight string guitar/bassist Charlie Hunter, and many other guitar greats.

I'm more-than happy to appreciate Satriani for his contributions to music; especially through other people. His music -- while I will refrain from the tired chestnut of "wankery" as a descriptor -- does nothing for me. As a musician, I find him uninteresting; his albums strike me more as an exercise in technicality than musicality. It's like listening to a PhD thesis, IMO. It doesn't devalue his skill by any means, but I listen to music to be entertained and for enjoyment, not so I can spend large amounts of time thinking "I could never play this in a million years, not that I would want to".

Not that it matters to anyone, but my listening criteria is pretty basic for "good" music. If I want to see a musician show off, I'll go to a clinic they put on, I'm not going to buy their CD unless the music actually interests me.

Some times you just need 3 chords and a microphone. That's what makes music great.
posted by Dark Messiah at 9:19 AM on December 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


I agree Dark Messiah, and well said. I'm not a fan for exactly the same reasons. But I'd have been thrilled to have had him as a teacher, and if there's anything more annoying than flashy technicality for it's own sake, it's talentless critics. That's all I'm saying.
posted by edverb at 9:22 AM on December 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


But I'd have been thrilled to have had him as a teacher

Same, although I don't think he's done enough wrong in this life-time to deserve me as a student.

One of the few 'lessons' I ever soliticted for guitar went as follows:

ME: Hey man, can you show me how to play a power chord?
BUDDY: Sure *demonstrates* Now, when you're using them you should reme-
ME: Stop talking. I know all I need to know.
BUDDY: You do this shit to me on purpose don't you?
ME: *begins drowning my friend out with obnoxiously distorted power-chords*
posted by Dark Messiah at 9:26 AM on December 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


"Alphabet Song", my ass; it's Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and you know it. You'll be hearing from my lawyers

That's just "Mary Had a Little Lamb". You just changed the "dees" with "doos"! --Marge
posted by Dark Messiah at 9:41 AM on December 5, 2008


The hooks are very close.

Hooks? Wha?
posted by erikvan at 9:52 AM on December 5, 2008


I always wondered why Bo Diddley didn't just sue the shit out of everybody. I presume it was because he knew that having a lot of songs that people identified as being Bo Diddley-styled would further cement his legend, and also because everybody knew that if they crossed Bo Diddley he would straight-up murder their ass.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:54 AM on December 5, 2008 [7 favorites]


if coldplay has been listening to satriani, i think they've been punished enough already.
posted by saul wright at 9:57 AM on December 5, 2008 [5 favorites]


I used to be a preschool teacher, and every evening after the wee ones were picked up by their parents, I had to clean my classroom. One cold winter's day when the sun was setting early, and I was all alone with the puzzles and the toys and the crayon drawings... I heard a tinkly sound. Deee deee deeee deee DEEE DEEEEEE DEEEEEEE... It was the ABC song. But where was it coming from? I searched all over the room until I found the culprit: a plastic rocking horse. It was lying on its side on a shelf, its painted eyes staring vacantly. It was only supposed to play the song if it was rocking - it had a button on one of the rocker blades - but tonight it was playing entirely on its own.

Playing for me.

I righted it, and the song ended. There was no more.

"That's strange," I muttered to myself, and I went back to cleaning the bins, the baskets, the dusty places under the cots... Until I heard it again. Those tinny, electric bells.

Deee deee deeee deee DEEE DEEEEEE DEEEEEEE... deeeee deeee deee deee DEEE DEEE DEEEEEE!!!!

I looked to the rocking horse who sat still, grinning its cold, dead grin, but the music wasn't coming from it. No, this time it was a grimy plush star toy. The tune was "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star." Again, playing on its own.

My blood turned to ice, and on my arms rose fields of goose pimples.

"My God," I thought as I gripped my mop protectively. "Those are both the EXACT SAME SONG."

True story.
posted by katillathehun at 10:01 AM on December 5, 2008 [13 favorites]


felix betachat: I can kind of hear the Lily Allen similarity you're talking about, but nowhere near as much as her song sounds like it's ripping off "Karma Police."

Secondly, while I truly do understand the Coldplay hate, I don't share in it, and it seems obvious to me that "Viva la Vida" is objectively superior to "If I Could Fly." Sadly, that's not the test for copyright cases. Fortunately for Coldplay, the similarity between these two songs is as much of a stretch as between Hall & Oates and Nelly Furtado, and the timing of this thing makes it come across as an opportunistic and frivolous suit (serious, the song's been fucking ubiquitous for a year now, and the suit gets filed the day after Coldplay gets 7 Grammy nominations for it? Really, Joe?)

I hope Coldplay chooses to fight it, wins, and then gives whatever money they choose to a charitt of their own choice. When people settle lawsuits just because it's easier than fighting for the just outcome, everybody doesn't win, except for in the same manner as "everybody wins" when I give the mugger my wallet and the mugger magnanimously doesn't shoot me. Fuck Joe Satriani. He deserves to lose this one.
posted by Navelgazer at 10:07 AM on December 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


CVS stole their 3 note melody from NBC.

doo DOO Doo
posted by JBennett at 10:09 AM on December 5, 2008


When I was little, my dad's favorite radio station played almost exclusively Easy Listening instrumental versions of popular music -- Michael Jackson with violins replacing the vocals, or Madonna with a guitar instead of vocals, that sort of thing. It was hideous. The original pop song wasn't great, but the instrumental version was like the lame, inoffensive version.

So while listening to these two songs it hit me, and I understand why Satriani is pissed: Coldplay has retroactively turned Satriani into the Easy Listening version of Coldplay. That's gotta hurt!
posted by LordSludge at 10:09 AM on December 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


I was also immediately distracted by the music sharing site the original post linked to:

Songza

As others pointed out, they appear to simply be embedding music players from imeem, a site which does play licensing for songs it streams. (I don't understand Songza's statements about it's own music licensing.)

Is Songza offering something of value built on top of the work of imeem? Wouldn't it be easier just to go to imeem directly?
posted by jca at 10:12 AM on December 5, 2008


If Traditional ever comes a knockin' all the blues and folk singers are fucked.
posted by Pollomacho at 10:13 AM on December 5, 2008 [4 favorites]


It's always sad to see bland artists accusing other bland artists of stealing their bland songs.

It would really suck to be on the jury, because you'd have to ask them to keep replaying both songs over again because they're both so instantly fogetable.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 10:19 AM on December 5, 2008


Actually, that Satriani cut would make a smokin' hot music bed for a free spirited, girl-on-the-go feminine hygiene product.
posted by Slack-a-gogo at 10:22 AM on December 5, 2008 [4 favorites]


The only thing Coldplay could do to suck more would be to copy Joe Satriani.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:29 AM on December 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


This presupposes that Chris Martin has actually listened to Joe Satriani. This post was the first time I have.
posted by eperker at 10:32 AM on December 5, 2008


I could take everything Dark Messiah said about Satriani and apply it to Primus. The first time I heard them I thought, "Huh, that's pretty interesting, playing a bass like that. Never heard that before." But over time all that pliggety-pliggety math rock starting sounding like the aural equivalent of a 12-year-old riding his bike without holding the handlebars, whizzing back and forth in front of you, shrieking "Look at me! Look at meeee!" Yeah, I get it, you can play many notes per measure. But each song sounds the same, and none of them make me feel anything. And that buzzing, mosquito-like guitar flitting around pointlessly in the background didn't help, either. I will readily admit that they have a great drummer, though. It'd be nice to see him with a band more interested in music than time signatures (which would leave out Rush or Tool).

Ah ... now I feel better.

Oh, and Satriani sueing Coldplay for copyright infringement boggles my mind. I can imagine Chris Martin getting his inspiration from Phil Collins, David Grey, John Denver, or a glass of warm milk. But Satriani?
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:35 AM on December 5, 2008 [4 favorites]


Sounds like time for battle of the bands! Winner picks a charity, loser must give it cash!
posted by jeffburdges at 10:37 AM on December 5, 2008


Satriani is suing Coldplay for their shitty song which could be considered a variation of his shitty song? Sweet.
posted by Chuffy at 10:46 AM on December 5, 2008


Isn't the real outrage that Nirvana ripped off Boston's More Than a Feeling for Smells Like Teen Spirit? No justice, no peace.

I always thought it sounded more like J Geils' Love Stinks, myself.
posted by rocket88 at 10:53 AM on December 5, 2008


Coming soon: Adam Ant pirate suit piracy suit.
posted by Sys Rq at 10:53 AM on December 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


I can imagine Chris Martin getting his inspiration from Phil Collins, David Grey, John Denver, or a glass of warm milk. But Satriani?

You take that back about John Denver. Otherwise, yeah +5.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:13 AM on December 5, 2008


You take that back about John Denver.

As I think about it, he did once do battle with the PMRC, right alongside Frank Zappa and Jello Biafra. And he has been on The Muppet Show countless times.

Still, "You Fill Up My Senses" is pretty hard to forgive.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 11:21 AM on December 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


What really gets me is how people have different taste in music. This is obviously wrong.
posted by ersatz at 11:24 AM on December 5, 2008 [2 favorites]


I'm a casual fan of both--I prefer to see Satriani (holy shit, he's 52?) perform to see the musicianship between him and his band, and Coldplay does a really good job of putting me to sleep (let's save the discussion on whether or not that's a good thing for another thread, and for the record I see them mostly as Radioheadlite, and <3 Radiohead). And I've gotta say, I'm kinda siding with Joe on this one. The tempo and melody seem pretty spot on IMO.
posted by booticon at 11:24 AM on December 5, 2008


I liked Coldplay's version better. And those are words that never in 25 million years did I think I would write.
posted by googly at 11:33 AM on December 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


...I'm kinda siding with Joe on this one The tempo and melody seem pretty spot on IMO.

I think Lil Jon has a case here too!
posted by Dark Messiah at 11:57 AM on December 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Copyright infringement lawsuits: thank gawd they're always decided according to how much the commenters...er, judge likes the respective musics.
posted by nosila at 12:07 PM on December 5, 2008


"Livin' on a Prayer" and "Heaven Is a Place on Earth"?
posted by kirkaracha at 12:24 PM on December 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


It's hardly a new thing, of course, but I've never quite understood the hating on Coldplay. Or comparing them to Radiohead? I can not take you seriously anymore.
posted by kingbenny at 12:26 PM on December 5, 2008


It's hardly a new thing, of course, but I've never quite understood the hating on Coldplay.

Eh, "Clocks" is alright. I guess the complaint against them is the same as that made against Travis, Moby or Keane - that they make bland, diluted, pastel-colored music best suited for car commercials.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 12:34 PM on December 5, 2008


they make bland, diluted, pastel-colored music best suited for car commercials.

I realize that's what people say, and I'm by no means a big Coldplay fan, but in my mind I recognize theirs as considerably more talented music (and songwriting) than a huge percentage of what passes as 'pop' music in our culture and I respect that.

I get the impression a lot of people say Coldplay sucks because other people say Coldplay sucks.
posted by kingbenny at 12:57 PM on December 5, 2008


Maybe someone made a mash up of mid 90s electronica and tuval throat singing accompanied by authentic albino yak skin drums while sampling some harp prodigy from the 1930s who's only recorded work was painstakingly restored by the Library of Congress by reflecting sounds from a scratchy wire recording off the ionosphere.

I heard this last year. Needed a better beat. Now as to Satriani, the cover of Surfing With The Alien still looks killer airbrushed on the side of a van and Coldplay's "Clocks" is still lovely for putting me to sleep.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:21 PM on December 5, 2008


I heard this last year. Needed a better beat.

Let me guess, you didn't listen to it on its original wax cyllinders. Uncultured louts. Sigh. That's right, I SAID "sigh", that's how serious I am mister!
posted by Dark Messiah at 1:25 PM on December 5, 2008


ears hurt
posted by disclaimer at 1:32 PM on December 5, 2008


LEAVE JOE SATRIANI ALONE .... NOW!!!
posted by kcds at 1:34 PM on December 5, 2008


Wow. I saw the headline earlier "Guitarist sues Coldplay". I guess Satriani isn't big enough for name recognition anymore?
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 1:35 PM on December 5, 2008


jca, it's "something of value" built not just on imeem, but on youtube, seeqpod, and other music streamers. It's a stream search engine. It apparently works whether or not the original stream is legal.
posted by dhartung at 1:43 PM on December 5, 2008


Coldplay actually paid Kraftwerk for the right to steal the hook from Computer Talk. To date it's the best thing Coldplay's ever done.

It would not surprise me at all if Coldplay were a bit "over influenced" by Satriana's tune. But I think they did enough to make it just short of being legally relevant.
posted by cell divide at 1:46 PM on December 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Gah. While I dislike blatant theft of another artist's work, there's a long history of one artist creating appropriations and variations of another artist's themes and compositions. It seems to me that the past half-century's deification of "authenticity" hasn't led to better music; quite the contrary, it's been a boon for copyright lawyers. The settlement that Miles Davis would have had to pay for Dig would have bankrupted him.
posted by lekvar at 1:53 PM on December 5, 2008


First of all, while that Satriani song is lame, Satriani himself is not.

And the reason many of the other blues, R&B, and punk examples in this thread don't typically constitute infringement is because the chord progressions used in many of those songs are either long-established in blues music or are too simplistic to constitute an original song. if your song is a simple I IV V progression played in sixteenth notes, it isn't likely to be original.

In the example here, the similarity is not only the chords progression, but the melody and the rhythm, and it is for most of the song. Furthermore, unlike many R&B or blues musicians, Satriani is hardly an unknown to musicians, particularly guitarists. He is a platinum selling artist, signed to Sony, and most of you have probably heard many of his songs as backing tracks on TV, in video games and commercials. The reason most pop fans have not heard of him is because his songs are instrumentals, which get almost no airplay anywhere.
posted by Pastabagel at 2:04 PM on December 5, 2008 [3 favorites]


Man, does Satriani ever suck. I can't say as I've ever actually listened to one of his songs before. He's the freakin' Kenny G of guitar.
posted by Manhasset at 10:43 AM on December 5


Maybe you should, you know, listen to one of his songs then.
posted by Pastabagel at 2:07 PM on December 5, 2008


while that Satriani song is lame, Satriani himself is not.

Agree to disagree all day, but as somebody who actually HAS listened to quite a bit of his songs, yes, yes he is.

He is a platinum selling artist, signed to Sony, and most of you have probably heard many of his songs as backing tracks on TV, in video games and commercials.

Which is, apparently, the criteria usually used to call Coldplay lame.
posted by kingbenny at 2:15 PM on December 5, 2008


After listening to the song in Pastabagel's link, I now have a strong, almost desperate desire to go out and buy a Nintendo Power Glove.
posted by Atom Eyes at 2:32 PM on December 5, 2008


Coldplay is a crappy band. And they're kinda shitty musicians. I remember at some Grammy show a couple of years ago they sang one of their songs with the NY Philharmonic behind them playing along. My friends in the orchestra said the band was terrible and Chris couldn't hold a tune to save his life. Now, we understand he is not an opera singer (and plenty of opera stars can't hold pitch either) but even in rock and roll, a bad singer is a bad singer. Even Axl rose could hold pitch back in the day. Now he's all computerized. Coldplay fuckin sucks.
posted by ChickenringNYC at 2:43 PM on December 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


After listening to the song in Pastabagel's link, I now know why the music died.
posted by unSane at 2:48 PM on December 5, 2008


Wait a minute, didn't Coldplay already steal the song from these guys?
posted by gfrobe at 2:54 PM on December 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


ChickenringNYC: just curious (not defending anyone here) but aside from regurgitating your friends opinion on the band, what do you think? Also, without knowing the specifics of the sound setup, judging a band based on a novelty, one-off performance is being very narrow. I've never seen them live, but I'd give them a chance to see them in their normal live environment. There's a lot of stuff you couldn't pay me to listen to in recorded formats, but live, takes on a whole new life. (Making me wonder what the producers did to the fucking music.) I'd also see Satriani live, in a heartbeat.
posted by Dark Messiah at 2:55 PM on December 5, 2008


I've never seen them live, but I'd give them a chance to see them in their normal live environment.

That's the thing. I actually saw them just a few weeks ago and fully expected them not to sound great because of how much stuff I've heard and read about them. (I've always thought their records were not too bad, at least.) I have seen a lot of concerts, and I was almost blown away. They sounded really good that night.
posted by kingbenny at 3:04 PM on December 5, 2008


Navelgazer: Lily Allen may have stolen Karma Police, but in my opinion, Dido stole it first with 'Thank You'
posted by marmaduke_yaverland at 3:15 PM on December 5, 2008


Man, does Satriani ever suck. I can't say as I've ever actually listened to one of his songs before. He's the freakin' Kenny G of guitar.
posted by Manhasset at 10:43 AM on December 5

Maybe you should, you know, listen to one of his songs then.


Sorry, I thought it was clear that I DID listen to the track he's suing over. The one you linked to is hardly better. Boring guitar masturbation. His band members look about as tired of his nonsense as I felt.
posted by Manhasset at 3:30 PM on December 5, 2008


I'd like a side-by-side for the theme from Futurama and Mmm-Bop. I'm pretty sure the former is every second note of the latter.
posted by rifflesby at 4:00 PM on December 5, 2008


it seems obvious to me that "Viva la Vida" is objectively superior to "If I Could Fly."

What objective criteria make one song superior to another?

I've heard different arguments that either Mozart or Beethoven is superior, but they aren't even trying to do the same thing.

Sadly, that's not the test for copyright cases.

I'm glad copyright law is not based on something as amorphous as aesthetic taste.
posted by krinklyfig at 4:28 PM on December 5, 2008


In related news, Nickelback has announced that they are suing themselves for 254 counts of plagiarism.

I used to be a Satriani fan during my years of teenage self-assured good taste, and I still have most of his CDs. He's pretty entertaining in concert. I have to admit, the timing does make this seem like kind of a dick move. (I wonder if Joe would show astonishment at the idea that he would ever have listened to Coldplay before the Grammy nods. Zing!)

But ultimately I agree with edverb. The hooks are near-identical and the chord progression is exactly the same. Neither is necessarily damning on its own, but if Satriani's lawyers play some equivalent of the Youtube video in court, the defense may have a hard time of it.

Maybe RIAA members should use some of that lawsuit money to come up with a software algorithm that compares every newly recorded track against every published song still under copyright, then buy compulsory licenses for every matching song. I like to think that this would eliminate these types of lawsuits, but in fact, it would probably cause the RIAA to implode in a frenzy of legal shark attacks as its members accuse each other of thousands of newly discovered existing infringements.

On second thought, I'm okay with that, too.
posted by [user was fined for this post] at 4:35 PM on December 5, 2008


I could take everything Dark Messiah said about Satriani and apply it to Primus

Primus sucks.

(Does anyone even get that anymore?)

It'd be nice to see him with a band more interested in music than time signatures (which would leave out Rush or Tool).

Tool is excellent. I always thought of them as the band that Pearl Jam would be if they were better.
posted by krinklyfig at 4:35 PM on December 5, 2008


In related news, Nickelback has announced that they are suing themselves for 254 counts of plagiarism.

Aren't the late '90s were suing them for the same?
posted by krinklyfig at 4:42 PM on December 5, 2008


Pardon my mangled syntax ...
posted by krinklyfig at 4:43 PM on December 5, 2008


I always thought of them as the band that Pearl Jam would be if they were better.

Ah, Pearl Jam - the band from which music devolves.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:10 PM on December 5, 2008


Hysatrianical.
posted by bwg at 5:18 PM on December 5, 2008


kingbenny: "Which is, apparently, the criteria usually used to call Coldplay lame."

Hardly. I find them lame because they're well, a shit band with no emotion. Which is what a lot of people apparently enjoy.
posted by booticon at 7:25 PM on December 5, 2008


Marisa - why would you trick someone into listening to the first 7 seconds of Creed?
posted by cmoj at 9:13 PM on December 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Alphabet Song", my ass; it's Twinkle Twinkle Little Star, and you know it. You'll be hearing from my lawyers.

Not before you hear from mine.
(signed, W.A. Mozart)
posted by bitteroldman at 9:21 PM on December 5, 2008


Okay, just as long as everyone is clear that both the alphabet song and twinkle twinkle little star ripped off baa baa, black sheep have you any wool.
posted by chinston at 9:26 PM on December 5, 2008


Not before you hear from mine .
(signed, W.A. Mozart)


Goddamn. Now my mind is blown. The comments on that video are hilarious (in a good way). It's like they're from some alternate universe of kind, gentle Youtube users.
posted by chinston at 9:28 PM on December 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


All of these comments and no-one's bothered to accuse Coldplay off ripping of U2?

AM I THE ONLY ONE WHO SEES THIS?!
posted by grubi at 9:33 PM on December 5, 2008


I always wondered why Bo Diddley didn't just sue the shit out of everybody.

Johnny Marr about how How Soon is Now is a Diddley rip off, and how these "rip off" lawsuits are usually entirely bull and utterly nonsense, in a round about way, by just talking about music. Let's continue to destroy the creative process with glee and get sued for it.
posted by juiceCake at 9:45 PM on December 5, 2008


Both songs rip off "Feliz Navidad"; then again, the "Viva la Vida Loca" chorus rips off its own verses. It's the same four chords. Over and over. And over.

There should be a minimum level of creativity and innovation one achieves before one can accuse another of poaching it.
posted by kurumi at 10:16 PM on December 5, 2008


I have a sixth sense for these things, and I see Ray Parker Jr.'s hand in this somewhere.
posted by dhammond at 10:16 PM on December 5, 2008


@ kirkaracha Live, Orbital used to drop in cheesy 80s rock-lite tunes, even mixing those exact two tunes - Belinda Carlisle's "Heaven is a Place on Earth" and Bon Jovi's "Livin' on a Prayer", before dropping their beats back in...

It can be heard on the bonus disc of their album In-Sides...
posted by sneakyalien at 8:18 AM on December 6, 2008


As long as we're on the subject of shitty, derivative music ...

I didn't want to torture you people with two FPPs devoted to those musicians who push the envelope of what it means to be truly great, to be fully saturated in the heady nectar of genius.

I know we all loved The Hunger. But you know nothing about music, until you hear the aural mastery of Chris Dane Owen. I give you: "Shine On Me".

You're welcome.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 9:56 AM on December 6, 2008


I've enjoyed some Satch stuff over the years, but he reminds me of the technically more masterful (yet dickish) Yngwie. Yet I'd never say they have soul.

Lay down with some Stanley Clark, Jimmy Page, Stanley Jordan, or Gilmour for that.

Maybe the exact difference between "Creating Music" and "Playing Pretty" is what is always was... good drugs.
posted by Zangal at 9:52 PM on December 6, 2008


Incidentally, Viva La Vida was the #1 'scrobbled" track by users of social music platform Last FM, with 3,084,733 listens by 338,960 listeners.
posted by sneakyalien at 9:34 AM on December 7, 2008


Dark_Messiah:

If it wasnt clear already what I thought of the band, I think they are mediocre at BEST and squarely represent a lighter, cheaper, and dumbed-down version of a Radiohead-type band. And I'm a musician too, so I know that everyone has bad nights.. from rock bands, to jazz trios, to symphony orchestras. I was just trying to add a bit of actual storytelling since everyone on here is just like "Coldplay sucks!" or "Coldplay ain't bad." Well I have evidence of Coldplay sucking, and yes, I trust my friends, when I know they can be trusted. ;)
posted by ChickenringNYC at 8:11 AM on December 8, 2008


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