For some reason or another they were playing quite a few Kinks songs on the radio this morning. All very nice and the ones i knew the words to i sang along with and the ones i never i just hummed along to the tune. One of them was a song called 'Picture Book' that i have heard a few times before and kind of knew the tune to but it wasn't until halfway through and the rift had gone through my head a few times that i thought, Hang about, this tune is exactly the same as 'Warning' by Green Day. Unless my ears are very much mistaken, Green Day just lifted the tune wholesale and after checking if anyone else in Internetland had noticed it, bugger me if i don't stumble across another song that Green Day had lifted the tune from completely, Dillinger Four's 'Doublewhiskeycokenoice' which is American Idiot with different words. Not even subtle, it's exactly the same.
You would have to have ears drums made of brick to not here that The Beach Boys 'Surfin' USA' is Chuck Berry's 'Sweet Little Sixteen' but Berry's record company had to sue the Beach Boys who ludicrously denied nicking the tune and were told to give Berry co-writing credit for and royalties.
Other famous bands which have been sued for lifting tunes from other songs include The Beatles "All You Need Is Love" who had to pay royalties to Glenn Millers record company for stealing the tune to 'In the Mood,"
Using a trick he obviously learnt from his former bandmates, George Harrison was sued for plagiarising the Chiffons' "He's So Fine" for the melody of his "My Sweet Lord".
Avril Lavinge, Coldplay, The Bee Gees, Johnny Cash, Bruce Springsteen, Madonna and Led Zepplin have all been sued for plagiarising other peoples songs. Even Ray Parker Jnr who sang the Ghostbusters theme tune was sued for nicking the tune from a Huey Lewis song and Oasis were sued for $500,000 by The New Seekers after the song "Shakermaker" was shown to have used the melody from probably the most famous coke advert ever, "I'd Like to Teach the World to Sing".
Nirvana only escaped a lawsuit from Killing Joke for lifting the riff to "Come as You Are" by Kurt Cobain's early death so it seems everyone is at it but it doesn't make it right.
If you use a tune that someone else has written, don't try and take credit for it and make it clear that you didn't write it because somewhere someone will hear a song on the radio and say 'hang on, that's the same tune as...' and you just end up looking like an idiot, especially if you try to deny it.
Oh, and someone should really play Green Day's 'Warning' to Ray Davies and give him the number of a good lawyer because its so obviously plagiarism that he could start choosing a new yacht to replace the one the taxman took.