Euuu, what’s up with Coldplay and all the accusations they’ve accumulated about plagiarizing songs? Already in June they got accused of plagiarizing a band called the Creaky Boards for ‘Vida La Vida’. The singer of the Brooklyn indie band claimed that Chris Martin, Coldplay’s lead singer, attended one of their concerts and ‘really seemed into it’. The story made a lot of hulaballo at the time but Coldplay vigorously denied the claims and had some pretty good alibis on a legal standpoint, like having demoed ‘Viva La Vida’ a couple of months before. Fair enough, but hey, could kind of sound like the criminal coming back to the scene of the crime to me. Coldplays’ lawyer stated they didn’t wanted to engage in a ‘David vs. Goliath’ type of lawsuit and were ready to not pursue the indie band if they would back off, basically trying to come off as the good guys.
Here’s a mashup video Andrew Hoepfninski, the singer of the Creaky Boards (cool band byt the way), compiled and put on Youtube to show the similarities between both track:
Bah I don’t really know what to think about this. Yeah they are similar for sure but the songs are different enough in my opinion (oh by the way, the Creaky Board’s song is called ‘The Song I Didn’t Write :), and apparently Andrew H. did admit to the whole case possibly being a coincidence or something. But it doesn’t stop there.
I wouldn’t be claiming something is fishy about Coldplay if I hadn’t googled ‘Coldplay + plagiarism’. If you do so you’ll encounter quite a few articles and youtube vids putting Coldplay in the spotlight for music theft. This is a very delicate issue ’cause god knows that virtually all chord and melodic progression have been used and abused in the world of modern music.
Actually I started looking deeper into this when I was browsing through Yahoo’s music/entertainment/news section and saw that Joe Satriani was yet another artist to accuse Coldplay of steeling melodies. Now this is very compelling. Not only does Joe have a solid case here, but he also has the juice to fight it.
As the video’s editor states, both the melody and the chord progression are the same. Worse even is the fact that the tempo and scale weren’t even altered. But still, if you listen to Satriani’s full version, you’ll probably end up by thinking that both songs don’t have that much in common (so this video is kind of biased). Wonder how that’s gonna turn out.
So now Coldplay are really in the line of fire. And of course there’s more like a 83 year old Dutch man by the name of Peter Van Houten (alias Peter Van Wood) who accused Coldplay of plagiarism, in respect of the song ‘Clocks’ last year (funny video for a funny claim, but if Joe has a case, why wouldn’t Van Wood?). Some very strong similarities between Ashlee Simpsons’ ‘Eyes Wide Open’ and Coldplay’s ‘Square One’ also smell funny. Even a french pop singer called Alize has a song who’s chord progression is extremely similar to ‘Vida la Vida’ ‘s. All of this riff copying is making my head hurt.
But I guess what really gets me suspicious is probably this interview Chris Martin gave to Rolling Stone magazine in June of 2005 for ‘X & Y’ ‘s release:
“We’re definitely good, but I don’t think you can say we’re that original,” he notes. “I regard us as being incredibly good plagiarists”