6 Reasons Why Coldplay Are Guilty of Plagiarism | Evolvor.com

6 Reasons Why Coldplay Are Guilty of Plagiarism

LONDON - JUNE 16:  Chris Martin of Coldplay pe...Let’s be honest here. I don’t like Coldplay. Never have, most likely never will.

However, when I heard that they were being sued for plagiarism by Joe Satriani, I found it hard to believe. I just couldn’t see Coldplay stealing from someone like Satch. And, since there are also so many notes to go around in music, accusations of plagiarism nothing new.

Since this whole mess started, people like to point the unintentional similarities between George Harison’s “My Sweet Lord” and The Chiffon’s “He’s So Fine”. It happens to the best of artists, even my beloved Pearl Jam was accused by Robert Plant that “Given To Fly” ripped off Zeppelin’s “Going To California. But, we’re dealing with a seemingly unoriginal band here, and with each new report that comes out, the worse it looks for Coldplay.

So, here are the six reasons why Coldplay is guilty of plagiarism.

6. Coldplay were already were already accused of plagiarism.

Back in June of this year an unknown band from New York, Creaky Boards, accused Coldplay of stealing the melody to their track “The Songs I Didn’t Write”. Oddly enough, the song in question was Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida”, the same song in question right now. Anyways, Creaky Boards believed that Chris Martin yanked the melody after he popped up in a small New York City club and heard the song. However, Coldplay’s camp said that Martin was in the UK and had also written the track seven months before the Creaky Boards song. By now, it seems obvious that this is a coincidence and that perhaps Creaky Boards were trying to grab some free publicity. But, the songs do sound similar and sometimes it’s hard to shake off being accused of stealing someone else’s song. What this story really did was bring to people’s attention that “Viva La Vida” sounded more like Satriani’s “If I Could Fly”.

5. Chris Martin admits that he ripped off Jeff Buckley.

I read yesterday (Dec. 18), Chris Martin say this in an interview with the BBC, “It’s a blatant Jeff Buckley attempt,” referring to Coldplay’s track “Shiver” from their debut album Parachutes. I hadn’t heard this song for years, so I forgot how it went. I searched around to find out what Buckley song Martin was talking. Ah, bu to no avail. So, I sucked it up and listened to “Shiver” on YouTube, and immediately heard some of Buckley’s “So Real”. The songs are similar, but not close enough for legal action.

What makes this interesting are two things. The first being that Martin is involved in a plagiarism suit right now and pretty much admits that he’s ripped off music before. Yeah, that was a smart move. The other interesting point, is that it’s OK to be influenced by someone else, but don’t rip them off. “Shiver” does sound like “So Real” to me, but some jackass will come up and say that Buckley influenced Radiohead. Yes, this is true, but Radiohead created their own piece of work. Take for example “Fake Plastic Trees”, Thom Yorke saw Buckley and was moved by his voice, so Yorke went into the studio and recorded the vocals in Buckley type style. Still, the lyrics, music, melody, etc. are all Radiohead.

Speaking of Radiohead…

4. Chris Martin admits that Coldplay have ripped off Radiohead.

Anyone that has ever heard of Radiohead knows this as fact. Coldplay have pretty much built their career on being Radiohead Lite. However, at a free show in London on June 16, 2008, Martin joked with the crowd that the band’s “God Put a Smile on Your Face” sounded a bit too much like Radiohead’s “2+2=5”. Martin has also said many times over that there would be no Coldplay if there was no Radiohead. I guess that’s kind of humbling.

Once again, it’s OK to share your influences when you’re a band. The Stones, Zeppelin and Eric Clapton were heavily influenced by blues acts like Robert Johnson. Pearl Jam has been influenced by The Who, The Ramone and The Beatles. But overall, these acts are their own original bands. No one has ever said that Pearl Jam is The Who Lite. And, if you were being too closely associated with another act, then you evolve. Remember when Stone Temple Pilots were crowned Pearl Jam rip-offs? What did they do? STP went out and grew into a completely different band, I’m talking about the band’s third album Tiny Music… here. The point is that it’s great to show your musical influences, but you still need to be yourself. A lesson Coldplay still hasn’t learned.

3. Martin jokes about Satriani rip-off before anything happened.

Back in October Coldplay performed on Nissan Live Sets. While it’s not really worth recalling unless you’re a Coldplay fan, the most interesting tidbit from this performance is the fan Q&A where Martin makes a joke about being sued by “Moe Batriani”. OK, so what’s the big deal? Well, Martin made this jab almost two months before the shit hit the fan.

Fast forward to about the 3:42 mark and see for yourself.

2. EMI pulls Coldplay/Satriani comparison off YouTube.

Someone was clever enough to make a YouTube video comparing “Viva La Vida” and “If I Could Fly”. And, the video got a lot of attention. Then early this week, Coldplay’s label EMI forced the video to be pulled. Some folks aren’t exactly sure why, but believe that there are two reasons. The first being that EMI is pissed that Coldplay did rip off Satch. The second being that the video could influence a court’s decision.

I highly doubt that a fan made YouTube clip would influence the court. There is no way in hell that Satch’s lawyers would play that clip and expect a ruling based around it, or having the clip influence people’s opinion. I’m sure they would need a lot more evidence. If anything, I’m buying into the first theory. EMI knows something ain’t right.

By the way, if you look hard enough, then you can still find the video. So if you haven’t seen it, or want to see it again, check out right here.

1. Music theory breaks down the obvious.

Check out this clip where music theory proves that the two tracks are very similar.

You can check out this dude’s site to see the rest of the verdict.

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Image by Getty Images via Daylife

Eric Hebert

Founder and Lead Digital Strategist

2 Responses

  1. TheAntiHeroHimself says:

    Seriously, i never liked coldplay, not for personal reasons, i just don’t like their music at all, as far as any hearing of a coldplay song on the radio prompts me to immediately change the radio channel or turn it off [And not many songs/bands make me do that]. Even though I’ve always respected any band who at least made their own music, and could perform well, both live and in studio, this is just sad. Like, i thought Viva La Vida was the first scandal of this type concerning the band, which was still sort of vague to me, but like, reading this, there is no doubt, something is, in FACT, very obviously wrong, even to the naive eye. Someone should send a link of that famous comparison video to Satriani’s fan mail or something. I sure hope he wins the trial, good luck Satch!

    And for those people who call Satriani’s music “half music” (because of its lack of vocals), well, I’ve never heard Cold Play shred some gut busting solos, hmm? Maybe those people are just too shallow and have to feel so personally affected by this lawsuit that they must defend their favorite band at all costs. Well, i hope that after reading this whole thing(referring to Albert Costill’s article) that you realize that the facts are pretty straight forward, and that denying it all and saying “Cold Play is so much better than Satriani” isn’t gonna fix anything. And no, Joe Satriani’s band isn’t my favorite band, far from that, but i do enjoy listening to their music now and then, so I’m not defending my favorite band, far from that, I’m just giving my support to Satch. Go Satriani!

  2. jason nady says:

    10bucks says u never listened to coldplay songs
    making assumptions from what others have said huh?
    well too bad
    your missing out