The Ripoff Jukebox

Friday, November 21, 2008

Giving Thanks for Pets

Henry Smith, "Give Thanks" (performed by Don Moen)
Pet Shop Boys, "Go West"

This is the weirdest one I've ever done or heard. You've got the praise song preceding the punk pop song . . . add that to the fact that I realized the ripoff was in progress by listening to sports talk radio, and it's just odd. But it's worth a listen. 

Friday, July 18, 2008

Bringing Elton Back

Elton John, "Madman across the Water"
Justin Timberlake, "What Goes Around"

I'd say this is one of the more subtle ripoffs, but the more I listen, the more I hear it. Elton is worthy of ripping off, and Justin made a better choice than what you'd expect from the Mouseketeer. But all in all, I still think music might be the weakest of Justin's talents. I just don't get the music from him. He's funny. He can dance. And he's got that charisma that just makes people forgive him for whatever shlock he puts on a record . . . as opposed to Sir Elton who gets away with everything about himself because his music is that good.

Anyway, check out the ripoff and see what you think.

Friday, June 6, 2008

25 or Brain Stew

Chicago, "25 or 6 to 4"
Green Day, "Brain Stew"

I think the similarities between these two songs vanishes after about 13 seconds, but for those first 13 seconds the songs swing in sweet sonic symbiotism. Chicago and Green Day, together at last. You wouldn't think Green Day would rip off jazz rock for a grunge punk riff, but maybe the two bands have more in common than I realized. You be the judge.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Stand by Those Beautiful Girls

Ben E. King, "Stand by Me"
Sean Kingston, "Beautiful Girls"

David Archuleta exposed this one for me, although my brother has apparently been offended by this ripoff transgression for quite some time. My brother's right. This ripoff is so egregious, someone should be punished . . . I recommend Archuleta, just because. Sampling is common, and I have no problem with it. But this isn't the sampling of a hook in the song. Kingston just recorded his song directly over the musical track of King's song. It's the musical equivalent of eating an entire 5-gallon bucket of Baskin Robbins with one of those little pink spoons. Heck, you could sing "Beautiful Girls" at a Karaoke Bar just by asking for "Stand by Me." This is the worst ripoff since Vanilla Ice denied any link to "Under Pressure" . . . I'm just ashamed it took me so long to notice it.

Monday, May 5, 2008

The Price Is Blind

"Price Is Right Theme"
Stevie Wonder, "Do I Do"

I have a pretty good feeling that Bob Barker was doing his thing before Stevie Wonder was Do I Doing his, but it's painful to think the musical genius that is Stevie Wonder would rip off a syndicated gameshow. Nevertheless, there was ripping going on, for sure.

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Dylan vs. Diamond

Wallflowers, "Sleepwalker"
Neil Diamond, "Solitary Man"

With all the Neil Diamond - Bob Dylan comparisons I've been making, I can't believe it took me this long to post this musical ripoff, which is not my original observation, but an old carpool mate. Enjoy.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Mayer vs. Cooke

John Mayer, "I'm Gonna Find Another You"
Sam Cooke, "You Send Me"

John Mayer slowed it down a little bit, but check it out . . . total ripoff. Or spinoff. But, as I've said before, ripoff is so scintillating and scandalous, it's yummy.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Elton John vs. Counting Crows

Elton John, "Daniel"
Counting Crows, "Holiday in Spain"

This is one of those that is a long way from ripoff status . . . heavy influence at best, and I'm just taking a guess. But I like the guess. And as Heavy Musical Influences isn't nearly as scintillating as calling it a ripoff, I'm calling it a ripoff. Elton John's "Daniel," to me seems like it may have served as a musical inspiration for the Counting Crows' "Holiday in Spain." For the sake of argument, I'll say that Elton is singing from the point of view of the one left behind, and Adam is the one doing the leaving. Check it out and tell me what you think. See a link there? For what it's worth, I love both songs, so I hold the Crows to the musical ripoff flames with the highest respect.

Friday, February 8, 2008

All I Need

Mat Kearney, "All I Need"
Shawn McDonald, "All I Need"
Radiohead, "All I Need"
Jack Wagner, "All I Need"

Okay, these aren't actually ripoffs, other than that all these songs have the same title. I got the first one stuck in my head, which aggravated me to no end because the only lyrics I can ever remember are, "All I Need is just a little more time to be sure what I feel." Drives me nuts. Anyway, I thought I'd pass the aggravation on to you by adding the song to my playlist. But in my search for the song, I found loads of other artists who have recorded tracks called "All I Need." And while I wouldn't go so far as to call them clones of each other, at least three of them seemed to have the same vibe as the song I was looking for. I guess it sounded to me like they all had an assignment in music class to write a song called "All I Need" that was melancholy while making a vain attempt to be upbeat. Go figure.

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Hulk vs. James Blunt

I've been sitting on this one for a long time. I have no idea if James Blunt has ever acknowledged the true source of his only hit's melody, but I know where he got it.

I submit for your comparing pleasure, "The Lonely Man Theme" from the 1980s television series, The Incredible Hulk and JB's sapfest, "You're Beautiful." Please note, the Hulk theme is a YouTube submission that has some Enya thrown in somewhere in the middle of the homemade montage, but you'll get the idea.


James Blunt

Monday, January 14, 2008

Mayer vs. Winwood (vs. Petty)

John Mayer, "Say"
Steve Winwood, "Back in the High Life Again"
Tom Petty, "Free Fallin'"

I think I should preface this post by saying, I like musical ripoffs. I like when you can follow the melody, rhythm, spirit of a song from one artist's rendering to the next. I believe imitation really is the sincerest form of flattery. Of course, if you imitate only yourself (yes, I'm talking about you, Third Eye Blind) that's another story.

Today's ripoff comes to us from "Say," John Mayer's contribution to The Bucket List soundtrack. It sounds remarkably like Steve Winwood's "Back in the High Life Again." As was the case with the Matchbox 20 ripoff, there's a symmetry between the messages of each song. The Modern English song whispered hopefully, "I've seen the future, and it's getting better all the time," while Rob Thomas bemoaned, "I believe the world is coming to an end." In this pair, Steve Winwood is the voice of hope promising that "all the doors I closed one time will open up again." John Mayer counters with the warning to "say what you need to say," while there is still time to say it.

I like both messages. I like the idea of reclaiming a broken past and enjoying life to the fullest. But I also appreciate the warning not to take any days for granted. It's good to be hopeful for tomorrow. And it's good to express your feelings as if tomorrow might not happen.

And now I just can't get around adding this one.

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Matchbox 20 vs. Modern English

Matchbox 20, "How Far We've Come"
Modern English, "Melt with You"

Today Addison was doing one of the odd things that drive me crazy. Nothing bad, just . . . he sings songs, and I can't tell if he made them up or he heard them somewhere. The song tonight went like this: "SOMEDAY, I'll be a firefighter. SOMEDAY, I'll be a man." The tune was kind of catchy. It sounded real enough. But when I asked him where he heard it, he said he didn't know. When I asked him if he made it up, he said he didn't know. So neither of us know, but it bothers me alone.

But that got me thinking of a musical clone I noticed on the radio recently. The Mix 101.9 had Modern English and Matchbox 20 in their daily 15-song rotation, and the station was on all day in our house. But I had trouble distinguishing these two songs. Check 'em out.