17 Songs That Blatantly Rip Off Other Songs

Imitation is flattery, or something like that. Or influence? That’s the nice word for it.

1. Green Day basically copied The Kinks’ “Picture Book” for their song “Warning.”

Green Day, “Warning”

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The Kinks, “Picture Book”

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2. James Murphy jacked the main hook in LCD Soundsystem’s “North American Scum” from Pete Shelley’s “Homosapien.”

LCD Soundsystem, “North American Scum”

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Pete Shelley, “Homosapien”

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3. Elastica borrowed liberally from at least four Wire songs in their career, but they’re most famous for using the riff from “Three Girl Rhumba” for their hit “Connection.”

Elastica, “Connection”

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Wire, “Three Girl Rhumba”

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4. Blur’s Damon Albarn was forced to give David Bowie a cowriter credit on “M.O.R.” because it so closely resembled “Boys Keep Swinging.”

Blur, “M.O.R.”

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David Bowie, “Boys Keep Swinging”

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5. Same goes for Chris Martin, who had to give Kraftwerk credit for cowriting Coldplay’s “Talk,” which straight-up steals the keyboard hook from “Computer Love.”

Coldplay, “Talk”

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Kraftwerk, “Computer Love”

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6. Pavement borrowed a lot from The Fall on their debut album, but it’s impossible not to notice how much “Conduit for Sale!” sounds like “New Face in Hell.”

Pavement, “Conduit for Sale!”

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The Fall, “New Face in Hell”

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7. The melody of The Flaming Lips’ “Fight Test” is pretty much exactly the same as Cat Stevens’ “Father and Son.” Stevens won a settlement and now receives 75% of all royalties on the song.

The Flaming Lips, “Fight Test”

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Cat Stevens, “Father and Son”

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8. Sublime’s Bradley Nowell basically rewrote The Beatles’ “Lady Madonna” as “What I Got.”

Sublime, “What I Got”

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The Beatles, “Lady Madonna”

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9. Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way” closely resembles Madonna’s “Express Yourself.”

Lady Gaga, “Born This Way”

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Madonna, “Express Yourself”

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10. The New Seekers successfully sued Oasis for using the melody of their biggest hit in “Shakermaker.”

Oasis, “Shakermaker”

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The New Seekers, “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing”

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11. Arcade Fire’s “Keep the Car Running” sounds suspiciously similar to John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band’s “On the Dark Side,” but in fairness, that song was kind of a Bruce Springsteen rip to begin with.

Arcade Fire, “Keep the Car Running”

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John Cafferty and the Beaver Brown Band, “On the Dark Side”

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12. How did no one in Pearl Jam notice how much the melody of “Given to Fly” sounds like Led Zeppelin’s “Going to California”?

Pearl Jam, “Given to Fly”

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Led Zeppelin, “Going to California”

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13. This song by The Offspring is like a bad Weird Al version of The Beatles’ “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da.”

The Offspring, “Why Don’t You Get a Job?”

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The Beatles, “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”

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14. Nirvana almost didn’t release “Come As You Are” as a single because it so closely resembled Killing Joke’s “Eighties.”

Nirvana, “Come As You Are”

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Killing Joke, “Eighties”

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15. The guitar hook of Jarvis Cocker’s “Black Magic” is a shameless lift from “Crimson and Clover.”

Jarvis Cocker, “Black Magic”

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Tommy James and the Shondells, “Crimson and Clover”

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16. Both Wilco and Stereolab have based songs on the “motorik” rhythm of Neu!’s classic krautrock song “Hallogallo.”

Wilco, “Spiders (Kidsmoke)”

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Stereolab, “Exploding Head Movie”

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Neu!, “Hallogallo”

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