Similar Sounding Songs

A side by side comparison of songs that sound like other songs.

Ever notice a song whose melody sounds remarkably similar to some other song? I seem to be afflicted by a birth defect that makes me notice these songs all the time. So I’ve compiled this list of songs that sound like other songs. In compiling this list, my goal is to present excerpts of the songs in question and leave any other determinations up to you, the listener. I make no claims that anyone here ripped off anyone else, because I (as a songwriter myself) have borrowed ideas and techniques from other artists many times.

Bob Marley got the middle part of Buffalo Soldier from the Banana Splits? (Go to 1:15)

13 Comments

  1. The similiarity comes around 1:15 not 1:30 – at least that’s where I found the closest resemblance between the two songs

  2. Um, for some reason when it’s embedded it counts backwards. When I listened to it on YouTube the counter was going forward which is why I said it’s at 1:30. So we’re both right. But you’re more right since most people will view it on here.

  3. This is one of my ‘things’, so much so that I’m planning to do a site on it too. One day, if I’m really, really lucky, I may even have time to do it.

    A couple of my favourites:
    Janet Jackson’s Together Again – Sonic the Hedgehog level music (level 2/3 of the original Sega megadrive version, IIRC (anyone know where I can find all the Sonic music?))

    Red Hot Chili Pepper’s Danni California – Starts off very briefly as Blur’s Country House before changing its mind and becoming Tom Petty’s Last Dance with Mary Jane

    LeAnn Rimes’s Can’t Fight the Moonlight – Aqua’s Barbie Girl

    YouTube swapped the counter about a couple of months ago from being “elapsed/total” to “remaining”. Damned annoying, not least because it wasn’t exactly rocket science to see how much time was remaining the old way. If they’re sensible, there’ll be a parameter you can set in the embedding code to put it back… but who knows?

  4. Tangent:

    Did anyone else see that link on Kottke a bit back about Nickleback? It is a recent single and one from two years ago, each played in their own left/right channel at the same time.

    Damn near identical groove, drums and vocalization.

  5. Back when I was a DJ, I played snippets of The Beatles’ “Ob la di, ob la da” and The Offspring’s “Why Don’t You Get a Job?” I got a few angry calls for pointing out the truth of how much The Offspring sucks.

  6. Unfortunately I’m too old and boring to know who anyone is in the charts these days so I cannot give any good examples. But during the past few months I must have commented to the kids working in my local café at least 4 times that the music they’re playing is a shameless ripoff of either Hendrix, The Stones or somebody. I mean lines that are lifted straight out of classic tracks.

    But none of them have ever heard of Hendrix or The Rolling Stones. Or anybody prior to 2005 when they graduated from high school.

    I’m making an effort to stop pointing out these kinds of things so as not to annoy them to death.

  7. Gorckat: http://www.thewebshite.net/nickelback.htm

    Not sure I agree though, the vocal melody is by no means ‘damn near identical’, and it’s the way that that interacts with backing chords that makes a song, more than anything else. If you’re singing a song to yourself, it’s only the vocal melody you’re using, not even that interaction. Backing has to be really quite distinctive to make it into what you sing to yourself when remembering the song.

    The groove and the drums are fairly interdependant too, so it’s down to being just the groove. Fair enough, but that’s what gives a band a distinct style. This is closer than most, but still.

    The chords I googled for the songs are different too, in a different pattern regardless of key, and the first song uses the same chords for verse and chorus, but the second has seperate chords for the chorus.

    Also, I think that This is how you remind me has been chopped about to fit the other one. I don’t know for sure, but listening to just the left channel it didn’t sound how I remembered it from the time. The second one definately has, as there’s a solo to that one according to the tabs.

    The guys who made the flash missed an obvious pun too, an inexcusable sin when trying to diss someone with sarcastic flash movies. “This is how you remind me… of Someday” or similar 😉

    All in all close, and a bit lazy, but hardly deserving of being labelled the same song. All IMHO of course.

    I’ll leave you all with a fantasticly clear demonstration of how vocal melody counts for more than backing, with the added bonus that it’s hilarious:
    http://youtube.com/watch?v=JdxkVQy7QLM
    (Comparisons start at 2 mins, then again at 3:30, but listen to it all to get the full effect)

  8. The “Banana Splits” thing might have been on purpose…maybe Marley’s kids liked the show at the time…I think some of this “copies” may be deliberate homages or parodies.

  9. Ok this is a new one but listen to the intro to “Love Story” by Taylor Swift and then listen to the intro to “Cousin Kevin” by The Who. Very close!!

  10. No one has apparently noticed that One Day by: Trading Yesterday (Who is now The Age of Information) sounds so much like Wherever You Will Go by: The Calling. Listen to it. It’s soo crazy.

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