Chris Martin... plagiarist?


Music & Audio

Liberty's Edge

(Reposted from this article on ultimate-guitar.com):

David Lowe-Bianco wrote:

Being accused of plagiarism is not something any band wants to go through especially when the accused song was one of the biggest songs of the year and is up for three Grammy awards and the accuser is seeking “any and all profits” the band has made from the song.

In response to guitarist Joe Satriani’s accusations that Coldplay’s song "Viva La Vida" features "substantial original portions" of his own song, "If I Could Fly", Coldplay released a statement on their website to share their side of the argument.

"With the greatest possible respect to Joe Satriani, we have now unfortunately found it necessary to respond publicly to his allegations," the band writes. "If there are any similarities between our two pieces of music, they are entirely coincidental, and just as surprising to us as to him. Joe Satriani is a great musician, but he did not write or have any influence on the song Viva La Vida. We respectfully ask him to accept our assurances of this and wish him well with all future endeavors."

Satriani is filing a lawsuit against the band and is seeking a jury trial for damages and all profits that the band has incurred from the song.

A comparison of "Viva La Vida" and "If I Could Fly" can be found here.

A mash-up of the two songs can be found here.

Spoilered due to bias on the part of Mr. Shiny:

Spoiler:
Personally, the two songs sound better mashed up than by themselves. I mean, Joe Satriani's cool and all, but Coldplay just... isn't good. The mashup actually seems to bring out the best qualities of both, though.


Quite entertaining...thanks, Shiny.

Liberty's Edge

heh heh.....smurfin' with the alien.

Scarab Sages

Close but not enough to sue. Maybe Satriani is just looking to jump start his career.

Scarab Sages

Cold Play?

Scarab Sages

Cat Stevens + Enanitos Verdes (actually hearing this one, I'm sure I've watched an anime with a similar opening or closing song, may have to investigate) + Alizee + Joe Satriani + Creaky Boards = Coldplay

Seriously they've been accused of copying all five with the same damn song, I just find it kind of hilarious.

Write a good, catchy melody and there's a good chance others will have written something similar for at least a phrase or two. Particularly if you're a band like Coldplay who tend to base their songs off really very simple melodies and chord progressions. Exactly the kind of melodies and chord progressions say... a guitar virtuoso might go for to get maximum flexibility for awesome improv and soloing?

I agree that mashup is a fair bit better than either song on their own. I'd love to hear it done properly.

Incidentally the comments on that Ultimate Guitar article make both the musician and the mathematician in me cry.

Scarab Sages

Ubermench wrote:
Close but not enough to sue. Maybe Satriani is just looking to jump start his career.

That's the strange thing, a lot of people consider Satriani to be one of the greatest living guitarists. He's not massively famous in the mainstream since all his stuff is instrumental, but he's got a big following, has been nominated for a load of grammys, has worked with some really famous artists, and taught several more (he taught Kirk Hammett of Metallica for instance). Check out his Wikipedia bio if you want all the details. It seems unlikely that he would feel the need for the jumpstart...


Last I heard Satriani is playing with Hagar's Cabo Wabo crew (I think they were recently in St Louis or are going to be there shortly). I wonder if he's not involved in the controversy at all...maybe some lawyers/agents/insurance companies.

I like Summer Song and a few off Surfin with the Alien, but for my money Tony McAlpine is the original!

Dark Archive

Meh. Satriani needs to get himself a vocalist if he wants to go mainstream. Eddie Van Halen will always sound a million times better to me because he's got some idiot up in front making noise from his mouth.

Instrumentals with vocals? Cool. A cappella-style words without instruments? Cool. Instruments without vocals? Lifeless noise, to my ear. I don't get to participate in the music, I get to just sit there like a lump, admiring the cold mechanical precision of it all. Yawn.

And yeah, Coldplay. Whatever. If I were Joe Satriani, I'd pick someone with a cooler sound to claim was ripping off my sound.

Liberty's Edge

What's with all the Coldplay hate? I think they're awesome.


Makes me wonder if EMI is Coldplay's label. The video links have been taken down.

Liberty's Edge

Andrew Turner wrote:
What's with all the Coldplay hate? I think they're awesome.

I think it's because to a lot of people, their songs all sound the same, or at least similar. But, if anyone thinks that their song(s) is (are) good, that's all cool too. I don't hate Coldplay- I just prefer to listen to other music.

Spoiler:
I actually have their song "Clocks" on my computer- it brings back some good memories from around when the song came out.

Paizo Employee Director of Brand Strategy

Coldplay is Radiohead for dumb people. I also couldn't care less if they rip off other artists. They're a non-entity to me.

Set wrote:
Instrumentals with vocals? Cool. A cappella-style words without instruments? Cool. Instruments without vocals? Lifeless noise, to my ear. I don't get to participate in the music, I get to just sit there like a lump, admiring the cold mechanical precision of it all. Yawn.

I think you might not have listened to the right instrumental music. My all-time favorite song, and one which pulls extremely strong emotion from me in whatever mood I might be in, is Frank Zappa's instrumental "Watermelons in Easter Hay" from Joe's Garage. If I'm happy it elates me, if I'm sad it allows me to feel the full texture of my depression. There's more passion in that song, even without words, than any other song I have ever heard. Given the story of the album and where the song fits into that it's even more powerful.


Mark Moreland wrote:

Coldplay is Radiohead for dumb people. I also couldn't care less if they rip off other artists. They're a non-entity to me.

Set wrote:
Instrumentals with vocals? Cool. A cappella-style words without instruments? Cool. Instruments without vocals? Lifeless noise, to my ear. I don't get to participate in the music, I get to just sit there like a lump, admiring the cold mechanical precision of it all. Yawn.
I think you might not have listened to the right instrumental music. My all-time favorite song, and one which pulls extremely strong emotion from me in whatever mood I might be in, is Frank Zappa's instrumental "Watermelons in Easter Hay" from Joe's Garage. If I'm happy it elates me, if I'm sad it allows me to feel the full texture of my depression. There's more passion in that song, even without words, than any other song I have ever heard. Given the story of the album and where the song fits into that it's even more powerful.

Joe's Garage, awesome stuff. That and Faith No More's Woodpecker from Mars. Those two songs are good for getting out of my reactionary brain.


Mark Moreland wrote:
Coldplay is Radiohead for dumb people. I also couldn't care less if they rip off other artists. They're a non-entity to me.

Before the entire Coldplay/Satch thing, I was less interested in hearing them on the radio. Like a song of theirs starts and I unconsciously turn the channel, maybe some NPR for a few minutes. Now after the judge has had his say, I think of them as less musicians and more Milli Vanilli.

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