Did Oasis plagiarize The La's?

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Re: Did Oasis plagiarize The La's?

Postby Tony » Sat Feb 01, 2014 2:47 pm

I'd be interested in the Bowie lift too. Dig dig dig!

You can go too far if you take the odd line, riff or melody and class it as a "rip off". To me, a rip off is a song, or enough of one to be very similar to the other, like Led Zep's "Dazed and Confused" is notoriously not theirs. Fun fact: you can't copyright a riff, but you can a melody.

Remember Lietuva? I'd put that in the ripoff category. It's just too... obviously "There She Goes". Genius steals, but it changes enough to avoid infringing upon copyright.

There's loads of little snippets throughout music that sound lifted. Here's some hoary old similarities. I haven't even bothered with "My Sweet Lord". Ripoffs, inspirations, or coincidences?

Floyd's "Let There Be More Light" / Chemical Bros' "Block Rockin' Beats"
Jet's "Are You Gonna Be My Girl" / Iggy Pop's "Lust for Life"
Radiohead's "Reckoner" / Sebastian Tellier's "La Ritournelle"
Etc. etc. you can do this all day! It's just something that happens in music.

Even within The La's;
The chorus of Talking Heads' "Crosseyed And Painless" ("Isn't it weird/Looks too obscure to me") sounds a hell of a lot like the melody to "If you want, I'll sell you a life story". Not exactly, and the songs are totally dissimilar otherwise, but it's there. So what? Conscious lift or circumstantial similarity?

"Doledrum" to me may as well have been written on top of the Stones' "The Last Time", like tracing paper. But not so much in terms of melody, more feel, air, construction, mood. (Doesn't mean it's not my favourite La's song and not outstanding in its own right.)

Where "The Importance of Being Idle" goes too far, is being too naked. You could play the homage card, but "Clean Prophet" (again, I've heard "Clean Prophet"'s distinctive rhythm before, I think in the middle eight of an old Herman and the Hermits song, or something like that) is obscure to the public really. That makes me question the motives. "I'm going to pay homage to a song 99.97% of people haven't heard!"

I'm sure if a forum member had a hit single with something that was almost "Fishing Net", there would be uproar here, especially if it became a massive adored hit to people who don't know the source.
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Re: Did Oasis plagiarize The La's?

Postby Birdman » Sat Feb 01, 2014 8:30 pm

Really incisive post Tony...I didn't know about the riff thing either...interesting. It makes sense too when you think of say george harrisons famous 'experiment' of using the riff in d for if i needed someone...which he used in here comes the sun and the stone roses used in mersey paradise...very very interchangeable biulding block riff...interesting tho..there she goes ..the riff there is not generic..i think thats very of it's own micro wolrd...could you not be sued for nicking that then?
I guess the nature of music does mean this is gonna happen.....i mean essentially..what is it?twelve notes being messed around with in different styles...I think it says something about the human ear that we can hear so many possibilities in what are essentially the same notes. What fascinates me recently is that certain elements of music are buidling block generic..you can use them over and over and not be sued...for example, the line in Norwegian wood she asked me to stay and she told me to sit anywhere...that two note descending line is the generic part..it can be used in any song... you could write a song tonight..even in 3/4 time, what becomes important it seems is the context and the end note pay off, be it a chord change or note cluster, th e way it its sung and as lee always bangs on about..the sound..., the instrumentation...all of these affect our interpretation of a composition(and countless other thing probably)
Speaking of John Lennon...he did say that all songs are variations on certain themes (musical themes) but it's like you say tony, when the steal is naked, lacks imagination, is just derivative..thats when it should be sued for being bloody boring and regressive.....i guess it's the ability to suck all the elements up and then to make bizarre connections and imaginative leaps that is important...Obviously there is no formula, but it is interesting( to me at least) to tease apart some of the elements....Lee is very rooted in a genre of blues based 4 beat combo british rock...so limited and yet he made it intersting and vital...he has something from the way he sings right through to his compositional skills and imagination that work god bless him...On a side note i do think he is like lennon..only he can sing his songs...you couldn't give sun of a gun to anyone else....his voice and soul is so elemental to his music in a way with other writers...lets say elton John for example isn't ..elton john..great composer but a good singer can sing them...
Talking of Iggy...the passenger chords were borrowed by shakira (didn't bowie nick those from a german tv show whilst in berlin?) for whenever wherever..I would forgive shakira anything tho!!
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Re: Did Oasis plagiarize The La's?

Postby Birdman » Sat Feb 01, 2014 10:24 pm

I guess the stairs weedbus and doledrum..both d..a..e blues are a good example....one is blatant rip off...the other more in inspiration but has it's own gravity...i let you decide which!!
Just going back to the original plagiarism idea....i don't see enough similarity in she came down and wonderwall...maybe just in the chords...but the rythm and feel are different. To me there isn't a hint of melody so even if you concede the chords were inspiration...i don't think an idea was stolen...if lee ever finishes she came down...i woouldnt think wonderwall ..but i would think shit la's song unfortunatley
I guess all of us songwriters on the forum all have the grace, manners and decency to not rip somthing off before it has been born into the collective consciousness....but lee really should get his act together then he wouldn't have to gripe about people stealing his stuff
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Re: Did Oasis plagiarize The La's?

Postby Tony » Sun Feb 02, 2014 1:36 pm

Birdman wrote: I guess all of us songwriters on the forum all have the grace, manners and decency to not rip somthing off before it has been born into the collective consciousness....


That's what you think. My single is out on April 1st, "Here He Comes".

"Here he comes / here he comes once more! / Bursting through my door! / But I just so abhor, the fact his wife's a whore".
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Re: Did Oasis plagiarize The La's?

Postby Khris » Sat Feb 08, 2014 1:42 pm

Hmm, there's things we will never know. We can sit in the middle and pick out similar progressions, scales etc, but it is entirely possible that two different songwriters happened to stumble upon the same thing. In the animal world you can have two completely different animals that are very similar. Effectively, evolution found a solution to a common problem in two very similar ways but from a totally different origin.

When we are talking about someone we know is a big fan of another songwriter, we can be reasonably assured that any similarity is probably a direct influence/rip off. When there is no known connection, who knows? (no pun intended!).
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Re: Did Oasis plagiarize The La's?

Postby Birdman » Sun Feb 16, 2014 4:12 pm

Yeah pretty much agree with that Khrushchev...
Tony....the there she goes influence..to me is in the opening strains to Bowies cover of sorrow...three note melancholy feel the same
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Re: Did Oasis plagiarize The La's?

Postby Tony » Sun Feb 16, 2014 9:55 pm

I get that. There she goes - the she goes again. You can hear the church bells in it. A song it doesn't make it. You can't copyright a riff... here are three notes.


I'm a devout lover of Bowie but personally, I think that's fine - there is no good reason to listen to Oasis if you've heard the Kinks/Beatles/Stones/Verve/Floyd/Cast/La's first. And other opinions.

I say Personally as I'm tired of pub-arguments about it. People love to shout about this stuff. You likes what you likes. I know what I likes. People love to argue their corner. My corner is merely what I like.

Enjoy what you enjoy, folks, but leave the plagiarism-accusations to barristers....
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Re: Did Oasis plagiarize The La's?

Postby Birdman » Mon Feb 17, 2014 12:24 am

You asked me to dig that out tony so i did...i'm an experienced songwriter...i know how the game works..i\m not as talented as lee..hes stratospheres away but i can still observe....with bowie i was merely speculating that here was the seed for there she goes.. it jumped out at me did that feel on 'sorrow'....there isn't anything else to do with the la's at the moment..i see no harm.... and as you can see lee made somthing completely different.....
It's not about plagiarism for me...the post started out as that but i went on to discuss some of the finer points of the songwriter steal as did you...it's just borrowing is thats how songs are written....simple as... and personally i find looking at the germinating seeds of ideas fascinating...sure..some is speculation....but it's still interesrting...you seem to have given the idea some thought yourself with how you have read melodies from one song into another.....
As for talking about barristers.....they should have fuck all to do with music.
To me music can be heard in different ways.....sometimes you approach the same piece on an emotional level, sometimes for it's soul, imagination or the punch in the guts..the way you approach a reggae song is different from the way you'd listen to Kid A or stravinsky....different foods in the musical cupboard...but sometimes you look at it technichally, epsecially if you have spent half your life learning giutar and writing songs....you can't help but notice those things then...just the way it is...it interests me so i gave my two penneth
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Re: Did Oasis plagiarize The La's?

Postby redlandsman87 » Fri Feb 21, 2014 11:03 am

Here's my take, as is...I say chords are fair game. Chords are the flour to the cake...it's essential. You don't skip the flour. Sure, you may try bleached or unbleached, whole wheat or germ wheat...or whatever other kind of hippy flours there are. But at the end of the day, your cake isn't going to stand and you're not going to be much of a baker without the flour.

Vague? Probably a stupid analogy. But while thousands of songs share the same flour, i.e. chord progressions, a cake isn't defined by it's ingredients, but the final product and presentation. It's what you put IN the batter and on the cake...the fruit, the icing, the design, the sprinkles, the cream, etc that matters.

Same goes for songs - I don't care if two songs both follow D, A, G. Every player knows those shapes. You can't blame a player for using what is taught by every music teacher and song book - the basics. The fundamentals. Those are fair game.

What does matter is the key those shapes are played in. The riff or melody on top of those chords. The possible bridge/chorus/middle 8 that follows said three chords. A capo may change the key, as does down tuning. But does that really make it "original"? No. Lee may have down tuned Son Of A Gun, but the shapes are universal. You can't tell me he's the first guy to figure out how to break down a D into a Dsus2, or decide to throw in a Cadd9 versus a C. BUT, he sure as hell is the first guy I've seen to slap pick his body while playing, and the first to enunciate and stretch his vocals in such a manner as he...and he's also probably the first dude to use "loggerheads" in a song, effectively...to my ear at least. Lee left his own stamp all over those chords. No denying that.

We have our alterations and inversions...barres, power chords, inverted "harrision" chords, what have you, with only so many possible variations. Eventually, patterns will repeat themselves...

Oh, and Clean Prophet is in F starting on a Dm (technically a D#m I suppose, but bleh). TIOBI is in F#m starting on an Am, which rings out as a Bm of course...Even though the rhythm is about the same in the intro, they do NOT share the same chord shapes, key, or even progression. They rhythm is about the same, yes. BUT, there is also the fact that Noel completely alters his strumming after said opening four bars, which Lee fails to do...

Perhaps an homage? Maybe just experimentation, knowingly knowing Lee's song/style and being heavily inspired by such...but really, in no way is it plagiarism.
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Re: Did Oasis plagiarize The La's?

Postby Tony » Wed Feb 11, 2015 5:47 pm

Tony wrote:(again, I've heard "Clean Prophet"'s distinctive rhythm before, I think in the middle eight of an old Herman and the Hermits song, or something like that) is obscure to the public really.


Sorry for the old bump but I recognised the Clean Prophet rhythm.

1:56 into Jezebel by Herman's Hermits! :D

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Re: Did Oasis plagiarize The La's?

Postby Gav » Thu Feb 12, 2015 7:43 am

I think the Wonderwall/She Came Down link is tenuous at best. Wonderwall is far superior song to She Came Down in my opinion also (obviously this is subjective).

However, Importance of Being Idle/Clean Prophet, "rip off" is probably justifiable as it was both blatant and consciously done. Noel has made a habit of doing things like this. Cigarettes & Alcohol/Get It On, Shakermaker/I'd Like to Teach the World To Sing, Cloudburst/Standing Here, She's Electric/With A Little Help From My Friends are all songs that, off the top of my head, Noel has publicly stated he lifted bits from.
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Re: Did Oasis plagiarize The La's?

Postby jacarandas » Fri Nov 06, 2015 6:30 pm

Bit late but couldn't resist chipping in...

I actually think 'Son of a Gun' owes it's opening melody to Aquarius by The 5th Dimension (you might not get it the first time) "When the mooooon is in the seventh hour" = "If you waaaaaant, I'll tell you a life story". It's so fun trying to work out where musicians might have consciously or sub-consciously got their ideas from.
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Re: Did Oasis plagiarize The La's?

Postby Ninny » Mon May 02, 2016 7:11 pm

jacarandas wrote:I actually think 'Son of a Gun' owes it's opening melody to Aquarius by The 5th Dimension (you might not get it the first time) "When the mooooon is in the seventh hour" = "If you waaaaaant, I'll tell you a life story". It's so fun trying to work out where musicians might have consciously or sub-consciously got their ideas from.


If you're gonna be that general you could throw in I Feel Free by The Cream which has exactly the same melody line and was written the year earlier.

Aquarius was written for the musical Hair, which starred Bruce Campbell (not the one from Evil Dead) aka Jobriath who was eventually marketed as the next big rock God after Bowie, though controversially transgressed the ambiguity of androgyny by singing and speaking about his homosexuality, before his album and career were rubbished and crucified by the press. Unfairly his production and marketing tried to copy Bowie too much when his own writing style was actually quite different and actually more sophisticated, Inside for instance is utterly beautiful.



Went to live in a pyramid on top of the Chelsea Hotel and be a lounge singer called Cole Berlin, before dying of the old The Aids™ in 1983, as was the fashion.
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Re: Did Oasis plagiarize The La's?

Postby jacarandas » Tue May 03, 2016 12:56 pm

Sounds fucking cool
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Re: Did Oasis plagiarize The La's?

Postby Ninny » Tue May 03, 2016 10:41 pm

jacarandas wrote:Sounds fucking cool


Well, his first single Take Me I'm Yours is pretty much a Bowie pastiche, it's a pity as his management was trying to push him into being a copycat when he was obviously far more talented than that.

Here's the full Jobriath AD documentary, actually, and very good it is too. Jerry Brandt basically fucked the whole thing up by marketing him to the nth degree for months before any actual record was existent, so it could only not live up to expectation.. Eddie Kramer who was Hendrix's producer did it and obviously overproduced it to fuck because of all the bombast and as someone perceptibly says in the doc Jobriath was obviously in the mixing room as his voice is mixed to the back and the piano put at the forefront because of his own insecurities, which a good producer should have fucking not appealed to.

Might as well mention Klaus Nomi while I'm at it who died 2 days after Jobriath of the old The AIDS™ as well, as it was all the craze:

Image

And here's Nomi backing old Bowie doing The Man Who Sold The World on SNL, and if you notice on the 3rd song Bowie is sort of using a green screen to do Supergrass' Pumping On Your Stereo video 20 years before them.
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