To my untrained ear, characteristics in melody, chord changes, and vocalizations make certain pairs of songs sound eerily similar. Sometimes it could be a case of influence; in others, subliminal copycatting; in other cases it may be outright plagiarism.
In any event, different songs by different artists can sound just alike, and here are my top five pairs.
(Disclaimer: I’m not using any pairs of songs by the same artist. For examples of that, check out how the Eagles’ Wasted Time is almost a reprise of Desperado; how Tom Petty’s For All The Wrong Reasons has been nicknamed ReFallin’ for its resemblance to Free Fallin’; and how every song on Boston’s first album sounds just like every other song on Boston’s first album.)
5. Gordon Lightfoot’s Wreck Of The Edmund Fitzgerald
and Harry Chapin’s Cats In The Cradle:
4. Bob Seger’s Old Time Rock & Roll:
and the Eagles’ Heartache Tonight:
The similar sounds of those two isn’t surprising given that Eagles’ vocalist Glenn Frey was a Detroit protege of Bob Seger himself. Something else those two songs share in common: they are my least favorite by each artist!
3. Led Zeppelin’s Babe I’m Gonna Leave You
and Chicago’s 25 or 6 to 4:
Who would ever have thought that a Chicago song would sound like a Led Zeppelin one? But check it out — the chord progressions sounds (to me) exactly the same.
2. fun’s Carry On
and Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody:
1. Bruce Springsteen’s Radio Nowhere
and Tommy Tutone’s 867-5309.
Could a song from Bruce Springsteen really be “influenced” by a one hit wonder? See — and hear — for yourself!