I’m a few weeks late on this one. Which is a testament to how unsurprised I was when it first happened, that I decided it was par for the course.
In fact it was only a story today about Bono calling Chris Martin a wanker that reminded me.
I’m talking about Coldplay winning the “Record of the Year” Grammy award for Viva La Vida, a song which Joe Satriani believes borrows heavily from his own composition, If I Could Fly.
Satch’s claim has had so much publicity that the nobody in the industry could have been unaware of it. And regardless of the intent, the songs do sound strikingly similar.
And that’s the point here.
Now we have the members of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences (no less), not only condoning this situation, not only encouraging it, but actively rewarding it!
And I’ve read very little outrage about it so far.
What this continually reinforces to me is that the easiest way to be successful in the music industry (with an acceptable, proven career path) is to take somebody else’s idea and present it as your own.
I can’t say it better than Fiona Apple:
Give us something familiar; something similar
To what we know already
That will keep us steady
Steady going nowhere