Tuesday, September 09, 2008

The Songs I Didn’t Write

Song: The Songs I Didn’t Write
Artist: Creaky Boards
Album: Brooklyn is Love

Controversy alert! This is a bit of old news but it certainly is interesting. By now you should all be pretty aware of Coldplay’s latest hit, “Viva La Vida.” If you haven’t heard it on the radio, you MUST have come across the iTunes/iPod/iPhone ads using the song and trippy lighting effects. Well, a couple months ago this video popped up on YouTube from a Brooklyn-based band named Creaky Boards claiming that Coldplay ripped of their song, ironically titled “The Songs I Didn’t Write”:

Well, the songs do sound A LOT like each other… and the band specifically claimed that Coldplay lead Chris Martin attended a concert of theirs last October where they played the song. But as you can imagine… once this got enough talk and buzz from the blogosphere, Coldplay responded… that Martin could not have possibly attended the Creaky Boards concert because they have record he was recording in London. After what can only be guessed as some back and forth between Coldplay’s management and Boards’ lead Andrew Hoepfner suddenly put out the following statement:

“Well, it appears that Chris was actually recording in London during my October show and Coldplay demoed Viva La Vida in March 2007, before I taught my band “Songs” in June 2007. What’s most likely is that both Chris and I were inspired by The Legend of Zelda’s “Fairy Theme,” causing us to write similiar songs in 2006. What a coincidince! I guess Nintendo’s the big winner. But isn’t it weird how in 2008, an independent artist can make something in their bedroom that receives almost as much attention as EMI’s biggest marketing push of the year?”

Yes, suddenly he switches it around and now says they BOTH are copying… a song from a Nintendo video game. Take a listen, do you hear it?

Well I hear it a little bit… the “ah-ah’s” that make the ethereal vibe of the song. But it’s sort of a stretch. FURTHER discussion revealed that ALL of these songs seem to sound like Joe Satriani’s song “If I Could Fly” from his 2004 album “Is Their Love in Space?” Take a listen:

Ultimately, I really feel that Hoepfner just found a pretty sly way of getting his band into the spotlight. Don’t you? And I honestly find it hard to believe that SOMEHOW “The Songs I Didn’t Write” wasn’t somehow “inspired” by the Coldplay track. Having listened to the Zelda song and Satriani’s song, I do see how, almost unconsciously Coldplay could have lifted the rift… I think it’s all totally unintentional. As the minor controversy that was sparked between the Red Hot Chili Peppers track “Dani California” and Tom Petty’s “Mary Jane’s Last Dance,” there was a similar riff, though Petty never took any legal action because he knew that there are really only so many cord progressions… it’s bound to happen.

I find it completely possible that a musician, someone with an ear for melody, could hear something and have it inspire them… even years later. What do you think?


Coldplay’s “Viva La Vida”

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