The Power of the Pop Melody

So I was watching the Grammys a little while ago and I heard this song performed by Lady Antebellum. When they got to the chorus, I swore that I had heard that exact same melody on a hit 80’s song. I mean it was so clear that I could play the melody that I remembered off the top of my head on the guitar. But for the life of me, I could not remember the name of the song or the artist. I just had the melody. Thanks to google, I was able to find the song I was thinking of right here.

Kelly notes – “HELLO?!! Their song “Need you now” SOUNDS like it comes from the 80’s because it does! It is a rip-off of the Alan Parsons Project song “Eye in the Sky.” Compare the Chorus’!”

You be the judge. Listen to the chorus of the first song and compare it to the chorus of the second song (starts at 1:32). Is this a case of The Stones ripping off K.D. Lang or Coldplay ripping off Joe Satriani? How long before the Alan Parsons Project sues Lady Antebellum? Darn catchy 80’s melodies! You never know when they will subliminally make it into one of your songs. :)


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8 Responses to “The Power of the Pop Melody”

  1. Matt B. Says:

    There are only so many notes and chords so while similar, the Lady A song doesn’t feel like a copycat.

  2. rhoy Says:

    the motif of the melody (and little bit of the phrasing) is somewhat similar but i can tell they are not the same. although, as you say, some of those melodies are so catchy that it get stuck in your sub-conscious mind for later use :)

  3. Larry Says:

    hmmm… Lady Antebellum is more of a generic country song. I have heard this same chorus melody about 6-7x in the last couple of years in country. The progression just works and people like it!

  4. Karl Says:

    I think you’re right…it was probably a subliminal thing. It doesn’t seem close enough to be a straight rip-off, in my humble opinion. You’re right, it’s weird how certain melodies stick with you and you don’t even know it! One time I wrote the best song ever, only to have my bandmates say, ‘Oh cool! Prince of Egypt!’ Yep. Stupid Hans Zimmer. ;)

  5. Larry Says:

    I think this sum’s up this topic! :)

    or linkage if it doesn’t embed: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JdxkVQy7QLM

  6. Dan Says:

    I’ve seen that video before – funny stuff!

  7. Bob Millard Says:

    The only part of their song that is memorable is the part from Eye in the Sky. The rest sounds like filler space for the hook. I think it is almost impossible that this song made it through their producer, engineers, management, A&R and promotion department without someone pointing out the obvious. I also would think the label took it to their lawyers and they approved it. Despite that, I think Parsons has a very good case if he chooses to pursue it. It would be encouraging if they could settle out of court, too much litigation in the world.

  8. Doug Osburn Says:

    When you are able to actually sing the melody line from one song while the other is playing this is more than just a similarity. No way the pros in the studio were not aware of this rip off and they probalby just thought they could get away with it. It is not quites a blatant as (the late) George Harrison stealing “He’s So FIne” melody, chorus, and chords for “My Sweet Lord”

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