11-18-2010, 04:48 PM
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Lady Antebellum's 'Need You Now'--A Ripoff?
Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now" is one of country's biggest success stories this year--it's a certifiable crossover hit and has won several major awards, most recently Single of the Year at the 2010 Country Music Association awards last week.
Now, with all that said--here's some food for thought. Is the trio's smash single actually a ripoff of an early '80s hit?
That may seem like a far stretch. However, some people are saying so--specifically, people related to the '80s hitmaker in question, Alan Parsons of the Alan Parsons Project. Apparently, fans of the APP have been chattering about the similarities between "Need You Now" and the APP's "Eye In The Sky," a tune that approached the top of the charts back in 1982.
Alternative newsweekly Nashville Scene reported last week that a woman calling herself the "executive personal assistant" to Alan Parsons wrote in to their editor, claiming "Our fans are reaching out to us by the hundreds telling us how 'Need You Now' by Lady Antebellum is one of those 'lazy rip offs' of 'Eye In The Sky' by The Alan Parsons Project."
If all this seems a bit out of left field, a fan of the APP took the liberty of creating the following mashup to drive the point home. The tempo and pitch of both songs have been altered a bit, but it is nevertheless rather an eerie match (at least in this example). Take a listen and see what you think:
The poster of the mashup had this to say of the comparison: "I can't claim there's an intentional rip off, BUT this was APP's biggest hit BECAUSE of that chorus hook and that is the ONLY reason I liked the Antebellum song...The whole song is the hook, and it's not really theirs."
Now, the last time a country artist was embroiled in this sort of discussion, it was Gretchen Wilson vs. the Black Crowes back in 2008. Remember that one? The Crowes claimed "Work Hard, Play Harder" ripped off their 1991 hit "Jealous Again" (sparking discussion that the Crowes themselves are completely derivative of earlier classic rock bands, but that's a whole 'nother topic). In that case, the Crowes actually filed a copyright infringement suit against Wilson; however, no legal action has been taken as of yet against Lady A.
My opinion on the Lady A/APP mashup? Both songs are terrific in their own respective rights. I'm mostly interested here in what all of you country fans think of this.
Do you believe "Need You Now" sounds a tad too much like "Eye In The Sky"? Does Alan Parsons (and his songwriting partner Eric Woolfson) deserve a cut of Lady A's success? I'll leave it up to you.
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