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Cat Stevens vs. Coldplay
Why the folk legend has joined the plagiarism battle against the British rockers
 

Cat Stevens has joined “the chorus of singers” calling Coldplay a band of musical crooks, said the New York Daily News. Stevens, who now goes by the name Yusuf Islam, believes Coldplay’s 2008 hit “Viva La Vida” rips off his 1973 song “Foreigner Suite,” and is considering suing the band. Coldplay’s song “has sparked two other claims of plagiarism”—by guitarist Joe Satriani, and by the indie band Creaky Boards. What’s going on here? (listen to a comparison of "Viva La Vida" and "Foreigner Suite")

Strains of “Foreigner Suite” are “indeed reminiscent of Coldplay's song,” said Sean Michaels in the Guardian. But “luckily for Coldplay, peace-minded Islam is not—for the moment—as litigious as Satriani.” Then again, Islam did get the Flaming Lips to agree to a royalty split a few years ago, by claiming in a lawsuit that their 2003 song “Fight Test” borrowed from his 1970 tune “Father and Son.”

This is getting out of control, said Pop Eater. “With a finite number of chord progressions available in Western music, a little retreaded ground is inevitable.” Many songs sound alike, but each artist or band offers a unique spin on them—and “we have room in our hearts for all.”

 

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