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My Sweet Lord vs. He's So Fine
11 January 2012
2.55pm
vonbontee
Inside a Letterbox
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It's more about the vocal melody than the chord progression.

I just want to play. I’d like to think I could work opposite Sinatra, B.B. King, the Beatles, or a polka band... - Jazz musician Rahsaan Roland Kirk, 1967
12 January 2012
12.47am
meanmistermustard
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The Beach Boys record label threatened Katy Perry, or her representatives, with legal action over her single 'California Girls' as they felt it was synonymous with their own song and that one of the lines was very similar to the other. Barmy to say the least. There are too many laywers and executives in the music business who are only interested in making a buck. Apple are great at issuing legal action at the merest hint of beatle copyright being used infringed. Its one thing to protect your interests but not to the point of killing creativity. The beatles were always stealing melodies, chords and lyrics from other artists.

Don’t make your love suffer insecurities, trade the baggage of self to set another one free. ('Paper Skin' - Kendall Payne)
12 January 2012
4.20am
Von Bontee
A Hole In The Road
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"Good Artists Borrow, Great Artists Steal"
One day, a tape-op got a tape on backwards, he went to play it, and it was all "Neeeradno-undowarrroom" and it was "Wow! Sounds Indian!" -- Paul McCartney
12 January 2012
11.17am
Joe
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I agree with vonbontee. It's all about "My sweet lord/Oh my lord" versus "He's so fine/Wish he were mine". Also, the melody of the doo-lang-doo-lang vocals aren't dissimilar from the repeated "Hallelujah/Hare rama" etc. I bet Spector knew about the similarity all along, even if Harrison had forgotten about the Chiffons' song.

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4 August 2014
6.42am
Oudis
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Does anybody know anything about George’s reaction to the accusation of plagiarism? Did he ever say anything to the press, make any statement? I’d like to know how he felt about the whole thing. I guess it must have been tough for him.

Oudis.

4 August 2014
10.43am
Atlas
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He nicked it……. It's a shame and a real blot on his reputation. He did so much good stuff of his own……but it just makes you wonder what else he pinched.

 

 

There're lots of 'ripped off song compilations' on you tube……..Beach Boys and Chuck Berry etc……...

 

To add something new I've always though Rufus Thomas' 'Walking the Dog' and Jimi Hendrix's 'Purple Haze' have some things in common.   

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Oudis
4 August 2014
1.27pm
robert
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It seems impossible to me that whether George realized the similarities at first or not when he first wrote it, that by the time they were playing it, arranging it, recording it, mixing it, etc - especially with Phil Spector there, and the Beatles having noted the Chiffons as among their favorite girl groups, plus add the inside joke of "My Sweet Lord - He's so Fine" there is NO WAY someone didn't bring it to George's attention - and either they blew it off or thought it might worth the publicity.

IN 1980 Lennon is quoted as saying "[George] walked right into it. He knew what he was doing...[he] could have changed a few bars in that song and nobody could have ever touched him, but he just let it go and paid the price. Maybe he thought God would just sort of let him off."

By the time the song came George knew - it's my opinion - but I think it's what happened.

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Oudis
"She looks more like him than I do."
4 August 2014
1.54pm
meanmistermustard
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If you say that its a shame on his repution @Atlas then surely the same applies to the Beatles (who nicked stuff from all over the place), John, who even got sued and had to record three tracks as recompense over his use of "Here comes old flat-top", and every artist who's ever done such a thing as it happens all the time in music. One of The Verve's best know hits 'Bittersweet Symphony' was based so much on an instrumental version of The Rolling Stones 'The Last Time' that they didnt bother with the court case instead just handing over 100% of the song-writing royalties. Some get away with it others dont.

 

As for George's reaction to it all, he got fed-up with the court case, which dragged on for years and is as complicated as complicated can be (Allen Klein plays a huge part), and sick with the taste of it all but drew some solace in the knowledge that the track brought and meant so much to so many people. He eventually re-recorded it for the 'All Things Must Pass' Reissue in 2000. 

I'd heartily recommend anyone interested in the whole debacle listen to Fab4Free4All's podcast episode on the coutcase - 'My Sweet Lawsuit' - for all the details (scroll down the linked page to episode #55 or find it on itunes). I've listened to it twice and still find it confusing.

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Zig, Oudis
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4 August 2014
9.55pm
Zig
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meanmistermustard said

If you say that its a shame on his repution @Atlas then surely the same applies to the Beatles (who nicked stuff from all over the place), John, who even got sued and had to record three tracks as recompense over his use of "Here comes old flat-top",

That one always frosted me when Chuck Berry's camp sued John over that. Especially when Berry was a bit of a nicker himself - how do you think Carl Perkins felt when he heard the line "don't you step on my blue suede shoes" in Berry's 'Roll Over Beethoven'. It happens tons. To say it's a shame and a blot on George's reputation, is a bit over the top. If that was really the case, then consider most composers shamed and blotted.

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Bulldog

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5 August 2014
3.09am
Atlas
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You'll not hear me defend any pinchers on what they pinched. John and Dylan and 100's more included. I still like George. Just a case of recognizing the fact and moving on.

'My Sweet Lord" remains a great song. Not many big hits have you waiting for a couple of minutes, whatever it is, for the drums to come in.

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Zig
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