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26.7.07 0611
The 7 - Music - Song stealing...
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ekedolphin
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#1 Posted on 26.9.02 0906.48
Reposted on: 26.9.09 0907.02
A comment on another topic on the wrestling board got me to thinking:

I remember seeing a Weird Al special awhile back, in which they talked about all the albums he's done up until the present. Of particular interest in this case is the song “Amish Paradise”, a parody of Coolio's “Gangsta's Paradise”.

They ran an interview with Coolio in which he said he was pissed at Weird Al. Apparently Weird Al's recording company approached Coolio about doing a parody of his song, and Coolio said no. Weird Al's company must have gotten their wires crossed somewhere along the line, because of course the song was made anyway. “More power to 'em, I hope they sell a lot of records, but stay away from me,” Coolio warned.

But my mother brought to my attention that “Gangsta's Paradise” was originally a song by Stevie Wonder (off the Songs in the Key of Life album) entitled “Pasttime Paradise”. Her reasoning was that Coolio had no right getting pissed at Weird Al, since he blatantly ripped off a Stevie Wonder song.

So this begs the question-- does Coolio own the rights to that particular Stevie Wonder song? If not, why the hell would he bitch out Weird Al for parodying a song that didn't even rightly belong to Coolio in the first place?

For that matter, why are all these R&B/rap songs based off of older tunes (such as “Hard Knock Life”) being released, and do they have permission to do that?
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DJ FrostyFreeze
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#2 Posted on 26.9.02 1048.07
Reposted on: 26.9.09 1050.07
It's called "Sampling". Back in the 80's when everyone was using James Brown samples, they would just take parts of his sings and he wouldnt get a dime for it. Dont ask me how that worked.

Today, rappers/producers have to get permission from whoever owns the rights to the original song they're sampling from, and pay royalties to boot. For example, MC Hammer had to ask/pay Rick James (or whoever owns the rights to the song) to sample "Superfreak" when he made "U Cant Touch This". Hammer didnt own the rights to the song, he just got permission to use parts of it. When Weird Al came along and made the spoof of "U Cant Touch This" entitled "I Cant Watch This" (a song talking trash about all the crappy shows on TV), he had to ask Rick James AND MC Hammer for permission, because the song uses the Rick James sample, but also spoofs the lyrics of Hammer's song.

I'll weigh in with my opinion of sampling later on if the thread ever veers in that direction.
chuckc14
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#3 Posted on 26.9.02 1108.57
Reposted on: 26.9.09 1109.10
Remember when Vanilla Ice swore up and down he wasn't sampling David Bowie's "Under Pressure" with "Ice Ice Baby"? That interview was quite entertaining. Well, Mr. Van Winkle and his homies ARE in fact sharing (a large amount of) royalties with Bowie and the co-writers of "Under Pressure". I guess Ice's version wasn't so original after all.

FWIW, Coolio's cashing in on a whopping 7 and a half percent of the total royalties gained from "Gangsta's Paradise". Stevie's getting 75%.
Bullitt
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#4 Posted on 26.9.02 1127.52
Reposted on: 26.9.09 1129.04
If I'm not mistaken, Frosty, didn't Hammer take the samples of "Superfreak," but only paid Rick James after the song hit it big? I don't think he got permission before...same as Vanilla Ice as mentioned.

Now that a good friend of mine has signed a major label record deal with Warner Music Canada, his "people" are in the process of getting permission for the samples he has used. They're re-releasing his entire catalog of music, and it's taken them a while to get everything in order.
Grimis
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#5 Posted on 26.9.02 1334.48
Reposted on: 26.9.09 1342.06
Oh the price one pays for being unable to come up with something original...

This is one of the reasons I loathe most rap: anybody can put rhymes to a preexisting beat(whether anybody thinks it's good enough to buy is another story, thus making rap the golf of the music world).
tarnish
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#6 Posted on 26.9.02 1506.36
Reposted on: 26.9.09 1510.29
Grimis said:

    Oh the price one pays for being unable to come up with something original...

    This is one of the reasons I loathe most rap: anybody can put rhymes to a preexisting beat(whether anybody thinks it's good enough to buy is another story, thus making rap the golf of the music world).


``Coming up with something original'' is the rarest thing in any art form. It is widely held that the Greeks exhausted every possible dramatic plot two thousand years ago. Last I checked there have been great dramas written since then.

I remember reading an article in a guitar magazine one time where Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons talked about where they got their inspiration for a whole host of their `classic' songs. Almost half of them were something along the lines of, ``well, so-and-so had a hit with such-and-such; we took that same chord progression, turned it backwards/sped it up/modulated it, and started there.'' Does that sound original?

In jazz music, the ubiquitous chord progression is ii-V-I. In blues it's usually I-IV-V. Hundreds and thousands of distinct songs have been recorded using these progressions, despite the fact that they are ``not original.''

Any musician, poet, painter, author, or any other creator will usually be able to tell you where they stole their best stuff. The ones who are willing to be honest with you, anyway.

Writing off rap music because it's not ``original'' is narrow-minded and troublesome, because if you were being totally honest about it you'd have to write off much of the visual art, music, and literature of the last two hundred or more years for the same reasons. In fact, some might argue that rap is one of the few original art forms of the last hundred years due to its dependance on technology that didn't become available until the 1900s.

If you don't like rap, don't listen to it. But lay off the belittling, especially when it's as groundless and insipid as, ``I loathe rap because it's not original and anyone can do it.''
ManiacalClown
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#7 Posted on 26.9.02 1545.43
Reposted on: 26.9.09 1548.55
It's trivial, but wasn't "Under Pressure" by Queen?

As for sampling, I don't see why it should be done any different than a full cover other than slightly less on the royalties. Not playing the whole song, after all.
chuckc14
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#8 Posted on 26.9.02 1624.59
Reposted on: 26.9.09 1625.25

    Originally posted by ManiacalClown
    It's trivial, but wasn't "Under Pressure" by Queen?


Hmmm...I was wondering why Freddie Mercury's name was listed under that song...I guess you're right.
DJ FrostyFreeze
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#9 Posted on 26.9.02 1923.12
Reposted on: 26.9.09 1926.52
I think it was "Queen, Featuring Davie Bowie". At least thats what it says in the file name of the mp3 I got from Kazaa.

And in other news, me and Tarnish actually agree on something, and right on time, too! Way to go Craven!
drjayphd
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#10 Posted on 26.9.02 1953.18
Reposted on: 26.9.09 1959.05
Yeah, it was a definite collaboration with Bowie and Queen.

And who else died laughing remembering Ice's explanation for why it wasn't the same sample?

Oh, and as for why people could sample liberally in the 80's: I forget who it was (I think Biz Markie), but some rapper in the early 90's sampled, I believe, "Alone Again (Naturally)" and got sued by the original writer. Since then, all samples have to be cleared, or you have to fork over songwriting credits. Good thing "Paul's Boutique" came out before then... Capitol woulda gotten jackhammered with the royalties there.
Jubuki
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#11 Posted on 26.9.02 2217.45
Reposted on: 26.9.09 2229.03
I think it went something like, "Yeah, you hear that at the end? 'Duh duh duh du-du-du-du *sss*' See, before, that *sss* wasn't there, yo..."
Jaguar
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#12 Posted on 27.9.02 1842.30
Reposted on: 27.9.09 1843.21
Actually about Weird Al: As far as I know, he never has to get permission to sample because he is writing his songs as Parodies of the original songs. Of course Weird Al always likes to ask permission anyway, but he's not actually bound by it as long as he credits the song he's parodying.

-Jag
OlFuzzyBastard
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#13 Posted on 28.9.02 1712.38
Reposted on: 28.9.09 1726.43

    Originally posted by Grimis
    Oh the price one pays for being unable to come up with something original...

    This is one of the reasons I loathe most rap: anybody can put rhymes to a preexisting beat(whether anybody thinks it's good enough to buy is another story, thus making rap the golf of the music world).



There's a lot of exceptionally original and talented rap musicians out there (Outkast, The Nappy Roots, Black-Eyed Peas, Jurrasic 5, The Beastie Boys, etc.). It's just the Puff Daddys and their glorified covers of the world give everyone a bad name.
ICEMAN
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#14 Posted on 28.9.02 2146.00
Reposted on: 28.9.09 2148.18

    Originally posted by chuckc14
    Remember when Vanilla Ice swore up and down he wasn't sampling David Bowie's "Under Pressure" with "Ice Ice Baby"? That interview was quite entertaining. Well, Mr. Van Winkle and his homies ARE in fact sharing (a large amount of) royalties with Bowie and the co-writers of "Under Pressure". I guess Ice's version wasn't so original after all.



Remember its the little "ding" that makes it different.

Vanilla Ice is/was/and will always be a idiot.

(edited by ICEMAN on 28.9.02 2146)
dMp
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#15 Posted on 1.10.02 0405.13
Reposted on: 1.10.09 0406.12
Re: Weird Al & Persmission..
I always wondered if he asked permission to Michael Jackson for all the stuff he stole from him.

As for Amish Paradise (great parody btw) the original might have been Stevie Wonder but I am sure that the whole rap and stuff arent on the original so as Al copies that, he might have needed permission for that?

WhoBettahThanDeion
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#16 Posted on 1.10.02 1312.54
Reposted on: 1.10.09 1319.59
I've seen the Weird Al behind the music on Vh1 (or if it's not Behind the Music it was one of those profile shows). And he said, with Michael, they're such good friends, Michaels enjoyed giving him permission, and it was never a problem. He also said he doesn't do songs no one wants him to parody. Nirvana for instance WANTED him to do a parody of their song Teen Spirit and was excited about it. Al said he felt bad about the whole Coolio mix-up and apologized a whole lot.

And hating on sampling is like saying Shakespeare isn't shit because he stole all HIS ideas as well. Not asing;e story in Shakespeare's catlogue is original, he STOLE it all! And now he's considered the best playwright. Ever.
Brian P. Dermody
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#17 Posted on 1.10.02 1436.10
Reposted on: 1.10.09 1436.11
The only Michael Jackson song Al wanted to parody and was asked not to was "Black or White". Since Al probably realizes he owes a fair amount of his fame to his MJ parodies, he let it be.

In fact the only artist who time and time again has outright refused Weird Al has been Prince Rogers Nelson by any other name.

We have a disclaimer in one of my employers books: "In America, you don't need someone's permission to make fun of them". Even so, Al isn't out to make any trouble (though we are), so he's always very polite that way.
Mild Mannered Madman
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#18 Posted on 3.10.02 0557.04
Reposted on: 3.10.09 0558.46

    Originally posted by chuckc14
    Remember when Vanilla Ice swore up and down he wasn't sampling David Bowie's "Under Pressure" with "Ice Ice Baby"? That interview was quite entertaining. Well, Mr. Van Winkle and his homies ARE in fact sharing (a large amount of) royalties with Bowie and the co-writers of "Under Pressure".


The other writer is Freddie Mercury, and technically, It's a Queen song.


    Originally posted by dMp
    Re: Weird Al & Persmission..
    I always wondered if he asked permission to Michael Jackson for all the stuff he stole from him.


As he has illustrated before, Al did ask Jackson's permission to use his songs, despite any legal obligation.



vsp
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#19 Posted on 4.10.02 1024.47
Reposted on: 4.10.09 1025.32
I remember reading that Yankovic wanted to parody the Kinks' "Lola" for years, but Ray Davies kept telling him "no" because he (Davies) had significant emotional attachments to the original. The parody "Yoda" wasn't published until Davies finally gave in, as a courtesy to Davies.

Like Tarnish said -- using portions of another artist's work to create your own work and/or comment upon the original is a process as old as time. Negativland, Andy Warhol and Ludacris have more in common than a single glance would suggest.

squiz
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#20 Posted on 4.10.02 1403.23
Reposted on: 4.10.09 1404.53
One more thing about Weird Al, while I am thinking about it.

To my knowledge, outside of "Amish Paradise", he has never released, on albums, any parodies that were not cleared by the original artist.

However, that doesn't stop him from playing the ones he's written that he doesn't have permission to release. If you catch him live, you may hear some gems you've never heard before. I know I did, but that was years ago, and I don't know if he still does it.
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