Boulevard of Broken Songs: Identical progressions/riffs or arrangements - legal?Music 

Digital-Nitrate

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Today at lunch I was listening to some music and Wonderwall by Oasis started to play. Now I had not heard this song for at least ten years, but it starts off with a long continual riff without any vocals... and I caught myself singing the lyrics for Green Day's Boulevard of Broken Dreams... and it fit perfectly.

So out of curiosity I did a search on the net to see if I was alone on this belief, or if maybe Green Day credited Oasis for that song, and if not, what legal actions may have happened because of it.

It took no time at all to find out that I'm certainly not alone, and if anything, very late to the party so to speak.

In fact there is even a popular mashup called Boulevard of Broken Songs that shows just how exceptionally similar the two songs are and also adds in Travis' Writing to Reach You, Eminem's Sing for the Moment, and Aerosmith's Dream On.



Here is a related quote from the Wiki listing for the song Wonderwall:

The verse to Wonderwall is built on a I-III-VII-IV minor progression which several other songs have used. These include Boulevard of Broken Dreams by Green Day, Justin Timberlake's What Goes Around...Comes Around and Oasis's first single from Be Here Now, "D'You Know What I Mean".

Wonderwall was later featured in the popular mashup Boulevard of Broken Songs, which also contained parts of both Travis's Writing to Reach You and Boulevard of Broken Dreams.

In late 2006, Gallagher accused Green Day of "ripping off" Wonderwall, saying "If you listen, you'll find it is exactly the same arrangement as Wonderwall. They should have the decency to wait until I am dead [before stealing my songs]. I, at least, pay the people I steal from that courtesy."

However, the same chord progression was previously used in Alive by Pearl Jam and Man in the Box by Alice In Chains. The chord progression can be found in Mahler's 8th symphony as well.

Now I am very familiar with Mahler's 8th symphony and I have listened to Justin Timberlake's What Goes Around...Comes Around and while the basic chord progressions are the same, unlike Wonderwall and Boulevard of Broken Dreams, the key and arrangements are certainly not.

I have not taken the time to find and listen to Alive by Pearl Jam and Man in the Box by Alice In Chains to see how closely they sound to Wonderwall.

I've heard of legal cases being won by the original copy right holder with less similarities than Wonderwall and Boulevard of Broken Dreams, so why then has no legal action been taken?

It seems music copy rights fall under a very gray area of the law.

What other songs do any of you know that share such distinct similarities that have gone unaccredited towards the original composer/writer?
 
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Queen - Under Pressure & Vanilla Ice - Ice Ice Baby -- That one always makes me laugh. I remember an MTV interview with Vanilla Ice trying to justify the "difference".

Might want to check this book out, Sounds Like Teen Spirit I read this book last summer and it was fairly entertaining but a lot of the material was obscure. It was still interesting.

I've often wondered about all the music that "sample" bass lines, riffs, etc. How many of those actually credit the original or pay royalties?
 
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Richardrfo

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I believe this belongs in here.
I'll give everyone a language warning, can't remember if there's any profanity but it's there just to be safe.
 
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Another I can think of is Blue (Da Ba Dee) from Eiffel 65 and that song, that says "You and me baby ain't nothing but mammals so let's do it like they do on the Discovery Channel". Both songs intro's are way similar.

EDIT: The song's name is "The Bad Touch."

EDIT 2: Wikipedia rules.

"The verse to Wonderwall is built on a I-III-VII-IV minor progression which several other songs have used. These include Boulevard of Broken Dreams by Green Day, Justin Timberlake's What Goes Around...Comes Around and Oasis's first single from Be Here Now, "D'You Know What I Mean". Wonderwall was later featured in the popular mashup Boulevard of Broken Songs, which also contained parts of both Travis's Writing to Reach You and Boulevard of Broken Dreams. In late 2006, Gallagher accused Green Day of "ripping off" Wonderwall, saying "If you listen, you'll find it is exactly the same arrangement as Wonderwall. They should have the decency to wait until I am dead [before stealing my songs]. I, at least, pay the people I steal from that courtesy."However, the same chord progression was previously used in Alive by Pearl Jam and Man in the Box by Alice In Chains. The chord progression can be found in Mahler's 8th symphony as well."
 

Touring Mars

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In late 2006, Gallagher accused Green Day of "ripping off" Wonderwall, saying "If you listen, you'll find it is exactly the same arrangement as Wonderwall. They should have the decency to wait until I am dead [before stealing my songs]. I, at least, pay the people I steal from that courtesy."
Atleast Gallagher has a sense of irony... presumably that means that Green Day should have waited until someone shot Noel Gallagher in the back at the age of 40 before ripping off his music? Being accused of plagiarism by Noel Gallagher is like being accused of being a weirdo by Michael Jackson. (Even the name "Wonderwall" is a rip off!)
 
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Some Rap songs are kind of like that...I may have the wrong idea.
Jay-Z " Dead Presidents"
Nas- The World is yours
and you can get this
Not safe for work or children***
 
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:lol: You should listen the genre "Cumbia". All the songs are based on plagiarism :lol:
...What a piece of 🤬 music.
 

niky

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Being accused of plagiarism by Noel Gallagher is like being accused of being a weirdo by Michael Jackson. (Even the name "Wonderwall" is a rip off!)

Word. :lol:

This one isn't quite similar enough to cross over into absolute plagiarism... It's like claiming that anything with a I-IV-I-IV-IV riff is a ripoff of Poison... same verse progression, similar backbeat, just not identical.

Not as similar as the Coldplay-Satriani one posted, where even the melody line is repeated. Now that one is eerie.

And rap? Rappers are admitted, unabashed samplers. That's part of the game. Some of them credit their sources (Eminem's sampling actually gave Dido a leg-up into the mainstream), some don't. It's those that don't that really get to me. But sampling is easier to catch, as some actually use straight sound samples, which is easy to prove in court.
 

Gil

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All Rock and Roll is is "Three chords and the Truth".:lol:

You play a I-IV-V progression and you've hit most 70's and 80's rock songs.
 

niky

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All Rock and Roll is is "Three chords and the Truth".:lol:

You play a I-IV-V progression and you've hit most 70's and 80's rock songs.

👍 "Three chords..." that line is pure classic! 👍
 

MagpieRacer

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Heres another one, simalair chord progession on the verse and almost identical on the chorus.
The song has been compared by fans to Keane's "Everybody’s Changing" due to its similar chord progression on the verse and an identic on the chorus; however according to Bellamy it was based on David Bowie’s "Heroes". It also bares a striking resemblance to "Can't Help Falling In Love" by UB40.
 
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Word. :lol:

This one isn't quite similar enough to cross over into absolute plagiarism... It's like claiming that anything with a I-IV-I-IV-IV riff is a ripoff of Poison... same verse progression, similar backbeat, just not identical.

Not as similar as the Coldplay-Satriani one posted, where even the melody line is repeated. Now that one is eerie.

And rap? Rappers are admitted, unabashed samplers. That's part of the game. Some of them credit their sources (Eminem's sampling actually gave Dido a leg-up into the mainstream), some don't. It's those that don't that really get to me. But sampling is easier to catch, as some actually use straight sound samples, which is easy to prove in court.
Well, they do pay for that sample though. Its either recreated into a new theme or just add some up beat to it.
 
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I'm surprised no one has mentioned Pumped Up Kicks by Foster The People yet. The entire song is the I-III-VII-IV progression that Boulevard of Broken Dreams and Wonderwall.
 
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I'm surprised no one has mentioned Pumped Up Kicks by Foster The People yet. The entire song is the I-III-VII-IV progression that Boulevard of Broken Dreams and Wonderwall.
Now I know why. Pumped Up Kicks wasn't even out in 2009 when this thread took place. It came out in 2010.
 

UKMikey

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Aretha Franklin's Until You Come Back To Me sounds like Stevie Wonder's My Cherie Amour to me. I think Stevie ripped himself off when writing the song.
 
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Aretha Franklin's Until You Come Back To Me sounds like Stevie Wonder's My Cherie Amour to me. I think Stevie ripped himself off when writing the song.
I can't see Stevie doing that...

...

...

...and I suspect he can't either.












Sorry.
 

TenEightyOne

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The entire song is the I-III-VII-IV progression that Boulevard of Broken Dreams and Wonderwall.

Where is that progression in Wonderwall? The verse starts on III(m7) and the chorus starts on IV as I recall.
 

UKMikey

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TenEightyOne

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I think you may have it confused with another Aretha song. :P


Erm, nope, it goes Em7-G-Dsus4-A7sus4. If the song is in E minor (which it is) then the first chord is a I, not a III, because it matches the key signature.

There is no reason to use the relative minor simply because it begins with Em7 or just because the key signature for Gmaj matches one of Em's three key signatures. That's a common mistake in music theory and one often made by players of modern-era guitar music. Modally and tonically the song doesn't centre particularly well in either key - and if in doubt it's always the major.

I've been teaching Grade VIII piano for nearly 30 years (ohmygod is it that long) and have this argument about modern transcriptions quite a lot, especially with session guitarists :D
 

UKMikey

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I've been teaching Grade VIII piano for nearly 30 years (ohmygod is it that long) and have this argument about modern transcriptions quite a lot, especially with session guitarists :D
I have an "O"-Level in woodwork (failed) but predict that you'll be continuing to have this argument long into the far future. Personally I hear it in the minor key unless we're talking about the Mike Flowers Pops arrangement.
 

TenEightyOne

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Personally I hear it in the minor key unless we're talking about the Mike Flowers Pops arrangement.

That's an interesting observation and a personal experience. I always hear it in a major key after the first chord change, right through to the end. That's why it's something of an arbitrary decision for a sequence that doesn't firmly check the boxes for either minor or major... and probably why there's a 'rule' about cases of doubt :)

Mike Flowers... I loved his stuff once upon a time, now I just can't make myself feel that ironic :D
 

UKMikey

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I always hear it in a major key after the first chord change, right through to the end.
Perhaps we can at least agree that Pumped Up Kicks and Boulevard Of Broken Dreams have the same chord sequence as Wonderwall.
 

TenEightyOne

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Perhaps we can at least agree that Pumped Up Kicks and Boulevard Of Broken Dreams have the same chord sequence as Wonderwall.

I'd have to listen to "Pumped-Up Kicks" but I know that Wonderwall has more suspensions and tetrads and is modally different - but they sound similar in the verse. So a bit, I suppose, yes :D
 
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If this isn't at least inspired by Foo Fighters' The Pretender colour me very surprised.


The end sounds similar to the end of Best of You too. :lol: I doubt it was inspired by either, I'd say coincidence. On another note that song is badass, might have to pick up the album when it comes out. :D