Born This Way: The Ultimate Soundalike Playlist

Categories: Lists, WTF Island

A Wall of Soundalikes Front.jpg
When Lady Gaga released her new single, "Born This Way," in February, it took less than a minute of the title track from her upcoming disc for fans and detractors alike to scream "Express Yourself!" in unison. Yes, it does sound like an amped-up version of the 1989 Madonna track. A lot.

This made us search for more songs that sound eerily like other hits that came before. Some are probably accidents, like the Rolling Stones nicking a k.d. lang melody, or Arcade Fire echoing Blondie. The latter is probably more likely the case of Rocks Off really rooting for a Régine Chassagne solo album.

Some are egregiously aggressive knock-offs, like Kelly Clarkson seemingly stealing the hook from Spoon's "I Turn My Camera On" for "All I Ever Wanted," from 2009's album of the same name. Has anyone told Britt Daniel and the boys?

Ed. Note: You could have told him yourself... he was sitting in the same row as us at Arcade Fire.

In some cases the similarities are too much like Vanilla Ice's "Ice Ice Baby" and David Bowie & Queen's "Under Pressure." Mr. Ice ended up paying royalties on that one, even though it didn't make the Dallas-born paper thug too happy.

Ray Parker Jr.'s Ghostbusters theme and Huey Lewis & the News' "I Want A New Drug" were so much alike that the two parties fought it out in court, with Lewis coming out on top.

If you dig even deeper, you will hear that both of them probably nicked M's "Pop Muzik" as well.


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Josh Webster
Josh Webster

Don't forget RHCP's "Dani California," which earned them a visit from Tom Petty's lawyers for stealing the "Last Dance" riff. Ironically, Frusciante also admittedly ripped off the "Purple Haze" solo in that song, he just did it with class.

Fatty FatBastard
Fatty FatBastard

You missed my two obvious ones.  4 Non-Blondes "What's up?" vs. Bobby McFerrin's "Don't Worry, Be Happy" and also Bon Jovi "Livin' on a Prayer" vs. Belinda Carlisle's "Heaven is a place on Earth."  But maybe those were before your time.

Jay Francis
Jay Francis

 I always thought it was unfair of Huey Lewis to sue the Ghostbusters composer for an I Want a New Drug plagiarism when they plagiarised Fooled Around and Fell In Love for their This Is It.I always thought it was unfair of Huey Lewis to sue the Ghostbusters composer for an I Want a New Drug plagiarism when they plagiarised Fooled Around and Fell In Love for their This Is It.

Jay Lee
Jay Lee

Let's not forget that in 1831 Samuel Francis Smith lifted the melody of the British National Anthem (God Save The Queen) for his song "America" aka My Country, Tis Of Thee. "America" aka My Country, Tis Of Thee. 

Mookie von Zipper
Mookie von Zipper

the queen/bowie sampled by vanilla ice is not a soundalike, it's the actual sound...

how about the banana splits theme and bob marley's "buffalo soldier"?...  for years i thought marley had inspired sid and marty krofft, but it's the other way around...  

CraigHlavaty
CraigHlavaty

Early on though, he tried to argue that it wasn't lifted, making it just a soundalike at first. By the time cooler, and smarter heads prevailed, he had to pay $$$. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v...

Mookie von Zipper
Mookie von Zipper

when part of the appeal of sampling is the familiarity of something popular heard in a new context, it makes vanilla ice look even dumber than i first thought, trying to deny the obvious... 

CraigHlavaty
CraigHlavaty

Oh for sure. Ol' Vanilla being vanilla. 

Krystal
Krystal

Also, "Alejandro" by Lady Gaga sounds like "Don't Turn Around" by Ase of Base. And "Money Honey" sounds alot like "Just Dance", the background sounds, not the melody so much.

I listen to too much Lady Gaga.

Sean
Sean

There are plenty of others, but I find it strange that you didn't mention George Harrison's "My Sweet Lord" being similar to The Chiffons' "He's So Fine"...

CraigHlavaty
CraigHlavaty

The only decent version of My Sweet Lord I could find on Rdio was the Yim Yames one and I wanted to use the original George one.

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