Top 10 Sound-alike Songs

Script written by Aaron Cameron. Does this one sound familiar? We thought so too. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 sound-alike songs. For this list, we’re choosing songs that haven’t necessarily been tainted by lawsuits but are considered similar in the court of public opinion. But we’re not suggesting wrongdoing by any of the involved songwriters here; we leave it up to you to decide. We’re also excluding cases of sampling. If you didn’t see a tune you think should be on the list, be sure to check out our video of the Top 10 Rip-off Songs. Special thanks to our users Brian Silva, Juan David Orduz, TheCoolman209, aldqbigsquare and Georgina Bransfield for submitting the idea on our Suggest Page at WatchMojo.comsuggest
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Script written by Aaron Cameron.

Does this one sound familiar? We thought so too. Welcome to WatchMojo.com, and today we’re counting down our picks for the top 10 sound-alike songs.

For this list, we’re choosing songs that haven’t necessarily been tainted by lawsuits but are considered similar in the court of public opinion. But we’re not suggesting wrongdoing by any of the involved songwriters here; we leave it up to you to decide. We’re also excluding cases of sampling. If you didn’t see a tune you think should be on the list, be sure to check out our video of the Top 10 Rip-off Songs.

#10: ABBA “Dancing Queen” (1976) vs. Shania Twain “C’est la Vie” (2002)

While on first listen, these two songs are beyond different, we can’t help but think we’ve heard Shania’s chorus before. Fan or not, ABBA’s music was inescapable in the 1970s. The band experienced a level of fame only matched by The Beatles, and like the Fab Four, they are still praised to this day for their quality of song-craft. All of this makes the Swedish group a perfect model for pop song composition.

#9: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers “Mary Jane’s Last Dance” (1993) vs. Red Hot Chili Peppers “Dani California” (2006)

For two artists who are talented in their own right, these two tracks sure do sound a lot alike. In fact, their groove-establishing chord progressions are only one note away from sameness, which is both a major and minor difference depending how you look at it. Petty himself doubted any malicious purpose on the Peppers’ part and even said that many songs just sound similar. Just ask the Strokes, who openly confessed to making Petty’s “American Girl” the basis for “Last Nite.” In both cases, Tom opted to let it slide and let rock be rock.

#8: Chicago “25 or 6 to 4” (1970) vs. Green Day “Brain Stew” (1996)

It may be hard to think of the punk-pop rockers ever crossing paths with the rock/jazz fusion outfit, but you have to admit that “Brain Stew”’s intro sure sounds a lot like the 1970 Chicago single “Twenty-Five Or Six To Four.” It would hardly be the only time the threesome would dip into the oldies either. Still, with no known lawsuits in the Chicago matter, maybe it’s a fair cop. And besides, don’t they both remind you of another tune, more specifically this one by Led Zep?

#7: The Who “Baba O’Riley” (1971) vs. One Direction “Best Song Ever” (2013)

Okay, so it’s dressed up a lot with modern flash and glam, but isn’t that totally Pete Townshend’s power chord riff under there? Teenage ripoff? Whoa, yeah. For his part, Townshend himself didn’t bat an eyelash and let the boy band’s homage pass credit and royalty-free, claiming there are really only so many chords out there. That may also explain 1D’s 2012 single, “Live While We’re Young,” which quickly drew comparisons to The Clash. By the way, does Tom Cruise know he’s in this video?

#6: The Beatles “Lady Madonna” (1968) vs. Sublime “What I Got” (1996)

It may not make sense to copy the biggest band in the history of everything, but then again… it kinda does. While we can’t say for sure that the ska punk rockers had the Paul McCartney-penned pop song on their Walkmans when they recorded their most successful radio single, the songs are in the same key and have nearly indistinguishable melodies. Also, while not present, “Lady Madonna”’s signature riff does tuck in nicely throughout much of “What I Got,” so we think that’s a mash-up waiting to happen.

#5: Madonna “Express Yourself” (1989) vs. Lady Gaga “Born This Way” (2011)

Well, we’re certainly not the first to point this one out, as even the Material Girl herself expressed that these two sound alike. While Gaga claims there was no intentional copying, she has stated that both songs follow the same chord progression and has also cited Madonna as one of her major influences… not that she had to. Meanwhile, Madge’s take on the similarity runs the range of mildly miffed to honored, depending on when you ask her.

#4: Beyoncé “Halo” (2009) vs. Kelly Clarkson “Already Gone” (2009)

Pay attention Mojoholics, we’re cracking this one wide open. While even the most casual ear will pick up the sameness of these two songs, the paper trail shows something very concrete: the same co-writer. OneRepublic’s Ryan Tedder played a part in writing both of these tunes and while we can’t be sure what parts he wrote for each, “Halo” was completed but not yet released when he moved on to “Already Gone.” This led Kelly Clarkson to allege that he had reused the former’s musical arrangement on hers, though Tedder has denied this. Although you can’t technically plagiarize yourself, laziness is rarely a virtue.

#3: Lustra “Scotty Doesn’t Know” (2004/06) vs. Hannah Montana” Rock Star” (2008)

It wasn’t officially released until 2006, but the Lustra song was actually first heard in the 2004 film “EuroTrip.” Meanwhile, Miley Cyrus’, er, Hannah Montana’s “Rock Star” was taken from the 2007 “Hannah Montana 2” movie soundtrack to promote the next year’s “Best of Both Worlds Concert” film. While Lustra contemplated making legal moves, citing a similarity between the guitar riff featured in both songs, it’s interesting to note that “Scotty Doesn’t Know” has been also linked to the 1988 track “Reptile” by The Church – so maybe they shouldn’t throw stones.

#2: The Beatles “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da” (1968) vs. The Offspring “Why Don’t You Get a Job?” (1998)

It may not make sense to copy the biggest band in the history of everything, but then again… wait, we said that already. While both of these songs are in different keys, they do follow the same tune and share the same general feel and flow. The ska punk band has also been accused of lifting elements of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Cecilia”… but take a listen and decide for yourself.

Before we unveil our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- U2 “Staring at the Sun” (1997) vs. Gorillaz “Feel Good Inc.” (2005)
- The White Stripes “Ugly as I Seem” (2005) vs. Kid Rock “Born Free” (2010)
- Metallica “Welcome Home (Sanitarium)” (1986) vs. Misfits “Helena” (1999)
- TLC “No Scrubs” (1999) vs. IMx “Stay the Night” (1999)
- Sara Bareilles “Brave” (2013) vs. Katy Perry “Roar” (2013)

#1: Iggy Pop “Lust For Life” (1977) vs. Jet “Are You Gonna Be My Girl” (2003)

While many called the Aussie rockers out on dipping into the Iggy well in 2003, Jet has claimed to have gone straight to the source: Motown. In fact, Pop and his “Lust for Life” co-writer David Bowie did the very same; they used Martha and the Vandellas as well as The Supremes as starting points, proving that “you can’t hurry love,” and you can’t beat a classic… but there’s no harm in trying! Despite the two tracks’ popularity and being so openly inspired by other songs, no papers have been served and no legal battles have ensued so far.

Do you agree with our list? What’s your favorite sound-alike song? For more inspired Top 10s published daily, be sure to subscribe to WatchMojo.com.
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