When I first heard the Flaming Lips’ song “Fight Test” I immediately recommended it to the Snook. “You’ll like this,” I said. “It reminds me of ‘Father and Son.'” I guess I wasn’t the only one to make the connection. The Lips have agreed to split all royalties from the song with Cat Stevens. I’m not sure I agree with that. I didn’t think they were trying to rip him off; I felt like they were quoting him, making a reference, and possibly even continuing on ideas from his song. That’s legitimate “fair use”, as far as I’m concerned.

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  1. I hadn’t been familiar with ‘Father & Son’ but can definitely see the similarities. I wouldn’t say it’s a blatant rip-off, though–nothing even close to Vanilla Ice’s Queen ripoff. Maybe they could have saved the legal heartache by putting ‘inspired by Cat Stevens’ or some such in the liner notes…

  2. Ah, but wasn’t Vanilla Ice simply a case of being early? Nowadays artists do that sort of thing all the time. Or does Puffy have to clear all those riffs with the original artist?

  3. I’m pretty sure Mr. Diddy has to get his samples cleared. As for Vanilla Ice, let’s not forget that his song was completely different. Remember, he had an extra ‘DA’ before the second line, or at least that’s his argument. 🙂 One of my favorite moments on VH1 ever.

  4. P.S. — The albums with song samples (for win-doze & real-annoying-audio users, at least) are here and here.

  5. I thought Cat Stevens had left all of his mercenary ways behind when he changed his name. What’s he wanting royalties for?

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