Cat Stevens: That Coldplay tune sounds like mine

Another artist claims Coldplay borrowed unattributed material for one of its hit songs. Cat Stevens (now Yusuf Islam) says that the band’s "Viva La Vida" is suspiciously similar to his 1973 song "Foreigner Suite." "My son brought it to my attention and said: ‘Doesn’t that sound like ‘Foreigner Suite?’" the singer-songwriter told Reuters by phone from his home in London. "The song definitely sounds like it.…It has such logical chords and the melody has to be what it is." Islam is not alone in claiming credit for a Coldplay tune. The Brooklyn-based band Creaky Boards said last year that "Vida" sounded like their "The Songs I Didn’t Write," while guitarist Joe Satriani is suing Coldplay, claiming that "Vida" lifts portions of his song, "If I Could Fly." Asked if he, too, would take legal action against the British band, Islam replied, "It depends on how well Satriani does."


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  • nate

    This is the most ridiculous thing in the world really. So first it sounded like Joe Satriani, then Creakey Boards and now Cat Stevens? If I were Chris Martin and Co I would be laughing my ass off. Apparently the song sounds like every other song in the world, lets all sue coldplay yay!!! So is Cat Stevens going to sue Joe Satriani? is Joe suing Creaky Boards, is Creaky Boards suing Cat Stevens?? Completely ridiculous.
    I always love how people seems to cry copyright infringement ONLY on songs that become massive hits but not on anything that fails on the charts, or at least doesn’t make that much money.

  • Anna

    It does sound like all 3 of those songs. I own the Satriani & Cat Stevens ones and thought that when I first heard the Coldplay song. Comment to Nate on “I always love how people seems to cry copyright infringement ONLY on songs that become massive hits”- maybe because if radio stations didn’t play the Coldplay, we would have NEVER heard it to make the comparison. It’s not like I was going to go out and BUY it. It’s been forced at me:) The chorus DOES sound like the 3 songs mentioned, so Coldplay should just pay up and share the songwriting credits with the first one that copyrighted it. But I do not think Coldplay did it on purpose.

  • Jason

    There’s only so many chord permutations. Lots of songs sound like other songs…

  • nate

    Anna. There are only about 12 musical notes, artist are bound to create songs that sound alike and this happens all the time. Every single one of those massive hits I referred to got suddenly called into question months upon months of worldwide play, where were these people leaving? Under a rock? No. They were waiting for the song to bring in the dough and cool down. I stand by my argument.

  • nate

    Sorry to post again, it just seems very convinient to me that Cat Stevens just happens to be promoting a new album that comes out tomorrow. Maybe a bit of controvesy to draw attention to their projects is something even 60year old men resort to also.

  • V

    Ahem. Cat Stevens is better than Coldplay will ever be. Of course this is for publicity, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true.
    Of course there are only so many melodies that can be made, but I think I recall reading a Chris Martin interview in which he says that Coldplay tries to rip off other artists without the listener being able to notice. I think they may have failed on that last bit this time around.

  • Marcus

    I agree with Nate and Jason.

  • Grey

    While it’s true there are only 12 musical notes (exactly 12, not “about 12″), there’s no end to how they can be arranged. I could believe it was an honest mistake on Coldplay’s part if the music/chord changes followed the Satriani song, but when the chord changes are the same, and the vocal melody is exactly the same as the lead guitar melody on top of those chords, then it’s just too much for coincidence. I can’t comment on the Cat Stevens song since I haven’t heard it. And for what it’s worth, there’s PLENTY of copyright cases on lesser known songs, it’s just those cases don’t make the news headlines.

  • Marty

    Then Cat Steven should also sue Satriani if we follow the logic, or Satriani should sue cat Stevens, oh and Coldplay oh and every other artists who’s songs have sounded alike at some point in the history cause there are plenty my friends. I agree with Nate, sounds like a way to get publicity (for a guy who wanted none before, bravo!)

  • J

    Maybe it is just me being a huge Coldplay fan but judging by their first three album, with the exception of “talk” Coldplay has no limits to creative song writing abilities and does not need to “borrow” anything. I highly doubt that they would ever steal any ideas from Satch or Cat. They are better musicians than any of those guys. Obviously the melody is something that fits extremely well with the chords that were used. And then to say again, Why do they all sue Coldplay. Sue each other.

  • keegan

    i dont know about the whole lawsuit thing and all but there is NO WAY coldplay is any where as good as Cat or Sat. They have so far to go to even be considered in the same class as either of those two.

  • claytron5000

    I really hope Islam/Cat isn’t serious about this crap. Yeah, after scouring through the over 18 minutes of “Foreigner Suite,” the melody is there and it’s very similar to Coldplay’s song. At least Cat Steven’s case would have some credence since the songs are in the same key unlike the other two.
    But all of these “claims” are just sour grapes. None of them are close enough in tempo, style, or arrangment to warrant actual credit being shared.
    Islam/Stevens does have the most credible case though. Satriani is a great guitarist but unless he wants to open himself up to about hundred lawsuits from other “solo instrumentalists” he better be careful. And Creaky Boards, puh-lease. Those guys should be sued by the Beach Boys for pathetically trying to recreate their “sound.” Make good music and people will find it. Leave the lawsuits out of it.

  • James

    This is clearly a joke. I rememver buying this album last July, when I was visiting my sister that how I remember, so it’s been out nearly a year. It was one ofthe biggest selling albums last year, and Viva la Vida on of the biggest singles off it, with literally tons of radio and TV airplay. Where the hell has Cat Stevens, Yusuf Islam or whatever he’s calling himself thids weekk been for the past year, living under a rock. As someone else has said, even if you’re not a Coldplay fan you can’t fail to have heard the song. Clearly an old man trying to get his name heard again. As for Satriani, well thats bull to. I the grand scheme of music Satriani is a nobody. Talented, yes, has some fans, yes, but airplay, zero, commercial success, zero, heard by the vast population of the world in anyway, no. I could just be in his and Creaky Boards cases, that Martin and Co had never heard their stuff. I’m sure even proffesional musicians haven’t heard even bit of music ever composed.

  • bigjok

    the moral of the story seems to be, if you have been out the limelight for a while and need some cheap/free publicity accuse coldplay of stealing and in one foul swoop you will be back in the media. job done
    what a load of nonsense, coldplay have no history of stealing songs and have in the past approached kraftwerk to seek permission to use their melody on talk.
    if they had “stole” on viva la vida would they not have asked for permission in the same fashion as they have before
    both yusuf and joe can go and whistle. what a couple of nonces they both are

  • nate

    I’m so glad to see the majority here agrees with my point. these lawsuits are preposterous.

    http://theninthdragonking.wordpress.com/2009/05/04/coldplay-plagiarists-of-the-world/

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