British rock powerhouse Radiohead are suing Lana Del Rey over the similarities between her track “Get Free” and their 90s hit “Creep”.
Curiously, the band had a copyright dispute of their own with the same song.
Lana del Rey closes her well-received 2017 album Lust for Life with the hauntingly beautiful track “Get Free”. A tune so haunting and beautiful it almost sounds like “Creep”.
Reportedly, Radiohead were less than impressed and Lana herself confirmed the news of the band’s legal action on Twitter earlier today.
It’s true about the lawsuit. Although I know my song wasn’t inspired by Creep, Radiohead feel it was and want 100% of the publishing – I offered up to 40 over the last few months but they will only accept 100. Their lawyers have been relentless, so we will deal with it in court.
— Lana Del Rey (@LanaDelRey) January 7, 2018
“Creep” is one of the songs that put Radiohead in the mainstream, but ironically, it’s one of the tracks the band hates the most. They’ve distanced themselves from the hit single for decades now, very rarely including it in their live sets.
During the 90s, the band started to avoid playing it in their gigs because they noticed people often exhibited little interest in the rest of their catalogue. Furthermore, the band moved away from the guitar-driven grunge sound of the hit single in the following decades, isolating it even more from their live repertoire.
“Creep” itself was the centre of a copyright dispute back in the day because it shares a chord progression and melody with “The Air That I Breathe”, the 1972 song by the Hollies.
The song’s writers Albert Hammond and Mike Hazlewood subsequently sued, receiving co-writing credits and a royalties percentage.
“Radiohead agreed that they had actually taken it … Because they were honest they weren’t sued to the point of saying ‘we want the whole thing’. So we ended up just getting a little piece of it,” Hammond wrote on his website.
Given that fact, it’s a little striking that according to Lana Del Rey, Radiohead now wants full royalties for “Creep”. Maybe they want her to be straight about the whole thing and acknowledge she took it? We don’t know.
Of course, ripping off old hits is nothing novel in the music industry. Just ask Led Zeppelin.
Recently, Sam Smith had to give royalties to Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne over his song “Stay With Me”, allegedly borrowed from The Heartbreakers tune of 1989 classic “I Won’t Back Down”.
Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams also got in legal trouble after a jury in Los Angeles decided their smash single “Blurred Lines” sounded a bit too much like Marvin Gaye’s “Got To Give It Up”.
Here’s all three songs entangled in this copyright dispute so you can spot the obvious similarities.
Know of any other blatant rip-off songs? Leave us your thoughts in the comments.