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All Posts Tagged Ballad

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Given to Fly (Pearl Jam) | Sounds Like | Going to California (Led Zeppelin)

Given to Fly by Pearl Jam Going to California by Led Zeppelin

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Pearl Jam's Nineties track Given to Fly (released December 22, 1997, and featured on the Showtime series Roadies) lifts its verse vocal melody directly from Led Zeppelin's classic rock ballad Going to California (released November 8, 1971).

Given to Fly (:15) VS Going to California (:13)



When We Were Young (Adele) | Sounds Like | Bad Day (Daniel Powter)

When We Were Young by Adele Bad Day by Daniel Powter

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Adele's When We Were Young (released January 22, 2016) from her record-breaking third studio album, 25, echoes several earlier pop hits including Bad Day by Daniel Powter (released 2005), Mary's Prayer by Danny Wilson (released April 6, 1987), Harmony by Elton John (released 1973), I Made It Through the Rain by Barry Manilow (released 1980) and more (SEE Below). In particular, When We Were Young and Bad Day share keys (Eb) and verse chord progressions. Compare the changes starting with WWWY's "'Cause I've been by myself all night long/Hoping you're someone I used to know" with Bad Day's line "You tell me your life's been way off line/You're falling to pieces every time/And I don't need no carrying on."

When We Were Young (1:02) VS Bad Day (:48)

When We Were Young
Key: Eb
Verse Chord Progression:
C min, G min, Ab, Eb/Gb (vi-iii-IV-I)
F min, Eb (ii-I) [first, second, and third ending]
F min, Bb (ii-V) [fourth ending]
Chorus Chord Progression:
Ab, Bb, G minor, Ab (IV-V-iii-IV)
Ab, Bb, G minor, Eb (IV-V-iii-V)
Eb, Eb/G, Ab, Bb (I-I-IV-V) [2x]
C min, G min, Ab, Ab min (vi-iii-IV-iv)
F min, Bb (ii-V)

Bad Day
Key: Eb
Verse Chord Progression:
Eb, Absus2, Bbsus (I-IV-V)
C min, G min/Eb, Ab, Eb/Gb (vi-iii-IV-I)
F min, Bb (ii-V)
Chorus Chord Progression:
Eb, Ab, F min, Bb (I-IV-ii-V)

When We Were Young (1:16) VS Mary's Prayer (Danny Wilson) (:00)

When We Were Young (1:11) VS Harmony (Elton John) (:00)

When We Were Young (1:16) VS Into The Night (Benny Mardones) (:27)

When We Were Young (1:16) VS I Made It Through The Rain (Barry Manilow) (1:08)

When We Were Young (1:28) VS Stuck On You (Lionel Richie) (:18)

When We Were Young (1:28) VS Too Much Heaven (The BeeGees) (:18)

When We Were Young (1:16) VS Bizarre Love Triangle (New Order) (1:20)

When We Were Young (:23) VS Never Surrender (Corey Hart) (:20)

When We Were Young (1:16) VS It's Raining Men (The Weather Girls) (:58)

When We Were Young (1:03) VS Taking You Home (Don Henley) (1:05)

When We Were Young (:23) VS Young Girl (Gary Puckett and the Union Gap) (:00)

When We Were Young (:23) VS We Are The World (Michael Jackson et al) (:27)



Fight Song (Rachel Platten) | Sounds Like | Molly Malone (The Dubliners)

Fight Song by Rachel Platten Molly Malone by The Dubliners

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The chorus vocal melody to American singer-songwriter Rachel Platten's Fight Song (released February 19, 2015) is similar to the traditional Irish folk ballad Molly Malone, which dates back to the 1700s, and was popularized in 1977 by the Dubliners (U2, Peter Seeger, and Bing Crosby, among others, have also recorded the song). Both songs are in the key of G major, and emphasize the root note of the diatonic scale (G) in the first bar, and the second note of the diatonic scale in the second bar. Fight Song's production/arrangement (marching drums, bass drone, chant vocal reverb) owes a debt to Katy Perry's Roar (1:08).

Fight Song (:38) VS Molly Malone (1:53)

Fight Song
Key: G major
Chord Progression (chorus):
G, D, E minor, C (I-V-vi-IV)
Chorus Vocal Melody:
3-2-1-1-1 ("This is my fight song")
3-2-1-2-2 ("Take back my life song")
4-3-2-3-3-4 ("Prove I'm alright so-ong")

Molly Malone
Key: G major
Chord Progression (chorus):
G, E minor, Aminor, D (I, vi, ii, V)
Chorus Vocal Melody:
5-1-1-1-1-3 ("A-live a-live O!")
1-2-2-2-2-4 ("A-live a-live O!")



See You Again (Wiz Khalifa) | Sounds Like | I Can't Make You Love Me (Bonnie Raitt)

See You Again by Wiz Khalifa I Can't Make You Love Me by Bonnie Raitt

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The chorus vocal melody to Wiz Khalifa's See You Again (released March 17, 2015), which features Charile Puth, is similar to the verse vocal melody to Bonnie Raitt's signature ballad I Can't Make You Love Me (released October 21, 1991, and written by Mike Reid and Allen Shamblin). Both songs are in the key of Bb major, and have similar progressions and diatonic melodies that begin on the downbeat with the sixth degree of the root scale, followed by the fifth degree, and descending in the second phrase (SEE below).

See You Again (:10) VS I Can't Make You Love Me (:33)

See You Again
Key: Bb major
Chord Progression (chorus):
Gminor, Bb, Eb, Bb (vi-I-IV-I)
Vocal Melody:
[1-3-5 ("It's been a")]
6-5-6 ("Long day")
1-2-2-1-3 ("without you my friend")
3-5-6-7-6-5-3-3 ("and I'll tell you all about it")
2-1-2-2-3-1 ("when I see you again")


I Can't Make You Love Me
Key: Bb major
Chord Progression (chorus):
Eb, Gb minor, Gb minor Eb (IV-vi-vi-IV)
Eb, Bb/D, Gb minor, C minor (IV-I-vi-ii)
Vocal Melody:
6-5-3-3-2 ("Turn down the lights")
2-3-1-6 ("Turn down the bed")
6-1-5-5 ("Turn down these voices")
3-2-1-2 ("inside my head")



Night Changes (One Direction) | Sounds Like | Only You (Yazoo)

Night Changes by One Direction Only You by Yazoo

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The chorus vocal melody and chord progression to One Direction's Night Changes (released November 17, 2014) is reminiscent of Yazoo's synth ballad Only You (released March 15, 1982), though the key of Night Changes is a half-step lower.

Night Changes (:44) VS Only You (1:35)


Night Changes
Key: Ab major
Relevant Chords (chorus): Db maj, Eb maj, Db maj, Eb maj (IV-V-IV-V-I-V-vi-V)
Melody: Diatonic, 4-4-4-4-3-2-b7-1-2/4-4-4-4-3-2-b7-1-2/3-3-5-5-1-3-2-1
Lines: "And I’ve been thinking about you lately/Does it ever drive you crazy?/Just how fast the night changes"


Only You
Key: A major
Relevant Chords (chorus): Dmaj, E maj, A maj, D maj (IV-V-I- IV)
Melody: Diatonic, 4-4-4-3-3-3-3-2-2-3/3-3-3-2-2-2-2-1-1-6/1-4-3-2-1-2-3-1-1
Lines: "All I needed was the love you gave/All I needed for another day/And all I ever knew, only you"



All by Myself (Eric Carmen) | Sounds Like | Piano Concerto No 2 in C minor Opus 18 (Jorge Luis Prats)

All by Myself by Eric Carmen Piano Concerto No 2 in C minor Opus 18 by Jorge Luis Prats

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The verse vocal melody to Eric Carmen's pop ballad All by Myself (released December 1, 1975) was based on the second movement of Sergei Rachmaninoff's Piano Concerto No. 2 in C minor, Opus 18 (composed 1900-1901). All by Myself is a half-step higher. [Thanks to Grayson Dantzic for suggesting this one!]

All by Myself (:29) VS Rachmaninoff (1:39)



Stay (Rihanna) | Sounds Like | Over the Rainbow (Judy Garland)

Stay by Rihanna Over the Rainbow by Judy Garland

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The bridge vocal melody to Rihanna's hit Stay featuring Mikky Ekko (released January 7, 2013) bears some structural resemblance to the bridge vocal melody to Over the Rainbow, the Oscar-winning Arlen and Harburg ballad from the 1939 classic The Wizard of Oz. While in different keys (Stay: C/Amin, OtR: Ab), both melodies follow the same rhythmic four-measure pattern: a bar of alternating diatonic eight-notes (OtR: 5-3, Stay: 1-2), followed by a second bar in which the melody ascends, followed by two sustained notes in the third bar, and essentially a whole-note rest for the fourth. Compare the melody for the lines, OtR: "Some-day I'll wish upon a star and wake-up where the clouds are far be-hind me", and Stay: "Fun-ny you're the bro-ken one, but I'm the on-ly one who needed sa-ving.

Stay (2:51) VS Over the Rainbow (:44)



Bad Day (Daniel Powter) | Sounds Like | I Try (Macy Gray)

Bad Day by Daniel Powter I Try by Macy Gray

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[Bad Day (2:20) VS I Try (2:16) edited by myself]

[Same tempo, drum beat, production/arrangement, though keys are a half-step apart (Bad Day: Eb; I Try: D), and relative chord progression differs. Bad Day (1:00) VS I Try (:47). edit - furtherlane.]



Don't Love You No More (Craig David) | Sounds Like | When You Say Nothing At All (Ronan Keating)

Don't Love You No More (I'm Sorry) by Craig David When You Say Nothing At All by Ronan Keating

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[Don't Love You No More (:55) VS When You Say Nothing At All (1:14)]



Get Here (Oleta Adams) | Sounds Like | Time to Grow (Lemar)

Get Here by Oleta Adams Time to Grow by Lemar

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[Get Here (:00) VS Time to Grow (:00)]

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