Kungs vs Cookin' on 3 Burners song This Girl (released February 19, 2016, which is a remix of the latter's original version) resembles several earlier soul/pop tracks including The Style Council's My Ever Changing Moods (released 1984), Classics IV's songs Spooky (released October 1967, and covered by related group Atlanta Rhythm Section in 1979) and Stormy (released 1968), and even Electric Light Orchestra's Evil Woman (released October 1975).
One Direction's single History (released November 6, 2015) is reminiscent of Huey Lewis and the News' top-ten 80s hit If This Is It (released July 10, 1984), as well as John Sebastian's Welcome Back (released March 1976), which served as the theme song to the U.S. television series Welcome Back, Kotter. OneD seems to have grafted Welcome Back's handclaps, acoustic guitar strumming, and nostalgic theme onto If This Is It's vocal harmonies, progression, and groove. While History is in the key of Gb, it's only a half-step lower than both Welcome Back and If This Is It (both in the key of G). Likewise, History is in 12/8 time, but the feel is similar to the groove of Welcome Back, and If This Is It (both of which have 4/4 time). History also features a dominant 9sus4 chord (sustained for a whole note) just before the chorus a la If This Is It. Seems an unlikely coincidence.
The chorus to the Weeknd's Can't Feel My Face (released June 8, 2015) is oddly reminiscent of Hall and Oates' last Billboard Hot 100 number one single, Out of Touch (released October 4, 1984). Same key and similar chord progressions (though tempos and melodies differ.
The verse vocal melody to Charlie Puth's One Call Away (released August 20, 2015) is very similar to the verse vocal melody to the Black Eyed Peas' Just Can't Get Enough (released February 18, 2011). While in different keys a whole step apart (OCA: Db major; JCGE: Eb major), both melodies have a similar contour. One Call Away's chorus vocal melody is reminiscent of the vocal melody to A Heart Full of Love (4:28) (from the musical Les Miserables). Others have compared OCA's chorus chord progression to Michael Jackson's Hold My Hand featuring Akon (:17), and it's vaguely reminiscent of English baroque composer Jeremiah Clarke's classical work Trumpet Voluntary (a.k.a. Prince of Denmark's March) composed circa 1700.
One Call Away (:56) VS Just Can't Get Enough (1:19)
Like I'm Gonna Lose You by Meghan Trainor featuring John Legend (released June 23, 2015) owes a debt of gratitude to numerous 60s Soul/R&B records (including Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell's Your Precious Love). However, Sam Cooke's Bring It on Home to Me (released May 8, 1962) seems the most likely template for Trainor's hit (BIoHtM is actually Cooke's re-working of Charles Brown's 1959 single I Want to Go Home). While the chord changes differ significantly, similarities between LIGLY and BIoHtM include: key (both songs are in C major), meter (both songs are in 12/8 time signature), melody (LIGLY's verse vocal melody is very close to BIoHtM's intro piano melody).
Like I'm Gonna Lose You (:05) VS Bring It on Home to Me (:00)
Sam Smith’s I’m Not the Only One (released August 31, 2014) is reminiscent of several songs including Roy Orbison’s You Got It (released 1989, written by Orbison, Jeff Lynne, and Tom Petty), Ray LaMontagne’s You Are the Best Thing (released August 26, 2008), Ray Charles’ Georgia on My Mind (released September 1960, written by Hoagy Carmichael and Stuart Gorrell), Bob Marley’s No Woman No Cry (released in 1974), Aimee Mann’s Save Me (an Oscar-nominee released in 1999), and the jazz standard All of Me (written by Gerald Marks and Seymour Simons in 1931). The chord progression/piano part to I’m Not the Only One (F, A7, D minor, Bb major 7 or I, V/vi, vi, IVM7) features a “secondary dominant” or “V of vi” for it’s second chord. The same progression/device (relative to key) is shared by all of the aforementioned songs, with the exception of Marley’s tune. In addition, the vocal melody to the last line in INtOO's chorus: "I know I'm not the only one," is similar to the vocal melody in Santana's Smooth (released June 29, 1999): "You got the kind of loving' that can be so smooth."
I’m Not the Only One (:41) VS You Got It (:43)
I’m Not the Only One
Key: F major
Chord Progression: F, A7, D minor, BbM7 (or I, V/vi, vi, IV | I, V, I, I)
You Got It
Key: A major
Chord Progression: A, C#7, F# minor, D (or I, V/vi, vi, IV)
Ed Sheeran's single Thinking Out Loud (released August 14, 2014) resembles several songs, in terms of chord progression/rhythm guitar part, and melody, including John Mayer's Waiting on the World to Change (released August 1, 2006), John Hiatt's Have a Little Faith in Me (released May 29, 1987), All-4-One's I Can Love You Like That (released 1995), Marvin Gaye's soul/funk classic Let's Get It On (released June 15, 1973), Van Morrison's romantic ballad Crazy Love (released 1970), and Curtis Mayfield and the Impressions gospel/soul classic People Get Ready (released 1965) to which Waiting on the World also owes a debt. Also, the vocal melody to TOL's pre-chorus is similar to a vocal melody in the chorus of Avril Lavigne's My Happy Ending (released July 7, 2004). Compare: TOL's "people fall in love in mysterious ways maybe it's all part of a plan" with MHE's "all this time you were pretending, so much for my happy ending"). Honorable mention to Gregory Abbott's Shake You Down (released September 29, 1986), Extreme's More Than Words (released March 23, 1991), Steely Dan's Hey Nineteen (November 1980) and Paul McCartney and Wings' With a Little Luck (March 20, 1978) .
Thinking Out Loud
Key: D major
Chord Progression (Verse/Chorus):
D, D/F#, G, A (or I, I/III, IV, V)
Waiting on the World to Change
Key: D major
Chord Progression (Verse/Chorus - rhythm/guitar part):
D, B minor, G, D (or I, vi, IV, I)
A, B minor, G, D (or V, vi, IV, I)
The chorus vocal melody and chord progression for Hozier's Take Me To Church (released September 16, 2013) are similar to the chorus vocal melody and chord progression for Joe Cocker's signature 1974 hit You Are So Beautiful (written by Billy Preston, Bruce Fisher, and an uncredited Dennis Wilson of the Beach Boys). Compare the lines TMTC: "I'll worship like a dog at the shrine of your life," and YASB: "You're everything I've hoped for." Since C# major 7 contains an F minor chord, the C#M-C7 chord progression in You Are So Beautiful's chorus is essentially the same as Take Me To Church's Emin-B7, only a half-step higher (i.e. Fmin-C7). Take Me To Church's descending chromatic guitar riff is also identical to one found in Pink Floyd's Have a Cigar.
Take Me To Church (1:00) VS You Are So Beautiful (:52)
American singer-songwriter Meghan Trainor's track Dear Future Husband (released September 9, 2014) is patterned directly after Dion DiMucci's doo-wop classic Runaround Sue (released September 1961). Similarities include: spoken intro over whole note strummed chords, tempo (80 bpm), background vocal parts (same male group vocal "ahh" glissando at the breaks and "hey" accents during the verses), production/arrangement (e.g. handclaps, saxophone part, bass line, drum beat, etc.), and same classic 50s chord progression (I-vi-IV-V or 1-minor 6-4-5), keys (half step apart--Runaround Sue in D major, Dear Future Husband in C# major).