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.
While Canadian singer-songwriter-producer Abel Makkonen Tesfaye's a.k.a. The Weeknd's Can't Feel My Face (released June 8, 2015) has drawn comparisons to Michael Jackson's Rock With You (:51), mainly due to the vocal similarities between Tesfaye and the late King of Pop, elements of Can't Feel My Face can be found in Herb Alpert's Rise (released July 20, 1979), The Greg Khin Band's Jeopardy (2:03) (released 1983), Bill Wither's Lovely Day (2:17) (released December 1977), and even Madness' Our House (:15) (released November 12, 1982). Compare the bass lines/groove from Can't Feel My Face with those from Rise, Lovely Day, and Our House, and the chorus drum fill in CFMF with the one in Jeopardy.
As announced on August 7, 2015 in the Hollywood Reporter, Dr. Luke is being sued by New Old Music Group for allegedly copying the opening breakbeat for Jessie J's Price Tag (released January 25, 2011), which Luke co-wrote and produced, from Black Heat's funk song Zimba Ku (released 1972). Have a listen.
The pre-chorus vocal melody to Maroon 5's This Summer's Gonna Hurt Like a MotherF****r (released May 15, 2015) is similar to the chorus vocal melody to Rose Royce's R&B classic Wishing on a Star (released 1978). Essentially, Maroon 5 lowered the key a half-step (from Ab to G) and reversed the chord progression (from vi-ii to ii-vi).
This Summer's Gonna Hurt (:51) VS Wishing on a Star (:22)
This Summer's Gonna Hurt
Key: G major
A minor, E minor (ii-vi)
Vocal Melody (pre-chorus relative to root):
3-1-7-6-7-1-2-3 ("I see her dancing in the streets")
1-7-6-7-1-2-3 ("Sipping champagne on the beach")
Wishing on a Star
Key: Ab major
F minor, Bb minor (vi-ii)
Vocal Melody (chorus relative to root):
3-6-7-1-2-3 ("I'm wishing on a star")
3-6-7-1-2-3-2-1 ("To find out where you are")
The bass line to Nick Jonas' Teacher (released October 14, 2014) is reminscent of the bass line to the Commodores funk classic Brick House (released August 26, 1977). Both bass lines play off of the pentatonic minor scale (Teacher in the key of G minor, Brick House in the key of A minor) and feature a chromatic walk-up from the seventh step of the minor scale to the root, starting on the third beat. Also, the synth solo in Teacher (around :51) is vaguely reminiscent of the theme to the film Beverly Hills Cop a.k.a. Axel F (1:16) by Harold Faltermeyer. Finally, Teacher's verse vocal melody is similar to the verse vocal melody to Kelly Clarkson's Walk Away (released January 17, 2006).
Australian rapper Iggy Azalea's song Trouble (released February 24th, 2015), which features Jennifer Hudson, is reminiscent of several throwback soul/R&B songs. The gospel-tinged piano riff features the same rhythm as the Staple Singers I'll Take You There (released 1972), and Trouble has a similar chord progression (albeit in a different key) to Jean Knight's Mr. Big Stuff (released May 1971). Likewise, the opening jangly guitar riff/arrangement is similar to the Jackson 5's I Want You Back (released October 7, 1969). Hudson's chorus vocal melody is also similar to the chorus vocal melody to the Black Crowe's Jealous Again (released 1989).
Hurts my brain to think about all of the songs referenced by Uptown Funk featuring Bruno Mars (released November 10, 2014). I think this excerpt from Wikipedia, says it best:
According to Billboard 's author, Sean Ross, the song is widely influenced by funk artists and their songs, including James Brown's "Living in America", Stevie Wonder 's "Superstition", Zapp's "More Bounce to the Ounce", One Way's "Cutie Pie", The Gap Band's "Oops Up Side Your Head", Earth, Wind & Fire's "Getaway", The Sequence's "Funk You Up", The Sugarhill Gang's "Apache", George Kranz's "Trommeltanz (Din Daa Daa)" and The Time's "Cool" though more likely this comes from The Time's hit "Jungle Love". The only song on "Uptown Funk" specifically credited is the 2012 top 10 R&B and rap hit Trinidad James' "All Gold Everything" (which gives the song its "don't believe me, just watch" chant).
Nicely done Mr. Ross.
To the aforementioned list, I would add:
Kool and The Gang's Ladies Night and Hollywood Swinging
Duran Duran's Notorious
Zendaya's single Too Much (released June 17, 2014) from the soundtrack to Disney's movie "Zapped", tips its hat to several funky predecessors including Dancing Machine (released February 19, 1974) by the Jackson 5 (similarities include verse vocal melody, groove, and killer clavinet), Christina Aguilera's Ain't No Other Man (similarities: the sound and timing of the sampled horn vamps), and KC & The Sunshine Band's Boogie Man (similarities: production, bass line, and groove). While the keys are a half-step apart (Too Much in G minor and Dancing Machine in Ab minor), both diatonic verse vocal melodies emphasize the root, second, and minor third in descending order.