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All Posts Tagged Drums

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Price Tag (Jessie J) | Sounds Like | Zimba Ku (Black Heat)

Price Tag by Jessie J Zimba Ku by Black Heat

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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.

Price Tag (:18) VS Zimba Ku (:00)



Good Thing (Sage The Gemini) | Sounds Like | Style (Taylor Swift)

Good Thing by Sage The Gemini Style by Taylor Swift

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The synth bass line and drum beat in the chorus to Sage the Gemini's Good Thing featuring Nick Jonas (released May 18, 2015) is very similar to the synth bass line and drum beat in the verse to Taylor Swift's Style (released February 9, 2015). Both bass parts are in the same key (B minor/D major), play nearly identical sixteenth note melodies that move from the B to the G, while the drum beat has the same tempo and pattern. Ironically, Style echos Jonas' song Jealous.

Good Thing (:55) VS Style (:20)



Happy (Pharrell Williams) | Sounds Like | Cool Jerk (The Capitols)

Happy by Pharrell Williams Cool Jerk by The Capitols

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Pharrell Williams' infectious hit Happy, from the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack (released December 16, 2013), reflects a range of influences from mid- and late-Sixties Pop/Soul in its verses to mid-Seventies Pop in its choruses. The production and rhythm of Happy's verses are reminiscent of The Capitol's 1966 hit Cool Jerk (1:34) (particularly the drum beat and sound). It's also similar to Wilson Pickett's Land of 1000 Dances (:42), as well as Stevie Wonder's Fingertips Part 2 (:39, i.e. "clap your hands just a little bit louder"), Ray Charles' What I'd Say (3:30), Aretha Franklin's Chain of Fools, and Marvin Gaye's Ain't That Peculiar. The verse is essentially an F major blues progression, featuring an F minor pentatonic riff and a "call and response" between the vocals and the keyboard. Likewise, there are sonic references to The Fifth Dimension's Up, Up and Away (Pharrell even utters the line "I'm a hot air balloon that could go to space) and Donovan's Sunshine Superman (again Pharrell subconsciously sings "Sunshine, she's here you can take a break").

Happy's chorus features a C#maj7-Cmin7-Cmin7-Fmajor chord progression, which at first implies that the key has switched from F major to F minor (i.e. VI-v-v-i). However, the final chord of the chorus (the root) remains major, which provides a pleasant surprise to the listener. This major/minor root shift reminds many of Gnarls Barkley's Crazy, which does the same thing in its second verse (using C#major instead of the expected C#minor). The same chord progression is found in the verses for Hall and Oates' One On One (albeit a whole step higher and slower).

Honorable mention:
The choruses for Nicolette Larson's Lotta Love (released October 2, 1978), Little Anthony and the Imperial's 1965 classic Hurts So Bad (:25), Minnie Ripperton's Loving You (released January 13, 1975), and Happy, all share the same first two chords and rhythm. Lastly, Happy has a winking melodic/lyrical reference to Cameo's Word Up ("Throw your hands in the air, like you don't care) via the line "With the air like I don't care, baby, by the way."

Happy (:13) VS Cool Jerk (1:34)



Church of the Poison Mind (Culture Club) | Sounds Like | Uptight (Stevie Wonder)

Church of the Poison Mind by Culture Club Uptight (Everything's Alright) by Stevie Wonder

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You could literally switch the lyrics of each song and sing them over the others verse.



Kick Buttowski Theme Song (Andy Sturmer) | Sounds Like | T N T (AC DC)

Kick Buttowski Theme Song by Andy Sturmer T N T by AC DC

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I have to believe that Andy Sturmer (of Jellyfish fame) was paying tribute to AC/DC when he co-wrote the theme to Disney XD's daredevil 'toon. The resemblance is too strong.

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Best Buy Co, Inc.