CLEVELAND, Ohio –
Pop artists beware! After a landmark ruling went against Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams for making music that sounded vaguely similar to any number of Marvin Gaye songs, thousands of other commercial musicians are under the threat of similar lawsuits. Gaye’s family brought the copyright suit against Thicke and Williams for their track “Blurred Lines,” which the artists say was going for a 70s/80s sound.
The ruling is cause for concern among the commercial music market as, according to Warner Music CEO Stephen Cooper, “all pop music sounds somewhat alike. Nothing completely new has been made in the pop industry for decades. There’s a simple reason for it – certain sounds are what people like, and most of those sounds have already been done at some point since recording music became possible.”
Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars are particularly worried about the verdict. Their massive hit “Uptown Funk” draws heavily on funk music, and any number of the genre’s artists could claim that it sounds sort of similar.
“We were just trying to make a cool song,” said Ronson. “And yes, it didn’t come entirely from a background of knowing absolutely no music that could possibly sound similar to a funk rhythm with repetitive lyrics. But we’re not nearly talented enough for that. Pharrell? He’s even further away from that talent.”
Record companies are already dropping some of the biggest artists of our day. Iggy Azalea has been dropped from her label, for sounding “too much like some black rapper.” Beyonce has been dropped for sounding “similar in some songs to Janet Jackson.” Jay-Z has been dropped for sounding like Kanye West sometimes. Kanye West has been dropped for sounding like Jay-Z on occasion. And everyone else has been dropped after it was noticed that most of them had drawn on influences from The Beatles, and The Rolling Stones, and other iconic bands.
Nickleback is apparently next in line for court action, as they sound almost exactly like Nickleback did in 1999.