Coldplay Plagiarism Controversy

by Ryan on June 19, 2008

in Anything Else,Pop Culture

Coldplay’s new album Viva la Vida or Death and All His Friends debuted in America Tuesday and will predictably become a huge hit.  However, there is a potential plagiarism charge levied against the British superband.  Apparently the new Coldplay single (and title track) sounds a lot like the American band Creaky Boards song “The Songs I Didn’t Write.” 

I was once in a college band and know the controversies which arise from bands in the same genre swiping this or that lick or riff from other bands.  My band was innocent of that stuff because we weren’t trying to be too contemporary (we sounded like Tool meets Rush when at the time everyone wanted to sound like 311), but many bands in the area which had a very similar sound always used to complain about this band or that band stealing their music.  It was very tough to watch sometimes. 

In truth, copyrighted material like a song must be intentionally lifted and the notes/arrangement must be nearly identical to have a case in court, otherwise Paul and Ringo have quite a case against OasisVanilla Ice’s swipe of “Under Pressure” was a sampling he gave credit to but also took without permission, hence legal issues arose.  I think the Creaky Boards song and the Coldplay tune are somewhat similar, but Creaky Boards doesn’t have a case in my opinion since they two songs have different arrangements and lyrics.  They are somewhat similar, but not the same.

Hats off to Creaky Boards, though!  This is a great way to get one’s band in the news– all publicity is good publicity in music and the arts when one’s trying to break through.

AP photo.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Kevbo June 21, 2008 at 11:49 pm

Honestly this sounds just as similar… it’s a fairly obtuse chord progression, and about as original as any other major/minor progression in pop music.

Ditto kudos to Creaky Boards on some exposure.


Roger June 22, 2008 at 6:36 am

The band seems to be familiar with plagiarism as a music blog shows it, proof in hands, that the artworks and title of Viva La Vida has been first created by the Japanese rap band Dragon Ash for their album Viva La Revolution they released in…1999!

That makes a lot!

See the whole thing here (with other disturbing details about Brian Eno involvement in it):


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