Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Bizarre country/country bizarre

Kiwi singer Aly Cook alerted Simon Grigg via Twitter to this song, which has a guitar lead break that bears a strong similarity to the one in How Bizarre. Aly has played it to Alan Jansson over the phone .. and says her understanding is that Alan feels it's a ripoff. Grigg is looking into it, telling Aly " it's a pretty obvious lift ... Almost a sample (but replayed)."

It's by Kristen Kelly, and is called Ex Old Man, released by Sony. Aly says she's been told  it has just been released as a single in Australia. Listen - live version here at Grand Ol Opry, guitar break at 2.59.

Or watch below, and fast forward to 1.58 to catch the guitar break.


Aly Cook's song Midnight sun is number 14 now on the Top 30 Aussie country tracks chart right now. Nice one. The song is co-written and produced  by Alan Jansson.

UPDATED The NZ Herald Online has picked up my story (thanks for the link), it's on the front page of their site, between a story on the Doha mall fire and a fastfood chain launching a new slice of greasiness. See How bizarre - is that OMC's guitar riff?

ADDED Saturday June 2, 2012 - Aly Cook posted a link in the comments below, from Newsnashville.com, which includes a statement from her on the issue.
See "New Zealand Singer/Songwriter Aly Cook Finds Herself In A Bizarre' Situation".

ADDED Sept 17, 2013: Audi have created an ad called 'Land Of Plenty' that has marked stylistic similarities to OMC's 'Land Of Plenty', read more on that here.

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

" bears a strong similarity to " does not equal "rip off". There's so much music been recorded that the chances of someone stumbling across the same succession of notes as someone else is high. Ppl can't be expected, after writing a tune, to listen to every other song in the world to ensure there's no similarity.

Aly Cook said...

I would also like to say that was not Alan's words but my interpretation in a tweet of his shocked feelings at hear it for the first time.. What is actual copyright infringement is for the powers that be to decide. As Kristen's song has been released in Australia and I'm on the Australian Country Charts with a single co-written & produced by Alan Jansson. I've just by default become the person for the radio people to tell of the similarity in the Riff, as the Radio people in Australia are hearing it for the first time. To anonymous above. You are quite right it could be by accident but "every other song in the world" is not a song thats held the number one position in 15 countries including the USA for airplay.. that was New Zealand's most overseas played work for 5 years and That's hook is it's riff '.. I think its especially noticable as both song finish on the Riff.. Anyway as I say the powers that be decide all that ..

Bob Daktari said...

listened to the whole song - FML...

there is a striking resemblance.. cue lawyers

upside How Bizarre should pick up some extra sales off the publicity if this story gains any legs

and Dub Dot Dash gets herald front page online

win!

Anonymous said...

Anyone listened to Mink De Ville's Spanish Stroll lately?

Peter McLennan said...

Hi Aly, thanks for the comment, I've amended the quote regarding Alan's reaction to the song.

Anonymous said...

"Anyone listened to Mink De Ville's Spanish Stroll lately"

Yes, and the two are quite different.

You don't seriously think a record could become as big as How Bizarre without this being raised by someone else in the last 20 years or so?

Anonymous said...

Unless I am listening to the wrong version on youtube of Mink De Ville's Spanish Stroll. I can't hear what you are talking about?? Is that riff from How Bizarre in there somewhere?

Anonymous said...

I always thought, as did all of our musical friends when it was released, that "How Bizzare" was a compete rip off of "Spanish Stroll." as has been noted above. and if the vaguely similar generic descending riff occurring briefly at 1.58 can be called a lift, Then the estate of Willie DeVille will have not problem proving the wholesale lift from his song...
What was that thing about glass houses and stones?

Anonymous said...

If you want to pull out Spanish Stroll, that lifts the intro melody of Spanish Harlem... whcih probably came from some place else too...

Jess Parsons said...

Well, it is the same riff - I was immediately transported out of Kristen's banal country song into How Bizarre the second it played.

Weird effect.

Anonymous said...

Hey anonymous, I guess you are aware that Willie Deville was actually asked about this when he was alive and said he couldn't hear the lift?

Still, maybe you and your "musical friends" have better ears than him and his publisher?

If you really think that a record can go to number one all over the world and not get sued by somebody who was supposedly ripped off then perhaps you have way less of a clue about music then you think.

Anonymous said...

How Bizzare was a great song, even if it was just for using the phrase 'how bizarre' in a song, cos that was WAY overused in NZ then. But have to agree it was widely regarded as the 'polynesian Spanish Stroll'
then. Doesn't make detract from its many achievements eh. As for the main riff. It always sounded to me like "you can get it if you really want" by jimmy cliff.

Anonymous said...

wow !! Yeah !! def similarities, but this happens all the time.I get a little tired of this crap and everyone wanting to sue everyone.. :( kinda sad and childish really..just sounds like you wanna do a bit of shit stirring.Get over it :( and get on with it. if that were my gat riff that apparently someone ;lifted and used in this amazing song of Kristen's, I think I'd be flattered. she's a brilliant talent and it's a great song.

Anonymous said...

I'm actually quite appalled at the unprofessional way this is being handled.All these accusations being expressed by you guys publicly here. twitter, Facebook and where ever else this has been posted to..before the accused has been given a chance to even know whats going on. wrong wrong wrong !! I just hope those of you who are involved in this will have their own career intact when this is all cleared up.you're all going to look rather silly and spiteful if it doesn't go your way.would have been better to have discussed this privately with the accused first before telling the whole world how pissed off you all are.

Aly Cook said...

http://www.musicnewsnashville.com/new-zealand-singersongwriter-aly-cook-finds-herself-in-a-bizarre-situation

Anonymous said...

when i first heard "how bizzare" i thought the riff sounded like the distinctive spanish guitar hook in the song "there is a rose in spanish harlem..chink a chink chink a chink" etc...
so to me that is what made the song so popular in the first place. the "familier hook"-riff.

Anonymous said...

how bizzare ....spanish harlem... version by the drifters or ben e king in the late 60's aparently written by jerry leiber and mark stoller...stole my car ,...stole my riff ..how bizzare....aretha franklins version is totally different