Tales from the Jugular

I Heard That Somewhere Before!

By: Eric Compton & Frank Hill
Published: Sunday, January 15, 2006
Tales From The Jugular - "I Heard That Somewhere!"

Okay, we've all caught ourselves at one point or another saying, "Didn't I hear that riff somewhere?". Every band at some point has probably used some reference to a past riff, melody, or verse. It just happens. Nothing can be completely original, if we wanted that we would probably just limit ourselves to Sabbath, Chuck Berry, and Hendrix. But we as metal fans go for the glory, we have to have more and more metal, and as the bands, records, and songs become plentifuly, occasionally we find ourselves asking the above question.

This issue of Tales From The Jugular, otherwise known as the best damn column on the web, will list just a few of those songs that seem to have copied themselves after another riff or song. We aren't necessarily saying this is wrong or piracy on the part of the band, we just simply want to say, "We caught YOU!".

Have fun with it, and don't point fingers! It's all for the love of metal!

Thunderhead - Blood
Germany's Thunderhead get the award for the biggest rip-off in metal history. I love Ted Bullet and the rest of the band, but I can't imagine what they were thinking here. Thunderhead's "Blood" was released on their 1999 venture "The Ugly Side". Fans of Annihilator immediately noticed that "Blood" was almost a complete clone of the Canadian thrash act's "In The Blood", from their 1994 record "King Of The Kill". Thunderhead's version has almost the exact same lyrics word for word, using the same song structure and a slightly different chorus part. Who said you can't get blood from a stone?

Aska - Crown Of Thorns
Man, I'm a huge fan of Texas based band Aska, but the opening track "Crown Of Thorns", from their 2000 release "Avenger", is a complete rehash of Judas Priest's "Desert Plains". The song structure, riffs, and songwriting is geared to fit that song's mold entirely! "Crown Of Thorns" is a great song, but I prefer the Priest original.

Metallica - Enter Sandman
The metal heroes of endless courtroom battles almost had the tables turned against them in 2003. The punk/metal band Excel threatened to sue the Bay Area superstars with copyright infringement, claiming that Metallica stole the main riff of "Enter Sandman" from their original song called "Tapping Into The Emotional Void". Excel released said song on their 1989 album "The Joke's On You", and after recently hearing this original cut, the verdict is in from me; A complete ripoff! Excel should seek billions and billions!

Savatage - Power Of The Night
Okay, 'Tage are probably one of my favorite bands ever, and "Power Of The Night" may be one of the finest metal songs period. That still doesn't excuse the band from laying siege to Def Leppard's "Wasted" riff. The British superstars find their main groove used as the opening riff as well as the main riff through the Savatage classic. Still, how can you knock a chorus with a hook like "Raise The Fist Of The METAL CHILD!!!!?"

Tyrant - Thru The Night
Once again Def Leppard's "Wasted" riff is used here, this time L.A. power/thrash band Tyrant use the riff as the main groove through their '85 track "Thru The Night", released on the debut album "Legions Of The Dead". Not quite as powerful as either 'Leppard or 'Tage, but as a whole Tyrant may have the better full length.

Poison - Talk Dirty To Me
This one is so close to Cheap Trick's "She's Tight" that C.C. Deville should have another year added to his jail sentence for plagerism. Download the CT song and see for yourself.

Heart - Barracuda
Yeah, it's one of the great classic rock songs on AOR radio and you have to give the ladies credit for breaking down barriers for females in the industry, but they were also big Zeppelin fans and the main 'Cuda riff was done before by Zep in the song "Achilles Last Stand". The Heart number from 1978 is more well-known, but Zep came first in 1976. Sorry, girls.

Iron Maiden - Two Minutes To Midnight
Uh, oh...we're treading on hollowed ground here with the mighty Maiden who has always been an original band, but they weren't the only ones from the early-80's with a twin-guitar attack. Give a listen to the opening riff of "TMTM" and then try out "Swords and Tequila" by Riot on their well-regarded album Fire Down Under (1981)

Motley Crue - Shout At the Devil
If you stick "Shout" up against Aerosmith's "Walk This Way" you'll find some eerie similarities. It's not the same sound, but "Shout" has the same basic structure and vocal dilevery as "Walk". Not convinced? Fact 1--writter Nikki Sixx was a big Aerosmith fan growing up. Fact 2--"Shout" contains the words 'seasons of wither' which was an Aero song. Still not convinced? Try rapping "Shout" like you're Run DMC and you'll notice where the vocal accents are the same. It's clear Nikki had absorbed Aerosmith into his subconscious. Here's parts side by side:

Shout at the Devil
He’s the wolf screaming lonely in the night
He’s the blood-stain on the stage
He’s the tear in your eye
Been tempted by his lie,
He’s the knife in your back, He’s rage

He’s the razor to the knife
Oh, lonely is our lives
My heads spinnin’ round and round
But in seasons of wither, We’ll stand and deliver
Be strong and laugh and...
Walk This Way
Backstroke lover always hidin' 'neath the covers
Till I talked to your daddy he say
He said you ain't seen nothin'
till you're down on a muffin
Then you're sure to be a changin' your ways

I met a cheerleader
was a real young bleeder
Oh the times I could reminisce
'Cause the best things of lovin' with her sister and her cousin
Only started with a little kiss

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