A lot of people accuse hip-hop artists of stealing their best music. You can't get through a rap song nowadays without hearing bits and snippets of other popular songs that have been "sampled" in. On one hand, it sucks, because now your favorite song is ruined. But on the other hand, at least you have something to complain about now.
What most people don't understand, however, is that those original artists probably "sampled" their songs from someone else who had also sampled in their music, and on and on in an eternal circle of "legitimate" theft. Artists like ...
(Cracked is all original, which is why we made a Star Wars: Adventures in Jedi School mini-series.)
Depending on who you ask, Green Day is either one of the last great punk bands to walk the earth or a total slap in the face to everything punk music stands for. Either way, there's one fact about this polarizing band that nobody can dispute -- they love to steal. In fact, their last three proper studio albums have all prominently featured songs that sound suspiciously similar to other musicians' work.
Many of you will remember (and potentially resent) the song "American Idiot" as being the catalyst for the great Green Day comeback of the early 2000s. As a band, Green Day was nearly dead before that record was released. But then the title track hit the airwaves and a whole new generation of fans fell in love. We're guessing not a lot of those new fans were familiar with a relatively unknown punk band called Dillinger Four, because if they were, they would have been irate. Take a listen to the opening riff of Dillinger Four's awesomely titled "Doublewhiskeycokenoice":
And now, check out the opening (and pretty much only) riff of "American Idiot":
Right, pretty goddamn similar. And the shenanigans (hello, obscure Green Day reference!) don't end there. On Warning, the far less beloved album that preceded the American Idiot triumph, the band basically added different lyrics to an old Kinks song and released it as the title track and first single:
Not wanting to break their streak of albums featuring hit singles stolen from other bands, Green Day's most recent album, 21st Century Breakdown, included one of their biggest singles ever, the super-duper depressing "21 Guns." Several attentive listeners noted that the song bore a striking resemblance to an ELO song called "Telephone Line." Check it out:
And that wasn't the first time they scored massive success with a "borrowed" tune. You may remember the single "Boulevard of Broken Dreams" as being that song you heard every day on the radio for like six months back in 2004. Either that, or you'll remember it as an Oasis song you also heard on the radio every day about 10 years earlier. But if there's any band that has no right to complain about other bands stealing their shit, it's definitely Oasis. Allow us to explain ...