Tuesday, May 9, 2017

That reminds me of something...

I can't stand it when one song sounds like another song. It drives me bananas, and I go around searching the interwebs to see if other people hear it and are also angry - just to see if I'm crazy or not.

It doesn't matter if both songs are good - it just makes me unable to enjoy either until I know exactly what's going on. Because, despite what Nickelback would have you believe (when two of their hits were mashed to expose they were pretty much the same song,  the band suggested there may be a formula to hit songs and it was a coincidence) there's no such thing as coincidentally writing a song that already exists all on your own by mistake. You sir, ripped someone off. Even if it was yourself.

So, after years of being perturbed that Amerie's 1 Thing (2005), JLO's Get Right (2005) and Beyonce's Crazy in Love (2003) all sound the same I decided to investigate.


And I'm not crazy! Because guess what? All written (or co-written) by the same dude, Rich Harrison, who is also really only best known for these three songs, all of which were hits (written within 2 years of each other), and really - no other hits. Ever.

He wrote Crazy in Love first and says "I had it in the chamber, I had not really shopped it much, because sometimes you do not want to come out of the bag before it's right. People do not really get it and you will leave them with a foul taste in their mouth." Beyonce approached him about using it and together (With JayZ) they put the finishing touches on it in. It was released in May 2003.


In May 2004 Harrison started writing "1 Thing" using the sample from The Meters Oh, Calcutta!. Amerie helped finish it and recorded it but the label "didn't get it" and wouldn't release it. JLO was interested in using the song on her album - when Amerie and Harrison leaked it. When the studio couldn't squash it (and radio began playing it) it was released on Amerie's album

Harrison actually wrote "Get Right" first as "Ride" for Usher, but it didn't make it onto Usher's album. So Harrison reworked (c-o-u- jacked it -gh) it for JLO to sound even more like "1 Thing" and JLO released it.

Usher was not happy.

Rich Harrison found a formula with Crazy in Love in 2003, and then shamelessly duplicated it for JLO and Amerie (and Usher) at the same time.

All three songs are influenced by Go-Go (a regional style of funk originating in DC - where Harrison is from).

All three songs take samples from 70's albums (Chi-Lites (0:13) for CIL - 1970Maceo and the Macks (0:57) for Get Right - 1973/ The Meters (1:46) for 1 Thing - 1969).

Later, to make them all really mix and match, Fabolous is featured on versions of both JLO and Amerie's songs.

So, although Harrison is really only ripping off himself, it's still creating perturbing ripples across the universe which annoy me.

1 Crazy Thing Mash Up. 
1 Thing to Get Right Mash Up. 
Crazy in Love Get it Right Mash Up.

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