And Finally Beef Of The Week

CMU Beef Of The Week #11: Eddy Grant v Gorillaz

By | Published on Saturday 20 March 2010

Oh, those pesky popstars. They put out records and everyone says how brilliant they are and then it turns out they stole the whole thing off someone else. Allegedly. Of course, there are many ways this can happen. Florence Welch recently claimed that she and her machine had sampled Gang Gang Dance for the intro of ‘Rabbit Heart (Raise It Up)’ because they were one of her favourite bands. Unfortunately, she then forgot to credit them.

Or there’s poor old Elastica, who were successfully sued by The Stranglers for stealing the guitar riff of ‘No More Heroes’ for their single, ‘Connection’, despite songwriter Justine Frischmann insisting that she’d never even heard the song she was supposed to have copied. It was decided that they had committed “subconscious infringement”, meaning she’d unknowingly heard the original song at some point, and then her brain had spat it out at a later date and pretended it had come up with something new.

Alternatively, as in the case of ‘Party All The Time’ by The Black Eyed Peas (very possibly), some people just take someone else’s instrumental track, sing over it and hope no one notices – and then settle out of court when the person who actually wrote it inevitably sues them.Who knows which of these different possibilities is the reason Eddy Grant got all up in the face of Damon Albarn this week. Grant claims that the new Gorillaz single, ‘Stylo’, is a near copy of his 1977 track, ‘Time Warp’. Something a number of reviewers noted, too.

In a statement earlier this week, Grant said: “I am outraged that the Gorillaz have infringed the copyright of my song ‘Time Warp’ [while] claiming their song ‘Stylo’ to be an original composition. My song sits almost note to note with their release [which] is a blatant rip off. ‘Time Warp’ is a very popular song and has been a staple of the DJ scene for many years and I feel total disrespect from Gorilliaz and their management company, especially as they are an established act”.

He also pointed out that, giving their songs are both looked after by the same publishing company, EMI Publishing, it’s surprising that someone didn’t notice sooner. EMI Publishing, meanwhile, told the BBC that the claim was “a private matter between Eddy Grant and Gorillaz”.

If I was Damon, I would try the defence of: “It was the cartoons what done it”.

Here the two tracks back to back here

Or both together

Eddy’s track will also be available via all good download stores from Monday, not that Mr Grant is using the Gorillaz’s alleged infringement to cash in or anything.

This Beef Of The Week comes from this edition of the CMU Weekly. Subscribe to the CMU Weekly here.