U2 vs. John Mayer

U2 vs. John Mayer

Steven sent in U2‘s “Peace on Earth” vs. John Mayer‘s recent release “Heartbreak Warfare” and pointed me to the Mayer chorus and the second verse of Peace on Earth.

I wasn’t too psyched about this one until I listened to the intro of Mayer’s Heartbreak and was immediately reminded of  U2’s 1984 track “Bad” and figured that the combination of U2 similarities were enough.

U2 - "Peace on Earth" (2000)

John Mayer - "Heartbreak Warfare" (2009)

U2 - "Bad" (1984)

John Mayer - "Heartbreak Warfare" (2009)

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30 Replies to “U2 vs. John Mayer”

    1. Amy

      omg I too just did my own analysis and came to this conclusion (as a long term, hard core U2 fan, I LOVE the new John Mayer song, now I know. why. wow.

      Reply
      1. lime

        Check out Goyas Child “wailing to the waves from early 1990’s on youtube.
        His Heartbreak battlefield sounds more like that. Easiest to hear at the start of both songs, before he statrts his vocals. Also, his lyrics at one point refer to very similar visual imagery such as lightening, clouds etc.

        Reply
  1. James

    Don’t forget U2’s “Stuck in a Moment”. Mayer didn’t even bother to hide the chord progression he stole when he made “Waitin’ On the World to Change”. It’s the SAME song, with different words! They even gave him a Grammy for “Best Original Song”. Straight up insulting.

    Reply
  2. Ginger

    As an partially obsessed U2 fan, I figured this out the first time I heard it. John Mayer is a douchebag and should stop stealing songs from a band that’s infinitely better than him.

    Reply
    1. Mister Chuck

      Lol. What a stupid comment. U2 isn’t really better than John Mayer. That is just YOUR subjective opinion. Technically John Mayer is the better guitar player but well you just defend your music that’s okay but you can’t call someone a douchebag just by listening to a song and hearing that it is similar to another one. There are only 12 notes in the world and a few chord progressions that are used in so many songs. Of course there are some that just sound very similar. John Mayer is an artist who doesn’t steal songs. Maybe he got inspired by U2 but the lyrics are from his own mind and soul and you can hear this. It’s HIS music and HIS song so stop talking bullshit.

      Reply
      1. Tyler Durden

        Yep, there are 12 notes and yep, there are only so many chords, but that’s a WEAK argument. Paganini worked with 12 notes, Zappa had 12 notes, John McLaughlin works with 12 notes, and so does Alan Holdsworth. Somehow they don’t seem to step on each others toes. WHY? Because those musicians are original and creative. Mayer IS a lazy douchebag more interested in running his mouth and being a second rate SRV wannabe.

        Reply
        1. Nick

          BULL I’m sure some douchebag could sit in his parents basement all day and examine the chord changes between Paganini and Zappa and find 500 million similarities like some douchebag did here, finding similarities between these two sucky douchebags artists. (U2 in it’s entirety and John Mayer, not Paganini and Zappa)

          Reply
  3. Josh

    To call Waiting On The World to Change and Stuck in a Moment the same song with different lyrics is the stupidest thing I have ever heard. You can’t base comparisons on chord progression. 99% of pop music uses similar structures and major keys.

    Reply
  4. Vince

    Heartbreak Warfare is way too close to Bad. I am a hardcore U2 fan and have never liked John Mayer’s music with this song being the only exception. I can see why a lot of U2 fans would like it! As for the SIAM deal, if you use the same exact chords as the song, in the same progression, that is copying another artists song. I’ve always thought of John Mayer to be a douchebag, copying other bands songs supports this even more.

    Reply
  5. Jeff

    Bad for sure but it also sounds like a slower version of Flickerstick’s Got a Feeling too but I am sure this is a U2 lift by Mayer. Bad was about addiction… John M was addicted to J Simpson…

    Reply
  6. Lime

    This song is everywhere I go. It is maddening. A constant reminder of the cash he is reaping from ripping off others.

    Reply
  7. Sabrina

    Is there a possibility John payed U2 to be able to use their sample and it’s just a completely legal arrangement?

    Reply
  8. Billy

    yeah its obvious john mayer needs to quit listening to u2, because he seems to copy a lot of their melodies

    he even admitted before playing it at a show that he knew “waiting on the world to change” and “stuck in a moment you can’t get out of” sounded similar when he was writing it

    i wish i could find the video so all you mayer leg humpers wont shout blasphemy

    Reply
  9. Nick

    I think hearbreak warfare sounds alot like the song “chances” by five for fighting, its the way he sings it that makes it sound a-like.

    Reply
  10. Nick

    Jesus Christ, I’ve just wasted half an hour of my life on this stupid website filled with idiots that have no concept of commercial music…

    Reply
  11. Ana Rosa

    Just like Lady Antebellum “Need you now” and, and “Eye in the sky” of Alan Parsons project.

    Reply
  12. sameer kotwal

    well, yeah both the songs do sound alike, and even Mayer has admitted tht..and the one calling him a douchebag for ripping of songs has well proven tht he/she has got no music sense. John mayer is supposed to be one of the best present day blues guitarist and is also compared with gr8 guitarists like Hendrix and Clapton..whilst U2 is known as the biggest commercial rock band till date.And when it comes to guitar, JOhn mayer is god of The edge…The edge has been playing his typical guitaring since 80’s which was well appreciated at tht time..and now has become stereotyped….wher Mayer has revived Blues which was almost lost…John mayer is not a cheater bit probably one of the best and the most intelligent solo artist/musician, to solve all ur doubts regarding his music..just listen Where the light Is. U2 is also great but very monotonous..and if the songs sound similar it is just a coincidence nothing else

    Reply
  13. Mediummedium

    “Waitin’ On the World to Change” sounds more like “sexual healing” and “people get ready”

    Reply
  14. Cameron

    SOO just found out that John Mayer is a Thief… his song “Im gonna find another you” is completely lifted from Fleetwood Mac’s song “I need your love so bad”… I am stunned!!!

    Reply
  15. Paul

    Hi All, I have been wondering for years what U2 song I heard in this John Mayer song. Thank God I am not the only one who heard it. My (former) girlfriend declared I was nuts!

    Reply
  16. Gabriel

    Spent about 20 hours combing through John Mayer catalogue. It is easier to find original and inspired work, mostly EP and first albums, than chords, melodies and soundscapes he’s not cribbed or copied outright. Curtis Mayfield, U2, Marvin Gay, Bonnie Raitt, Tom Petty, SRV, Squeeze, and so on. It would seem this is a talented lyricist who needs a songwriting partner as he had early in his career. Without a musical partner, it is highly probably that Mayer binge-listens to a song, so infatuated with it, that he re-pens it to make it his “own.” If you’ve ever been a songwriter, you’d know the trap. If you’re not a songwriter and never made a livin as one, you’ll be satisfied to stop and just say it is good music. Neither is really wrong IMHO so long as you listen and then buy the ‘real’ music that inspired him. If not, you’re essentially consuming Muzak. End of sermon.

    Reply
    1. keith Post author

      Hehe. Yes, writing completely original music is … difficult. It’s even more difficult to make it good! I remember making music in high school and before any of our songs were recorded they would have song names like “Jawbreaker song” or “the U2 song” or whatever we thought the song reminded us of. You’ll read the same sort of thing on every website when people talk about original music (or films or any other type of art). Hell, I’m a big fan of the show Stranger Things myself. Even though it is highly derivative of shut classics as The Goonies or E.T. and many more I really enjoyed the story, the cinematography and everything else that made the show so popular. But hey, at least there’s Google to find this site when you type in something like “what does that John Mayer song sound like it’s driving me nuts” 🙂

      Reply

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