fun vs. Thompson Twins? vs. Queen? vs. Erasure? vs. ??

“We Are Young” by fun. has been driving me and a lot of people crazy. I’m still not able to put my finger on it but I am offering up these bits. Let me know if you have any others. I’m dying to know. Am I nuts?

Fun - We are Young sounds like...

fun. - "We Are Young (Chorus)" (2011)
Thompson Twins - "Hold Me Now" (1983)
Erasure - "A Little Respect" (1988)

This part is so similar to a Queen song. Bohemian Rhapsody? Is it a different song?? Let’s get to the bottom of this!

fun. - "We Are Young (Pre-Chorus)" (2011)
Queen - "Bohemian Rhapsody" (1975)

Tell me what you think in the comments

 

UPDATE 7/26/2012: I added a post for Paul Simon “Cecilia” (1970) vs fun. “Some Nights” since there have been few comments and submissions for it.

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116 Replies to “fun vs. Thompson Twins? vs. Queen? vs. Erasure? vs. ??”

        1. Travis

          me and her are both trying to figure this one out.its weird how you know its like something but cant place it when its blatantly obvious.

          Reply
    1. ChrisW

      Actually, if you listen to ELO’s Telephone Line you’ll hear the same musical progression and chorus. The singer from Fun even sounds the same. We Are Young just has a faster tempo. The whole band’s sound is kind of an ELO rip off.

      Reply
  1. Travis

    it does resemble bohemian a bit….maybe influenced by it for that part..far as the chorus..id give it to erasure over the other one there.but its still like something else.

    Reply
    1. Keith Post author

      “Grouplove” – Tongue Tied

      You just ruined my day 😛
      Definitely sounds like something!

      Reply
    2. Travis

      @ Toke and tequilasundee…those both are great..neither one of you are wrong..but neither one was what i was thinking

      Reply
    3. Billy Goat

      Harry Nilsson: Everybody’s Talkin’

      There’s also an anti-smoking PSA on the radio in Pennsylvania, aimed at teens, with lyrics that fit the pattern from “Tongue Tied”. “Let me see your I.D. please/Keep them with you like your keys”

      Reply
    1. Keith Post author

      I was thinking the same exact thing! I was just listening to “Heart of Glass” a few minutes ago.

      Reply
  2. Andrea

    I could have sworn “We are young” was taken from or a re-do of an old Simon & Garfunkel song but I don’t remember which one.

    Reply
  3. amanda

    we are young is driving me insane cause i know i have heard this and its not bohemian rhapsody that reminds me of it. please if someone figures this out post it asap (:

    Reply
  4. Travis

    it does have a simon and garfunkel feel to it…and im still saying it sounds like something from REO speedwagon.How long would it take to go through every single song there is??Probably forever.

    Reply
    1. Sherry

      AMERICAN PIE DON MCLEAN!!!! Something about his voice reminds me of that song. Same with some nights too. Oh, it has been bugging me!! I actually remember 1972. This has been a major ghost. Your answer puts it to rest in my brain. I’m not thinking about it anymore. Thanks Keith and Travis!!!

      Reply
    1. Keith Post author

      Wow. Crazy you say that. I was just thinking that right before you posted this. More on the outro “nanana” part.

      Reply
  5. Travis

    this does sound like 4 or 5 songs all rolled up.But that chorus is making me crazy.especially without the vocals over it i know ive heard it before almost exactly like that.

    Reply
  6. Michelle

    Fun sounds very much like Queen. Stumbled here by doing a search on it after listening to some of their other songs on the album. I think it’s the voices, and they definitely have to be influenced by Queen. Love them both!

    Reply
    1. Emmalynn

      I’m a huge fun. fan, and I’m fairly certain they said in an interview that they were influenced by Queen, especially in the “Some Nights Intro”.

      Reply
  7. Jane

    Jim, I think you are on the right track. I immediately thought this was a remake of an old ‘Stroll’ song.

    Reply
  8. Travis

    Keith,I just found out about this one and wondering how I didn’t pick up on it.

    Michael Buble: haven’t met you yet

    Randy Newman: short people

    Reply
    1. Keith Post author

      Ah, yeah, totally! I was actually going to post My Chemical Romance vs. Queen a while ago but never got around to it. Good call!

      Reply
      1. angela

        actually just realised that it was not ‘I’m not Okay’ that I meant but ‘Welcome to The Black Parade’! 🙂

        Reply
  9. Eric

    Fun’s new song “Some Nights” is an obvious ripoff of Simon and Garfunkel’s “Cecilia”….

    Reply
    1. Keith Post author

      Ahhhh. Thanks Eric! That must be where the Simon and Garfunkel thing came in from a previous comment. Might be good for a new post.

      Reply
  10. Skroo

    The production and vocals on the song sound amazingly like The Shins, especially from their 2001 release Oh, Inverted World. I’m not picking up on a specific phrasing or melody, but compare it to Caring is Creepy:

    Reply
  11. Keith Post author

    Somebody just sent me this track. The intro is a bit similar to the intro of “We Are Young”

    ” Jason Mraz” – You And I Both (2004)

    Reply
  12. skrapps

    Beginning is ripped from Jason Isbell’s Alabama Pines. Probably unintentional, but they should still give him 50% and co-writing credits.

    Reply
  13. emaN

    Thank you!

    The first time I heard the song I thought it was an old song. Then I heard it again and thought “it’s odd that they’re playing this random old song again.” Then it started appearing everywhere and I was like “Oh… it’s a new song. But, wait.. that sure SOUNDS like an older song.. wtf..”

    Reply
    1. Keith Post author

      You’re Welcome!

      I’m beginning to think that fun. has figured out a formula. THE formula. It’s a hit song. We all feel like we’ve heard it. We don’t know where. We just….KNOW. They have stumped the world.

      Reply
  14. Travis

    can anyone help me with this?its driving me insane.i know this is like something older

    josh groban: to where you are

    SOMETHING

    Reply
  15. Anonymous Coward

    I’m thinking there’s a big, anthemic song that goes “Tonigh-igh-i-igh-i-ight…” like that, but with the melody dipping lower (something along the lines of BB-G-E-C-DE B-A-F-D-B-CD), maybe from a 1980s film.

    Or am I just thinking of “Let the River Run”? http://youtu.be/cv-0mmVnxPA#t=0m11.5s

    Reply
    1. Kelly

      The choruses of both those songs are very similar! I have a feeling “We Are Young” is a mix of at least 2 different songs.

      Reply
  16. unfortunate-plateau

    I think the reason this song sounds so familiar is because it uses a doowop chord progression (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/50s_progression) or I – vi – IV – V for the chorus. This progression has been used in literally thousands of songs and was already cliche in the 50’s. Songs have continued to use it up until the present day. I think people are remembering all the snippets of songs that use that progression buried in the collective unconscious, which is why it makes it so confusing to pinpoint.

    Here’s a few lists of songs that use the progression I found that might help on our search…
    http://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb/archive/index.php/t-248018.html
    http://www.ultimate-guitar.com/forum/archive/index.php?t-300124.html

    personally the first thing I thought of was something 50’s mixed with the chorus of this song http://youtu.be/4OIAiVIN8Ck?t=1m2s

    Reply
    1. Jim

      Yeah. Made this point earlier
      re:
      Jim says:
      May 22, 2012 at 2:23 pm

      …first song I thought of

      [Reply]
      Jim says:
      May 22, 2012 at 2:39 pm

      …for that matter

      classic four chord progression in the chorus.

      [Reply]

      Jim Reply:
      May 23rd, 2012 at 6:31 pm

      …but if you don’t play an instrument it may be irrelevant.

      Reply
  17. hey

    Some of these songs are obvious rips. But for the vast majority…saying they are rip offs is liking saying every essay is copied because it has an intro, middle and conclusion. As for the songs, when something is from the same genre it will be similar, hence the same genre. These songs all sound like pop songs. You try to come up with a completely new sound out of all the millions of songs out there that still aligns with that upbeat, catchy melody. Invent a new primary color while you’re at it.

    Reply
    1. Keith Post author

      You’re right! The site is called “That Song Sounds Like” and not “Who Ripped Off Who”. We’re exploring where some popular melodies and sounds were derived. Sometimes an artist sub consciously includes a melody in their music without even realizing that it was already a popular song. Or maybe they are simply paying homage to their favorite artist. In some case though we just can’t avoid thinking that their is something fishy going on though. Take this popular example of Vanilla Ice for example: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1s0hEi8zhmg

      Reply
  18. Kayly

    I’ve always felt like fun was an homage to both Queen and ELO, but not exactly 100% derivative. There are elements of both bands in their sound, but I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I really don’t hear anything in their music that makes me go, “Aha! That’s [fill in the song name].”

    Reply
  19. bigbill

    i’m glad someone finally wrote ‘simon & garfunkel’ although not exactly, it’s paul simon solo (or paul simon & chevy chase, however you wanna look at it). same verses on both of em. funny, as huge a paul simon fan as i am my dad was the one who pointed this out. fun came on the radio one day and he goes ‘paul simon? you can call me whatever?’ anyway check it out:

    simon & chase

    fun featuring whoever

    :

    Reply
    1. bigbill

      god damn it, the paul simon vid didn’t work – but 14 seconds in is where ya wanna start i think.

      Reply
  20. Haasey

    While we’re on Fun, Some Nights clearly yanked a lyric from Nena’s 99 Red Balloons.

    This is it boys this is war is the lyric I was on about.

    Reply
  21. JoJo

    I dont why and if i’m right but it really reminds me of the soundtrack from from the movie working girl
    Let The River Run by Carly Simon

    Reply
  22. Razzicle

    i just went through youtube and a list of old songs… the drum beat at the start sounds just like “Maps” by Yeah Yeah Yeahs after about 10 secs. SOO relived now i know haha 😀

    Reply
  23. Kelly

    Maybe it’s just me being a crazy Queenie again, but I’m picking up notes of the guitar solo from “Killer Queen” in “We Are Young”. It’s not exactly the same, but parts of it really sound similar.

    Reply
    1. Keith Post author

      Ha. Any time that song comes it is impossible to not think Silence of the Lambs. Not sure if it sounds much like the fun. track though.

      Reply
    1. Keith Post author

      Nice one!
      So mainly the post-chorus group vocal part?

      This song also has the longest outro ever (from like 2:30 to 4:30). This would be a super annoying karaoke song 😛

      Reply
  24. John

    I swear the chorus line of this song sounds similar to another song that I’ve heard before.. its not up in the comparisons above, but dammit.. the song keeps from entering my small brain.. but I swear I have heard this chorus before…

    Reply
  25. Sil

    Hi guys!!
    Lots of people is still wondering about which song sounds like “we are young” and everyone has its own version, so here its mine (I never read it before and I might sound crazy):

    celine dion – the power of love

    If you slow a lot down “we are young” you can sing the chorus on dion’s song.

    And now it’s almost natural for me to sing

    “Cause I’m Your Ladyy and You are my maaaaaaan …. and we set the world on fireeee we can be brighter than the suuuuuuuuun” 😀 😀

    I wish someone will make a mash-up, I’d love it 🙂

    Reply
  26. Bryant

    To me it sounds like they ripped off the ending verse of Avenged Sevenfold’s “Save Me”
    “Tonight, we all, die young” The tempo of the lyrics sounds almost the same too

    Reply
  27. martin

    two other queen songs with choruses in the same anthemic vein: “spread your wings” + “friends will be friends”

    Reply
  28. Tneveca

    If you are all wondering why that “We Are Young” chorus sounds so familiar it’s because it is similar to National Lampoon’s “Holiday Road.” The leap to the 6th in the chorus is the key link.

    Reply
  29. Ankara Smith

    Actually, at least to my ears, the part of the chorus that you posted from ‘we are young’ is almost an exact replica of the portion of Erasure’s ‘a little respect’ that you posted. But there are definitely a lot of other influences there, proving that there is really nothing new under the sun.

    Reply

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