UPDATE: Green Day vs. ELO vs. Mott the Hoople

Another great one from Dave
This is an update for Green Day vs. Elo vs. Scott McKenzie

Check out the chorus of Green Day’s “21 Guns” next to the 1972 Mott the Hoople track “All the Young Dudes” (written by David Bowie)

Mott the Hoople - "All the Young Dudes" (1972)

Green Day - "21 Guns" (2009)

Electric Light Orchestra - "Telephone Line" (1976)
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22 Replies to “UPDATE: Green Day vs. ELO vs. Mott the Hoople”

    1. Mark Adams

      The nah nah nah nah nah nah nah part is outlining a 9th arpeggio (omit 7) and trilling with the note below, in scale degree numbers: 1359898 etc, while All the Young Dudes goes: 1235 12365 1235 42b721. Telephone Line and 21 Guns are more similar, share the pattern: 3451, as does Route 209 (Midday) from Pokémon Diamond and Pearl, but Telephone Line and 21 Guns both have the next line share the ending note and while that doesn’t sound like much, a lecturer at Tafe taught us that when playing the melody of Autumn Leaves, you can play anything you like as long as the lines end on the right notes and people will be able to recognise it, and you can, which tells us there’s a fine line between a variation on a melody and a new melody.

      I have read in the court case against Men at Work that there was an arrangement concerning royalties about Green Day’s 21 Guns sounding like All the Young Dudes, but what did they do? Write 21 Guns while not being able to get Telephone Line (or More Than a Feeling) out of their minds?

      1. Mark Adams

        I guess that about Autumn Leaves is kind of like that thing written with the letters jumbled around but the first and last letters are left in the right places and you can still read it because your brain reads the words as a whole more than the individual letters and this is the musical equivalent.

  1. Steve

    Even further back, “Baby You A Rich Man”. When John singing responses, ‘What did you find when you were there?”

  2. Mark Adams

    The Chorus of Telephone Line sounds like the Pre-chorus or whatever of More Than a Feeling (both Sep 1976), just slower. The dates are close, but More Than a Feeling was a song Tom Scholz had been working on between 1974 and 1975, so it probably came first.

    1. Mark Adams

      And Light Years by Kylie (2000). For another Green Day similarity, the pre-chorus or whatever of Nice Guys Finish Last (1997), which has a bit of swearing in it, sounds like that of Save the Last Dance for Me by The Drifters (1960) and maybe also Under the Boardwalk, because those two Drifters’ songs sound similar.

      For more Kylie similarities: The verse of Turn It Into Love by Kylie (1988) also sounds like Hello by Lionel Ritchie (1984) and the chorus reminds me a little of Love Never Felt So Good, the lead single from Michael Jackson’s new album, as does So Now Goodbye (2000), which also sounds like September by Earth, Wind and Fire; Better the Devil You Know (1990), which I think was from the Stock, Aitken & Waterman years, sounds kind of like Never Knew Love Like This Before by Stephanie Mills (1980), written by James Mtume and Reggie Lucas, which always sounds to me like it’s going to go into Rock with You by Michael Jackson (1979); and Can’t Get You Out of My Head (2002) sounds kind of like Sunglasses at Night (1987).

      1. Mark Adams

        A website states that She’s a Rebel by Green Day (2004) sounds like Boxcar by Jawbreaker (1994). Here is a link to the page. It unfortunately tends to exaggerate and state similarities too matter-of-factly, but there are some valid similarities, some of which you already have, but not all of them. BTW, this is where I got that about Drops of Jupiter sounding like Drift Away, but I didn’t put the others together until I heard Cliché Love Song on a Eurovision album on iTunes. I’ll include a link for another web page as well.

        Sia’s new song Chandelier also sounds like 21 Guns, etc. For more Kylie similarities: No More Rain by Kylie Minogue (2007) sounds like the verse of Am I Ever Gonna See Your Face Again by The Angels (1976) and Cosmic (2007) sounds like Sunday Morning by Maroon 5 (2002). Starships by Nicki Minaj (2012) also sounds kind of like Fate, Tik Tok, Love at First Sight (2002), etc.


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