The Reason Coldplay Was Accused By Joe Satriani And Cat Stevens
There are many rules regarding copyright laws in the music industry. Apart from being illegal, plagiarism has always been something many musicians faced and accused each other of, resulting in lawsuits. While numerous rockers have blamed others for stealing their songs, they often settle with royalty payments. However, things can get ugly during trials, especially when fans and media get involved.
As one of the bands that faced this situation, multiple musicians accused Coldplay of stealing their hit song ‘Viva La Vida.’ It’s almost impossible not to see rip-off allegations when a track gains recognition. In their case, Coldplay was first accused by Creaky Boards, and they proved that wasn’t the case. However, this was not the first or the last time Coldplay saw these indictments since Joe Satriani and Cat Stevens also accused the band of plagiarism.
Why Did Joe Satriani Accuse Coldplay Of Plagiarism?
Joe Satriani declared during an interview with Rolling Stone in 2009 that Coldplay stole the essential parts of his 2004 song entitled ‘If I Could Fly’ and used them in ‘Viva La Vida.’ Satriani filed a lawsuit for damages as he was the copyright owner. The guitarist stated that he was uncomfortable with the unfair ownership of a work he created by spending time and effort.
In his words, Satriani said:
“I spent so long writing the song, thinking about it, loving it, nursing it, and then finally recording it and standing on stages the world overplaying it. Then somebody comes along and plays the exact same song and calls it their own.”
Coldplay members defended themselves by indicating that they had not heard the song before in the face of these accusations. Satriani’s lawyer informed Billboard that the lawsuit had been rejected. However, there was no more information about the financial agreement between the two.
What Was The Issue Between Cat Stevens And Coldplay?
The other name who accused Coldplay was Yusuf Islam, also known as Cat Stevens. The unexpected aspect of this case was that the band faced accusations of plagiarism again because of its Grammy-winning song ‘Viva La Vida.’ In a past interview with Reuters, Yusuf Islam recalled he found out the similarity between his 1973 song ‘Foreigner Suite’ and ‘Viva La Vida’ when his son mentioned it.
Yusuf Islam explained in his words:
“My son brought it to my attention and said, ‘Doesn’t that sound like ‘Foreigner Suite?’ The song definitely sounds like it. It has such logical chords, and the melody has to be what it is.”
The singer touched upon Satriani’s words as the following:
“There’s been this argument about Coldplay stealing this melody from Joe Satriani, but if you listen to it, it’s mine!”
As NME reported, Coldplay drummer Will Champion declared although they had inspirations from many other musicians, they had never intended to steal melody from anyone’s work. The drummer defended the band by stating they never did and will steal from someone else.
During his interview, Will Champion said:
“There are elements of our music that I’ve heard in other people’s music, but a very difficult thing to define. There are only eight notes in an octave, and no one owns them. There are probably about 12,000 songs that feature the exact same chord progression. I think plagiarism lies in the intent to steal, which we certainly have never done. It’s unfortunate, but it’s the way people are. That’s that. We’re confident we haven’t done anything wrong.”
You can listen to the songs below.