By Greg Kot | Tribune critic
December 6, 2008
A day after hauling in seven Grammy nominations, the members of Coldplay should've been celebrating. Instead they were served with a copyright infringement lawsuit Thursday that claims they ripped off guitarist Joe Satriani to write one of their biggest hits, "Viva La Vida."
The song, nominated Wednesday for song and record of the year by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, incorporates "substantial original portions" of Satriani's 2004 instrumental "If I Could Fly," according to the lawsuit filed in Los Angeles federal court.
When I was a kid, Joe Satriani was one of my guitar HEROS. I wore OUT his album "Surfing with the Alien." I'm also a big Coldplay fan. A friend of mine here in the city has helped mix (or assisted the main mixer) on the last couple of their records. I'm trying to get him to let me in on one of their sessions (to be a fly on the wall) but I doubt that will be happening.
Anyways, here are the two tunes. You don't really need to listen to all of them to get why Satriani is a little miffed about the similarities. Me thinks Satriani just might have a case. But I don't know. What do you guys think? Here are the two tunes - listen for yourself and let me know what you think!
Coldplay, "Viva La Vida" (I LOVE this tune, btw.)
Satriani, "If I Could Fly" (The plagiarism starts at 50 seconds into the tune, or at least that would be my guess... Sounds similar to Coldplay's verse. Oh come on, who am I kidding. It's practically identical.)
(Big post on the music business and theft coming!)