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When Robin Thicke’s hit song “Blurred Lines” first came out, it was instantly familiar to any fans of Marvin Gaye, and especially fans of the late singer’s 1977 hit “Got to Give it Up.” It was so similar that we assumed it was because Pharrell Williams, the producer on “Blurred Lines,” had simply sampled Gaye.

But apparently that’s not the case, at least according to Thicke, who filed a pre-emptive lawsuit against the Gaye estate (You can read the full Thicke complaint via The Hollywood Reporter). Thicke’s team isn’t seeking money, though.  All they want is for the Gaye estate to admit, legally, that “Blurred Lines” isn’t a rip of “Got to Give it Up,” which sounds crazy. In fact, it’s not even the first time Thicke has lifted a Gaye song, but that’s beside the point.

Imitation is the biggest form of flattery, and in pop music, sometimes that “flattery” is more akin to “plagiarism” (semantics!). Click through the gallery above and travel through 40-some years of music rips, some of which have ended amicably, some that haven’t and one that's too soon to tell.

Your favourite, er, tribute not in the gallery? Let us know in the comments.

Follow Jesse Kinos-Goodin on Twitter: @JesseKG.

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Robin Thicke, Marvin Gaye and the 10 biggest music rips of all time

When Robin Thicke’s hit song “Blurred Lines” first came out, it was instantly familiar to any fans of…

Comments

emperorjacob
#1 posted by
emperorjacob
on Aug 23, 2013

I thought Lady Gaga's "Born This Way" would be on this list for ripping off Madonna's "Express Yourself".

Ray_B
#2 posted by
Ray_B
on Aug 23, 2013

The Trgically Hip's "New Orleans Is Sinking" (1989) versus Frank Zappa's "Trouble Every Day" (1966)?

Jesse Kinos-Goodin
#3 posted by
Jesse Kinos-Goodin
on Aug 24, 2013

All great rips. The Tom Petty "Last Dance with Mary Jane" vs. RHCP's "Dani California" is a good one too. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=008jskwOtkg

Adam Davies
#4 posted by
Adam Davies
on Aug 24, 2013

How does this list not include Ice Ice Baby and Under Pressure?

Coulditbe
#5 posted by
Coulditbe
on Aug 24, 2013

How about Leo Sayer's massive hit "When I Need You" (written by Albert Hammond and Carol Bayer Sager).

The melody and chords in the chorus are a blatant rip-off of Leonard Cohen's chorus in "Famous Blue Raincoat".

Sheryl Bee
#6 posted by
Sheryl Bee
on Aug 25, 2013

The Verve, "Bittersweet Symphony" v Rolling Stones "The Last Time" - The Verve settled out of court for using more than the orchestral sample they had agreed to use.  Not sure what happened after that - I think it was unpleasant. 

VancouverIsAwesome
#7 posted by
VancouverIsAwesome
on Aug 26, 2013

Funny I was JUST telling the Yukon Blonde boys about the Ghostbusters/Huey Lewis thing...

Trivia I gained from mah daddy.

VancouverIsAwesome
#8 posted by
VancouverIsAwesome
on Aug 26, 2013

^^^That is Christine McAvoy up there as VIA...forgot to log out once AGAIN haha!***

drysh
#9 posted by
drysh
on Aug 27, 2013

The chorus of Rod Stewart's "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy?" is a direct rip of Jorge Ben's "Taj Mahal." I'm surprised it wasn't on the list.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0_rQhtKGPA

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