You Make The Call — Did Lady Antebellum Rob Alan Parsons Project Blind?

If it sounds like you’ve heard Lady Antebellum’s Country Music Award-winning “Need You Now” a million times, maybe it’s because it’s been on the radio since 1982, when the Alan Parsons Project released the same song with different words as “Eye in the Sky.”

A Nashville Scene post spotlights the controversy raging in the pop-country music realm, with accusations swirling that Lady Antebellum copied off APP’s paper on the final.

Granted, “borrowing” goes on all the time in the music industry. Is this shades of Vanilla Ice sticking oh-so close to the beat of Queen’s “Under Pressure” with “Ice Ice Baby?”

Check out the embedded link of a YouTube mash-up of the two songs and determine for yourself whether or not it’s coincidence that the songs sound alike.

Lady Antebellum’s ‘Need You Now’–A Ripoff? [Nashville Scene via Yahoo]

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  1. Underpants Gnome says:

    Tough to tell. This isn’t as clear a case of borrowing as this: http://youtubedoubler.com/?video1=0vGtM1Vh7LI&start1=3&video2=VgAXZHMi_ws&start2=0&authorName=Ann+O'Nymous (Sorry if it double-posts, the first time doesn’t look like it posted)

  2. gjones77 says:

    Pretty blatant…

    • Bremma says:

      Eh. There are similarities, but it’s not a straight rip off. The first half of all the phrases are a near match. but the end parts are different, and the last sample comparison didn’t sound terribly alike. It sounds like some of the melody (or whatrever you’d call it) is borrowed though, but not everything.

    • the Persistent Sound of Sensationalism says:

      I agree. If you listen to the actual song and not the mashup, even the beginning starts with the same style and same notes (except with 3 instead of 6 notes). It sounds like someone said, “I’m gonna use this but I want to make it sound different enough that casual listeners won’t notice.”

  3. Marlin says:

    I have not bought a CD, or online music, in over 10years. Most music either sounds the same or is worse then what has been made.

  4. 339point4 says:

    I don’t know if it’s an obvious ripoff or not, but they sure do mash up nicely together.

    • IMoriarty says:

      +1 – I love “Eye in the Sky” and the Lady Antebellum song mashes well with it, but I’m pretty sure this is innocent coincidence.

      ~I

  5. suburbancowboy says:

    Wow!. The similarities are stunning. Of course the Lady Antebellum song is slowed down here.

    That said, I think it is easy to inadvertently “rip off” another song. I’ve listened to countless thousands off songs in my life, and they become a part of you. I’ve written songs where when I’m done I could swear I heard it somewhere before.

  6. obits3 says:

    Simpsons did it!

  7. Clyde Barrow says:

    Nah, I’m not convinced. I was the biggest Alan Parsons fan back in the day and being a schooled musician and singer, I can hear similarities but all songs have something taken from history. That’s a fact of life. This goes back to the days of Bach, Beethoven, Verdi, etc. The Beatles took ideas from Elvis and Buddy Holly, Elvis and Buddy Holly took ideas from Robert Johnson and Sonny Boy Williamson and so on.

    • MotorboatJones says:

      How dare you, sir. Buddy Holly never stole anything from anybody. He was the last original artist.

  8. aweirdguy says:

    I think someone is making a huge deal over a similar tune, considering the 25 year gap I doubt she intentionally copied Alan Parsons. If you want to see tunes that are really identical this is fun: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T2dPA2dCRNY

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      LOL wow that’s hilarious. Girly-pop is all pretty much the same though.

    • Gandalf the Grey says:

      There is also one with a Miley Cyrus song mixed in, although they had to speed up the Miley song up byu 5 bpm to show it was the same song.

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8uvAcWWlrkk

    • Clyde Barrow says:

      Yeah that’s true. I mean if she were the same age as the guys in Alan Parson’s there may be some truth to the story but I doubt she’s loading up the CD “Eye In The Sky” with her Starbucks driving to the studio.
      It’s funny how no one bitches when someone takes a blues guitar rift and creates a new song. ZZ Top wrote “Tush” and that guitar riff is taken from John Lee Hooker (I think), but when blues guitarist do it is a kind of memorial sentiment that honor’s the old greats. When a band does it like Lady Antebellum or George Harrison are accused of doing it people are up in arms.

    • moonunit says:

      And another one, Lady Gaga and Ace of Base:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VWZZRKV-_qU&feature=related

  9. jitwad says:

    Both songs are horrible

  10. c!tizen says:

    Where are all of the “how is this a consumer issue?” posts?

  11. xnihilx says:

    THAT’S what song the Antebellum song sounds like! It’s been bothering me but not enough to go try to weasel out which one they copied.

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      There’s been a couple of those in the past few years. I hate the pop genre but sometimes I will listen to the top 40 station with friends cars or what not. Sometimes it just annoys me to hell why I can’t ID a song even though its supposedly “new”

  12. Robofish says:

    She could read his mind

  13. seth_lerman says:

    I thought the Alan Parsons Project was an world conquering plot by Dr Evil???

  14. PsychicPsycho says:

    My vote is no, though the new version is terribly derivative of much more than just that song.

  15. ElleAnn says:

    The headline made absolutely no sense to me. I’m not familiar with Lad Antebellum or Alan Parsons Project, so I was scratching my head about what the verb was… “rob”, “project”, “blind”… could “antebellum” be used as a verb? Maybe antebellum robbing is some kind of fancy southern form of theft. That would be pretty awesome. Actually, I’m going to antebellum rob someone right now.

  16. There's room to move as a fry cook says:

    I can use Photoshop to blend Palin with Hulk Hogan but that doesn’t make them similar.

    • Bagumpity says:

      I see what you did there…

      Wait. What did you do there?

      One appeared on a reality show.
      One is a politician
      One is an attention whore
      One has a daughter who is an attention whore
      One comes from a place where “doncha know” can be used as a noun, verb, adjective, adverb or interjection.
      One says outlandish things and gets ridiculed for it.

      Which one am I talking about?

  17. daemonaquila says:

    You know what they say – if you’re going to steal, steal from the best.

    Thief!

  18. captadam says:

    Well, I know one thing: “Eye in the Sky” is a HELL of a lot better.

    • the Persistent Sound of Sensationalism says:

      People forget (or never knew) that Alan Parsons engineered Dark Side of the Moon for Pink Floyd. The Alan Parsons Project shaped my musical tastes since it belongs to some of my earliest music memories. I was spoiled.

    • Platypi {Redacted} says:

      Agreed, I can’t even listen to the Lady Anteblahum song, they just sound so fricking whiny/needy/clingy.

  19. Tim says:

    That’s a pretty bad mash-up, if I do say so myself …

  20. Mr. Fix-It says: "Canadian Bacon is best bacon!" says:

    Nah, s’ok… Lady Antebellum found the sheet-music in the back of an old copy of Cook’s Source, with a footnote saying it was Open Domain. ;D

    • LadySiren is murdering her kids with HFCS and processed cheese says:

      Hahahahahaha. +1

    • Remmy75 says:

      Incoming note from Lady Antebellum telling APP that they did them a favor and edited thier crappy song and made it way better! They should be paying them cause nobody was talking about APP till this!

  21. Tim says:

    By the way, this is the REAL Alan Parsons project: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Duj2oZIC8U

  22. rpm773 says:

    It’s certainly not as obvious as Ray Parker Jr/Theme to Ghostbusters ripping off Huey Lewis.

  23. SpamFighterLoy says:

    Nope, not the same. Where’s the poll? Oh, yeah, it’s lazy Phil. nevermind…

  24. MitchV says:

    Nah… this is nothing like the coldplay ripping off Satriani.

  25. Macgyver says:

    The mashup is stupid, that is just Lady Antebellum on the APP track. Anyone could make a mashup to make it sound however they want it to. You have to listen to them separately, not mixed together.
    Even though they sound alike, they aren’t. Lady Antebellum beat is faster.
    Anyway so what. Look at almost all the mainstream music today. Almost all of them sound alike with the fucking stupid ass autotunes.
    And almost all reggaeton songs have the same beat.

    And what does this have to do with consumers?

  26. Invader Zim says:

    Lady Andebellum? eh! Never heard of them/her.

  27. RxDude says:

    I have never heard a Lady Antebellum song, and it is my ambition to keep it that way.

  28. AllanG54 says:

    Well, even if it’s unintentional it still may be a problem. George Harrison was sued over his “Hare Krishna” song because the chord progression sounded like the song “He’s So Fine.” That was about 15 or so years after the song was written. Harrison had to fork over $2 million.

  29. exconsumer says:

    IANAL, but in order to actually be considered plagarism, the chords and melody must both match. LA jumps right to the end of their phrase where APP drags it out a bit. It’s similar, but not close enough to litigate.

    You can’t copyright a chord change, and you can’t copyright part of a musical phrase (otherwise, we could only write so many songs). LA are safe.

  30. grebby says:

    I can tell you this: Lady Antebellum’s song has no long intro like “Sirius” that would have been appropriate for, say, the pre-game introductions of YOUR WORLD CHAMPION CHICAGO BULLS. Alan Parsons is forever linked in my mind to Jordan, Pippen, B.J. Armstrong, Horace Grant and Bill Cartwright.

  31. DracoSolon says:

    Gotta give Bowie credit too!

  32. jaredwilliams says:

    she probably didnt even write the music.

  33. mad_oak says:

    Wow… really. That’s 61 seconds of my life I’ll never get back.

  34. hotcocoa says:

    I never like when songs are so similar like this and the newer song doesn’t acknowledge that they were influenced by the older one. It’s pure b.s. in this day and age to have two different songs that are decades apart with an essentially identical chorus and claim that the newer one just popped into the artists’ heads like that. Just come clean, be upfront about it, and put a little liner note in your CD. Save yourself the embarrassment of people finding out later on and flooding the internet with exposes of theft and plagiarism. For me, if there’s any doubt, my opinion of the alleged thieving artist is lowered forever. I’d rather hear the original/inspiration and not waste my time with the rip-off.

  35. Bryan Price says:

    I’m hearing two bars that are similar, and then they diverge. Weird.

  36. backbroken says:

    Question is….who did the Alan Parsons Project rip off first?

  37. Alessar says:

    To be honest the first time Need You Now started playing I thought it was Eye in the Sky. Then I thought someone sampled EitS. Then I heard the whole song and dismissed the similarity of the opening intro. Maybe someone heard that tune as a kid and some similarity cropped up but I don’t think it’s a direct copy.

  38. SybilDisobedience says:

    GODDDDD I hate this song. My coworkers all listen to the modern country station and for a while this song played once an hour. I have a low tolerance for modern country-pop anyway, but christ this song is irritating.

  39. lihtox says:

    I know both songs and I never noticed the similarity before now. I’d give it a pass.

  40. CountryJustice says:

    I’m a songwriter. Songwriters tend to listen to lots of music. Furthermore, there’s only 12 notes in a scale, and only 7 of them “fit” together well at a time. It’s just a matter of time until ideas overlap.