Robin Thicke vs. Marvin Gaye: Is 'Blurred Lines' A Sound-Alike? (Poll)
Does "Blurred Lines" borrow too much from "Got To Give It Up"? Listen to both songs and weigh in.
While Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" (featuring Pharrell and T.I.) continues to dominate the Hot 100 chart, a copyright infringement showdown has come into focus. Marvin Gaye's family has accused Thicke's smash single of plagiarizing "Got To Give It Up," the R&B legend's 1977 dance single which he wrote and composed.
Last Thursday (Aug. 15), Thicke, Pharrell Williams and Clifford Harris, Jr. (better known as T.I.) filed a preemptive lawsuit in U.S. District Court in Los Angeles requesting a ruling that their 2013 single does not infringe upon "Got To Give It Up," and that the two songs are "starkly different," according to the lawsuit. Billboard has also learned that Thicke's teams offered a six-figure sum to Gaye's family in order to prevent an impending lawsuit -- and the family turned down the offer.
|Listen to Both Robin and Marvin|
"Blurred Lines," which has ruled the Hot 100 for a whopping 11 weeks, clearly evokes 70s funk hits like "Got To Give It Up"… but does it go too far? Listen to both songs again, and vote in the poll below to tell us if "Blurred Lines" takes too much liberty with Gaye's classic composition.
Ron Sadoff, a professor at New York University's Steinhardt School and Director of Programs in Scoring for Film and Multimedia and Songwriting at Steinhardt’s Department of Music and Performing Arts Professions, told Billboard that "Blurred Lines" may have "been inspired by" Gaye's 1977 song, but that the comparisons should stop there. "From a musicological perspective, the songs share even less similarities in terms of their use of structural materials such as melody and harmony," says Sadoff. "'Blurred Lines' is composed squarely within the major mode, while 'Got To Give It Up' revolves around the blues scale. In this key area of melodic content, there doesn’t appear to be evidence that would suggest plagiarism on the part of Robin Thicke."
However, Gaye's son, Marvin Gaye III, is bothered by the way "Blurred Lines" has co-existed with his father's hit. "We’re not happy with the way that he went about doing business let alone suing us for something where he clearly got his inspiration from at the least," Gaye III told TMZ.
It's your turn to weigh in: is "Blurred Lines" a rip-off of "Got To Give It Up" or a harmless homage? Sound off in the comments below.