The Flaming Lips have been forced to turn over publishing royalties to Cat Stevens as part of a settlement in which Stevens (real name: Yusuf Islam) alleged that the Lips’ song “Fight Test” bore a very close resemblance to his early ’70s track “Father and Son.”
“It was confirmed today that an agreement has been reached between Sony/ATV Music Publishing (Yusuf Islam) and EMI Music Publishing (Flaming Lips) over the single ‘Fight Test’ and its close resemblance to the Cat Stevens classic, ‘Father and Son,'” reads a June 13 post on Islam’s official Web site. Royalties from the sale of ‘Fight Test’ will now be divided between both parties according to the agreed settlement.”
“Fight Test” is the opening cut on the Lips’ 2002 Warner Bros. album, “Yoshimi Battles the Pink Robots,” which debuted at No. 50 on The Billboard 200 and has sold 276,000 copies in the U.S., according to Nielsen SoundScan. It is also the title track of an EP released in April.
Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne has acknowledged the two songs’ melodic similarities in interviews. But he has insisted the resemblance is unintended and only became apparent to him after he first played “Fight Test” to “Yoshimi” producer Dave Fridmann.