Soundtrack To My Life - Songs That Sound Alike

As mentioned last month, I'm taking Soundtrack To My Life on a different journey this year. Each month is going to have a different theme and this month is an train of thought that has been almost 12 months in the making but I was unsure how to approach it.

I have a mixture of theories about music (to be expanded on in another blog post in the very near future)... bear with me and I'll try and explain *deep breath*

There are eight notes in an octave and the human voice has a specific range, only reaching to extremes in very few people, Therefore, there must be a finite amount of ways in which those eight notes (and the higher/lower scales) can be arranged into a song. There also seems to be a 20-year recycle point for popular songs - this is when they will be released as a cover version or 'sampled' within a new arrangement. I totally believe that this is because of influence in our younger years - our first experiences of listening to music will probably have been the collection of tunes that our parents owned. This will then lead onto creators wanting to try and emulate those first glorious, nostalgic emotions, and will insert those memories into their next mix.

Over the past year or so I've been hearing more and more songs that sound alike so I'm attempting to see if they fit into my theory. Come with me on this aural journey; maybe I'm using a little bit of poetic licence here and there but there's definitely some influence (and blatant copying in at least one case) but let me know what you think. I can't be this weird all by myself!


Bruno Mars versus The Whole Back Catalogue Of Music Ever (slight exaggeration)

I suppose you could say that this digging around started when comparisons to Bruno Mars' songs were flying around. You can hear from these cleverly mixed examples that he was probably influenced by my aforementioned theory. 


Now my own examples aren't this well edited (I mean, how much time do you think I have on my hands?) but I hope you get the gist...

Phil Collins versus Amy Winehouse

It was my youngest son that highlighted this about six months ago. We were in the car and the intro to Phil Collins' version of You Can't Hurry Love came on the radio and he started to sing Valerie by Amy Winehouse, then looked at me in amazement when he realised that he was singing the wrong song. See what you think...


The Rolling Stones versus The Rocky Horror Picture Show

I heard Sympathy For The Devil on the radio a few weeks ago and actually had to stop myself from singing the lyrics to Sweet Transvestite. It is entirely possible that Richard O'Brien could have taken inspiration from The Rolling Stones as their song was released in 1968 whereas The Rocky Horror Picture Show was a 1975 production.


Elbow versus The Smiths

This recent match must have been something you've heard yourself? When I first heard Magnificent (She Says) on the radio, in the car, I felt as though I should know the words already. I was convinced it was a Smiths song that might have been a modern remix or a B-side, even though I knew it wasn't really possible. I can't pinpoint exactly which Smiths song it sounds like but I think the Dream Academy's cover of Please, Please, Please Let Me Get What I Want is the closest.


Cornershop versus The View

This is one of my favourite 'matches' as it's probably not too obvious but once you've heard both Brimful of Asha and then Same Jeans one after the other (that's how they appeared on 'shuffle' on my mp3 player a few years back) you can't not hear the similarities!


Stevie Nicks versus Destiny's Child

I'm not even going to try and fight for this example. There is no way that you can deny that Edge Of Seventeen and Bootylicious have the same intro. Note for note, beat for beat.


I have loads more stashed but I wanted to test the water with this selection. I can bring you comparisons of Queen and Bananarama, or what about 10cc and Erasure? There's even a Cameo song that sounds like something Prince would have released so I'm wondering if he had a hand in the composing or the production? 

But, for now, I'll leave you with another interesting fact about music and how it can trigger your subconscious. Did you know that there is a method used in advertising campaigns to impact on certain people? Research has shown that we were probably at our most influential at sixteen years of age. If a specific age bracket is to be targeted in an advertising campaign, the background music will be of the era when the target audience would have been age 16 as it evokes and unlocks that weakness in us. Genius!


Soundtrack To My Life  - Motivational Songs For The New Year
Well done for reading down this far. Soundtrack To My Life is an occasional series on this blog where I talk about music that's influenced my life or I invite people to talk about the same. Read/Listen to all the previous Soundtrack To My Life entries here or follow the dedicated Pinterest board. Find out more about participating by >> clicking here <<


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