EXCLUSIVE: Robin Thicke‘s legal beef with the late Marvin Gaye‘s family isn’t just about “Blurred Lines” or Gaye’s “Got to Give It Up.” Thicke’s 2009 “Million Dollar Baby” is an almost exact rip off of Gaye’s classic “Trouble Man” circa 1972. And that’s not all Thicke has done to emulate R&B soul from the early 70s or even other music.
Thicke, whom I like a lot, has a bad habit of using wording and phrases from old songs to construct his new ones. It’s not just the music. In “Million Dollar Baby” he uses the refrain “Luck be a lady tonight.” And sorry, there’s only one song that has that line– “Luck Be a Lady” from “Guys and Dolls.”
Thicke also picked up Marvin Gaye’s “After the Dance” for his “Love After War.” Listen to them. They are more alike than the Olsen twins. In Thicke’s “Make You Love Me” he actually sings Gaye’s the refrain from “I Want You.” In “Sex Therapy” he sings the chorus.
Thicke may have already had an issue with his song called “Everything U Can’t Have.” It carries not only his name as author, but Moses Vivanco, author of a 1954 Yma Sumac record called “Malambo, Pt. 1.” The Thicke track is blanked out and not playable on Spotify.
Elsewhere in Thicke’s catalog there are several other songs that either sound like they’re aping Motown artists or Motown songs. There’s even a Thicke song called “Rollacosta” that suspiciously echoes the Ohio Players’ “Rollercoaster.”
So what’s going on here? Why hasn’t EMI Music Publishing, which owns the Motown catalog, sued Thicke? It could be because Thicke is published also by EMI Music Publishing’s April division. Coincidence? That may be discussed in weeks to come.