Thursday, June 20, 2024

“Blurred Lines” Isn’t Robin Thicke’s First Marvin Gaye or Classic Soul Soundalike


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.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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