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View Full Version : 23rd Dream/Comfortably Numb Debate



el topo
05-17-2006, 10:33 AM
I'm curious what you guys think of the following quote from the Jambands.com review of Back to the Web:




Disappointingly, two of the disc's better melodies feel lifted, one from Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" and the other from R.E.M.'s "(Don't Go Back to) Rockville," and while these hijacked melodies represent but an element of the original compositions, here they comprise the whole, serving as a lightly adorned through lines for the tracks.


I don't know where the (Don't Go Back to) Rockville moment is (although I'm familiar with the song...I just don't see it anywhere), but I definitely see the Comfortably Numb moment in the opening of 23rd Dream. It bothered me on the first couple listens...not because of plagiarism issues, but because I couldn't remember what song it was that it reminded me of. So my question is...is Elf Power unconsciously plagiarizing, a la George Harrison on "My Sweet Lord" (I give Andrew, a really talented songwriter, the benefit of the doubt in that at worst it's "unconscious" plagiarism), or is the similarity too brief, and the songs too structurally dissimilar, to make the comparison? Or did anyone else notice this?

For the record, I disagree with 90% of this guy's review--I like Back to the Web very much. But I'm not a songwriter or a musician, so I'm not sure where the line is drawn, when you're writing music, where something is just too similar to something else.

http://www.jambands.com/CDReviews/content_2006_04_16.11.phtml

Harnk
05-17-2006, 11:19 AM
I didn't notice it. The only people they seem to be lifting from are themselves. I still enjoy the album, bt I'm starting to notice the similarities across many of the songs.

call me hi
05-17-2006, 11:40 AM
i noticed it but i don't think it's anywhere near plagiarism. although i can't help but think of the squid and the whale now. i've also noticed the song noble experiment sounds almost identical to that song that goes "when the moon hits the sky like a big pizza pie, that's amore", or however it goes. and wings of light sounds like a tripped out version of when johnny comes marching home. and every song on nothing's going to happen sounds completely ripped off. incidentally the song come lie down with me sounds exactly like a song i'm working on.

gardenfuck
05-17-2006, 12:21 PM
I (hate to) agree with Harnk. New Andrew is ripping off old Andrew. Some melodies remind me a lot of older songs. But that happens with a lot of bands. New Pornographers do it all the time.

As for Comfortably Numb/23rd Dream, the connection is so very slight.

I'm a bit dissappointed by this record. Its good and all, but I liked the Beggar Boys direction a lot, and this new one hasn't grabbed me...yet.

el topo
05-17-2006, 12:36 PM
i've also noticed the song noble experiment sounds almost identical to that song that goes "when the moon hits the sky like a big pizza pie, that's amore", or however it goes.


Too funny. I admit when I hear the OTC song--I think it's Holiday Surprise 123--where they sing "taking the time to waste your suuuuunnnny days," I always think of the Sesame Street theme song..."Suuunnny days..." (and however it goes).

I think the "new Andrew is ripping off old Andrew" argument has been levelled before; or, at least, the idea that there's a "sameness" to Elf Power's songs. Certainly there's a little less variety to the music and lyrics post-Winter is Coming, and I've never been quite as enthusiastic about the band after that one (my favorite album of theirs). But their last 3 albums are still very strong.

Anyway, I was also thinking of Robert Schneider talking about how he accidentally ripped off "Smoke on the Water" on his "Subscriptions to Magazines" American Revolution track. So I wonder how often this happens.

23rd Dream seems to spring from one section of Comfortably Numb and then move around it like some kind of creative writing project, that's why it interests me. But maybe I'm making too much of it.

I stil wonder where Don't Go Back to Rockville is.

Harnk
05-17-2006, 04:13 PM
Originally posted by gardenfuck
I (hate to) agree with Harnk. New Andrew is ripping off old Andrew. Some melodies remind me a lot of older songs. But that happens with a lot of bands. New Pornographers do it all the time.

As for Comfortably Numb/23rd Dream, the connection is so very slight.

I'm a bit dissappointed by this record. Its good and all, but I liked the Beggar Boys direction a lot, and this new one hasn't grabbed me...yet.

No, you missed my point. I said that the melodies, all on the new one, seem recycled. I still like it. I think the middle of the rec lulls a bit, but it's real good IMO...like 75%

derek
05-17-2006, 05:58 PM
i think it's funny that the more obvious comparison to the grateful dead's "scarlet begonias" hasn't been mentioned by anyone. cultural isolationism.

poe
05-18-2006, 12:48 AM
its pretty clear andrew was digging a little pink floyd when writing that song.. But shit, its a great song! SO is My Sweet Lord by George Harrison and thats the same thing!