Uptown…Collage?

A few days ago I watched Everything is a Remix by Kirby Ferguson. He explores how things have been ‘remixed’, from Apple to Chic to Kill Bill, to name a few.

Watch it, it is interesting and makes you think again about creativity and copyright. Full video:  Everything is a Remix

Strangely, (or maybe not so strangely as we’ve just learnt everything is a remix) the next thing to catch my eye on the internet was a new lawsuit against Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars. Specifically, the 80’s funk electro band Collage is suing them over the perceived similarities in their song Young Girls to Ronson’s Uptown Funk.

After searching for a comparison video and finding none, I made one.

In my opinion the similarities are pretty obvious. The rhythm and melodies are very alike, the structures are almost identical. This is not the first time Mars and Ronson have been accused of plagiarism either, when the song was first released the songwriters credited suddenly jumped from six (including Mars and Ronson) to 11 after the Gap Band put in a claim (Kreps, 2016). However, is this all just remix culture? Nothing is new anymore and I’m not sure that bringing a lawsuit is the answer these days. It would be interesting to look into Gap Band’s and Collage’s musical influences too and see how these were related to their work.

Going back to the video, I made this to highlight the perceived similarities in the songs but also I knew that if I had searched for it, I wouldn’t be the only one. I looked at the Robin Thicke/Marvin Gaye comparison video that had garnered over 4 million views and based mine around that. I also read up about how to effectively use tags on YouTube to maximise views.

Currently the video has 1,127 views in 2 days. If this gets picked up or retweeted by someone with lots of followers I could see the number of views increase exponentially.

References

Ferguson, K. (2015). Everything is a Remix Remastered. [Video] Retrieved 31st October 2016, from https://vimeo.com/139094998

Kreps, D. (2016). Bruno Mars, Mark Ronson Face Lawsuit Over ‘Uptown Funk’. Retrieved 31st October 2016, from: http://www.rollingstone.com/music/news/bruno-mars-mark-ronson-face-lawsuit-over-uptown-funk-w447470

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