On a recent interview with legendary Pop duo Hall and Oates, they mentioned that Michael Jackson told them that he “stole” from their hit song “I can’t go for that (No can do).” Surprisingly enough, the tune that Michael created with it was the mega hit “Billie Jean.” For those who would like to check out the interview here is the link:
When it comes to “any” bass lines, I can tell you “exactly” who stole and who didn’t steal. Chic’s bass lines to “Good Times” was in fact stolen by “several people” including the “biggest perpetrators” The Sugar Hill Gang (“Rappers Delight”). As much as people “think” that Robin Thicke stole the bass line from Marvin Gaye on “Got to Give it Up (Supposedly for the hit song “Blurred Lines”) there is “NO thievery AT ALL” on this one. The bass lines are “totally different.” Thicke may have copied the style, but NOT the music. Now, back to Michael. If Michael stole the bass line of “I can’t go for that” then he did an absolutely “horrible job of doing so.” The bass lines to both tunes DO NOT match up at all. Not only that, the drum parts don’t match, the music doesn’t match and the melody lines don’t match either. If that was the best that Michael could do when trying to steal someone else’s song then “everyone” should have been safe from this predator. There are only “so many” notes in the music realm, and while just about “all” songwriters are influenced by others it doesn’t mean that they steal from them. For the record, they are nothing illegal about stealing someone else’s “style of music.” A LOT of todays music has the same style to it, so if that were the case then they all should be suing each other in court. However, when you “sample or copy” a specific pattern from another tune then that could lead to “copyright infringement.” The Chiffons song “He’s so fine” was a big hit and when i played for them I asked them about John Lennon (from the Beetles) and they told me that John “flat out stole their music and melody line for his big hit “My Sweet Lord.” Obviously they were right, because they took him to court and “won” for copyright infringement. I will “gladly” point out anyone who steals from others, but on this particular occasion I must say that if Michael Jackson stole from Hall and Oates, then he was a very “poor criminal (NOT a “smooth criminal” at all)” so my response to this is simple:” “No could do.” I thank you so much for checking out my Daily Thought and as always, I wish you the very best that life has to offer. Have a great day.
Kathy Sledge (who sang lead on the big hit “We are Family” for Sister Sledge) and Brett Jolly