Rock Court, Small Claims Division: The Romantics vs. John Mellencamp

All rise.

The rules of this courtroom are simple. You will be presented with two songs, one by the plaintiff and one by the defendant. It is your task to decide if the defendant’s track is only coincidentally similar to the plaintiffs or, as members of the Bar Association put it, they’ve been a baa-aaad boy. You have been duly instructed.

Today’s docket: The Romantics, plaintiffs vs. John Mellencamp, defendant

The Romantics – What I Like About You from The Romantics (1980)

It’s the same beat, the same chords, the same everything. You’d have to be deaf to disagree.

John Mellencamp – R.O.C.K. In The U.S.A. from Scarecrow (1985)

“The subtitle is “A Salute To ’60s Rock” – At least I had the balls to admit it was a homage.”

Wait! Neil Diamond has just burst through the courtroom door, knocking over the bailiffs!

Neil Diamond – Cherry, Cherry from The Feel Of Neil Diamond (1966)

“It may only be three chord pop, but they were my three chords first, bitches!”

Who’s getting ripped off here?

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  • Deiter

    An E-A-D shuffle is probably as old as cave painting but who cares? Mellencamp always loses in my book. Neil rocks the shuffle and with nothing but a handclap! He deserves something for that. No one wins any awards for lyrics. Give it to Neil, who wrote more nuggets than the other two by far.

  • derry

    oh dear, oh dear, the romantics song is a kinks cover, case taken against the wrong person, it even predates Cherry Cherry

  • http://www.popdose.com DwDunphy

    Not to quibble, but I must…

    “”What I Like About You” is a song by American rock band The Romantics. The song, written by Romantics members Wally Palmar, Mike Skill, Rich Cole, and Jimmy Marinos is featured on the band's self-titled 1980 debut album, and was also released as a single. Marinos, the band's drummer, is the lead vocalist on the song. The band filmed a music video for the song that appeared frequently on MTV during the early 1980s.”

    Are you sure you're not thinking of “All Day And All Of The Night”? If you are, you should file a counter-counter-countersuit. That'll teach Mellencamp!

  • http://www.bastardradio.com steed

    Man, I haven't seen those exagerated facial expressions from the Romantics in ages. It might be me, but when I watched the video for “What I Like About You” – I kept picturing Green Day in my head.

  • Eric S.

    I saw the Romantics in concert at Central Michigan University as they were touring to support that first album. They had a very new wave, punk feel to them. It was a good show; not real polished, but lots of energy. I never saw Green Day live, but I can see the similarities.

  • armenite

    Yeah, but the next song on the Romantics record is a cover of the Kinks “She's got everything” (a G-C-F shuffle…). The songs sound a lot alike back to back. The cover is a good one btw. I read somewhere that they tried to get Shel Talmy to produce the record as they were going for a Kinks sound.

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