The idea of actually writing a memorable song isn't exactly the easiest thing in the world. For all intents and purposes, you have to try and hit upon a good beat, a tight groove, and some riff or lyric that's going to win over the rest of the masses regardless of what stripe of music they're into. It's never an easy decision...but it does get a little less hard when the road work is already done for you.
On the opposite end of the spectrum, artists have made it to the top of the charts by making songs that are blatant retreads of what came before. This isn't just from the sample community either, considering that many of these songs were recreated with actual instruments in order to sell something completely new. Even some of the greatest artists of all time aren't safe from the occasional idea of stealing music, as most of the classics have been known to borrow from the greatest in history.
Then again, it's not like the music industry has been known to be the most wholesome of businesses throughout culture. No, this kind of thing tends to be the Wild West...and these are the bandits that managed to con their audiences by ripping off someone else.
10. Come Together - The Beatles
The idea of the Beatles' actually taking inspiration from any one in particular just feels wrong. Especially with all of the layers upon layers of fantastic music coming from their glory period, stuff like Here There and Everywhere and Hey Jude are so omnipresent that they feel like they've existed since the dawn of time. But yes, even the Beatles do steal...and from one of the biggest names in music no less.
When the Fabs were up against the ropes to deliver one last stunning album with Abbey Road, John Lennon came forward with Come Together, which turned into one of the funkiest tracks that the group would ever record. With the exception of Paul McCartney's amazing bassline though, 95% of the original idea was based on Chuck Berry's hit You Can't Catch Me.
Don't believe it? Lennon even goes so far as to use Berry's opening lyric "Hear come old flattop" verbatim in his own lyrics, which ended up getting him in a bit of trouble once the lawsuits started coming in. Seeing how different the end products were, Lennon was originally commissioned to make a covers album during his solo career, with the proceedings going to Berry's publishing company. As much as the Beatles might look like god-tier melody men, everyone gets their magic from somewhere, don't they?