10 Rock Bands Who Blatantly Copied Other Artists

Professionals Borrow...But Geniuses Steal.

Bob Dylan / The Beatles
Parlophone / Capitol / Columbia

It's never easy trying to find something truly original in the music realm. Regardless of how much of a unique artistic mind you may think you possess, chances are there are millions of hopefuls out there just like you who have tried and failed at making their fortune. When you run short on ideas though, stealing is usually the next best thing.

Instead of taking real time into crafting these songs, these artists decided to coax on the goodwill of their own musical heroes. Compared to some of the more intellectual sides of rock and roll, a lot of these songs are just the products of what these guys were hearing in their record collections. Is that such a bad thing though? Aside from blatantly plagiarizing, these songs actually hold up in an unusual way. By attributing their influences directly, most of these fall into the realm of homage, looking to pay tribute to their musical heroes rather than just wearing their music as a mask.

Other times we may see the opposite happening though, where artists try on a new style specifically to mock one of their contemporaries. Regardless of how they actually came to be, these songs actually managed to become timeless in their own way by pulling so much from the past.

10. Welcome Home (Sanitarium) - Metallica

Metallica deserve to be cut a little bit of slack compared to their metal brethren. Despite having some real clunkers in their discography like St. Anger and Lulu, that doesn't take away from the massive influence they had in birthing the genre of thrash as we know it today. Then again, maybe even some of their classic moments weren't all their own.

When combing through the back catalogs of Metallica's softer side, Welcome Home is the prototype for the thrash ballad, featuring darker lyrics and a more subdued musical structure. Though this type of rolling arpeggio figure was a staple of James Hetfield's guitar playing at the time, even he admits that the main riff behind this song was not all his own. Though he has remained tight-lipped about his inspiration, the old NWOBHM band Bleak House seem to be the true originators, with their song Rainbow Warrior having an opening guitar figure near identical to Hetfield's version.

Although there's probably a whole slew of lawsuits that could be made out of something like this, Bleak House seem to have mellowed out, citing the rip off as a plus to give them more exposure. Even when cribbing from their old influences, making something like this is a great way to keep the spirit of metal alive for those who never reached their fullest potential.


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