You should never discount how hard it is to come up with a song. Aside from being able to play your instruments properly, rock bands can try to make the magic happen all day and walk away with no finished song no matter how hard they try. So it makes sense why we find them dipping into their inspirations a little too much.
Across every stripe of rock music, everyone is influenced by what came before, and make no intention of hiding it. Whether it's just the first few lines or copying an entire piece of a song, these artists aren't even subtle about recontextualizing their record collection. There's nothing wrong with that though, is there?
Rock has always been about carrying on the legacy to the next generation, so why would this be any different? Arguably it's not, but it changes things when the courts get involved. In the most blatant of these cases, artists have been sued by their inspiration and have had to empty their pockets to give credit where it was due in the first place. While it's always fair to wear your influences on your sleeve, you might want to be looking over your shoulder to make sure no one tries to steal it either.
10. Bittersweet Symphony - The Verve
By the end of the '90s, we had gotten pretty used to sampling in music. I mean, when you have a record like Paul's Boutique becoming one of the biggest records in music, you know that there is a way to make samples sound original. The Verve may have had the right idea with Bittersweet Symphony...it's just a shame that the higher ups didn't think so.
Although most of the song is credited to Richard Ashcroft, the lawyers came calling when they found out where the orchestral backing track came from. Once it reached the top of the charts, the managers behind the Rolling Stones were claiming that they had "stolen" the strings from the Stones' orchestral arrangement of their song The Last Time. Yes, you heard that right. They wanted to sue them based on a cover version of a rock and roll song.
Apparently these lawyers had silver tongues though, with most of the publishing rights going to the Stone's estate. This may have been what shook the Verve into one hit wonderdom stateside, with millions of people blasting the song everywhere they went. Even with the Verve becoming one of the defining acts of the Britpop era, it has to sting that you have to pay your idols whenever you play your biggest hit.