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Gaye, Thicke, Williams

PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 10:42 am
by Chris P
by musician Jessica Lauren (haven't read all of this yet, but still thought worth posting):

I've been thinking hard about the Marvin Gaye Estate vs Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams judgement and I've spent a little while doing a painful comparison: painful because every time I watch the Thicke/Williams video I feel dirty (in a bad way). There is an indefinable magic about the Marvin Gaye tune - I am in awe of what he and the wonderful musicians he worked with made, something so unique and simple and true and funky and SWEET! There is nothing of that in Blurred Lines, a song and video that I find abhorrent in its dangerous lip-smacking consent-free misogynist entitlement. Compare that to Got To Give It Up: Marvin puts himself in the passive position, admits his insecurities, then compliments the women and hopes that they will find him as attractive as he finds them and choose him. Oh Marvin, Marvin, you so so clever sweet seducer you! kiki emoticon
HOWEVER: in my opinion, T/W were guilty of pinching a vibe and only the vibe. There is some falsetto singing; there are people having a party; and there are some bass line/Rhodes stop and starts that are reminiscent; but as Robin Lee and Richard Payton said on DjMarcia Carr's page, the lyric, melodies, chords and hooks (of which there are many, some very small: I may hate the song but it is full of pop hook 'craft') are absolutely not the same as Marvin's or stolen from it. I believe this is not the right judgement. In my opinion there are reasons they should have been ashamed of their song, but not made to pay $7.4m for it. Sadly I can't see the Estate of Marvin Gaye donating the money to Rape Crisis Centres around the USA and elsewhere (yeah right, that's really going to happen)…
HUBRIS: 'Hubris means extreme pride or self-confidence. When it offends the gods of ancient Greece, it is usually punished.' (Wikipedia)
Thicke and Williams are guilty of hubris and we, who love and treasure Marvin's music (careful! The man was sometimes very different to his art) take pleasure in seeing his smug rich imitators humbled (Thicke undoubtedly more than Williams for sure) but they have paid a huge price for it and I think it's unjust.

Re: Gaye, Thicke, Williams

PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 11:18 am
by Adam Blake
A little disingenuous there, coming from a musician. There's more than a "vibe" been stolen. It's in the arrangement, the rhythm, the production. A pair of slimy little toads have ripped off one of pop music's great masters and I'm glad they've been called to account. $7,400,000 does seem excessive. A simple assurance that they won't make any more records or they will face a firing squad would have sufficed.

Re: Gaye, Thicke, Williams

PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 11:59 am
by Chris P

Re: Gaye, Thicke, Williams

PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 12:51 pm
by AndyM
You can call Robin Thicke all the names under the sun, Adam, but Pharrell is the closest thing we currently have to a bona fide pop/soul genius.

Re: Gaye, Thicke, Williams

PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 1:10 pm
by Chris P
Rhodri Marsden sez:

The Gaye / Pharrell / Thicke verdict is boiling my piss. It's based on a fundamental misunderstanding of what songwriting is. The songs are different. They have different structures, different melodies, different chords. (There's also the fact that Gaye's track is great and Pharrell's is a pile of sexist horseshit, but that's not the point. It's not plagiarism.) If anything has been borrowed from "Got To Give It Up", it's a few production ideas based around sparse arrangements. In this case, an offbeat keyboard figure, roughly at 120 bpm, a cowbell (different rhythm) and that's about it. Oh, and singing in a high voice. But you can't copyright that shit. If you believe that you CAN copyright that shit, there are about 20,000 indie bands currently shitting themselves because they owe about $40bn to The Velvet Underground. George Michael may as well hand over his house right now to Earth Wind and Fire. Everyone owes money to everyone. For Nona Gaye to burst into tears and say "I feel free from Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke's chains –" dude, they WROTE A DIFFERENT SONG.
Countless songs have way more resemblance to each other than those two, but no-one picks up on it because they're styled differently. Mashup artists have been making hay with that shit for years, now. But now someone's been found guilty of doing a song that SOUNDS like another song? SOUND DOES NOT EQUAL SONG. YOU CAN'T WRITE A SOUND DOWN. Pharrell, appeal against this lousy judgement for chrissakes. The lawyers must be loving all this. Jeez.

Re: Gaye, Thicke, Williams

PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 2:38 pm
by Adam Blake
AndyM wrote:You can call Robin Thicke all the names under the sun, Adam, but Pharrell is the closest thing we currently have to a bona fide pop/soul genius.



I daresay he is, Andy, which makes me sad. The pop zeitgeist is so heartless nowadays. I'll just go back to my Shirelles records, I guess, and be quiet...

Re: Gaye, Thicke, Williams

PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 3:42 pm
by Rob Hall


That's a great track Chris.

I'm not over-familiar with the works of Williams & Thicke, but am I missing something here? What has it got to do with the subject under discussion?

Re: Gaye, Thicke, Williams

PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 4:23 pm
by Chris P
Rob Hall wrote:


That's a great track Chris.

I'm not over-familiar with the works of Williams & Thicke, but am I missing something here? What has it got to do with the subject under discussion?


My initial thread post was a reporting of what Jessica Lauren wrote. The track is by the Jessica Lauren Four

Re: Gaye, Thicke, Williams

PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 6:30 pm
by Rob Hall
Ah ... thanks for that.

Re: Gaye, Thicke, Williams

PostPosted: Wed Mar 11, 2015 6:55 pm
by AndyM
Adam Blake wrote:
AndyM wrote:You can call Robin Thicke all the names under the sun, Adam, but Pharrell is the closest thing we currently have to a bona fide pop/soul genius.



I daresay he is, Andy, which makes me sad. The pop zeitgeist is so heartless nowadays. I'll just go back to my Shirelles records, I guess, and be quiet...


Shirelles yes (of course), keeping quiet no.

Re: Gaye, Thicke, Williams

PostPosted: Thu Mar 12, 2015 3:47 am
by Garth Cartwright
Got To Give It Up is one of the greatest records ever made. And it's very much a record - I can't imagine Marvin sitting at a piano and delivering an acoustic rendition. Blurred Lines is nowhere near it but not a bad pop r&b single. It strikes me that it's influenced by GTGIU but surely all music is "influenced" to different degrees by other music? The settlement seems to be one of jury sentiment for Gaye's family - as he blew all his fortune on coke I'm doubting he left much of an inheritance - and a dislike of the sexual content of the BL song and video. A sentimental, politically correct judgement - just what the music industry needed....