Not long after Coldplay debuted their new single “Every Teardrop Is a Waterfall,” claims of plagiarism popped up in YouTube comments, as listeners noted a similarity in the song’s riff to that of Mystic’s 1990 UK italo-house hit, “Ritmo de la Noche.” In actual fact, the song contained a melodic sample from Peter Allen‘s “I Go to Rio,” co-written in 1976 with Adrienne Anderson—a credit listed below the lyrics on Coldplay’s website—which happened to be the same melodic bit that “Ritmo de la Noche” used. (To be more specific, Mystic‘s rendition of the song was merely the Simon Cowell-helmed UK version of a track that had several regional variations. WhoSampled credits the band Chocolate with the “original” of this house track.) This was clarified in a statement that a spokesperson for the band made to Scotland’s Daily Record.
This was more than just misinformed accusation, though, as Coldplay has faced such charges in the past. Long gone are the days when the band joked on Storytellers about the extent to which “Speed of Sound” borrowed from Kate Bush‘s “Running Up That Hill”:
Since that 2005 performance, the band has faced accusations of plagiarism on 2008’s Viva La Vida from Creaky Boards (that June), Joe Satriani (that December), and Cat Stevens (the next May). But sampled and interpolated melodies are also relatively unfamiliar to rock fans who believe authorship is sacrosanct, and Coldplay have brought a different sensibility to their songwriting, as seen in the clip above. Do they cross the line? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!