The Borrowers: Our Top 10 Musical Rip-Offs


We love Gorillaz, so we couldn’t help but be a bit disappointed by the recent rumor of the group’s uncredited music stealing borrowing. (Seriously, is there something in the water?) Reggae artist Eddy Grant claims the electronic keyboard riffs from his song “Time Warp,” were used in the new Gorillaz song, “Stylo,” without any due credit. Although both Grant and the Gorillaz are signed with EMI Publishing, the label refuses to get involved and is letting the artists settle this dispute themselves.

Grant recently told NME:

In a properly configured relationship I would have gotten a call from EMI to say, ‘Damon wants to use ‘Time Warp.’ What arrangement can you guys come to? Would you claim 100% would you claim 60%, or 70% of whatever it is?’ That phone call never came.

Although nothing has been resolved, we’re curious to hear your take on songs that borrow. After the jump, compare Grant’s “Time Warp” to Gorillaz “Stylo,” and check out our roundup of other musical “homages.”

1. Eddy Grant “Time Warp” (at 0:20) vs. Gorillaz “Stylo” (opening)


2. Gang Gang Dance “House Jam” (at 1:00) vs. Florence and the Machine “Rabbit Heart (Raise it Up)” (opening)

3. Manu Dibango “Soul Makossa” (at 0:08) vs. Michael Jackson “Wanna Be Startin’ Somethin”’ (at 4:45) vs. Rihanna “Don’t Stop the Music” (at 2:50)

4. James Brown “Hot (I Need to be Loved Loved Loved Loved)” (at 0:17) vs. David Bowie “Fame” (at 0:13)

5. Queen “Under Pressure” (opening) vs. Vanilla Ice “Ice, Ice, Baby” (opening)

6. Orchestral Cover of The Rolling Stones “The Last Time” (at 0:14) vs. The Verve “Bittersweet Symphony” (at 0:12)

7. Rick James “Super Freak” (opening) vs. M.C. Hammer “U Can’t Touch This” (opening)

8. Joe Satriani “If I Could Fly” (0:48) vs. Coldplay “Viva La Vida” (at 0:40)

9. The Chiffons “He’s So Fine” (at 0:20) vs. George Harrison “My Sweet Lord” (at 0:23)


10. John Lee Hooker “Boogie Chillen” (opening) vs. ZZ Top “La Grange” (opening)