Blurred Lines: Plagiarism, or Not?

Marvin Gaye’s family has accused Robin Thicke’s smash single “Blurred Lines” of plagiarizing “Got To Give It Up,” the 1977 R&B dance song. Thicke has stated he was inspired by “Got To Give It Up,” and “Blurred Lines” evokes 70′s funk music, but does it go to far?

What do you think?

Link Shared by Rob Hall: Everything is a Remix

About Kim Smith

Currently creating documentary films about the Monarch Butterfly, Black Swallowtail Butterfly, and Gloucester's Feast of St. Joseph. Landscape designer for the Gloucester Harbor Walk Gardens. Designer, lecturer, author, illustrator, photographer. Visit my blog for more information about my landscape and interior design firm- Good Morning Gloucester daily contributor. Author/illustrator "Oh Garden of Fresh Possibilities! Notes from a Gloucester Garden"
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17 Responses to Blurred Lines: Plagiarism, or Not?

  1. Boy, men in the ’70s sure did wear some tight shirts.

    • Kim Smith says:

      Noticed that too–at first i thought the guy at the beginning was shirtless–the shirt is transparent fabric. I love it when Marvin joins the dance party @ 4 minutes.

  2. Bill says:

    Marvin’s been robbed!

  3. saint707 says:

    Nawwwww, not the same. Just because it is similar and partially sung in falsetto doesn’t make it plagiarized. If it were the same notes they would have more of a case. Remember the same flap over George Harrison’s My Sweet Lord and the song He’s So Fine? Some of the phrases had the same notes and Georgie ended up paying.

  4. S.D. Kelly says:

    No way.

  5. Kim Smith says:

    I think–not plagiarism. Robin Thicke said he wanted to create a song evocative of Gaye’s “Got To Give It Up,” and he succeeded, but did not go too far. There are many similarities, far more differences, and musicologically speaking,”Got To Give It Up” is composed around the blues scale, while “Blurred Lines” is in the major mode.

    Both songs are fabulous and deserve their meg-hit status. Because of all the controversy, I imagine sales of Marvin Gaye’s “Got To Give It Up” have spiked and that would be great, too.

  6. Rob Hall says:

    • No, they are not exactly the same.
    • Marvin Gaye is dead, so he doesn’t care either way.
    • Everything is a remix:

  7. Rich B says:

    The drum beat is pretty similar, but many are. More cowbell man! The Robin Thick song sounds like a lot of other songs, which just happens a lot. I dint think these two are the same at all. But now I have to listen to some funky Marvin Gaye! Good post Kim!

    • Kim Smith says:

      Thanks Rich–sweetest, gorgeous music, from earliest Motown hits with Tammi Terrell to the soulful “What’s Going On Album.” Although the “Prince of Soul” died tragically at the age of only 45, by hand of his father, his musical legacy and influence lives–as demonstrated in Thicke’s “Blurred Lines!”

  8. Craig Kimberley says:

    Nothing really new about this at this point in the game. It’s pulled from another track, that’s dating back since the start of hip-hop. For an extreme version of sample/borrow see: Snoop Dogg’s Doggy Style, or Dr. Dre’s The Chronic, (both produced by Dr. Dre of course). Those records are cut mostly form P-Funk/Parliament classics. Besides, where would hip-hop be today without the sampling of James Brown’s entire library? Nowhere.

  9. Deb says:

    Seem very different to my ears…like ‘em both! Very nice analysis Kim!

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