Songs and Singles

You’ve probably heard a song off an album – you’ve heard the album, maybe a few times, but it’s just kind of washed over you, not really made much of an impression – you hear a song, maybe on the radio, maybe some random or curated playlist, and you go. ‘Wow! What a great song!’ And then you realise it’s from that album, the one that washed over you.

That’s what singles were for. Still are for, since they’re still released, though it’s not quite the same.

I just had that experience with Radiohead. Kid A never made much of an impact on me, but when I turned BBC 6 Music on tonight, a killer track was playing. Steve Lamacq back-announced it. He was playing the whole album, and the track was ‘The National Anthem.’ I knew Kid A had a track of that name, but it had never really got to me. But there, now, tonight, it was just amazing.

A similar, if inverted, effect is when the album is so good that it kind of drowns out a brillant single. I can only think of one example of that at the moment. If you cast your mind back (assuming it goes that far) to when The Jam released ‘The Eton Rifles,’ it was an incredible song.

But Setting Sons is such a good album that I hardly notice ‘The Eton Rifles’ on it.

Anyway. Singles. Yes.


Lana, What?

Turns out Lana Del Rey was… mistaken? about Radiohead having brought a lawsuit against her. After me leaping to her defence. I’m very disappointed.

Amanda Petrusich, writing in The New Yorker, tells us:

Eventually, Warner/Chappell*, Radiohead’s publisher at the time of the song’s release, refuted her claim: “It’s clear that the verses of ‘Get Free’ use musical elements found in the verses of ‘Creep’ and we’ve requested that this be acknowledged in favor of all writers of ‘Creep,’ ” the company said in a statement. “To set the record straight, no lawsuit has been issued and Radiohead have not said they ‘will only accept 100%’ of the publishing of ‘Get Free.’ ”

Which seems fairly clear. Read the whole article, though. It’s interesting.


Crazy Copyright Claim

Gotta say I hope Radiohead (or their lawyers) lose this case:

Pop star Lana Del Rey says she’s being sued by Radiohead for copying their breakthrough single, ‘Creep.’

I’m not a fan of Lana Del Rey, but I just listened to her song, ‘Get Free,’ and the only similarity is the chord progression in the first verse. You can’t claim copyright in a chord progression. Or if you can, you shouldn’t be able to.

If the chords and the melody were the same, they’d have a point, but even then apparently they want 100% of the publishing royalties; don’t the words count? Del Rey has offered them 40%, and I think that’s way too much.

I’m amused that the album containing the song gets its title from a doubtless much better one by the same name: Lust for Life. There’s no copyright in titles, of course.