Those of us who are parents are often proud when our children they listen to music that they “inherited” from us, and we tend to feel bewildered (at best) or outraged (at worst) when they listen to music that we do not know or is not regularly heard in the family circle. And where does that music come from? Today, a great disseminator of songs (of all ages) it is tik tok. The social network of Chinese origin that began in 2016 (but was only available worldwide in 2018) has 800 million users and manages, through challenges, choreography or very basic slogans, to make a song go viral. The curious thing is that being a predominantly adolescent network, many times the most used topics are several years old or even several decades old.
Some examples are Madonna’s “Material Girl” (1984); “Sway,” Michael Bublé’s 2004 version of the mambo “Who Will It Be?” (1953); “Because of you”, by Kelly Clarkson (2005); “Never forget you”, by Noisettes (2009) or “Da ya think I’m sexy?”, by Rod Stewart (1978) used for a choreography… sensual?
“Da ya think I’m sexy?” is a song that the Scotsman recorded in 1978 for the album blondes have more fun And it has some peculiarities. It was signed by Rod himself, drummer Carmine Appice and Duane Hitchings. He received a lot of criticism at the time because the song was too disco for an artist with more rock and blues roots, but he responded by rightly saying that several artists, including Paul McCartney and the Stones, were also making disco songs ( the following year it would come out I was made for loving youfrom Kiss).
The curious thing about Tik Tok is that being a predominantly adolescent network, many times the most used topics are several years old or even several decades old.
But it turns out that shortly after the topic came up, the Brazilian Jorge Ben Jor said “eh, but that topic has copied parts of my song Taj Mahal…”.
Taj Mahal is from the year 1972. There was a copyright infringement lawsuit, resolved according to Ben “amicably” and in his favor. Additionally, Stewart decided to donate all proceeds from the song to Unicef. Years later, in his 2012 autobiography, Rod said it was “unconscious plagiarism,” having heard the song when he was at the Rio carnival in 1978. And while he was at it, he also said that the trademark synth riff about the topic he consciously took it out from the string arrangement of the 1975 theme (If you want my love) Put something down on itby Bobby Womack.
One part of Jorge Ben Jor, the other of Bobby Womack… then, did Stewart, Appice and Hitchings write anything? Well, the letter. Hitchings is a guy with a thousand years in the music business. He started in the ’50s with Del Shannon, worked with Hendrix, with Janis Joplin, with Alice Cooper, wrote songs for the soundtrack of Rocky IVwon a Grammy for a song by flashdance, worked with rappers and now composes for country artists. Hitchings said in 2007 that the lyrics are a parody of the men portrayed by Saturday Night Fever. “Us rock and roll guys thought we were dead when that movie and the Bee Gees came out. Rod, in his brilliance, decided to parody the record. A VERY smart man. There is no such thing as a “dumb” super hit in the music business.”
That super success crossed the decades and reached the new generations thanks to one of the most used social networks of the moment.