Are Radiohead and Lana Del Rey Fighting Over a Hollies Song?
In the latest case of possible copyright infringement to come across our desk, Radiohead's publishers have been in touch with Lana Del Rey due to similarities between her "Get Free," a song from last year's Lust for Life album, and Radiohead's 1992 breakthrough hit, "Creep." Ironically, Radiohead were themselves successfully sued for ripping off "Creep" from the Holllies' 1974 classic "The Air That I Breathe."
After word of a lawsuit by Radiohead was reported over the weekend, Del Rey wrote, "It's true about the lawsuit. Although I know my song wasn't inspired by 'Creep,' Radiohead feel it was and want 100 percent of the publishing – I offered up to 40 over the last few months but they will only accept 100. Their lawyers have been relentless, so we will deal with it in court."
However, Warner/Chappell denied much of what Del Rey said. "As Radiohead's music publisher, it's true that we’ve been in discussions since August of last year with Lana Del Rey's representatives," a statement reprinted by Rolling Stone said. "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.' To set the record straight, no lawsuit has been issued and Radiohead have not said they 'will only accept 100 percent' of the publishing of 'Get Free.'"
Those "musical elements," as you can hear on both songs below, undoubtedly refer to the chord progression used in the verses for both songs. But those same chords caused Albert Hammond and Mike Hazelwood, who wrote "The Air That I Breathe" (embedded above), to sue Radiohead, and they were subsequently given a co-writing credit on "Creep."
Hammond and Hazelwood have yet to comment on the situation.
Listen to Radiohead's "Creep"
Listen to Lana Del Rey's "Get Free"