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Sounds Like Teen Spirit: Stolen Melodies, Ripped-Off Riffs, and the Secret History of Rock and Roll Paperback – 12 Oct 2007

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Product details

  • Paperback: 200 pages
  • Publisher: iUniverse Star (12 Oct. 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1583480234
  • ISBN-13: 978-1583480236
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.2 x 22.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 584,964 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

A graduate of Providence College, Rhode Island, Timothy English has a background in musical theory and history. He writes frequently about pop music, and his work has appeared in Upstage magazine. He lives in New

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By A. Belcadenza on 10 Aug. 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you like me have listened to records for soon to be five decades, you have probably heard music being recycled and said "Hey, wait a second...i've heard this before". It seems to be a kind of "getting away with" game for some songwriters and some do it blatantly while other are more subtle. It was a interesting summer reading this book and I give it 4 stars. It is very informative and had some examples I hadn't noticed myself - like comparing Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" with Boston's "More Than A Feeling", which I find is a bit of a stretch, but at the same time adequate while reading the explanation in the book. I reserve the five star experience for occasions when I overhear a musical "borrow" from two very separate genres and when I least expect it. One of these experiences was when I was listening to the 2nd movement of Rachmaninoff's piano concerto no 2 and heard the beautiful melody from Eric Carmen's "All By Myself". It's not a tough case to crack, who was first on that melody.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 10 reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
A lot of fun despite errors 28 Jun. 2007
By R. Banfield - Published on
Format: Paperback
This book was a lot of fun. It included the sound-alikes everyone knows - "My Sweet Lord" and "He's So Fine," "Sweet Little Sixteen" and "Surfin' U.S.A." - and some surprises. Did you know, for example, that Radiohead's "Creep" borrows from the Hollies' "The Air That I Breathe," and that Bon Jovi's "You Give Love A Bad Name" was re-worked from a Bonnie Tyler song? I didn't, and it made me listen to those songs to hear the resemblances.

I wish the book had been twice as long, as there certainly are more such examples. I also wish the author had included a CD with examples, but I'm sure that would have been a copyright nightmare.

The book, as fun as it is, is full of printer's errors. Who are "Nirvina" and "Holwin' Wolf?" I hope the sequel is more carefully edited.
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Sounds Like is a Behind The Hits winner 29 Jun. 2007
By Bob Shannon - Published on
Format: Paperback
As a music author (Behind The Hits) and a radio dj/musicologist, I was very excited to learn of Timothy's book. Smells Like Teen Spirit has put together many of the songs I have chronicled over the years that sound suspiciously like others.

On my radio shows I have played them in a feature named "Call The Lawyers!" -- and, indeed, some of these song pairings went to court. Others didn't but perhaps should have. All in all, they represent a fascinating side of rock music history. Rip offs or inspirations? Homages or stolen riffs? No matter -- it's what was in the grooves that counts. Some are obvious, but one is often surprised by the musical connection Tim's ears have made. There are some songs here that even I never put together (or didn't know about), like Jorge Ben's "Taj Mahal" as the basis for Rod Stewart's "Do Ya Think I'm Sexy". And the song by John Lennon's father? Imagine that!

This is a very well-researched, well-documented and well-written reference as well as being a fun read. I commend and recommend Timothy's book to all who love and enjoy the various decades of rock and roll and the artists who made (or should we say, "re-made"?) the music.

--Bob Shannon
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Fun and quick, but could be so much more 8 Jun. 2007
By Hotchod - Published on
Format: Paperback
If you're into the history of rock music and love dissecting songs to see where they came from, you'll enjoy this book. It has many interesting examples of songs that were either directly ripped off from something else, or just sound suspiciously similar. The author gets into the history of the songs, the lawsuits and the stories behind the scenes. You'll be surprised and amused when you realize how many classic songs were ripped off from others, and that's the real joy of the book.

On the down side, the writing isn't dynamic and the book is a very quick read. You can probably get through it in half an hour. Also, it's tough to enjoy without hearing the music you're reading about. But if you can flip through it and listen to the songs at the same time, it's a lot of fun.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
really liked it but... 23 Jun. 2009
By L. Zarate-Pettite - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you don't know what songs he's talking about, then you could be lost. And a lot of times I knew most songs that he would compare; but never quite got why there was copyright infringement...

The book really opened my eyes to the shady music business and especially reaffirmed what everbody was telling me about Led Zeppelin aka 'The Thieving Magpies' [google it]
If you like rock 'n roll, this is a must 12 Jan. 2013
By Ted - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Sounds like Teen Spirit is very short, but will provide you with hours of fun. Each chapter compares a recent song to a song released far earlier and how much they sound alike. Proof that many of our favorite recording artist are not quite as talented as we may have believed. They have simply "stolen" the riffs and melodies from a band before them. If you enjoyed rock 'n roll going up and still do, you will have a great time reading about the ripped off songs and each I know I have had a blast!
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