So far I’ve talked about covers, songs that have lifted parts of the lyrics or tune from other songs or songs that literally sampled a bit from another song. There is however another category of song: the clone. The clone is an almost literal, purposely made imitation of the original, to feel and sound the same as the original, but without using the exact same notes and lyrics to prevent copyright infringement.
Meet the song Save my Soul by a band called Superglue from 2000. You probably never heard of them, mainly because this was their only hit and only in the Netherlands. And even here it’s forgotten. It was used in an advertisement, for what, no one even remembers. Clones are often made especially for advertisements. All I can tell you it was sung by a guy called Edwin Meijster (who?) and it was written by him and a guy called Frank Pels in affiliation with EMI Music.
By now I hope you’ve listened to the link above (if not: do so) and recognised this song sounds a suspicious lot like a song from another band that used to be signed to EMI: Radiohead. In fact, if you put Karma Police (1997) next to it, the likeness is uncanny. And that was exactly the intention of Save my Soul. Less royalties to pay, same song. Even the band’s name might fool you into thinking it was Supergrass if you hadn’t paid attention.
By the way, if you want to hear a truly magnificent, but honest cover of Karma Police, I must again recommend The Easy Star All-Stars version of Karma Police from their Radiodread album. Besides making a full album of reggae Radiohead covers, they’ve also tackled Pink Floyd’s Dark side of the Moon and The Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. But that’s another story.
Since EMI has disallowed embedding of the YouTube video for Radiohead’s Karma Police, instead I give you the Superglue song: