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Soundtracks you didn't know were stolen

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Since we’ve essentially spent this whole article adding insult to infringement, let’s look at a reversal of sorts. In this case the intro song from Top Gear actually came first, and was then ripped off by a popular band, Muse.

Muse - Bliss

Top Gear - Intro

Now people sample game music all the time, but usually it’s obvious, intentional, or attributed. To his credit, Muse frontman Matt Bellamy acknowledges he stole it, just from the wrong source, stating it reminded him “of some music I heard on some children’s music programme when I was five. I think I ripped it off that.” Wrong! But since you wrote “Butterflies and Hurricanes,” we’ll let it slide.


 

Okay, this was probably intentional. Hell, take into account the title screen and it’s damn near flagrant.

 

Parody, most likely. But noteworthy nonetheless, since not only were parodies like this scarce in the days of the NES, it also somehow escaped the dark eyes of the Sith Attorneys at the Lucas Empire.

John Williams - Indiana Jones Theme

A Boy and his Blob - Title Theme

 

Why exactly EarthBound (or Mother 2, as it’s known in Japan) hasn’t seen a proper stateside rerelease is the subject of rampant speculation. And rightly so, since Nintendo’s wholly unique role-playing parody of western culture buried itself firmly in the hearts of all who touched it. It damned sure isn’t an issue of quality when you stack it against the occasional crap that reaches the Wii’s Virtual Console. The fact that Ness, the game’s protagonist, appears throughout the Smash Bros series means Nintendo cares about the property, and a leaked ESRB rating implies US was at some point in the works.

But it was not to be. And it’s our belief the reason why lies within the game’s bizarrely beautiful soundtrack. Keiichi Suzuki cites John Lennon as an influence, but upon further examination, that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Right out of the gate, the name screen loops a tune that should be immediately recognizable to Monty Python fans.

John Philips Sousa – The Liberty Bell March

EarthBound – Your Name, Please 

Speaking of TV, the music that plays in Jackie’s Cafe is a wonderfully haunting mix of The Little Rascals/Our Gang theme (with a little Star Spangled Banner for good measure).

Good Old Days - The Little Rascals Theme

EarthBound - Jackie’s Cafe

EarthBound’s “Moonside Swing” seems to be a nearly verbatim sample from a song intro by The Cars’ Rick Ocasek.

Ric Ocasek - Keep On Laughin’

EarthBound – Moonside Swing

The Who’s opening swell should perk up the ears of anyone who owns Rock Band.

The Who - Won’t Get Fooled Again

EarthBound – The Sky Runner

How’s about a nod to Chuck Berry?

Chuck Berry - Johnny B Goode

EarthBound - Franky

And to bring it back to game music, Earthbound even made the shortsighted decision to include music from a Namco game in Onett’s Arcade.

Xevious Music

EarthBound – Onett’s Arcade

Oh! and did we mention the billion or so Beatles references?


Above: Lord knows Apple Records would never sue anybody 

Now whether you personally believe copyright has been violated is beyond the point. Sure EarthBound on VC seems like money on the table, but once you factor in hosting and emulation, even the flimsiest dispute would negate any profits with the legal paperwork alone. A damn shame, for sure. But if you still want to play it, let the internet be your guide…

May 13, 2009


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78 comments

  • DreAlb - September 18, 2010 5:18 a.m.

    The first level theme in doom sounds like Painkiller by Judist Prist
  • TheElephantManchurianCandidate - September 10, 2010 1:52 p.m.

    I love this article I must re-read it every month or something
  • Gogolor - June 10, 2010 4:37 p.m.

    This more of a "significantly inspired" than a direct rip off, but Doom level 1 and Judas Priest's "Painkiller" http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5mPmg6ZR25s&feature=related
  • RFswitchBlade - May 28, 2010 9:47 p.m.

    The jackie's cafe music used to scare the sh*t outta me. That, and every time I get on the sky runner, I yell YEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! at the top of my lungs.
  • solsurvivor - March 5, 2010 5:57 p.m.

    Can't believe "Let My Love Open the Door" wasn't mentioned in this in regards to Final Fantasy's main theme. It's a straight rip-off. Check it out: http://gamedrunk.com/2010/02/pete-townshend-black-mage/
  • olio - October 16, 2009 11:30 p.m.

    I agree that all of these sound similar, but I'm still having a hard time hearing the similarities between Your Name, Please and that Monty Python track. They sound completely different to me...
  • kinterq - May 18, 2009 1:18 a.m.

    The Parapa the Rappa and Can are WAY to simular, it's creepy. Plus the Muse and Top Gear one was ftw.
  • Spybreak8 - May 17, 2009 9:54 p.m.

    Listened from the podcast and had to check it out, great article!
  • Grundler24 - May 17, 2009 5:24 p.m.

    them bones was also in atv offroad fury. recaptcha:cranker danger
  • Demonflare - May 15, 2009 9:13 p.m.

    Ahh! I hate rip offs! I cant believe they put Rick Astley! "Never gonna give you up" was in my head for 2 days, and now he in this article yo!
  • marioman50 - May 15, 2009 9:03 p.m.

    There's actually another one I know of, and it's from pokemon. Either in ruby or diamond (I forget) On one of the routes, there is an obvious version of "all the young dudes" by "mott the hoople" playing. If somebody can confirm this for me and tell me what part it's from I'd appreciate it.
  • Gsindahouse - May 15, 2009 8:26 p.m.

    Duuuuude... (the megaman boss names) ....Duuuuuude.... Anyways, Glad I didn't see Rayman on here, ha ha
  • GamesRadarChrisAntista - May 15, 2009 2:35 p.m.

    @Sonnelion Your memory serves you correct! But it actually was Soundgarden, fully licensed and not an imitation. Rusty Cage is the song, and Road Rash is the only reason I love it... Dee-Ner Nee-Ner-Neeee...
  • mentalityljs - May 15, 2009 1:48 a.m.

    What about one of the tracks on Eternal Champions? That was a TOTAL rip-off of Bone Thugs & Harmony's "Land of the Heartless" off their E. 1999 Eternal album.
  • someonetgsn - May 15, 2009 12:02 a.m.

    Im sorry, i just had to comment after i saw ur flag alexmdy, that is awesome! I never would have thought i would see someone with a newfie flag for their profile.
  • GamesRadarChrisAntista - May 14, 2009 10:13 p.m.

    @hagelbreaker I've actually never seen that article before... but I really wish I had! Golly, then I could've included all the stuff I found but didn't have time to post while doing exhaustive research and personally cropping each and every mp3. How about next time, instead of accusing me of plagiarism, just say what you really wanted people to know: "I already knew that."
  • GiraffeeDreams - May 14, 2009 6:11 p.m.

    the muse bliss / top gear comparison is good, the music that accompanied one of the in game race tracks had the same sort of tune, but, it was im my belief the last boss of thunder force 4, where the boss is fought in a vertical tunnel and upon winning whites out into nothing, the video to bliss is just this, and quite a few sonic 3 tracks remained similar to mj's music but jun senoue was accredited with it and has since done just about every sonic game after that.
  • Squander - May 14, 2009 6:09 p.m.

    the comparison: chrono trigger - rick astley is awesomely hilarious - how's it possible that I have never observed it myself
  • Conman93 - May 14, 2009 5:27 p.m.

    cool article
  • Zaphers - May 14, 2009 3:07 p.m.

    Good ears Antista.

Showing 1-20 of 78 comments

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