I love Tom Petty.  I love "I Won't Back Down."  I've listened to the song hundreds, maybe thousand…

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I love Tom Petty.  I love "I Won't Back Down."  I've listened to the song hundreds, maybe thousands, of times, I know every chord in it, and I've even performed it (on guitar and vocals) on multiple occasions (not including playing it several times in Rock Band).  And I've written dozens of songs myself, each with varying levels of originality.

I've heard this Sam Smith song a few times previously, and it did not invoke in me any thoughts of the Petty tune, even as a big fan of the song and a songwriter myself.  Yes, upon listening to it after the claim of copying, I hear obvious similarities in the chord progressions and melodies.  But when Smith's people say it was coincidental, I find that to be perfectly believable.

It's a very simple and fairly obvious chord progression.  The verse in Petty's goes vi/V/I four or five times, with the third time using IV instead of I.  Sam's does it four times, with no variation on the third measure.  And Sam's chorus is basically just the verse, whereas Tom's chorus uses a very different progression until the end, where it goes back to vi/V/I.  The melody of the chorus is very similar, but not nearly similar enough for me to think it was copied.

I've heard so many songs in my life that sound similar -- I mean, come on, we're talking about Western pop music that uses four measures with three major chords and three matching minor chords, you can only vary it so much -- that this sounds just like a normal song.

So I find the claim of coincidence to be believable.  What is not believable to me is their claim that Smith was not familiar with "I Won't Back Down."  How is that even possible?  Hasn't everyone in the English-speaking world heard this song many times in their life? G+

Sam Smith to pay Tom Petty royalties for basically writing the same song

High-voiced British crooner Sam Smith has agreed to pay royalties to Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne for Smith’s hit single “Stay With Me.” First released back in April, the third single off of Smith’s album In The Lonely Hour reached No. 2 on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. However, the song does bear m

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