So a letter to the editor recently came down the pipeline from someone named Lisa Marie Parsons, who calls herself the "Executive Personal Assistant to Alan Parsons" — no mention of any familial relation. After mentioning Jason Mraz's recent complaint that a Jonas Brothers song sounds an awful lot like one of his own numbers, Ms. Parsons goes on to state the following:
Alan Parsons has been nominated 11 times by the Grammy Committee throughout his 35 year career. He also engineered Pink Floyd, Dark Side of The Moon, as well as the Hollies, Oh Ho Ho it's Magic by Pilot, Al Stewart and countless other artists. He even became boss of Abbey Road Studios in London.
Our fans are reaching out to us by the hundreds telling us how Need you Now by Lady Antebellum is one of those "lazy rip offs" of Eye in The Sky by The Alan Parsons Project.
After analyzing both the Lady Antebellum song and the Alan Parsons song at great length — I kind of can't believe I just typed the preceding phrase, by the way — I have to concur that the front half of the chorus of "Need You Now" is remarkably similar to the front half of the chorus of "Eye in the Sky." The YouTube poster explains that he shifted the tempo and key slightly to make it work. Even so, for a couple of bars, the two songs have a nearly identical melody. It changes up in the back half, however, and none of the rest of the respective songs seems to match up.
Now, Lady Antebellum are from Nashville, and we certainly know that "borrowing" bits and pieces of songs is nothing new in the Music City game. (Dawn Martin's allegation that John Rich and Gretchen Wilson's "Redneck Woman" was a rip-off comes to mind.) But, as a fellow member of my cubicle farm noted, is this simply like stating, "Oh, hey! This fro-yo shop's vanilla tastes just like that other fro-yo shop's vanilla! Rip off!"? Or is there something a bit larger at stake here? Chances are, even if Lady A's song is pretty damn similar to Parsons', they didn't pen it as such intentionally. Really, though, considering how many awards "Need You Now" won, maybe Parsons should get some sort of nod. However, that attribution slope, as they say, is a slippery one.