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Did Coldplay rip off Joe Satriani?

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Coldplay have been called many things, but Joe Satriani wannabes? That’s a new one, and it’s apparently what the chrome-domed axe man himself is claiming in a new lawsuit. Satriani accuses Coldplay of ganking the riff from his 2004 instrumental “If I Could Fly” for their hit single “Viva La Vida.” (A representative for the band hasn’t replied to our request for a comment.) Anyway, let’s go to the tapes….

I’m no intellectual property lawyer, and I don’t really believe in suing people over melodic similarities, but I’ll be damned if Satriani’s screamin’ riff starting around 00:50 in the first clip doesn’t sound extremely familiar. That said, this is a pretty elementary combination of notes. If anything, I think Coldplay’s members are most likely guilty of writing a boring major-chord tune in an attempt to make a hit. But you tell me — do you think Satriani has a point?

(Meanwhile, if this whole thing feels like déjà vu, you’re not crazy. As Wook recalled yesterday, Coldplay were previously accused of stealing the “Viva La Vida” tune from a random indie act called Creaky Boards back in June; Coldplay vehemently denied that charge at the time.)

More on Coldplay and suspiciously similar music:
Coldplay is one of EW’s 2008 Entertainers of the Year
They gave EW a sneak preview of Viva La Vida back in May
EW.com got an exclusive glimpse of one of bassist Guy Berryman’s sketches
2002’s A Rush of Blood to the Head is one of EW’s New Music Classics
EW took a look at a few other soundalike songs in 2006