The Flaming Lips were sued by Cat Stevens over the song “Fight Test” as it is sounds very similar to the Stevens song “Father and Son.”
The Flaming Lips – Fight Test vs. Cat Stevens – Father & Son
Cat Stevens — “Father and Son“
The Flaming Lips — “Fight Test”
Stevens, now Yusuf Islam, is now receiving royalties following a settlement after a relatively non-contentious settlement. In an interview, Wayne Coyne stated,
“I want to go on record for the first time and say that I really apologise for the whole thing. I really love Cat Stevens. I truly respect him as a great singer-songwriter. And now he wants his money. There was a time during the recording when we said, this has a similarity to “Father And Son”. Then we purposefully changed those bits. But I do regret not contacting his record company and asking their opinion. Maybe we could have gone 50-50. As it is, Cat Stevens is now getting 75 per cent of royalties from “Fight Test“, We could easily have changed the melody but we didn’t. I am really sorry that Cat Stevens thinks I’m purposefully plagiarising his work. I am ashamed. There is obviously a fine line between being inspired and stealing. But if anyone wanted to borrow part of a Flaming Lips song, I don’t think I’d bother pursuing it. I’ve got better things to do. Anyway, Cat Stevens is never going to make much money out of us.’
This happens all the time in the music business. The Verve “Bittersweet Symphony” vs. The Rolling Stones “The Last Time” lawsuit ended with The Stones receiving 100% of the royalties, click below for the details.