Cat Stevens says Coldplay stole his song
4th May 2009 | 13:08
Is Viva La Vida really Foreigner Suite?
We haven't heard much about the Joe Satriani vs Coldplay cage match lately. Now it looks like another brouhaha is brewing - and this one is weirder: Cat Stevens is claiming that Viva La Vida is really his song Foreigner Suite.
Stevens, who goes by the name Yusuf Islam, tells The Sun, "There's been this argument about Coldplay stealing this melody from Joe Satriani but, if you listen to it, it's mine! It's the Foreigner Suite, it is!"
Foreigner Suite is folk/prog - not pop
"There's been this argument about Coldplay stealing this melody from Joe Satriani but, if you listen to it, it's mine!" Cat Stevens, who says that Coldplay lifted one of his old tunes
Foreigner Suite, a 18-minute ditty from Stevens' 1973 album Foreigner, borders on the brand of mystical folk/prog-rock of Jethro Tull that was hugely popular at the time.
Which means it's not the easiest song to slog through. In fact, we tried a couple of times and still haven't made it all the way. But we're professionals, so we'll keep trying.
A tiny connection?
Yusuf - Stevens - hasn't indicated whether he'll take legal action against Coldplay, but he has hinted at something of a connection: He used one of Coldplay's production team for his about-to-be-released album, Roadsinger.
"I used Coldplay's mixer, Michael H Brauer, on Roadsinger. He's brilliant. He won a Grammy for their record."
Not exactly the kind of statement that wins plagiarism cases.
So what do you think? Did Coldplay lift inspiration from Steven's 36-year-old Foreigner Suite? Check out the track (it's broken down into two parts - how proggy!) and compare. If you get through the entire thing, well, you're either more patient than us or you have more free time.