Riffing off old songs is par for the course in rock ‘n’ roll, according to Elvis Costello.
With Olivia Rodrigo facing multiple claims of plagiarism, Costello responded on Twitter to someone pointing out the similarity between her song “Brutal” and his classic “Pump It Up”.
“This is fine by me,” the rock legend said, adding, “It’s how rock and roll works. You take the broken pieces of another thrill and make a brand-new toy.”
— Elvis Costello (@ElvisCostello) June 28, 2021
Listeners can hear the similarities between the guitar riffs near the starts of Costello and Rodrigo’s songs.
The similarities to Costello’s song aren’t the only controversial lifts Rodrigo has been accused of.
Last week, the singer was accused of plagiarizing the promo image for her “Sour Prom” concert film (premiering June 29) from Courtney Love’s cover art for her 1994 Hole album Live Through This.
Both images feature prom queens — that’s not Courtney Love on the Hole cover — holding a bouquet of flowers with mascara running down their faces.
“Spot the Difference! #twinning”, Love wrote in an Instagram post comparing the images, and later added on Facebook: “Stealing an original idea and not asking permission is rude. There’s no way to be elegant about it. I’m not angry. It happens all the time to me. But this was bad form.”
She went on, “My [album] cover was my original idea,” Love wrote on Facebook. “A thing you maybe have to actually live life to acquire? I’ve informed her I await her flowers [and] note.”
Commenting on the original Instagram post, Rodrigo wrote, “love u and live through this sooooo much,” to which Love replied, “Olivia – you’re welcome. My favourite florist is in Notting Hill, London! Dm me for deets! I look forward to reading your note!”
— Honey Cutt (@HoneyCuttband) June 24, 2021
Meanwhile, others have pointed out similarities between Rodrigo’s styling for her “good 4 u” single and music video, and that of American indie rock band Pom Pom Squad, including cheer squad outfits with long latex gloves.
Rodrigo has not responded to the latter claims.