It is never easy to try to find something really original in the music business. No matter how much you think you have a unique artistic mind, chances are there are millions of hopefuls like you who have tried and failed to make your fortune. However, when you run out of ideas, stealing is usually the best thing to do.
Instead of taking real time to create these songs, these artists decided to call on the goodwill of their own musical heroes. Compared to some of the more intellectual sides of rock and roll, a lot of these songs are just the product of what these guys have heard in their record collections. Is this such a bad thing though? Blatant plagiarism aside, these songs actually hold up in an unusual way. By directly attributing their influences, most of them fall under the realm of homage, seeking to pay homage to their musical heroes rather than just wearing their music as a mask.
Other times we can see the opposite happening, when artists try out a new style specifically to make fun of one of their contemporaries. Regardless of how they were born, these songs have managed to become timeless in their own way by drawing so much from the past.
Metallica deserves to be a little relaxed compared to its metal brothers. Despite the fact that they have real clunkers in their discography like St. Anger and Lulu, that does not detract from the massive influence they had in the birth of the thrash genre as we know it today. . Then again, maybe even some of their classic moments weren’t all theirs.
Browsing the catalogs on the softer side of Metallica, Welcome Home is the prototype of the thrash ballad, with darker lyrics and a more subdued musical structure. While this type of rolling arpeggio figure was a staple of James Hetfield’s guitar playing at the time, even he admits that the main riff behind this song was not his own. Although he has remained low-key on his inspiration, the former NWOBHM Bleak House group seem to be the real creators, with their song Rainbow Warrior having an opening guitar figure almost identical to Hetfield’s version.
While there is likely a whole slew of lawsuits that could be taken out of something like this, Bleak House appears to have softened, citing the scam as a perk to give them more visibility. Even taking inspiration from their old influences, doing something like this is a great way to keep the spirit of metal alive for those who have never reached their full potential.