*Bruno Mars and Marc Ronson got some ‘splainin’ to do. Not only them, but four record labels and others involved with “Uptown Funk,” the huge 2014 hit, are the subject of a new copyright infringement lawsuit.
Collage, a funk band from Minneapolis, says “Uptown Funk” is based on their 1983 song, “Young Girls.” Not only that, it copies their original song’s structure, melody, harmony and rhythm. Larry White, the only living member of the band, the estates of two deceased members, Grady Wilkins and Lee Peters, are also listed as defendants.
After listening to Collage’s song and comparing it to “Uptown Funk,” we think they (Larry White) might be on to something. Hmm, do we see another Robin Thicke/Marvin Gaye kinda moment happening? Don’t be surprised if it happens.
By the way, “Uptown Funk,” Mars’ biggest hit, which was produced by Ronson, has sold more than 6.1 million copies. It was also number one on the Billboard chart for the second-longest period since records began. Estimates suggest the song earns about $100,000 from streaming rights on Spotify every week. Yes, every WEEK.
READ RELATED STORY: OLD SCHOOL GIRL GROUP (SEQUENCE): ‘UPTOWN FUNK’ IS OUR SONG (LISTEN)
The lawsuit notes that Ronson and Mars have talked about how “Uptown Funk” was influenced by early 1980s Minneapolis electro-funk soul music, of which the late Prince was also a pioneer. Collage is looking for damages and profits.
The complaint itself states in part:
“Upon information and belief, many of the main instrumental attributes and themes of Uptown Funk are deliberately and clearly copied from Young Girls, including, but not limited to, the distinct funky specifically noted and timed consistent guitar riffs present throughout the compositions, virtually if not identical bass notes and sequence, rhythm, structure, crescendo of horns and synthesizers rendering the compositions almost indistinguishable if played over each other and strikingly similar if played in consecutively (sic).”
Earlier this year (16), another group called The Sequence also claimed that Uptown Funk infringed on an original song of theirs, though they did not bring a lawsuit.
Compare the songs for yourself: