Springsteen Accused of Ripping Off KISS Tune

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Accusations have surfaced claiming that a track from Bruce Springsteen’s new album borrowed portions of a song recorded by KISS. The track in question, Springsteen’s “Outlaw Pete,” which is featured as the first track on his new Working on A Dream album, is said to bear too much similarity to “I Was Made for Lovin’ You,” a song recorded in 1979 by the face-painting New York City rock group that boasts over 85 million album sales worldwide.

It appears that some KISS fans believe that “The Boss” used elements of the KISS track when he wrote “Outlaw Pete”,” claiming that some guitar and drum work is nearly identical. This has sparked an online feud between KISS fans and Springsteen fans, and has resulted in postings on the popular video sharing site YouTube, which demonstrate the alleged similarities between the two songs.

As the video below demonstrates, there are indeed similarities between the two songs. I’ve got no axe to grind with regard to this dispute, since I am neither a fan of Springsteen or KISS, although I will admit that I have a soft spot in my heart for KISS’ “Detroit Rock City”, but that’s due solely to the fact that my favorite local band covered that song back in the late 70’s – and, dare I say it – pulled it off better than KISS did.

Even so, I have a hard time believing that someone as successful as Springsteen would have to resort to ripping off a 30-year-old KISS song for his new album. My take is that it’s simply a coincidence, or perhaps Springsteen even heard the KISS track in question at some point in his life and it just kind of stuck in the back of his mind without him even realizing it.

Like I said, I’m not a fan of “The Boss,” and cannot think of a single song I have ever heard from him that I liked, so there’s no reason for me to defend him. I just think it’s a bit far-fetched to think he would blatantly copy someone else’s material. He’s obviously creative enough to have written a lot of music through the years without plagiarizing someone else’s work, and besides, I can’t imagine he’d do something that stupid. I think he’s smart enough to know that a group with over 85 million album sales under their collective belt has a fan base that includes a few people that would pick up on a rip off like that.

In other Springsteen news, which there seems to be no shortage of these days, it is being reported that he’s in line to headline the Bonnaroo Festival this year. Along with “The Boss,” Phish, the Beastie Boys, Nine Inch Nails, David Byrne, Wilco, Al Green, Snoop Dogg and Elvis Costello will be sharing the spotlight at the June event. Talk about a diverse line-up! Something for everyone, I suppose.

More good news for Springsteen comes by way of an Obama cabinet member who has defended Springsteen’s choice to ink that exclusive deal with Wal-Mart for his Greatest Hits CD. President Obama’s deputy director of the National Economic Council, Jason Furman, disagrees that the move was a slap in the face for the working man.

Furman says that Wal-Mart’s success has actually improved the lives of the poor and working class in America, and apparently feels so strongly about it that he authored a paper on the subject back in 2005 entitled “Wal-Mart: A Progressive Success Story.”

Furman’s paper may not change too many minds when it comes to Wal-Mart’s influence on the U.S. labor force, but it may make for interesting reading for those who wish to hear the other side of the argument.

Thanks to Opposing Views and The Independent for the head’s up on these stories.

1 Comment

  1. Christina Kelley February 11, 2009 at 1:04 pm

    I’ve been a KISS fan since I was in 6th grade, I am 42 years old now.
    I’d have to say I definitely hear similarities in the songs, but to say they sound exactly the same, no. I would however like to hear Springteen’s song all the way through before I make a final judgement, so I’ll do that and get back to you. 🙂

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