Copycats Pt. 2: Most Ripped Off Riff in Rock

But wait, there's more...

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So a few weeks back we discussed the most ripped off riff in metal, but it turns out that the rock world has a representative of its own in the copycat domain.

This time around, the distinctive riff dating way back to the '60s connects the likes of Nirvana, Boston, QOTSA and more. To fully get our drift, we're talking about such tracks as "Smells Like Teen Spirit" and "More Than a Feeling," but more on those in the list below.

Once again, we won't be doing much chit-chat and will just let the music speak for itself.

Queens of the Stone Age - "3's & 7's" (2007)

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Radiohead - "Just" (1996)

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Bush - "Little Things" (1995)

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The Offspring - "Self Esteem" (1994)

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Pixies - "U-Mass" (1991)

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Nirvana - "Smells Like Teen Spirit" (1991)

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Boston - "More Than a Feeling" (1976)

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The Troggs - "Wild Thing" (1966)

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The Kingsmen - "Louie Louie" (1963)

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Got more songs to share based on the same riff/chord progression? Do it in the comments.

22 comments sorted by best / new / date

    TheRegularJohn
    They all use mute notes and some use power chords. That's about it to be honest. I can't see any similarities in chord progression apart from a few that use I, IV at the start.
    JD Close
    Wild Thing and Louie Louie are the same, but everyone's known this for years. Other than that, these are all different. If you really wanted to look into it, you could find about 100 songs that use the same chords as Self Esteem. Unfortunately, Axis of Awesome already did it.
    derkym
    Oh wow, who knew songs that use power chords occasionally indeed sound similar to eachother when comparing 60 years of music.
    scorpio2billion
    If you want to find the real source of a million riffs, just go back to Buddy Holly. He came up with tons of riffs that people still use.
    Crofty89
    The Wild Thing riff is 3 chords (A, D, E, D, or I, IV, V, IV)), Smells Like Teen Spirit is 4 (F, A, G#, C or I, IV, III, V). They both start on I-IV but that's hardly a reason to call one a copy. More Than a Feeling is D, D, C, G, or V, V, IV, I. Also different.
    Wppa
    From what I recall Kurt said he was deliberately trying to rip off Boston's riff in "More Than a Feeling" when he was writing "Smells Like Teen Spirit".
    Rensa
    They maybe different in theory, but they sound quite similiar.
    MaggaraMarine
    They all just use a similar rhythm. But that's like the most usual rhythm in rock music. I would hardly call it copycat. The riffs don't sound the same at all.
    INSULIN
    smells like teen spirit -to me it doesn't sound like more than a feelin