2 songs 1 hook

So, here’s a fun(?) interesting(?) thing. Old people believe that music comprises lyrics and melody, written by the same or different people.

In the 90s that changed with the Swedish music machine (Denniz Pop, Max Martin, etc.), which instead split it into hook and track tested by focus groups, where the hook is the ear worm and the track largely irrelevant. That means that the same hook (or very similar hooks) could in principle be used in different songs leading to interesting copyright cases (case in point the Katy Perry Dark Horse lawsuit).

For a very concrete example of this, consider the unreleased Britney Spears song “Red is the color” or “Red is the color of my love” or “The color of my love” with the recently released song “Red” by Beauz.

They clearly share the same hook (the first half of the chorus), and this is more than just the same lines, they also share the melody (you can find the demo of the Britney song on Youtube for comparison). I find it amusing that the last half of the chorus is different, also in tone, but uses similar themes.

The track is entirely different, obviously, with completely different meanings. They were written by different people I believe (the Briney song IIRC had a track by Heather Bright and the Beauz version has a bunch of other writers).

This is not a coincidence. This is a case of the same hook writer (KBASongwriter/Forest Looper) sending the same hook to different places, and since the Britney song didn’t pan out, it ended up being a defining feature of an entirely different song 5 years later. Katy first lost and then won the Dark Horse lawsuit, BTW, also regarding similar hooks.

On The Original Doll podcast (named after the unreleased Britney album) KBASongwriter talks about her experience with the Britney hook. She also has her own album out (using the name Forest Looper) which is nice, but not really my taste.

And people say following Britney gossip isn’t useful in the real world…

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