Rob Thomas in Deep 'Dudu'?

by Pete Blackwell
Re-printed here with permission from his blog (parenthetical remarks)

While flipping between C-SPAN and C-SPAN2 the other day, I happened to pause for a moment on MTV where I caught a snippet of the new single from ex-Matchbox 20 frontman and Santana collaborator (and I use that term as the French did in 1946) Rob Thomas. As I listened to the sing-songy chorus, it dawned on me that I'd heard it somewhere before.

I lived in Istanbul for a while during 2003-2004 and I learned a couple of things: first, cars will not stop for pedestrians; and second, Tarkan is God. While Tarkan may be virtually unknown in the US, this Turkish pop sensation is the Michael Jackson (minus the child molestation) of his home country.

When I arrived in Turkey in 2003, Tarkan had just released a new single called "Dudu" and for the next six months, the strains of this song were literally unavoidable. When I heard Thomas's new song, "Lonely No More," on MTV, I realized that the chorus bears a suspiciously strong resemblance to Tarkan's opus.

Upon further research, I found that the refrain in "Lonely No More" isn't just similar to "Dudu," it's exactly the same. (Update: By "refrain," I mean approximately the last 10 seconds of each clip, not the whole thing. I included the rest of the music to establish the context: i.e., these are ostensibly different songs that share one part that is strikingly similar.)

First listen to a sample from "Lonely No More." (Requires RealPlayer)

Now compare it to Tarkan's "Dudu." (If you're having trouble downloading these files, right click and "Save Target As" to your desktop. Then open the file with RealPlayer.)

There's no question that they're the same.

As far as I know, Rob Thomas is credited with writing "Lonely No More" all by his lonesome (an email to Atlantic Records requesting more info has thus far gone unanswered). "Dudu" was written by Tarkan and Jeff Koplan.

All of this means one of three things: Rob Thomas is a plagiarist, his song is an homage to Tarkan (and what could be cooler than that?) or both Thomas and Tarkan were using a melody that's in the public domain. If it's the former, then Thomas is in deep "Dudu." If it's either of the latter, then it exposes Thomas as shockingly (ok, predictably) unoriginal.

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