Did Lady Antebellum Borrow From Alan Parsons for Need You Now?

Posted by Michael Mueller on November 19, 2010 at 9:45 AM

Is Lady Antebellum's "Need You Now"—one of the biggest hits of the past year—just a rip-off of the 1982 Alan Parsons Project hit "Eye in the Sky"?

Last week, the editor at the Nashville Scene received a letter from a woman named Lisa Marie Parsons, who claimed to be the "Executive Personal Assistant to Alan Parsons," stating (in brief):

"Our fans are reaching out to us by the hundreds telling us how Need you Now by Lady Antebellum is one of those "lazy rip offs" of Eye in The Sky by The Alan Parsons Project."

In the Nashville Scene's online report, they also included a mash-up video of the two songs (see below), created by a fan of the Alan Parsons Project, in which the tempo and key of "Need You Now" were altered slightly to match "Eye in the Sky."

Official Lady Antebellum "Need You Now" guitar tab
Official Alan Parsons Project "Eye in the Sky" guitar tab

I'm no musicologist, but I am a musician and journalist who cares deeply about intellectual property rights, and in my humble opinion, while there are remarkable similarities in melodic contour in the first half of the main chorus hook, that's about all there is. Certainly, I'd have a hard time believing there was any intentional "borrowing" here.

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