The Gap Band Awarded Writing Credit On “Uptown Funk!”
After the verdict in the “Blurred Lines” lawsuit, nobody is playing around when it comes to those pesky “hey, this song sounds like this other song” complaints. When Mark Ronson and Bruno Mars hit huge with their strutting pastiche “Uptown Funk!,” people played a lot of spot-the-influence, and the consensus was that the song got its swagger from Morris Day & The Time. But another old-school funk group is getting paid. Music Week reports that Gap Band members Lonnie Simmons, Ronnie Wilson, Charles Wilson, Robert Wilson, and Rudolph Taylor have all been given co-writer credits because of the similarities between “Uptown Funk!” and their 1979 hit “Oops Up Side Your Head.” They join the Ronson, Mars, and the song’s four other credited co-writers (including Nicholaus Williams and Devon Gallaspy, who are in there because of the way “Uptown Funk!” interpolates Trinidad James’ “All Gold Everything”). Given that “Uptown Funk!” spent 14 weeks atop the Billboard charts, this is going to mean a whole lot of money for the Gap Band. This is all a bit surprising, considering that “Uptown Funk!” and “Oops Up Side Your Head” don’t actually sound all that much like each other. Listen for similarities below.
It should be noted that all the parties arrived at this settlement without a lawsuit, which is nice. It should also be noted that the Gap Band can probably afford to buy the Gap now.