Is GN'R's 'Sweet Child O' Mine' a Ripoff?

Those plagiarism accusations just keep piling up these days. Following the, "Blurred Lines," trial and the ongoing, "Stairway to Heaven," case, now... Guns N' Roses were accused of ripping off an obscure Australian band in their classic tune, "Sweet Child O' Mine."

Max TV brought up the matter, saying that one of their commentators revealed to them that the song, "Unpublished Critics," by a band called Australian Crawl. was a rip-off of "Sweet Child O' Mine."

Others in the music biz are now coming forward saying that the songs do sound similar: "the same chugging chord progression, a similarly-sweeping lead break, the verse melody, and the elongated one-syllable vocal in the chorus," one source points out.

But also note that "Unpublished Critics" lacks the signature Slash lead guitar line in the beginning. The foundation, the vocal line in the verse and chorus on the other hand, certainly do have some striking similarities with the classic GN'R tune.But, are these similarities enough to say that the Guns N' Roses song is indeed a "Rip-Off?"

"Unpublished Critics" was released in 1981, six years before GN'R's roaring 1987 debut "Appetite for Destruction" brought us, "Sweet Child O' Mine."

Check out the two tunes below and listen for yourself.

Duff McKagan Weighs in on 'Sweet Child o' Mine' Rip-Off Allegations

Duff McKagan has refuted recent allegations that Guns N' Roses' "Sweet Child O' Mine" is a rip-off of Australian Crawl's 1981 song "Unpublished Critics."

The claim, which came from Australian blog MAX TV, highlighted the similarities between the two tracks, pointing out "the same chugging chord progression, a similarly sweeping lead break, the verse melody, and the elongated one-syllable vocal in the chorus."

Now, speaking with Opie Radio (via Blabbermouth), former Guns N' Roses bassist Duff McKagan has insisted that any similarities are purely coincidental:

"Any bands I've been in, you do the smell check. You always run into [the Tom Petty song] 'Free Fallin.' 'Oh, man, that's 'Free Fallin.' It's always some Tom Petty song, right?! He's the master... Anything [with only] three chords... 'Oh, crap.' It's a [The Rolling] Stones song or a Tom Petty [track]... But that band, Guns, at that point, we would have... We were striving to be so original and different and do our own thing, there's just no way; we would have referenced anything... So if there's any similarity, it's complete happenstance."

Australian Crawl frontman James Reyne has also spoken out on the matter, stating that while it's conceivable that the Guns N' Roses might have been influenced be his band, he doesn't want to take on the might of their lawyers to find out:

"I'm not about to take on the might of the Guns N' Roses lawyers. It is not inconceivable that there are similarities between the two songs. It's also not inconceivable that they wouldn't have been aware of certain Australian songs."


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