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Flaming Lips Avoid Cat Fight

Band will share royalties with Seventies songwriter

June 27, 2003 12:00 PM ET

The Flaming Lips will split royalties for the song "Fight Test" with Yusuf Islam (formerly Cat Stevens) according to the terms of an agreement between the two artists' publishing companies. The settlement stems from the similarity between the Lips' new single and Stevens' 1970 song "Father and Son."

Flaming Lips frontman Wayne Coyne acknowledged the likeness between the two songs in an interview last year before the song's release. "I know ["Father and Son"] and when I came up with 'Fight Test,' I knew there would a little bit of comparison to that," Coyne told Rolling Stone. "Parts of it are radically different than what I intended in the beginning, which I thought sounded a lot like the Cat Stevens song, but I didn't give it that much thought. We did the song quite quickly once we came up with the arrangement. It?s not a reference necessarily to the ideas of [?Father and Son?], but, yeah, definitely a reference to the cadence, the melody, and stuff like that. I think it's such a great arrangement of chords and melody that you just hope to express something, even though it's in a similar vein."

Flaming Lips management declined comment on the settlement.

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Song Stories

“Vicious”

Lou Reed | 1972

Opening Lou Reed's 1972 solo album, the hard-riffing "Vicious" actually traces its origin back to Reed's days with the Velvet Underground. Picking up bits and pieces of songs from the people and places around him, and filing his notes for later use, Reed said it was Andy Warhol who provided fuel for the song. "He said, 'Why don't you write a song called 'Vicious,'" Reed told Rolling Stone in 1989. "And I said, 'What kind of vicious?' 'Oh, you know, vicious like I hit you with a flower.' And I wrote it down literally."

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