Did Tame Impala Plagiarize From an ’80s Argentine Child Star?
Over the course of two albums, John Lennon-tinged Australian psych-rockers Tame Impala have worked their way into the upper echelon of rock, to the point where they have a couple instantly recognizable songs thanks to boosts from commercial placement or TV shows. "Feels Like We Only Go Backwards," off their 2012 sophomore album Lonerism, might be their biggest hit, and now some internet sleuths think frontman Kevin Parker may have stolen the song. From an '80s child star. From Argentina.
Some impressively time- and globetrotting listeners out there noticed that the melody in "Backwards" is mighty close to the one from Pablo Ruiz's 1989 song "Oceano." The similarity is undeniable, but, what are the odds Parker has ever listened to '80s Argentine tween pop? For what it's worth, my fiancée is from Argentina and she says Ruiz was "huge" there. Tame Impala does have a sizable following in South America, so I guess it's possible that Parker heard the song on the radio while on tour there and it got absorbed into his brain through osmosis or something. I'm still leaning toward coincidence, though.
Check out the comparison of the two songs below.